Has anyone used a cranial osteopath?

(47 Posts)
LostAndNeverFound Thu 23-May-13 04:04:36

What was your experience like? Did it work or was it a waste of money?

My 6 week old doesn't settle in the day, he struggles with sleep and is never settled. I can't put him down when he's awake because he just screams. Night times are good though and he generally sleeps really well. He's exclusively breastfed.

LuisGarcia Thu 23-May-13 04:17:18

Save your money for something real. You'll need it.

Longdistance Thu 23-May-13 05:57:26

I've had it done on dd2. We only need two sessions, and dd had colic real bad. Was terrible in the evenings to settle. She was fine after two sessions.
Some people say its all 'woo', but my mw and bf councillor recommended I take dd. I thought, why not, and she was a great sleeper after that too, and still is.

notfluffy Thu 23-May-13 06:21:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 23-May-13 06:29:26

Chiropody = trimming toenails and putting nice cream on ime.
Maybe you're thinking of chiropractic smile.

I've never understood either technique as more woo than the other.
I don't like the bone-crunching they do as I think it's potentially damaging, but the cranial style is very gentle.

6 weeks' treatment had no effect on a tiny DS1 when he wouldn't sleep.
I'm currently seeing one but so far the only 'result' has been more neck/shoulder pain! I'm hoping it's my body responding to shifts and it'll sort itself out, but my opinion on cranial is undecided atm.

QTPie Thu 23-May-13 08:29:40

We used one as a "belt and braces" measure (DS was breech). He had two appointments (2 days old and 2 weeks old): he was a great feeder and sleeper, but don't know if that was down to the osteopathy...

If he is sleeping well at night, then you are unlikely to have much of a problem: from my and friends experience, babies are notoriously a lot worse to settle for naps during the day. DS was 6 months before we sorted it out and I had walked a LOT of miles with the pram by then!!! Even at 6 months, he napped bye pushing him backwards and forwards in the pushchair... We didn't manage to settle in the cot until 14 months!

If you have the spare money, the cranial osteopathy is worth doing, but it may very well not be a cute for this problem.

QTPie Thu 23-May-13 08:30:31

(DS DID settle at night, just not daytime naps)

Kafri Thu 23-May-13 09:17:47

I used one when ds was 10/11 weeks as I had tried EVERYTHING else.

DS was colicky and eould scream endlessly and this went on from birth through to gradually easing off at 14/15 weeks. he has reflux and had lots of trouble with wind and was a very unhappy little man in thos early days.
I tried allsorts suggested by various people both in RL and on MN and eventually the only thing left was CO.

did it make a difference? it did seem to do something but not enough for me to be completely convinced about it. the guy I saw didn't charge me and in all honesty I think id have been a little put out if he had charged me for what difference I did see so that tells me I don't think it did much.

hes on meds and milk now for his reflux but even at 5m hes still a whiny baby and the last 2 days have been atrocious and feel like were back at 8w sad

notfluffy Thu 23-May-13 09:44:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 23-May-13 09:52:33

I did it with ds out of desperation when he was about 6 weeks. He was really colicky and unsettled. It did make a huge difference, he came home and slept through the night, and was really chilled out after that. Admittedly that was the only time he slept through until he was about 11 months, but at least the fact that he was a lot happier made it easier to deal with.

valiumredhead Thu 23-May-13 11:17:30

Yes, I have used one many times and she was brilliant.

I have seen little babies coming out of the clinic so chilled and wide eyed after a session, it's amazing smile

I went when I had such bad back pain I could hardly move and was fine after the treatment. Also when I had sinusitis head aches - again with fantastic results.

GingerDoodle Thu 23-May-13 13:28:55

DD was born with a kink in her neck - I suspected something from very early on but midwife, doctor and hv all dismissed it.

Just before 3 months, i did some research online, found a local osteo and spoke to her on the phone - she gave me some tests I could do and we decided to take her in.

We had one session and DD was turning her head both way for the first time ever by the end of it. I admit I don't fully understand all of what she did but its very very gentle and non-invasive - DD was happy throughout.

We didn't go back for the follow up as sling use, enforced tummy time and exercises did the trick. £50 well spent.

LostAndNeverFound Thu 23-May-13 14:33:37

Thanks for your replies, interesting to hear everyone's stories. It looks like it works for some but not others.

I think I'm going to give it another few weeks and see how we go. Today I gave him a dummy and he's settled amazingly for his naps, no screaming! He's currently fast asleep in his moses basket where he's been for 2 hours, that's unheard of!

QT I think you're right, I think I need to just give it time in the day to get his napping sorted and try and look for his sleep signals so he doesn't get overtired.

The only thing I don't think I can do anything about is the car, he hates it. Screams from the second it starts moving until I take the car seat out when he'll start calming down and stop. My other two loved the car, he's the only baby I know that hates the car! Anyone got any tips on this?

silverangel Thu 23-May-13 18:30:05

I went to an osteo when my back gave up when I was pregnant, she kept me mobile but is that not very different to a cranial osteo - I thought they didn't do actual manipulation? No experience, just interested...

