Improvement in sensory impairment and social interaction in young children with autism following treatment with an original Qigong massage methodology

Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(3):393-406. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X07004916.


In clinical research, sensory impairment is considered one of the core deficits in autism and is associated with impaired socialization, behavioral disturbances and bowel and sleep problems. The effectiveness of the Cignolini methodology, an original Qigong massage methodology, in treating sensory impairment in young children with autism was evaluated in a small, controlled study. Thirteen children with autism between the ages of three and six received daily treatment according to the methodology for 5 months. Compared with untreated children, treated children experienced significant improvement of their sensory impairment (p < 0.01), and demonstrated increased social skills (p < 0.04) and basic living skills (p < 0.02) on standardized measures. In addition, all of the children with bowel and sleep abnormalities demonstrated improvement after treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Autistic Disorder / complications*
  • Breathing Exercises*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Constipation / complications
  • Constipation / therapy
  • Diarrhea / complications
  • Diarrhea / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Massage*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Sensation Disorders / complications
  • Sensation Disorders / therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy