Cranial osteopathy is a form of osteopathy that uses gentle pressure and manipulation on the head and neck. It’s thought that cranial osteopathy can help to improve sleep in children.
Many babies struggle to sleep because they are in pain due to colic or reflux. The abdominal pain caused by wind, or the pain of acid reflux leaves them writhing in pain, screaming through the night. Others wake for ‘osteopathic’ reasons. More often than not, both are present at the same time.
There are a few theories as to why cranial osteopathy helps children sleep. One theory is that it helps to relieve tension in the body, which can lead to a better night’s sleep. Another theory is that cranial osteopathy can help to improve the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid, which can also help to promote better sleep.
The goal of a cranial osteopath is to remove this residual tension left in the body of a baby as a result of birth, or during pregnancy, allowing the headache to ease and the feeling of pressure to disappear, enabling the baby to relax and sleep.
Babies often respond extremely fast to osteopathic treatment, falling asleep during treatment and sleeping through that same night.
Whatever the reason, it seems that cranial osteopathy can be a helpful treatment for children who have difficulty sleeping. If you’re considering cranial osteopathy for your child, you should discuss it with your doctor or osteopath.