what is craniosacral therapy? – free talks in brighton

I’ve been asked this question hundreds of times during my 9 years of practicing Craniosacral Therapy in Brighton and Hove. Although becoming increasingly well known as a more mainstream complementary therapy, Craniosacral Therapy (often called CST or Cranio), is still a bit of a mystery to many.

In June I’ll be giving two talks on Craniosacral Therapy at Hove StressBusters in Hove and at Brighton and Hove Therapies in Brighton. There are offers on treatment for the month too for those attending so that you try out CST and see if it’s the right therapy for you and your family.

 
 

De-stressing with Craniosacral Therapy  and Metabolic Coaching

Hove StressBusters

Cornerstone Communty Centre, Hove 7pm

 
 
Craniosacral therapy uses a light touch to listen to the body’s stories. Life experiences, whether physical, traumatic or emotional, are stored in the body which compensates to best hold and contain what has happened to allow us to function as best as we possibly can. Over time, we experience symptoms and pain – and often stress!

Craniosacral therapy works with the central nervous system and allows natural balance to occur. As one of my clients recently described it, “It’s like being earthed”. It is an excellent therapy for stress and anxiety as it enables the nervous system re-set and settle, providing a foundation for good health and vitality.

My colleague Nicki Edgell, a clinical psycho-neuro-immunologist, will also be talking about Metabolic Balance and the impact of modern day stress on our metabolism, our weight, our circadian rhythm and behavior.

You will leave with practical tips on reducing stress to take home with you!

Find out more here

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Craniosacral Therapy  Explained

Brighton & Hove Therapies, Brighton

7pm

 

A informative free talk on the benefits of Craniosacral Therapy (CST) for health conditions and stress reduction. This is also an opportunity to meet me in person.

I will explain how the biodynamic approach to CST engages the wisdom of the body to restore natural balance and health with the skilled gentle touch and presence of the therapist. It empowers you to reconnect with yourself by helping to create the right conditions for health and wellbeing.

As well as enhanced health, energy levels and a shift in symptoms, many clients comment that they are more aware of themselves internally and their surroundings, and some experience profound shifts in themselves and how they relate to the world.

CST is suitable for the majority of conditions including stress & anxiety, headaches & migraine, back & neck pain, and jaw/dental complaints. It’s also a great boost for the immune system. Deborah also works with babies and children experiencing difficulties such as colic and reflux, sleeping or feeding issues, following birth, and separation anxiety.

Find out more here.

 

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About Deborah

Deborah has been working with babies, children and adults locally for over 8 years and is passionate about working with the inherent health and wisdom of the body. Through her own personal practices including TRE (Tension Releasing Excercises), CST and yoga, Deborah brings a warmth, presence and vitality to her practice, treating with a skilled and non-judgemental approach.

Please call or text Deborah on 07886 659976 or email at contact@craniosacralbrighton.co.uk to book your place!

 

Understanding Colic – Comforting Positions

Colic Comfort - Positions and tips to sooth your baby

One of the most common things I see in my clinic is babies with colic – the inconsolable crying and irritability that baby suffers and frustrates and exhausts parents.

My previous blog, Understanding Colic – A Craniosacral Approach, offered some practical advice and tips on identifying and helping babies with colic. One thing that can sooth and calm is the position a baby is held in. Some of the positions outlined below help baby to relax, calm the nervous system and can help relieve abdominal pain and gas build up. The holds have been shown to have positive results with the babies I treat. You can find these and alternatives on the internet, but I thought that bringing them together in one place would benefit time limited and exhausted parents.

Experiment with the following positions. Take time and try to relax yourself, your baby will feel this.

Remember skin to skin contact is always best (where practical!). Soft noises, relaxing music, and a generally calm and intimate family environment can also help. Think ‘calm environment’, calm you, calm baby’.

Nestle Baby’s head under chin
… whilst rocking. Try talking softly.

Lying Baby on tummy on length of forearm (“The Football Hold”)
… with cheek near elbow or on palm with legs hanging over the arm

Lying baby on tummy on your legs
… as above but on one or two legs either across legs or length ways. Take care not to bounce too fast and to support baby

Dance
Dance gently and rhythmically in all directions (forward, back, up, down etc), whilst singing or to calm low volume music. This echoes our natural nomadic pace and time in the womb. Slings can be of use here, as can the above holds.

Bicycle legs
… with baby on its back move the legs up and down in a bicycle motion whilst making eye contact

Carrying
Movement helps settle baby’s nervous system and also the dramatic shifts and changes that take place during and after birth

Warm bath
… take a warm shallow bath and place baby on their tummy on yours facing you. You may find they crawl up, especially with mum as the natural movement will be towards the breast

Baby massage
… gentle pressure from a warm hand or slow circular massage techniques can help. Seek advice from a baby massage a baby massage practitioner.

The Mirror!
… one suggested technique is to hold baby in front of a mirror with its hand against it … you may be surprised by the silence of intrigue!

Baby cushion
… use a cushion or rolled up towel and place under baby’s tummy with care to turn head to side and watch baby. This technique is also great for relieving wind in adults!

