Marin Free Children’s Clinic Sept ’08 (i)

3 weeks ago we held the first free children’s clinic hosted by Anat in the center in San Rafael. We had 13 ABM for children practitioners and 30 children. Anat oversaw the lessons together with Cheryl Eichner, who is one of the most senior and experienced ABM practitioners and an assistant trainer.

The children ranged in age from 4 months to 11 years and presented with a range of issues that I list here to give you an idea of the spectrum addressed by the method. We had children with tetralogy of fallot – congenital heart defect, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, cerebral palsy, schizencephaly, recovering from a broken leg , autism, Pierre Robin, partial Trisomy 12p, Asperger’s, HFA, Down’s syndrome, lissencephaly, severe stutter, social anxiety, selective  mutism, tension, adhd/sensory issues, occupational therapy issues that relate to balance and coordination, handwriting, and speech, problems associated with prematurity, legally blind, attentional challenges, dyslexia, Noonan’s syndrome, cerebral malformation and non specific undiagnosed mental and physical developmental issues.

I have asked a couple of the practitioners to share their experiences.

Jan Peterson writes:

I participated in the Free Children’s Clinic as a practitioner and attended the one day workshop on the next day. I worked with a delightful 8 year old girl who had broken her thigh bone in a trampoline accident. She had had surgery and was in a wheelchair for about 3 months. She had a distinct limp and I could see that she wasn’t moving her lower back when walking. The lesson I gave her helped her to feel the power in her low back. At the end of the lesson her limp was definitely better.

The most striking part about working with this girl was how much fun she had during the lesson. When she was arching her back she felt the space between the table and her low back and said “it’s a bear cave”. I spoke with her mother a few days later. She needed the information for the next FCC because she saw such dramatic results from the FCC in September. She noted that her daughter’s limp was much less. She said that since the lesson that the kids stopped teasing her at school. She also was able to hike over weekend, something that she wasn’t able to do before.

Overall what is so striking about these children’s clinics is that everyone, even little babies are quiet, attentive and appear to be enjoying themselves. One little girl was crying before and at the beginning of the lesson. Anat moved her to a private room to work with a friend of mine. She had had a lot of intervention and was crying about being there. She cried less and less as the lesson went on and the mother wanted to follow up with more lessons because she was so pleased with the interaction.

Another mother who brought her entire family including 5 children from Oregon warned the older children that their younger sibling may cry during the lesson because he usually cried during his treatments with the  chiropractor and craniosacral practitioner He was quiet during his lesson and it struck her so deeply that she spoke about it the next morning.

Tomorrow – Peggy Chipkin

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