Friday, August 8, 2008

Woo, Take 2.

So Thursday I posted about Joy's upcoming appointment for craniosacral therapy. Here's the update in a nutshell: for the first few hours it looked like astonishing results, but later it was much less clear.

Joy was bouncy early Friday morning but definitely had a short fuse. On the way to drop Rose off at summercare, she fussed at the stoplights and bit her shoe and gagged herself with her hand. I could get some smiles out of her if I engaged her energetically (i.e. not while I was driving) but she was cranky if I took my attention elsewhere.

The practitioner, we'll call her H., had some toys that were attractive to Joy (note to self: get several of those Koosh-like pufferballs) and Joy played while I got a demo of the approach on me. H. put her hands first on my upper chest and back, then on my head, commented that I had a lot of heat in my cranium, wondered if I'd been having headaches or trouble with temperature regulation. Umm, no, not really. Then she focused a while, made a soft movement, and said, "There! Did you feel the release?" Umm... maybe I felt a little bit of a something... I'm pretty suggestible that way though.

So then it was on to Joy. She rather followed Joy gently around the room, tried to engage her, then started holding on to her in the belly area. Joy let her hold on for a few secs, then squirmed away but didn't go running. Then she did several holds in the area of Joy's head and neck, keeping her in the interaction for a count of 10 each time, in whatever position Joy wanted to be -- sitting, lying down. She said that Joy's hyoid bone, an odd U-shaped bone in the neck that supports the base of the tongue, was up too high, and that the resultant choking feeling could well be responsible for some of the crankiness and biting/gagging and sleep difficulties we'd been having. She put her hands on Joy there, and after a slight struggle, Joy suddenly swallowed and sighed deeply. Several more interactions in the same vein, and our time was drawing to a close. H. placed small squares of kinesiology tape near Joy's ears where the jaw connects, saying that this would inhibit some of the twisting tension she's felt there. I was surprised that Joy let her do it and let the tape stay without clawing at it. We're to put tape on at least for overnights, but it can stay on as long as Joy's willing to let it be there.

Joy was considerably more relaxed than at the start of the appointment, and then had a different species of release, by way of a full diaper. After I finished washing up from that, Joy and H. were hanging out in the waiting room. Joy was just sitting happily on the sofa, making eye contact and smiling at H. Given the opportunity, H. put her hands on Joy's legs, said she could feel the rhythms there too, and she sort of focused in, not even counting out loud this time. Joy just relaxed right into it.

The daycare report later in the day was startling. All the way up till nap, Joy was chipper and giggly. She didn't race around teetering and tripping on thing the way she had Wednesday. She stayed with the other kids and made lots of eye contact and laughed and laughed. Best daycare-day she's had in a long, long time.

But later in the day some of the issues were evident again. She tried to bite JoyDad a couple of times, gagged herself with her hand, went back to biting her shoe. She may have still been in a better mood, but it wasn't particularly obvious. She also still had trouble getting to sleep.

I did like H. and the way she interacted with Joy, and Joy's immediate reactions were utterly fascinating. We've got another appointment in two weeks, so we'll see.

Woo knows?


Niksmom said...

Just like many therapies which involve the body healing/readjusting/realigning itself (vs. being molded, cast, or otherwise immobilized to maintain a position), it will take some time for the body to decide the "new" alignment is better. It soundslike she responded really well though. Hope it helps make things a bit easier for you all! :-)

Anonymous said...

Sounds reasonable to me, too. I agree with niksmom. With the tension leading up to something new, I imagine some relief that it was not a bad experience - but with all the recommendations for H. - bad outcome was a low potential. I value your opinion on CS for Joy. Thanks so much for sharing. Would you share what JoyDad had to say about the treatment? I'll be watching for more reports. Barbara

datri said...

Interesting. It's always so hard to tell if things are really working. I hope it does! We will be trying something new with Kayla (drugs, yikes!) in a month or so. Fortunately our ABA teacher is a data collection diehard, so we'll be able to have empirical evidence to see if it actually helps. Sometimes your own expectations get in the way of an objective assessment of a new treatment.

BTW, I think it's funny our kids will hug anybody but getting eye contact is such a challenge!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences with this. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in wondering sometimes what effect a particular therarpy is having on my child. Sounds like a positive experience for Joy overall! Keep us posted.