Studies conducted in recent years have helped us understand autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in greater detail than ever before. In addition to that, we’ve been hearing stories within the past year or so that suggest that massage therapy can help improve behavior in people with ASD. At Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage, helping others lead happier and healthier lives is why we make a special effort to care for our ASD patients!
What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Autism spectrum disorder is the name for a group of different developmental disorders. ASD incorporates a wide range of disorders with different symptoms, skill levels, and levels of disability. In general there are a few characteristics commonly found in people with ASD:
- Difficulty socializing
- Language impairment
- Repetitive behaviors
- Other behavioral difficulty
The ASD spectrum also includes disabilities that used to be individually diagnosed, such as Asperger’s syndrome or pervasive developmental disorder. Each case of ASD is unique, so each person needs to be helped according to their needs.
How Does Massage Help ASD?
Studies regarding massage therapy and autism are still in their infancy, but there have been some small scale and anecdotal studies conducted that suggest positive results for patients with ASD. Deep pressure massage in particular is suspected to help with things like touch aversion that people with ASD commonly experience. One theory for why massage can help people with ASD is that massage increases oxytocin in the blood stream. Oxytocin is responsible for producing a feeling of relaxed wellness, which can help combat some of the stressors that come with ASD.
Autism Awareness Day
Helping people around us is at the core of what we do at OSTM. Autism Awareness Day is coming up in April, so if you’re looking for ways that you can make a difference, here are some resources you can investigate:
Try Massage Therapy
At OSTM, we take pride in helping other people live happier and healthier lives, and that is especially true when we take care of patients with ASD. Do you think massage therapy might be able to help you or someone you know with ASD? Schedule an appointment with our student clinic for an affordable way to try massage therapy!