A pediatric osteopathic physician’s hands are feeling hands; they are monitoring hands. They are not pushing things around. They are monitoring how that mechanism inside is working and how we can help the body to permit it to release areas of restriction.
The temporal bone, that bone which I mentioned as carrying the ear, may also be compressed because it is very close to the occipital area. It is not unknown to find that the baby has its first ear infection at a few weeks of age. When that is so, then it suggests that the problem may have arisen from the trauma of birth. When that mechanism begins to move freely, then the child recovers from the recurrent infections.
When the head is compressed from the front backwards, this is a compressive force, which we will find particularly in the baby who was reversed in the birth canal. It was a posterior occiput rather than an anterior one. This sort of compression jams the skull at the center of its base, creating many problems that later may manifest as autism, seizures, or even cerebral palsy.
At birth, the occiput is not just one bone as it is in the adult. In the infant, the occiput is four bones because it is not yet fully developed. That large hole of the foramen magnum, through which the brain stem passes, is circled by developing parts of the occiput. The area of the base of the skull that becomes compressed is the area we are primarily concerned with in our small babies. The problems we find there may continue and cause difficulties later in life.
“Osteopathy teaches us that life is always in motion. Life is always getting better, or it is getting worse. What we do in the process of a treatment is just like unlocking the door so that now those who are inside can move around. We have permitted progress to occur, and with this progress we see results in the child’s life.”
Viola Frymann, DO, FCA, FAAO
The sooner you treat the baby the easier it is, but you never say "there is nothing that can be done." No matter how much or how little progress is made, progress is worthwhile.
Osteopathy teaches us that life is always in motion. Life is always getting better, or it is getting worse. We may work for an intensive period to get over the major problem in the child, then we may not work as frequently.
What we do in the process of a treatment is just like unlocking the door so that now those who are inside can move around. We have permitted progress to occur, and with this progress we see results in the child’s life.