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Massage/Massage for CP baby

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Question
Hi.. My 8 month old baby girl is being evaluated for CP. She has high muscle tone in both arms and legs. We have PT and OT in the works but we are now in this waiting game. I am trying to find a pedtriatic massage therapist that can work with her or I am happy to learn myself. I live in Los Angeles, and was hoping to find someone or somewhere? At this point i dont care what it costs or if it is covered by insurance. Please help!!!! Thanks

Answer
Hello Stacey,

Thank you for your question regarding pediatric massage therapy.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term that refers to many possible injuries to the brain usually occurring during fetal development; before, during, or shortly after birth; during infancy; or early childhood.  CP is not a disease, not progressive, nor communicable.  The United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation estimates between 1 ½ - 2 million children and adults have cerebral palsy in the United States.  10,000 babies and infants are diagnosed with cerebral palsy annually.  1,200 - 1,500 preschool age children are also recognized to have cerebral palsy each year.


Managing Cerebral Palsy with Massage Therapy

People with cerebral palsy usually receive combinations of therapies to help manage their condition.   Physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, and speech therapy are helpful in managing cerebral palsy.

Without question massage therapy can have a valuable role in improving the quality of life of a child with cerebral palsy.  Research performed by the Touch Research Institute has indicated children affected by cerebral palsy receiving massage therapy showed fewer physical symptoms including reduced spasticity, less rigid muscle tone overall and in the arms and improved fine and gross motor functioning. In addition, the massage group had improved cognition, social and dressing scores on the Developmental Profile and they showed more positive facial expressions and less limb activity during face-to-face play interactions.


Relieving Cerebral Palsy Tension and Spasms

In a study published in Nursing Times. (Massage for Children with Cerebral Palsy.) Researchers noted an increase in circulation in paralyzed limbs, with a change in color and temperature.  Massage may also be helpful in decreasing tone in spastic muscles, relieving tension and spasms, and improving blood circulation and digestion.

Because CP is the result of brain injury, it is important to also consider gentle nurturing touch which can stimulate the cranial areas helping the muscles to release.  Passive range of motion movements can assist in maintaining and increasing flexibility, provide movement in the joins and prevent contractures of the muscles.

Pediatric Massage for Cerebral Palsy

Pediatric Massage for cerebral palsy requires specific skills to adapt massage and nurturing touch techniques suited for the child’s specific cerebral palsy condition(s), treatment and treatment plan.

Healthcare professionals including massage therapists who wish to provide massage for pediatric patients with cerebral palsy should consider specific specialized training in this area. The comprehensive Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz with Cerebral Palsy Course for massage therapists and healthcare professionals provides educational and professional training to those who wish to enhance their skills.  Through this advanced pediatric massage training, participants will learn massage for pediatric clients with cerebral palsy, massage techniques, nurturing touch techniques, and information about the most common types of childhood cerebral palsy including spastic, athetoid, ataxic, and mixed cerebral palsy.

Massage therapy may not ultimately cure cerebral palsy, but this nurturing touch may provide some of the most beneficial and therapeutic touch in the child’s treatment plan.


Massage may be a supportive therapy that can be readily applied, most effectively by specially trained massage therapists or by parents who have learned massage techniques from a skilled, educated massage therapist.   Pediatric massage and nurturing touch are the most appropriate massage techniques to use in this population.  

If you would like to contact a Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist (CPMT), please contact Liddle Kidz Foundatio www.LiddleKidz.com  

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Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT

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Infant Massage, baby massage and children's Massage Expert, Tina Allen welcomes any questions relating to infant and baby massage, children's massage, pediatric massage, and massage for infants and children who are hospitalized or in hospice care.


Additionally, through her internationally recognized volunteer work, founder of the Liddle Kidz Foundation, Tina Allen has extensive experience providing massage therapy to men and women who have advanced HIV/AIDS, are elderly or living with terminal illness in hospice care.


Experience


With over a decade of service to children and families, Tina Allen, founder of leading children’s health and nurturing touch organization Liddle Kidz Foundation, has become an internationally respected educator, author and expert in the field of infant and pediatric massage therapy.

Ms. Allen is the author of the internationally acclaimed, “A Modern-Day Guide to Massage for Children”.
She is a Pediatric Massage Master Teacher, Developmental Baby Massage Teacher, a Licensed Massage Therapist with specialized training in providing massage therapy for infants and children with special healthcare needs. Ms. Allen understands the varied physical and emotional needs of hospitalized and medically complex infants, children and their families.

Ms. Allen managed the nation’s first comprehensive pediatric massage program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), and is currently consulting on the development of comprehensive pediatric massage programs. for The Mayo Clinic, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Shriner’s Hospital and Sutton Children’s Medical Center.

Through Liddle Kidz Foundation Global, Ms. Allen regularly organizes groups of professional volunteers to travel to other parts of the world to provide global outreach to children and their caregivers.

A widely known expert in her field, Ms. Allen has appeared on NBC and The Learning Channel’s “Bringing Home Baby”, KCET and PBS’ “A Place of Our Own”. Her work has also been featured in many international publications including Massage Magazine, Massage and Bodywork Magazine and Massage Therapy Journal. She is a featured columnist with Massage Today Magazine.


Organizations
Liddle Kidz Foundation NCBTMB ONE Concept ABMP • The Heart Touch Project • International Association of Integrative Medicine

Publications
Massage Magazine • Massage & Bodywork Magazine • Massage Today • International Integrative Medicine Publications in Canada, Japan and Australia • Momstyle News • Children's Hospital Compass

Education/Credentials
Licensed Massage Therapist • Certified Pediatric Massage Master Teacher • Certified Pediatric Massage Therapist • Certified Infant Massage Teacher • Developmental Baby Massage Teacher

Awards and Honors
• 2012 AMTA Humanitarian of the Year • 2011 International Massage Therapist of the Year • First 5 CA Champion for Children • 2009 Massage Therapy Hall of Fame Inductee • Richard Ryder Award for Dedicated and Passionate Service

Past/Present Clients
Children's Hospital Los Angeles • Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA • Cedars Sinai Medical Center • May Clinic • AI DuPont Hospital for Children • Nemours Foundation • Connecticut Children's Medical Center • Children's Mercy Hospital • Dell Children's Medical Center • St. Mary's Hospital for Children • Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center • TrinityKids care

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