Children with special needs are both a reward and a challenge to treat. While these children may bring a host of issues to your treatment room—loss of movement control, speech difficulties, or even incontinence—it’s also their unique needs that inspire therapists, stimulating their creativity and therapeutic approach, with successful client growth often being the end result. Here are 11 elements that have been tried and true in my work with special needs children, and a young girl named Sophie, in particular.
Yogis need massage and massage therapists and bodyworkers need yoga. The two arts are sisters. Therapists’ knowledge of yoga informs their creativity as bodyworkers, while their knowledge of body mechanics enhances their own yoga practice and teaching. For their yoga-practicing clients, an MT can sweep away the tension remaining after a yoga session, thereby facilitating the transformative nature of yoga. This makes “tuned-in” bodywork not only complementary, but also the perfect partner to focused, transformative yoga.
My perceptions of children have shifted since I first began studying embryology. If you consider the stages of consciousness as they evolve in utero and throughout early life, you cannot avoid the fact that prenates, babies, and children are astoundingly conscious beings. Yet, we have managed to do just that—ignore the fact. Spurred by breakthroughs in research about brain function and development, we are now prime for a shift in how we regard pregnancy, infants, children, and youth.
“The question in an imperfect competitive reality is: How do we move forward together? How can enterprise touch and improve life?”
— Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi
The belief in compassion and human potential that is the basis of the healing arts is a new direction for an evolving business environment. Today’s rallying cry, at such places as Toyota and Proctor & Gamble, is for love, community, sustainability, and service. They have learned the lesson that without ethical, social, and environmental engagement, economic returns run dry.
One of the most devastating and frustrating diseases of our time, multiple sclerosis (MS) generally targets those in the prime of youth, between ages 20 and 40, wreaking havoc on their bodies and their lives. As yet, there is no cure. Nor is the cause clearly understood, although researchers suspect multiple contributing factors. MS is a chronic neurological disorder in which the immune system apparently and inexplicably attacks the protective myelin sheaths surrounding nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord.
As a survivor of torture I know how wounds of violation can live in the body and the mind. My recovery included bodywork, and so I know both its assets and liabilities in resolving shock of this magnitude. I am now both a practitioner and a teacher of somatic therapies for survivors, which has added substantially to my perspective on what it takes to rebuild one’s life from the pyres of hatred.
An estimated 4 million Americans are involved in automobile accidents each year. The fallout from these accidents can end marriages, abort love affairs, steal body parts, damage families, and arouse hatred and terror, punctuating the life stories of one in every four Americans.
“If I am working with a gay man, I always inform him that I have AIDS so that he can feel comfortable about disclosing his status if he wants to. I think it models comfort with disclosure which I feel is important for gay men.”
When the strands of the many cultures of Mexico are woven with the threads of a new spirit of healing and transformation, the resulting garment is like a huge brilliantly colored shawl (rebozo). This shawl extends between Mexico and the United States as an embrace, bringing warmth and comfort to those it touches. In the little town of Fortin de las Flores, near the Gulf of Mexico, Americans and Mexicans gather to weave this rebozo for themselves and for all the people they know. One particular gathering a year ago stands out as a shining example of the tapestry of healing.