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tcm-shanghai  >  Blog   >  Introduction to Craniosacral Therapy for Babies and Children

Introduction to Craniosacral Therapy for Babies and Children

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a branch of osteopathic cranial work, popularized by John Upledger D.O.. The cranial concept was first developed by an osteopath called William Garner Sutherland in the early 20th century. Since Sutherland, there have been many practitioners like Upledger who have further developed the theory and other branches of the practice.

Cranial work uses the osteopathic principles of the application of anatomy and physiology in order to correct restrictions in anatomy that cause dysfunction and disease. The osteopath considers the whole body as a unit, all parts of which need to be properly nourished by its internal fluid environment in order to function, heal itself and thus combat disease. This includes the cranium and all of it components: bone, cartilage, membranes and internal environment that is nourished by blood vessels and nerves.

Children are often given a medical diagnosis, which is then used as a basis for treatment, targeted at the specific manifestation of disease. Thus in the case of asthma, inhalers will be prescribed. If glue ear is diagnosed and does not self-resolve or respond to antibiotics, grommets will be inserted and adenoids removed. This approach can reduce symptoms and in some instances actually saves lives.

However from an osteopathic perspective, what needs treatment is not the disease process, which is just a manifestation of imbalance within the body, but the root of the imbalance itself. In fact when parents bring in their children with a specific problem, there are virtually always a number of other symptoms that are revealed in the consultation. As a result of treatment, these apparently unrelated problems clear up alongside the reason for seeking treatment. This is because all symptoms are just different manifestations of the underlying problem. The job of the Osteopath is to treat the underlying pattern and improve the child’s overall health.

The child’s birth can be traumatic for the child, causing imbalance and tension in the cranium and throughout the body. The Osteopath, by carefully taking a case history and feeling a child’s state of health including the impact of stresses and traumas, can build up a picture of the underlying causes of ill health. By addressing them, not only will symptoms decrease or disappear but also the child will move to a greater state of health and vitality.

I will share more details in upcoming blog posts about the trauma of birth and common questions about craniosacral therapy for children.

Marshall Gabin is a Registered Osteopath, providing craniosacral therapy and other osteopathic treatments at Body & Soul’s various Shanghai locations. Feel free to get in touch with us via WeChat to schedule an appointment with him.

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