It looks more like a game, with its patting and jiggling movements, but the qigong massage treatment for children on the autism spectrum provides healing for a serious ailment.
Autism spectrum disorder is a leading cause of communication and behavior problems and the most prevalent childhood disorder in the U.S., afflicting an estimated one in every 100 children and one in 58 boys.
Based on a new application of ancient principles and techniques from traditional Chinese medicine, the qigong treatment program also offers relief for families struggling with the developmental delays and behavioral challenges faced by children on the autism spectrum.
The program was developed by Louisa Silva, M.D., M.P.H., and validated in randomized clinical trials at Western Oregon University’s Teaching Research Institute.
The documentary film, “Helping Families with Autism: Qigong Massage,” chronicles the progress of families who took part in the five-month research program.
“To me, this is the missing link,” said the mother of one child in the film. “It unlocks the kids and it is just an amazing thing to see.”