Sensory Processing Deficits (SPD) Treatment in New York City

Sensory Processing Deficits is a term that refers to a set of conditions or problems that cause difficulty in a child’s ability to interpret or recognize the information being communicated to them. The information is from one or several of the five senses (taste, touch, smell, vision, sound) as well as two other senses, the proprioceptive system and vestibular systems. The proprioceptive system extends throughout the spine and joints. Any problems with this system can translate to difficulties with motor skills, learning, behavior, and emotional and social development.

Our sensory system is a “read and react” system and our body is “preprogrammed” to respond appropriately to environmental stimuli.  This is ‘sensory learning’ or processing. What kids who suffer from things like Sensory Processing Deficits, ADD/ADHD, Autism, etc are unable to properly process, integrate, coordinate, and adapt to their sensory environment. It’s important to be mindful these are neurological INPUT and COORDINATION issues and not output and or behavior problems.

Common Indicators of Sensory Processing Deficits:

  • An intervention during the labor and delivery process: C-section, vacuum, forceps, or increased difficulty, pulling, or twisting of the child’s head and neck during delivery.
  • Colic, reflux, and gas pains in infancy.
  • Torticollis and plagiocephaly.
  • Constipation and digestive issues.
  • Frequent ear and sinus infections.
  • Speech delays.
  • Abnormal motor development early in life (i.e. Skipped crawling).
  • Poor balance and coordination, frequent falls and injuries.

Experts point to many possible causes of the increase of people with ADHD, sensory processing and learning disorders including expanding environmental pollutants/toxins, heavy vaccination schedules, non-breast fed children, allergic or inflammatory reaction to foods, and early childhood traumas like falls, and improper development through excessive use of infant car carriers, walkers, and jumpers – all may play a role in Sensory Processing Deficits.  

However the most commonly agreed to cause and a major hypothesis of the cause of Sensory Processing Deficits are traumatic birth injuries to the upper neck and brainstem regions (ie. forceps, vacuum extraction, C-section).  The most vulnerable area of the infant’s body is the upper cervical spine.  The upper neck spine of the baby, the part where the brain stem joins the spinal cord is critical for normal respiratory rate, facial symmetry, hearing, sleep, immune function and many other important functions.  During childbirth the upper cervical spine and cranial bones can undergo stresses resulting in subluxation, or misalignments of the spine and cranial bones. Subluxation is the mechanical compression and irritation to spinal joints and nerves.  Subluxation restricts and impedes the cerebral spinal fluid flow (the neurological feedback loop) by causing altered rhythms of neurological flow. This can lead to many negative health implications and affecting the senses and emotional state is a major repercussion.  This area is incredibly sensitive to any disruptions to cerebral spinal fluid flow and abnormal positions of the vertex of the fetal head.

A Chiropractor will use cervical adjustments and if trained, CranioSacral Therapy hands-on manipulations to bring these subluxations back into alignment and release any hindrance of the nervous system.

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.