Feldenkrais ATM and the head posture of bruxist children

(Extracts of Paper on the:)  Effect of Awareness Through Movement on the head posture of bruxist children 
& A. PELAEZ-VARGAS CES-LPH Research Group, CES University, Medellın, Colombia 
 Journal of Oral Rehabilitation 2009 36; 18–25  
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SUMMARY The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of physiotherapy to improve the head posture and reduce the signs of bruxism in a group of bruxist children.  (…)
The aetiology of bruxism has been defined as multifactorial. It is mainly regulated centrally, and influenced peripherally. This fact means that oral habits, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), malocclusions, hypopnoea, high anxiety levels and stress among others could influence the peripheral occurrence of bruxism. These factors act as a motion stimulus to the central nervous system, which reacts with an alteration in the neurotransmission of dopamine and the answer is the clenching or grinding of the teeth. 
Bruxism not only affects the masticatory muscles, but also all the muscles of the craniofacial complex, shoulders and neck. These structures share innervations through the trigeminocervical complex, which is composed of the upper cervical and trigeminal nerves. Also, anatomically, the axes for the excentric movements of the mandible and cervical column concur in the occiput. These connections make the jaw position influence the activity of the cervical muscles and the neck inclination to influence the bilateral sternocleidomastoid activity. 
(…) Physiotherapeutic intervention 
The physiotherapeutic intervention was based on Feldenkrais’ Awareness Through Movement (ATM). It is an established method of movement re-education where coordination and posture are significant factors. Its proponents believe more effective and efficient actions can emerge from guided exploration of movement that promotes improved attention and awareness and refines the ability to detect information and make perceptual discriminations. 
Feldenkrais’ “Awareness through Movement” (ATM) is a process, which facilitates the learning of strategies for improving organization and coordination of body movement by developing spatial and kinaesthetic awareness of body-segment relationships at rest and during motion, awareness of ease of movement, reducing effort in action and learning the feeling of longer muscles in action. Through the specific use of sensorimotor experiences, the ATM purports to enhance people’s awareness of their habitual solutions to motor problems and the sensations accompanying those habits. 
Regarded as complimentary to physiotherapeutic intervention, it provides an educational approach for re-training abnormal movement patterns.
(…) Conclusions 
The head posture found in the experimental group after the physiotherapeutic intervention was less anterior and downward than the head posture found in the control group. This fact suggests that the physiotherapeutic intervention is efficient to improve the head posture in the studied children. Further work is required to evaluate the long-standing results of the physiotherapeutic intervention on bruxism and the head posture in children and to see the results in X-rays. 

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