Infants, children and teenagers generally have plenty of energy and enthusiasm for life, bouncing back from colds, flus, accidents and other life stresses, usually quite well provided their inner health is well, their posture is balanced and habit patterns and technique with other life and sporting activity are good.
However there are many things in life that can hinder the natural healing process and cause stress and strain on growing bodies. For example – imagine a tiny baby about to be born, contained snugly (hopefully) within Mum’s abdomen and pelvis. It is about to take its first journey into the world. If mum’s pelvis is a bit imbalanced and restricted it may not be able to yield correctly through the birth process and so this tiny little baby may come out with a slightly tilted or squished head (so mums – it’s sometimes good to make sure you are all balanced also). A baby’s head can sometimes be jammed in mum’s pelvis for many weeks prior to birth.
Then there is the birth itself. Normally this is a natural process but parts of the body can be compressed or subject to excessive traction resulting in a wide range of health problems from reflux, to irritability, behavioural problems, excessive head tilting or bumping, suckling issues, digestive difficulties and so on.
Furthermore after birth some of these restrictions may resolve themselves but what if something gets jammed or over stretched and can’t resolve itself. This can have long term effects on growth and development because the tissues needs even stresses placed upon them for even development (and may, if not even, contribute to postural problems later in life such as a scoliosis).
Then this little baby starts to crawl, stand and then walk, often having a tumble or two and sometimes a severe knock. Maybe there are restrictions in the body that contribute to fluid drainage problems or respiratory difficulties such as asthma, not to mention colds and flus, which are all propounded when the little one begins swimming or dance lessons, sporting activities, and goes to school. Sometimes poor postural or sporting habits develop (e.g. sitting poorly at school, carrying a bag always on the same side), sometimes on their own or sometimes a consequence of an old unresolved injury.
Then there are falls out of trees and off the monkey bars (God forbid)? We can’t stop children (or even adults) from doing these things, and in many cases these are great and necessary experiences. All of these things are a natural part of a person’s life experience.
So, is there any need to worry? Of course not. All that is required is to keep an eye on a child’s growth and development and make sure all is progressing as it should. If you notice something isn’t right, something is crooked or not developing as it should or behaviour changes (in a less healthy way – especially after an accident), or a child has poor posture, is irritable, gets constant colds, or ear trouble, or an ankle sprain is not resolving in a normal time frame, etc – these are all signs that something is not right, that things aren’t flowing and clearing as they should.
What can you do to check everything is ok? Osteopathy may be able to help. When my kids aren’t right, I assess their posture, outwardly and also inwardly for their inner health, balance and well being to make sure everything is flowing, balanced and function ok. If it is ok, this gives me the confidence to know nature is sorting things out naturally and all is ok. I know not to panic and that the cold, flu, strain or other issue will more than likely resolve itself in time. So I watch and wait.
When not right, the tissues, organs, energy and rhythms are not flowing, may be congested or blocked – telling me the system is not coping and need some support – to regain this balanced state. This is where treatment may help, either direct Osteopathic treatment which works more with massage, manipulation, joint movements or indirect cranio-sacral/biodynamic therapy which is provided by some therapists including some Osteopaths and is more subtle, energetic and works (without pressure) on the inner rhythms, tissues, and organs of the body.
This latter approach may be helpful for assisting with many of the developmental problems mentioned above, and is very gentle on infants, children and those with difficult and chronic/complicated health concerns (and which involve the inter-relation of many systems of the body).
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact me, Dr. Paul Turner, at the Boronia clinic on (03) 9762 9478.