The Vojta Method, also known as Vojta Therapy, in which the physiotherapist, by stimulating pressure points, tries to obtain appropriate muscle tone in the patient when performing a specific function or movement, giving the child the opportunity to develop properly in a psychomotor context. The MEDEK therapy system has many significant similarities to the rehabilitation method discussed above, but there are also some differences between them that make both therapies unique. Read on to learn more about them and which method may be right for your child – Vojta method or MEDEK therapy?
What is the Vojta method?
It is described as one of the alternative therapies for improving children with neurological problems. Also known as Compression Stimulation Therapy by Dr. Vaclav Vojta, which he developed in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. The therapy includes a diagnostic part that allows the assessment of individual movement dysfunctions resulting from damage to the central nervous system. The following are monitored: basic human positioning – on the stomach, on the back. The therapist examines the child’s spontaneous motor skills during suspensions that are uncomfortable but safe for patients. The diagnostic part is followed by the therapeutic (practical) part. Based on the interview, the specialist is able to determine the level of disorders and dysfunctions of the child.
This is a rehabilitation method for children, which is becoming the basis among children’s physiotherapy. It consists of a diagnostic and therapeutic part. Interviewing the parent is very important. The first rehabilitation session is devoted to anamnesis and general examination of the patient. Sometimes the beginnings are hard because of the baby’s crying. When deciding on this therapy, parents should be aware in advance that, unfortunately, the actions performed by the specialist are strictly targeted, which will always be somewhat uncomfortable for the child, and thus the normal reaction will be crying or purring. You should also know that the child is activated to physical effort, which sometimes turns out to be too much for them, so that the little patients try to show their limits by crying. Physiotherapy with the use of Vojta therapy is based on compressions that cause specific movement patterns through which the desired motor patterns are slowly achieved. The main goal of the therapy is to obtain correct reactions in the child’s motor development through manual stimulation of individual pressure points in the child’s body zones. Exercises or poses recommended by the therapist at home should be performed by parents for the child. The lack of “regularity” in this therapy may prove problematic for the child – a combination of pathological and correct movement patterns, instead of the typically fixated and permanently taught by the physiotherapist movement memory, without pathology in movements. The main effects noticeable after a properly completed therapy are: improvement along with an increase in muscle mass and strength mm. of the child, appearance of reflexes, movement patterns and reactions desired by the therapist, improvement of the gait function, influence on the child’s superficial and deep sensation (proprioception) and, to a lesser extent, causes the progression of bladder and rectal function. In addition, it has also been proven to increase mobility in the joints of the spine.
What is MEDEK therapy?
Medek or Dynamic Method of Kinetic Stimulation is a physiotherapeutic method aimed at developing gross motor skills in infants and children with movement disorders caused by neurological dysfunctions. The method was developed in the 1970s by Chilean physiotherapist Ramon Cuevas. In Medek, the main stimulus stimulating the neuromuscular system to action is considered to be gravity and the distal grip. The assumptions of the therapy strongly emphasize that the impact of gravity (gravity) makes movement and the ability to manipulate objects require postural control or the ability to move against gravity and stabilize the body in space. The therapist’s task is to provoke automatic postural reactions needed to perform functional tasks. In practice, this means that the therapist, by invoking automatic straightening reflexes and equivalent reactions, enables and teaches functional tasks such as: keeping the head in different planes, getting up, sitting down, walking. Medek does not focus on changing muscle tone, primal reflexes or abnormal movement patterns. The therapy focuses on practicing the movements necessary for sitting, standing and walking by stabilizing the head and trunk (centre). During the classes, a table or special exercise equipment on the floor is used (when the child begins to take his first steps with the help of a therapist stabilizing his ankles). Exercising on the floor with the use of equipment dedicated to Medek therapy (9 wooden elements freely combined with each other), work on stabilization through balance exercises in a vertical position. Medek is a form of therapy that assumes very close cooperation between the therapist, the child and the parent. During the therapy, each parent is “trained” and receives a set of exercises to work with the child at home.
Comparison of each technique which one to choose?
Sample differences: Vojta method and MEDEK therapy:
– The Vojta method works mainly on the basis of compression, and the Medek method works mainly on the force of gravity
-In the Vojta Method, the child does not practice motor function
– The Medek method is more beneficial for the child in the sphere of physical sensation
– The Vojta method can be quite a challenge for the child in terms of mentality – directness in the therapist’s actions combined with often reduced empathy towards the patient, caused by the need to meet the therapeutic session (long sessions that sometimes have to be canceled due to the patient’s attitude) and stick to the schedule
-In the Medek Method, stretching is an integral part of working with overly tense muscles, and in the Vojta Method, most often in a static way
– The Vojta method mainly refers to the sequence of proper motor development of the child
-Medek method postural reactions are provoked by the therapist through dynamism, various positions of the child in space
To make an informed decision about which rehabilitation technique is right for you and your condition, carefully consider both methods before deciding to try one. After the analysis, consult a doctor or physical therapist specializing in pediatric neurology with appropriate knowledge of the specific therapy to see if it is appropriate for you and your child.
Which method is better – Vojty or Medek?
It is impossible to clearly state which method will be more effective and better, because they are mostly supposed to affect something completely different. Both methods are comparable in terms of the effects achieved. One can only wonder: What do we expect? What dysfunction does the child face? What do we want our child to achieve? What methods and ways affect our child the most intensively? It should be remembered that we are fighting for a specific and happy future of the child, which is why it is so important to choose the right therapy – the best, most effective and most appropriate for the child and his disease entity.