Craniosynostosis explored - newborn holding hands in mouth - Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy

Craniosynostosis Explored

The parents of babies diagnosed with craniosynostosis face the grim reality that they may require neurosurgery. Maybe a more conservative approach can result in the desired outcome.

The CDC says that craniosynostosis is caused by a birth defect that results in premature fusion of the cranial plates. This condition can limit the growth of the brain, create a distorted skull, cause a build-up of pressure inside the head, and be responsible for seizures, blindness, or brain damage. Surgical correction can allow the brain to develop and function normally.

The medical model also believes that once the brain had grown to full size, the plates of the head fuse for life in the teen years. As another viewpoint, Upledger’s histological research in 1978 describes a connective tissue sutural layer between the bones that allows for a lifetime of movement.

The Gillespie Approach believes that compressive birth trauma can severely restrict the craniosacral fascial system. Medical testing may show that the bones may appear to be “fused,” but my hypothesis states that they can possibly be tightly bound together in the fascial web for some infants.

When this soft tissue starts to free up in therapy, the brain and cranial bones can begin to move in their normal expansion and contraction phases. I believe that this approach can replace the need for neurosurgery in many infants with craniosynostosis.

During my surgical training, I was taught to do the most conservative procedure first with surgery available only as a last resort. I believe that our therapy can offer a low-risk, high-reward option for infants.

Soft tissue effects of trauma need to be corrected at birth. Gillespie Approach Training is a must for all neonatal providers.

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