When we learned that Max probably had Cerebral Palsy (CP) I made it my mission to learn about as many different techniques, therapies and treatment plans as I could. I knew there were a lot of programs and amazing results for stroke victims so I figured there would be lots for children with CP since its basically the same thing (an injury to the brain that controls motor function). I was surprised to find that there aren’t that many. The majority of the mainstream (medically accepted) practices just focus on the muscles and movement. I was surprised that there weren’t that many that focus on brain rehabilitation. CP is a brain injury. Yes it affects the motor movements, but its a brain injury.
Eventually I started directing my searches for neuromuscular therapies. I discovered one that looked promising. Its a therapy approach called Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization. It is a fairly new method that is primarily used in sports rehabilitation. It was developed by Dr. Pavel Kovlar at the Prague School of Rehabilitation in Prague, Czech Republic. Long story short, its kind of like combining reflexology, yoga, accupuncture and neuromuscular science. The focus is to get the body in alignment, utilize reflex points to initiate proper muscle contractions (stimulate the movement control centers of the brain) thus resulting in the stabilization of the body.Since its from Czech, there aren’t a lot of places utilizing this approach and I couldn’t find any testimonials for children. I bookmarked it but left it at that.
Randomly, one of my new mommy friends’ husband is a chiropractor but had started going in a new direction. He was pre-med but he never wanted to be a surgeon. Instead he found the non-traditional therapies interesting and was looking at being a bridge between modern/western medicine and conservative/hollistic. She passed on his info to me. Low and behold he is getting trained in DNS!
We were fortunate enough to start talking right when one of the specialists from Prague was coming to town to teach a seminar on DNS. He set up an appointment and the instructor met with Max. She gave him his first therapy session.
I was skeptical but hopeful that this could help Max. During the first session, I saw Max use the muscles in his shoulder in a way that I’d never seen before. This is HUGE! Max always brings his shoulders forward not up and back. For the first time, Max was moving his shoulder blades down. This is a precursor to being able to lift his arms up.
The next day he was holding his head up longer (like significantly longer) when he was in tummy time. During the week we heard some Baabaa and Bebe’s! Is it the DNS or was it coincidence? I don’t know but I do know that I won’t disregard the DNS.
He’s had 2 sessions so far, but just like the traditional therapy that he’s getting, the main purpose is to show me how to do the exercises so that I can work with Max every day. So for the last two weeks, Max does one day of traditional therapy, next day DNS and I’ve been giving him a break on Sunday.
Last week when we went in to see the physical therapist she couldn’t believe how much he had improved.
Two days ago, Max started lifting his hands up when I go to pick him up. Mind you, he’s not lifting his arms way up over his head but he’s lifting his arms up not just out! Its such a wonderful feeling to see your little one lift their arms up for you to pick them up… especially when you know how much work goes in to that movement. I’m so proud of my little man for everything he is accomplishing!