Children and babies
Much of my work with babies involves treating them for stresses and strains which result from the physical force they experience during birth, or due to having limited space while developing inside the mother (such as a breech baby might experience).
Usually during the first few days after birth the baby expands or 'unmoulds', releasing much of this tension and strain as they suck, cry and yawn. Sometimes this unmoulding process may be incomplete, especially if the birth has been difficult.
Osteopathy can identify areas of tension that suggest that the baby may be uncomfortable. A baby will tend to express this discomfort this by crying, being unsettled, similarly strains in certain areas may cause feeding or digestive difficulties for the baby. Following osteopathic treatment parents may notice changes in their child's behaviour, such as reduced colicky crying, improved sleep, less unsettled irritable behaviour and increased quiet, happy spells.
How will my baby react to treatment?
Babies react in many ways; often they are very relaxed afterwards and sleep well. Some have a burst of energy after treatment, usually followed by a good night’s sleep. Occasionally children are unsettled after treatment as their body adapts to the changes introduced during the treatment, but this is a temporary situation, and usually clears within 24 - 48 hours.
For infants and primary school age children, parents may have concerns about recurrent infections, posture, sleep problems, teeth alignment, learning issues and ability to concentrate. Tension can not only cause discomfort but can also affect how children develop movement and posture.
Infants, toddlers and young school age children are not able to accurately explain their discomfort, it is more likely to be expressed through changes in their behaviour or development.
In older children, rapid changes in physical and emotional development and the onset of puberty alongside intensive sports, musical training or increased time in front of the computer can have an impact on their growing body often putting posture under strain causing aches, pain or headaches.
Osteopathy can also help children to cope with orthodontic programmes, which place strain on the growing child and can affect sleep and concentration.
The Osteopathic Centre for Children, where I used to work and study, have produced a series of videos explaining how osteopathy can help children, which can be seen here.