Entries categorized "ABR Thoughts"

ABR message finally strikes a chord with medical pros

Long time – no see… Once again – contrary to my best intentions there was a gap in getting stuff published on this blog. The theorists of blogging say that nothing is more detrimental to the readership than irregularity and unpredictability…

Not that I have run out of the things to share – pretty much the opposite – but casual writing seems to be going for me only when I am out of the field work…

Anyway – I hope that blogging sporadically is still better than silence..

Well, first of all the last 7 weeks have been very packed.

  • In March I went to Singapore to re-film the last bits of the long overdue extended course on Super-Soft Ball Rolling Massage – the problem is always the same: by the time I finish one version there are so many upgrades to the technique itself and teachings that the entire course starts feeling awkward and outdated. Even though I realize that it could always be labeled as a ‘beta’ release 1.0 with subsequent updates –it doesn’t work for me  –  to the frustration of my production team I end up with another major overhaul.

However, finally it looks that the Super-Soft Ball Rolling Massage technique enters into the maturity phase with clear distinction between the skill levels – so I am feeling a lot better about the release of the intro course. Hopefully by the end of the summer  we’ll get everything finished – as you all know too well – I am not known for lack of thoroughness :-)

  • Then there was a training session in Montreal. Very encouraging.

On the one hand, excellent progresses related to the evolution of the dorsal compartments (the back; vertebral column etc. ) – and respectively tons of material worthy of quite impressive “before/afters”.

On the other hand – I am very happy to have achieved a next milestone in the development of Super-Soft Ball Rolling Technique – the increased volumetric response, which integrates the benefits of the 3Q and the ball rolling at the same time.

As I am saying that – I realize that I have uploaded the video “ABR Technique Essence” to the Vimeo library but completely overlooked embedding into the blog:

Here it is.

On a practical side – I strongly encourage all of you to learn the recent upgrades of the Ball Rolling – the “Intense Technique” and the “Submerged Technique”.

I recommend it wholeheartedly – go ahead and sign up for the summer trainings if you haven’t done so yet– because these technique upgrades are going to be a major boost in the efficacy of your homework – at least doubling it…

  • Next big thing – me and Mark Driscoll (our principal research guy) – have conducted a 4-hour workshop at the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities – http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/ – titled: “Thrifty” Rehabilitation  – Home- Based and Family-Centered Treatment of Cerebral Palsy.

There were about 30 professional attendees – MDs, PTs, OTs – who specialize in Cerebral Palsy.

Frankly, over the years of life at the fringes being labeled as “alternative” I am used to the resistance and certain arrogance of the medical community towards “unofficial” newcomers.

Well, this time was a refreshing difference.

It appears that our duo with Mark finally managed to strike the right chord and engage the medical audience really deeply. Four hours is a long period of time – but the attention never waned.

I think that finally we have found a winning formula



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Hip Subluxation in Cerebral Palsy Video Series Overview

What is the best way to defuse fear and confusion that you are constantly being exposed to by medical establishment? – Knowledge.
To be precise – not any knowledge but parent-centered advanced knowledge.
I feel it is important to distinguish parent-centered advanced knowledge from a diluted and dumbed down versions of medical textbooks that you find on ‘official’ websites on Cerebral Palsy.

Hip Subluxation Video Series intend to do exactly that –give you a comprehensive perspective on the subject that is exploited most often by fear-mongers.

I have prepared 8 videos – each of them at least 30 minutes long covering a subject of hip subluxation extensively, digging deep and going broad in order to build it into the entire context of your CP child’s development – especially for quadriplegic kids.

Yes, it’s a lot of information and yes, you need to do your homework encouraging yourself on making an effort to absorb and digest it. However, considering all the emotional and financial costs that fear and confusion around hip subluxation and other ‘scary’ issues related to legs alignment and mobility impose on you – I think this homework is going to be a worthy investment of your time.

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Hip Subluxation in Cerebral Palsy – addressing the parents concerns. Part 1.

Not so long ago I have received a wonderful video  with questions about hip subluxation and transitions in the mobility and alignment of the legs. The video is compact – about 6 min long, it shows impressive observational ability of a mother – awareness of all sorts of little details; but at the same time, within these short 6 min it covers the range of  questions and concerns that I hear from many of the other parents being asked over and over again.

