Download our leaflet on Working with Children at BCC
Our therapies aim to promote health in all, children are no exception. Bringing your child to see one of our osteopaths may well mean that their nervous system and structural development will be at its optimum. Just as you take your child to the dentist, bringing him or her to see one of our therapists is a good idea to encourage healthy growth and a happy child.
We all want a regulated nervous system as the nervous system controls everything. If the spine is not aligned as it should be, this will affect the nerves (or wiring) to the organs e.g. stomach or muscles and joints of the body.
If there is any kind of 'blockage' due to spinal misalignment or lesions/subluxations, then this may result in colic, ear infections, joint pains, problems sleeping, hyperactivity, ear infections, heartburn, allergies, asthma, frequent colds and flu, anxiety, bed wetting to name but a few.
We don't treat the disorders - rather we treat the whole child. Over the years, we have seen many children with problems from bedwetting, (we have helped boys and girls from ages 6 - 16), to children with migraine, those diagnosed with 'growing pains' to back pain. Children and teenagers are still being advised to go to bed which is rarely a good idea.
The solution may be simpler than you believe. The joy is that it is not going to cause any harm as our therapies work WITH the body to restore balance. Then, healing can take place. The body is so intelligent.
- If we give our bodies the right building tools: a good wholesome diet, fresh air and exercise, fun and laughter sufficient rest and sleep love and support and correct any problems with a non-invasive or listening therapy, the body will do what it needs to do.
Babies and children can be stressed with chemicals such as vaccinations, antibiotics and other medications given directly or consumed. Chemicals in junk or highly processed foords plus sugar, work against all of us.
They can also be stressed with the same stresses, we all encounter. That vaccination may have caused a great deal of fear in a baby or child, this means that the stress reaction is activated - fight, flight or freeze......
There will be protective muscle spasm in all these scenarios. Muscle spasm affects joints - the joints then don't move as they were designed to do. We then have interference in the nerve and blood supply in and out of that whole area.
Difficult births can mean that baby's alignment is not as it should be. Forceps and long protracted births do affect babies, particularly in the skull and neck bones. This can lead to very fussy babies who really aren't very happy at all. They may have difficulty breast feeding as their neck bones are not quite as they should be. They often have colic and reflux. These subluxations (where the bones are slightly out of position) may lead to structural problems which will affect their overall health later on.
Stress affects all ages. House moves, parents separating, deaths, challenges, money problems affect the whole family. Indeed, your stress will affect your baby, child or teenager.
We recommend massage and reflexology for babies at Brooks-Carter Clinic.
Our principle is to work with what is healthy and expand on that. Massage has been proven to be beneficial for premature babies. They grew faster than those children who didn’t have massage and then they did better at school. It puzzles me why babies are not systematically massaged!
You can learn to massage your baby! There are courses, let us know if you are interested.
Toddlers are forever falling and we have had amazing results with the frightening effects of falls. A 9 month old wee girl was brought in unable to move her shoulder. A and E had prescribed drugs and blamed 'teething'. 20 minutes of massage and she was using both arms! Yes, it was really as simple as that. Muscles hold tension from many sources and this can be helped, easily.
Preschool and school age children have lots to deal with. When they fall, they seem made of rubber but they can have misalignments as a result. They may complain of pain, headaches, sore tummies and other persisting signs and symptoms that may not make sense but may well respond to massage. A diagnosis of ‘growing pains’ never helps!
You, the parent, may feel that they are just not right – you are usually correct!
Our philosophy at Brooks-Carter Clinic is to treat individuals not signs and symptoms.
We respect that the body is a highly intelligent, self healing organism if it is allowed to do its job! We wouldn’t be here as a species if we didn’t have it. None of us decide when it is time to produce urine for example! The kidneys do that with unconscious instructions.
Subluxations in children can cause dis-ease in the body, just as they do in adults. When the nerve flow is interrupted, some part of the body will send or receive distorted messages to or from the brain. With such interference, the body cannot function at 100% of its potential. It cannot reach its optimum level of health.
Symptoms such as fever, stomach ache, sore throat, bed wetting, poor posture, hyperactivity, and frequent colds or flu may be evidence of subluxations. These symptoms are really warning signals that something is not right. The real root problem may well be spinal subluxations or pelvic imbalances.
When the vertebrae/spine bones are in their proper positions, the nerves pass from the spinal cord with ease. Impulses race along the nerve fibres to and from the brain relaying information and instructions without interference. When a vertebra is jarred (say from a fall) out of its proper alignment, the messages are distorted. The body no longer functions at 100%.
WE WANT TO FOSTER HEALTH IN THE GROWING BODY!
