2012 ArticlesGillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Articles

CFT at Birth – California

Great news on the infant front! After returning home to Los Angeles from the CFT course in PA, I have been using CFT with quite a few babies and children. Here are some of the results:

Case #1. Forceps injury to the right parietal bone: this newborn baby girl had a large indentation in her cranium from the forceps slipping at her birth. The parents wanted to try CFT for this indentation, as the doctors wanted to suction the bone back out and they didn’t want to do something so invasive. This baby could not be put down to sleep, as she would fuss and cry, so the mother was forced to hold her all of the time. After the first CFT treatment the baby could be set down to nap without waking up. Three more treatments followed that, and all improved the baby’s alertness, ability to track with her eyes, sleep quality, and overall contentment. It wasn’t until the fourth treatment that she didn’t scream at the top of her lungs the entire treatment. Her mother and I knew something had changed when that happened! Some deep healing had taken place. The indentation has not changed, but overall the baby’s health and happiness is so much greater, and the parents have decided to refuse the procedure to suction out the cranium, as they feel it would be painful and more trauma for the baby. Cycles are up over 100 for this baby, and general symmetry has improved.

Case #2. Suctioned newborn who could not breastfeed adequately: this baby boy was suctioned out at birth, and they found he had a very poor suck, and an incapacity to swallow correctly. After three hour sessions (that consisted of several treatments and breaks to rest and feed), the baby is able to feed and sleep better. (The mother is obviously feeling better as well!)

Case #3. Healthy newborn who awoke often in the night: this baby girl had a beautiful birth with little strain, but was presenting with some sleeping difficulties. After one session, she was sleeping throughout the night and putting on weight better.

Case #4. 11 year old child who walks on his toes: this child has been receiving BodyTalk and some basic cranial and fascial work from me for the last few months for bedwetting, allergies, reading and vision difficulties, communication limitations, and general wellness. Most of his presenting symptoms have improved tremendously or disappeared, but he was showing no improvements in the toe-walking. When I started using CFT on him, he had unbelievable unwinding happening, particularly in the occiput (merely touching it would send him flying forwards off the table), front of the neck and cervical spine. As he would unwind, his face, jaw and hands would do very unusual things. His mouth would hang open, his eyes would roll back or out, and his hands would bend at the wrists. This resembled the posture of many developmentally disabled children and adults I used to work with. It was a little frightening to watch, but I also knew that I was watching very deep strain and neurological damage surface and that it would pass. We still have more work ahead of us, but after just two sessions, the mother noticed his posture changing and his heels hitting the ground more often than before. We’ve done four sessions total now. This is a great victory!

Overall I would note that it is fascinating to watch how the bodies of babies and children unwind, and the stories that they tell us in their treatment. Are we watching fetal-like forward bending strain, or are we watching arching from birth canal strain? Babies who have invasive procedures after birth, such as unnecessary suctioning and other pokes and prods, have another story to tell. Is it a story of anxiety, sadness, anger, apathy, being drugged, feeling rushed, feeling stuck, or experiencing antagonism? What age are they when this happened? Which parts of their body want to join in the story-telling? As we observe the story, they can lay it to rest.

Secondly, as I work with many pre-verbal beings (babies), I observe how easy it is for them to release emotion through sound. As the memory of pain gets activated or triggered by revisiting a particular posture (one they assumed at the time of trauma), the emotion is able to escape from the tissue and nervous system. Adults do not have the same luxury it seems (unless they have been doing the work of getting back in touch with themselves) which is another reason to begin this work as early as possible; before society tells us what sounds we can and cannot make. Again, the sounds tell a story that must be told. Listen to the tone, the speed, and the emotion of the sound. Acknowledge this form of communication with your own attention or phrases of comprehension and understanding. Often the jaw will shake and they will sweat and turn red, and I acknowledge this communication by the body as well. “I see that you are red here”, “I understand”, “I’m so sorry”, “I hear you”, and “You’re doing a great job” are all helpful statements. My own non-verbal communication is also called for before, during and after the session. I’ve found that communication with the parent prior to the session is helpful, as I explain that their baby’s cry during the session is not a cry of current physical pain, but of old emotional pain. This helps them stay present to the experience of their baby as a “being” who is unraveling experiences that are stuck inside of them, rather than to the experience of this “body” showing signs of pain. Most babies will assume some alarming positions during treatment, particularly what appear to be positions that compromise the neck and airway.

Lastly, I have had many great results with adults as well, particularly in unwinding the sinuses, the vagus nerve, the throat, mouth, and cranial bones. I have also found that this work has influenced my practice in a unique way. I pay more attention to the movements of my client now. Do they rub the inside of their eye? Does their foot twist in? Do they move their tongue up over the teeth? Nothing is insignificant, and I follow these movements like priorities popping up for treatment. I have got some great results this way! I generally allow for more movement on the table now, as the former training I had in cranial and fascial work had the patient generally in a still, supine position. I find this permission to move is very in alignment with the work of Peter Levine, who argues that we have trapped fight or flight, or unexpressed movements in the nervous system that need to be released in order to heal. CFT gives the client permission to revisit past traumas, complete these movements, and find peace and homeostasis in their bodies and minds.

Lauren Brim, Adv. CBP, student of midwifery
Co-founder of www.Healing4LifeTogether.com and www.HealthNow.am

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