I realized the power of using my hands to effectively treat children when I met my son in Guatemala. I had been a Pediatric Occupational Therapist for 17 years and was highly trained in many traditional techniques when I traveled to adopt my son. I had taken craniosacral classes 10 years prior, yet I did not frequently use craniosacral therapy because my employers felt it was not an appropriate modality. I struggled with the duality of the scientific world and the truth that my hands found in doing craniosacral therapy. Yet, in a hotel room in Guatemala, I knew it was the best modality available to me, so I assessed my son.
I removed his hat and found a right plagiocephaly with torticollis. Developmentally, my 4-month-old son could not lift his head in any position. He could not roll or reach for any rattles or toys. He would began to cry any time that I picked him up. His suck was weak and non-rhythmic causing him to lose so much of the milk I was trying to feed him. He was not aware of anything in room and could not track at all. Head positional changes caused him to cry in pain and distress and he did not tolerate touch.
After just one week of craniosacral therapy, my son:
Started to roll to the right
Obtained the ability to assume a prone on elbows position
Could maintain a supported sit position for two minutes
Could suck 5 ounces of milk from a bottle
With an overwhelming sadness that broke my heart following the adoption process, I had to leave Guatemala after just one week only to see my son again at 10 months old. With great relief, at 10 months old he still had the same skills as he did at 4 months. The good news was that he had not lost what we had gained in that week together. So we began again and he progressed.
Over the years, I began to take more specialized classes to help my son and I was able to use the knowledge I received to:
Round my son’s head
Improve his motor skills to an age appropriate level
Help his eye-hand coordination and improve his ability to read what he so wanted
Resolve vestibular and movement processing issues
Work with structures that affect learning and information processing; for my son, it took him from a C student to an A student.
Craniosacral therapy has allowed me to help children of all ages and with a multitude of difficulties—from breastfeeding to bottle feeding issues and oral-motor and feeding difficulties, to children with sensory issues addressing tactile, vestibular, muscle, attention, focus, and behavioral issues, to children with attachment, emotional, and birth issues.
The value of craniosacral therapy for me and my son was exceptional. This experience motivated me to help others find a path forward on their road to healing by utilizing craniosacral therapy.
Magda Girao, OTRL, CST-D, NDT, Founder
Magda has more than 20 years of experience as a licensed occupational therapist. Magda has a Diplomate (advanced) certification in craniosacral therapy through the Upledger Institute. She is certified in neurodevelopmental techniques, is an expert in the treatment of children with breastfeeding and other feeding issues, and is certified in therapeutic listening. Magda has extensive training in feeding issues and is trained in tethered oral tissues, SOS Approach, Beckman Protocol, Talk Tools, Nomas, mealtime misery, and AFRID.