Life outside the womb can be a challenging adjustment and babies often find themselves uncomfortable, fussy, not sleeping well, having digestive problems, and even possibly showing physical or emotional issues. Pediatrics craniosacral therapy is a gentle newborn safe hands-on treatment that can effectively resolve the wellness challenges babies commonly face. Craniosacral refers to the entire spine: at the top is the cranium and at the spine’s base is the sacrum.
Babies and children can have many challenges at any stage of their development upon which pediatrics craniosacral therapy can be an invaluable healthcare response ensuring their wellness. Pediatrics craniosacral therapy’s function is to help maintain a healthy environment for the child’s central nervous system to function efficiently, thereby influencing a variety of bodily functions to also function efficiently.
Addressing and resolving a child’s symptoms at their earliest stages ensures debilitating issues don’t surface with an even more pronounced effect down the line later in life. Thus pediatrics craniosacral therapy can be an effective response to:
- inconsolable crying
- tongue tie
- difficulty with sleeping
- digestive problems
- difficulty with nursing
- respiratory Problems
- molding of the cranial bones
- structural issues arising from the use of vacuum extraction or forceps delivery
- imbalance in baby’s structure or movements
- bonding and attachment issues
- Improve developmental delay
Pediatrics craniosacral therapy can also address issues in older children including:
- Structural issues (imbalances in posture or movements)
- behavioral issues
- emotional problems
- any stress left over from his/her birth
- learning disabilities and developmental delay
- support him/her during difficult phases of development
- Pre-op prep or Post – op recovery (surgical procedures)
- sleep issues
- help with autism and other disabilities
Pediatrics Craniosacral Therapy: Why Babies Benefit
Newborns have just endured the most intense human experience they will ever undergo – being born. Even seemingly complication-free births can leave imprints from the experience that are not self-resolving, and in fact stored in the newborn’s central nervous system. Consequently adjustment to the world outside of the womb and baby’s new environment can be stressful and disorienting.
The specific circumstances and events of a newborn’s birth experience can affect their autonomic nervous system, trigger a flooding of stress hormones and hurl the larger central nervous system into a fight or flight survival state. Once the baby’s central nervous system is in this high alert overdrive state, a cascading of dysregulation of body systems (muscular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, and more) begins and all the classic baby ailments eventually surface.
When a baby’s central nervous system is out of homeostasis or balance, almost every organ in their body is affected while stimulated adrenal glands further perpetuate a cycle of constant agitation. This is generally what accounts for the common baby symptoms
such as trouble with nursing, digestive problems, fussiness, inconsolable crying, not sleeping, and more. The pendulum can also swing the other way and a stressed central nervous system can produce the opposite: excessive sleeping, a quietness, a seemingly withdrawn baby not making contact well and showing signs of attachment issues.
Pediatric craniosacral therapy is effective in manipulating a baby’s central nervous system to both relax or envirograte, finding a place of balance or equilibrium for the purposes of maintaining homeostasis. Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment so that cells (tissues and organs), and therefore body systems can function effectively. Like all of us, a baby’s central nervous system must operate within a narrow range of balance or equilibrium, despite the challenges a changed external environment outside the womb presents. Pediatric craniosacral therapy is effective in identifying and resolving issues disrupting the homeostasis and efficiency in functioning of the baby’s central nervous system.
Pediatrics Craniosacral Therapy: Why Newborns Should Receive Care Early
Head trauma is common in childbirth due to the enormous pressure applied to a baby’s head during a typical vaginal delivery. At birth, the 22 bones of a baby’s skull are soft, not fully fused together, and thereby enable the baby’s head to naturally compress as it travels through the birth canal. It’s not uncommon for a newborn’s body or head to not quite completely decompress itself after traveling compressed through the birth canal. The 22 bones of the head might be pushed and misaligned and spaces between adjacent bones get compressed and or apply pressure on blood vessels and nerves – introducing problems.
Problems can also occur when cranial bones get twisted or compressed, and then stay out of shape. This can sometimes happen after a baby has experienced forceps delivery or ventouse (vacuum) extraction. Prolonged or traumatic birth can involve a degree of twisting where ever so slight misalignment can also occur, especially if there’s been pressure within the spinal column during the birthing process which is common in a C-Section delivery. This can be disruptive to the nerves at the back of the neck (those responsible for relaxing and tensing muscles), leaving a baby feeling very uncomfortable and unsettled. Babies commonly try to communicate their discomfort through body language and crying.
Be mindful even the slightest misalignment could have an impact on other central nervous system nerves that branch out from the lower head and spinal area transmitting essential messages to and from all body systems. For example a baby’s reflux can originate from a misalignment in the neck disrupting nerve communication with the digestive system. The same basic framework of nerve misalignment at birth is commonly the origin of difficulty with nursing or sleep, respiratory problems, fussiness and more. Pediatric craniosacral therapy can treat any structural trauma or in place patterns of nerve compression by the 22 bones of the head incurred in the birthing process.
