Home Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation (ABR)
Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation
Friday, 06 March 2009 00:06




ABR is a therpay designed to strengthen the core weightbearing abilties of the structure of the body, through strengthing the fascia. 


"Normal" physio therapy and many other programs focus on the arms and legs and doing patterning exercises - that is doing repeated movements to "teach" the child to perform certain skills such as rolling, walking etc.  The child may well develop such skills but typically only by intelligent use of their muscles and by making parts of the muscular-skeletal structure rigid to perform those tasks.  This is good "movement intelligence" but it is not quite the natural weight bearing abilities a child would normally develop.


ABR on the other hand does not focus on the arms or legs - it entirely focuses on the core - the head, shoulder girdle, thorax, abdomen and pelvic girdle.  The aim is to ensure that these areas are strong and functioning normally, and if they are then the child should be able to perform normal weight bearing tasks such as sitting and supporting themselves while retaining the ability to move arms, legs and head independantly.


The key premise is that the fascia (not the muscles or bones, the layer of tissues that is underneath those and surrounds and interconnects all our organs) needs to be strengthened.  To do this a way of imparting "excercise" or energy to the fascia inside the muscular-skeletal structure needs to be devised.  The ABR technique involves the use of very slow compressional movement of the hand to overcome the normal elastic response of the muscular-skeletal structure and to transfer the energy of the movement deeper into the fasica.  It uses a construction of towels and foam between the hand and the skin to provide a correct density interface between hand and fasica and to widen the impact of the imparted energy on the fascia.


More to come shortly about Beth and ABR, but for now, visit www.blyum.com and www.miraclekidz.com for more details.


Leonid Blyum also maintains a great blog at http://blyum.typepad.com which has numerous discussions.


Futher Links for information


ABR Asia- http://www.miraclekidz.com 
ABR Belgium- http://www.abrbelgium.com
ABR Canada- http://www.abrcanada.com
ABR Denmark- http://www.abr-denmark.com


ABR Family Blogs


Harrison - http://Harrishope.blogspot.com
Ayla -
“Missy”- http://MissysCPJourney.blogspot.com
Caitlin - http://CatilinsCPJourney.blogspot.com
Richard - http://RichardABR.blogspot.com
Corbin - http://FortheLoveofCorbin.blogspot.com
Taeron - http://ourjourneywithABR.blogspot.com
Hudson - http://bluffsk.blogspot.com
Raphy - http://withlovefromraphy.blogspot.com
Billee - http://www.beautifulbillee.com.au
Zane - http://nor-rzoora.livejournal.com 

Jana - http://smileyjana.blogspot.com
Anastasia - http://littlestarsblog.blogspot.com




Perth - http://www.biorehabforkids.org.au

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 April 2010 11:08
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Sunday, 15 March 2009 14:18

Beth's First ABR


Beth had her first ABR assessment after the seminar with Leonid while he was out here for the CP conference in Sydney.  He identified that Beth had low tone overall and showed signs of structural weakness.  He indicated he thought ABR could benefit Beth and that while she was young, i.e. < 2 years old, there would be even greater benefit and quicker results compared to the same amount of effort when Beth was older.  ABR can be given manually and/or via a machine that has been developed, and Leonid recommended both as the machine would provide "bulk" work in general and the exercises would be able to provide more targetted therapy to certain areas.


It was particularly noted that Beth's back was very flat, there was little to no neck spacing.  This would have impacts in terms of swallowing and impacting movement as well. 


We were assigned a number of specific exercises which we learnt how to do them over two sessions of training in the following days.  The machine was to target both front and back i.e. her chest and back, while the exercises were to target her shoulders and jaw.


Although quite expensive, we hope this will have some positive impacts on Bethany.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 January 2010 15:06
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Saturday, 21 March 2009 14:33

ABR Seminar in Sydney (Feb 09)


We went along to a seminar concerning ABR with Leonid Blyum in Sydney this Feb.  It was very interesting informtion and from a man who is passionate about helping special needs children, and also passionate about the problems with the current medical system of treatment.  Leonid was in Sydney for the CP conference on just before this, and did the seminar and asessments while he was here.


