The Craniosacral Stillroom

by Diana Abbott


Babies and Children

The applications of craniosacral therapy for children are wide – from colic, feeding difficulties and ear infections in babies, through learning difficulties, behavioural disorders, dyslexia, hyperactivity, and asthma, as well as the ongoing effects of falls and injuries in the rough and tumble world of children.

Parents and health professionals are increasingly seeking alternative ways to resolve infant and childhood conditions. Craniosacral therapy offers a safe and effective means of approaching these problems and resolving many common, troublesome and distressing ailments, thereby drastically reducing the need for drugs and surgery and offering general improvement in health and well-being.

Craniosacral therapy is particularly suitable for the treatment of babies and children because it is extremely gentle and non-invasive and causes no discomfort, and more importantly, doesn’t carry any risks or adverse side effects.

Treatment is generally soothing, comfortable and pleasant, and creates a sense of ease, calmness and well-being. Babies can be treated in their mother’s arms and even better, while asleep. Children can be treated whilst playing with toys, or whilst being read to or reading – or even whilst playing on their Game Boy. There is no need to disturb the child by undressing them, since the craniosacral patterns can be clearly felt through clothes (and even nappies)


Treatment at the earliest possible opportunity is highly advisable. Not only will conditions respond more readily the sooner thy are treated, but also the cranium and body structure are constantly growing, fusing and consolidating into patterns of growth imprinted on them, becoming increasingly solidified and resistant to treatment with time.

In young babies the response should normally be very quick; as the child gets older, and consequently the restrictions more established and consolidated, then several treatments may be required. Also, the child’s symptoms may be indicative of more complex underlying patterns of restriction and asymmetry in which case further treatment may be necessary to prevent the emergence of other symptoms and conditions.

Birth Trauma

Cranio-sacral Therapy is uniquely effective in dealing with the effects of Birth Trauma with its many possible consequences including colic, poor sleep, feeding difficulties and ear infections in babies.

During the birth process, the baby’s head is forcefully compressed as it twists through the narrow birth canal. To allow passage, the cranium of the new-born baby is not a solid, bony structure but a soft membraneous balloon, and the intense compression of this delicate structure over many hours, compresses the bones of the cranium and distorts the shape of the head.

The body’s inherent healing powers are usually able to remould the compressed cranium back into its normal shape. However, this innate remoulding is not always completely successful, and the degree to which the restrictions and compressions are resolved varies widely from child to child. If the labour has been long and hard, with the baby stuck in the birth canal with its head engaged, the distortions are likely to be more firmly imprinted and less readily resolved by nature. Even when the birth process has been relatively straightforward, restrictions or compressions may persist and may inhibit normal growth and development.

The effects of these cranial bone restrictions will vary considerably. The most severe cases can lead to cerebral palsy, autism or epilepsy; less severe cases may result in feeding difficulties, dyslexia, learning difficulties, hyperactivity, and squint. It can also be linked to other childhood problems such as allergies, asthma, recurrent ear infections as well as general health and well-being.


Colic, and associated feeding difficulties, is another condition for which cranio-sacral therapy is appropriate and effective. Classic colic involves prolonged inconsolable screaming for several hours, usually in the evening and with no apparent cause,. Accompanying symptoms may be regurgitation of feeds, excessive wind, and inability to bring up wind, projectile vomiting and obvious pain. In many cases drugs are prescribed, but these are rarely effective in resolving the problem, and many have undesirable side-effects, such as digestive disturbances, diarrhoea or constipation, It is also preferable to avoid the use of drugs with young babies unless absolutely necessary.

The cranio-sacral therapist concentrates on two principal areas when treating most cases of colic; the cranial base and the solar plexus region. The cranial base is the area most susceptible to compression and distortion during the birth process. This area is of vital importance since it is adjacent to many important structures and nerve pathways (including the Vagus nerve which is the principal nerve supply to the digestive system).

The solar plexus is an area generally agitated by shock, trauma or distress, and babies with their more sensitive systems are more susceptible to the digestive disturbances which ensue.


It is often assumed that because babies are not rational or verbal, that they do not experience shock and trauma in the way that adults do. It is also imagined that a baby going through the natural process of birth and being lovingly cared for shouldn’t experience any shock or trauma. But the birth process itself is often difficult and traumatic for both mother and baby. If the birth is difficult, the labour prolonged, or the baby is stuck in the birth canal for many hours, then an immense amount of shock and trauma may be absorbed into the system. Arrival in the outside world may induce further shock as the baby emerges into a busy, brightly lit and noisy environment after the seclusion of the womb.

Another particularly common cause of shock is the premature cutting of the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is the lifeline through which the baby has received all its oxygen and nutrition throughout its time in the womb. The sudden severance of this lifeline can come as an unnecessary shock which is then absorbed into the solar plexus and umbilical areas (with the consequent affects on the surrounding digestive organs).

Shock may also result from many other physical and emotional causes, including tension picked up from the mother, and underlying stresses and tensions between the parents, in the environment, or in family relationships in general.

Caesarean Section

It is common to find a profound sense of shock held in babies born by caesarean section. This shock is incurred at the time of the incision, when the fluid pressure within the womb changes very suddenly, causing both physical and emotional shock to the baby. This frequently manifests as a sense of seizing up throughout the body; as contraction, tightness in the head and tension in the solar plexus.

In the case of enforced caesarean section, when the baby’s head has been engaged and under pressure for a prolonged and stressful period, and subsequently caesarean section is performed out of necessity, then the baby suffers the worst of both worlds. It is subjected both to severe pressures on the cranium, and to the shock effects of the caesarean section.

Medical Advice
Craniosacral Therapy is intended to complement, not replace, the relationship you have with your medical practitioner. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, please see your doctor. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of anything you have read on this website.

Achieve your Optimum Health With Craniosacral Therapy