Cranial Osteopathy is a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment that uses very gentle manipulative pressure to encourage the release of stresses and strains throughout the body. Cranial Osteopathy is gentle being suitable for children and babies. The skilled osteopath has a finely developed sense of touch feeling subtle movement within the body. It is extremely effective in treating a wide range of conditions in people of all ages, from birth to old age.
Cranial osteopathy does not treat the conditions itself however looks at and addresses the individuals stresses and strains throughout the body to reduce symptoms.
It is a common belief that babies and children should have no structural stresses or strains in their bodies, because they are 'so young'. The reality can be very different.
Birth is one of the most natural but stressful events of our lives. The baby is subjected to enormous forces, as the uterus pushes to expel the baby against the natural resistance of the birth canal. The baby's head is made up of 22 bones and has the remarkable ability to absorb these stresses in a delivery. The soft bones of its skull overlap and distort (mold) to reduce the size of the head as the baby descends. Many babies are born with odd shaped heads, and in the first few days the head can be seen to gradually lose the extreme mould shape (Joseph Kiesler & Rick Ricer Am Fam Physician 2003: 15:67:2547), as the baby suckles, yawns and cries. However, this unmolding process can be incomplete, especially if the birth has been difficult, and especially if the birth involved the use of forceps or ventous.
Some babies cope extremely well with even quite severe molding and head shape distortion, and are contented and happy. Others however, may display a variety of problems which as the child grows, the effects of retained molding can lead to other problems.
Caesarean section born babies have different problems some are in shock and can be very irritable. Caesarean section babies are inclined to be more mucusy than babies who were born by vaginal delivery because they had no compression through the chest. This can result in ongoing multiple infections of the ear, nose, throat and chest.
Common problems Babies see a GP for: