CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a wonderful and gentle tool for helping newborns and their families get off to the right start. Many complications of childhood can be ended before they even show signs of starting with just one treatment. There are several hospitals that are utilizing CST professionals in the NICU unit and finding great results with the development and health outcomes of the infants treated. And because it is so gentle and
noninvasive, CST has proven effective for all ages, including newborns.
What CST Helps
- Torticollis (favoring one side or unable to turn head)
- Latch issues
- Lip or Tongue Ties
- Colic & Reflux
- Poor sleep or “fussy” babies
- Plagiocephaly (flat spots on baby’s head)
- Overall body balancing for your little one
- Birth trauma, either vaginal or cesarean
What To Expect At A Session
Your child’s session will take place in a quiet, peaceful setting. You are encouraged to bring toys and blankets to the session that your child will associate with comfort. Your child remains clothed and is treated on a padded table or on a blanket on the floor. You stay in the therapy room and participate in your child’s session (and receive treatment too.) You may lie on the table or floor with your child if that helps the child feel more secure.
Reactions to CST vary. Children may sleep through the session, while others may be alert, and even crawling around (toys come in handy to distract them and keep them stationary). Children may be silent or vocal and sometimes may cry. I work with
the child to help them to feel secure and relaxed. Through gentle touch, monitoring
the rhythm of the fluid that is flowing around the central nervous system. Delicate manual techniques are then used to release restrictions in the child’s body and head, thus improving the function of the central nervous system.
My office follows the cleaning & safety protocols recommended by the CDC. There will at most be 1 other family in the office. Everyone over the age of 2 must wear a mask.
Your initial session payment may be applied towards a package if more than one session is necessary.
What does it feel like?
I always offer treatment to the parents as part of the newborn session. Not only does this help them feel comfortable with the therapy, but I also find it helps settle the parent’s nervous system and body and the treatment is relaxing to the new parents. The sessions are generally deeply relaxing, creating feelings of warmth or gentle pulsing in the areas where we are working. You may be hesitant to have someone touching their newborn’s head. The pressure that I use is less than the weight of a nickel (5 grams.) and I am always following the body’s lead and allowing it to release rather than forcing it to release
How It Works
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of the physiological body system called the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). By freeing the central nervous system to perform at its best, CST naturally reduces pain and stress, strengthens one’s resistance to disease, and enhances health and well-being. CST helps to align the body structurally and facilitates the bodily systems to work properly.
The sooner you treat the baby, the fewer treatments they will likely need. If it is possible to treat them within 24 hours after birth it may only take a few minutes.
Why Do Babies Need Craniosacral Therapy?
As babies make their way through the birth canal their bodies are designed to twist and tuck, and their heads mold, and when given time and patience they are able to be born without much assistance at all.
The newborn body was made to withstand and even benefit from the pressure of push of the uterine contraction, but this pulling and traction from the care provider is not a normal part of the process. Oftentimes, OBs & Midwives may apply traction on the infant’s head during the pushing stage to “help.” In extreme cases, forceps or a vacuum extractor may be used.
For babies born via cesarean, the moment the incision is made into the amniotic sac a drastic pressure change is experienced by the infant, much like a scuba diver coming up too quickly. They are also being tugged and pulled as they exit the uterus. CST treatment helps return pressure to normal and reduce stress on the entire body.
This “assisted” delivery either vaginally or surgically can cause lots of tension patterns and restrictions for the newborn. Issues such as strains on the muscles, fascia, tissues, and joints throughout the body. If left untreated this can cause long-term issues such as hyperactivity, dyslexia, and even spina bifida. If treated soon after birth this can easily be corrected by the gentle touch of a craniosacral therapist.
Many congenital and acquired health challenges also respond well to CranioSacral Therapy. It has shown to be effective at improving and maintaining a healthy immune system, and because of its gentle, non-invasive qualities, it seamlessly accommodates other therapies delivered by early-intervention medical teams.
Breastfeeding & Ties: The fascial system connects from the tongue all the way down to the toes. So if there is a misalignment in the body, something tight in the baby’s pelvis, this can create the illusion of a tongue tie and the newborn may have trouble creating a good latch. CST is also helpful in pre and post revision recovery and success if medical intervention is needed in the case of a severe tie.
Parents who are having trouble with lactation have found success whether it was a physical reason or an emotional reason why the parent may have been producing little or no milk, this treatment can often help get the breast milk flowing.
Plagiocephaly The baby may need a few treatments to help release the many bones in the skull that may have become slightly impacted, either from a forceps delivery or even from the infant being malpositioned in utero for the last few weeks of pregnancy. Often these children are treated by wearing a helmet to help the head shape over time. CST can be done alongside helmet therapy or can be utilized instead of the helmet. Each case is individual and a team effort is best.