I had a new experience with a newborn's nose and it gave me new insight into the value of treating babies early in life. A mother who trusted me with her firstborn brought her second baby to me. Nasal congestion was his primary symptom. The mother, a midwife, shared detailed insights into her difficult labor: After 31 hours, the labor wasn't progressing. The baby was stuck in the birth canal and his head was compromised, so she was told she'd need a C-section. Left alone, she cried for 20 minutes, letting herself feel just how scared she was. By the time the medical staff returned, the baby had turned and she delivered vaginally, to her delight and relief.
This mother’s communication with her baby -- sharing her fear -- helped the baby understand the need to move into position for birth. When the mother brought her baby to me, he was “communicating” via nasal congestion. Congestion was a problem from day one. She brought him in at 5 weeks, and I worked on his nose and face. In this first session, baby J's nose became visibly longer. We could both see a difference during the session. We could tell what part of the face was jammed during labor.
When I first touch someone's head, whether baby or adult, I feel a “strain pattern.” The bones of the skull are meant to be in subtle motion, expanding in relation to each other like ribs during breathing, and a strain pattern is a restriction of that motion. My job is to investigate the pattern, allow it to express itself, and help the body make healthy adjustments. As I worked on this baby, I could feel his head turning and the strain pattern made total sense. He came out of a twist and I could feel the bones around his jaw and ears tighten up, then normalize. I felt him reliving the portion of birth where he got stuck, then heard his mother’s need and moved into position.
This was an incredibly powerful session. I was holding something – an energy, an aliveness – beyond words. I was working with tiny bones, including the nasal bone – incredibly small. I felt his body remembering his birth while he carried movements out to completion, then back into a neutral, balanced state. He may have to repeat another portion of his birth experience in his next session, and now I know what to listen for and what to follow. This new little person is instructing me in healing him -- just as his mom’s tears instructed him to move.
More often than not, I can find a solution for the symptoms a baby is experiencing. Snorting or labored breathing is not “normal,” it will not “just go away” or be “grown out of.” As long as it lasts it will interfere with soothing and therefore whole-family happiness and I can deal with it gently. Though it is merely a symptom arising from his birth, his nose clearly needed and responded to the work, and his breathing is now easier.
There are solutions for problems a baby is experiencing. In CranioSacral Healing, we create lasting healthy patterns for babies. And I get to help a mother come into the place where she can trust her intuition fully and relax into loving care.