Pediatric CranioSacral Therapy

I utilize a combination of CranioSacral Therapy (CST), Visceral Manipulation (VM), and Neural Manipulation (NM) to treat young ones. These gentle therapies can resolve structural and functional issues and are perfectly suited to the special needs of infants and kids.
Common conditions for newborns that we treat effectively:

  • Torticollis - bent neck
  • Plagiocephaly - cranial asymmetry
  • Hip malalignment
  • Colic
  • Issues swallowing or latching on
  • Issues sleeping
  • Recurrent infections, sinus/ear/lung
  • Skin problems

So many things have to progress during early development. The nervous system is expanding and building networks rapidly. When nerves are imbalanced they send too little of much electricity. This can cause weakness or overstimulation of muscles. Skeletal muscles pull on bones to move them. Imbalances in these muscles can pull bones out of alignment, causing orthopedic problems Other muscles like the diaphragm, heart, esophagus, stomach, intestines, etc. contract rhythmically, maintaining life. By treating the nervous system we can help unravel orthopedic problems as well as digestive issues. Of course, the nervous system includes the brain, cognitive function, mood, behavior, sleep, etc.

Torticollis can be mild to severe where the neck is tilted. This can cause many complications, pain and developmental delays among them. Often these kids have some pelvic involvement, with one hip flexing. Many times, the tentorium is tight, pulling on the spinal dura. This in turn pulls the neck out of alignment. CST is much more gentle that traditional PT which treats only the neck. We treat the entire dural system, allowing for rapid and lasting results.

Plagiocephaly is when the shape of the skull is irregular. This can put pressure on parts of the brain. Often an eye or ear is effected. Because the cranium is imbalanced, these babies often have a high degree of tension on the spinal dura, causing torticollis. Helmets are often used to push the bones over time, like braces for teeth. In contrast, our gentle manual therapies (CST and VM), we often see significant improvements rapidly, and may reduce the need for other medical interventions. I often see visible change after the first session. While there are cases that are more challenging, most cases respond very well. Click to learn more about CranioSacral Therapy

Hip Misalignment, the pelvis can also be of concern. Restrictions cause asymmetries which often results in leg issues. Some restriction can be with the bones and muscles. They also often pull on the fascia of the stomach and intestines, contributing to digestive issues. This creates a mechanical restriction, limiting the mobility of the organs.

Digestion requires peristalsis, sequenced contractions through the entire gut tube. There are also sphincter muscles that serve as valves between the digestive organs. For example, the pyloric sphincter is between the stomach and small intestine. The ilio-cecal valve is between the small and large intestines. All the the sphincters need to coordinate for proper digestion and when the nervous system is not balanced, coordination suffers and symptoms soon follow. Using light touch manipulations, we can help balance the nerves which regulates peristalsis. In adults, IBS and reflux are very common and treatable in the same way.

Colic often has several components. Mechanical restrictions mentioned above is one aspect. The nervous system is responsible for controlling the muscular action of the gut tube. The sphincters are highly sensitive to overstimulation. The vagus and phrenic nerves often get overloaded, causing spasms which disrupt normal peristalsis. Throat and breathing problems are also related. We directly treat these nerves which can help regulate the gut.

The gut is the foundation of the immune system. We have seen a dramatic increase in the incidence of immune system disorders and inflammation. It can show on the skin, in the respiratory system, and in digestion. Inflammation can also effect the brain, causing cognitive and behavioral symptoms. A condition called "leaky gut syndrome" involves a weak barrier in the lining of the intestines that allows large food particles to enter the bloodstream. This creates an immune response and contributes to food sensitivities. It so happens that the blood brain barrier is very similar to the gut lining. When this lining is compromised, we see increased inflammation in the brain. Sadly, many kids are being born with weakness in both of these linings.

There are many factors that contribute to Autism and the "spectrum". One genetic component relates to the MTHFR gene that controls methylation. Many kids are predisposed to having difficulty adding a "methyl group" onto various molecules and vitamins. This renders them useless. Cells need these materials and the metabolic pathways get derailed, resulting in inflammation. The liver, brain, and vascular system are often primarily effected. It also relates to how well we fight infections. The genetic component of familial depression is often related to MTHFR mutations, as methylation is necessary to form serotonin. MTHFR also relates to food and medication sensitivities. We can test kids or adults to asses methylation status which can help us provide the right nutritional support.