When guided by the presence of Health within a patient's body, therapeutic decisions aren't made purely upon the basis of which mechanical problems are found. Rather, one looks for the Health already present within the patient's body, expressed as a specific local region of increased vitality and activity. It is such a region that indicates a patient's own body's healing mechanism already at work, working to overcome the resistance of an issue needing to be addressed. The objective of treatment is therefore to work in harmony with a patient's own self-healing mechanism.
Treatment involves using one's hands to softly free-float that restricted region in question, enough to unlock it, and allow the patient's own healing mechanism to do it's intended work - fluid movement is then restored. The Health doesn't just stay in one place however, it shifts around the body as progressive layers fall away (such as the peeling of an onion). The practitioner must follow the Health, in order to ensure that a treatment unfolds in a sequence appropriate for that individual person. As a treatment progresses, the Health begins to encompass larger regions of the body, until the whole person becomes integrated - it is only then that a significant self-generating healing process begins. Natural Self healing follows Integration and Wholeness.
The most fascinating aspect of treating babies and young children (generally up to the age 2-3), is that mother and baby are interlinked to such a degree that they function as a Whole, almost as if a single person. When assessing a baby's body and one finds a mechanical and/or functional disturbance present there, Health/a therapeutic process won't always be present/conveniently at hand to fix that particular problem. Obviously in such a case, one would not consider treating the baby/child by forcing a therapeutic change, since their body would not be ready and adequately resourced for such a change. In such a circumstance one looks towards mum for the answers. When assessing mum as well, invariably the Health/a therapeutic process will be present there. The presence of a therapeutic process signifies, that mother is the priority in that moment. Once mother has been treated, the Health will then return to the baby (as it occurs when treating a single person's body also, where a layer is removed and the health then shifts to a different location, in this case it simply switches between mother and child) - the treatment can then continue for the baby, with all the resources necessary for a self-generated healing process. It is in observing this phenomenon, that one comes to appreciate the interconnection and Wholeness of a mother and child.
The greatest mystery of all, is that not uncommonly when treating a mother I.e. following the Health and allowing for a local release, expansion and integration to take place within her body - upon then re-assessing baby/child, it becomes apparent that the structural and/or functional disturbance that was present not 15 minutes prior is no longer present. The baby has returned to full perfect function without any direct treatment being necessary,
My explanation of how a mother might be treated, and a baby also responds without being touched, is that a baby has an instinctive hierarchy of needs when survival is concerned. The primary need of survival is that mother is available, whole and healthy. When mother is perfectly fine, the baby feels 100% safe, and so can be 100% present for their own inner needs - this includes having a sense of their own centre, an instinctive self-awarness, and so a natural activation of their body's self-healing mechanism. If a baby's attention is drawn to their mother, because they instinctively feel something isn't right, they will lose their own centre, and so their natural self-healing capacity will be impeded.
During Health focused treatment of a baby/child, therapeutic change occurs at the right timing, and in a sequence that ensures the necessary therapeutic resources are present to gently address mechanical/functional disturbance. As a consequence, treatments are always calm and gentle, and the number of treatments required to achieve an outcome is also far less than would otherwise be the case.
Following and trusting the Health in the treatment of babies, young children and mothers, is an intriguing and rewarding process, and incorporates the Osteopathic Principles of Wholeness, Integration and Natural Self-Healing.
Osteopaths above all else, use their hands to listen, will trust and be guided by a body's natural instinctive intelligence. Clinical results demonstrated over the past 140 years of Osteopathic Medical history are testament to the effectiveness of the body's own Self-Healing and Self-Regulating capacity.
The ideal time for preventative treatment is during the pre-conception period, as one prepares one's body for pregnancy. Treatments can also begin during pregnancy, and after birth also. Generally the earlier one begins, the greater the potential for Wholeness, Integration and an unimpeded Self-Healing capacity.