Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME) is a powerful therapy approach to help children with cerebral palsy, developmental delays, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, or other neuromuscular conditions.
CME intensive therapy allows kids the opportunity to gain courage and self-sufficiency in reaching developmental turning points.
Parents and therapists have reported kids gaining confidence and independence in everyday movements like rolling, crawling, walking, chewing, talking, and standing.
Throughout this post we will explore, WHAT is Cuevas Medek Exercises and HOW can it benefit a child?
Side Note: Be sure to stick around until the end of the post to access your BONUS article. 🙂
What Is Cuevas Medek Exercises?
Also known as the Dynamic Method of Kinetic Stimulation (MEDEK), Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME) Therapy is an innovative powerful form of exercise training that helps a child with movement disorders or motor delays.
The CME technique is used in various therapies, such as physical, occupational, and speech, to improve a child’s gross motor skills to reach developmental milestones.
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A child can start intensive therapy at age 4 months and up or until they are 50 pounds (their progress is measured on an individual basis).
During an intensive therapy session, the therapist will train one-on-one with the child.
Sessions typically lasts two to four hours per day Monday through Friday from one to three weeks.
The therapy treatment is personalized based upon the child’s needs which may include a plan to focus on skills such as:
- Fine motor
- Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
The fundamental objective of the intensive training is to train and retrain the brain and body to work together by completing repetitive movements in a short period.
The therapist uses tools and equipment to improve the child’s overall strength and flexibility.
With improved strength, windows of opportunity open for a child to gain the confidence and independence to progress in their development (like standing, walking, or talking).
In a nutshell, Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME) enhances a child’s overall quality of life.
The CME approach has been around since the 1970’s and was developed by Kinesiologist, Ramon Cuevas, in 1972 in Caracas, Venezuela.
He developed CME therapy for infants enduring motor delays affecting the Central Nervous System. The intense physical activity he focused on was helping children develop their fine motor skills to improve their overall health and wellness.
Intense physical therapy has also been a practice utilized for many years in the European countries.
Prior to 1990, if an American family wanted their child to receive this type of innovative therapy, they would have to travel outside the country to attend an intensive program.
Today, the CME approach has been spreading throughout the United States.
There are numerous programs available to children within the states who now have the opportunity to attend an intensive therapy program.
The demand to attend an intensive therapy program has increased drastically which has led to facilities having to put a family’s child on a waiting list.
Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME) Benefits
Intensive therapy improves overall strength and functional outcomes.
Children have achieved fantastic results while attending an intensive therapy program whether that be at a facility or by doing a home intensive therapy program with a certified and trained CME therapist.
Families have reported their child being able to gain confidence and independence in the following:
- Clearer speech
- Improved eye control
- Transfer from a wheelchair onto another surface
With condensed therapy sessions for one to three week intervals, sustainable results may be achieved.
The intensive therapy plan is highly specialized to the child’s unique needs.
You will also be given a home therapy plan to follow after the program ends.
There are several thousand CME therapy exercises.
Each exercise is specific to the child’s unique needs.
Ultimately, the therapist knows which movements to perform to challenge a child’s muscle groups.
The therapy session focuses on using the force of gravity to work towards a slow progression while supporting the center of the child’s body.
The consistency in the specific muscle group being worked over and over again helps a child become stronger and more flexible.
The goal is to hit a turning point in their development (whether that be crawling, walking, standing, chewing, etc.)
- 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 would be a great therapeutic tool to incorporate during an intensive therapy session.
- It adds pressure to the body to activate the anti-gravity muscles of the system (like the muscles that get you up off the ground to walk, stand, run, crawl, jump, etc.).
- Think of the NeuroSuit as a girdle of support (or compression garment) that encourages body awareness.
- The bungee cords help to activate the underlying musculature to promote better posture and alignment.
Children who are sensory seeking (perceived as “hyper” or always on the move) or the complete opposite, sensory avoiding (oversensitive or hypersensitive) sensory integration is common during an intensive therapy session.
A common tool used during sensory integration are crash pads.
These pads help a kid experience proprioceptive input (like jumping, squishing, or crashing into things) in addition to tactile and vestibular input through rolling.
Also known as E-Stim, it is a physical therapy modality that helps with inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain.
The therapist will set the electrical current on a low setting and increase it gradually.
You will usually get a tingly, “pins and needles” feeling in this area.
E-stim contracts muscles that are weak or not functioning well to decrease pain or spasms.
Universal Exercise Unit
Also known as a Spider Cage (see the image below of what a Spider Cage looks like).
The system of pulleys are a “spiderweb” of bungies that strengthen and enhance a child’s range of motion.
With support of the bungie cords, it allows a therapist the opportunity to stimulate and strengthen different muscle groups in a controlled way.
Ultimately, it gives a kid the confidence and motivation they need to SUCCEED.
The Role of Health Insurance & CME Therapy Cost
A family’s health insurance (private or state) will dictate the amount of therapy sessions their child is able to receive in physical, occupational, or speech therapy.
For instance, based upon the insurance coverage, a child may receive on average one to two hours per week of therapy and the therapy will end once their number of sessions have been maxed out for the year or month.
When it comes to a child attending an intensive therapy program, a family’s health insurance company may or may not recognize coverage.
Traditionally, intensive therapy is an uncovered service so families will have to pay all or most out-of-pocket. That is one of the downfalls families express when it comes to being able to attend an intensive program.
On average, intensive therapy can cost a family out-of-pocket anywhere between $2,000 to $8,000 per child.
On the other hand, when a child attends intensive therapy treatment, individualized sessions last on average one to four hours per day five days a week for as long as the program goes (usually one to three week intervals).
The child’s muscle groups are worked in repetitive movements daily which helps them to reach developmental milestones in a short period of time.
As an intensive therapist once explained, if a child tried learning the alphabet for one hour per week vs. learning the alphabet a couple hours per day for a week, which method would achieve faster results?
Why to Consider CME Therapy
Cuevas Medek Exercise intensive therapy is an unconventional innovative approach used to treat motor delays and physical disabilities worldwide.
The good news is it’s quickly growing in popularity in the United States because of the amazing results children are receiving.
They are gaining confidence and independence in their motor skills!
Over the next ten years, more intensive facilities will open and more organizations will catch fire of the nontraditional approach.
Overall, intensive therapy helps a child live an all out better quality of life.
I want to wrap up by extending my gratitude to thank you for stopping by today!
If you have other intensive therapy exercises, programs, or clinics to recommend, questions, or anything to add that I did not cover in this post, please feel free to comment below.
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