Osteopathy worked wonders for my son. Since complications during his birth, Caleb Sedeman (12) of Cape Town has always struggled with low muscle tone, a speech impediment, epilepsy and ADHD. He also has a very high pain threshold which means he doesn’t always realise when he hurts himself. But his mom, Celestia, says osteopathy has worked wonders for her son. Caleb’s story “Hours after Caleb and I were released from the hospital following his birth, we were readmitted to the ICU unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital,” recalls Celestia.
Being born is a pretty strenuous experience for both mother and baby, and the strain on baby in particular can produce a range of post-birth problems such as colic, poor sleeping patterns, excessive crying and so forth. Paediatric Osteopaths can help relieve these strains and tension, and make for a much happier, healthier baby. By Dr Guy Ashburner OSTEOPATH on behalf of the osteopathic profession. Although it is a common belief that babies are flexible enough to recover from these strains, which can be the case for minor strain, with larger strains the problems often cannot self-heal.
I’ve read about Dr Guy Ashburner in the Natural Medicine Magazine regarding Osteopathy for babies and children, especially the important note where he mentioned about the child’s birth history and I decided that maybe this is the answer to all my little boy’s problems. If I knew about this kind of treatments when my baby was born it would have saved me money, time, frustration, sleepless nights and lots of tears.
A few months after the birth of our second son, I noticed that he was having similar “colic” symptoms to my first. However my gut feeling was that there was something more to his discomfort. After an emergency visit to the hospital and by pure luck, x-rays confirmed and assisted in his diagnosis of Fecal Loading / Impacted faces. Due to the fact that his condition was now severe he had to undergo surgery at two years of age.
“An osteo what?” – The answer nine of my 10 friends gave me when I told them I was seeing an osteopath for a muscle injury. They’re not alone – most South Africans fall into this category. Fact is osteopathy, a “hands-on” manual therapy, has been around since the 1870s (before chiropractic and physiotherapy), but in South Africa it’s still relatively unknown. According to Dr Guy Ashburner (on behalf of the osteopathic profession), there are only 50 registered osteopaths in South Africa compared with more than 5 000 in the United Kingdom.
Guy Ashburner treated my baby’s colic successfully in two sessions. He also helped me with some digestive problems I was having postnatally, and when I injured my knee some months later, he treated it in three sessions. What I liked especially about the process with my knee was that he spend almost a full session just on diagnosis, and did not simply treat what it might have been. I suspect that this is why it healed so quickly - while previous knee injuries had taken several weeks of physio.
After trying everything a desperate new parent can think off to quieten a screaming child, i took the advice of my cousin and contacted Guy Ashburner. I took my one month old baby for two sessions of paediatric osteopathy and can happily say that she no longer screams from 12pm to 4am every night. Guy helped me to understand that the effects of birth on baby can cause different symptoms due to tension in the bony structures and irritation of underlying membranes and nerves.
Osteopathy Deals with Crying, Screaming, Irritability - Frequent crying, restlessness, fractiousness, jumping at loud noises in a baby and taking a long time to settle to sleep may be attributed to a retained birth compression. The baby’s head may be uncomfortable, possibly with a headache. They are characteristically more relaxed being carried than lying down due to the extra pressure of the mattress on their heads aggravates the tensions already in their head.
Osteopathy Treats Colic and Wind - Mechanical stresses during delivery and pregnancy can aggravate or cause colic. Other factors that need to be considered are the mother’s diet, lactose intolerance, stress during pregnancy and a family history of colic. The nerve to the stomach (vagus nerve) can be irritated as it exits at the base of the skull by birth compression. This retained compression on the nerve can reduce the efficiency of digestion and therefore impair its function.
You And Your Crying Baby - The term colic is derived from the Greek kblikos, meaning ‘in relation to the colon’. Infantile colic is a very common disorder, defined as distress or crying in an otherwise healthy infant that lasts for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks. The cause is unknown. As parents know only too well, the baby with colic typically presents with excessive crying or irritability that does not respond to soothing.