Osteopathy for newborns

My cousin, who was 17 days older than me, was an osteopath. When his sister’s baby was born he checked him over and wee Hayden went on to be an angelic baby who never suffered from colic. David died in a car crash in 2005, so it was kind of in his memory that I took the wee man to see an osteo today.

To the left, to the left

Although the wee man isn’t colicky, I was concerned that he was favouring his left side and rarely turned his head the other way. I was curious to see what osteopathy would involve, after my cousin’s success. Plus I’ve been following a really nice osteo on Twitter and thought he’d be just the man.

Daniel was very honest. He told me from the getgo that cranial osteopathy has no scientific research supporting it, just the good experiences of lots of parents and children. He told me about a woman who brought in her colicky baby without telling any of her family members, and when the grandmother took the child the next day, she noticed such a change that she asked if he’d been switched!

After asking me lots of questions about the birth, he told me to lay the wee man on the bed and rest his head in Daniel’s hands. After about ten seconds he said, “Yes there’s some hesitancy there.” He explained that the movement of the plates in the skull, down the spinal chord, was a bit like waves on the beach. The wee man’s waves were more like treacle, so Daniel was going to speed things up a little. I liked his analogy, although I’m not sure I fully understood it.

I kept a close eye on the wee man’s reactions and he was never for one second distressed. In fact, he was laughing for some of the key moments. It may sound a bit woolly as I describe it, but I’ve had a similar treatment from a physiotherapist after I had a back injury, so I know it works. Plus if you consider all the nerves in the back of your neck and head, it’s not too much of a stretch to believe that even very slight pressure in key areas should make a difference.

We were in the consulting room for half an hour and, while Daniel said I was welcome to come back, he wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. He said I should expect him to sleep a lot or not at all today and hopefully he’d demonstrate more of a willingness to turn to the other side.

Well, he hasn’t slept at all. He wouldn’t look at me when I called and sang to him from his right, but when I put him on his tummy he did lie with his head turned to the right. He complained about it, but he did it, I think for the first time.

I’ll observe him closely for the next few days and see if there are any dramatic changes. Even if there aren’t, sometimes it’s nice just to be reassured that your baby is happy and healthy.

If anyone else has tried osteopathy I’d be really interested to read your comments!

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