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7 essential improvements at your fingertips through fascia strengthening techniques

Part 3

Multi-dimensional Repertoire of Gestures 

vs robotic mono-dimensional movements

When I ask parents about their expectations, they  generally say:

‘I would like my child be able to grab objects’ or ‘I would like to see my child able to crawl’, etc.

This over-simplification shows that they usually oversee the uniqueness of each piece of the big puzzle they are trying to put together. We will see here that any movement necessitates preliminary mechanical characteristics that must absolutely be present. 


Let’s do a few simple tests with your child:

Lay him/her down on a table.

  1. Put your hand under his/her head and lift it so that his/her chin touches the thorax.

Observe what happens.  The shoulders leave the ground?  Lifting the head coincides with lifting part of the thorax itself?  Fascia is weak and your child lost proper segmentation between the head and the thorax.


In the same position,

  1.  Grab one arm and cross it over to the other side of the thorax. 

The head (and in many cases, the rest of the torso) are involved in the movement as well? This means that fascia is weak and your child lost proper segmentation (division) between the arms and the thorax.


Still laying down on the back,

  1.  Grab one leg at the ankle level and lift it 90 degrees without bending the knee.

The other leg and even the pelvis leaves the ground?  This means, in turn, that fascias is weak and your child lost proper segmentation between the legs, the pelvis and the lumber spine.


In other words, your child is moving as one block. 

Training him/her to move without first creating proper segmentation between the head and the shoulder girdle (1); between the arms and the torso (2) and between the legs and pelvis (3) is, at the very least, very limited and leads to what  is called, ‘robotic  mono-dimensional movements’.

In healthy individuals, yourself for example, you will observe that your head is segmented from your torso (which allows you to turn the head selectively), your thoracic cavity is segmented from your abdominal cavity (which allows you to turn to the side without moving the pelvis), your legs move independently from each other and from your pelvis(which allows you to walk with balance).

You benefit of what is called multi-dimensional repertoire of gestures. 

Fortunately, these segmentations are achievable through the  strengthening the connective tissues (fascia)  with easy to learn techniques called ‘trans-fascial visco-elastic stimulation’.

With time, the child shows movements which are more selective, fluid and controlled.  Training then makes more sense as the child with CP is not imprisoned in a mono-block structure anymore.


Next time, I will speak about Spontaneous Weight-bearing vs excessive voluntary effort.


See you soon!


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7 essentials improvements at your fingertips through fascia strengthening techniques​​​​​​​

Part 2

Vigor and vitality

 vs vulnerability and fragility

Two dayss ago we discussed the concepts of Robustness ​​​​​​​(vs Neck and Trunk weakness),

Today, I would like to discuss another essential concept in which the development of your child’s motor skills depend: Vitality and Vigor

Does your child have the energy and vigor to accomplish all the demands that are placed on him/her throughout the day?
‘Hold your head up!’ ‘Straighten up!’ ‘Put one leg in front of the other!’ ‘Watch this video!’ ‘Crawl!’  ‘Go to school!’  ‘Do this… and do that…’ ‘Common, you can do it!’

Let’s have a closer look…

Where do healthy children get their energy resources from?

Good food absorption, digestion, hydration, respiration and sleep… these are the main fuel sources that allow them to respond to physical, intellectual and metabolic energy demands day after day. Once they have used up their energy throughout the day, when they go to bed, there is always a ‘surplus’ of energy left that allows them to grow and remodel throughout the night.  Their battery is never totally dead.

What about a child with cerebral palsy?

Food absorption is poorer, hydration is not ideal, respiration is far from optimal and sleep is rarely restorative.

As a result, the child with CP cannot benefit from the same energy resources as his/her peers or siblings. Actually, these deficiencies take a heavy toll on your child’s overall energy and as a result, your child uses at least three times more energy as their peers, to carry out any activity, be it metabolic, intellectual or physical.

3 times more energy!!! Can you appreciate how significant this is?

This means they use 3 times as much energy to breathe, digest, move around and even just to stay seated in their wheelchair!

