A team from Western Oregon University’s Teaching Research Institute and the non-profit Qigong Sensory Training Institute, led by Dr. Louisa Silva, has shown that Qigong Massage is an effective sensory system treatment for children with autism. The method they have developed teaches parents how to give a fifteen minute massage to their child, once a day for at least five months. The program has been shown to help children sleep better, have less aggression, transition more easily, decrease self-injurious behaviors, and improve eye contact, language and social skills.
Research papers published in peer-reviewed medical journals include:
There are many qigong for autism videos on YouTube, including Treating Autism with Qigong Massage - The Chinese Medicine Perspective.
When the Caregivers Need Healing - Qigong Provides a Solution. In a randomized controlled trial, mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder or other neurodevelopmental disabilities experienced significant reductions in stress, depression, and anxiety, and improved sleep and life satisfaction, with large effects in depression and anxiety in a six-week mindfulness practice. Effects were maintained in a follow-up six-months after treatment. The NY Times article describes the practice used as "meditation, breathing exercises, and qigong practices". Note that qigong includes the combination of meditation and breathing. MBSR is a wonderful treatment and tool, but people should be aware that its foundational practices are built into qigong. The article in the July 2014 issue of Pediatrics is Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial. More information on mindfulness and meditation can be found on the Qigong Institute website: Meditation.
Is there a link between Autism and Electromagnetic Field exposure? This Harvard Medical School paper explains how dramatic increases in reported autism spectrum conditions are not only coincident in time with the deployment of wireless technologies but have parallel physiological impacts to electromagnetic frequency and radiofrequency exposures. The biggest impact is on the electrophysiological oscillatory synchronization of the brain and autonomic nervous system, proving that bio-energy has a crucial role in homeostasis.
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt MD discusses electromagnetic pollution in general, and also specifically discusses autism.
Mindfulness training helps youngsters with autism spectrum and their parents. Although parents reported no change in adolescent's autism spectrum disorder core symptoms, they reported improved social responsiveness, social communication, social cognition, preoccupations, and social motivation. About themselves, parents reported improvement in general as well as in parental mindfulness. They reported improved competence in parenting, overall parenting styles, more specifically a less lax, verbose parenting style, and an increased quality of life.
Qigong Sensory Training Institute. As a private, non-profit organization, the mission of the Qigong Sensory Training Institute is: To make the Qigong Sensory Training Program for young children with autism accessible to parents and professionals; and to further research in qigong treatments of young children with disabilities.
Qigong Massage for Your Child With Autism: A Home Program from Chinese Medicine. Qigong massage has been used in China for thousands of years as a means to achieve health and wellbeing, and to treat a wide variety of ailments. This book teaches parents a simple qigong massage program that has been developed specifically for the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). With step-by-step instructions and an accompanying DVD demonstrating the technique in action, this book offers parents clear guidance on how to adopt qigong massage into their child's daily routine successfully. The program is based around a core 15 minute massage that, when performed regularly, has been shown to greatly improve mood and behavior, sleeping patterns, and language and social skills. Also included is information on diet, advice on reading a child's body language during massage, and helpful progress checklists. Qigong massage is the ideal therapy for parents looking for an alternative way to strengthen the mind, body and sensory abilities of their young child with autism aged 6 and under.