CME ® – the Cuevas Medek Exercise is another form of physical therapy.
It is a mode of physiotherapy used to develop gross motor skills in infants and children with abnormal developmental disorders due to neurological dysfunction. The method was created and developed by Ramon Cuevas, a Chilean physical therapist between 1971 and 1976.
This therapy can be applied to children from the age of 3 months until they achieve and control independent walking, or until limited by the child’s size and weight – during the exercises the CME therapist expose the child to the influence of gravity. CME can be used on children diagnosed with developmental motor delay such as hypotonia, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and more.
The core idea of CME therapy: “is to provoke the central nervous system to produce new anti-gravity postural control reactions, with little to no external support”. To develop and train movement leading to functional motor control in order to achieve the maximum level of independence in sitting, standing, and walking. In order to achieve these milestones, a child must first possess the ability to extend their body against gravity (anti-gravity extension) and to stabilize their body in space.
The therapist needs to provoke automatic postural responses that will contribute to the postural control needed for functional tasks. For example – the child needs to pull himself up and maintain standing position against gravity while getting support from the therapist in as distal points of the body as possible (start with the pelvis and work our way down to the ankles). That way, the Muscles are also being stretched in an active way during the dynamic situations.
The final outcome depends on the degree of the dysfunction and the brain’s recovery potential, the time and the age of which the abnormality was recognized and the therapy was initiated (early intervention is ideal), the frequency of the intervention and the experience of the therapist and hers / his ability to manipulate the right exercises.
A trial period of 8 weeks is usually proposed to verify short term results of CME – During that time, if the goals that were discussed and chosen are achieved the parents are advised to continue with the CME program, otherwise, they are encouraged to search for other options of physical therapy.
A well-planned CME home program is an integral part of the therapy and parents who follow this with their children generally appreciate having a structured home program with clear objectives.