Childhood is the building block for later life.

We believe as Osteopaths that prevention and early treatment before a problem gets too entrenched in the body could lead to a better outcome later in life.

Children coming through the challenge of the birth, the growth spurts and the usual multiple falls and tumbles  during development, need our support.

The Water babies way of improving motor skills and confidence through the physical activity in water could potentially complement the Osteopathic approach aiming to release physical tensions in the child’s body. We want to link our skills with other professionals and help children who may have imbalances, and therefore expand the network of support.

The Water babies are one of the most popular UK swimming programmes, led in Somerset and Bristol by Bryony Johnstone and her team of teachers. Babies can go to the very nurturing and warm environment of the pool to freely experience buoyancy and have a special skin-to-skin bonding time with mummy or daddy while cheerful nursery rhymes are sung.

As lessons go on, under the close supervision of the parent and teacher, the children learn to perform specific movements with a small group of other babies, and even gain confidence by swimming under water. All the steps are carefully guided and very progressive. The swimming techniques have been recognised to increase safety in water, and strengthen the babies’ lungs and diaphragm. They also develop their listening and understanding abilities by following commands and by miming with other children. The coordinated response greatly encourages the development of the brain and the nervous system pathways.

There is also a course for children with special needs. Often these children may struggle with coordination and altered muscle tone. The water helps the relaxation of the muscles while the specific movements are designed to encourage muscular synchronisation and development in a medium reducing the effects of gravity.

In order to understand the benefits of Osteopathy, the swimming teachers attended some of our evening lectures in Bristol and Bath, which we held to demonstrate how to detect imbalances in children. Swimming is such a good way to observe a child’s posture and movement tendency, enabling the teacher to suggest a referral to an Osteopath if they think anything is indicated.

We have been very pleased to get to know our two professions better and share the wealth of our specialised fields. Our hope is to develop a wider support network for the health and development of young children.

Violette Aubry &  Xavier Decup, BSc (Hons) in Osteopathy

You can contact the Water babies:

  • Lessons for children from 2 days old to 4 yrs of age.
  • All teachers are fully qualified ASA/STA and registered with the lifesaver awards with infant specialisation.
  • ½ hour duration

By phone on 01794 324 353

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