Individuals with Medical Fragility and Movement Therapy

A brief dalliance with over-commitment left me creatively starved and absent, once more, from this blog. A worthy post proves suitable re-entry: one close to my heart and rife with potential – potential research, potential practice, potential benefits.

Movement therapy has earned its stripes as a valuable asset to myriad treatment plans. Specifically, I sought to determine some best practices, methods, approaches and all around treasures within its implications for working with individuals with medical fragility. Below are some useful sites, definitions and further investigative measures to cultivate the practice and generalize the principles across populations with varying physical and cognitive abilities.

AFT: The medically fragile child (2009):

Define medical fragility:
A medically fragile child is one who, because of an accident, illness, congenital disorder, abuse or neglect, has been left in a stable condition, but is dependent on life sustaining medications, treatments, or equipment, and has need for assistance with activities of daily living.
• What are some common diagnoses and features of an individual who is medically fragile?

– Have chronic health care conditions such as diabetes, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy (CP);
– Be a transplant recipient and require special health care support, such as tube feedings, oxygen therapy, suctioning, tracheostomy care, or a ventilator;
– Have limited mobility and require special health care support due to paralysis or chronic disease.
Define Movement Therapy
Based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected, the American Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual.
Dance/movement therapy is:
-Focused on movement behavior as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship. Expressive, communicative, and adaptive behaviors are all considered for group and individual treatment. Body movement, as the core component of dance, simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention for dance/movement therapy.
– Is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational and forensic settings, and in nursing homes, day care centers, disease prevention, health promotion programs and in private practice.
-Is effective for individuals with developmental, medical, social, physical and psychological impairments.
– Is used with people of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds in individual, couples, family and group therapy formats.

How does movement therapy work for individuals with medical fragility?
UCLA (p. 7 of 12) :

Cross-reference of diagnoses and therapies: medfrag_therapy


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