We propose to identify patients and families for inclusion in pilot studies of the three
modalities. Patients and their families will be asked to participate in these studies.
Our research group has done some preliminary work with the modality of hypnotherapy, but has
no experience to date with the other two modalities. The idea to try relaxation techniques
was generated by the observation that there is great variation in the degree to spasticity
at different times in the same patient with CP. When queried, mothers responded that they
were able to get their child to relax and decrease the tension in their muscles by stroking,
talking softly, and/or by playing certain types of music. The availability of hypnosis and
training in self-hypnosis was presented to several families of our patients. Their
understanding and acceptance of this alternate therapy was gratifying. The results of this
therapy have been promising and have encouraged us to proceed with this modality and to
consider making other nonconventional modalities available to our patients.
We hypothesize that at least one of the two modalities will be accepted readily by patients
with CP and their families, and with their acceptance compliance with the method chosen will
be at levels of 80 percent or more.
The primary objective of this project is to develop and evaluate two different alternative
or complementary medical modalities that have been used in children with cerebral palsy by
practitioners in an attempt to decelerate the complications from the neurologic insult and
resultant muscle imbalance. The specific aims are: 1) The development and incorporation of
two alternative modalities (osteopathic manipulation and acupuncture) into available
services in southern Arizona for individuals with cerebral palsy. 2) The evaluation of the
uptake of and compliance with the two modalities in the clinical services for cerebral
palsy. 3) Conduct pilot studies of each of the two modalities to determine their efficacy
in decreasing the degree of muscle tension in children with spastic cerebral palsy.
- Children with a diagnosis of spastic CP who are between 48 months and 21 years of
- For the hypnotherapy-control arm the children must have a cognitive level sufficient
to allow them to visualize and enter into trance.
- The cognitive level criteria will not apply to the manipulation-acupuncture-control
arm of the study.
- No child will be excluded on the basis of gender, race or culture.