Craniosacral for Constipation

craniosacral.jpgToday, Kristin recommends craniosacral therapy for kiddie constipation relief:

“If you told me 20 years ago - in my riot girl days of bartending, dancing for two companies, traveling through Europe, etc., etc. that one of the main conversations in my life would be about poop, I would have laughed hysterically in your face. And now, here I am, deeply entrenched in poop (or lack thereof) talk.
When my second kid, Jacoby, was born, he seemed to be sporting a bit of a San Tropez tan. In other words, jaundice. Luckily, unlike my first child Robert, he did not need the endless amounts of light therapy that helped Robert heal faster. What he did need was a never-ending supply of breast milk. And with all this nursing came diaper after diaper of poop. It was non-stop for about two weeks. I think we plowed through a case of 96 diapers in about a week. And the color...well, it was kind of nuclear green. I would change him and BLAM, in the middle of it all, Jake would be flexing and grunting away as I rushed to get another diaper under his tush to catch it. Then one day, it all came to a screeching halt. No more cute grunting, no more changing diaper after diaper, and no more sharing with my husband the lurid details. After about a week I came to realize, our son was constipated.

Constipated! What to do? I have heard some scary stories from parents about the lengths they have gone to help relieve their child, but personally, "manual extraction" was just not going to happen. So, we tried everything else. We started with the usual prune juice. That worked for a few days but then, nothing. From there we switched to apple juice, with the same results. Then massage, olive oil, mineral oil, you name it. The doctor believed that his system was just immature and that in time, especially when he started solids, things would get moving, so to speak. But my baby was suffering with serious gas and cramping. So I turned to more drastic measures: suppositories and medication in a bottle once a night.

Now here's the thing with suppositories. Not only are they a drag to "install," but your baby can get used to them. We only turned to them if there was no action after 4 days or so. Then there was the laxative prescribed by our doctor. We were to give him one small dose in a bottle of breast milk or formula prior to bedtime, which also worked for a short period of time before Jacoby developed immunity to that as well. Basically, we were stuck between a rock and a hard place. More drugs? Move on to testing? Now what? After careful consideration, my husband and I decided to take this matter to an organic place. Holistic care.

Enter miracle worker Barbara May, a truly gifted massage and craniosacral therapist at Partners in Healing in Arlington. I explained what was going on with our son and she immediately recommended a craniosacral adjustment for him. I knew what this type of bodywork entailed because I had received numerous adjustments when I was a dancer. In layman's terms, during craniosacral you lie on a table in a very relaxed environment; the room is usually dimly lit and quiet. The therapist places his or her hands in a variety of spots on your body and very gently "moves things around." It's just light touch and does not hurt AT ALL. When you are finished, you feel great. That's it. (For the non-layman’s version, read the full description here.) Anyhow, after discussing the situation with Barbara, I made an appointment for Jake, hoping this was the answer.

We arrived at her office on Mass. Ave. in Arlington, where Barbara had her table dressed in fresh sheets and the lights were dimmed. It was very quiet. She took a few minutes to just observe Jake and allow him to get used to the idea that this stranger was going to be handling him for the next 30 minutes or so. She is a very soft-spoken woman, so he warmed up to her right away. Barbara informed me that there was no need for me to undress him, so I kept him in his snugly pajamas. I laid him on his back and Barbara got to work. She placed one hand primarily under his tush while the other hand remained on the lower abdomen and pelvic area. At first, Jake was a little hesitant and let out a whine here and there. So I made him a bottle and was able to feed him throughout the session. This seemed to calm him down. At one point I thought he was going to fall asleep as she cupped his head in her hands. Then, as Barbara moved her hands back to Jake's stomach, he quickly opened his eyes, and turned bright red. Pushing and grunting with all his might, he made the biggest BM of his life. Then he smiled and relaxed. I changed his diaper, then Barbara continued on for about 40 minutes and Jake pooped again! I couldn't believe it; twice in a matter of 50 minutes. Before I knew it, the session was over, and it only cost me $50! Barbara said he might need one more session but that it was highly unlikely. And she was right.

Since our visit two months ago, Jake has been going every day, ever since. In the first few days following the session he actually went a lot (about 3 times a day), catching up I suppose. It is a huge relief to have him back on track and comfortable and I am a firm believer in this practice; it truly did work for us.

If you visit Barbara, tell her Kristin sent you for the poop reliever special. She'll know who I am!”

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Barbara May at Partners in Healing, 1025 Mass. Ave., Arlington; Tel: 781-641-3911

Image credit: Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America