Licensed Massage Therapist, CranioSacral Therapy, Certified Brain Injury Specialist
Katie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Craniosacral, a gentle therapy safe for babies
CranioSacral Therapy is a hands-on bodywork treatment that supports the central nervous system to relax and help the body reach optimal function in a natural way. The technique is very gentle, so it is a perfect form of bodywork to use on babies. Plus-baby’s systems are so malleable-they are often ready to shift back into balance relatively quickly and easily. It’s one of the reasons I LOVE working on babies.
Here are some of the top reasons I see babies for CranioSacral Therapy:
Your baby had significant bruising or overlaps to cranial bones after delivery.
Some babies complete their birth looking pretty beat up. There are a lot of life saving interventions used like vacuums, forceps, and maneuvers that can also lead to an increase in stress on the body. My oldest came out with an alien-shaped head and one eye closed-it can be rough! If you see squashed facial bones or asymmetry to the head, CST is for your baby. Anytime there is significant force put on a baby’s head there can be strain patterns that form under the skull and through the entire system. CranioSacral therapy helps to gently release these restrictions that may stretch throughout the entire body and ease excess stress on the nervous system that may be leading to sensitivities to touch, sound, sensitivity to certain clothes or even ways they are held. At the end of a couple of sessions, a baby finds a sense of peace that they didn’t have before.
Labor was very long or very fast.
Babies are bathed so nicely in amniotic fluid before they make their arrival-but some babies are stuck in a certain position in utero for a very long time without the ability to move around. Babies can also get stuck in the birth canal and get varying pressures and experiences that we just don’t understand (even in C-section babies, they can get pulled and feel pressure in a way that is unexpected)-leaving a baby feeling scared and they can come out feeling panicked from the experience, leaving an imprint of fight or flight on their nervous systems. CST Gently nudges releases to the body that help emotional and physical tensions to soothe leading to a better balance in cerebrospinal fluid, moving to a rest and digest function of the nervous system and more optimal function for the babies.
Your newborn has difficulty latching to the breast or feeding off a bottle.
Newborns have natural instincts to latch themselves to the breast after birth, if they can’t then there is usually a good reason for it. Often the mother feels like they are doing something wrong, but more times than not it can be because the baby is uncomfortable, tight in the jaw, has a hard time moving their tongue or has a neck that is stuck in a wrong position. Cranial nerve function can be impeded due to compression of cranial bones which can also affect the tongue function and sensation. The earlier the baby can be seen, often the better for these babies.
You have been told your baby has a tongue tie.
At birth, the strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. Babies can do a lot with a tongue that moves optimally and can rest nicely on the roof of the mouth, widening the palate, allowing for good air flow through the nose up into the brain. But if there are major restrictions in the tongue, it is important to get those restrictions addressed and looked at so feeding isn’t painful for the mother or the baby, so the baby is able to regulate its suck, swallow, breathe, allow the nervous system to calm down so the baby can learn to self soothe, and allow mom to have a good experience feeding their baby. There are many ways we can address and serve these issues based on the severity of the tie-but getting bodywork before and after a revision is shown to improve outcomes for the baby undergoing care. Sometimes the tie is also related to something else going on in the system, like torticollis, arching-or being stuck in extension, which needs to be addressed along with the tie. I work with many experts in the community making sure that the proper care is assessed for each case.
Your baby has a tilt to her head/neck.
A preference for looking one direction and/or a flat spot on their head. This can also lead to breastfeeding being painful on one side. The tilt or kink in a neck/head of a baby can come from many or all the factors listed above-birth trauma, in utero position, tongue tie, stiffness in the body/system of the baby-making sure the baby gets some body work to address ALL the issues is essential to getting a full treatment for the baby. CST is a great way to assess all these issues-including flat spots on the head that might need some specific work to the cranial bones itself.
Your baby arches or presents in a C-shape when trying to lie flat.
If you pay close enough attention to babies, they will tell you in their bodies when they are tight in their musculoskeletal system, just by the way they carry themselves. If they present in these ways most of the time, CST is for them. The ease of the technique is where the magic lies.
Your baby cries. A lot.
Babies cry to communicate and once that need is met, usually stop crying. If you baby cries and is inconsolable, you may need some CST to support this baby’s system. I get many babies in that have difficulties and we just don’t know why-some babies have musculoskeletal pain or discomfort from birth. Others have a strong need to tell their birth story through memory crying. Not matter what, CST is a safe and effective way to address a deep listening to the system and help that nervous system come out of fight or flight and help restore balance to they system, which often leads to a more content baby.
If you just want them checked out.
I have many families that I’ve seen that after I’ve worked on one baby, they return when they have another, usually within the first couple of weeks of birth. It’s a nice way to welcome them to their new home and have some reassurance for the family that things are moving in the right direction. It is a true honor to work with these wonderful families.