This is so much going on hormonally and socially with our teenagers that our therapies can help with. There are so many pressures. Mood swings may lessen with the spine aligned correctly and muscles restored to more healthy ones. Smart phones, video games, ipads and laptops have a lot to answer for! Spending long periods of time in the same position often leads to Repetitive Strain Injury and problems with posture, subjecting the spine to stresses that need to be sorted out for optimum health.
Activities are often done with a recklessness that may lead to injury.......
Heavy back packs don't help! It would be better to have a regular visit for Remedial and Sports Massage than resort to painkilling drugs with all their effects and addictive properties.
We will always check the back as the nerves all exit the wee holes between the bones of the spine. The nerves then travel to all the joints - so a knee problem will recover more quickly if the spine and pelvis and checked and treated, if necessary.
Self-image is all important at this time. Some parts grow faster than others and not only can this challenge the structure, but also the mental health of the teenager. Feeling clumsy and unco-ordinated makes life difficult and challenging. Skin problems are often linked to self-image and we do help teenagers with this at BCC.
Emotional Freedom Technique can give your teenager or child a skill to help him or her deal with stress. There are so many stresses at the time - from pressure to do well at school no matter what to bullying to competitive issues in sport, dating and socialising.
We get a lot of questions about 'growing pains'. Growing pains usually refer to muscular aches and pains which respond amazingly well to Swedish Massage or Remedial and Sports Massage. They really aren't to do with growing difficulties but more to do with using muscles that are growing. Children usually have a greater range of movement and these movements may seem unco-ordinated and leg and back cramps are common. It is often given as a diagnosis when the doctor doesn't know what is wrong. (A bit like 'viruses' and 'stress' are given out as diagnoseses for adults).
The pains flit about from one joint to another and can wake the child/teenager. Teenagers do like their sleep! Massage and gentle exercises to stretch and strengthen will usually help. It is wise to get a check-up.
We recommend an osteopathic check up to ensure that your child is growing up with a balanced physical structure to achieve health and happiness. We would advise an immediate appointment if your child starts to limp or if there is redness or swelling over a joint. There are problems such as Oschgood-Schlatter disease, Hip Dysplasia and Perthe's disease that should be diagnosed as soon as possible.
A good diet is essential for all the growing and repairing that is going on! Supplements of minerals and vitamins are often a great idea. See more information on our Naturopathy article.
Bodywork also encourages the body to release its own pharmacy of anti-inflammatories and feel good hormones. Improving the nervous system also means the immune system can do its job.
- Massage and Reflexology work with the body to create the balance it needs to repair and rebalance.
- Advanced Remedial Massage and Osteopathy work to bring the joints into correct positioning and motion. Certain positions are used and then the child has to push or pull as directed. They usually find this FUN! We can use the same treatment for adults but direct manipulation may be best for them!
Children with sports injuries and repetitive strain injuries from playing instruments or at computers are treated commonly in Brooks-Carter Clinic. We also have high level athletes.
The reality is that an assessment and treatment can often sort out the problem far more easily and quickly at this age, than in adulthood, with far reaching results.
Treatment is non-invasive so really is the best option. Start with an assessment and treatment here before you embark on drugs and treatments that don’t work with the body and can cause addiction and other problems.
Problems such as colic, ear infections, ‘glue ear’, problems with sleeping, eczema, allergies, asthma & reflux, all respond to both reflexology & massage. You may need to bring your baby for a treatment session when the therapist can advise you how you can help with pressing on certain reflex points e.g. in baby's teething problems.
Prevention is always better than cure! A regular Remedial and Sports Massage will encourage better performance with less risk of injury. This work helps children and teenagers be the best that they can be as well as helping them to better health. Better health means good healing if an injury does occur.
Working with massage does help to clear the mind and allow people to make decisions that were difficult before. Teenagers find this a bonus - as do adults!
Pre-event massage, post-event massage - it all helps the young athlete. We regularly see gymnasts, footballers, hurdlers, high jumpers, dancers, marathon runners and so many more.
Being touched helps to regulate the spleen and stomach meridian and gives balance and safety to the body. Having a fully clothed, relaxed shiatsu treatment can have far reaching effects. Harald can also give you advice on certain points that may help your child or teenager with a specific problem. These points can be used to relieve headaches, for example.
Shiatsu is a great way of working with babies, toddlers, children and teenagers. It is empowering.
Mental Health Problems can be helped with Emotional Freedom Technique and Matrix Re-imprinting. These therapies work particularly well with children and teenagers and if they are having problems with stress at home or school manifesting in sleeplessness, anxiety, mood swings and difficulty in coping, do have a look at these pages and talk to one of our therapists.