I’ve been granted a generous permission to use this video and my answers to the questions asked as the teaching material that will benefit a great number of parents.

Obviously, I am going to stretch my explanations and comments much beyond the original 6 minutes – so I’d probably end up dividing it into several parts.

In the review of the video – I have separated the observations from the statements – which in turn are divided into explanations/ analytical statements and focus points of concern /questions

Since there are 23 observations and 19 analytical statements/questions/ issues of concern voiced by Emma’s mom– even if I spend a few minutes of comments per item– my video will end up being really long. But a number of these issues are so important for each and every of you that I have to dig deeper and show you a broader perspective as well. Obviously – that will add up the video length minutes.

Hence my  first suggestion to you is to have a look at the original 6 min video in its entirety to have a complete overview of the situation and to align yourself with it.

For your convenience I’ve added the captions and actually labeled all the observations and questions.

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Cerebral Palsy – Giving a Boot To Neurological Dogmas. Part 1

In many countries New Year is the time when people throw away everything old and useless that accumulated in a house with the idea of having a fresh start and letting the new things in.

I admire the tradition and decided to follow suite – the first post of 2011 is about flushing  down the drain the outdated neurological dogmas that paralyze and lead astray professionals and parents of kids with Cerebral Palsy alike.  

Disclaimer – big and bold: everything you are going to read is my own extremely biased opinion that is most unlikely to be supported by qualified medical professionals.

I’d actually go even further and say this – to leave no doubts about my extreme biasness:

In my opinion, “brain-based” approach to Cerebral Palsy that treats ‘brain injury’, i.e. damage to a part of the brain,  and ‘Cerebral Palsy’ – disorder of posture and movement/failure in reaching biomechanical developmental milestones -- as the interchangeable synonyms – is the most important obstacle that stifles the progress of physical rehabilitation and freezes current abysmal status quo.

In other words, a neurological paradigm is: a blindfold over your eyes; sticky glue, quicksand and rocky terrain underneath your feet; iron gloves over your hands; plugs in your years and shackles around your feet  – all of these in a single nasty package… So you are welcome to figure your chances of success if you are  ever lured by

In Part 2, I am going to go over 16 most obvious reasons why neurology leads you astray and why the guidance by neurologists who define the discourse of today’s interpretation and approach to Cerebral Palsy is the worst and most unproductive thing that is responsible for astonishing lack of progress in Cerebral Palsy therapies over the last 100 years.

I’ve been thinking about these flaws for years and collected quite a pile – but in order to spare you from a nearly endless list – I gave myself a time line: I put the kitchen timer on 10 minutes and proceeded to write down as many stubs exposing the  fundamental flaws of neurology and brain-centered paradigm for Cerebral Palsy as possible.

By the moment  the timer went “Bzzz” – I was on reason # 16.

Well, If I were to give myself ½ hour – I’d  probably come up with a list that would have been three times as long– but I think even a basic version will do to begin with.

However, before proceeding to Part 2 – the actual list – I wanted to immerse you in the context of the case – I hope that’ll give you an improved perspective.


I do not know whether it’s my nerdy self but I find this picture incredibly funny and strangely appealing.

This is the cover of Harper’s Magazine and it has been on my office’s kitchen table since October but every time I walk past it – I can’t help smiling… The white-haired man with the badge: “Hello my name is Sigmund”, who is being kicked out from a gathering as an unwelcome trespasser by a muscle-bound security,   is obviously Dr. Sigmund Freud.

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2011 New Year Greetings --THE OPTIMISM ADVANTAGE

The New Year is a very special time  – it’s a time of wishes and hopes. There is something about this ‘click’ of the calendar that switches on the inner optimist in us – no matter what type of personality we are in our everyday lives.

And today’s post and my most sincere wish for all of you in this new year is exactly about that –  keeping this inner optimism engaged all the time.

Smile_learned optimnism

In 2011 I wish all of you to turn the internal optimism selector switch  into the “On” position and to disable the “Off” button.

