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Risks/downsides of cranial osteopathy?

(33 Posts)
Mafiti Thu 14-Mar-13 11:29:40

Ann Dobson treated my DD (6 weeks) for posterior tongue tie and says there is more going on, we should do CO. trusted BF counsellor says she saw no obvious reasons why CO would be necessary (but didnt say not to do it) is anyone aware of any significant risks? My partner is worried it could do more harm than good.

We've had feeding problems from the beginning, bad latch, sore nipples, unsettled baby, very unhappy in Moses basket, lots of wriggling as if she's trying to get fart/poo out but no obvious signs of relief when she does.

JacqueslePeacock Sun 31-Mar-13 19:11:14

Some use their intuition/intentions instead of their hands? Now I'm utterly baffled confused

minipie Sun 31-Mar-13 18:26:41


JacqueslePeacock Sun 31-Mar-13 13:21:43

Some use their intentions? What on earth does this mean?

McChris Fri 29-Mar-13 23:17:05

The thing with CO is the practitioner. Some Osteopaths see it as a structural treatment where they are trying to move things around with their finger tips and some use their intentions, which I believe is the right path for CO. It has nothing to do with conventional manual therapies, where they try to crack the bones of the spine. I cannot say there are good and there are bad CO, maybe with time they can understand the whole idea/philosophy behind it. But CO is all about intention of the Osteopath and how receptive the parents and DD are. CO more deep, linked to our consciousness and quantum mechanics play a part, if practiced as it was meant to.

Mafiti Thu 21-Mar-13 22:08:45

Thanks, everyone. We went ahead with the co. first session didn't seem to do anything and i wasnt sure about the osteopath. went for a second session with Ania in Hanwell following lots of recommendations. i really like her and During the second session, DD got her suck back. Latch still isn't quite right and not sure co will help - she has tension in her jaw apparently, but who knows. we,re having another session on Saturday, so it definitely is a drain in the finances at least!

Peagle Tue 19-Mar-13 21:03:04

Took DD to CO from 6 weeks and got our last session next week. I can not recommend it enough. DD had a stuff neck which meant she could only turn her head one way and cause her to have quite a flat head.
She loves the sessions and always comes back very relaxed and chilled. She also has a perfectly round head now!

minipie Tue 19-Mar-13 20:52:31

I think these stories demonstrate that there are good COs and bad COs - same as any other kind of practitioner.

I was quite sceptical about the whole thing but went anyway and 3 sessions later DD was a different baby - she went from a somewhat manic, frantic baby who wouldn't ever sleep and wriggled constantly, to a chilled baby whose body felt relaxed and who would fall asleep feeding. Her feeds also improved drastically. This was not at 6 weeks, it was a lot later so can't be put down to her becoming naturally more settled at that time (she didn't).

I can recommend a CO based on SW London who specialises in babies and children if that is close to you. I would definitely try to find someone who specialises in babies.

sahmbles Tue 19-Mar-13 15:12:45

Fortunately our DD didn't have craniosynostosis; she had just managed to get a bit squashed inside me. She did have a distinct ridge across the front of her head, which made the local paediatrician suspect craniosynostosis and refer us to GOSH.

So glad that we saw the experts as it really put our minds at rest - whereas the CO comments about overlapped skull bones put huge amounts of fear into us.

I have no confidence that the CO would have been able to tell if it was craniosynostosis (his "diagnosis" was certainly wrong), and I think you are right that relying on COs, instead of those with medical training and state of the art equipment, could potentially be dangerous.

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 15:02:14

Obviously I'm sorry I misread, not sorry your child is healthy
<gives up>.

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 15:01:16

Sorry your child doesn't have synostosis (fused skull which can show by a cone shaped head). Still co didn't know that.

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 14:59:21

That's what's so worrisome shambles. Your daughter may have mild synostosis (or not) but some kids lives could be at risk from raised pressure in side the brain. If parents listen to an ill informed co consequences could be awful. The very idea that they thought they could fix a fused skull via manipulating it shows a real lack of knowledge of the basic anatomy of the skull.

sahmbles Tue 19-Mar-13 12:24:50

We took DD for CO as she was born with a very cone-shaped head that did not self-correct. The CO told us that her skull bones were still overlapped and would take many sessions to gradually be corrected.

Meanwhile, we also went down the conventional medical route and were referred to Great Ormond Street hospital, where an MRI scan categorically demonstrated that the CO was talking rubbish.

