Osteopathic Manipulation (Skull Stretching)

My sweet girl has an overbite.  We’ve neglected to address it before because, I love her smile, and PANDAS took priority over a cosmetic issue. But it was starting to bother her, and I don’t want her to have a teeth complex like her mother. (Back story, I started with retainers and braces at age 8, and didn’t have them off until age 16. Years later, my teeth are anything but straight.) I’ve also read that braces can be a flare nightmare for PANDAS kids, which would be expected. I remember open sores from brackets rubbing against my gums, headaches, and general miserable-ness. If kids are flaring from loose teeth, why do we think braces wouldn’t do the same? Not to mention the metal and toxicity.  We limit our toxic metal exposure in every other area, but often forget that a mouthful of metal can be a huge contributer.  And the fact that braces hold your jaw stagnant for years, while the rest of your head continues to grow.

Still, our budget for interventions has been limited, and, quite frankly, I’m tired of going to Doctors, Chiropractors, and Naturopaths who promise they can help with this or that, and then hundreds of dollars later, fail to live up to their promises. Ever wonder why doctors don’t have a money back guarantee? Hmmmmm?

I was debating between spending our “teeth” budget on the Perfect Start System, or trying Osteopathic Manipulation first. The Osteopath is 10 minutes from our house. The nearest Perfect Start Dentist is 3 hours away, not including the inevitable hour of traffic and getting lost in Dallas.

Still, I debated. My cousin in Dallas had great results with the Perfect Start soft appliance for his little girl.  Nothing short of amazing difference in a short time frame.  The Perfect Start system also claims to help with sleep disordered breathing, often causing issues that are misdiagnosed as ADHD and ADD.  According to The Perfect Start System:

“Early intervention is effective in the deciduous through transitional dentition (4 to 10 years of age) to successfully treat children with sleep problems. There are several serious symptoms that can occur in children with improper sleep habits:
1.Snoring from 2 to 7 nights per week
3.Excessive daytime sleepiness
4.Daytime and/or nighttime mouth breathing
5.Attention deficit
6.Tooth grinding
7.Restless sleep
8.Throat infections
9.Difficult breathing while sleeping
10.Bed wetting
11.Poor ability to study
12.Headaches in the morning
13.Sleep talking
14.Falling asleep watching TV
15.Allergic symptoms
16.Awakening at night”
Sounds pretty amazing, huh?

Then my friend sent me pictures of her sweet little boy after Osteopathic Manipulation. He was headed for a full set of Head Gear, and years of being tormented by his peers. It wasn’t pretty. She took him to the Osteopath near me a few times and the difference was amazing! Not only does his mouth now have room for his teeth, with a visible difference in appearance, but at the first session the Osteopath “untied” his tongue tie. His mommy is a nurse, and she’s well versed in tongue ties, so when the Osteopath asked her if she knew her son had a tongue tie, she said “No, he doesn’t have a tongue tie, he just has a speech impediment.” The Osteopath said, “It’s not a front tongue tie, it’s in the back”, and then she fixed it. Right there in a moment, she worked his mouth and untied his tongue tie. He immediately started talking and his speech impediment was gone! He was so excited and kept moving his tongue around and asking if everyone’s tongue could move like this! His mommy teared up.

Both options seemed to work under the same concept, adjusting the bones in the face to make room for the teeth, while the bones are still “wet cement”, still maleable and workable.  After they’re teenagers, when most kids get braces, the bones, “cement” is already hardened, and then you have to “crack” it with braces and orthodontics and try to fix the cement.  Hence, the cracked cement will never hold it’s “fix”, and, like my teeth, will go back to crooked eventually, unless your dentist puts in permanent metal bar stretchers to “hold” them in place, or gives you a plastic retainer to wear at night for the rest of your life.  Not an ideal “fix.”

I decided to try the Osteopath first, and go from there.  I squirreled away cash for a few months and made our appointment.  She worked on my girl for about an hour, and there is already a visible difference.  She also asked if Haley has trouble falling asleep at night, if she has thoughts racing through her head and can’t quite them down, (this has been an issue since she was an infant, even pre-PANDAS.)  She worked on her head for this, and for her ears.  Her ears seem to retain fluid and we’re often fighting with swimmers ear issues.

The results?  So far, we haven’t seen an improvement in her ears, but she had the start of an ear infection when we started.  I’m hopeful once we get this one cleared up we won’t have further issues.

Her teeth already look better, her jaw is moved forward and she’s able to close her lips over her front teeth without a huge stretch.  She has complained that the roof of her mouth feels bruised, but she hasn’t related it to the Osteopathic Manipulation, and I’m not telling her that’s what caused it!

She’s falling asleep in record time.  It could be related to the time change and her being exhausted, but in the past it didn’t really matter how tired she was, she still took a long time in falling asleep.

And, Haley can’t wait to go back.  Even though it wasn’t comfortable, and sometimes hurt, she wants to go back!

But the biggest bonus is that my hubby is super impressed.  He had poo-poo’ed the whole thing every time I brought it up for the last six months.  He’s always been super supportive of whatever crazy alternative treatment I’ve wanted to try, but for some reason he didn’t go for this one.  That evening Haley proudly showed him her smile.