If commuting to school is a one-hour journey, this corresponds to 3 hours of fatigue for your child with cerebral palsy… just on the way to school!!!  The round-trip to school and back creates 6 hours of fatigue every day, just to go to school and stimulation is not even accounted for yet. Would you personally be willing to face the fatigue that comes with commuting 6 hours a day to go to work?  Five days a week?

As a result, a child with CP is usually exhausted, out of any ‘surplus’ that would allow him/her the ability to thrive and flourish as any other child.

Stimulation at all cost is not the answer! 

It has to be intelligently and strategically planned and applied. Otherwise, you override your child that already has to deal with
metabolic, physical and sensory challenges.

Reinforcing fascia(connective tissues which surround and inter-penetrate all internal organs) improves metabolic functions automatically and spontaneously.

Your child starts breathing better, digesting better and sleeping better. Consequently, their energy level is tripled and interactions with their surroundings therefore improve.

This should be your first objective, regardless of the rehabilitation approach you choose to follow.

Just experiment 2 small changes in your child’s life:

1.  Increase relaxation time. Encourage moments of rest, away from noise and confusion; introduce soft music sessions.

2.  Double their water intake

With just these two small changes, your child will already feel a difference, be more relaxed and open to his/her environment and to you!

Next time, I will talk about another essential developmental virtue you can develop with your child:

Multi-dimensional repertoire of movement vs robotic mono-dimensional movement
​​​​​​​or more simply, the importance of creating independent movement of the head, arms and legs from the torso to expand their repertoire of movement.

Don’t miss it!

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7 essential improvements at your fingertips through fascia strengthening techniques

Part 1

Holding head and torso without effort!

What is robustness?

​​​​​​​It is the ‘spontaneous’ capacity to hold one’s head up and trunk straight in a vertical position.

When I say ‘spontaneous’, I mean that this ability cannot be attained through training, it has to be embedded into your child’s structure.  You have certainly observed your child’s strenuous efforts to attain these achievements, which look more like an Olympic accomplishment rather than normal motor functions.

Why is it so difficult for your child to lift the head or sit ‘up’? 

Simply because the very canvas embedded in each of us, ensuring proper and spontaneous support, is dramatically weakened in a child with cerebral palsy.  Asking your child to ‘hold’ a position, while his/her canvas is not reinforced, goes back to attempting to get a rag doll to stand upright.

Your child bravely appeals to their skeletal muscles to attempt to ‘lift off’, but these muscles aren’t designed to accomplish that function and require lots of energy to activate (just think how tired your muscles get when you lift weights at the gym!)

Weight-bearing should not require any effort! 

 When our fascias have proper tone, they insure a hydraulic capacity within our bodies that allows us to hold spontaneously hold a specific position.

The problem, in children with cerebral palsy, is that these tissues are weakened and hydraulic capacity is consequently lessened.  However, the good news is that fascias can be strengthened through specific and easy to learn techniques.

No more strenuous effort, no more unattainable goals, no more disappointments.

Strengthened fascia creates an improved hydraulic capacity inside your child’s neck and torso, improving the spontaneous and real support of their structure. 

Next time, I will be covering the second set of developmental conditions that are realistically attainable:

Vitality and vigor vs vulnerability and fragility

​​​You won’t want to miss it!



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New research reaffirms ABR’s principles

Mark Driscoll, ABR researcher, MBA, presented the results of a 3-year-study on ABR technique to the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, in September 2014 in San Diego and to the 1st Asia-Oceanian Congress for NeuroRehabilitation, in Seoul, South Korea in September 2015.

Driscoll, M., and Blyum, L., (2014) Results of a 3 year prospective cohort study investigating the influence of home-based therapy on cerebral palsy patients GMFCS types 4 and 5.


Capture d’écran 2015-10-17 à 13.06.12Capture d’écran 2015-10-17 à 13.06.28

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The secret for your child to be more successful in the upcoming school year.


Parents with special needs children all have the same obsession: stimulation!

