TBM and Neonatal support

Immediately after his birth my premature baby needed to be stabilized and put on life support.  Cleverly, doctors use the umbilical vein and artery for access – they can add nutrients or IV medications and take blood samples as needed and it’s less invasive for baby, especially when they are extra small babies.  Brilliant!

But (there’s always a “but”!) after 10-14 days those lines need to be removed in order to prevent the risk of infection.  So preemies such as my son need to be able to accept breast milk through the tube that runs to their stomachs (from either their mouth or their nose).  It sounds so easy but for brand new, underdeveloped human beings it doesn’t always happen.  And that was the case with Oscar.  He was “feed intolerant”.  All of that good, hard-won, round-the-clock-pumping expressed breast milk was regurgitated on a fairly consistent basis, and that meant that the docs would have to insert an IV catheter from his arm to his heart in order to deliver necessary nutrients directly into his blood stream.  The PICC line is a better option than infant starvation for sure! but like any invasive medical procedure it comes with a set of risks including infection, blood clots, and permanent scars.

Before time ran out on his umbilical IV lines they attempted to insert a PICC line but couldn’t get it.  The plan was for a different doctor to try again in a day or two.  We were desperate to avoid it.


The ND that I see for my own health support (“Physician Heal Thyself” does not mean “Go it alone and never seek an outside opinion”!) uses a technique called TBM or Total Body Modification.  My husband and I had both experienced good results with it so I had taken the course early in my pregnancy so that I could offer it to my patients.  My ND agreed to mentor me and another colleague so that we could build our skills.  I wanted to feel stronger in the modality before using it in my practice to my patients.  It is an amazing process, was developed in part with NASA, and yet I have a hard time explaining it.  I’ll keep trying in another post one day.  Until then I’ll stick with testimony of its power.

It was at a mentoring session nearly two weeks after my son had arrived that my baby was treated using my body as a surrogate for his.  We were 10km away from him as the crow flies.

It turns out that Oscar was in fight-or-flight mode.  Hardly surprising considering that he had been a perfectly contented little fetus bouncing around in his cozy private pool when he was unexpectedly yanked out into bright lights and handled by a team of five people!  It was also found that his pyloric sphincter, which connects the stomach and the small intestines was in spasm.  So while I stayed focused on him MY pyloric sphincter was manually adjusted…two weeks after I had had abdominal surgery…it hurt…and his nervous system was reset (using my spine).

It was 5:45pm when I left the clinic and drove straight to the hospital.  My husband was thrilled when I walked into the ward – our baby had kept his 6pm feed down!  I cried (for neither the first nor the last time…I’m misty even now as I tell our tale).

By rounds the next morning Oscar was deemed a “miracle”!  He had kept down all of his feeds during the night!  It was unprecedented!  The doctors and nurse decided to challenge him that day by aggressively ramping up his feed volume and they deferred the PICC attempt by a day.  If my two pound little bundle of love could keep every last drop of my milk in his tummy for a day then they would cancel the PICC line altogether.  It was cancelled.

I know it may sound unbelievable, or esoteric, or crazy but I don’t care!  I would have walked across hot coals if I had thought that it would help him (and this was WAY less painful even with the adjustment to my/his stomach!).  I do strongly believe the saying that “We are not mortal beings having a divine experience, but we are divine beings having a mortal experience.”.  The power of prayer has been studied, documented, and proven, and “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” [Shakespeare].  There are many inexplicable phenomena in medicine, and while I do generally opt for hard evidence to guide me and support my decisions as a practitioner, there are times when we need to open our minds to that which we cannot see or explain, and to allow healing to simply happen.


I will not interfere with the medical treatment of a babe in a NICU, but I can offer TBM support to that child through the parent if they are interested.