40 Salem St. Bldg. 3 Ste 3
Lynnfield, MA 01940
40 Salem St. Bldg. 3 Ste 3
Lynnfield, MA 01940
Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine is highly beneficial for all newborns, since birth is capable of becoming our very first trauma. This trauma may be extreme, producing obvious injury. However, even when a normal birth appears to be completely trauma-free, the pressures applied to the infant's head can still cause some problems.
The infant's head plays a significant role in opening the birth canal. The normal pressures of birth cause the cranial bones to fold over one another. The membranes and fluid surrounding the brain act as a shock absorber. The nervous system, always attempting to maintain stability under duress, organizes around these forces. These protective mechanisms allow for maximum brain capacity and minimize brain trauma.
Many of the problems commonly experienced in infancy may be caused by the forces of labor and delivery. If the compressive forces of birth are too great, the nervous system may become overwhelmed, and the skull bones may not be able to fully re-expand to their normal ease after the birth. Some births may not appear at all problematic, but can still produce substantial compression. An abnormally quick labor may prove equally overwhelming as one that is long and difficult.
The newborn may become firmly imprinted by these compressive forces, producing structural imbalances and a variety of symptoms. These symptoms may range from minor variants of “normal” irritabilities (colic, acid reflux) to serious problems.
Many infants born by Cesarean Section first endure a long period of labor, with their heads lodged in the maternal pelvis. The delivering physician also may sometimes place considerable force on child's head, attempting to free the infant from the pelvic bowl. Though born by Cesarean Section, these infants may well suffer the ill effects of significant cranial pressure.
Osteopathic treatment eases the shock and restores vitality, allowing the nervous system to relax and heal so that the normal maturation processes can follow. Not all problems can be resolved, but many can be eased.
What kind of results can you expect? Every child is different. Some children have a very rapid and complete resolution of their presenting complaints. Some children require many treatments and recover only partially. Children with developmental delays may not change immediately, but will begin to mature at a more normal rate of development. Each circumstance must be considered for its unique aspects. As a general rule, it is always best to receive treatment as close in time to the traumatic insult as possible. Infants may actually benefit from receiving treatment immediately after birth. The less time the traumatic forces have to establish themselves in the tissues, the easier it is to clear them. Surprisingly, even stresses that have been long imprinted into our nervous systems can still be cleared many years later.
For more information on how OMM helps all newborns, please see this video featuring Dr. Macari during his residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
OMM can help address the physical and emotional stresses that children naturally experience as they develop. For example, toddlers commonly fall while learning to walk, and these tumbles can strain a child's sacrum, low back, or head. In addition, during periods of accelerated growth, many children experience "growing pains," or deep aches in their arms or legs. OMM can reduce the structural imbalances and pain caused by illness, injury, and growth spurts.
Structural changes (from birth trauma, accidents or falls, athletic injuries, etc) underlie functional disturbances such as:
- digestive problems of the newborn (difficulty sucking, colic, or vomiting)
- recurrent infections (especially ear infections)
- allergic phenomena
- academic difficulties like ADD, dyslexia, and behavioral inadequacies
Essentially, Osteopathy recognizes the profound influence of trauma on the normal functioning of a living organism. Trauma disorganizes life processes. The trauma can be physical or emotional. It can be a deliberate life saving event such as surgery, intended for good, but an insult to the normal structural integrity regardless. The trauma may result from a profound disease process, such as the laying down of scar tissue in the lungs following severe pneumonia. Trauma may be an obvious single large event, such as a car accident, or it may be as subtle as repetitive action, gravity, and time.
We do not simply one day have a disease. Life affects us. For every effect there is a cause. Cause is typically not a singular event. Genetics, nutrition, physical trauma, toxic exposures, and emotional influences all converge to create the present moment. Obviously, Osteopathy does not cure genetic disease or malnutrition. Osteopathy, however, can assist our physiology; helping to establish the most optimal means of negotiating the complexities of these influences. Osteopathy seeks to discover "cause," and treat at the level of "cause."
Trauma affects living organisms. When we receive a blow to our bodies, it does not merely pass through us. The energy of the impact leaves an impression. Dr. Macari is interested in all the blows to the body that each of us has experienced. Many patients will say, "I have never been injured. I have never broken any bones or went to a doctor." We so easily forget that fall down the stairs or the car accident where we were surprised we were not hurt. We readily dismiss the importance of these events. These injuries do, in fact, change us; we simply do not recall the way we were before the injury. The body, however, does not forget. These traumas imprint themselves in the tissues, causing us to compress, twist, and contract. It may take years for these injuries to create health problems. Old traumas are often under-appreciated when considering the cause of illness. Osteopathy provides a unique perspective, and in some instances, an unexpected solution.
Numerous less well-defined complaints such as nervousness, fatigue, insomnia, indigestion, backache, headache, etc. may have persisted so long that they have been taken for granted. But when the structural disturbances produced by that original injury are corrected, the patient is surprised to find that those persistent, habitual complaints have gone.
OMM has been shown to help treat many conditions, including:
- any musculoskeletal problem
- sports injuries
- tingling and numbness
- headaches, including migraines
- neck, back, or pelvic pain
- arthritic problems
- repetitive strain injury
- post-concussive syndrome
- fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- high blood pressure
- TMJ dysfunctions
- lung diseases
- high cholesterol
- general wellness issues
- asthma & allergies
- diet, nutrition, obesity, & weight loss
- chronic infections, such as sinusitis, bronchitis, and frequent colds
- menopause and hormonal wellness
- multiple sclerosis
Osteopathic care throughout pregnancy provides women with the special benefit of adjusting the functions of her body to the demands of progressing pregnancy. Minor problems, especially those involving the back, may be the beginning of a lifetime of musculoskeletal difficulties. Many women with chronic back pain can often trace their own history to a difficult labor. OMM also helps with other common pregnancy complaints, such as sciatica, headaches, constipation, and swelling.
Continued treatment after delivery, while the hormones involved in the pregnancy are still present and the ligaments are still loose, encourages more rapid healing of the muscle and connective tissue, and can even lead to the correction of prior structural imbalances that may have existed in the mother's body. OMM can reduce back pain and epidural site discomfort, and it can also address difficulties associated with breastfeeding.