TallGiraffe Thu 23-May-13 18:36:57

Yes yes yes! It has transformed our lives. We had a total sleep refuser, who after 2 treatments now sleeps. He has gone from waking every hour to sleeping 10 hours in a stretch. Best money we have ever spent.

I've just started taking my 3 year old to an osteopath. Osteopathy isn't remotely woo (& I'm a total wooer)! Surprised some think it is. I wish I had taken him when he was a baby. I have seen big improvements since going (behaviour related).

munchkinmaster Thu 23-May-13 18:45:08

No statutory regulation
No training in paediatric anatomy
Claims to 'cure' autism and ADHD
No thanks

Seriously, the soft plates in a newborns head are extremely different from the fused hard adult skull.

cathers Thu 23-May-13 18:59:02

Just to clarify osteopaths DO have statutory training. A minimum 4/5 year degree, first two years of which are the same as medical doctors, last 3 years spent in osteopathic practice. To practice, we need to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council. Do not use one who is not. There is evidence to osteopathy can help with back pain.

Cranial Osteopaths can be osteopaths who have done post grad training in this field. So again, look for a GOC registered osteopath who has done post grad work in cranial. The title osteopath is protected. Unfortunately, the title 'Cranial Osteopath' is not, therefore may attract charlatans or other 'therapists' trading under this name.

munchkinmaster Thu 23-May-13 22:38:02

Sorry cathers I did mean cranial osteopaths. I think the confusion between the two is part of the problem.

I've just got a bee in my bonnet as they tend to advertise at yoga places and there are always posters claiming they will cure ADHD, asd, low iq, dyslexia, you name it. It's just taking advantage of people.

I used one for dd who had brachycephaly. I could see her head shape improving before my eyes, and the difference in her behaviour too. I remember taking her one day when she was really grumpy and clingy - she came out a completely different baby. I've been to the clinic in Wandsworth(2 years ago) - minimum donation of £25.

NoWayNoHow Thu 23-May-13 23:42:09

We used one for DS - traumatic birth, he screamed and screamed and screamed non stop for 8 weeks, wouldn't settle during the day (but like your baby, slept well at night). He used to jerk himself awake during the day as well and hated lying down. Also exclusively BF.

DH and I were literally in tears all day at one stage because we just couldn't cope any more.

After just one session of cranial osteopathy, he was a COMPLETELY different child. It was like he'd been swapped in the middle of the night. We did a few more and they said he had recol compression from the ventouse delivery. He'd basically lived 8 weeks with a splitting headache.

If you think that there's even a small chance tthe it will work, don't wait. Cranial osteopathy can do no harm at all, but it can also work miracles - there's nothing to lose...

janey223 Thu 23-May-13 23:46:12

Like notflyffy DS had a very traumatic birth and difficult first few months and we went to the osteopathic centre for children too. If you're near South London they are fantastic, although I think they may now have a second base somewhere else in London.

TheYoniWayisGerard Thu 23-May-13 23:48:28

DD had awful colic and reflux. Went to one out of desperation. Total waste of £70. She was calm for a couple of hours, but that was it. I could have saved money and just taken her for a walk.

munchkinmaster Fri 24-May-13 06:40:13

Except if you go pressing on soft babies skulls you can cause harm. I'm actually worried by someone seeing thier baby's head shape change.

BikeRunSki Fri 24-May-13 07:06:22

DD is seeing one at the moment. She is 19 months old and has never slept for more than a few hours at once. Waking several times in the night was killing me sad. She had a traumatic birth and was born by crash c section. Several people suggested cranial osteopathy (the explanation didn't sound too hippy doo-dah) to me. Three sessions in she sleeps like a log.

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 24-May-13 07:57:04

Have you got any evidence that it actually causes harm please munchkin?

CoteDAzur Fri 24-May-13 08:09:58

If someone manipulated my baby's soft skull and she became placid or more sleepy, I would be very worried.

NoWayNoHow Fri 24-May-13 08:17:27

Good grief, what a load of hysterical nonsense. Do you research, understand the practice and its uses before you clutch your pearls. Because I'm sure the UK and all its Health and Safety, codes and practices are missing this massive movement of thousands of terrifying baby-head-shape-changers... hmm

This kind of ill-informed reactionary stance properly winds me up on a Friday morning.

NoWayNoHow Fri 24-May-13 08:20:27

Oh, and it's 5 years since DS's treatment - I am more than happy to let any of you have him for the weekend so you can see how "placid" he is. <exhausted emoticon>

nellyjelly Fri 24-May-13 08:29:37

Not much evidence base for c o. www.badscience.net/2004/09/cranial-osteopathy/

However if it works go for it. I am a rationalist so bit sceptical but each to their own!

CoteDAzur Fri 24-May-13 09:19:38

"Understand the practice" grin

Does anyone, really? Cranial osteopath claims to somehow feel a subtle rhythm from within the fluid around the brain, and "adjusts" it... How exactly?

There is very little evidence for it and quite a bit against it. There is no plausible biological mechanism by which it would work. It's practitioners claim to feel a pulse but when asked to write down its frequency (on the same person), they give wildly different figures. Systematic reviews in 1999 & 2012, not to mention several studies in between, found "insufficient scientific evidence to recommend" it and scientific community considers it quackery.

