Qigong massage can be used to aid those with autism.
wphoto provided
Qigong massage can be used to aid those with autism. wphoto provided
Practitioners of qigong massage say that applying the technique can help mitigate the effects of autism.

On August 29, from 6 to 7 p.m., the Sisters Public Library will host a presentation by Rosimery Bergeron, MS, CRC, LPC, on this mode of autism treatment. Bergeron reports that 15 studies on the technique have shown that young children with autism who receive a 15-minute daily massage from their parents over a 5-month period have experienced a decrease in the severity of all aspects of autism.

Qigong sensory treatment (QST) massage is a research-proven, parent-delivered treatment that can improve all aspects of autism, including sensory, behavioral, social and language.

Bergeron began offering QST massage in 2010, became a parent trainer course moderator in 2014, and a master trainer in 2017. She is one of 10 master trainers worldwide, certified by the Qigong Sensory Training Institute in Salem, Oregon. Bergeron opened Autism Treatment Center of Bend in March of 2019. She has 30 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents, adults and families.

In Chinese medicine, “qi” means life energy, and “qigong” means working with life energy. Qigong massage is a Chinese technique consisting of 12 movements of a patting massage on acupuncture points related to autism issues.

When delivered in tune with the child’s body responses, it normalizes the sense of touch. The child’s brain starts to integrate the three streams of information that are present in social interactions: sense of the body in space, sense of sight, and sense of hearing.

Practitioners assert that QST massage may improve eye contact, language, learning, social interaction, sleep, digestion, potty training, tolerance to frustration, transitions and skin sensitivity. QST massage may also help to reduce behaviors such as head-banging and tantrums.

Bergeron trains parents to deliver an attuned massage.

“Early intervention (2-6 years old) is key to improve cognitive functioning and prepare kids to go to school. The success of the treatments depend heavily on delivering an attuned massage to the child’s body-responses to touch, and the frequency of delivering the massage,” she explained.

“As mammals, we learn to calm down and regulate our emotions and behaviors by being touched. For instance, as infants we calm down when we’re held. Our nervous system needs touch to survive and develop the sense of safety and belonging which comes from a loving attachment in early childhood. These experiences form the foundation for social engagement.”

Parent touch is fundamental for QST massage treatment for children with autism.

“My job is to help parents learn how to do an attuned massage and to treat their children,” she said.

Early registration for the library presentation is recommended, but Bergeron welcomes folks who just show up as well. She will show a video to illustrate children at the beginning of treatment and their progress as it continues. The main focus of the presentation is to have an open discussion about QST and its benefits for children with autism.

To register for the class and learn more about QST visit www.autismtreat

ment.center. Rosimery Bergeron can be reached at 503-917-1239.