Cuevas Medek Exercise Therapy (also known as CME Therapy) is quickly gaining popularity as one of the hottest new therapy trends today for kids.
Due to the incredible results children with neurological disorders and motor delays are experiencing, intensive therapy clinics waiting lists are rapidly growing.
Let’s explore …
- What CME is
- What to expect during a session
- The benefits
- Common equipment and tools used
- Evidence of real life success stories
- Locations that offer CME therapy
- And MORE …
This post was created to provide you helpful resources along with the necessary information you need to know about CME therapy.
Most importantly, how intensive physical therapy can help a child flourish in their everyday life.
Let’s dive in.
What is CME Therapy?
Cuevas Medek Exercise (CME) Therapy is a powerful exercise technique to help children with neurologi impairments or motor delays.
Common conditions that benefit from CME include:
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delay
- Genetic disorders (for example, Angelman Syndrome, Down Syndrome, or Rett Syndrome)
- Global developmental delay
- Spina Bifida
The therapist has the child perform certain exercise movements to focus on improving their posture, strength, and overall mobility.
The goal is to progress towards developmental milestones like standing, walking, or chewing.
==> View my recommended adaptive tool to use if you experience mobility challenges in your arms or hands (to eat EASIER) <==
You may have heard the terms ‘Intensive Physical Therapy (PT)’ or ‘Dynamic Method of Kinetic Stimulation’ (MEDEK).
That is what CME therapy is and often referred to (MEDEK or Intensive PT).
The therapy is ‘intense’ due to the continuous exercise movements that are repetitive in nature.
The main goal of intensive PT is to allow a child to gain confidence and independence in their overall development.
What to Expect During a CME session?
NAPA Center is an intensive physical therapy facility located in the USA and Australia.
Explained thoroughly, here is what they say about CME therapy sessions, “During CME, the therapist physically manipulates the child to stretch out tight muscles and train the muscles in groups.
These manipulations eventually allow the child to gain control over his or her trunk, which is necessary to perform basic gross motor activities such as sitting, standing, and walking.
Sessions begin on a table. Then, if the child is able to stand with ankle support, the floor is used.
Floor exercises involve seven pieces of equipment, which can be configured in various ways to challenge the child’s sense of balance.
Exercises are repeated until the reaction of the brain becomes automatic and the body reacts normally to situations where required to keep its balance.”
Let’s explore how CME benefits kids next.
With continuous participation, CME therapy helps a child in numerous ways:
- Improve motor functions
- Enhance strength in the upper and lower extremities
- Boost confidence
- Gain independence
- Improve balance and coordination
You may be wondering where this type of therapy is offered so let’s explore several clinics and facilities to go to.
CME Therapy Locations
Cuevas Medek Exercise Therapy is offered worldwide.
I’ve had the honor of collaborating with numerous intensive therapy clinics within the United States.
Through The LENN Foundation I currently run and manage with my sister (along with our incredible team), we help many kids with cerebral palsy receive this type of powerful therapy.
Here are my TOP recommended CME Therapy facilities to help kids with neurologic impairments or motor delays:
- Innovative Suite Therapy & Fitness, LLC (Covington, Louisiana))
- NAPA Center (Los Angeles, California | Boston, Massachusetts | Austin, Texas | Australia, Sydney and Melbourne)
- SMILE Therapy (Ontario, Canada)
- Total Education Solutions (TES) Therapy (Troy, Michigan)
- Walk This Way (Tumball, Texas)
Now let’s take a look at several success stories parents have shared with us about their child’s intensive physical therapy experience.
The amazing feedback and results parents have shared with us about their child’s accomplishments is pretty incredible.
These kiddos are living proof of what intensive physical therapy has done for them.
I also want to share a video of Celia (who is the mother of two twin boys) The LENN Foundation helped receive intensive therapy at the NAPA Center in Boston, MA.
Celia shares what her experience was like and what her kids accomplished in this short 4 minute clip.
Are you interested in having your child attend a CME intensive in your area or possibly at your own residence?
If so, click here to connect with our friend Jenny (who’s son is a cerebral palsy warrior and has done many intensives himself).
Jenny may know of a home intensive program near you or could possibly set up one for you in your area.
Working with a CME Therapist (What to Know)
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Alyssa Vanover, provides insight of what to expect …
“A CME® practitioner does not expect a child dealing with the frustrations of motor delay to always be cooperative or content with the challenges of CME® Therapy they are presenting.
Rather, it is the responsibility of the CME® practitioner to choose the appropriate exercises to support and provoke the best possible response from the child.”
As your child works with their CME practitioner, here are common things to know:
First, an evaluation or assessment is done.
The therapist learns what milestones are absent and bases an intensive program around this.
Your child performs motor responses with the therapist.
The goal is to have the child do movements that they were previously unable to do.
==> This activity is suggested by therapists to stimulate your child’s motor skills (while keeping them engaged) <==
The CME program is meant to be challenging.
The reason for this, it helps the brain connect with new motor functions and movements.
If your child is no longer challenged by an exercise the practitioner will want to change it up.
‘The force of gravity’ is used to help with posture.
