Cerebral Palsy Study

Cerebral Palsy Study

The Study

The purpose of the study was to see whether Bowen would improve the symptoms endured by children with Cerebral Palsy and, if so, measure the amount of improvement.

Many parents commented that they had always wanted to try a therapy but didn’t know which ones are effective. There are so many on the market that they did not want to waste time and money with no results.

A study, such as this one, gives some results available for parents looking for data and facts.

6 children started Bowen sessions.  They needed at least 2 for any assessment of change to be made.  One child only had one session, she dropped out for other medical treatment; her sleep had improved.  The rest had 8-10 sessions over 6-10 months.

Measurement areas included:

  • ability to walk and sit
  • general coordination
  • behaviour
  • ability to perform everyday activities
  • muscle tension and muscular cramps
  • tiredness
  • speech

The Results

Of the remaining 5 children, any child that received Bowen every 2 weeks, with occasional 4 week gaps, showed good improvement in one or more symptoms, where “good” means a drop of 2-3 points.

The child with the least improvement was Child #2. Although she had 9 sessions in 10 months, her treatment was disrupted for long periods due to surgery. After each surgery her symptoms were worse than before the treatment.

The assessment chart was marked by the parents using the following scale out of 10:

1-3: No problems or satisfactory
4-7: Minor problems
8-10 Serious problems

At the start of the study and then again after approximately every 3 or 4 sessions, the parent would rate their child against the symptoms. The assessment specified 17 types of symptoms and sometimes the parent would add in extra ones.

Example symptoms include:

  • Ability to walk
  • Co-ordination
  • Balance
  • Urination control
  • Perform everyday activities
  • Eyesight
  • Trembling
  • Emotional

The amount of improvement is not summarised because of its subjective nature. For instance, what Camelia thought was a good improvement was sometimes seen as a slight improvement by the parent and vice-versa. The assessment recorded the parent’s view.

From this small study and lack of scientific rigour, it is not possible to prove anything of statistical significance. However, as you can see from this series, improvements were noted and recorded by the parents. And Camelia has received letters of thanks where the parents have attributed the change to her work.

The Children

Child #1 – Boy, 6 years old, can’t sit, can’t walk, but can speak and he is a happy and clever boy. This is a boy who said to his mum: “Mum I wish I could run one day like other children”.

After 10 sessions, we can see that his biggest improvements are in his:

  • Balance
  • Memory
  • Focusing ability
  • Interaction with other people
  • Emotional State

He is more vocal with good speech.

His coordination is still not very good but after he plays he tidies up easily without dithering with each movement. His ability to perform every day activities has improved when we look at how he uses now his cutlery and how he tidies up the toys.

His mum said: “since starting Bowen he has become a lot more talkative and happier”, “he is more focused and his memory skills are very good”.

Child #2 – Girl, 9 years old, mild cerebral palsy, can walk, hemiplegia, left arm and leg affected, pains in the right leg when she walks more than 500m, seizures. Never sleeps during the daytime.

Her treatment has been disrupted due to surgery. After 4 sessions she had a 7-week break, then another 3 sessions. After 7 sessions she had hip surgery and was too weak to come to the clinic.

Her family has noticed:

  • Slight physical improvement in muscle tone and flexibility
  • Significant development in emotional and social behaviour

Since mid-October a change in medicine has coincided with being “seizure free”. The drugs are working much more effectively. No seizures for the last month, a dramatic improvement from 6-10 seizures a day.

There are also improvements in her eating and trembling, and small improvements in her balance, ability to perform everyday activities, muscle tension and muscular cramps, and tiredness.

Child #3 – Baby Boy, 14 months old, a twin, total body involvement, can’t sit on his own, happy, responsive. Left side more affected.

After 5 sessions his physiotherapist could see a big improvement in his supported sitting and overall tone and strength.

He had 8 sessions altogether. During his 7th session his mum wrote this: “D brings his left arm forward much more. He is putting both hands together and exploring his left hand. He is reaching with his left arm a lot more and even tried to pick up a jigsaw piece with his left hand which he has never done before. D rolled over for the first time [at 16 months].”

His improvements were in his:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Muscle tension
  • Tiredness
  • Starting to use his left hand.

Child #4 – Girl, 14 years old, severe cerebral palsy, can’t sit, can’t walk, can’t talk, just vocalizes, very sleepy, poor eyesight, doesn’t want to play, smiles occasionally, but she understands what people say to her, multiple infections.

After 10 sessions, she has improvement in:

  • Eyesight
  • Muscle tension
  •  Trembling
  • Emotional state (she is happier)
  • Speech (vocalises more)
  • Stretching and moving legs
  • Constipation

Her mum wrote: “Before Bowen Therapy, she has never been able to bear her weight. After 10 sessions she is able to weight bear on both legs for around 1 minute before leaning on her dad for support. Her legs would be a little bent at the knee. Hopefully with some more sessions she may be able to straighten both legs and the length of time standing will increase. She has never stood unaided in her life. It was unbelievable to witness her stand for the first time.”

Child #5 – Girl, 2.5 years, twin, hemiplegia left side, hydrocephalus, can’t walk, can’t stand, speech delayed, poor focus.

Did not return for her 2nd session.

Child #6 – Boy, 15 months old, total body involvement, left side more affected, doesn’t use his left hand, can’t sit on his own, and can’t focus on things.

After 9 sessions he has improvements in:

  • Sitting
  • Rolling
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleeping
  • Focusing ability
  • Ability to perform everyday activities
  • Coordination.

In general, he is now very happy and talkative. His auntie saw a general huge improvement after not seeing him for 2 months. His consultant also is impressed by his evolution.


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