Meet Astra* Approach
“The earlier we start the treatment, the better results we will get” – that is what I always say to my patients. Some doctors do not diagnose cerebral palsy in children at an early age or prefer not to tell the truth regarding the child’s diagnosis in order not to upset his or her parents. I strongly object to that practice. Parents have a right to know what is wrong with their child. They should also learn how to deal with cerebral palsy and be prepared for its consequences.
Almost all parents have a tremendously difficult time coping with their sick baby. They usually go through several stages: shock, denial, sadness, anger, acceptance and reorganization. Our role, as professionals, is to encourage the parents not to give up and to help them start their child’s treatment while there is still hope.
Cerebral palsy is usually caused by prenatal, perinatal, or postnatal damage of the child’s brain. However, since the infant’s central nervous system is immature but developing, the condition can be successfully treated if we start the therapy at an early age: the earlier, the better.
We at Astra* Natural Healing have developed a novel strategy in non-routine management of cerebral palsy, perinatal encephalopathy, motor disorders, and developmental delays that helps to improve children’s functional skills and development. Our professional team has over twenty years of experience in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Sweden, and the USA in successfully treating children with special needs through our innovative techniques. Our conceptual model presents multilateral system therapy concept that is based on integrating body-based therapies such as specialized BEST [bioenergetic system therapy] massage, reflexology, and hydrotherapy; energy therapies, such as magnetic therapy, therapeutic touch, polarity therapy, acupressure, and DENS-therapy; and biologically based therapies such herbal medicines and homeopathy.
Astra* approach is unique and effective. It is not only because we combine different treatment methods that complement and reinforce each other, but also because we thoroughly select an individual therapy catered to each patient’s needs.
Astra* early intervention program consists of two steps: the restorative and balancing treatment and the rehabilitation period aimed at self-regulation of physiological processes and mobilization of potential adaptable mechanisms of the child’s organism. The first step includes BEST massage and DENS-therapy performed in the Astra* Rehabilitation Center. These services are complemented by herbal therapy, hydrotherapy, homeopathic treatment and special exercises. The second step is carried out at home according to the recommendations given at our center. We recommend the patient start the next course of the restorative and balancing treatment after two to three months of the rehabilitation period.
A long time ago, when I was just learning the basic elements of alternative medicine from my Teacher and Mentor, Eugene Zuev, he told me that I would treat CP. I was very flattered having heard that from the great Master of holistic treatment and medical rehabilitation. However, even more so I was surprised by his proposal knowing that CP is hard even to rehabilitate, let alone treat.
A few months later he referred to me a 4-month-old girl with CP. She had symptoms of right hemiplegia, spasticity, motor delay, abnormal persistence of infantile reflexes, and hyperreflexia on the right side. Her right arm was held in a flexed position, with a hand in a fist. She used her arms and legs asymmetrically. My first session was an eclectic combination of Zuev’s BEST massage, the relevant techniques from the various fields and my own discoveries. The girl’s condition was strikingly changed by the fourth session. She began to smile more, to react more adequately to massage. The most interesting yet was the magic stimulus in her psycho-motor development: she was holding her head properly in vertical position even while lying on her stomach. She also began to roll-over from the back to the side by herself. Spasticity was diminished. Muscle tone in the right side of the body was considerably decreased by the eleventh session. The right arm straightened up, the fist opened up, and the fingers spread out.
After the first course of the treatment was completed the girl was seen by a pediatrician and a neurologist. The specialists were so surprised by the girl’s condition that they even began to question whether or not this child had cerebral palsy. In the mean time, we continued the girl’s treatment. She was growing and developing according to her age, i.e. timing of common age-related activities such as sitting, crawling, standing, walking, and manipulating small objects was about normal. At 12 months she began to speak simple words. At the age of 18 months the symptoms of spasticity completely disappeared. The next appointment with the neurologist turned to be a triumph: the diagnosis of CP was removed!
After several more successes, our Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg, Russia became very popular. We had patients not only from St. Petersburg but also from the other parts of the former Soviet Union as well as Sweden, Germany, and Hungary. We opened an office in Budapest, Hungary, where we worked for three years. After coming to the United States in the late nineties, we founded Astra* Natural Healing as the Rehabilitation Center of Alternative Medicine.
The basis of Astra* multilateral system therapy is Bio-Energetic System Therapy or BEST, created by Eugene Zuev, a famous Russian holistic practitioner, specialist in Medical Rehabilitation, Physical Therapy, and Physical Education. BEST is aimed at balancing the physical, mental and emotional condition. It includes bio-energetic stretching, stereometric massage, and BEPE (Bio-energetic Pain Effect) massage.
Bio-energetic stretching can be manual passive and self-stretching, dynamic longitudinal, diagonal, rotational and therapist-assisted somersault (Zuev’s rolling) in horizontal and vertical position. Stretching is effective in overcoming limitations of movements such as those caused by spasticity in cerebral palsy. The goal of stretching is the elongation of soft tissue in order to cause relaxation, to reduce psycho-emotional tension, and to increase full range of motion and flexibility.
Bio-energetic stretching is performed gradually, starting from the distal regions (hands and feet) and approaching the proximal (spine). Stretching of the feet and legs has effect on the lumbar portion of the spine, while stretching of the hands and arms influences the thoracic region. Only after the legs and arms have been stretched separately stretching of the whole spine can be proceeded by simultaneous stretching from the hands and feet. The most effective is to do the stretching while lifting the child into the air by his or her hands and feet, which increases the elongation. It is mandatory and important to keep the hands, arms, feet, legs, and spine of the child in horizontal plane.
