resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.