27 Feb 2014

How young is too young?

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Here at northlondonosteopaths.co.uk we are regularly asked: How young is too young?

It is often thought that because babies and children are so young they are not exposed to any stresses that may result in strains in their bodies. In reality, the birth process exposes the baby to a lot of stress and strains! This is due to the extreme force that the baby is subjected to through contractions of the uterus. These contractions enable the baby to passed  through the birth canal. As this happens, the baby is twisted and compressed as it is pushed  through the pelvis.

In order for the baby’s head to pass through this narrow canal, it absorbs theses stress and compresses the bones of the head. As the bones become compressed they can overlap, bend and misalign. As this happens the neck is also subject to enormous stress as the head flexes to make the optimal position for the head to pass through.

Consequently, the baby can be born with an odd shaped head. This can disappear within the first few days of the baby’s life, helped by suckling, crying and even yawning! However, this process is often incomplete especially if the birth has been difficult or was assisted with forceps or ventouse. As a result, the baby may show signs of these stresses with symptoms such as colic, reflux and even an inability to suckle properly.

Cranial osteopaths  recognise these effects and release the pressure, often in the base of the skull where nerves to the tongue and guts may become irritated and effect the babies ability to digest food properly.

There may also be a build up of pressure around the sides of the baby’s head that contains structures associated with hearing. These may become compressed, especially by forceps, during delivery and lead to blocked ears and infection.

At northlondonosteopaths.co.uk we look for the  fundamental  subtle movement throughout all the tissues i.e. the fascia, ligaments, muscles and bones of the whole body including the head.

The cranial osteopath encourages the release of this tension and stress present in the body and the head that may have been caused by the birth by holding and observing the baby, carefully manipulating the body encouraging its proper function.

It is therefore important that the osteopath finds out exactly how the pregnancy and birth went by asking detailed questions.

Once all the information has been gathered the osteopath will begin the physical examination just by simply holding the baby gently, feeling for that subtle movement. The treatment is just as gentle, with the osteopath lightly manipulating those structures that have been placed under all that stress.

As with many things in life, the quicker the problem is addressed the easier it is to resolve! Therefore, the baby can be seen by a cranial osteopath as soon as he or she is born as they are never too young! We look forward to meeting you and your newborn and northlondonosteopaths.co.uk.


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