Osteopathy for Infants

By Clara Yan, DOMP, DScO

Osteopathic manual practitioners are able to treat patients as young as a few days old. Since osteopathy is such a gentle and subtle therapy, newborns respond well to treatments. In fact, it can be very beneficial to seek out a professional as soon as you can. The practitioner can assess and treat to ensure that your baby is as healthy as can be and that your baby will grow as perfect as you can expect.

An osteopathic manual practitioner will look to make sure everything in the body is properly aligned to allow for the best efficiency of blood flow, fluid flow, and much more. Osteopathic touch and therapy can be applied throughout the body to release any stressors that may be disrupting their systems. As an adult, it is easy to see how and when an injury can affect your current state, but some adaptations in the body can date back to being in mom’s uterus. So why not ensure there is nothing that your baby needs to adapt around?

If there were any complications or difficulties during the pregnancy or delivery, it can create lesions that, if left untreated, can cause unnecessary adaptations as the child grows. Lesions can be created by use of forceps, suctions, force on joints, and many more.

Other reasons to seek out an osteopathic manual therapist for your newborn:

  • Musculoskeletal issues such as torticollis
  • Colicky babies due to gastrointestinal issues
  • Joint issues such as hip dysplasia
  • Shape of head has been distorted by use of force causing plagiocephaly (flat head)
  • Neurological disorders
  • Difficulty latching or sucking
  • Repetitive ear infections
  • Reflux
  • Sleep Disorders

A treatment for your infant can be as long as 30 minutes to 60 minutes. In this time, the practitioner will ask about the pregnancy, delivery, and how things are currently going in order to view the whole picture.

It is also important to continue seeing your osteopathic manual practitioner as your baby grows. It is inevitable that as they are learning how to crawl, walk, and run, there will be some bumps and bruises along the way. These are normal for the learning curve, but we want to make sure that the body does not adapt around an injury from a fall.

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