2019 ArticlesGillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Articles

Arching Revisited

With extra time during the coronavirus pandemic, I noticed that the two most popular essays, each over 1,000 reads, discussed infant arching. I am so happy our regular readers are conscious of its great importance in health. Arching can be the main underlying factor for a baby’s fussiness.

For the new readers, arching is a dominating fascial strain pattern from the back of the head to the sacrum. The fascia pulls the two ends together, extending the back into an “arch,” while creating tightness in the head, pelvis, and entire spine. Conventional pediatric care is aware of arching, but does not presently connect its significance to any infant conditions.

In our Lancaster research we did not recognize the critical importance of arching during the first year or two. When we tried to help correct specific areas of the body separately, none of the conditions fully cleared. Somewhat puzzled, we were unaware of the all-encompassing power of the full-body fascial web.

We gradually discovered that the fussiness issues would not clear until the arching completely cleared. When we redirected our focus on eliminating the arching first, the local issues generally cleared quickly.

An arching baby, a huge red flag indicating the Gillespie Approach, needs to be addressed during the first day of life. To read more about this phenomenon, the arching section from our 2015 research article is below along with the links of those two popular articles.

Read the Infant Research Article

Mother with baby - Baby Brain Score - Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy - Infant-Driven Movement

We found that arching is abnormal physiologic behavior. This extension craniosacral fascial strain pattern usually pulled between the occiput and the sacrum, causing the babies to bend their bodies into a backbend or “arch.” This strain was an extremely dominant pattern in the infant’s body. As an important clinical note, we needed to help the body fully release this arching pattern before we could address the strain patterns causing the other conditions.

Arching babies were extremely unhappy because they could not relax their bodies to be held or lay down flat. Almost all had colic, reflux, gas, and breastfeeding difficulties, which added to their discomfort. We found the Baby Brain Score/Craniosacral Fascial Therapy/Infant-Driven Movement model was successful with completely eliminating back arching. We noted 29 babies (17%) needed follow-up treatments for the return of mild arching.

These babies may have been more susceptible to tightening in their cervical and back areas from normal “bumps and falls.” Also more fetal craniosacral fascial strain patterns from the occiput to the sacrum may have been presenting.

We discovered that many traumas over the fetal experience created an onion-like effect for many infants. We could not correct all of the layers at once. We postulated that each trauma released as an onion layer in its own space and time during the healing process.

When we extrapolated this arching knowledge to adults and children, many patients appeared to retrace into their infant arching patterns. This observation implies that people do not “outgrow” their craniosacral fascial strain patterns. The philosophy that “the arching happened so long ago that it does not matter now” does not seem to hold truth.

We also postulated that the craniosacral fascial system could hold its strain patterns from conception. For complete healing the craniosacral fascial strain onion needs to be peeled and released back to that time.

Interestingly, we noted from some mothers that several of their other children displayed the same arching problem as infants. We wondered if a structural tightness generating within the mother’s pelvis caused this particular arching strain pattern. We postulated that we could possibly prevent this problem by treating mothers with Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy prior to conception.

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Dr. Barry Gillespie

Dr. Barry Gillespie founded Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy, which provides patients with a freely moving brain, spinal cord and fascial web, all critical to optimal health. Dr. Barry Gillespie also created the Baby Brain Score and discovered effective therapeutic techniques for newborns and infants. Read more about Dr. Barry Gillespie.

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