As we go through life everybody is subjected to a certain amount of stress. This is quite normal, and in many ways beneficial. However if a particular stress is severe, or there is an accumulation of minor stresses, or a stressful situation is maintained over a long period of time, the body’s self-healing mechanism may get stalled or sometimes even becomes overwhelmed.
Stress can come in the form of car accidents, falls and sports injuries, that are physical in origin. Or from mental and emotional strains. These can include bereavement of a loved one, divorce, or the pressure of an over-demanding job or employer. Bullying, either at home, in the work-place or at school, and physical and sexual abuse all have a hugely stressful affect, where both physical and emotional stress can be present.
Stress can also be biological in origin. Disease, bacteria and germs can bring about stress in tissues, organs and body systems. Surgical interventions are by their nature very invasive, and the resulting scar tissue contraction, and possible adhesions can affect nerves, cause pain and limitation of movement.
Pregnancy and the process of giving birth, while quite natural, can leave the mother in emotional and physical turmoil, even when everything goes smoothly. If complications arise either during pregnancy or during labour, stress increases many-fold. Pelvic and back pain feature regularly, both before and after birth.
The baby, too, is not immune from problems, some of which can actually happen in the womb. All babies move around in the womb, some more than others. Quite often they will leave an arm or leg behind in an awkward position, or their head and neck at a particular angle over a protracted period. This can induce tension into muscles and tissue which can result in problems later on if not treated.
The birthing process is scary and physically demanding for the baby, even without complications. The head and neck come under a lot of pressure forcing their way through the birth canal and through the powerful pelvic floor muscles. If being pulled and rotated by forceps is added, even more stress is induced in the head, neck and thorax. Thankfully the human species has been doing this for millions of years successfully, and most babies come through it with flying colours. Sometimes, however, if there are feeding or sleeping problems, it may be as a result of some of these tensions having been retained.