It is commonly believed that the more you stimulate your child physically and mentally, the better your chances are to see him/her improve both functionally and cognitively. However, have you thought about how much energy this constant stimulation (and often over-stimulation) requires from your child? There are 5 sources we all draw our energy from: food, good metabolic functions, hydration, proper respiration and sleep. If we look at it more closely, one will quickly realize that CP children do not eat as much as their healthy peers, don’t digest as easily, drink less (usually a lot less!), often have respiratory problems and suffer from poor sleep. For all these reasons, it has been proven that a CP child spends 3 times more much energy than their peers to perform ANY activity, be it intellectual, motor or merely vital! In other words, a one hour drive in the adapted transportation to go to school (half an hour back and forth), represents the same fatigue as a 3 hour drive for him/her!!! And stimulation is not even counted yet… watching a video during half an hour represents the same fatigue as one and a half hours; being in a noisy environment stresses him/her out 3 times as much as any other child. Result: there is no remaining surplus (always available in healthy children) to grow, thrive and flourish as a human being.

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ABR ‘beats’ the GMFCS curve!

Have you ever heard of the GMFCS (Gross Motor Classification System)? Most parents have not…although it is THE international standard tool used in both North America and Western Europe to assess clinical intervention in Cerebral Palsy.

The GMFCS is a 5-level classification system. Level 1 corresponding to mildly affected children, generally walking without restrictions, but tending to be limited in some of the more advanced motor skills. Level 5 corresponding to the most severely affected children that are very limited in their ability to move themselves around, even with the use of assistive technology.


GMFCS clearly demonstrates the limitations of functional training with brain injured individuals.

According to these curves, all levels of severity demonstrate the same phenomenon that is characterized by a discontinuance of functional improvement by the age of 9, with the most severely affected individuals (level 3, 4, 5) showing diminishing curve benefits and progress as early as age 4 or 5.

All levels of severity taken together show the same phenomenon after the age of 9 and some demonstrate this occurrence even earlier. In the most severe cases, levels 3-4 and 5, there are diminishing curve benefits and progress after the age of 4-5 years old.

The GMFCS study speaks for itself. Professionals, in spite of all their efforts to improve the fate of children with Cerebral Palsy, often refer to this phenomenon as a curse: ‘We can’t beat the curve!’ It’s an expression frequently used in conferences by healthcare professionals.

In other words, poor structural qualities lead nowhere in terms of function, regardless of the intervention used to target their maximization.

But, here is the good news!

ABR completed a 3-year prospective cohort study developed to assess the influence of ABR therapy on the quality of life, wellbeing, and function of a child with cerebral palsy.  This study included over 100 participants, mostly GMFCS types 4 and 5 (most severe cases), from both the US and South America and demonstrates, with statistical significance, the beneficial results provided by the therapy.

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‘Doing’… at all cost?

As soon as parents learn about the diagnosis of their child, they start worrying about their future. Questions like “Will my child ever walk?” or “Will my child ever talk?” are naturally the first ones to come to mind. However, once they realize the severity of their child, hopes become more modest: “Will my child ever be able to feed himself?” “Hold his head up?” “Sit… communicate?“ Even though expectations diminish, the questions are still functionally oriented… and this is normal. From day one, all scales used to assess the development of the child are related to functional abilities: gross motor scales, intellectual, speech, etc.

However legitimate those concerns are, they should never deter us from even more important questions as “WILL MY CHILD EVER BE HAPPY IN LIFE?” “Will we, as a family, be able to have a flourishing relationship with him/her?” “What does it take to reach that point?” “What are the priorities? Walk… or overcome respiratory problems, regular colds and pneumonias? Talk… or get rid of painful reflux? Crawl… or digest properly and have regular bowel movements? Roll… or benefit from restorative sleep during the night and be full of energy during the day?

