Ten years ago two Mennonite ladies from Lancaster, Joan Martin and Ruth Sensenig, became my first infant students as they dove into their community with this approach. They made my “retirement years” golden as I formulated the Baby Brain Score and sought to create the best therapy for newborns/infants. I figured it would be more worthwhile than playing bad golf everyday in Florida. I was very fortunate to have colleagues (Kristen Myers, Michael Myers, Christine Holefelder, and others), who worked with me without pay. I could not have done this project alone.
On paper in 2007 the concept looked great. But would it work in real life? We jumped in the deep end and initially found that this approach looked very promising in helping infants with many conditions. Over the years we have dramatically increased our infant conceptual understanding and honed our techniques for the work to blossom way beyond our initial expectations. Today we still continue to search for a better way.
I am so grateful for everyone’s support during my career. I am especially thankful for the parents who trusted me with their babies back in the 80s doing this unknown therapy.
I want to reflect on some major points of our research:
1. In utero may be a very tight place for some fetuses. We were totally surprised to see our C-section babies fussy with twisted heads and bodies. This lead us to believe that CFT for a woman before pregnancy could be very important. In 2007 Joan and Ruthie did CFT for many women, who then reported easier pregnancies, better labor and deliveries, and healthier babies. A similar pattern has followed for treated women since that time. A craniosacral fascial strain-free mother/baby dyad is what we someday envision for the planet.
2. We found the interconnectedness of the craniosacral fascial system with many seemingly unrelated diseases. We discovered that the nursing issues of latching, sucking, and swallowing, reflux, colic, indigestion, gas, constipation, strabismus, stridor, pyloric stenosis, torticollis, failure to thrive, and clubfoot all appeared to be rooted from birth trauma restricting this system. The work’s preventative aspect for other diseases and cognitive issues later in life magnified its potential even more.
3. I am still amazed by the power of the work with the body’s innate ability to heal itself. It seemed too good to be true that this one approach could possibly correct all of these issues and prevent a lifetime of suffering. We spent years in a small basement room under an Amish food store with no electricity. There were no research grants, no one was overseeing us, and we were not on anyone’s radar screen. I still pinch myself about these circumstances, and I thought I just wanted to be a practicing dentist in the 60s. I am over the moon about all of these discoveries.
The research was literally like a Bible story where God showed us the answers to many diseases that have plagued the human race since the beginning of time. Most of the world’s research scientists spend their entire professional careers with every possible resource available failing to find an inkling to the answer for one disease. Yet we, a group of massage therapists, happened to stumble on what appears to be the holy grail of infant healing. I have loved every second as this incredible ride continues and hope to see the day where this work becomes the global standard of care in every birth hospital and available in every village.