Failure to Thrive (FTT) Treatment for Infants & Children with Craniosacral Therapy in New York City

An infant or child whose current weight or rate of gaining weight is clearly below that expected of similar children of the same sex, age and ethnicity is described as Failure to Thrive (FTT).  Thus “failure to thrive” describes infants and children who fall below standard measurements in height and weight when no organic basis for this deviance is found; frequently the poor growth pattern is accompanied or masked by a variety of physical symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.   

Babies, toddlers, and or kids with failure to thrive have a height, head circumference,  and weight that do not match standard growth charts for their age.  The child’s weight falls lower than the third percentile (as outlined in standard growth charts) or 20% below the ideal weight for their height.  

Also, the following are delayed or slow to develop:

  • Physical skills, sitting up, rolling, standing and walking
  • Mental and social skills

There are many different causes of Failure to Thrive, and multiple causes can converge simultaneously. If a child is not able to eat enough food, or vomits repeatedly (such as with severe gastroesophageal reflux), the child will not intake sufficient calories to support growth.  Severe allergies can also cause a child to be unable to absorb sufficient calories and also not grow as expected. Any health condition that causes a child to not be able to absorb sufficient calories may also lead to Failure to Thrive.

Failure to thrive is a common problem, usually recognized within the first 1–2 years of life, but may present at any time in childhood.  The syndrome of failure to thrive has always presented pediatricians with a complicated problem in diagnosis and treatment.  

Many childhood health ailments can be helped through the use of Craniosacral Therapy.  Examples of health conditions that can be improved with Craniosacral Therapy include: congenital anomalies, neurological disorders, food and environmental allergies, immune system dysfunctions, digestive issues, neuromuskuloskeletal issues, emotional and behavioral issues.  

It’s important to be mindful even the most perfect birth can be classified as slightly traumatic for the newborn. Squeezing through the birth canal, twisting and turning to extreme degrees in order to leave the familiar environment of the womb and transition into this world, can be stressful for a newborn.  Also with interventions such as labor inducing medications, C-section, Forceps or Vacuum extraction, there are often additional compromises which can influence the very delicate tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Newborn ailments like failure to thrive, poor feeding ability, reflux, and digestive issues are often symptoms related to these areas of adverse strain in the birthing process. CranioSacral Therapy can help to reduce the sources of these adverse effects, restore normal adaptability, and enhance the efficiency for the body during this critical period of rapid growth and development of the newborn.  

A typical CranioSacral Therapy session is a calming and healing experience for an infant.  Parents are encouraged to bring a blanket or toy to the session that the child will associate with comfort. The child is treated on a padded table or while the parent is holding the child in his / her arms, this way the parents may participate in the child’s session.  

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.