CST for Kids/Babies
CST for Infants and Kids
Why do Infants and Children need Craniosacral Therapy?
A little goes a long way with a child an as the old saying goes, “As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined”. ~ Just as things that affect and influence a child in its early years shape the adult they grow in to, so too the beneficial effects of craniosacral therapy can continue long into adult life. If problems are left untreated during infancy or childhood, these restrictions can cause pain and dysfunction in later life and take more time and effort to correct. Children’s problems can be corrected easier and quicker than adults’ as their bodies are malleable and their problems are less complicated because of their lesser life experience. Thus, the earlier the intervention, the more effective is the qualitative outcome of craniosacral therapy for children.
During the birth process, the baby’s head moulds to fit through the mother’s pelvis. As the baby’s skull bones are not fully fused, they are able to slip, slide and over-ride each other during delivery. After birth, these overrides and other accommodations in the baby’s skull should not persist. If they do not correct themselves, they can interfere with correct cranial nerve function, leading to impairments in breathing, swallowing, digestion, sensory-motor performance, colic, and more. Even in natural and apparently problem-free delivery, the position of the fetus in the womb and compression experienced during passage through the pelvis and the tight fit through the birth canal, can cause imbalance in the baby’s system. Thus all babies should receive new-born craniosacral evaluations and treatments as soon as possible after birth, and should continue to receive pediatric CST periodically throughout their childhood.
Cesarean birth can be harder on babies than may be imagined. The birth process is more abrupt and potentially more frightening than spontaneous vaginal birth. Surgically-born infants have fewer quiet alert periods (the quiet alert period is the time of day when your baby is awake and calm, just looking around) right after birth and have less opportunity to share bonding time with their mothers who may be unconscious or recovering in another room. Further, cesarean-born babies can have lower Apgar scores, more respiratory distress, more abnormal neurological exams, and more abnormal craniosacral evaluations. They have more chronic middle ear infections and other medical problems throughout childhood. CST can effectively address all of these concerns.
The excessive compressive force exerted on a tiny baby’s body, especially to their head through the use of ventouse extraction, forceps or Cesarean delivery, may deform baby’s precious, soft skull and override the skull bones which may remain overlapped after birth. The excessive traction force creates trauma to the baby’s head bones, the base of the head, the neck muscles, and all along the spine from the neck to the coccyx. Such trauma may lead to a multitude of motor, sensory and neurological impairments such as toticollis, scoliosis (lateral curvature of the spine), asymmetrical head shape, and more. CST can be carried out as soon as possible after delivery to reduce this wide variety of problems, many of which may not be noticed by conventional medicine until the child starts showing delays in developmental milestones, on later, during school years. School-age children can also benefit greatly from regular craniosacral work: Even problems such as head shape and skull-bone overrides can be corrected with the skillful use of craniosacral therapy. It is recommended that parents to receive CST sessions prior to their children receiving treatment so that they can share the same feeling as their child’s experience.
A Typical Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy Session
Throughout the relaxing session, the baby or child rests fully clothed on a comfortable massage table, or in the therapist’s or parent’s lap. The therapist works very gently and softly with their hands for a combined assessment as well as treatment. Sometimes the child finds the experience to be deeply relaxing and so sleeps throughout the session. Sometimes the child may release emotions or even cry, but be assured that the gentle techniques do not hurt a baby or a child.
CST can help Infants and Babies with problems of:
Digestive or bowel dysfunctions
Reflux (spitting up)
Breastfeeding problems, difficulty in latching or poor sucking effort
Torticollis (favor of turning head to one side)
Favor of one breast or position for nursing
Delayed motor or sensory development
CST can help Children with:
Strabismus (lazy eye, squint, crossed-eye)
Aphasias (language disorder)
Sensory Integration Problems
ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder / Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)
Chronic Middle Ear Infections
and many others