Reflux, A CranioSacral Therapy Case Study

By Suzanne Aderholt, MOTR, CST

I saw Robby, a 1-month-old infant, for projectile vomiting and poor sucking abilities.  According to medical tests “a barium swallow showed aspiration during eating.”

His mother’s pregnancy had been uneventful.  Labor was induced with pitocin.  During the process Robby’s heart rate dropped, so the physicians used forceps to pull him out of the birth canal.

By the time he came to see me he was on thickened formula supplemented with breastfeeding.  He was very fussy during sleep.  He slept on an incline with the help of a cushioned wedge.  He also had chronic constipation.

Initial Evaluation

Robby had a dull effect with a pronounced inward look to his gaze.  He whimpered frequently and appeared to be uncomfortable, possibly to the point of pain.  His mother noted tearfully that Robby, her first child, was not a happy baby.

My cranial vault evaluation showed little movement overall.  The parietals were severely compressed at the developing sagittal suture.  There was no ROM at that suture.  The parietals also tilted out slightly.

The frontal bone was compressed inwardly.  The occiput had poor movement and the sphenoid had an extension lesion.  The vomer was severely compressed into the sphenoid.  The temporal bones tilted inward at the squamosal suture, which presumably put a lateral spread to the cranial base connection. The TMJ was experiencing a compression of the maxilla.  All the falxes felt pulled up with a leftward rotation.

Robby’s sacrum had a right lateral torsion, although it also had the best rhythm of the craniosacral system.  Robby’s pelvic diaphragm was also torsioned to the right and the fascia in both legs felt like it was following the twist.  The respiratory diaphragm and thoracic inlet were tight and pulled toward the dural tube.  The dural tube itself had a cephalad tension.

Therapy Leads to SomatoEmotional Release

During the cranial vault evaluation, Robby immediately went into a SER (Somato Emotional Release) when the parietals were touched.  Fortunately, I had saved these until last.  Even though the parietals were compressed and tilted, the falxes pulled upward.  I  very gently guided the parietals into the direction of ease with 2 grams of pressure. Less than the weight of a nickel.

This felt right.  His crying went higher for two seconds and then quickly died off at first the right and then the left parietals floated up into their normal position.  There was a very big therapeutic pulse to the entire sagittal suture area.  The cranial vault then began reshaping itself.  After his cranial base was addressed and his central nervous system was released throughout its length, Robby initiated the biological process.

His mother participated.  A complete, normal biological process sequence evolved for both of them.  After Robby’s vomer was decompressed and mild left-palatine compression resolved, the TMJ’s decompressed easily.  When the mouthwork was complete the entire craniosacral system was rebalanced.  The session was then complete with all evaluation findings resolved.

According to Mom, all of Robby’s symptoms abated after that.  He began sleeping through the night right away and his suck strengthened markedly.  Although the choking went away during breast feeding, he now had difficulty with thickened formula.  I recommended that Robby’s mom ask the doctor for a repeat swallow study but without the barium.

Robby’s projectile vomiting ceased the next day.  The constipation went away within two weeks.  Above all, Robby appeared much happier and alert.  He began interacting with his environment a lot more.  His mother said they were bonding better, and she felt much more confident with her parenting skills.

The swallow study performed three weeks later showed no aspiration.  Robby was taken off the thickened formula and the choking ceased altogether.  He is now 5 months old and progressing normally.  Mom says she is telling everyone about this wonderful therapy.

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