‘Flat head’ babies at risk

June 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Childrens Health


Something that has a good intent, the campaign to get parents to lay babies flat on their backs when sleeping, can also pose a risk. Plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, occurs when the skull can become deformed as a result of external pressure such as lying on it for long periods, or being incorrectly positioned in the womb before birth.

It is normally treated by putting a helmet on the baby to reshape the head, but a more natural and effective treatment is to use craniosacral therapy (CST). This is a very specific form of osteopathy and is incredibly gentle and effective for correcting problems with the craniosacral system, which is made up of the skull, the sacrum, and the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that protect the brain and spinal cord. If left untreated, plagiocephaly can lead to permanent deformations of the skull and facial features and can lead to speech or vision problems. Because the skull begins to harden around the age of one year it is important that CST and/or helmet therapy is started as soon as possible.

It is a relatively new therapy, being first researched and developed in the 1970’s and 1980‘s, but based on sound principles. It was discovered by John Upledger, an osteopathic physician, who realised its importance after observing rhythmic motions of cranial bones during a neck surgery he was assisting in. It works by eliminating restrictions in the craniosacral system and is effective for many conditions, including migraines, autism, and colic in babies.

The practitioner cradles the skull gently in their hands and uses a very light touch to gently mould the plates of the skull to a proper alignment. In practice, as I have experienced it, it is simply holding the skull in a very supportive and light way and allowing it to relax and settle into its natural position. with symmetric rate and rhythm.

To find out more go www.craniosacral.co.uk