You may have heard about craniosacral massage therapy as a means of dealing with different types of special needs, such as cerebral palsy, autism, Aspergers Syndrome or even ADD / ADHD.
Does it work? Can it harm? These are the questions we had when heard about this type of massage therapy.
We found out about this type of massage therapy fairly early in the game, when our son was just an infant. Once we realized that basically this type of therapy is a specialized form of infant massage, we felt it was a worth a try. After all, there really isn't much of a down side to massage therapy - other than the cost.
Our son started this type of massage therapy at about 6 months old, and he had about 8 sessions over the space of about 6 months or so. He loved it. Even as an infant, he responded to the very gentle massages by visibly relaxing his whole body. This actually is a big deal for a kid with cerebral palsy!
What makes craniosacral massage therapy special is that it is a way of gently stimulating the nerve endings all the way up the spinal cord.
As I remember the way it was explained to me it is a way of 'waking up' the cells in the brain to help the brain develop new neural pathways.
For any child with a brain injury, such as cerebral palsy, this type of stimulation is key.
And, although I doubt anyone could ever definitively measure the results, it's our feeling that the craniosacral massage therapy did help our son.
We feel this way for two main reasons.
First is the way his little infant body responded to the therapy. He truly relaxed his body and seemed happy and content. For a little kid that otherwise was given to fairly constant little 'tremors' of muscle movement, this was a big deal.
Not only did he find the massage therapy pleasant during the process itself, but he also seemed calm, happy and physically relaxed for hours afterwards.
There really was a noticeable difference in his demeanor before and after the cerebral massage therapy.
The other reason we felt that this type of massage therapy was beneficial is the overall progress he made - especially in the early stages of his life.
When we left the hospital with our 4 week old baby, we weren't given much of a prognosis.
Some doctors were more positive than others of course, and we hung on their every word.
Still, we found that he improved quite well. Better than the most hopeful doctors.
Since we really didn't do much in the way of therapy in those early months, it seems very likely to us that the craniosacral massage therapy was one of the things that had a very positive impact on his development.
If you have a child that could possible benefit from craniosacral therapy, we recommend that you give it a try.
Do be careful though that you find the right massage therapist, especially if dealing with an infant.
Babies are very fragile and you want to make sure that you have a massage therapist that has been specifically trained to do this type of infant massage.
Have you experimented with this type of therapeutic massage? What did you think of it? Did it help?
Or... Are you a registered massage therapist or craniosacral therapist? Do you offer craniosacral massage therapy for people with special needs? Tell us about it - have you found it helps your clients? In what way? Is there any condition that should NOT have this type of massage therapy? Tell us what you recommend....
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