Pediatrics Craniosacral Therapy: How Babies Benefit
Pediatric craniosacral therapy is a kind of gentle manual medical massage of the structures and bones that run adjacent to the central nervous system – and can release compression and tension among the cranial bones of the head, spine and the sacrum bone.
There is a series of 3 membranes that surround the spinal cord and connect to the bones of the head. This membrane system is filled with cerebrospinal fluid, coating, protecting and nourishing the brain and spinal cord, and also holding and transferring tension throughout your body. The circulation of cerebrospinal fluid within this system creates a pulse-like rhythm. Pediatric craniosacral therapy assesses the health and efficiency of that rhythm and through gentle manual techniques can increase the flow and circulation of cerebrospinal fluid by eliminating blockages and invigorating nerves.
Increased cerebrospinal fluid circulation can help normalize a baby’s central nervous system, returning it to equilibrium and allowing homeostasis to enable the body to heal itself. I work with the natural movements of the baby’s bones to release the restrictions held within this membrane system, returning the central nervous system to a state of homeostasis so it can drive all body systems to function efficiently.
This gentle hands-on technique facilitates the unwinding of areas of compression and misalignment, encouraging the release of stress and also any associated emotions. It’s important to stay mindful any central nervous system stress can disrupt the bonding process, leading to further complications in almost every aspect of the development of a child. Evidence indicates many newborn babies could benefit from a pediatric craniosacral therapy session within a few months of birth – ideally in the first two weeks. This could help prevent many future problems in childhood and adulthood, including neck pain and spinal disorders, digestive issues, ear problems, developmental problems and more. Resolving any central nervous system issues while a person is still a baby is prudent and much less daunting than when that child matures and the issues become more pronounced.
Pediatrics Craniosacral Therapy: Signs of One or Multiple Nervous System Restrictions in a Baby
If any of the following strike a cord or feel familiar, please give me a call for a more comprehensive conversation on what you may observe and paths of treatment.
Baby is restless and unable to sleep on a schedule. When the baby is sleeping, they seem tense as if uncomfortable. This observation is common with babies who experienced some form of birth trauma or were extensively separated from the birthing mother.
Baby can latch on one breast but seems reluctant and uncomfortable to do so on the other side. Babies commonly have a sore or stiff neck after birth, making it harder for them to turn one way.
Baby seems restless and tense making them hard to cuddle, indicating the baby may have sustaining discomfort from the shock of birth.
Baby appears to have a restricted range of motion of their tongue, a condition known as ‘tongue tie’. It’s not uncommon for the pulling and twisting of a baby’ shoulders to transfer to the throat, pulling it all together as tongue tie is a small amount of fascia tissue that’s become too tight.
Baby has a hard time latching. The palate or roof of baby’s mouth may have a shallow latch, making the gag reflex shallow. Introducing the nipple can make baby gag (vomit) and frightened of feeding.
Baby makes clicky or “slurpy” sounds while feeding. This can indicate insufficient suction (sealing) on the breast or bottle while feeding. This typically is accompanied by the baby taking in air and causing discomfort.
Baby has problems with gas. Baby passing gas is natural and having a problem doing so can indicate restrictions at the vagus nerve, which controls the gut, originates at the cranial nerves in the back of the head and is readily treatable with pediatric craniosacral therapy.
For Mom, breastfeeding is painful, related to the seal and depth in how the baby is latching on.
Baby is frequently vomiting. Whether due to reflux, allergies or something else, pediatric craniosacral therapy can correct gastrointestinal restrictions to allow the digestive and nervous systems to function efficiently.
Baby cries, curls up or is in pain after feeding. Pediatric craniosacral therapy can identify a baby’s restrictions and relieve them, allowing the baby to reorganize their feeding system to a less uncomfortable posture.
How Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy Can Work for Special Needs Children
- Easing the tension patterns of children on the autism spectrum, supporting their sense of comfort with self, safety and awareness of the world around them. Research supports how pediatric craniosacral therapy has delivered positive responses as a treatment for children with autism.
- As multiple integrated pathways within the brain are required to operate in harmony for normal function to occur, with children with ADHD some of these pathways within the brain and central nervous system are performing at abnormally high (hyperactive) and/or low (hypoactive) levels. When the stress of this compromised fluid flow is relieved, the areas of the brain that have been overactive and/or underactive can normalize. Research has proven the effectiveness of pediatric craniosacral therapy on treating ADHD in reducing hyperactivity, increasing attention, reducing anxiety, conduct disorder, and embarrassment, social problems and more. Click here to learn more about my treatment for children with ADHD.
- Children who have dysgraphia and or dyslexia commonly have quick, sharp minds, but difficulty demonstrating their knowledge and skills. Pediatric craniosacral therapy can reduce tension in the hands and arms, which makes the process of writing less stressful and more comforting. Dyslexic children often have trouble processing visual and auditory information; pediatric craniosacral therapy can reduce tension patterns around the ears and eyes, so the language processing areas of the brain function more efficiently. Click here to learn more about my treatment for children with dyslexia, and here for more information on my treatment for children with dysgraphia.
Our Portfolio Pediatric Craniosacral Therapy Serving Newborns, Toddlers, School Age Children & Teens
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.