ABOUT CUEVAS MEDEK EXERCISES (CME)
CME was created in 1972 by Chilean physical therapist Ramon Cuevas. Sr. Cuevas used his lifelong experience working with infants and children to create and codify a unique approach to physical therapy treatment that is now being used worldwide. CME’s breakthrough philosophy allows therapists to effectively treat infants and children by stimulating and integrating the body’s postural reflexes. Therapists from all over the world have come to study at the CME center in Santiago, Chile in order to learn and master this unique approach to physical therapy.
The advanced level of CME therapy has 238 exercises. The exercises are designed to intensely trigger postural righting. The exercises are highly versatile, and part of therapist training is learning to adapt and modify them to meet each child’s unique needs. The therapist must also hone his/her own hand-eye coordination so that he/she can safely keep the child in balance with the minimum of physical support.
Originally, CME targeted infants with brain injury or genetic anomalies. Examples include but are not limited to children with Cerebral Palsy or Down Syndrome. Over time, it became apparent that CME was also effective in treating older children and/or children with less serious or definitive diagnoses.
The focus of CME is the stimulation and integration of the body’s postural reflexes. Examples of appropriately integrated postural reflexes include maintaining one’s balance after sliding on a slippery surface, walking over rough terrain, or catching an unexpectedly heavy object. Mature postural reflexes are automatic, instinctive, and ever-changing to suit environmental demands. Postural reflexes are too complex and varied to be learned by rote. They must be assimilated into the motor cortex of the brain, and must be accessed instinctively and automatically.
For the child with mild to moderate gross motor difficulties, mature and well-integrated postural reflexes make the difference between poor coordination and athleticism. For the more medically involved child, postural reflex maturation can spell the difference between using a wheelchair/walker, and walking independently. For the most severely compromised children, stimulation of postural reflexes can improve head and trunk control, and can help improve respiration and swallowing.