Dr. Candice Boyer specializes in neuromusculoskeletal medicine at the Lancaster County Osteopathic and Integrative Health Center in Pennsylvania. She incorporates the Otteroo in the treatment of all of her infant patients.
Part of your speciality is cranial osteopathy. What does that have to do with newborns?
We believe that the bones in the head actually move. And so, birth is a pretty big trauma, both for mom and baby, but specifically for baby. All those bones kind of get squished together through the pelvis and through the birth-canal and then they don't always expand the way they're supposed to with that first big breath and that first big cry. And so as osteopathic physicians, it's our job to find restrictions specifically in the head and the spinal cord, and take care of those restrictions so that the baby can grow.
What kind of restrictions would you find?
Challenges we see are babies that aren't nursing, babies that aren't latching on, babies that aren't sleeping, babies that if they went to the pediatrician would be determined to have "colic." Then babies with a big long medical term called plagiocephaly which just means that the bones are misshapen giving the baby an appearance of a flat spot on his or her head. Those are probably our main diagnoses that we see in newborns, and then of course, we use it... I have a very amazing patient population and we treat a lot of their newborns just preventatively to make sure everything's kind of where it should be. And so sometimes just in those preventative checks they're super tight. When they're tight enough that we know it's going to warrant a few treatments, we actually go ahead and start using the Otteroo.
We get like 10 times more work done when we use the Otteroo than when we don’t use the Otteroo.
How do you incorporate the Otteroo into your practice?
If we decide to use the Otteroo, we'll do it once a week or once every other week and we really just start them in the tub for 15 minutes. Sometimes they hate it and sometimes they only last a few minutes, and we try to push them to get to at least seven minutes. Our staff loves Otteroo because it's super easy to put on. Mom can see that baby's safe and that we're not choking them because they're a little bit nervous sometimes at the beginning. And then how we incorporate it, we float them and once they're done floating the staff will actually massage them with some essential oils. And then we put them in for an osteopathic treatment and we get like 10 times more work done when we use the Otteroo than when we don't use the Otteroo.
Explain what an osteophatic treatment looks like to someone who has never seen one.
Osteopaths start in all different locations, but I usually start at the pelvis. And so it looks like my hands are under their bottom and we allow them to kind of wiggle around and take care of some of the restrictions there. And then I work all the way up treating their kidneys, treating their livers, treating their respiratory diaphragms, and then all the way up to the head. And really, it's very gentle. It's not like we're cracking anything. It just looks like our hands are placed in different areas along the body. I would say what you would notice that 90% of babies cry when we get to their head. Not necessarily because it hurts but actually physiologically as they cry they increase pressure and so it allows us to get through their restrictions a whole lot quicker.
Do you think every single baby needs to be "treated with the Otteroo"?
I think as an osteopathic physician that, of course, I'm biased because this is what I do for a living, but I think every baby should be treated osteopathically. I would say babies that are extra tight, the Otteroo helps us get accomplished what we need to. Could most babies benefit from the Otteroo under good supervision? Absolutely.