Massage therapy with Cerebral Palsy

Posted on November 16th, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term that refers to many possible injuries to the brain during development, birth, and early infancy. It is the result of brain damage, usually to motor areas of the brain. The motor disorders of CP are often accompanied by disturbances of sensation, perception, cognition, communication, and behavior.

So, now that we know what CP is exactly, how can massage therapy assist an adult with CP? Right now, 400,000 adults with CP are living in this country. The most common problems are acute and chronic pain, fatigue, balance problems, and weakness. It’s undeniable that the studies conducted show massage therapy is a benefit in improving the quality of life of CP client. Contrary to what one might believe some of the best modalities are deep tissue and craniosacral therapy; however one should consult with their primary physician to assure this approach is suitable for you.

With my client, I incorporate a variety of approaches in our session. Swedish for general relaxation, deep tissue in very taut muscles and soon craniosacral to aid any CSF (cranial sacral fluid) blockage traveling the spinal cord. Massage therapy can work with proprioceptors to reeducate functioning muscles and improve balance. It can also help improve efficiency of movement for better stamina. Often times Massage Therapist become part of an important network of supporters for people who tend to live in social isolation.

The most precious benefit massage therapy can offer is the experience of being touched, rather than handled- this can be a rare gift for anyone living with a chronic serious condition.

Resources:
http://www.cerebralpalsysource.com
www.abmp.com magazine, Nov/Dec 2012 Pathology Perspectives

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