Cranial osteopath Simon Prideaux email:
telephone: 07501 221 701
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Freaquently Asked Questions


Q: How soon should my baby see the Osteopath?
A: The earlier the better in my opinion - the first few days are not too soon. Most of the shape shifting ("restitution" or "remoulding") happens in the first two weeks after birth.

Q: Why is early treatment important?
A: Rollin Becker DO believes "a physical birth strain pattern will influence the entire developing physical and mental pattern throughout life". Viola Frymann DO and other Osteopaths also talk about the link between head strains and developmental patterns.

I believe that one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby is to have birth related stresses and strains resolved as early as possible. Ideally the Osteopath would witness the birth and give treatment immediately. In my practice this doesn't happen very often but I often see babies in the first few days of life.

Midwives, lactation consultants and birth educators often refer and paediatricians sometimes refer newborns to me for treatment as they see its benefits.

My experience is that treatment assists feeding, digestion and sleep issues in babies. However as yet, there are few published studies confirming this and therefore no claims can be made or treatment for conditions advertised. We rely on anecdotal evidence from mothers.

Early treatment may prevent postural asymmetry developing and can give the best chance of the good teeth and jaw alignment later in life. My firm belief is that potentially this could reduce or avoid the need for dental orthopaedic or orthodontic work later in life. It could also reduce the chances of childhood postural issues adversely affecting learning or development. I am not aware of any long term studies to demonstrate this though.

Q: Does it "work"?
A: Parents and colleagues often report sessions to be helpful. See the testimonials page

Q: Is it safe?
A: Absolutely, when treatment is given by a trained professional.

Q: Is it painful for the baby?
A: No - it is probably pain relieving as the relaxation it induces probably increases levels of beta-endorphins in the baby and oxytocin in the mother. Babies often seem to enjoy the sessions and be more relaxed afterwards.

Q: Is treatment recommended for and beneficial to the mother?
A: Yes probably. Treatment of the mother is very important.

Q: When is the best time to bring in the baby for treatment?
A: It is much easier to treat when the baby is relaxed, settled or asleep. During or after feeds is better than when a baby is tired or hungry. If the baby has a period in the day when they are often more settled time treatment accordingly. Allow plenty of time for the appointment and try to avoid times of day when they or you can be more tired, stressed or less settled.

Q: When does the skull fuse?
A: Never! The largest fontanel (soft spots) closes by 2 years of age and often earlier - the smaller ones by 2 months. The larger soft spot at the back closes around 4 months. The largest one at the front closes between 9 months and 24 months. Even in an adult although these spaces between bones have closed fully there is still the possibility of slight but vital movement at the sutures (joins).

Q: What does an osteopathic assessment involve?
A: Before the physical examination a session may also involve establishing concerns, finding out background medical, birth and family information. By its nature Osteopathy involves "hands on" techniques and the osteopath may ask that the baby be undressed.

Q: What are we trained to feel for?
A: The body, its health and function are expressed in MOTION. This includes motion within parts ("motility") and movement between parts ("mobility"). Osteopaths are trained to assess normal and unusual movements within the body and relate their findings to the symptoms, to what the patient or parent tells them and to the overall health of the patient.
We are interested not only in the mechanics of the body but also the movement of what flows within it (around through and between the parts) - its fluid dynamics. Any disturbance of the flow of blood, lymph or energy can affect health. We are therefore as interested in the spaces between parts and how the relationship of the parts affects the body cavities as in the parts themselves.

Q: What do you actually do when you put your hands on? - I can't always see what you are doing.
A : I work with the body's own inner efforts at restoring motion and balanced tension and provide a point around which it can make the shifts it need

Q: I would like to learn more about brain development.
A: Read "Why Love Matters - How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain" by Sue Gerhardt, published by Brunner-Routledge.

Q: When and how should I wean my baby
A: Books on Weaning: First Foods and Weaning by Ravinder Lilly, pub. by Thorsons; Baby-led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett pub. Vermilion

Other FAQs
Q: Is treatment only suitable for babies
A: No. It helps adults too.


If you have any other concerns or questions not answered here prior to your visit please ask before your session and we will do our best to answer them.