Cranial Osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle but effective treatment. The osteopath gently places their hands on the area of the body being treated and applies a small amount of pressure to release stress and restriction, both in and around the joints, muscles and ligaments. They manage to do this by utilising the tiny natural movements of the bones, fluid and fascia throughout the body.

Often patients can’t feel much when the osteopath is treating them but notice the improvements afterwards. Due to its gentle and relaxing nature, this type of treatment is suitable for all types of people, ranging from pregnant women and newborn babies to the elderly.

At all stages of development, cranial osteopathy can help soothe and relax your baby, toddler or young child. We also offer postural advice on feeding, holding and lifting your child to help keep you as healthy as possible to care for your little one. In each room at East Sussex Osteopaths we have baby toys and books to help keep your little one entertained and happy during their treatment.

As your child develops into their adolescent years, cranial osteopathy can help ease pain and discomfort from their new lifestyle such as; headaches associated with neck tension from studying at a desk, sports injuries from new sporting activities at school and extra-curricular clubs and ‘growing’ pains from excessive growth spurts. Cranial Osteopathy can help relieve these symptoms and aid recovery so that they can carry on enjoying their life.

What to expect at the first cranial osteopathy session for my baby or child

Communication

We listen to why you have brought your little one to see us, and we ask lots of questions about your concerns. We also ask questions about the pregnancy, delivery and the mum’s health. The more information we have the better!

Your baby or child’s examination

We gently examine your baby or child with you present, so your baby can sense you’re there or younger child can hold your hand if they want to. With babies, the examination looks similar to what you may have seen at your doctors or health visitor’s appointment. With slightly older children we ask them to copy some movements, such as touching their toes (we sometimes get parents involved with this to turn it into a fun game). Whilst they do this we can examine their joints and muscles to see where their problem is.

Once we have discussed with you what we have seen, we then do a gentle cranial osteopathy examination.

Your baby or child’s treatment

Once we have finished a gentle cranial osteopathy examination, we discuss with you what we have found and whether we feel treatment may help. With some older children your osteopath may feel that other techniques may benefit your child alongside cranial osteopathy, but this will be discussed with you and your child so you are both happy with the treatment plan before we start treating.

Do I need to come to each appointment with my child?

Yes. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult who can give legal consent for their examination and treatment.

This is usually a parent, legal guardian or carer. If for example a grandparent is bringing the child then we would require a signed letter from the parent/legal guardian or carer, providing clear consent for treatment to be given with the grandparent (or named person) present. If a child under the age of 16 turns up alone, treatment cannot be conducted and you will still be held liable for the full price of their treatment.

How many treatments will my baby or child need?

Most babies and children react a lot quicker than adults. We generally recommend between 3 and 5 treatments depending on their symptoms, your type of pregnancy and their delivery. Occasionally for more complex presentations more sessions may be advised but this would be discussed with you after the examination, so you can decide if you would like to progress with treatment.

Is cranial osteopathy safe for my baby?

Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle and safe form of treatment. It is most commonly associated with treatment of babies, even though it is also used to treat older children and adults.

Sometimes after treatment your baby may be a little unsettled, such as not sleeping or being grizzly for 2-3 days. This is normally when they are getting accustomed to the changes happening in their bodies from their treatment. If you are at all worried that they are experiencing serious or unusual symptoms after treatment, you should contact us straight away for advice. However, most parents report their babies were like ‘little sleeping beauties’ and very relaxed for the first few days after treatment.

Is structural and cranial osteopathy safe for my older child?

If your osteopath feels that gentle structural techniques may benefit your child alongside cranial osteopathy, this may involve techniques such as soft tissue massage, gentle articulation and stretching of joints. This will be discussed with you and your child so you are both happy with the treatment plan before we commence treatment. Structural osteopathy is a safe manual therapy for children and often they do not have any reactions. However, all parents should be made aware that children can report aches or tiredness after their treatment for 2-3 days whilst they are adjusting to the changes occurring in their bodies from their treatment. If you are at all worried that they are experiencing serious or unusual symptoms after treatment, you should contact us straight away for advice.

I was very anxious to have anyone treat my baby boy but Chantal put us and our baby at ease

I was very anxious to have anyone treat my baby boy but Chantal put us and our baby at ease by explaining everything thoroughly and being very gentle and kind. She checked we were both happy with every step of the way and best of all he was much more settled after his treatment and his gunky eye cleared up straight away.

Sandra