“Our son is doing really well!  He rolled over from tummy to back a couple times this week, he’s using his right side a lot more in tummy time, and in general is happy in his body.” (Written after torticollis session #2)

What if helping your baby to learn to move more freely could also be a bonding experience?  Dan Rindler’s Feldenkrais-based approach for babies with torticollis emphasizes learning new options for movement with a whole-body/whole-child approach.  It can be used as a stand-alone approach or implemented in conjunction with traditional physical therapy exercises.
Torticollis Baby Sketch
Addressing the whole body
When we look beyond this baby’s neck to observe her whole body, we notice that her left shoulder and left ribs are also affected, the left side of her pelvis is raised and her left leg is flexed.  With such an asymmetrical foundation, it follows that the habitual pattern for her head and neck is to tilt? (Not every baby follows this pattern, but every baby with torticollis has some pattern of holding throughout the body.)

This holistic viewpoint is used to inform the way  touch and movement can support a baby in learning to find more movement possibilities. A baby may react with tears and cries when her tight neck is stretched, but working with her ribs, her hip, or her leg, will feel less invasive to her and she will learn to move in a way that doesn’t engage her neck muscles in their habitual pattern of contraction.

Addressing the whole child
This approach focuses on how we can help your baby to learn to do the things they desire – i.e. to see your face, reach and grasp – as a way to overcome the limitations of torticollis. This makes the learning more meaningful and immediately rewarding to your baby. Improving reaching for a toy and bringing it to one’s mouth makes for a powerful motivation to learn to move beyond one’s limitations. This gentle, effective holistic approach will help your baby to find new options for posture and movement that will benefit him or her for life.

Torticollis :  3 Private Sessions
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For many babies with mild torticollis, three visits are often just the right amount for parents to both see that changes are occurring, and to feel confident that they know how to continue the learning. In other cases, more hands-on time is important and parents choose to continue with sessions after the initial three.  After purchasing the package, you will receive an email or call to schedule your appointments.  It’s recommended that the 3 appointments be scheduled within the span of 1 to 2 weeks.

To learn more about our approach, read Dan’s article on torticollis.