By Margo Kennedy, CNM ~ 

In my practice of working with families and their babies, I’ve noticed some infants seemed to struggle with being comfortable in their bodies in the earliest days of life. In search of a modality that could help these little ones, I discovered biodynamic cranial sacral therapy (BCST).

What is cranio sacral therapy?

BCST is considered a healing art that works with energies that create and maintain health in our body’s system.

In life, no matter what circumstances occur to us – whether physical or emotional – we have an innate blueprint of health that is always within us. BCST can help us access this resource so that we can return to a greater degree of health and ease in our experience of life.

BCST uses gentle, non-invasive touch to listen for and to engage with the expression of health in a person’s system through the flow of the cerebrospinal fluids in the body. The therapist is trained to “listen” to these subtle expressions of the body. As they provide a quiet and calm resonance through their touch, states of balance in tissues can reorganize and function can return. Blockages can resolve and release, which helps them experience a greater feeling of comfort.

cranio sacral therapy

Why is it beneficial for my baby?

Sometimes in the birth experience there can be physical and emotional experiences for both mom and baby. This gentle hands-on technique helps to facilitate an unwinding of areas of compression and misalignment which can encourage the release of stress and associated symptoms. You or your baby’s body can then start to soften and relax. With pressure and tension gone, necessary space in the brain and body can return; room is freed for natural growth and functioning, and your baby’s health and wellbeing can be much improved.

After birth I find it especially helpful in resolving the effects of a challenging birth for both mom and baby especially those relating to nursing, bonding and attachment. Often babies come for digestive issues, colic, breastfeeding issues and pre and post tongue-tie release.

How is cranio sacral performed?

cranio sacral therapy

In a session, I first welcome the baby and ask permission to work with them. I always follow the baby and mom’s lead and respect the mother’s wisdom of knowing what the baby needs in each moment. The session can occur on a massage table with parents close by, on a pillow in mom’s lap, or while breastfeeding and usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. I usually begin by checking in with the baby’s system either at the feet or head and move to areas where compression can be felt. Babies respond well to non-invasive and gentle therapy and usually in just a few sessions results can be seen.

I find that in difficult early days parents also appreciate the support and reassurance that these sessions can provide. In addition to my background as a nurse-midwife, I feel fortunate to have found this tool to be able to provide more support to babies and families in need.