2015 ArticlesGillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Articles

CFT/IDM at Birth – Southern California

Some of you know me as the founder of the Southern California BodyTalk Association, others know me as a co-founder of Healing 4 Life Together, and many of you now know me as that woman who keeps talking about sex in her mass emails! Yes, my specialty became female sexual and reproductive health over the last several years and I have a lot to say on the subject, especially now that I’ve recently had a beautiful baby girl.

But today I want to tell you something you may not know about me, and that is that I am a Craniosacral Fascial Therapy (CFT) practitioner. In fact CFT has been one of the main reasons that I have just had the most peaceful and lovely postpartum period of all the women I know.

My daughter Swan was born at home in the water without any interventions. Pain, mind you, but no interventions. In fact, she came out so easily in the end that I pulled her up out of the water myself with the contraction that birthed her shoulders. I was surprised however to discover that she had a shocking asynclitic presentation, meaning that she came through the birth canal with her head angled to one shoulder. I was also surprised to learn during her newborn exam that she had a lip and tongue-tie! Not significant, but enough to take notice. When I put her to the breast that first time her latch felt tight and I knew that I was going to need to do some CFT on her as soon as I had energy.

I awoke 4 or 5 hours later when the sun was up, absolutely over the moon about the baby that was in the bed beside me, and I began to do some CFT to unwind her fascia and cranial bones. She had a small release at the occipital bone, but what was most pronounced was the deep throat tension that released. Her body wanted to go into the direction that her head had been in the birth canal to release the strain that the body had accumulated during birth. I worked a little further with her dural tube via her occiput and sacrum bones until her body was naturally finding symmetry and showing no signs of wanting to go into a specific tension pattern.

When I put her to my breast – voila! She had a much better latch. I was thrilled, and despite her minor tongue and lip tie, she is a fabulous eater. I have had zero pain during 8 weeks of breastfeeding, and both the midwife and an expert lactation consultant specializing in lip and tongue ties said that her mouth is loose enough that she won’t need a lip or tongue tie revision (where they use a laser to cut the tight fascia). This has made me so, so happy!

We had one other need for CFT in Swan’s first month. The tear duct in her right eye was blocked and despite me massaging the tear duct like the midwife instructed, nearly every day she had some yellow secretion from that eye that, as a mother, really upset me. So I called up my friend Kim Rowe who had just recently learned CFT to use on herself and her family and she came over to work on Swan. She had seen me work on other babies in my practice and I had asked her to work on Swan’s blocked tear duct and any other tension she felt in her body. I wanted Swan’s body to be as free as it could be so that her lip and tongue-tie didn’t become a problem.

I watched her as she gently moved Swan around in her arms, sometimes laying her on the bed and other times picking her up, and I commented on the tension I saw releasing as well. The next day, yes, you guessed it, no blocked tear duct and no yellow gunk in her eye. And she just keeps growing and evolving in leaps and bounds. I’m so grateful to CFT and so glad that Kim flew out to Pennsylvania for the class. Thank you, Kim!!

I decided to host a CFT course in Los Angeles because it’s so important to me that other people learn this work: mothers for their partners and children, midwives, doulas and lactation consultants for moms and new babies, and BodyTalk practitioners for themselves and their clients. I learned CFT years ago after attending a traumatic birth where a baby was greatly injured and had a severe dent in her parietal bone. CFT helped that little baby avoid surgery and has helped countless other babies, children, and adults feel good in their bodies and thrive with good health. I hope that you can join us for the Los Angeles class at the Manhattan Beach Marriott September 18-20, and can go on to take the CFT course for infants and babies after that. This class will open up doors you didn’t know were there, will improve your health, and will expand your practice. Even if you help just one new mother like me, it will be totally, totally worth it.

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