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The Gillespie Approach After Infant Brain Surgery

An American mom recently called me about breastfeeding issues for her 9-month-old son who has had brain surgery to remove a benign tumor. My thoughts:

We know the fascial web is a full-body connective tissue system. Any type of surgery will cut into and restrict the function of that system. If your baby has had a surface skin problem, surgery primarily affected the superficial layer of fascia. I would expect a relatively normal therapeutic recovery. If your baby has had a more invasive procedure like heart surgery, more therapeutic visits may be expected with deeper compromised fascial layers.

If your baby has had brain surgery, the meninges (dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater directly covering the brain) have now been scarred. Most importantly, this fascial tightness can restrict critical brain motion. We, as therapists, are depending on these specific tissues to release over a series of visits to open the brain cycle to at least 200 seconds for all of our patients.

Scarring here can exponentially create more intractable tissues, requiring more visits for the body to release. I know that no one wants to hear this, but I can honestly not give the parents a time frame for completion.

We just need to patiently listen to the body and allow it to heal itself in its own space and time as it deals with the effects of the surgery. Since the oral fascial tissues are directly connected to these meningeal layers, the nursing issues may not completely clear until those layers are as free as possible.

I am a proponent for therapy after the healing of any surgery. But my biggest concern is for these infants looking at the ramifications of a lifetime of brain motion restriction.

I feel compassion for all suffering children. I experience joy in showing the world what is possible for newborns. I am a romantic, believing in my vision even if it seems unrealistic. I am just waiting for the world to see its promise.

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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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