Your child performs different exercises working against gravity to help with their posture, holding up their head, sitting, and standing (and will not rely on devices to lift them).
By doing so, it forces your child to gain muscle and strength in their trunk region.
Distal support is provided to help with posture.
Our pelvic area is our center of gravity.
The practitioner slowly moves away from your child’s center of gravity to force them to gain posture.
Think of it this way, if we were always supported in our pelvic area, then we wouldn’t experience what it is like to move freely on our own.
As your child’s standing improves, the practitioner will gradually move away from their center of gravity by supporting your child’s thighs, then below their knees, then by their ankles, and lastly, by their heels.
By doing this, posture strength increases.
Strengthening exercises focus on absent milestone areas.
Exercises are incorporated to lengthen and stretch the muscles to work on improving the areas where your child experiences delays or movement challenges.
If your child has high muscle tone in their legs, this will be a core focus.
The practitioner will have your child do standing exercises to focus on aligning their joints and strengthening their trunk area.
Speaking of tools, let’s dive into common tools and equipment used during a CME therapy session.
CME Therapy Equipment and Tools (Commonly Used)
Exercise tools and equipment you commonly used during a CME session include:
- Electrical stimulation
- Sensory integration
- Universal exercise unit
Let’s break down what each of these mean …
If you are concerned about your child’s posture and alignment the NeuroSuit is a great therapeutic tool to incorporate during an intensive therapy session.
A NeuroSuit does a few things:
- Adds pressure to the body to get your muscles “activated” that help you stand up, walk, run, crawl, or jump.
- Aids as a girdle of support to encourage body awareness.
- The bungee cords promote posture and alignment by activating these underlying muscles.
Children who are sensory seeking are either:
- Hyper (always on the move) needing sensory stimulation
- Hypersensitive (oversensitive) avoiding sensory stimulation
Due to this, sensory integration is common during an intensive therapy session.
A tool often used during are crash mats.
These mats help you experience proprioceptive input (like jumping, squishing, or crashing into things) in addition to tactile and vestibular input through rolling.
ES has many names, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), functional electrical stimulation (FES), and task specific electrical stimulation (TASES).
It is a physical therapy modality that helps with inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain.
The therapist sets the electrical current on a low setting and increases it gradually.
You may get a tingly “pins and needles” feeling in this area.
The goal of electrical stimulation is to contract muscles that are weak or not functioning well to decrease pain or spasms.
Universal Exercise Unit
Commonly known as a “Spider Cage”, is a system of pulleys that look like a spiderweb (hence the name).
It is a set of bungee cords that strengthen and enhance a child’s range of motion.
With support of the cords, it allows a therapist the opportunity to stimulate and strengthen different muscle groups in a controlled environment.
The cords help a child perform movements and ultimately, gives them the confidence and motivation they need to succeed!
How Health Insurance Works with CME
Your health insurance (private or state) controls the number of therapy sessions your child is “covered” or allowed to receive for physical, occupational, or speech therapy:
You may be going through this right now.
There is usually a maximum number of hours or days per month insurance covers for therapy sessions.
Once the number of sessions have been maxed out for that year or month, therapy is no longer covered.
When it comes to health insurance coverage for CME therapy, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Health insurance either covers a portion or none at all.
- Most of the time, intensive therapy is an uncovered service so families have to pay all or some of the cost out-of-pocket.
- On average, CME sessions cost a family out-of-pocket anywhere between $2,000 to $8,000 per child (for a one to three week program).
That is one of the main downfalls parents express when it comes to their child attending an intensive therapy clinic or an at home therapy program with a certified CME therapist.
Keep in mind, you choose the number of hours your child receives.
Plus, an initial evaluation is done to see what your child’s best options are.
If you need financial assistance for your child to receive intensive physical therapy, you may apply for a grant opportunity through The LENN Foundation. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in receiving assistance due to the high volume of applicants received, but it is a resource available to you.
Intensive therapy means intense results.
During a CME session a child’s muscles are worked in repetitive movements in a short period of time.
This allows them the opportunity to reach developmental milestones that otherwise may have been difficult for them to accomplish.
A CME therapist once explained it to me this way which has always stuck with me …
If a child tried learning the alphabet for one hour per week versus learning the alphabet a couple hours per day five days a week, which method would achieve faster results?
Exactly, a couple hours five days per week.
In a nutshell, that is how CME therapy benefits kids!
It helps a child achieve faster results in a short amount of time to perform movements on their own or with minimal support.
CME is not meant to be easy but is meant to challenge a child’s muscle groups and strength.
Overall, CME therapy is intended to give kids that extra boost in confidence and independence they need to live an all out better quality of life.
AND the results speak loudly.
Before we part ways, here are two more success stories I want to share with you. 🙂
If your child has attended an intensive therapy program I’d love to hear your experience.
If there is any feedback, thoughts you’d like to share, questions you may, or anything you’d like to know that’s not covered in this post please share your comments below and I will get back with you as quickly as possible. 🙂
I really do strive to make the content I create as helpful as possible for you…as a fellow parent looking out for their most precious gift.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for stopping by today!
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