What is craniosacral therapy for babies and how does it work?

Craniosacral therapy is a complementary therapy. It is not a 'head massage', but it is a gentle hands-on treatment which may involve treating the head as well as the rest of the body. Its aim is to un-do the stress, strains and trauma effects of the birth process.

Craniosacral therapy works with the natural tensions and subtle, inherent movement patterns that should be present in the tissues that make up the human  body. The main tissues involved are:

  • the bones of the skull, spine and pelvis
  • the dural membrane (the protective covering surrounding the brain and spinal cord)
  • the central nervous system or CNS (the brain and spinal cord)
  • the fluid in which the CNS is bathed (the cerebrospinal fluid or CSF)

Technically,the inherent movement pattern of these tissues is known as 'The Craniosacral System'.

The gentle, therapeutic touch of the craniosacral therapist encourages the release of held stress patterns, tissue strains and traumatic memories held in your baby's craniosacral system, which may originate during pregnancy, labour and/or birth. Helping to restore the normal tension levels and movement patterns to your baby's head and body often leaves him or her calmer, sleping better and more social.

During the treatment of your baby, my hands will rest lightly on their head or body, not seeming to move. Employing a range of different hand holds I can help to:

  • release held shock, stress and trauma patterns from their birth process
  • release and mobilize the cranial bones
  • release held tension in the cranial and spinal dural membranes (the meninges)
  • mobilize the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • release joint restrictions in the spine, neck and pelvis
  • calm an over-excited sympathetic nervous system (the fight and flight system), and so calming the digestive system and easing excessive baby reflex behavior patterns, such as, constant sucking, feeding, crying and over-alertness
  • create an experience of peace and safety in their body

Sometimes babies just let go and sleep through the whole treatment, but it is also normal for them to go into a 'stress-release process' during which they wriggle around and cry, sometimes acutely. This is how their body clears itself of stresses and strains. However, after such a release, they usually relax more deeply and can fall asleep. At all times during the treatment, your baby remains fully clothed and in your presence.

"I came to see Mr Zealley because my two-week old baby was constantly crying and suffering with colic. He explained the treatment to me beforehand and also while doing it so I would not worry about the reaction of my daughter. We had two sessions, but she was already much better after the first one. Now she only cries when she needs something, so it made my life much easier! I have already recommended Mr Zealley to other new mums." Mrs Wenlock, Sidmouth.

page update - July 2015


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