He is a very interesting guy - his manner is a little intense and his talk a little repetitive as he goes over things a bit.  I guess I was expecting more a description of what ABR is, how it works, where it came from etc, however, his seminar was more focused on how to best 'treat' a special needs child and care for them while navigating a system of medical "experts" with a range of varied recommendations from ignoring the problem through to drastic durgical intervention to treat symptoms.


He passed on information from the CP conference abour the GMFCS - Gross Motor Function Classiscation System - that is used to "classify" our children into their level of capabiltiy -  level from 1 (best) - 5 (extremely limited).  There is a graph "curve" that is associated with these levels vs the age of the child, and a "level 5" child will reach/develop 90% of it's motor abilities by just under age 3.  They believe that people cannot beat this curve, and after the "maximum" capability is reached it is a matter of treating symptoms and problems with botox (muscle 'relaxant' - toxin), surgery (hip etc), metal rods (in back), growth plates, baclofen pumps (pain management) etc.


He also stated that the conference, and the general approach taken, is to focus on arm/leg movement, but there is little to no focus on trunk/head strength.  There was one paper presented on trunk strength in sleep.  There apparently is an assumption that the children will be wheelchair bound, so it's about making them comfortable in the wheelchair and helping them move arms and legs rather than strengthen their body to support such movements.


He contends that weightbearing is a key issue; but weightbearing is not skill - it is a more primitive function.  Weight bearing is not a muscular - muscles themselves are very expensive - i.e. trying to hold up a weight for an extended period with your arm muscles will not last - they are not designed for constant continual use.  Our weight bearing happens automatically - we don't exert ourseves to do it - it is related to compressional strength through our body, which he contends is through the fascia rather than specific muscles.  Yet physio and other movement treatments tend to try and fix lack of development and movement by encouraging the child to repetitively use muscles to perform functions that would nomally be a part of weightbearing.  Without the compressional strength present, these movements cannot be supported.


He also stated that epilieptic drugs are designed for "normal" people with seizures, they are not tested on children, only adults and they are not designed for brain injury - their method of function is to dispose/disperse/supress the seizures.


What he was saying made sense to us from our standpoint and did seem to target an area that was being overlooked by our physio and other treatments.  There has also been a lot more research into the fascia and it's role of late.  He recommended looking at some DVDs produced by Gill Hedley (if you can stomach watching human dissections) which specifically looks at the fascia from the surface inwards (http://www.somanautics.com/).  I purchased these and have watched them and again, and indeed the fascia exists, is substansial, and does seem to play a role.


Based on this we decided to proceed with the ABR therapy for Bethany.  Look for future updates into how this is going.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 January 2010 15:06
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Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:09

Second ABR Assessment (Jun 09)


After three-four months since our original assessment, and using the machine as well as performing manual ABR, we had our second assessment.


While we had not "seen" huge improvements ourselves, we were reminded of what Leonid said at the first assessment, that we need to set micro goals and look for achievement of these - this assessment was done via a home video taken according to ABR instructions and sent over to Leonid plus an assessment by Sarah from Singapore ABR who came over to do the training sessions.


During this time, we had an assessment, as well as training in a number of new exercises plus also a comparision report to show how Bethany is doing.


The report showed that there was positive improvements in her neck, jaw and chest areas.  The "compartmentalisation" of the fascia is starting to appear - i.e. there is now more of a neck/shoulder boundary, her chest (thorax) appears to be rotating a little forward, the back is not as flat, the jaw is more discernable.


My only concern after this assessment is that it is very difficult to know how much of this improvement is due to the ABR vs to general growth and development.  The changes are not "major" enough.  That said, I also do not know how things would be had we NOT done the ABR at all, and simply as the fact that ABR is not forcful or able to harm Beth, and as we are seeing positive results we will continue.


We received additional exercises this time round, so back to it!  The machine is now to target the top of the shoulder as well.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 January 2010 15:24
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Thursday, 26 November 2009 15:40

ABR Update Nov 09


The next ABR assessment/training was run at this time, however, we decided to skip it based on funding available and also the fact that things were very very busy for us.  We are planning to continue on with the exercises we previously had and hopefully pick back up at the next session.  With Jo pregnant we are also having more difficulty in doing the ABR manually and as we have just moved as well (which involved renovating, painting etc), things have been pretty busy.