Qigong massage has been used in China for thousands of years to treat a variety of children’s ailments. Now, a qigong massage program has been developed for children with autism that can be given in the home that reduces symptoms of autism. Parents who give their children this simple, daily, fifteen-minute massage report that within a few months, tantrums and difficult behavior decrease, and language and social skills improve.
Research shows that behind developmental delay and behavioral problems seen in children with autism lies a sensory nervous system that is out of balance – the child’s skin, eyes, ears and nose simply don’t perceive their own body and the events of family life the same way the rest of the family does. Things that should feel good, don’t seem to feel good (e.g. warm clothes, hugs from grandparents, good food), and things that hurt, don’t seem to hurt (e.g. cuts, scrapes, burns). The result is that either the child doesn’t notice what is going on around them, or they find it uncomfortable and try to avoid it. In both situations, they are missing out on normal, everyday social learning. Both ways, their sensory problems cause them to react in ways that we interpret as problem behavior.
In scientific research, this qigong massage program has been proven to correct sensory problems in five months or less. Within a few months, children are calmer, more aware of what is going on around them and more comfortable. As the stress and confusion caused by the sensory problems disappear, autistic behavior decreases, and along with it the child’s whole system comes back into balance. Children are better able to focus, pay attention and learn. At the end of five months, parents report significantly less stress in caring for their child, and great satisfaction in being given a tool that they can use to ease problem behavior, and help them catch up on their development.
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