Osteopath For Babies with John Mallinder
I’ve been working with children since 1999, a year after qualifying as an osteopath. It was always my intention to work comfortably with patients of all ages, and so I was very fortunate to spend 18 months working at a predominantly paediatric osteopathic clinic run by one of the founders of The Sutherland Society, the primary institution for training cranial osteopaths at that time. This very gentle osteopathic approach is the principle technique of choice with infants.
It was through this gradual introduction to osteopathic paediatric work, with tutoring and supervision from the clinic principal, that I developed the skills and confidence to treat babies and children.
Interestingly over the years I’ve found that rather than developing a practice treating children of all ages, I’ve drawn instead mostly parents with young babies that are struggling for a variety of reasons. This is in part due to word of mouth recommendations from parents I’ve worked with down the years. I find work with infants immensely rewarding, and challenging in a good way.
In the process of assessing and treating the baby, it's vital that at the same time the bond between mother and baby is appreciated and supported, as this attachment is fundamental to helping the baby through a difficult period. I’ve felt from the very beginning that a significant part of the benefit of osteopathy with babies comes from both the assurance and relaxation that babies gain from the gentle handling and osteopathic techniques, and from providing a place for parents to express and explore their concerns, and be able to work through these with the help of the osteopath's wealth of experience with similar issues.
I’ve commonly seen babies with issues around feeding, sleep, reflux, plagiocephaly (irregular head shape) and of course crying. The osteopath’s role is to understand in depth the various obstacles the baby faces to feeling comfortable within themselves, and work through these in conjunction with the parents. These may not only relate to physical restrictions and retained tensions from a difficult birth, but to natural separation anxieties expressed through crying when not held by the mother or father (often attributed initially to physical discomfort), digestive challenges through exposure to antibiotics and other interventions, and numerous other sometimes subtle issues. The treatment and advice given in each case is entirely unique.
In some instances, most often at the initial consultation due to the intensity of some of the symptoms, it may be difficult to have much treatment time, however the case history along with a chat with the mother and possibly father together often provides enough information to provide advice and suggestions to help matters along. Parents often find with hands-on treatment their baby relaxes and enjoys the experience. In the simplest terms, this relaxation is an element of treatment that facilitates a release of tension, and this tension can be the obstacle to the baby being able to self-sooth, and sustain themselves comfortably with a healthy amount of loving support from the parents.
If you would like to chat with me then I can be reached on 07931 356 295. It can be difficult for parents to understand what to expect from an osteopath, and so I’m happy to take the time by phone in advance to help you with your decision.