Myoreflex Therapy for Children
The initial impetus for developing Myoreflex Therapy as a basis for enhanced treatment concepts for children was set by the 1988 encounter in Badenweiler between Kurt Mosetter and one of his most influential teachers, physician models and mentors, Dr. med. Tillmann Goerttler. As a specialist in orthopedics, chirotherapy and manual therapy procedures. Dr. Goerttler, together with Dr. Arlen and Dr. Coenen, was the pioneer of Atlas therapy. During the years he spent studying with Dr. Goerttler, Dr. Mosetter witnessed “wondrous” positive changes in children with scoliosis, torticollis, the KiSS syndrome (Craniocervical Joint-induced Symmetry Disorder), abnormal crying patterns, and orthopedic developmental disorders such as Perthes disease, Osgood-Schlatter disease, and Scheuermann's disease.
What was particularly impressive, though, was the effect of Atlas therapy on children with complex neuropediatric syndromes, such as infantile cerebral palsy, spasticity, quadriplegia, hemiplegic syndrome, lissencephaly, and cortical dysplasia. The powerful regulative effects of manual therapeutic procedures in treating children with abnormal behavior patterns, ADHD, sleep disorders, visual disorders and statomotor developmental delays has continued to have an impact on Myoreflex Therapy for children to this day. Dr. Goettler deserves particular mention at this point, since his counsel as an expert in Atlas and manual therapies provided support for Kurt Mosetter’s basic notion that it was neuromuscular guidance that was cause joints to become blocked, and alternatively, could free them to continue normal development.
Dr. Goerttler actively supported muscle-modified Atlas therapy, the founding of Myoreflex Therapy and the design of new training pathways up to the time of his death in 1995. From 1995-1996, Dr. Mosetter experienced an extraordinary year of practical training in an academic medical setting under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Schwenk at the Konstanz Children’s Hospital. As an seasoned expert with a photographic memory, Prof. Schwenk could recognize even the rarest syndromes, had immediate recollection of every relevant detail about complex metabolic diseases, and possessed a fine sense of differential diagnosis, motivating his students to pay attention to the smallest details of a patient’s clinical presentation. Joint rounds with Prof. Schwenk were unforgettable, with his impressive instruction about such conditions as hypoglycemia and the differential diagnosis of genetically associated disabilities.
Despite (or perhaps because of) his perfect mastery, Prof. Dr. Schwenk allowed his “apprentice” to treat children in the hospital with the still new model of Myoreflex Therapy. Ever since his year at the children’s hospital, there has been a ‘conspiratorial collaboration’ with the then Senior Physician, ultrasound expert and pediatric cardiologist Thomas Seiler. Even after his retirement, Prof. Dr. Schwenk is still ready today to provide a second or third consultative opinion for our team and for parents and children regarding critical treatment decisions and to offer them ongoing help.
Another essential source for the competent multi-level involvement with the care of children was and continues to be the blind music therapist, Wolfgang Fasser. Especially regarding ways to engage and work with severely handicapped children, children with epilepsy, autism spectrum disorders and behavioral disturbances, Fasser’s inspiration, treasure trove of wisdom, mindfulness and his “loving eye” have been a cherished gift to all involved. From 1997 until today, the close and intimate collaboration with him has had a major impact on our work and our intellectual perspective.
The film, Nel giardino dei suoni [In the Garden of Sounds], gives the viewer insight into Wolfgang Fasser’s work, and an opportunity to follow the development of four children under his care for the severest of handicaps over a two-year period. What is especially impressive is to witness Jenny’s development: by strengthening and mobilizing all her resources, intensive treatment work, and not least, belief in her own abilities, Jenny achieved a “miracle” and since 2011, she has been studying communication sciences in Florence. Wolfgang Fasser and Reiner Mosetter invented the term “contagious health” as the basic concept behind music therapy, Myoreflex Therapy, and developmental activation. By “peering beyond,” we can open doors to what is invisible and secret. By recognizing the value of simple things, when handicapped children find an echo, when they can experience touch, contact and connection, children can begin to develop in relationship and learn to overcome their limitations.
