I recently saw an eight-day-old newborn who had trouble latching. It was a typical bilateral TMJ baby with more fascial strain on the left side of her face. When the lateral pterygoid muscles and fascia are tight, an infant can not open fully, often times preventing a deep latch.
But I noticed something unusual. When I looked at her nostrils from her feet as she was lying on her back, I noticed that the left nostril was a lot more closed than the right one.
When I investigated the left TMJ strain further, the fascia was pulling into her cheek. Could it have also been affecting her nares?
After revisiting the left facial tissue in therapy many times, I found that the left nostril was now opened equally to the right one. Fascial strain may have been limiting the air intake into the respiratory system.
She did not present with a breathing problem, but at eight days, it may not have had time to manifest. These little aspects that go unnoticed at birth may become more magnified later in life.
We need to remember that the fascial web connects every cell of the body, and that one area of the body can pull on another area. I plan to spend more time looking at the nostrils of my infants.
Moms ask me, “Is therapy too late for my child?” Therapy is never too late for anyone. But my vision would be for treatment to be a part of the hospital birth package. Parents would leave the hospital with a baby who can breathe well, nurse well, digest well, poop well, and nap well—end of story.