One of the great under-the-radar benefits of the Gillespie Approach at birth is the minimization/elimination of fascial strain in the sphincters of the body. To be honest, I had never thought about this concept until recently, but properly functioning sphincters may be an important reason why our babies are so happy.
These circular muscles/fascia close and open a tube. When a sphincter is not working perfectly, babies will let you know about it. The medical profession usually manages these issues with medication, surgery, or no treatment.
The Gillespie Approach always looks for the structural traumatic root cause of a problem. Histology tells us that muscle cells and fascia are an inseparable unit. If birth trauma causes fascial strain in a sphincter area, therapy can return that tissue to normal function.
Here are seven major sphincters with their functions (and related health consequences):
1. Upper esophageal sphincter: Prevents air from getting into the esophagus (Infant gas from struggling to nurse) and food/secretions aspirating back from the esophagus into the respiratory system (Infant choking).
2. Lower esophageal sphincter: Prevents the stomach contents/acids from backing up into the esophagus (Infant reflux).
3. Pyloric sphincter: Allows the chyme from the stomach to pass into the small intestine (infant pyloric stenosis).
4. Sphincter of Oddi: Allows bile and pancreatic enzymes to enter the small intestine (infant indigestion).
5. Ileocecal sphincter: Keeps the contents of the small intestine separate from the large intestine (infant diarrhea).
6. Anal sphincters: Dual sphincters that control the evacuation of stools (childhood elimination issue).
7. Urethral sphincters: Dual sphincters that control the holding and emptying of urine (childhood bedwetting issue and incontinent mothers due to birth trauma).