The potential to help children through osteopathy is very great and one of the most rewarding aspects of osteopathy. The developing body can react quickly and benefit from long lasting effects following osteopathic treatment.
Dr. Sutherland, a student of A.T. Still who founded osteopathy, studied the sutures of the cranial bones in depth and developed cranial osteopathy. Based on Still’s principles of the interrelationship of structure and function he examined the results of compression and tension of the cranial bones during the birthing process on growth and development of the entire body. He summarized his findings the following: “As the twig is bent so doth the tree incline.” This means that strains at the cranium occurring at birth can have an effect on the whole body. Pregnancy, the position of the baby in utero, as well as the birthing process are important aspects. These can lead to dysfunctions leading to digestive disturbances, torticollis, sleep disturbances and altered ehavior. Through Osteopathy these strains and dysfunctions can be gently released before ossification. Hence Osteopathy also plays a preventive function.
When treating babies and children very gentle techniques are being used in order restore function and aid in their development.
As babies are very response to treatment it is rare that more than 4 treatments are needed.
Examples of conditions treated:
asymmetries of posture, misshapen skull or face birth (plagiocephaly), scoliosis, torticollis, hip dysplasia, excessive arching
colic, reflux, constipation, difficulties breast
Diseases of ear, nose and throat: throat:
chronic middle ear infections (otitis tympanic effusion, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, asthma
Behavioural- and learning difficulties: motor restlessness, sleep difficulties concentrating, difficulties with fine motor skills
These are examples of conditions treated and may hence not be seen as a promise of cure. In a given case treatment of a condition listed may not be appropriate.
A specific diagnostic approach is necessary when treating babies and children. Their anatomy, physiology, development and differential diagnostics in addition to their susceptibility to diseases is different to adults. Through my studies in Osteopathy for children at the University of Greenwich (European School of Osteopathy) for two years as well post graduate courses like the paediatric osteopathy diploma with the Sutherland Cranial College in the UK, I am able to meet these needs.