In my opinion, it's all woo and a waste of time and money. DD hated the sessions, too hmm.

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 02:37:04

Hmm. I'd marked place while I dealt with baby. I'm aware of a case where co was implicated in a childhood brain injury. As far as I know co are trained in adult anatomy etc and it may be that applying such knowledge to the very different anatomy of a child/baby is the problem. Sorry not to give more details but know about child via work and shouldn't be chatting online about details.

Who is ann Dobson?

DaleingtonModelActorEgo Tue 19-Mar-13 02:30:28

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DaleingtonModelActorEgo Tue 19-Mar-13 02:30:05

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munchkinmaster Tue 19-Mar-13 02:28:41


JacqueslePeacock Tue 19-Mar-13 02:23:59

Hmmm...I doubt cranial osteopathy will be much use for that, sorry.

DaleingtonModelActorEgo Tue 19-Mar-13 02:18:28

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wombatcheese Tue 19-Mar-13 02:03:42

Cranial osteopathy has no positive trials proving any effect whatsoever. They claim to 'realign the skull plates', which shifting bones around a newborn's brain sounds terrifying. Fortunately, as other posters has said, they are v gentle and don't actually do anything.
Nobody can confidentially say CO 'cured'/ improved feeding, temperament or sleeping for their baby as you can't say that it wouldn't have just improved with time anyway.
CO often want to see babies at about 6weeks, interestingly coinciding with when babies become more settled usually anyway. Their 'training' involves learning some real and some made-up anatomy, so I would not trust it with a barge pole- probably safe (although I do know a case of a newborn becoming paralysed after it), but complete waste of money.

SweetPea99 Mon 18-Mar-13 20:11:05

After feeding my 1st baby with no problems at all, I really struggled with my 2nd - cracked and bleeding nipples, a very poor latch - sometimes I would be trying to get him to latch about 20 times, and he wasn't putting on weight very quickly. I tried to explain to people that it was as though he couldn't open his mouth wide enough to get my nipple in. NCT counsellors suggested cranial osteopathy, and after one session, he was a whole new baby, no probloem latching at all. He was about 10 days old at the time, the osteopath thought he had probably been in an awkward position, and then I remembered that the surgeon (c-section) said he was squashed into my pelvis and had no chance of coming out naturally. Not woo. I suggest that it depends on the osteopath and you should only use one you have used yourself or had personal recommendations for.

JacqueslePeacock Sat 16-Mar-13 23:47:47

Ann Dobson recommended we see one too, also after posterior tongue tie. It was a complete waste of time and money. She didn't seem willing to take no for an answer though, so we gave in and tried it despite thinking it would be a load of woo. But lo and behold, it was a load of woo. Next thing we knew we were getting weird advice from the osteopath on what to feed/not to feed our baby when weaning and lots of other stuff which had bugger all to do with tongue tie/osteopathy. Not recommended.

Posterofapombear Sat 16-Mar-13 21:10:38

I have no 'woo' tendencies at all but DD and I had a traumatic birth and her face and neck were mangled.

3 sessions of CO over two weeks straightened out her face and gave her more mobility in her neck solving her feeding problems.

HV had referred her to hospital prior to CO because she was so concerned about her mobility

So you could lose money but you stand to gain more!

SuperDuperTrooper Sat 16-Mar-13 21:04:48

Cranial sacral therapy and cranial osteopathy are two different therapies.

Cranial osteopaths have trained as osteopaths and then gone on to further study of the cranial concept. Craniosacral therapists, by comparison, are not usually qualified osteopaths (although a significant number of craniosacral teachers are), but generally have more varied backgrounds.

There was no way I would have taken my DS to a cranialsacral therapist as they don't need any qualifications whereas osteopaths are fully licensed physicians.

I wasn't overly convinced it would help but when you are desperate to find a way of calming your very unsettled baby it gets to the point where you will give things a go you may ordinarily be sceptical about. I, for one, am glad I did!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 16-Mar-13 16:34:58

It carries no risk in the same way that homeopathy carries no risk. They don't actually do anything.

It's all a load of woo bollocks...

FredFredGeorge Sat 16-Mar-13 16:24:24

How can you be qualified and reputable though? It's not an actual medical technique with any evidence behind it, so there's no body to issue qualifications with any meaning?

It's also been implicated in deaths, e.g.

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