To see Lauren working with babies, the sense of a session, the dance of responding to what arises and how many ways that can look—that was most important. This is a new door for me that I’m happy to open! Thank you. — Robyn J
Cranial and Fascial Methods for Newborns
“A the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” — Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, founder of osteopathy
Dr. A.T. Still used this image to highlight the relationship between structure and function. It’s also an image that conveys the powerful opportunity in working with children. Learning to treat newborns may be the most fun you’ll have!
Infants are vital, mobile and tremendously present. Between the physical stresses of being born and remarkable growth in the first year, this population has its own set of challenges—you can offer much to help their bodies adjust and grow.
We’ll use a blend of craniosacral, visceral and fascial methods aimed at the relatively health child. We use a gentle approach that aligns with the body’s responses to achieve lasting change. Because the child’s system is so available, treatments tend to be brief and immediate, requiring the practitioner to stay alert and adaptive. This approach is not a protocol but an ever-changing dance with each child.
- Practice clinical skills with newborns in a supervised setting
- Gain treatment strategies for common conditions such as torticollis, colic, latch or suckling problems, hip or shoulder dystocia, and disrupted sleep patterns
- Study fetal presentations and common interventions during labor which may create strain patterns
- Review infant movement and reflex patterns for assessing possible myofascial restrictions (not as a means of neural diagnosis)
- Support the foundational family unit during a crucial attachment period
- Offer treatment which emphasize rapport, non-verbal communication and acknowledging the whole family
Class activities include table work, partnered exercises, multiple demos by instructor, lecture presentation and class discussion. Please wear comfortable clothing for ease of movement; teaching utilizes exercises on table, chairs and floor.
Craniosacral Introductory Workshop with Lauren is highly recommended. Previous training in cranial or visceral work is preferable, but not strictly necessary if you have pediatric training elsewhere. Contact Lauren if you have questions about your preparedness for this course.
Unwinding the Birth Pattern — for Infants and Adults
The process of being born is possibly one of the most vigorous events of our lifetime. It doesn’t matter how you are born—‘normal’ positioning, with tilts or twists, breech, even cesarean. Our body is designed to adapt to and recover from the forces during labor. Still, this process leaves an imprint: the birth pattern. This pattern remains in the fascial layers, especially the dura, and the still-forming cranial bones. Later in life we can see that pattern reassert itself after physical injury—whiplash or concussion, for example—and in times of high stress.
An Advanced Approach to Unwinding
Unwinding, on a full body level, is a wonderful way to access and help balance this pattern. In this 3-day class, we explore unwinding in an advanced way, beyond the basic ‘following’ that is a standard starting point in cranial classes. We consider expansion, containment and the dynamics of biotensegrity. We explore how to guide the process as the practitioner, as well as how to engage the client, actively and passively (push/pull). Just as the baby plays an active role in getting born, the client can play an active role in resolving these whole-body strain patterns.
- Review embryology, the birth passage and postpartum time from a fluid and fascial perspective
- Explore the birth process as an imprint and/or metaphor for developmental changes throughout the life cycle
- Extended unwinding sessions in trios, which are hard to do alone, help the client with deeply-rooted patterns and issues
- Working with a co-practitioner is both highly therapeutic and deeply informative
- Bring the client through the ‘release’ phase of unwinding into the ‘engaged’ phase of an upright, empowered stance
- On the last day, students work directly with infants (in pairs or trios, depending on the number of volunteers available)
Wear comfortable clothing—teaching includes sensory, movement and practice exercises on the floor as well as chairs and table. Class activities will include table work, partnered exercises, multiple demos by instructor, lecture presentation and class discussion.
Craniosacral Introductory Workshop with Lauren is recommended. Previous training in cranial or visceral work is preferable, but not strictly necessary if you have prior training in craniosacral therapy. Contact Lauren if you have questions about your preparedness for this course.
Want some help adapting your manual skills to work with children of all ages?
Whether you have studied with Lauren directly, taken a webinar, or would simply like some focused support, mentoring is a great option. Meet on-line or in-person, once or over a series—mentoring is wonderfully adaptable to your needs and pace of learning.
Tots to Tweens: Access the
Potential of Early Intervention
In this 12-hour webinar, we look at essential skills for working safely and effectively with children. From the rapid growth over the first 4 years to the changes of adolescence, this population has its own set of challenges. A lot can be done to help their bodies adjust and maintain health as they grow.
We use a blend of myofascial, visceral and cranial techniques aimed at the relatively healthy child. Clear and on-going assessment allows us to identify where they are experiencing limitation and just how much work is needed.
Low-force mobilization techniques—of soft tissue, organs, nerves, joints and bones—are used as a way of clearing stresses in the child's system. The work is gentle and effective. Because the child's system is so available, treatments tend to be short.
Working with children requires therapists to be alert, receptive and continuously adapting their touch as the child's body changes. Sessions can be highly innovative, dynamic and creative.
We are pleased to offer this webinar through Tom Myers' umbrella: Anatomy Trains for Structural Integration. This asynchronous course allows you to study at your own pace and timing. You can review the modules multiple times, deepening your understanding as you practice what is presented. With the webinar, you will receive a downloadable handout with extensive information about adapting our methods for children. Taking a short quiz at the end of the module ensures that you'll receive CEU credits via the NCBTMB.
A wonderful way to practice your new pediatric skills!
We meet from 9.30 - 4.30pm on Capitol Hill. Families bring their infants in for manual therapy sessions. Sessions last 45 minutes, focus on the needs of the child and are supervised throughout.
Click here to learn about this monthly pop-up clinic in Seattle.
Articles about working with children
- Developmental Considerations in Structural Work with Small Children (pdf)
International Association of Structural Integrators Yearbook of Structural Integration, 2013.
- Specialize in Bodywork for Children, Massage Magazine article, 2022.