<strong>What is Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) Therapy?</strong>

What is Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) Therapy?

As a parent or carer, it can sometimes be difficult to keep track of the physiotherapy options available to you, as well as understanding which ones may be of most benefit to your child. In this article, one of the team at Therapy Stars talks through DMI therapy, a new treatment that is creating buzz in the world of physiotherapy. 

So, what is dynamic movement intervention (DMI) therapy? DMI is a form of physiotherapy that focuses on key areas including the improvement of motor skills, balance, range of motion, posture, and most importantly, gradual progression. Exercises are repeated at least 5 times to help build the automatic responses of the brain. Dynamic movement intervention therapy is used to help a child reach key milestones such as sitting upright, standing, or walking.

Read on to find out more about what the treatment involves, who can benefit from it, and how we include it in our intensive physiotherapy sessions at Therapy Stars.

What is DMI Treatment & What Does it Involve?

Dynamic movement intervention (DMI) physiotherapy uses a range of motions and positions  to stimulate neuroplasticity, allowing your child to develop new neuronal (brain-body) connections. Exercises may include those that challenge a child’s posture and strength, which increase gradually over time. Each exercise is repeated multiple times per session, across sessions, until the movement becomes automatic and feels natural to your child.

Some of the exercises used in dynamic movement intervention therapy may include suspension or ‘floating’, which are particularly effective when trying to develop cognitive functions including balance and stability. A physiotherapist will hold the lowest part of a child’s body (such as the ankles or feet) to provide support whilst the exercise takes place. By doing this, the child develops motor independence as the exposure to gravity helps create and improve upon new motor connections.

DMI usually has a better response from a child when performed intensively, with regular and longer sessions. 

What Does DMI Focus On?

Dynamic movement intervention therapy focuses on several main areas:

Motor skills

Exercises promoting neurological maturity, helping your child  reach key milestones like sitting, standing, or walking.

Range of motion

Dynamic exercises focusing on improving the connections between your child’s brain and their muscles and joints, until responses become automatic.

Balance

Balance is a common theme through each DMI exercise, helping your child do things like standing on their own.

Body alignment & posture

Each exercise contributes to postural alignment, and works towards holding key positions without aids from a physiotherapist or parent, and without conscious participation.

Gradual progression

Increasing the difficulty of movements during each session to encourage your child to develop and improve on a range of key skills.

One of the most important aspects of dynamic movement intervention therapy is the active involvement of the child. Sessions aim to engage your child with a range of added sensory elements and movements to keep their attention. Usually DMI techniques are combined with other effective physio techniques to help reach a child’s aims and objectives at a faster rate, which are usually outlined before the sessions start.

Who is Dynamic Movement Intervention For?

DMI therapy works to accelerate a child’s motor skills progress over time, and therefore this form of therapy benefits children diagnosed with a range of conditions, mainly those affecting a child’s neurological ability. Some of which may include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
  • Spina Bifida
  • Developmental Delay
  • High Tone Muscles
  • Low Tone Muscles
  • Charcot Marie Tooth
  • Brain Injury
  • Neuromuscular conditions

If you’d like to learn more about conditions that may affect the development of key motor skills, why not read some of our recent blogs – ‘What is Cerebral Palsy in Children?’ Or ‘What Is Muscular Dystrophy?

Why Would a Baby Need DMI Therapy?

If a baby isn’t reaching key developmental milestones such as sitting, walking, or standing unaided, they may benefit from DMI therapy in order to build neurological connections between their brain and body. Your physiotherapist will work with your child to perform a range of exercises that will contribute to reaching the milestones outlined above. The movement is repeated until a desired natural response from your child is achieved, usually within a shorter time frame when compared to typical physiotherapy.

Intensive Dynamic Movement Intervention Physiotherapy From Therapy Stars

Here at therapy Stars, we use a range of DMI therapy techniques within our intensive sessions to ensure your child progresses quickly to meet the desired motor-related goals. We’re one of a few registered practitioners for DMI therapy in the UK, as outlined by dmitherapy.com, with two of our staff members qualified as Level A practitioners.

If you’d like to learn more about intensive physiotherapy, why not explore our website for more information? Alternatively, if you have any questions, or you would like to book a consultation call, don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Therapy Stars team