I wish you to improve your ability to enjoy the moment, to fall in love with a journey of making life for your kids better without being anxious over the long-term outcome of “final success”.

I wish you to give yourself praise and to celebrate wholeheartedly whatever small  achievements  and micro-steps of progress your child manages to reach…

I know all these are universal truths perceived by many as banalities and an empty wishful thinking that does not hold water against the storms of the reality…

However, I’d dare to encourage you to make an effort and even when it feels difficult to keep your  optimistic stance – still to keep trying and keeping your internal ‘reality perception’ filters switched into the “Positive” mode.

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New Ideas Avalanche – some unexpected Cinderella stories

Merry Christmas everybody!

My thanks and deepest gratitude for keeping up with my writing, which has been sporadic at best this year – I hope I’ll do better in 2011 (no tongue in cheek :-).

My extra apologies for disappearing off the scene for the last few weeks. I want to assure you that my intention/ commitment to keep this blog alive and vibrant is as strong as ever.
But even the strongest of commitments to write regularly had no chance of withstanding the avalanche of new discoveries and realizations that fell on me over the last 3-4 weeks....quite literally...

The flow of ideas has been so intense that until now  I am  having trouble understanding / figuring out – what  is happening ? -Have I stumbled upon an unexpected goldmine or am I going to be swept away by the avalanche of the ever-growing diversity of options?

In short, the new realizations are going to lead to the new pool of strategies, techniques and tools that are as large if not larger in variety then entire ABR arsenal developed until today.


Because instead of one single Cinderella turning princess– fascia – that ABR has been committed to for the last 10 years, there are 2 more Cinderella stories that suddenly started to unfold really rapidly.

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Cerebral Palsy and Biomechanical Diet. 7 Essential Commonalities Between the Biomechanical ‘Feeding’ and Strategic Nutritional Plans.

Cerebral Palsy and Biomechanical Diet. 7 Essential Commonalities Between the Biomechanical ‘Feeding’ and Strategic Nutritional Plans. 

In the previous post I have introduced the idea of the Biomechanical Diet for the children with Cerebral Palsy together with concepts of ‘mechanical foods’ and ‘biomechanical nutrition’…

I must say, that I was positively surprised by the response and how well this idea connected and took hold. Thanks a lot for your comments and observations – they really help a lot in shaping the ABR educational message.

Today I’ll take these ideas of ‘Biomechanical  Nutrition’ a bit further by showing  7 essential commonalities between the biomechanical ‘feeding’ and strategic nutritional plans that might help you to integrate the notion of the Biomechanical Diet deeper and might be helpful on the level of implementing it in practice for your child with special needs.

Of course, the commonalities do not end with these 7 – but this scope provides a good start.

So, in order to make navigation easier –I have arranged the  most obvious commonalities between the Biomechanical Diet  and Nutritional Metabolic Diet into a numbered list that is by no means exhaustive: 

 1. Spontaneous doesn’t work. ‘By design’ approach is always superior to the ‘by default’ one.

If you want best results – you need to design the specific diet targeting the specific metabolic needs of a person taking into account the individual aspects of the ability to eat, to digest, to process and  to absorb different foods as well as the ability to evacuate of byproducts and ‘leftovers’. As the parents of Cerebral Palsy kids you are very well aware how disregarding just one of these components might cause tons of trouble.

The same thing is true for the Biomechanical Diet – if you want  the best results and if you want to stimulate your child’s development to the maximum possible potential – you cannot afford being aimlessly floating and simply hoping that things will turn out to better by themselves or via sporadic ‘treatments’.

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Cerebral Palsy and Biomechanical Diet

Cerebral Palsy and Biomechanical Diet.

In my constant attempts of making the ABR message more user-friendly I have recently stumbled upon an interesting angle that I want to share today and bring it to your judgment.

I would appreciate the feedback and responses – indicating whether this  angle is worth further pursuing.

I guess the title of the post itself “Cerebral palsy and Biomechanical Diet” pretty much indicates the angle that I plan to take – but let me give you some details.

First of all – some field observations.

I must say that the children with Cerebral Palsy – at least the children of  ABR Families – are the best nourished and taken care of individuals that I have ever encountered in my life.

