Massage and Atlanto-Occipital Mobilization to Improve Symptoms in a Boy with Autism

Posted:Monday, November 6, 2017

Honorable Mention
Dan Vidal
Center for Neurosomatic Studies – Clearwater, Florida

This project was a 5 week-long case study examining the potential therapeutic effects of massage and atlanto-occipital mobilization on a 3 year old boy with autism.

The hypothesis was that alleviation of distortions in the atlanto-occipital joint would improve circulation to and from the brain which might in turn help improve the client’s language and communication skills.

While the effects of general massage techniques were negligible, the effects of atlanto-occipital mobilization in particular were significant. After just one treatment involving atlanto-occipital mobilization the client’s ATEC scores improved by 20%. The client’s mother also noticed remarkable improvements in his behavior in the days and weeks following the treatment. This has profound implications for the potential benefit of targeted manual therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder.