2017 ArticlesGillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Articles

Bradycardia and Oxygen Desaturation

Two weeks ago a new family called us to see their newborn who was still in the NICU at a local hospital.

Baby E was born at 28 weeks. There was nothing to note about the birth other than the mother went into labor early. When we received the call, Baby E was 39 weeks gestation and a healthy 7 pounds. The newborn could not go home due to episodes of bradycardia and oxygen desaturation that occurred at every feeding (mother called them “events”). The neonatologist determined the cause of the episodes were either from dysfunction of the vagus nerve or abnormal brain development.

Upon my initial evaluation, Baby E had a brain cycle/sacral cycle of 0 seconds. There was no known umbilical cord trauma. During treatment, I worked with significant cervical strain that led to arching….pay attention to the arching folks!!! She also presented with some strain in the throat, specifically at the vagus nerve point.
The mother followed up with a message stating that their baby went 36 hours without any “events”. After 36 hours, the “events” resumed at every feeding.

I followed up 2 days later to give Baby E session #2. This time she presented with tremendous throat strain at the vagus nerve point again, as well as strain in the TMJs. They released quickly and that was the end of the session as her body quieted down.

Her mother sent a message 24 hours later and stated that the “events” had gotten much worse. We discussed the non-linear healing process that can sometimes accompany CFT, and the family was in complete understanding that the regression could possibly be a healing event.

Five days passed and Baby E’s mother contacted me stating that she and her baby were discharged and went home! Baby E had gone five days without any more “events”, and she was doing very well.

While it was incredible to be able to help this sweet little girl, I have to say that it was just as incredible to hear the relief in this new mother’s voice. It was heartbreaking to see the stress and anxiety in her eyes as she fed her baby, anticipating these traumatic episodes. She would dread feeding her little girl; no mother or parent should experience that feeling. Now she can enjoy her little girl without fear.

For our Infant CFT providers, just a reminder to please address the arching strains first. It is necessary to eliminate that tightness first before any other areas can be effectively released.

Also, it is very important to step away from any agendas and expectations when in an infant CFT session or any CFT session. Often emotions are running high, and it is easy to become ungrounded. Mike and I see over 20 babies a week and I still had to breathe, ground, and connect (thank you, Rebecca Debus) before working with this little girl.

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