Benefits of Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation include:
Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation for Infants & Children
Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation, also known as Cranial Sacral, or simply Cranial, is a natural and painless method for addressing many of the health problems of infants and children. Manipulation helps the recovery from injuries and muscle strains that occur so commonly during childhood years. Perhaps less obvious is the role of manipulation in many other disease syndromes of children.
There are numerous types of Osteopathic Manipulation. All are designed to correct structural problems and promote healing. I most commonly employ Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation. This is a very gentle approach used to free areas of the body which have restricted motion. It can be safely and effectively applied to infants and children as well as any age adult. Treatment often involves cradling the head or the sacrum (tailbone), using subtle pressure to free movement of restricted bones or other tissues. This type of treatment is also used to treat any area of the body. In addition to providing relief of pain and stiffness, patients usually experience an ongoing, improved sense of well-being and health.
During childbirth, pressure on the skull of the emerging infant has been measured at 27 pounds per square inch! As a result, that tiny skull will often be oddly shaped at birth, with flat or compressed areas. This condition is called PLAGIOCEPHALY. We also see FLAT HEADS as a result of leaving the baby lying on its back for long periods. Usually, gentle Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation is enough to restore the head to its normal shape, which aids in preventing several disease conditions. Sometimes, the head distortion is so dramatic that Cranial HELMETS are prescribed. In these cases, Manipulation is still very helpful in helping the head transition to a more symmetric shape.
- Some conditions which we commonly see that respond well to gentle Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation include the following:
- Colic and Reflux are often not treated medically, since they tend to resolve on their own after several (miserable) months. Sometimes, prescription medication is effective. However, a major nerve that controls stomach movement (the vagus nerve) can be pinched as it emerges from the base of the skull. This can lead to poor digestion, colic, and reflux. Craniosacral Osteopathic manipulation is able to gently release the compression on the nerve allowing normal function.
- Ear Infections are another common example. The middle ear is normally drained by the Eustachian tube. If this becomes pinched it will not drain, and infection results. These infections are usually treated with antibiotics, and if the antibiotics fail, surgical placement of tubes is recommended. These tubes drain the infected material from the middle ear to the outside. However, Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation is often able to achieve the same result naturally, by releasing any impingement of the Eustachian tubes. Once these ear tubes are enabled to drain, the body's immune system can handle the infection.
- Retriction of the Frenulum, (the tissue band under the tongue) which can interfere with nursing, must often be surgically corrected by a dentist. This procedure is known as a Frenectomy or Frenulotomy. Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation can help with associated head restrictions before and after the surgery.
- Other respiratory and digestive diseases also respond to Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation. Seasonal Asthma can be lessened in severity by regular treatment of the upper thoracic spine, as this helps open the air tubes. Constipation responds to treatment of the lumbar spine and tailbone, since the nerves that control the colon originate in these areas.
- Several forms of Scoliosis will straighten with the employment of Craniosacral Osteopathic Manipulation. It is also used preventatively for children with a family history of scoliosis.