Massage therapy for SPD?
I have a family member newly diagnosed with SPD. I am a certified massage therapist, and was told by his occupational therapist that massage would be beneficial to his treatment. I am eager to help in any way I can, is there any information concerning SPD and massage therapy that you can refer me to? Any articles, websites, ANY information would be greatly appreciated!
The SPD Help Line Answers...
I don't have any SPECIFIC information or websites regarding the benefits of massage directly on SPD kids, however, I can certainly make a connection and tell you that it is/can be quite beneficial!
We do know (and it is proven) that deep pressure/proprioceptive input is one of the most calming, organizing, and regulating types of input, particularly for SPD children (and adults). Because of it's positive effects on the nervous system as a result of providing deep pressure stimulation to the muscles and joints, I would highly recommend it as well. It could potentially help sensory seekers AND sensory avoiders, even the tactile defensive since deep, firm pressure is the most tolerated and necessary type of input for them.
I have not personally run across any studies, but if you were to find them, the most likely places might
be BJOT (The British Journal Of Occupational Therapy) and AJOT (The American Journal of Occupational Therapy)... both of which you should be able to access in a college library. Certainly, any information regarding the positive effects of infant massage could also get us somewhere. That information is out there (even probably on the web) too. Or, research that has been done on the benefits of deep pressure, weighted vests, etc. might help you. That information is in the journals (especially the Sensory Integration Quarterly... maybe your OT subscribes to it? and/or on the web as well). Lastly, I have tons of research on my SPD Research
page... you may find something there as well.
I would be curious to know what YOU know, as a trained massage therapist regarding the effects of massage on the nervous system, specifically. Was any of this part of your training? Maybe we can put our training together to help understand why and how massage therapy can be beneficial, then make deductions related to SPD?
Meanwhile... does anyone know of any information or studies regarding massage and SPD?? Please let us know! My opinion? YES! Massage Therapy could certainly help SPD kids and adults, if they tolerate it.
Hope to find some answers too.