What is Infant Cranial Sacral Therapy?
Infant Cranial Sacral Therapy (ICST) is a gentle, effective body assessment and treatment that helps address challenges that arise after any birth. ICST listens respectfully to the messages a baby communicates through his or her body rhythms. Breastfeeding difficulties, plagiocephaly (flattening of the skull), colic, digestive disturbances, breathing and swallowing issues, can all be helped with ICST. Babies have a birth story to tell, just as mothers do. ICST helps the baby communicate what it has no words to speak.
When is it safe to do with a baby?
CST can be done at any time of life, and is particularly helpful with newborns and children. Treatments are safe and gentle even immediately after birth. In order to be born, the baby’s skull bones overlap, molding shape in order to fit through mother’s pelvic gateway. For weeks after birth, the bones continue moving, seeking proper alignment, until they settle and eventually fuse together. If they don’t find balance, the bones can press on cranial nerves that impact respiration, swallowing, and digestive functions. All babies experience some amount of skull molding and so every newborn can benefit from ICST.
Babies born by Cesarean Section may still experience skull molding if they were engaged in the pelvis before delivery. Cesarean birth can be more traumatic for babies as much as for mothers and can benefit from the soothing realignment associated with ICST.
How is it done?
Leslie Stager, RN, LMT is a nurse massage therapist, who works primarily with newborns and pre-crawling infants at this time. Monitoring the cranial sacral rhythm with her hands, Leslie assesses and encourages the body, with very gentle touch, to ‘unwind’, naturally creating more range and space.
How will my baby respond?
Sometimes babies will sleep for a little longer than usual. She may cry a little as her body shifts its energy. He may begin to nurse more effectively immediately. Typically, parents will begin to notice improvement in baby’s conditions within the next 24 hours.
What conditions are treated?
Baby’s bodies easily correct themselves with assistance. Without treatment, conditions can lead to chronic concerns and complaints, and can even become lifelong issues. Later in life these conditions are more difficult to treat.
The following issues can be addressed with Infant Cranial Sacral therapy.