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Thoughts on cranial osteopathy for infants? ,

(24 Posts)
misshoohaa Wed 03-Aug-11 07:19:18

Hi all,
My 7 week old little boy is a ridiculously light sleeper, struggling to nap properly in the day or to sleep well at night. He's very happy, not colicy or a baby who cries but I would like to see if anyone has had any success with osteopathy as ive read it can help light sleepers. His birth was quite long. Pushing for 3.5 hours and huge coming of his head at a funny angle so was told he was in the birth canal at a funny position and lucky we didn't have intervention. Thanks!

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Aug-11 07:25:21

I found it very helpful for DS. He had an issue with his right arm being tucked up alongside him all the time, and was very reluctant to have it straightened, plus a large bump in the middle of his forehead, frequent hiccups and light sleep. He had a few sessions and it was well worth it - improved everything.

misshoohaa Wed 03-Aug-11 07:28:37

That should read 'huge coning of the head' iPhone mistake!

CharlotteBronteSaurus Wed 03-Aug-11 07:32:02

people report anecdotally that it works
there's no research to support this though

and anecdotally we took dd1 (v.unsettled, ventouse delivery due to weirdy presentation) and it did bugger all.

Polarmonkey Wed 03-Aug-11 07:35:38

I went with DS2 as his head was flattening on the left hand side. Proved to be an expensive waste of time: £40 for 30 minutes, 10 sessions and zero difference. I know you're going for another issue so may be different for you.

peggotty Wed 03-Aug-11 07:40:14

I took ds because he was a whingy, unsettled baby who didn't sleep, thinking it would help. Had read lots about it virtually being a miracle cure (on MN). Turns out he was just a whingy, unsettled baby!! He grew out of it and started sleeping better when he was about a year old.

allthefires Wed 03-Aug-11 16:00:38

I love it. Even the health visitor I mentioned it to wasn't dismissive of it as she said children aren't likely have placebo effects.

Some people diss it but I say it's worth a try if the osteopath thinks they can help you.

I'm booking in my expectant baby for one month after due date just to be checked over. Both myself, dp, and ds have had it for various things. Amazing

Primafacie Wed 03-Aug-11 17:53:15

Allthefires, research shows children and even animals have placebo effect, in fact some research suggests that the placebo effect is doubled in children.

allthefires Wed 03-Aug-11 17:57:18

Well it's worked for us and I was cynical.

Primafacie Wed 03-Aug-11 18:38:45

That is all that matters!

Re. being cynical and it still working - I remember reading a study a few years back where the subjects were being told they were receiving a placebo, and yet they still felt the PE. It is quite a mysterious thing - but at the end of the day, it is the result that counts - not how it is achieved. Glad it worked for you.

misshoohaa Wed 03-Aug-11 20:22:27

Think I might give it a go, it can't hurt anything but the bank balance and the bonus is there is a clinic just round the corner. grin

PerryCombover Wed 03-Aug-11 20:23:11

quack quack quackery

mummyosaurus Wed 03-Aug-11 20:28:18

Helped loads with my DD, who was a back to back labour and did not turn.

I'd say give it a try.

DBennett Wed 03-Aug-11 20:54:56

It's not just that there is no evidence to support it.

It supposedly uses biologically implausible mechanisms.
It supposedly measures things which have no pathogenic ability.
There is plenty of evidence which points towards it having only non-specific effects (placebo and others).
Practitioners have been shown not to agree with each other better than random chance.

And, it has health risks.
Specifically, cranial and soft tissue trauma.

Here is a plain text open access report for further details.

Laurale31 Wed 03-Aug-11 21:25:35

We are I the process of having cranial osteopath on my ds, had 2 sessions and back next week again, my son has reflux, poor weight gain, poor feeding. Poor sleeping, his head is flat on one side too. Hes under paediatrician and dietician but getting nowhere so I thought I'd give it a go, after 2 sessions his head has changed shape dramatically, his sucking reflex has got much stronger but that's all iv noticed so far, thought I was imagining the results because I wanted it to happen if that makes sense - but I waited and never mentioned it to anyone and a few family members have noticed a big difference in his head shape, I was hoping for a miracle but feeling slightly let down that I havent noticed a difference in any of his other problems, going to the next session with fingers crossed x

Thumbwitch Thu 04-Aug-11 00:17:08

DBEnnett. Do not confuse cranial osteopathy with normal osteopathy. There is no way cranial or soft tissue trauma could result from the extremely gentle movements that take place in cranial osteopathy. There is no bone cracking, there are no sudden jerky movements therefore no damage could possibly occur (and it's bloody rare in normal osteopathy as well).

DBennett Thu 04-Aug-11 00:37:34

I don't believe I did.

Nor do I believe that the authors of the report I previously linked were confused.

Or indeed, the authors here where they found the harm rate as high as 5% in that patient group.

I didn't say the adverse effects were common.
I said they existed.

Thumbwitch Thu 04-Aug-11 00:51:40

The report you link to is about craniosacral therapy, not cranial osteopathy. I appreciate that it is a fine distinction but there is one - and babies should see a cranial osteopath, not a craniosacral therapist, the former having far more extensive training than the latter.

Snarfle Thu 04-Aug-11 09:14:35

We took ds to cranial osteopath at a few months. Had long labour with VT and he was a bad sleeper, difficult to setlle. It may have been coincidence (we'll never know) but after the visit he seemed calmer and would lie in his pram awake and not cry - miracle!!!! He went 3 times before he was 5 months and I will be taking hin back at approx 7 months and then 1 year.
hope that helps

DBennett Fri 05-Aug-11 00:14:05


The fine distinction you link to seems to involve a difference in therapeutic philosophy than any difference in the types and forms of touch used.

This lack of clear definition and precise terminology is dealt with in the report I linked to.
They don't ignore it.

They choose to get round it by looking at all the literature.
No version of this therapy was excluded.

And yet, even with such a broad base to work with they were still left with proposals of implausible mechanisms, invalidated diagnostic patterns and no specific effects in studies appropriate to detect them.

I'd also point out that the risk data that which I linked to, is from those who are practitioners and educators from the osteopathic tradition.

You seem convinced they would be safer.
In which case, I dread to think what the risks are like with non-osteopathic therapists like the individual you linked to.

bruxeur Fri 05-Aug-11 00:19:36

Pretendy McQuack Bollocks. He was the L Ron Hubbard of osteopathy, you know. Of course it's sad that a once fine name now has an alternative meaning, but that is the sad cost of being a made-up pioneer.

bruffin Fri 05-Aug-11 00:31:21

"people report anecdotally that it works
there's no research to support this though"

Even the cranial osteopath I saw makes no claims that it works!

He told us a story about a child with gigantism who had never spoken. He has been booked in for an appointment on Tuesday. Tuesday came and the mum cancelled. Tuesday night the child spoke his first words, now if the appointment had gone ahead the parents would probably have thought that the cranial osteopath was the reason the child had spoken, but it would have just been a coincidence.

Laurale31 Fri 05-Aug-11 07:52:21

Its like lots of other things though that may have worked/ may have been coincidence - I spent a wee fortune in reflexology on myself when overdue baby , lots of folk says it can make u go into labour, I it didn't work for me, same with a membrane sweep, did nothing,
I decided with cranial osteopath I was desperate enough to try something that may work, if it doesn't then iv wasted my money , but I'd rather have wasted my money than never have took the chance, x

holyShmoley Fri 05-Aug-11 15:08:24

one of our DTD's went, she did sleep much better afterwards (similar to baby massage), but it had no discernible effects, unlike the physiotherapist.

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