Massage Makes Life Better for Cerebral Palsy
Massage Offers Relaxation and Structural Benefits
Massage therapy can
bring relaxation and structural improvement to those
suffering from this neurological disorder. Edwards
and Bruce describe the conditions of Cerebral Palsy
(CP) and explain how symptoms can range from severe
to mild. Information on the connection between the
brain and muscles of a CP patient, and how a massage
therapist "by using slow and repeated movements" can
"trigger a desired response (lowering of muscle
tone) by working through the pathways to the brain,"
are explained by Edwards and Bruce. Since some CP
clients may not be able to communicate verbally,
massage therapists are encouraged to pay close
attention to CP clients' breathing patterns and
facial expressions and develop an acute sensitivity
to the clients' needs and comfort level. Edwards and
Bruce point out the hypersensitivities to sensations
some CP clients with brain injuries may experience
and they discuss techniques to assist the therapist
in giving a gentle and non-irritating massage. Goal
setting for the massage therapist and the CP client
are discussed by Edwards and Bruce, for the
importance of tracking progress and to emphasize the
therapeutic value of massage for people suffering
from CP. A sidebar, "4 Categories of Cerebral
Palsy," is included.
Magazine, July/August 2001.
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