In the past two weeks, almost every-where I go someone starts talking to me about their childrens ears or hearing. I have also noted an increase in clients with hearing related concerns-adults and children alike. Whether this is due to the season and increase in colds and flu or some other universal plan, I do not know-but I suspect the former.
Just today I spoke to two mums at separate times about their childrens hearing and development. These on-going interactions has prompted this post.
As is widely known, hearing difficulties in infancy and childhood impact the development of that child and can result in life-long dysfunction in learning and communication.
As a Craniosacral therapist I am always interested in the labour and birth of a child.
Childbirth has an impact on the formation of the head and cranial bones and internal structures. A “normal” vaginal delivery exposes the infants head to compressions that MANY infants do not struggle with at all and go on to be calm, happy children with good hearing and speech development.
However there are some who continue to struggle with this normal part of being born-particularly if the labour was long or the mothers experience of it was difficult. Then take the child born via ventouse or forceps delivery for example (common and much needed life-saving interventions for many babies)-these external forces can create a strong compression through the cranial bones creating internal compressions and restriction on the nerves and fragile inner ear structures, potentially creating dysfunction within these structures leading to poor hearing development and or ongoing ear issues such as chronic infection of Otits media (glue ear).
As mentioned in all posts about BCST and CST, many clients find it immensely helpful for most ailments. Issues with the Ears/Nose/Throat appear to respond well to the therapy. From the more simple and common ailment of “glue ear”experienced in childhood to tinnitus and hearing loss experienced through all age groups, many issues can be alleviated or improved by a craniosacral touch.
Case Study: A mother brought her 2yo child in to see me as she was concerned about speech development and hearing. She explained to me that her child was still really only “baby babbling” with some words “mum” “Dad” “cat” her voice was very loud.
The child was otherwise well and meeting other developmental milestones. The child was on a waiting list to have her hearing tested but in the meantime her mum wanted to try some other therapies.
The child had been born vaginally at 38 weeks gestation, mum described her labour as “Ok, but I pushed for about 2 hours because she got a bit stuck...they wanted to do ventouse but I said give me time and she was born 15mins later” babe had remained with mum postnatally (no visits to special care). Had breastfed well-until 13 months and enjoyed some table foods-although mum described her as “fussy at times”.
In her 2 years of life the child had 2 ear infections requiring pain relief. When I was listening to the child “talking” her speech sounds were muffled as though she had her mouth full and were sometimes “nasally”.
The child was happy and content being treated while she played with lego and looked through books. I don’t expect a child of her age to lay on the table (but sometimes they do). Throughout the treatment I noted dense constriction through her temporal bones (the bones that the ear “sits” within) and her nasal passages were tight with the sinuses feeling particularly compressed. After a while the child did a very big cough and played with her ears, she displayed a short moment of distress and needed a cuddle with her mum but this resolved quickly and she went on the play with the toys.
Three days later I followed up with the mum to see how the child was doing and she said she had started to speak more quietly (inside voice more often, rather than shouting) and had less nasal sounds. She said she was sleeping better at night “she seems more peaceful”.
While I can not diagnose issues or even say for sure that this child's birth had effects on her hearing, what I felt in the child's system seemed to tell this as her story and along with “common sense” one would hypothesize that it did.
Below are some more stories from people’s experiences of hearing dysfunction and craniosacral therapy. I have witnessed a friend experience the “Popping” sensation discussed in the first link-she has gone on to have almost completely restored hearing (initially only had about 40% hearing!!!)