Qigong Sensory Treatment (QST) massage is a soothing, touch-based autism treatment that parents perform for 15 minutes each day for up to two years to help children regain a normal sense of touch and reduce or eliminate symptoms of autism. Results are apparent after as few as 30 days of treatment. QST is unique among autism treatments because it grants children access to more normal development, helps them feel more comfortable and connected to others, and contributes to improving lifetime outcomes.
Almost every autism symptom can be traced back to a problem with touch, which in turn delays normal childhood development. Yet until very recently, we have not known what causes these problems. Now, new research is helping us to understand why. Tiny sensory nerves, called C–tactile fibers, mediate the pleasurable and soothing effects of touch. These make up a large percentage of touch fibers and are important for bonding. Without them, close, affectionate contact doesn’t feel good, parents can’t calm their children with touch, and child-to-parent bonding suffers—all of which negatively impact early childhood development.
After years of not being able to test the sense of touch in autism, the first skin biopsies in four autistic children ages 8-12 recently discovered 50 percent loss in these fibers. (The research, First skin biopsy reports in children with autism, will be published next month, and a larger study is underway with results expected in mid-2016.) The research shows that QST massage can completely normalize these symptoms in studied children.Watch the video introduction
In 15 studies conducted since 2005, QST has been shown to deliver positive results in four key areas after just five months:
- Behavior improves by 32%; receptive language improves and autism becomes less severe
- Parenting stress is reduced by 44%
- Sensory problems improve by 38%; sensitivity to touch improves by 49%
- Children are more affectionate with their families, participate more in family life, and are more receptive to classroom learning
QST Massage is a Breakthrough
The Qigong Sensory Treatment massage program developed at QSTI, based on practices used in the East for thousands of years, has successfully treated more than a thousand children in the United States since 2003. It is a breakthrough treatment on three counts:
- It is the first treatment to improve all aspects of autism – behavioral, language, and sensory, and provide a large reduction of parenting stress
- It is the first treatment that is consistently effective for children with severe as well as moderate/mild autism
- It is the first treatment that effectively decreases the sensory disability in autism
We are working now to share the good news with parents and professionals and grow the organization. Please join us by helping to spread the word about QST to families or by volunteering, making a donation or helping to secure grant funding, attending a training, or by buying a book or a DVD.