University funds study in the use of qigong massage for children with autism

Oregon – Western Oregon University will be funding a study geared towards evaluating the efficacy of qigong, a form of Chinese massage that can potentially be used to lessen the sensory issues of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

The study will be undertsken by Dr. Louisa Silva, founder of the Quigong Sensory Institute who has co-authored twelve studies in the field of occupational therapy and therapeutic massage bodywork. She notes that because children on the spectrum often have sensory problems, specifically with respect to touch, they often do not respond to external stimuli in a typical manner.

The massage treatment differs from Western styles which is oriented towards improving capillary blood flow as opposed to targeting both the muscular and lymphatic systems. Further, qigong  has been found to reduce tactile problems by as much as 30% and  also  helps to alleviate behavioral issues.

The study will be free of charge and offered to youngsters aged six to eleven who have uncomplicated autism and who meet further stipulated criteria.It will be comprised of weekly training for parents over the course of five months using treatment that will be tailored to each specific child and researchers will follow up with participants every year after the study has concluded.

Parents can email  for further information.

The original article by Amy Wang on the Oregon Live website can be read here