Craniosacral for Infants by Dr. Jess Barr-Desbrow, DC

I have made a practice of offering the newborns of my pregnant patients a first free “structural wellness check”. Here, I examine the plates of the baby’s skull, vertebral column, hips, pelvis and overall physical symmetry and rhythm. I use my Chiropractic brain to check that each structural element is aligned, and then I use the gentlest touch of Craniosacral therapy to allow the baby’s body to unwind from any birth trauma and achieve balance here in the outside world.

Craniosacral therapy was developed in 1970 as a gentle way to release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. The base of the cranium (skull) and the sacrum (the bone that ends in the “tailbone”) define the bony points where the sheath that contains the spinal cord attaches. By working with these focal points, Craniosacral therapy enhances the body’s ability to self-correct by normalizing the rhythm of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord where all of your bodily functions are controlled.

Even if babies receive just one treatment in their lifetimes, I passionately believe that this one gift may very well make the difference so that this little being will not have to spend a lifetime compensating for a slight, otherwise likely undetected, birth-related shift.

Could this work save them from suffering migraines, “bad knees”, learning disabilities, poor vision, “a bad back”, scoliosis, sleep disorders, postural issues, allergies, lack of coordination and so on? I cannot give a resounding “absolutely, every time!”, but a strong maybe still makes it worth every effort in my mind.

Yes, I think that even a baby with no complaints or concerns can gain lifetime benefit from a little attention early on. But there are plenty of childhood concerns that it can also address. This list includes:  colic, reflux, nursing difficulties (poor latch, side preference, weak suckling), head or face asymmetry, flattened or coned head, movement imbalances, fussiness, sensory integration difficulties, constipation, heightened sensitivity, frequent infections, anxiety and on and on. And the beauty of the treatment is that there is really no risk to the baby. It is extremely subtle work where I liken the touch to how one would hold butterfly wings.

Brainy factoids:

• There are 22 bones of the skull, several of which overlap during birth in order for the baby to fit through the canal. These are constantly expanding and realigning to adapt to the extremely rapid growth of the brain during the first 3 years of life.

• The brain grows 2-3 times its birth size in just the first year of life.

• Surrounding the spinal cord are 23 vertebrae, with working joints at every level, collectively known as the spine. This, too, undergoes extraordinary shifting as the infant body grows and the three spinal curves form– being complete once the child is walking. Slips, tumbles and wipe-outs can cause misalignments at any level.

• By the age of 6, all of the motor and sensory functions that we use as adults have been fully developed. Damage at any stage prior to the preliminary development of these functions will be met with compensatory patterns to allow us to interact with our world to the best of our ability. Spinal care prior to this stage is highly recommended.

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