resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
October, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 10
Nurturing Touch for Pediatric Cerebral Palsy
By Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Working with children teaches you many things, and makes you realize that being fully present is the difference between a positive session and one where nothing is accomplished.
his is extremely important when you are working with someone who is nonverbal. You have to work together to find the best way to communicate. Of course, you should inquire as to any methods a family or healthcare team is already using to communicate with the child. However, as a massage therapist, your first thought might be of the tactile sense. We should actually use all of our senses to make that first connection.
The opportunity to work with children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy has presented me with many occasions to communicate with children in a variety of ways. Some of my clients have specific ways they move their eyes to signal yes or no. Others can give you their version of "thumbs up" or "thumbs down," while some use communication devices or a few words. It is important to establish communication when providing massage therapy. Not only to explain a session or positioning, but also to establish rapport and request permission prior to applying nurturing touch. In order to provide massage for anyone, especially a child, you must have their express consent.
Many people believe that if someone is nonverbal, you cannot communicate with them. This is obviously not true. Our work is founded in communicating in a nonverbal manner. We use our first language, touch, to really communicate with our clients. I've probably learned some of most valuable lessons working with clients who speak in a different way.
Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disease, meaning it does not worsen. However, there are many conditions that develop as a result of cerebral impairment. Remember that the child is a child with a diagnosis. The diagnosis does not give you the full picture. Take the time to really see the client.
A child with cerebral palsy might present with very mild symptoms or a combination of symptoms.
Some of these symptoms and conditions include:
As with any diagnosis, it is important that we meet our client and consider an individual approach of what they might need. One big consideration is positioning. Children with cerebral palsy experience spasticity. In addition to touch, positioning may increase spasticity as well.
Pediatric massage is also more effective with a foundation of strong communication. So, working with children who are nonverbal creates a special opportunity to connect through touch. Once you have established this connection, your hands-on work may provide a multitude of benefits.
The benefits of massage for children with cerebral palsy are unquestionable. These potential benefits include:
As much as the physical benefits are important, the emotional benefit of providing nurturing touch for a child that has been exposed to repetitive medical interventions is profound. Even if a child hasn't had numerous medical interventions, when a child appears unlike others, many people in our society treat them differently. In our culture, people fear those who look, act or sound differently from themselves. Many times, isolation and depression are side effects of being "different" than others.
The best approach with cerebral palsy is to realize massage therapy is not a cure, but can be an effective non-invasive intervention to address the various symptoms that are associated with this diagnosis.
One little boy I worked with recently showed me this first hand. During my work in orphanages in Vietnam, his eyes called to me. Immediately, I noticed he was so severely contracted and lying in one position that there were wear marks in the wooden slats where his body touched and wore out the wood. As I lifted him from that crib, I wondered what he was thinking. Doing my best to explain, still I wondered if he understood I was there to do no harm. Using nurturing massage and some range of motion, I tried to loosen his tight muscles and frozen joints. This proved a challenge to find any movement. We spent a majority of our time making eye contact, while I held him, rocked him and spoke to him. It wasn't long before he laughed. He laughed, it was amazing! He understood my safe touch, funny faces, songs and stories. It didn't matter that we didn't speak the same verbal language. He understood through touch and eye contact. I wasn't initially sure if this little boy understood what was happening, but now I knew that he did. My dear little friend now knows someone in the world loves him enough to hold him and treat him just like another child. He is not different from another child. He just needs love, attention and nurturing to find his childlike giggle.
Sometimes, it is not so much about using our hands to affect muscle tone, increase range of motion and ease constipation, but rather to make a connection and allow a child to feel relaxed enough to laugh.
Click here for more information about Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT.
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