Cranial osteopathy is a popular and highly effective treatment for babies, for issues which occur before birth or during the birth process. Find out more below about what it is and how it can be helpful.
What is cranial osteopathy?
Osteopaths complete a 4 year full time honours degree course which is a medical degree covering anatomy, physiology, clinical medicine, biomechanics and pathology alongside hands on skills and many hours with patients in clinic. Cranial osteopathy applies all these underlying principles whilst using very subtle hands on techniques. In fact, cranial osteopaths treat strain and dysfunction, using a highly developed sense of touch to feel subtle changes of tension in the body.
What sort of issues could a cranial osteopath help my baby with?
The osteopath assesses each baby on an individual basis. Osteopathy looks at the structure and function of the body, assessing health and balance. Babies can be treated for a number of issues through cranial osteopathy, including colic, breastfeeding and feeding difficulties, ear infections, and breathing and airways difficulties, as well as simply to optimise health. Osteopaths can treat babies at any time from birth when a parent may have concerns.
What does the treatment involve?
We speak to parents to collect information about pregnancy, birth and the baby’s symptoms. The osteopath will examine the baby in its nappy, assessing movement, joints, and development. The osteopath will then treat the baby, using treatment techniques. Following this the osteopath gives the family home advice and exercises to be practised at home.
Is it a safe treatment?
Osteopaths are fully trained to know when it is safe to treat your baby or to refer on to GP or hospital. Osteopaths use techniques which are very gentle and will be explained throughout the session. It isn’t painful but babies can often be quite vocal.
Are there any side effects or risks to be aware of?
Babies are usually more settled and sleep or feed a little more for 24-48 hours afterwards. Sometimes they are more unsettled for a short while whilst their body is adjusting to feeling different and we often find they have a big poo.
AUTHOR: SARAH ROWE
MASSAGE THERAPIST, SURREY
Lisa Harris is an osteopath working at Oak Park Clinic, Farnham and offers cranial osteopathy, Surrey. Lisa is passionate about osteopathy and enjoys working with people of all ages. She has a particular interest in babies and children and has undertaken postgraduate and further training in this field.