Regular continuing education, supervision and close collaboration with the anthroposophcially oriented pediatric specialist Dr. Victor von Toenges in Lustmühle/St. Gallen have represented another major foundation. From 1999 to 2011, Kurt Mosetter learned how to look at pediatric illnesses, developmental disorders and “abnormal children” in a different way. From month to month and year to year, it became increasingly apparent how important a healthy and natural diet, a healthy gut, exercise, education, the social environment and the family were for making children healthy again. Dr. Mosetter’s close friend Victor von Toenges has also been an important influence with regard to homeopathic care, the recognition of mineral, vitamin and nutrient deficiency states as well as individualized targeted replacement. His differentiated knowledge in the areas of dietary hypersensitivities, lactose, gluten and casein intolerance and allergies have expanded and confirmed our “biochemical” perspective about bad, short-chained carbohydrates and toxic sugars in the specialty area of pediatrics. In the Rudolph Steiner tradition, Victor von Toenges has enhanced our understanding of the substitute carbohydrate galactose with the anthroposophic term “the brain and communication sugar.”
Long before our scientific studies on galactose metabolism at the Charité in Berlin from 1995 to 2010, galactose had been used in a targeted way by leading pediatric specialists. A research study of the intensive administration of galactose to premature infants with symptomatic hypoglycemia had been published as early as the 1980s. The oral administration of galactose can set metabolism on the right path and make it easier for children to “withdraw” from toxic sweet beverages and to tolerate dietary changeovers. When used in connection with ketogenic diet models for children with epilepsy, the non-insulin dependent carbohydrate, galactose, can buffer energy crises and significantly simplify implementation of the treatment plan.
In addition, our expertise in pediatric care in Myoreflex Therapy reflects the competencies of Gottfried Fischer, the founder of psychotraumatology in Germany and Professor of Clinical Psychology. For more than 24 years, his alert mind, his expert gaze, his differentiated sensibility and his comprehensive understanding of psychotraumatology have fertilized the conception and development of Myoreflex Therapy. Thus, for example, abnormal behaviors, attention deficit syndrome, eating disorders and depression in children are typically not determined primarily by genetics or neurobiology, but instead, are often based on traumatic burdens, chronic stress, and over-socialized or under-socialized attachment behavior.
Without a doubt, the multiple prescriptions for the anti-ADHD drug Ritalin (between 1992 and 2008 they increased 75-fold) cannot be attributed to abnormal genes or defective brain structures. The state of the research shows that there is no such thing as an ADHD gene! In fact, many children with ADHD do have a specific type of dopamine receptor – but this allele has been in existence for more than 40,000 years and provided hunters and gatherers with a specific selective survival advantage with respect to curiosity, willingness to take risks, courage and exercise behavior. During the last 100 years the human genome has not changed substantially – but our environment certainly has! Gottfried Fischer is an expert researcher in the etiology of ADHD. Careful analysis of a diverse set of very different stress factors (in everyday life, school, the psychosocial environment, stress experiences and dietary styles) will help to chart new pathways. Every therapist who works with children should get advanced training in trauma-adapted psychotherapy – and thus learn to recognize when children need psychotherapeutic help and when specific, careful neuromuscular Myoreflex regulation treatments are indicated.
The fact that the body, psyche, soul and brain cannot be separated from each other should not be seen as anything novel. Medical expertise from Chinese, Tibetan and Ayurvedic cultures, which have served as an inspiration and have marked Myoreflex Therapy from the beginning, have always understood that only a harmonious balance between physical activity, the environment, emotion and the world of feelings, the social environment and a centered sense of physicality can make true health possible. Our close collaboration with Gottfried Fischer led to a fruitful supervisory relationship and collaboration with Peter Riedesser, Professor and specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry. As Chief Physician at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital and as a psychotraumatologist who was involved since the field first began, he was not only an expert consultant who was always available to stand by our side, but he also provided supervision in the targeted withdrawal from psychostimulants, Ritalin and antidepressants and for complex cases.
Much of today’s knowledge is being confirmed through modern brain research. The same is true of the dynamics for potential positive change. The physicist, psychologist and brain researcher Günter Haffelder and the neurobiologist and brain researcher Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt have been and continue to be by our side to provide inspiration, rigorous training and patient teaching regarding all “brain” issues. Prof. Teuchert-Noodt has been a pioneer in the field of neurobiology, who has promulgated the concepts of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis for over 30 years. Today, all brain researchers have confirmed that potentiality exists with the hope for continued developmental capacity, and this underlines the importance of developmental activation. Since 2002, Prof. Dr. Dr. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt has encouraged our ideas of applied brain research in treatment models for children.