Have you thought about trying Craniosacral Therapy?

By Louise Toone RCST BCT


Because it is so gentle and non-invasive, Craniosacral Therapy is suitable for everyone from newborns to the elderly. Mothers and babies often come for a problem associated with  difficult or traumatic births. Letting go of tension and fear held in the body enables both to settle into calmness.


The birth process


The birth process is one of the most formative events in our lives. It can be a time of immense joy and opportunity for parents and babies, as well as a time of difficulty and stress. We have to undergo considerable forces of compression in the journey through our mothers' pelvises to be born. The process of birth may create patterning that remains with us into adulthood.


If we undergo stresses and strains during our birth that are not resolved, our whole structure grows in relationship to these influences.


As obstetrician Dr Frederick Leboyer explains "Blindly, madly, we assume that the newborn baby feels nothing. In fact, he feels.....everything. Everything, totally, completely, utterly, and with a sensitivity we can't even begin to imagine"


Conditions that can be helped by Craniosacral Therapy


Common issues that may bring babies for treatment, including feeding and sleeping difficulties and colic - can relate to birth trauma, separation at birth and pre-natal stress and anxiety. Babies can express their pain somatically throuogh crying, fussing, being extremely quiet, sleeping, "spacing out", extreme startle responses and arching or stiffening when held. Respiratory, digestive and eliminative problems may be present.


Starting Craniosacral Therapy with your Baby


Your practitioner will take a written history, listening with care to the reasons for your visit. This part of the session is important, both for gathering information and to establish a good understanding.



When a Craniosacral therapist places her hands lightly on your baby, she is using them to listen. Usually a baby will be treated on the mother's lap. The therapist will work delicately, with awareness and will use a soft voice and reassurance with your baby. Stillness will be encouraged as a starting point for the treatment to unfold. Initally the Craniosacral therapist checks for any sign of traumatisation.


This may show up as difficulty in maintaining eye contact, or signs of withdrawal, stress, excessive crying or irritability. If a baby undegoes traumas that relate to its very survival, there can be a direct impact on the functioning of tissues or musculature. After a long or difficult birth, the baby's nervous system may remain in shock. Treatment is given with a great deal of care and sensitivity.


The practitioner senses tensions in the body and helps to release them in a supported and comfortable way. The practitioner makes light contact with your baby's head, the base of the spine and other areas, encouraging the baby to relax and begin to make the changes needed. Patterns of trauma activation can be released, leading to a new cycle of healthy development.



Craniosacral Therapy for Pregnant Mums


Craniosacral therapy sessions can be of great benefit for pregnant Mums, helping them to improve constitutional strength. Treatment can help relieve backache and help balance and relax the pelvis, easing the process of childbirth.


Craniosacral Therapy for Mothers following Childbirth


Mothers can enormously benefit from craniosacral work to support rebalancing after childbirth. Treatment can help strains in the pelvis or sacrum return to a normal position and ease any residual backache. Furthermore, pulls or strains that affect the mother's nervous system can contribute to feelings of tiredness and post-natal depression. These patterns are often helped by craniosacral therapy.


Working with mothers, babies and children is a very rewarding aspect of craniosacral practice.


For advice about whether Craniosacral Therapy is right for you, please speak to a practitioner. Registed Therapists are accredited by the Craniosacral Therapy Association (CSTA) and use the letters RCST after their names. They adhere to the CSTA's Code of Ethics and requirements for continuing professional development.























October 2013 Article written for NCT West Sussex Coastal Branch