CranioSacral Therapy (CST) often helps children overcome ear infections, especially when a child’s Eustachian Tube (ET) is blocked or congested.
Ear infections can bring about problems beyond the infection such as ear and jaw pain, tiredness, irritability, fever, headache, crying, restlessness, vomiting and diarrhea. Speech, language or learning impairment may even be related to chronic ear infections and the immune system can become excessively strained over time.
The craniosacral rhythm (CSR) is constantly “massaging” the ET. One day I followed a child’s ET in synchrony with her CSR. By the end of the session she felt better and a few days later her ear infection resolved. So now I use the following sequence along with other CST techniques in a child’s session if she has an ear infection.*
- Visualize the purpose of the technique, which is to help the child decrease ET blockage or congestion, enhance ET drainage, decongest the middle ear, and equalize air pressure between the middle ear and the atmosphere.
- Visualize the ET connecting the middle ear to the back part of the upper throat, about in line with the nostril.
- Visualize the ET moving in synchrony with the CSR. The ET is minutely stretched open and lengthened during the flexion phase, and slightly squeezed and shortened during the extension phase.
- The child should be upright because it places her ET in its optimal drainage position. Sit facing the child. Place your finger softly upon the mastoid process of her affected ear and your thumb of the same hand alongside her nostril. If the child can’t tolerate your finger in her ear then place it upon her mastoid process. Imagine your thumb and finger are actually resting upon the opposite ends of her ET while sensing her entire ET. Set the intention to use “0” grams of pressure while following the ET as it moves into positions of release until you feel softening. Then follow the tissue with “0” grams of pressure in synchrony with the CSR until you feel greater ease of ET CSR motion.
This technique can help to enhance the CSR massage of the ET. This gentle kneading can un-block the ET and pump substances through the ET, which helps to decongest the middle ear and to relieve excessive pressure from inside the middle ear. As this happens the child’s ear infection can resolve more easily and the middle ear can work normally thus leading to improvements in hearing and other problems caused by an ear infection.
* When working with children it is very important to follow the adaptations of CST for infants and children in the CS I and CST II classes taught by the Upledger Institute. Practice the techniques before working with children in order to refine your touch, to enhance your ability to sense and follow the CSR, and to increase your awareness of tissue patterns and responses to treatment.