MEDEK therapy is a Dynamic Method of Kinetic Stimulation. Physiotherapeutic method used in infants and children used to develop large motility. Used in patients with neurological disorders. It was developed by the Chilean physiotherapist Ramon Cuevas in 1971-1976 in cooperation with the physiotherapist Ester Fink. Therapist Ester Fink, used the MEDEK method to treat a girl with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. The effect of the therapy was evident, which made this method a lot of publicity and is used, for example, in North America. It is used in the clinic run by Ester and in the Zarein Education Center – a private school for children with special needs.
MEDEK therapy is based on gravity
Gravity is considered the main stimulus to stimulate the neuromuscular system to work. The main assumption of the method is that the effect of gravity causes that the movement and manipulation of objects require postural control or the ability to repel oneself upwards, thus in the direction opposite to the direction of gravity, while stabilizing the body in space. MEDEK does not focus on primary reflexes, motor patterns or changes in muscle tone. The therapist assesses the movements and if they are incorrect, it assesses the maturity of the central nervous system and the degree of development of motor functions. The main objectives of MEDEK therapy are working on sitting, standing and walking. These are the basic functions that a child with cerebral palsy should achieve to be somewhat independent and independent of third parties. There are no isolated exercises but individual muscle groups are trained by the implementation of postural and functional tasks. Muscles with excessive tension are stretched dynamically. MEDEK does not refer to the sequence of normal motor development. Instead, it assumes that different skills require different movement strategies. Unlike other therapies, the child does not have to work with the therapist and concentrate on the exercises.
MEDEK assumes a close cooperation between the therapist and the parent.
Each parent or guardian receives an individual home exercise program to be exercised twice a day. Close cooperation and involvement of two parties, is able to bring really spectacular effects in a short time.
The role of the therapist is provoked by automatic postural reactions that take part in the postural control necessary to perform functional tasks. The MEDEK therapist determines what goal is to be achieved and how to trigger the desired response. In therapy, each exercise has a name and is described in detail. Exercises are aimed at provoking specific reactions. The therapy takes place on a special table and in the later stages, when the child begins to take the first steps, the therapy takes place on the floor. Therapy also includes a system to assess the progress of therapy. For this purpose, a special evaluation report was created, which consists of 46 points, including postural and functional tasks, and refers to the motor development of the child from the newborn to 16 months of age.