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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 15:52 GMT 16:52 UK
Baby blues gently massaged away
Baby massage
The body is realigned to correct problems picked up in the womb
Baby medicines have been replaced with massage therapy by a growing number of parents in Kent whose newborns are struggling with ailments.

A centre in Maidstone has introduced a new osteopathy service where a baby's head and body are realigned with gentle pushing movements.

European School of Osteopathy Clinic staff say it relieves injuries incurred during childbirth and pregnancy.

They treat around 12 babies a week and are training up more medical graduates.

We knew it was not invasive, she explained it was just hands resting on the body and baby wouldn't be upset but I didn't know how it would help
Elizabeth Ward-Lewis, patient's mother

Osteopath Jonathon Kettle said the treatment realigns the baby's body and can help with colic, constipation, poor sleep patterns and feeding problems.

Mr Kettle said: "If the head is getting stuck on the pelvic floor then that's going to create more compression within the neck itself so that will affect the nerves that ran out from the neck and supply the visceral organs.

"So we are looking at solving the tensions within the system."

Oliver and Elizabeth Ward-Lewis took their baby William to the centre when traditional remedies failed to cure his colic after their midwife recommended osteopathy to them.

'No conclusive proof'

Elizabeth said: "We knew it was not invasive, she explained it was just hands resting on the body and baby wouldn't be upset but I didn't know how it would help."

Six sessions later William's father says his son is a happier baby.

He said: "During the day he is smiley and happy all the time unless he is bored.

"I think it is crucial and I think all babies should be checked."

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said some babies seem to benefit from the treatment but there is not enough research to provide conclusive proof of the benefits.




SEE ALSO:
Scottish birth figures on the up
24 Jun 04  |  Scotland
Father re-lives son's 80mph birth
21 Jun 04  |  Merseyside
Children's sun creams fail tests
22 Jun 04  |  Health



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