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Baby Wisdom

Babies know what their bodies need. No movement of the baby is without purpose. Also, babies have a great capacity to communicate with us through their own movement. Over the years, I have refined techniques to tap into baby wisdom that are simple, fun and easy to do, especially during everyday tasks like feeding and diapering. For example, when our babies kick, we can put our hands on their feet and follow their kick with a minimum of engaged pressure. Because babies are all one piece, their tight neck muscles begin to unwind when "cued" from their feet. Using our responsive hands, baby can explore many other options for unwinding. As the tight neck muscles unwind, digestion improves and the torsions generated from birth are released. In this way, the natural capacity for baby to come into balance gains full expression. By exploring different movements and different ranges of movement, babies learn new patterns and can adopt these patterns, moving with greater balance and freedom throughout their lives. Unbirthing is the natural process of releasing twists and torsions generated during the process of birth. Unbirthing can be experienced at any age, but is particularly effective in newborns. During the birth process, there are many positions in which the baby presents for delivery. How a baby presents for birth and how the birthing process proceeds sets a template that is recreated throughout the baby's entire life. When babies' heads push against the pelvic floor during birth, this creates twists and torsions in the dura mater, the wrapping around the brain. While completely natural, such stresses cause challenges for the developing brain. With the release of these torsions, the dura mater facilitates full nutrition, full oxygenation, and complete cleansing of the brain. The cranial sacral approach uses engaged unbirthing to support babies in fully unwinding and reaching optimum freedom.

The Fourth Trimester

I am committed to sharing perspectives that transform everyday movements with your baby into opportunities to enhance your baby's development at the very moment when she or he can most effectively receive your support. Because the human species has such a large brain at birth, babies are born before all development is complete. The additional developmental time babies need after birth is called the "Fourth Trimester." The fourth Trimester is a very crucial time for Baby, a time when the digestive, immune, neurological and other systems complete essential development. Nursing plays a pivotal role in the Fourth Trimester. Sucking is a neuromuscular reflex that has several different functions besides simply getting milk from the breast. One of these functions is to stimulate the pituitary gland. The mechanics of sucking "pumps" the pituitary hormones out of the brain and into the body. Pituitary hormones direct Baby's development throughout the crucial stages of fourth trimester and continue in supporting health for life. Supporting Baby's head in the crook of the elbow while nursing actually stimulates the vagus nerve, which turns controls digestion and calms the heart. Supporting the back of Baby's head whether in nursing, rocking, or in play, relaxes the neck muscles and allows hormones to be released from the head.

Baby's Feet

Traditionally, cranial sacral work is done on the head, where it is easiest to feel the cranial rhythm. But early on in my cranial sacral work, I found that babies, no matter their age, would consistently remove hands from their heads! What to do? Inspired by a mentor who'd trained me to feel the cranial rhythm in the feet and by something I'd learned about how sensitive the feet of elephants are to vibration, I looked to babies' kicking feet. With practice, I learned to work from the feet up.
Baby's feet are tools of communication through touch and movement. Babies use their feet to help kick against the mother's contraction through out the birthing process. Putting this all together I began to engage the baby's feet and ankles and provide the cranial perspective and focus. In its infinite power to heal, Baby's Wisdom would always respond and begin to unwind the neck, the shoulders, and the dural sack around the brain, perfectly and precisely. Hundreds of babies "later," I realized that mothers' bodies are perfectly designed to do the very thing that I, as a practitioner, had to learn how to do. Mom's hands are specifically designed for her particular baby. Her pinky, for example, perfectly fits her baby's palate for sucking. Still, without the cranial concept, communication between hands and feet is hit or miss at best. The golden opportunity to release the birth experience during Baby's first months out of the womb is best optimized with easy to learn techniques. Grabbing on to baby's feet and listening through touch and movement, then mirroring those movements, activates and creates neurological circuits that can be accessed throughout life. Baby's Wisdom engages to release any torsions or strains from the birth experience large or small. The power of release is then validated from birth.

Babies and Qi

Energy, known simply in Eastern traditions as "Qi," is another important piece of the Baby Wisdom puzzle. Through my experiences with contact improvisation and Qi Gong, I discovered a direct connection between the contact improvisation practice of "pouring weight" and the Qigong practice of "moving Qi with intention." I found that by pouring weight down one of my legs, i.e. shifting all my body weight from one foot to the other, and then pouring weight down my other leg while holding a baby, I could direct my intention in such a way that the baby's Qi followed my Qi. By directing stagnant Qi out of my body and into the core of the earth, the babies' stagnant Qi was released as well. When I drew in fresh, nourishing, supporting and abundant Earth Qi into my body, the baby received Earth Qi as well. In this way, the baby calmed down and its body relaxed and began to unwind and release. Soon, Baby and I were doing a Qi dance! Moms are natural Qi Queens. Dads are natural Qi Kings. Your bodies are specifically designed to interact with the bodies of your children. Qi dancing when rocking Baby connects you to the energy of the universe and the energy of your Baby, encouraging mutual healing.
These are only a few of the many ways to access and interact with Baby Wisdom. The possibilities are infinite and endlessly exciting.

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