You start seeing what I’m getting to? Doesn’t asking the question provide the answer at the same time? To begin with, vital functions in children with cerebral palsy are frequently compromised: they have to cope with poor breathing and digesting mechanisms: simple colds become severe respiratory episodes; oftentimes they have trouble while being fed and afterwards with irregular bowel movements; sleep cycles are interrupted as these children are too tactile sensitive. The list is long… As the sensory input is usually very confusing, learning from experience like their healthy peers becomes a real challenge. In other words, their very FABRIC OF BEING is severely compromised.

Do a simple test: visualize yourself in your child’s shoes. Each day of your life, your lungs are constantly congested with mucus; you suffer from severe reflux and haven’t been to the bathroom for the last 3 days; you can’t remember when you had a good, full night of sleep, and you feel miserable…still, your parents have been told that regular training and stimulation is the secret of your success in ‘doing’ more things and you are constantly encouraged to give 100% of yourself: “Hold the head!” “Sit straight!” “Put your leg in front of the other!” “Hold on to the walker!” “Listen to the music!” “Smile!” “Watch the video!” “Crawl!” “Lift, lift, lift!” “Com’ on, you can do it!!!”

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Clean your house naturally… an ABSOLUTE MUST when you have a child with CP!​​​​​​​

One of the most important problems your child with cerebral palsy (CP) is challenged with is ‘respiratory difficulties’.  Poor respiration has serious consequences on your child’s overall health and well-being.

The cleaner your home is, the more respiration problems you may trigger in your child with CP, because of toxic cleaning products made from petroleum-based chemicals.

The Dr. Mercola site, which is the second most visited Natural Medecine site in the world, proposes these easy suggestions to use safe household cleaning products:

‘You can reduce your chemical exposure by eliminating chemicals in your home, and using only natural cleaning products that are plant based. They are more expensive, but usually more concentrated, and worth it because they are safe.

Another alternative is to make your own natural cleaning products. Using homemade natural cleaning products maks “cents,” because it is cheaper, healthier and non-toxic, and it is fun.

All you need is: 

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Borax
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Organic essential oils (optional)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spray bottles
  • Micro fiber cloths

Baking soda is great to scrub your bath and kitchen. 

  • Put it in a glass grated cheese container with a stainless steel top that has holes in it, and just sprinkle the baking soda on the surfaces and scrub. You may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this. Lavender and tea tree oil have anti-bacterial qualities.
  •  Can also be used as a fabric softener in your laundry.

Baking soda and apple cider 

  • Clean the tub and the drain 

Vinegar can clean almost anything in your house

  • You can add liquid castile soap, essential oil (optional), and filtered water, then clean floors, windows, bath, kitchen, etc.
  • In the laundry, use vinegar in the wash cycle to prevent fabrics from fading.
  • Vinegar can also be used as a fabric softener.

Never use dryer sheets — they are toxic too.

  •  Use vinager to clean windows.

Commercial window cleaners contain butyl cellosolve — a toxic ingredient that is not listed on the labels, so vinegar and water is much safer. Use a micro fabric cloth, not newspaper, which contains toxic dyes.


  • is a good laundry booster and cleaner (it can even remove mold) — and is safe and non-toxic. You may make your own cloth detergent by mixing 1 cup of natural soap flakes, ½ cup of borax and ½ cup of pure washing soda.

Hydrogen peroxide

  • is a disinfectant, and is safer to use than chlorine bleach for disinfecting and whitening. Lemon juice is also a natural whitener.

Liquid Castile Soaps

  • can be found in health food stores and are safer than commercial liquid cleaning products.

Organic essential oils may be used in homemade cleaning products depending on your personal preference and tolerance to these scents. Never use synthetic fragrances or air cleaners.

Making your own natural cleaning products is rewarding and fun, and you can use the natural scents that you prefer while ensuring that your home is safe from dangerous chemicals that are harmful to your CP child, and your entire family’s, health.’

Do not overlook the importance of keeping your house free of chemicals as much as possible.  Just switching to these simple safe cleaning tips may bring significant improvement to your CP child’s health and happiness, in only a few short days.

Source: http://www.mercola.com/

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