They are given the best organic foods, home-cooked, balanced for a full spectrum of nutritional needs, delivered at regular intervals and with consistent daily/ weekly routine. On top of that – each child receives a complete set of supplements – from iron to aminoacids to vitamins –  that target the weakest links in the nutritional chains and take care of the gaps left by the staple diet itself.

Experience shows – such a serious approach to the diet of a child with Cerebral Palsy, especially a weaker quadriplegic one – is vital and essential. Without such attention to detail and installation of consistent routines – things go downhill very quickly: troubles with digestion; stomach pains; vulnerability to infections; constipation; intoxication; weight loss and so on.

What I want to do in this post is to draw some parallels...

First – in order to thrive Musculoskeletal system needs not only regular ‘metabolic’ foods but the special kind of food – mechanical stimuli.

It won’t be too far of a stretch to say that musculoskeletal system at all the levels – from deep fascial core to the superficial striated muscles – feeds of mechanical interactions with external environment.

In other words –mechanical stimuli are food for musculoskeletal system.

Well, and here is the first parallel – such mechanical stimuli could be “nutritious” or “empty”; they could be “staple” foods or “pleasure” foods; they could be “balanced” or “imbalanced” …

Basically everything you know about nutrition and diet principles for the ‘metabolic’ foods very much applies to the mechanical foods as well.

Where is a quadriplegic child with Cerebral Palsy in this picture? – A quadriplegic child in a mechanical sense is in a position similar to those victims of starvation that you regularly see in the news when there is a famine somewhere in the less developed regions of the world.

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How does BioTensegrity knowledge benefit a child with Cerebral Palsy? Part 1

Thanks a lot for the responses to my previous couple of posts.

Frankly, I thought that there would be more questions on the video itself – so at the moment I am not sure whether it was: a) too technical; b) missed your interest points; c) you had technical problems viewing it; d) you’ve postponed viewing ‘until you have more time’….  So I would really appreciate more definitive responses – even a simple two line comment is most welcome. However, in case you have viewing difficulties – please click on the link ‘ABR on Vimeo’ above the blog text– that will send you directly to Vimeo website  where you can not only watch the video in a larger window but can download it to your computer as well.

Anyway – I’ve got a number of good questions both as the blog and Facebook comments as well as e-mails  – all of them had the same underlying theme: “This BioTensegrity thing –how does it help my child?”

It’s understandable – at the end of the day everything revolves around the proverbial WIIFM – ‘What’s in it for me?’– in other words:  “Is this BioTensegrity being nothing  more than an intellectual fun for you, Mr. Blyum, or can we expect something tangible for our kids out of it?”

A question might look simple enough – but it’s not. First of all there are at least 2 main aspects in it:

  • Improvement of ABR as a method – the ability of ABR tools to facilitate the developmental progress of your child better and faster;
  • Improvement of you confidence in ABR as a method and as a preferred platform for physical rehabilitation that you have chosen for your child.  

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BioTensegrity and Cerebral Palsy

This is the video of my presentation “Using BioTensegrity framework in interpretation of multiarticular distortions in Cerebral Palsy” made at the 2nd B.I.G. (BioTensegrity Interest Group) meeting in Rome on Oct 9th, 2010.

I hope it will be informative and will help you to improve your ‘inner game’ as an ABR practitioner and facilitate a better understanding of your kids.


Warning! My presentation was scheduled at 9.20 a.m. and the entire session that day started at 8.50 a.m. – I wasn’t late! I came in on 8.48 a.m. By my standards – that’s heroics…

Mind it I was up until 4.30 a.m. putting some final touches on my PowerPoint...

Therefore, I started my talk being a bit like a steam engine – taking some time to warm up and get into the groove. I warmed up enough to be a decent presenter 5-7 minutes into the talk – so please give me a slack on that :-)

I must admit that talking in front of professional audience still has some stress component for me. (Not the stress= force/area that we talk about in ABR – but bad old psychological stress…)

It’s not about being “nervous” or ‘not sure of myself’ – it’s more about the burden of responsibility – ‘whether I’ll find the right avenue of presentation to do justice to the significance and elegance of the stuff I am talking about’.

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