Belly button
… hold a warm hand above the belly button and see what happens. After a few minutes lower it slightly, hold for a minute or so, then lower onto the tummy

The “Colic Curl”
… holding baby with head and back against you and your arms under baby’s bottom and legs, curl the legs upwards, lower, and repeat. You can also baby bicycle in this position

Use a beach ball
… hold baby and sit and bounce lightly and slowly on the ball. Alternatively lie baby tummy down over ball, holding them for safety

Feeding positions
… experiment with more upright positions using pillows or wedges so that baby is on an incline (to encourage gravity in the immature digestive tract). Wind for minimum of 20 minutes in an upright position ensuring the spine is straight and supported and without putting pressure on baby’s tummy.

Note that some babies do actually like to be left alone, so remember to try this option too. Others like repetitive noise, one often mentioned is a vacuum cleaner! You can also experiment with CDs made especially with the purpose of comforting babies.

With colic the first step is to contact your GP to eliminate other reasons for distress and lactose intolerence. I have found that craniosacral therapy helps babies with colic by helping to calm the nervous system and soften and relax the digestive tract. It can also help mums to relax and feel reassured, which in turn helps baby.

For further information or to make an appointment please contact me or call 07886 659976.

The information provided here is complementary to, and not a substitute, for medical advice.

Understanding Colic – A Craniosacral Approach

Understanding ColicWhat is colic?  Colic is a term given to inconsolable crying and irritability in an otherwise healthy baby which usually starts at between 2 and 6 weeks of age and stops usually no later than 4 months.

Common symptoms of colic for baby include:

• The pulling of legs up to the abdomen whilst crying
• Arching of back
• General stiffening of limbs
• A tense bloated abdomen
• The cry – Frequent, inconsolable, agonising shrieks that can last for hours. Bouts of crying are often in the late afternoon and evening/night time
• Exhausted parents!

It can be useful to look at ‘The Rule of Threes’ to see if your baby may have colic, and ask if the crying:

• Lasts for at least 3 hours per day?
• Happens at least 3 days a week?
• Continues for at least 3 weeks?

The cause of colic remains somewhat a mystery in both the medical and complementary health fields, and continues to be an arena for both debate and science.

It is often stated that a possible cause of colic, as with reflux, is due to the immature digestive system of the new born. The word colic comes from the Greek word “kolikos”, which translates as ‘suffering in the colon’. Unlike many mammals, humans are born early in terms of their development and consequently much takes place outside the womb, including that of the digestive tract and the nervous system.

If you think your baby may have colic, the first step is to visit your GP. This will rule out medical reasons for crying such as infection, reflux (often considered a cause of colic), allergies and intolerances (e.g. lactose). It will also offer you reassurance.

If baby presents some or all of the above symptoms it can be useful to start keeping a diary to understand any correlation of symptoms. This is also useful information to take along to your GP and craniosacral therapist.

Record things such as:

• The time and length of crying
• How long after feeding does the crying begin
• How does baby look and move
• What makes them better/worse
• How are the bowel movements in terms of regularity and the consistency/look of stools
• Have there been any changes in feeding? e.g. length of feeding, non-nutritional feeds, changes in formula (amount of or type/brand).
• Is there any reflux/posseting? i.e. baby brings up milk during/after feeding

Although there is no magic cure for colic, there are many things that can help baby feel calmer and you more rested. Try the following:

• Eliminate cow’s milk from mum’s diet for a week and see if there are any changes
• Eliminate gas producing foods e.g. coffee, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, chocolate, and sprouts. Do this for a week and then reintroduce foods one by one writing the changes in symptoms down
• Try different holding positions – one is to lie baby along your forearm on its tummy (dads are good at this). See “Colic Comfort”, blogged later this month
• Skin to skin contact, as much as possible. Carrying baby can also help and a sling can be useful here
• Try feeding slower and more frequently. A baby’s stomach is only the size of its fist; often mums worry about under-feeding, and can over feed as a result. Sometimes there is simply no room!
• Keep baby upright for a minimum of 20 minutes after feeding, winding regularly
• Check nappies are not too tight

It’s important to keep experimenting to see what works, and even more so to take time out if possible. If you have a partner, good friend or other family member, take turns to take a break – a relaxed carer, generally means a relaxed baby – and time to rest and restore will do you all the world of good.

A final word of reassurance to frustrated and exhausted parents – if it’s colic, it WILL stop!

Mum’s often come with their babies who are experiencing colic. The first step is to contact your GP to eliminate other reasons for distress. I have found that craniosacral therapy helps babies with colic by helping to calm the nervous system and soften and relax the digestive tract. It can also help mums to relax and feel reassured.

For further information or to make an appointment please contact me or call 07886 659976.

The information provided here is complementary to, and not a substitute, for medical advice.

Craniosacral Therapy for Babies

Baby and Birth – A Craniosacral Approach

Birth is the most all-consuming and overwhelming experience we will ever encounter. Even with the most seamlessly sound birth, baby is exposed to a huge transformation as it moves from a dark fluid-filled space to one of air, light and noise. The baby’s nervous system is ignited. It takes its first breath, and first feed. A rather hectic environment compared to the warmth and safety of the mother’s womb!

