Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI Therapy)
DMI focuses on:
1. Gross motor skills – improving gross motor skills of children from birth.
2. Gradual progression – continuously increasing the challenge to encourage the child to respond with greater independence.
3. Alignment and Postural Control - all exercises focus on optimal alignment
4. Range of Motion - muscle and joint range of motion is achieved by movement (Dynamically).
5. Balance – improved balance is a common thread through most DMI exercises.
6. Functional movements – improving actions and skills that lead to attaining milestones such as rolling, sitting, standing, walking
What is DMI Therapy?
DMI is a therapeutic technique used in physical and occupational therapy to treat children with motor delay by improving autonomic postural responses and promoting progress towards developmental milestones.
The goal of DMI is to provoke a specified active motor response from the child in response to defined dynamic exercise prescribed by the therapist.
DMI simulates neuroplasticity to facilitate new neuronal connections and development of motormile.
What does DMI Therapy look like?
DMI is a set of exercises that follows certain criteria being a head to toe, direction, a proximal hold that progresses to a distal hold requiring the child to control and complete more of the movements themselves.
A general symmetrical motor response such as extension or flexion to a more specific dissociated motor response, such as flexion of one limb while the other is an extension. A great example of this would be a kneel to half kneel position.
Facilitation of rotary and transitional muscle control builds upon stability of postural control.
What is the aim of DMI Therapy?
One of the theoretical grounds that DMI works on is what we call neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is defined as the ability of the brain to form and recognise synaptic connections especially in response to learning or experience or following an injury.
It is the ability of the child's brain to recover from insults such as stroke by creating new motor pathways. The aim of DMI is to facilitate the creation of these pathways and synapses through novel motor challenges and facilitation of desired movement patterns.
How is DMI Therapy implemented into a therapy session?
There is a combination of two ways DMI therapy is implemented:
- Firstly it is purely the therapist's hands that are on the child trying to facilitate certain movements.
- Secondly when we progress, we start to bring in bits of equipment such as boxes, planks, balls, blocks to put the child in different positions and movements to facilitate a higher order movement pattern.
We are so excited to have this knowledge to be able to implement new exercises to help children create new pathways and improve their gross motor skills.
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