Mothers & Babies
Manual therapy, along with specific exercises, can help expectant mothers as their bodies undergo changes during pregnancy. Old and new discomforts may appear, which can be alleviated and released, creating the best possible conditions for giving birth.
After birth, manual therapy and a prescribed exercise routine can help the mother’s body return quickly to its non-pregnant state. Such support is especially important if the birth was difficult or if there were complications or interventions.
Manual therapy for babies – specifically craniosacral therapy, which works with the innate intelligence of the body, and visceral manipulation – is an area where so little can do so much.
An easy gestation and natural birth are the best start a baby can have. But not every birth is ideal. And even before birth a baby may suffer from compression in the womb in the weeks or days before delivery. While a baby’s body is designed to deal with the process of a natural birth, larger compressive forces can be harder for a baby to recover from.
Often the work of a manual therapist is to help the baby’s body recover and release any compression it has been unable to resolve naturally. Such restrictions can impact normal functioning in a variety of ways. For example, compression at the base of the skull can affect the ears and the nerves associated with breathing, digestion, sleep, breastfeeding and swallowing.
Below are some of the imbalances in babies that visceral manipulation and craniosacral therapy can address:
General discomfort ~
If a baby is uncomfortable it will cry. Babies cry for a reason. Once medical conditions have been ruled out, it may be that the baby is experiencing the after-effects of a difficult birth, caused by a long labor, a very fast labor, or medical intervention with oxytocin or suction. Manual therapy can help reduce the compression and strains in a newborn’s body and nervous system and restore a state of ease. Once a baby is comfortable again, the all-important bonding between parent and child can resume. A mother’s stress during pregnancy, including from falls or other accidents, can also cause stress in the fetus. In such instances, Randi treats both the mother and the child.
Reflux, or heartburn, in babies occurs when acid from the stomach enters the esophagus, causing pain. This may be evident in the spitting up of milk, or have no evident symptoms whatsoever, aside from discomfort. Reflux occurs when the sphincter that keep the top of the stomach closed is not doing its job (it is common in newborns that the sphincter is not fully developed). Or, it may be because the diaphragm that surrounds the sphincter is holding tension due to imbalances in other areas, such as the rib cage. Cranial work and visceral manipulation can help evaluate and release any tension, along with twists in the chest and diaphragm.
Tilting of the head to one side: Torticollis~
Torticollis is usually due to a shortening of muscles on one side of the neck. Cranial work and visceral manipulation can help assess why this shortening is occurring and enable the body to self-correct.
Balanced Cranial Structure~
Manual therapy helps remove strain in the cranium and releases associated restrictions that impede movement between the bones of the head, allowing structures to normalize.