Would you say I need to read the dubious websites you get your info from do more research? wink

LostAndNeverFound Fri 24-May-13 10:03:26

Interesting. Seems I've started bit of a debate grin.

To be honest I have no idea how it works, my sister in law recommended it as she used it for her three when they were babies. My sister however did it for her baby on SIL's recommendation and it did naff all.

Although it does seem a bit dubious to be messing with a baby's skull. They seem so delicate.

Think I'll do a bit of research!

TallGiraffe Fri 24-May-13 10:07:20

But sometimes you don't need to know how it works to see that it does work. I accept it doesn't work for everyone. But I know that it has worked for us.

DS might be clever, but I'm pretty sure he's not bright enough at 7mo for a placebo effect grin

notfluffy Fri 24-May-13 10:41:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Fri 24-May-13 11:02:19

It's nonsense.
I went with my twins on recommendations that it was life changing stuff.
Handed over my money and watched the baby get a bit of a massage.

The lady that did it had some time off and the next appointment was filled by a young french guy who was supposed to be AMAZING (her words).
He did a lot of eye closing and deep breathing while feeling the babies head and not a lot else really. I had to try hard not to laugh.

I used to be quite alternative in my choices, that experience seemed to wake me up a bit though.
Save your money.

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Fri 24-May-13 11:04:12

Oh, it made zero difference to the babies.

munchkinmaster Fri 24-May-13 12:09:00

Unfortunately I do have some experience of harm but related to work so can't discuss here.

notfluffy Fri 24-May-13 12:15:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 24-May-13 13:58:17

I know theres evidence out there that says it doesn't work, but I have not come across anything that says its harmful. Despite the evidence saying it doesn't work, it did work for us. Its like the arnica debate where its said that arnica has little or no active ingredient and therefore doesn't work. But I think arnica is bloody brilliant at reducing bruising.

If there no evidence to say CO causes harm, and I haven't seen any <although happy to be corrected with linkys to research>, then I cant see the problem. Some might argue it doesn't work, some say it didn't work for them, some <like myself> say it can work. My 6 week old was too young for the placebo effect, and he was a lot happier after. But each to their own, innit.

Ds4 (8weeks) has had 3 sessions. Took him because he was very unsettled in the evenings, crying inconsolably and not settling despite being very content during the day and sleeping brilliantly at night.
After the first session the colicky behaviour stopped and he was awake but happy in the 7-10pm slot. After the second he started settling by 8pm. Just a much happier baby in the evenings.

munchkinmaster Fri 24-May-13 16:15:28

But parents are not too young for the placebo effect and babies do tend to settle down themselves over time.

I see your argument that you can have a go, see if it works. But some people are investing cash and energy they can't spare.

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 24-May-13 18:49:03

People are more than capable of deciding whether they can afford to take the risk or not. No one is twisting their arm behind their back and forcing them to go. The best they can do is see other peoples experiences and weigh up if its worth the risk or not.

LynetteScavo Fri 24-May-13 19:03:28

I put of taking DS1 until he was 2.5yo. I wish I'd taken him when he was new born.

Finding the right practitioner is important, but good ones can do amazing things.

However, OP, I think not wanting to be put down at 6 weeks old is quite normal. Do you swaddle him?

LostAndNeverFound Fri 24-May-13 22:30:32

Lynette - I tried swaddling as my girls loved it, he wasn't impressed! On Wednesday I gave him a dummy when he looked tired and lo and behold he drifted off peacefully! So now we're in a feed, awake for 20-30 mins, give dummy, sleep until next feed routine. So at the moment that works for us. Night times are still really good. When he's awake I can't put him down so we just sit and talk about world until he gets tired smile. That's good enough for me at the moment. I think he was so unsettled because he could easily be awake for over an hour but then get overtired hence the screaming!

It really is interesting hearing people's views, I didn't realise it was a slightly controversial subject, I knew nothing about it.

munchkinmaster Fri 24-May-13 23:09:29

chaos my point was not so much about small babies but the parents of children with disabilities and neuro-developmental conditions which COs may claim to 'cure.' I've met lots of people in this position who turn to alternative methods such as CO in desperation. They get sucked in, spending more and more time and money when they could be using both resources much more positively. Some people may feel better or gain placebo effect but many more get stuck in a negative cycle of trying for a little longer. I really think it is abhorrent to peddle a cure for something like asd or global learning disability.

I actually don't really worry on a day to day basis about cranial osteopaths. It's not like I lie awake at night seething over this..... It's just another view, my view from personal and proffesional experience of the bigger picture.

I'm off now as I think I'm going on a bit and boring even myself.

TheChaoGoesMu Fri 24-May-13 23:24:15

I'm not sure if they claim to cure it as such as a rule, but its possible there are unqualified charlatans out there who might peddle it as a cure. I don't know, my experience of CO stops at the colicky baby.

lagoonhaze Fri 24-May-13 23:32:24

I love mine. Shes amazing. The whole family use her.

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