He said, “Why didn’t you tell me you were going today?”

I said, “Because every time I’ve brought it up you’ve told me not to do it!”

“Well,” he said, “I’m glad you didn’t listen to me.”

I’m not suggesting you should hide cash from your husband and go behind his back.  I’m all for submitting and working together in your relationship, taking his lead, and all that stuff.  This was an effort of selling my Dulce de Donke (donkey milk) lotion to sweet friends who paid me in cash…a few dollars at a time.  But it was worth it to see her smile.

Bonus!!!   The Osteopath said not to come back for 4-6 weeks!  She said the bones will continue to move in the right direction on their own, once they’re given a nudge in that direction.  And she said we should only need to come 3 or 4 times this year, then just a few times in the following years.

According to Carmen Herring, “DOs trained in cranial osteopathy can assist in oral-facial development by releasing restrictions throughout the body and restoring normal function.  When osteopathy alone cannot correct these dysfunctions, coordination of treatment with myofunctional therapists (what is myofunctional therapy?) and functional dentists can optimize cranial symmetry, function and development.”

I’ll try to remember to take pictures and share progress here, so feel free to check back on this post over the next few months for updates.

We’re thankful for the people God puts in place to help us with each issue as we face them.

If you’re in Oklahoma, we highly recommend Season’s Cranial Osteopathy.  She’s trained as a Physical Therapist, and works from her home.  The fact that her office is in a converted barn on their farm was definitely a pro for my little girl feeling comfortable there. (405) 249-4674

To find a Cranial Osteopath near you, try The American Osteopathic Association.  You can also try Cranial Academy.

So I’d better sell stop blogging now and start making more lotion and donkey milk soap, because my youngest is next in line for her skull stretching session…sweet snoring girl.  (Please Like us on Facebook, at Dulce de Donke and give all your relatives, friends, neighbors, grocery checkers, bankers, and strangers on the street, some Donkey Milk soap for Christmas this year.) 🙂

Blessings for your journey!

Since I shared this in an Oklahoma PANDAS group, I had another mom give me permission to share her experience with Cranial Osteopathy and Season’s practice.

“We LOVE Season Swift!  She has worked on all 4 of my kids.  Helped my eldest decrease migraine frequency.  And my tiny little one, who screamed in agony in his infant carseat every minute of car rides, stopped hating his carseat after one visit with her.  I wish I had unlimited funds and could take us all regularly.  Her work was FAR more effective than ANY of the multiple chiropractic, Mayofascial release therapies, or Craniosacral therapies I’ve paid a fortune for.

The one thing it did not do though was decrease / eliminate our tongue tie issues.  That part was not a benefit we saw, and desperately needed.  Unfortunately.

But we still recommend her 10000x more than any other bodywork.”

(Read my disclaimer, I’m a mom, not a Dr., though my hubby says I should have a litany of initials after my name.  For now, I’m just an annoying know-it-all that you want to avoid when you see coming at the Grocery Store….)


3 responses to “Osteopathic Manipulation (Skull Stretching)

  1. Oh my goodness! Thank you for saying all of those way too kind things! It’s a blessing to help others! We’re getting ahold of that tongue next time! 😉

  2. Living in the San Freako Bay Area, I thought I had heard it all, but “Skull Stretching”? We need Napa State re-opened for all the hippie quacks, faux doctors and clueless and abusive parents.

    • Dear Common Sense Lost, forgive me for my attempt at witty sarcasm, apparently it was lost on your common sense. Osteopathic Manipulation is a well known form of physical therapy, and widely accepted in the non-quackery circles. Of all my posts, I find it ironic that this is the one you would choose to lambast me for. I mean, I think there’s some pretty good material here that you could have opted to use instead, donkey milk being number one. The jokes are pretty much limitless, believe me. As far as being an “abusive parent”, perhaps I should refer you to my child’s pediatrician, who, as a mainstream MD, has seen far to many children with PANDAS and PANS. All of them are on traditional medically approved treatments of antibiotics daily for their entire childhood, or IVIG hospitalizations, some PANDAS children are put on chemo or institutionalized and drugged. But my Doctor, a respected and well known MD,looks at my daughter, whom you call abused, and is amazed that she is healthy and strong and has no tics or other residual issues. Her one question for me is, “How can you supply enough donkey milk for all the people with autoimmune disease that need it? It’s obviously working.”
      And before you call that crazy, next time you need to take an aspirin, you might want to rethink that, it came from the bark of a willow tree. Chemo? it came from a flower. Ever heard of Penicillin?
      If I could bottle the amazing natural properties in donkey milk that are helping my baby stay well and share them with the world, I would. Perhaps if it came in a gel-cap you would be more apt to believe in it.
      I wish I could say I’m sorry I offended you, but I’m not. My daughter’s health is a billion times more important than your opinion of my parenting. Or my use of sarcastic humor.
      Next time you need your skull stretched with some more mind blowing alternative therapies, feel free to check back on the blog. 🙂

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