Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Feldenkrais Method (ABM) for Cerebral Palsy

The Feldenkrais method relies on the nervous system’s ability to change and learn through a unique combination of physical therapy, psychology, and martial arts. Through “teaching” the nervous system, the Feldenkrais method claims to redirect a body’s nervous growth.

The combination therapy consists of developing movement, biomechanics, psychological treatments, and even martial arts. The Feldenkrais method for cerebral palsy can organize these elements of the person into learning how to better control one’s movements and to train the nervous system in acting in different ways. The method can help by using very simple techniques that aid in spastic muscle function and its development. Many patients in cerebral palsy have spasticity, or stiffness, in their muscles. The Feldenkrais technique can be used to help spasticity and aid in walking, sitting, or pain relief from the tension in the muscle.

As the senses interact with motor functions, a development takes place that falls into an effective pattern for future improvements. Using the Feldenkrais method for cerebral palsy, an affected person can work toward controlling and manipulating their own bodies. This control is essential in maintaining balance during walking or standing.

The therapy is often very slight, gentle, and non-invasive. This kind of therapy can be effective because it is so gentle and guiding.

More on ABM (Anat Baniel Method): Cutting-edge Treatment for Cerebral Palsy, Brain Damaged Infants and the Brain Injured Child
More on the Feldenkrais Method:
Who Benefits from the Feldenkrais Method?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holistic Therapies for Cerebral Palsy Patients

I found the following post on We've consulted with a dietition and have looked into acupuncture and biofeedback (see post on ABR) for our son. At any rate, I found it to be an interesting list of holistic therapies for CP.

Step 1:
Try consulting a nutritionist, who can show you how to monitor what your child eats. Diet plays a big part in how severe cerebral palsy symptoms are. Foods that contain additives and preservatives can exacerbate your child's condition. You may also need to get your child checked for any food allergies, so you can avoid serving things that might be toxic. Go for a healthy diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains and unprocessed foods.

Step 2:
Investigate acupuncture. Find a licensed, certified practitioner and see if a few sessions achieve any results. The object is to insert thin steel needles into certain areas of the body that stimulate the part of the brain that is damaged and ease other physical problems a cerebral palsy patient may have. This is not painful at all.

Step 3:
Biofeedback has been used to help with cerebral palsy symptoms. This treatment involves having electrodes attached to the skin, with the purpose of reading the body's biological signals, which are then intensified. This results in a feedback which can assist the brain and increase movement.

Step 4:
Body work may help. This may involve any number of holistic therapies, such as reflexology, rolfing and massage therapy. These can help relaxation, improve the circulation of the blood, aid in diminishing muscle spasms, and ease pain in those who have cerebral palsy

Step 5:
Consider trying the Alexander Technique. It helps improve balance, helps the cerebral palsy patient with developing more coordination and increases range of movement. This may be accomplished in several sessions that take place over a designated period of time. The biggest challenge may be in locating someone who teaches this particular method of healing.

Intensive Pediatric Therapy and HBOT for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Our immediate goal is to provide our son with intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy coupled with another 40 sessions of HBOT in the spring of 2009.

Nestor Serrano and his daughter Amelia are featured in the clip below. Amelia was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy early in her life and the Serranos have provided similar therapy for their daughter. You can read more about her story here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cord blood: A weapon against cerebral palsy?

This may have been an option for our son if we had saved his cord blood...

I emailed the doctor involved in this research, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University. She is keeping my email on file and will let me know if they start any studies that might help our son.

What to Buy for Baby: A growing number of ingenious gift givers have discovered a special kind of present for new babies and their families...