Our birth essentially moulds who we are. It affects our nervous and immune system and imprints on our structural development. How we come in to the world and our early pre-verbal experiences can also imprint into our early psyche and shape how we view the world around us.

The Challenges of Birth

It is therefore no surprise that many babies experience challenges and difficulties following birth. Sleep, feeding, and digestive problems are common, as are changes in the shape of the head, glue ear, jaundice, colic and reflux. There is often a general sense that baby is unsettled. Birth can also be experienced as traumatic for both mother and baby. In addition further medical intervention is often necessary for the safety of mother and baby for various reasons.

The journey through the birth canal is the most challenging of our lives. All babies experience compressive and rotational forces as they move through the birth canal. The soft pliability of the baby’s skull at birth allows the bones to move and slide over each other as the baby negotiates the bones of its mother’s pelvis. The fluidic areas of the baby’s skull, called fontanelles, close between 3 months and 2 years. During this time the process of ‘re-moulding’ takes place i.e. the bones move into a normal position in the head.

What Happens at Birth

A common example of the impact of our birth relates to a major nerve, the Vagus nerve, which passes between two bones in the skull. The Vagus nerve is key to our involuntary functions e.g. digestion and sleep. As the baby passes through the birth canal, these bones can compress or impinge on the nerve and may cause problems with feeding or sleeping.

Birth also means dramatic changes in the nervous and endocrine (i.e. hormonal) systems of mum and baby. A hormonal orchestra plays out facilitating labor, birth and bonding (oxytocin), a natural painkiller is released (endorphins), the need for action is stimulated (adrenaline and noradrenaline), and breastfeeding encouraged (prolactin). Clever hey! It takes a while after birth for the nervous systems of mother and baby to down shift and the complex cocktail of hormones to naturally change and either party may experience difficulties adapting as these changes take place.

In most cases with nurture from parents, the actions of sucking and crying (yes, crying can be a good thing), safety and any required medical care, the baby is able to naturally settle into its new environment and align the position of the bones in its head. However, if the baby is unable to self-regulate, prolonged symptoms may occur.

Here are a few tips and questions to ask if your baby seems unsettled:

• As a guideline only, if the baby makes eye contact when crying this usually means it has a need; where there is no eye contact on crying this may indicate the baby’s system is unable to self-regulate.
• For the first 3 months the baby does not differentiate itself from its mother. It is useful for mum to check how she is in herself physically and emotionally. As one party shifts, the other will also.
• Skin to skin contact, a peaceful environment and quiet time with parents will help fulfil the baby’s need for love and nurture.
• How does the baby’s head look?
• Does the baby startle/frighten easily or are they sensitive to touch in certain areas (often the head, feet and torso)? Is there over sleeping/wakening during the night?
• If symptoms are prolonged or worsen always seek advice from your GP or health visitor
• Consider visiting a Craniosacral Therapist

It is encouraging to hear from clients that midwives, health visitors, doulas and other professionals are increasingly recommending Craniosacral Therapy (CST) for babies and children. CST can assist with the remoulding process and structural birth patterns in the baby’s bones and tissues. It also helps to down regulate the nervous system of both mother and baby and can help with bonding. It is a safe and gentle treatment and is often relaxing for both mother and baby.

For further information or to make an appointment please contact me or call 07886 659976.

The information provided here is complementary to, and not a substitute, for medical advice.

Babies & Children

At birth the bones of the skull can be likened to soft islands in a ballon of fluid—this allows the baby to make the journey through the birth canal. As a consequence of birth and early experiences, areas of the body may become restricted or compressed. However, in our early years of life the ability for release is greater as the bones have not yet formed. Such restrictions may resolve by themselves; sometimes they require a helping hand.

How can Craniosacral Therapy help?

Many early difficulties and developmental problems respond well to treatment including:

 

  • Breathing Disorders
  • Digestive problems
  • Colic
  • Sleeping irregularities
  • Hyperactivity
  • Structural Complaints
  • Restrictions and compressions resulting from a challenging birth

Ongoing benefits include:

  • Maintaining and optimizing health and vitality
  • Prevention of problems in later life

What does Craniosacral Therapy treatment with my child involve?

Prior to the first session I will ask you to complete a form with details of your baby’s/child’s birth and family history.

It is important that there is the time and space to explore what is happening for your child and to give them the freedom to openly express and communicate. For babies it is beneficial to be treated during feeding, as baby is in direct relationship with mum and settled.

It is essential that the little one feels a sense of containment and safety, and as such mum (or primary care giver), is encouraged to be close by and in direct contact with the child where possible.

At times during the session I will place my hands gently on different parts of the body to sense and work with restrictions in the tissues, fluids and nervous system of the little one. It is common to work with mum and baby together; this is because at early ages their two systems are reflective of each other; they are one. It also benefits bonding, and can help mum to relax too!