Babies do all sorts of funny things while they are growing in utero, and sometimes they can become twisted in sub-optimal positioning, stuck in a specific place (ahem, like under your ribs - ouch!), or squished due to lack of space (as is the case with multiples and conditions like low amniotic fluid). And then of course, they twist and rotate and twist some more as they make their way down and through the birth canal, sometimes getting stuck on the way out and needing assistance from forceps, vacuum, hands, or even a c-section.
All the twisting and rotating and general stuckness can lead to straining and tightening of the fascia, which is a thin but strong layer that lies on top of (superficial) to the muscles and protects our entire body - from the muscles to all the nerves and organs below them. And this fascia is really good at its job of protecting and will tighten quite easily, but is not so great at releasing. When the fascia is tight, it pulls on everything below it and can cause things like tightness in the tongue (ie. tongue ties, poor latch), tightness in the neck (ie. torticollis), and really tightness in any muscles of the body. Tightness of muscles can pull bones out of alignment and compress nerves, which can lead to other complications like pain, stiffness, discomfort and more.
A typical session for a baby may last anywhere from 30-75 minutes and the number of treatments for a specific issue may vary depending on the depth of the restriction, but generally anywhere from 2-6 sessions is all that is needed to see significant changes. This technique is a holistic whole body treatment that works slowly, gently and deeply and therefore may take a few hours or days to settle in. Babies are fully clothed for their sessions and are often treated in the parent’s arms (and yes, sometimes even while baby is nursing or feeding), in the therapist’s arms (if baby allows), or lying on the table in various positions (back, tummy, and side).
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