Autism is commonly associated with sensory and self regulatory disturbances. The most recent research into autism and the effects of Qigong massage on these disturbances is revealing great improvement for the children affected by autism.
Qigong massage consist of hands-on or hands-near therapy. Similar to traditional forms of acupressure or Tui Na, it makes use of pressure points, tapping, grasping and rolling techniques to stimulate the flow of Qi (Chi) for balancing and replenishing. Similar techniques now used in best massage chair models (link), (link)but those are coming with a nifty price tag.
According to Chinese medicine the body has two components, the Qi body ( Yin body) or inner body is the foundation of the Yang body and the root of health and longevity.
The experience of a Qigong massage begins when the practitioner gauges the levels of the 12 primary Qi channels (ShiErJing), which are related to the internal organs and how they function with one another. Any abnormality will be treated with Qigong massage , acupuncture, herbs or a combination of the three.
Qigong massage is derived from 5000 years of study and practice. Tui Na, often used in the practice of Qigong massage, focuses on pushing, stretching, and kneading the muscle rather than the pinching and pressing of acupressure points.
Unlike western medicine which treats the symptoms of the illness, Qigong massage focuses on Qi healing in order to attain non-chemical results. It is based on affecting the energetic system as well as the circulatory systems of the blood and lymph since Chinese medicine maintains that imbalances or blockages of these systems can create illness.
The author of this study, Dr Louisa Silva and associates have been in the process of researching the effects of Qigong massage in children with autism since 2005. In this early case series eight children under the age of 6 experienced twice weekly Qigong massages from their physician and daily Qigong massages from parents over a 5 month period, followed by 4 weeks of daily parent Qigong massage.
The conclusion from this case series revealed a decrease in autistic behaviors and increase in language development in all children as well as improvements in motor skills, sensory function and over all general health.
Since the 2005 case series, Dr. Silva has continued this research. In 2009 a “randomized controlled study evaluated the effect of a 5 month intervention directed toward improving sensory impairment , digestion and sleep in 46 children with autism under the age of 6″.
During the intervention all 46 children worked one on one with their Qigong sensory trainers 20 times over the 5 month period. during this time parents administered daily treatments for the same period of time. Improvements were observed in two separate settings.
Preschool teacher (blind to the group) evaluations revealed that treated children had significant classroom improvement of their social and language skills and a reduction in autistic behaviors compared to wait-list control participants. Parent data confirmed these findings.
Holistic alternatives for the treatment of autism has, over the past decade, grown and expanded into viable forms of intervention. Early intervention in the life of an autistic child can change the entire course of their lives. The power of touch proves to be a great tool for therapists, practitioners and parents alike.
“Choose each day to be blissful and complete, a whole person well cared for by you”
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