Paediatric Osteopathy is a specialism that uses a variety of gentle osteopathic techniques to treat babies and children.
The techniques used are very gentle and aim to release tensions or strains felt in the child’s body. These tensions can disrupt the rhythmical shape changes that occur in the body’s tissues which cranial osteopaths call the Cranial Rhythm or Involuntary Motion. These strains may result from a recent event, or be remaining from an old trauma, which outlasts any visible signs of the incident.
Both very young children and babies can struggle due to unresolved strains from the birth process. This could be from difficulties passing through the birth canal, the use of forceps or ventouse, or from having the umbilical cord wrapped around the body. Sometimes a very quick birth can also cause issues for the baby.
Symptoms experienced as a result of these strains can include a preference to look to one side, a preference for feeding from one side, problems with latching on to the breast, certain positions causing discomfort or difficulties in settling.
A typical appointment will begin with taking a comprehensive case history, including gaining details of the symptoms, the onset, the pregnancy and birth. Following on, we carry out a physical assessment, look at how the child moves their body, and perhaps carry out any physical examinations such as assessing primitive reflexes. We use our highly trained sense of touch to look for subtle changes of tissue quality, and listen to and are guided by our palpatory findings. Our palpatory findings, assessment and information gained from the case history allow us to reach a diagnosis and make a treatment plan. The aims of treatment are to gently and specifically support the tissues to restore a state of balance and release in the body.
Occasionally we may decide that your child needs referral to a different professional such as your health visitor or general practitioner, in which case with your permission we can contact them for you.