Myofascial Balancing for Kids: Toddlers to Tweens

…previously known as Pediatric Manual Therapy; Pediatric Fascial Balancing

Children are incredibly fun to work with; they are vital, mobile, and tremendously present. In this introductory course, we look at essential skills for working safely and effectively with kids ages 2-12. We ground our approach in an understanding of normal development (primarily musculoskeletal; modestly cognitive/social), and then focus each session on relating to the individual child.

To treat them, we focus on mobilizing fascia throughout the body, using a blend of  musculoskeletal, visceral and cranial techniques aimed at the relatively healthy child. The work is gentle—working with the body’s responses to achieve change—and because a child’s system is so available, the treatments tend to be short and immediate. We tend to work off the table, taking advantage of the child’s active nature and interest in play and exploration. This age group requires constant adaptation and improvisation, which is what makes it so fun (and sometimes challenging!).

Children are often quite curious about their own bodies, and as a practitioner, we have the chance to empower them toward a healthy connection to their body. Finding ways to explain our work to both the child and their parents is vital. We will discuss communication and treatment strategies that emphasize rapport and safety, verbal and non-verbal communication, and acknowledging the family as a whole.

The class includes:

  • brief overview of skeletal alignment so we can appreciate which patterns and movements are “age appropriate,” and when intervention is required
  • treatment strategies for common pediatric conditions such as earaches, upper respiratory infections, and head bumps (mild tumbles, not concussions)
  • techniques include mobilization of facial bones (for sinuses) and upper dural membrane (tumbles); visceral treatment of respiratory structures and diaphragm (for liver/stomach), joint decompression (feet, shoulders, forearms); and generalized approach to myofascia throughout the body
  • clinical portion to allow students to practice on volunteer models in a supervised setting; students work in trios or pairs depending on number of models available

Please note, we will not address specific treatments for children with special needs — though this approach can be used successfully with slight modifications.

Previous training in cranial or visceral work is preferable, but not necessary. Class activities include table work, partnered exercises, multiple demos by instructor, lecture presentation and class discussion. Please wear comfortable clothing as you will be on/off the floor for the work.