If stretching is carried out properly a wonderful feeling of lightness and freedom complete with full relaxation can be achieved. The correct performance of stretching from the hands causes the excellent elongation of all links of the special kinematical chain (hand – elbow – shoulder – spine – hip – knee – foot). Stretching from the feet makes the same chain work but in the opposite direction (foot – knee – hip – spine – shoulder – elbow – hand).
Bio-energetic stretching complemented by suggestion sends positive information to the brain through the pathways for pressure and simple (crude) tactile sensations; for proprioception, fine (discriminatory) touch and vibratory sense from the extremities and trunk. This technique creates the possibility to facilitate the circulation and to enhance the child’s overall healing by activating the intrinsic restorative capacity of organism.
Stereometric massage is the transformation of the flat (plane) geometric figures on the human body into the stereometric structures by creating a high intensity bio- energetic field in the area of impact. Stereometric massage is carried out for therapeutic-diagnostic purposes by drawing the geometric figures on the body.
This technique uses both the physical contact and non-contact methods that involve the whole body energy system. There are three principal variations of stereometric massage: face stereometric massage, body stereometric massage, and stereometric auriculotherapy (ear stereometric massage). The hands-on manipulations used in stereometric massage are not limited to classical massage techniques like gliding and friction. They also include alternative modalities such as therapeutic touch, acupressure, reflexology, and polarity therapy. The primary objective of stereometric massage is to provide a comforting, trustworthy connection between the patient and the practitioner that allows the powerful healing mechanisms of the body to function.
By incorporating the suggestion-therapeutic method we help the patient find the center and see the color of the drawn circle. When the energy flow is out of balance in the body the patient finds the center of the circle in the wrong place and experiences physical illness. Stereometric massage detects energy imbalance in the body and brings it back into balance or homeostasis. Each chakra (energy center), organ, system, and medium of the human organism has its own color. Colors are located in the order of their respective wavelengths from the bottom to the top, from the genitals to the stomach, the heart and the brain. Each color provides information needed for the proper treatment and diagnostics. For instance: red represents activities and emotions, while black signifies death and collapse, orange reflects healing, grey demonstrates apathy, and blue color manifests harmony.
Stereometric massage creates bio-correction of the bio-energetic field allowing for regulation and harmonization of energy flow.
This method helps to improve child’s overall health through energy and motivation by making the patient a partner in his healing process. It releases muscular tension along with mental and emotional restrictions and restores circulation.
BEPE (Bio-Energetic Pain Effect) massage is a type of neuromuscular therapy enhanced with acupressure, reflexology and polarity therapy. In addition it involves the use of suggestion- therapeutic effect. The main features of this technique are the mobilization of the body’s own resources and the active involvement of the patient in a healing process. The first rule of BEPE: the patient must not be passive!
BEPE is performed impulsively by gliding strokes and pressure applied to hypersensitive trigger points. The depth of the pressure is determined by the tolerance of the child. In some way this treatment method is a shock therapy which generates neuromuscular activity. BEPE stimulus lasts about a second. Pain causes involuntary motor response and protective posturing. Under BEPE, unlike the other pain therapies, the patient reacts to pain by moving or rotating voluntarily not from pain but towards pain. BEPE is usually no more than 3% of the full massage session.
BEPE allows the patient to achieve different postures resembling yoga poses, such as the twisted pose, Muslim pose, coachman pose, and scorpion pose, without straining or initiating protective reflexes. When the right posture is achieved the stimulation of the trigger point is stopped. The proprioceptive information created during the positioning resets some physiological reflex circuits that help the body adequately react to some stimulus or situation, resulting ultimately in the reduced muscle tension. On the other hand, by using BEPE, we enter certain bio-energetic zone of the patient, influencing the corresponding chakra, and consequently through that chakra address the whole energy system, increasing the capacity of the bio-energetic field.
As part of the restorative and balancing treatment, we also offer another powerful treatment modality – Dynamic ElectroNeuroStimulation or electrodynamic reflexotherapy or DENS-therapy. This is a modern, highly effective method of recuperating previously injured, perverted, and impaired body functions. DENS-therapy is conducted by using DENAS (Dualdiapason ElectroNeuroAdaptable Stimulator) which helps recover the autonomic nervous system regulatory ability to dilate blood vessels, increase cardiac output, and improve the circulation of the blood and lymph.
Using brief impulses of electric current, we stimulate certain active reflex zones, gradually reducing spasticity down to its complete elimination, correcting incoordination of movements and asymmetric use of extremities. The beneficial effects of DENS-therapy are the following: analgetic, anti-inflammatory, antiedematous, antiallergic, antispasmodic, and antifebrile. It also works as a muscle relaxant and antistressor.
DENS-therapy is practically safe. Unlike the other electrostimulators DENAS devices form a reverse biological connection and produce a dynamic neuro-like impulse. This impulse, perceived as a natural physiological signal, restores broken links between three regulatory systems of the body (nervous, endocrine, and immune), and different organs and tissues. Rebuilding the adaptable mechanisms of the organism allows for self-regulation of homeostasis and harmonization of energy flow. DENS-therapy can be safely combined with the other Astra* treatment methods.
We do not use orthotics, correction suits, treadmills, lever devices, cycling devices, vibroextensors or any other correcting equipment. Instead, we use BEST as our primary technique to accelerate the child’s psycho-motor development and harmonize his or her sensory system. Performing bio-energetic stretching or stimulating hyperirritable trigger points through BEPE, or conducting stereometric massage, or applying DENS-therapy we make the child work hard, thus actively involving him in the healing process. Astra*’s approach promotes bio-correction of the bio-energetic field and imparts a sense of physical and mental balance, thus creating an environment in which the self-healing powers of the child can strengthen and function successfully.
For more information, please call us at: (617) 738–3955
Our address is:
ASTRA NATURAL HEALING
1368 Beacon Street, Suite 110
Brookline, MA 02446