Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Knowing how to utilise Cranial Osteopathy in your child’s life can make a huge impact on their health.
Children have tumbles and falls all the time. They get illnesses, and go through emotional traumas, often without us knowing. Unwinding tensions, compressions and shocks regularly can prevent the build up of tension in their little bodies and avoid all the problems that ensue.
So what are the guidelines on when to take your child to see an Osteopath?
When to take your child to an osteopath after their initial treatment course is complete:
1. After a flight
All osteopaths observe that children often step off flights and their sleep is thrown off that same night for several weeks. This is due to the effect of air cabin pressure on the fluids of the brain. You will already know that fluid can build up in the ankles and hands - this is the influence of the air cabin pressure on the fluids of the body. The brain is full of fluids which are also displaced and impacted. So post-flight is definitely a good time to book them in.
2. After vaccinations
Children are often irritable, feel ill and again their sleep can be affected after a vaccination. So we advise children receive osteopathic treatment in the week following a vaccination.
3. After receiving an impact to the head
Whether from falling or after being hit by something like a fast moving ball or other object, it’s important to remove compressions quickly to avoid further issues.
4. After an accident or traumatic event
Accidents can leave compressions and tension through the body. Children’s bodies are growing fast so its important that they are free from tension.
But even more than the tension left in the body after an accident is the shock. Cranial osteopathy is effective at treating the emotional shock that children after often left to deal with.
Even an emotionally traumatic event can impact children’s behaviour and confidence. Cranial osteopathy can help this to be released, leaving your child relaxed and happier.
5. After strong dental work
Strong dental work can leave compressions through the jaw and facial bone which can result in headaches and neck pain.
6. Before, during or after a growth spurt
Growth spurts can place tension through the body. Different tissues grow at different speeds and it can be uncomfortable for babies, toddlers and children. Ensuring the muscles are relaxed, all the fluids are free to flow and all nerves are unimpeded by tension helps children to thrive through these periods. It’s a little bit like putting a bamboo pole against a tree to help it grow straight. Cranial osteopathy ensures there are no areas of tension or compression inhibiting full and balanced growth.
7. Before, during or after teething
When children are teething it can cause tension through the facial bones. We observe that this can throw their sleeping patterns off. They also experience a lot of pain while teething. By freeing up the facial bones, ensuring they are as relaxed as possible, it ensures there is maximum space for the teeth to grow into and helps to minimise sleep disturbances and pain.
8. Around times of exams or periods of stress
Cranial osteopathy relaxes the brain. This impacts stress levels, anxiety and emotional well being, helping children to cope with, manage and thrive in times of pressure and stress. Stress creates tension in the body, which can result in headaches, pain, poor concentration. Cranial osteopathy unwinds this and helps children to perform at peak.
During exam times, it is important that the brain is flushed with oxygen to ensure maximum concentration and performance levels. Children often get tight neck muscles when revising. This compresses the arteries and veins in the neck reducing blood flow to the head. This can also cause tension headaches. Cranial osteopathy relaxes the neck muscles, helping to improve blood flow to the head.
9. During times of challenging behaviour
Cranial osteopathy can be very effective at calming down challenging or hyperactive behaviour. By relaxing the central nervous system, the brain secretes calming endorphins which counteract the adrenalin and stress hormones that are created when children get stressed or irritable. Often children are experiencing challenging times at school that they won’t tell their parents about. Cranial osteopathy supports them through these periods, boosting confidence, and reducing reactivity.
With all the above considered, I advise that all children benefit from osteopathy being a part of their life. I recommend children see an osteopath 3 - 4 times a year ( every 3-4 months) to address all of the above. This way you don’t need to observe specific times that they would benefit from treatment - it is just in place, planned and taken care of. Unwinding the stresses and strains, challenges and emotional shocks throughout the year.
I hope this is helpful to all you super parents!