The Cirque du Soleil for spinal cord implants.

imagesimages-3Cirque du Soleil Kooza dress rehearsal at Royal Albert Hall, London, Britain - 04 Jan 2013

Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian based performance of strong, FLEXIBLE, dancers and performers that showcase magical entertainment. Although there are many different stories for each show, the main thing that captivates the crowd is often the strength and flexibility of the performers. It’s almost surreal to see some of the positions the body can contort to.


I recently came across this article that discusses a new flexible spinal cord implant which may one day help people who are paralyzed to walk again. Although the general population may not be as flexible as the performers of Cirque de Soleil, our muscles, tissues and joints bend in many different ways. When implanting a foreign object into the tissues, it must be able to move with it!

In the past, there has been technology similar to the idea of the e-Dura; however, they were less natural due to the stiff immobile gadgets which tend to cause damage or inflammation to the nervous tissue over time. The e-Dura implants are not yet being used in human research; however, they have been used on rats which has shown increased mobility and durability by not causing friction and damage to the tissues. Swiss researchers are very excited to have created this flexible implant and look forward to trying it on humans in the near future.

Click this link below to see more.

Flexible spinal cord implants will let paralyzed people walk again

Michelle Wolfe

 

#NoExcuses

The International Taekwon-Do Federation display fighting matches with some of their competitors that have a disability. It’s a powerful thing to see a man in a wheelchair, drop an able bodied man to the ground. I applaud them; however, I can’t help but feel a bit lazy while I admire their strength and technique.

*Caution, with a title of #NoExcuses this video may leave you feeling lazy and weak, but don’t let that stop you from watching. I promise you will be amazed and perhaps inspired!

 

Michelle Wolfe

Adapting to life on Wheels

Last summer I traveled to the beautiful, hot and sunny, Los Angeles where I met many, many, inspiring people living with SCI’s (spinal cord injuries).  I accompanied a client who is currently performing her rehab program with us at Aim2Walk, here in Toronto.  One of her biggest interests was to make the transition from a powered chair to a manual chair.  This is how I was introduced to Troy McGurick.  Troy is the representative for Box Wheelchairs which is a small company building wheelchairs (basically it’s a factory in some guys garage.)  Their outlook is to “keep it simple and affordable while using the best parts! ” They start with a basic chair to fit each individual’s needs specifically and work on keeping it as light as possible for easy transportation.

Right away I was inspired by Troy and his positive easy going kind of attitude. Often times he’s traveling the world selling Box wheelchairs or, with wheelchair stunt guy Aaron Fotheringham, aka: Aaron Wheelz (you may have seen this guy doing back flips in his wheelchair.) Otherwise, he can be found at the skate park teaching young kids how to enjoy their life on wheels.  Troy is a quadriplegic and when asked about his injury he told me it was the best thing that could have happened to him.  He explained to me how his disability lead him to where he is now and how much he enjoys his life of traveling and teaching kids how to live a full life while in a chair.  I also found myself in shock when he drove up in a big, tall SUV and he transferred himself into his wheelchair.   He explained to me how it took him many tries (and a few falls) to be strong enough to be able to do it on his own.

See how Troy transfers himself, and his chair into his vehicle in less then a minute.

Michelle Wolfe