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Natural Awakenings Magazine, NV

August 2014 Issue

Pg 11

by Rosemarie Cua-De Leon, PT, DPT


Babies experience a major form of shock when they enter the world from their familiar, fluid-filled space in the mother’s womb. During the birthing process or even in utero, they may experience other forms of physical trauma resulting in length differences, joint issues, abnormal curvatures of the neck or back and other structural or behavioral imbalances. When babies or children have any form of illness, chronic pain, or noticeable dysfunction, advocates of Myofascial Release (MFR) under the John F. Barnes approach believe that myofascial restrictions can be a large contributing factor. 


Our body’s connective tissue, also known as fascia, is responsible for our structure as babies, children, teens and adults. It plays a crucial role on physical, mental and emotional levels because it surrounds and protects the entire body including each muscle, organ, nerve, blood vessel and living cell within them. It is so important that restrictions can place a great deal of pressure on many internal organs and can even pull on fascia into and within the brain, causing issues with concentration, behavior and hormonal balance. Unaddressed restrictions in the fascia can impact a child’s movement, growth, function and ability to absorb proper nutrients. 


MFR is beneficial at any age, but since children are naturally intuitive, they respond very well to this form of treatment. They often excel in the healing process more rapidly than adults do because of this early innate intuition and tendency to let go. Babies and children have tissues that are more pliable than adults, and they respond more easily to the extremely gentle yet effective hands-on, energetic, and holistic nature of MFR. 


The gentle, sustained pressures and holds of MFR are well-suited for children because it makes them feel safe, and they are never forcefully manipulated. Other techniques involve a rhythmic and soothing rocking motion, which helps to alleviate pent up energy, promote relaxation and to decrease pain. Because babies and children have not yet been conditioned in a number of ways that adults have, they are naturally able to distinguish what feels good and what doesn’t. 


Some common conditions addressed through MFR include constipation, chronic ear infections, colic, torticollis, stomach pain, asthma, auditory/speech impairments, neurological trauma, high or low tone and ADHD. Children often experience relief from discomfort, feel more relaxed, have more focus and are less irritable due to the effectiveness of MFR treatment. Receiving this form of care at an early age can help to not only address a child’s current conditions, but also serve as a means of prevention for many common complications in adulthood. 

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