No More Earaches
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is hearing of manual therapists who use CranioSacral Therapy (CST) to help children lead more comfortable lives.
Over the years, CST has become widely recognized for its effectiveness with autism and other particular challenges. Yet to me, the real beauty is in its everyday practicality. Simply put, anything in the human body that can benefit from greater fluid flow can benefit from CranioSacral Therapy.
In Working Wonders, Changing Lives With CranioSacral Therapy (North Atlantic Books, 2005), Chuck Olson, RMT, shares his personal experiences treating his daughter’s earaches with CST. His story speaks volumes on the power of a gentle touch to make a profound change:
From the day my daughter Jessica was born, she had constant ear infections. We’d go to the pediatrician, who would give us a round of Amoxicillin, which then progressed to Zithromax, which ultimately led to her always being on some form of antibiotic.
This went on for the first three years of her life, even prompting a myringotomy with ear tubes, much to my consternation, shortly after her second birthday. That lasted for about three months, until the tubes fell out and it started all over again.
Shortly after her third birthday, I was in Dallas taking three Myofascial Release classes over a period of ten days. On the third day of classes, the instructors started talking about CranioSacral Therapy (CST). They demonstrated the 10-Step Protocol, which we then practiced for the next couple of hours and once again the following day. They mentioned that CST is very helpful in alleviating ear infections.
The Friday before I was to come home, my wife called to say that she had taken Jessica to an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist who told her that Jessica had a complete bilateral blockage. She then proceeded to tell me that they had scheduled a second operation for ear tubes in ten days.
When I got home, I could tell that Jessica had been crying from the pain and was running a fever. That night and for the next five days, for approximately twenty minutes a day, I attempted to employ the rudimentary CST techniques we had been taught. I didn’t know if they would help, but I knew that I didn’t want my daughter to have to repeat the hellish trauma she had been subjected to barely a year before.
The next Tuesday, we went back to the ENT for a pre-op examination. He looked first in one ear and then the other with his scope. His only comment was, “Hmm.” Then he did a tympanogram on both ears and asked, “What was the matter with her?” We told him that she had a complete bilateral blockage of both ears. To this he questioningly remarked, “Really?”
He then put Jessica in the audio booth and ran a full audiogram on her. At the conclusion he said, “Her hearing is perfect. There’s nothing wrong.” Then he said something that I’m sure pained him very much to say, “I’m cancelling her surgery.”
The doctor asked me what we had done to Jessica, and I replied that I had done CranioSacral Therapy on her. He said he had never seen such a rapid recovery from such a severe infection. He commented that he’d heard of CranioSacral Therapy being used for autism, but never for ear infections.
I offered him my card and told him I’d appreciate any referrals he could send my way. Needless to say, I never heard from him, and we haven’t seen him since. That was seven years ago, and Jessica has never had another ear infection!
Within the next couple of weeks, I scheduled my first formal CranioSacral Therapy class through The Upledger Institute and haven’t looked back since. Learning CST was the best thing that ever happened to my bodyworking career and certainly for my daughter.
I have since worked on my nephew for the same reason, with exactly the same results. My stepsister was ecstatic! CST has a faithful following in our family. Thank you, Dr. John!
Thank you, Chuck, for believing in your daughter and the potential of your own skills. And thank you to all you other therapists who are bringing your gifts of compassionate touch to our children. You are leaving a deep imprint on the world.
John Upledger, DO, OMM
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida