Babies and Children
CAUSES OF BODY STRESS
If the birth process was difficult, a baby may be born with body stress, especially in the neck and lower spine.
Small children are likely to accumulate body stress as a result of frequent falls and jerks while playing, or trying to lift heavy objects.
Children may sit incorrectly, e.g. reading or studying while sitting hunched over on a bed will induce stress in the neck and lower back.
Watching television while in a half-lying position which reverses the normal lumbar curve will cause pressure to build up in the spine.
As they approach puberty children become more self-conscious and may develop poor posture. Hunched shoulders, a contracted chest and downward tilted head occur as a defensive mechanism against the new challenges and stresses of life. Muscles tighten and tension becomes locked into the body.
By keeping a child’s body free of body stress, it is assisted in ensuring that the growth and development are normal and healthy.
WHEN SHOULD A BABY OR CHILD BE ASSESSED FOR BODY STRESS?
The birth process is stressful to the baby. It makes sense to have a baby assessed for body stress within a few months of the birth, even if there do not appear to be any problems. In this way, if there is any tension stored in the baby’s neck or back it will be released before it accumulates to have an adverse impact on the nervous system.
The BSR practitioner carries out the checks and releases while the baby is lying on the mother’s chest or lap. The pressure applied is very light and comfortable for the baby. After the stored stress is released a baby will often fall into a sound sleep.
Small children cannot always verbalise what they are feeling, but the parents may observe signs indicating the presence of body stress. For example, a normally good-natured child will become sullen and unco-operative, or the child may talk about a “funny feeling in the tummy”, or complain of sore legs.
Children enjoy experiencing BSR as it is a gentle procedure and they become aware of how different they feel once the stored tension has been released. Often a small child will be aware of the body stress and will ask to be taken for a BSR session.
Babies & children respond very quickly to BSR, as the pressure has not been present in the body for a long time and is readily released.
A two day old baby could not suckle, as her tongue kept flicking to the corner of her mouth. After body stress was released in the neck she began suckling normally.
A mother reported that her twelve week old baby had cried almost constantly since birth, and he hunched his shoulders and screamed when moved. Immediately after body stress was released in the neck the exhausted baby fell asleep for 10 hours. Much to the relief of the distressed parents, he became placid and contented.
A five month old baby kept his arms in spasm against his chest and his gaze appeared to be unfocused. Cerebral palsy was suspected. After one session of BSR his arms relaxed. After a second session his mother reported that he was able to focus on her face and respond to her. Six months later his grandmother sent a photograph of him and a letter to say that his development was normal in every way.
A six year old brain-damaged boy had both arms and legs bent in constant spasm, and his mobility was limited to rolling on the floor. After four sessions of BSR the limbs had relaxed completely and he began crawling. Two weeks later his parents reported that he was walking.
A three year old girl was described by her father as naughty, as medical tests showed no reason for her continual bed-wetting. During the two weeks after the stress in the lumbar spine was released, the bouts of bed-wetting steadily decreased in frequency, and then ceased entirely.
THE EFFECTS OF BODY STRESS
A common sign that a baby has body stress in the neck is constant crying for no apparent reason. When body stress is present in the lower back the baby will cry when the hips are lifted while the nappy is being changed. The impact on the nervous system may cause constipation. Body stress in the area of the diaphragm may result in colic.
Toddlers who refuse to walk and demand to be carried, or who complain of sore legs, (so-called growing pains) very likely have body stress in the lower back. The leg muscles may be affected, causing a tendency of the feet to turn inwards. Bed-wetting may occur if the nerve supply to the bladder is irritated.
At school, a child with tension in the neck may lack concentration and become disruptive. If there is pressure in the lower back, the child may be restless and unable to sit still.