Colic / Reflux

reflux baby craniosacral treatment

Craniosacral treatment

Has your baby been diagnosed with reflux?

CranioSacral therapy for Babies is a gentle, hands on therapy.Using light touch and listening to the babies our therapists are looking to release any tensions or restrictions in your babies head, neck , spine and abdomen which may be present as a result of either the position of baby during the latter stages of pregnancy or following the pressures and strains of the birthing process.

There are lots of different reasons your baby may be exhibiting symptoms of colic and/or reflux. For example the Cranial base, the point where the head meets the neck, is put under a lot of pressure during birth. A fast pushing stage can give a whiplash type injury and a long drawn out birth can lead to over compression of the neck. The use of forceps or ventouse puts a huge amount of force into this delicate area. Restrictions, tensions and torsions can impact onto the Vagus nerve, the nerve helping the bodies digestive system to digest and rest. Over-stimulation can lead to spasm of the digestive organs  resulting in reflux symptoms. The sympathetic nerve supply  travels from the neck along the spine and supplies the viscera , this is seeking to close down the digestive system and over-stimulation here can result in restlessness and hyperactivity, it is then easy to see if both of these are stimulated at the same time how it would conflict causing spasm and the symptoms of reflux.

Craniosacral therapy for a baby

Baby receiving gentle release of the mouth and upper palette.

During birth the neck, mouth and shoulders may be twisted or rotated which could irritate the cranial nerves in this area. This can affect the suck reflex. Many babies with colic/ reflux have these nerves irritated leading to problems with latching on. They might only use part of their mouth to latch on, gulping and pulling suddenly off the breast or bottle and moving excessively during feeding. Restriction to the neck can lead to the baby having a preference for which side they feed. Gentle treatment helps to stop the irritation of the nerves, encouraging the areas to relax so the baby can feed in a more comfortable and effective way. Restriction of the neck will also impact on the developmental process of rolling maybe resulting in baby favouring one side. The nerve supply in the neck area supplies the tongue’s sensory and motor functions which play an important part of how the baby can feed, and moving forward its relation to eating solids and speech. If the babies face has had pressure during birth it can of affected the nasal bones which impacts onto the olfactory nerve (smell), this nerve is part of the feeding process as smell is associated with stimulating the suck reflex.

All of these factors and more can lead to the diagnosis of reflux and as such gentle work on releasing all of this makes sense as a first approach to treating these issues. After all the biggest thing that has happened to your baby is the birth and as such it is unsurprising that those stresses and strains have caused physical restrictions and tensions.

I recently saw a little baby boy who had spent the final stages of pregnancy with his head ‘ jammed ‘ up under the his Mummys rib cage and as he was in the breech position was born by C- section. He was a very unhappy boy showing all the symptoms of reflux. When working with him I felt great tension in the bones of his cranium particularly on the left side and into his left ear, jaw and neck. He always lay with his head turned to the left and would only feed from the left breast, even then regularly pulling off and seemingly distressed during every feed.  Through gentle CranioSacral treatment I was able to release the tension in these bones which could be felt right down his left side into the left pelvis. Once this released he was able to lie flat on his back, something he had not been able to do since birth, turn his head to the right and feed from both sides.  Within 3 treatment sessions he had transformed into a happy little boy. 

Just a little update……
….Seb fell asleep in the car and for the first time ever he managed to stay asleep whilst I carried him from the car to his cot. In 7 monthshe has never been moved and stayed asleep. Usually just the car stopping will wake him. I’m so happy for him that I could cry! Thank you and your magic hands. Clare xxxxx

Have a read of this article by Vivienray to find out if CranioSacral therapy could benefit your baby.

To find out more of what is involved in a treatment session click here

For an article written by Dr John Upledger click here

Have a look at this article and videos about why some babies struggle with tummy time here