This is your Brain on Vacation

Rush hour, rain & road detours. Welcome to downtown Vancouver. Sounds like a nice way to spend a vacation, doesn’t it?

As I looked down the street at all those shiny red brake-light reflections, I started to reflect a little myself…

I imagined the street as a spinal cord and the cars as nerve impulses trying to get to where they had to be. I saw the road blocks as a spinal cord injury, and the detour as neuro-plasticity doing it’s best to reroute traffic and get things moving again.

It’s hard to truly understand the impact a spinal cord injury would have on someone’s life. Brad is one of our regular clients and blog authors, and writes from that very perspective. Brad is a bright, intelligent and witty guy who shows tremendous strength and determination. I have no doubt that one day he’ll be in the forefront of the robotics and cybernetics industries.

In contrast to modern science and technology, my metaphorically inspired traditional medicine brain started relating all those idling cars to ‘blood obstruction’, the lack of movement to ‘stagnant Qi‘, and the accumulating cloud of car exhaust to ‘toxic heat’. The rain was complicating the situation by slowing traffic even more, an internal condition otherwise known to Chinese medicine practitioners as ‘dampness’.

Krystin, our Chinese medicine practitioner, is a good example of a therapist who embraces the complimentary yet opposing natures of both modern and traditional medicines. She wrote a good article on it awhile ago. Krystin has a calm way of taking everything in and clearly implementing the best course of action. This makes her very unique. We often say (behind her back of course) that ‘finding her was like finding gold’.

At this point, traffic was crawling along at an excruciating pace of 1 inch/hr, enough to shake even the solidest of zen demeanors. Traveling, even for fun, can be exhausting. Aaron, another clinic director, travels a lot. He regularly attends worldwide conferences & other special events. One of his responsibilities is researching what’s out there and keeping us on the leading edge of things. His headstrong and optimistic campaign to change healthcare for the better is an inspiration to us all.

So I took Aaron’s optimistic example and happily sucked up the rain & traffic (car seat warmers and satellite radio helped a bit). Hey, just because you’re physically stuck in traffic, you don’t have to mentally be stuck in it as well. That reminds me of an entry I wrote awhile ago… you can’t always change the situation you’re in, but you can always change your perception of it.

Eventually the rain eased up and the sun made a special appearance. Dry and warm, a cup of tea in hand, I stared at the mountains. I can’t help but wonder how everything back at the clinic is going. I know, people keep telling me that the point of a vacation is to get away, relax, and stop thinking for awhile. Not me, my mind is alive with a million thoughts. Ok, maybe not a million, but brain trivia says at least 70,000.

On the top of that list at the moment is heading over to a cozy little cafe to sip down a yummy cappuccino. Maybe while I’m there I’ll take Matt’s advice and think up my new personal mission statement for when I’m back. Matt writes about everything from robotic gait assisted technology to vertigo to having babies. He’s an exceptional physiotherapist and is a good grounding influence at the clinic. Must be the ‘daddy vibe’.

The purpose of this blog (there is a purpose, I swear) is to point out the importance of reflecting. Reflecting on the important people and events in your life. It’s important to remember the good, the bad, and everything in between. Acknowledgement to where you’ve been will help guide you to where you need to be.

Hmm… and now that I think about it, where I need to be right now is out having a well deserved holiday drink!

On that note, this post will likely show up a little late.

Don’t bug me. I’m on BC time.
– Jesse

The Mecca of Medical Technology

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Update on Medica 2011.

As most of you know, we at Aim2Walk strive to be on the cutting edge of anything going on in the healthcare field. We accomplish this through (other than spending countless hours reading – Yes, we are healthcare nerds!) our sister company called Neuro-Solutions (www.neuro-solutions.ca) which is a medical equipment supplier.

Neuro-Solutions imports cutting edge equipment into Canada (the Lokomat is one example) to give Canadians access to the technology that the rest of the world is developing and using in the treatment of their citizens.

This means that we travel the world to attend conferences, lectures, congresses and medical shows (like Medica) to see what is new, whether we can or should sell it, and get the word out about our products. We basically find the best, buy it and use it at our clinic (Aim2Walk) to test it and become intimately familiar with it before we launch the product in Canada.

For those of you who don’t know, Medica (www.medica.de) is the world’s biggest medical trade show held every year in Düsseldorf, Germany. This year, it occupied 16 buildings and had over 4500 exhibiters!

My head is still spinning from all of the walking, looking and talking. As we have just come back from 7 days of craziness, meetings, and of course drinking – I thought I would do a technology review (similar to what Matt did earlier, only much more articulate and intelligent) over the coming weeks. I will pick some of the highlights and of course some of the products we will be launching in Canada next year and give you a glimpse of what is to come.

Stay tuned!

Take it easy,

Aaron

Mission Possible

To provide our clients with a properly integrated neurological rehabilitation protocol that combines traditional and modern approaches to health and wellness.  Included in this approach is the utilization of the most advanced rehabilitative technologies.  We will strive to continuously challenge and evolve our treatment methods in response to the latest medical research and technological advancements.  Each client will receive an individualized treatment plan that will progress as their symptoms change and will reflect their individual therapy goals.

This is Aim2Walk’s Mission Statement.  Every reputable (and non-reputable) business has one.

They are meant to inform customers and the public of the true purpose of a company or organization.  But does anyone ever take the time to read a company’s mission statement?  Even if you do read the mission statement, you probably have an idea of what the statement should actually say.

As an example, Aim2Walk’s mission statement could just as easily read “To improve your function”.  Less fancy, but to the point.

Budweiser’s mission statement, “Be the world’s beer company” could just as easily read “To impair the world’s judgement”.  You can have a lot of fun with this….I did.

But that’s not the point of this post.

I think it’s a great idea for individuals, not just companies, to have mission statements.  Your statement would be something that reminds you, or helps guide you to live your life the way you want it to be lived – your true purpose.  I have had a few clients over the years who have privileged me with their personal mantras, and you can really sense a deeper understanding and control that these people have in their lives.  Your personal mission statement need not be a paragraph or a sentence.  Some of the best mission statements I’ve heard are only a few words.

“To Live”

“No Regrets”

“Laugh everyday”

“Measure twice, cut once”

Basically, they are words to live your life by.  They are often cliches, but helpful nonetheless.  Your personal statement can and will change throughout your lifetime.

“To live a principle-centered life”

This is my personal mission statement.  It’s short, and very non-specific, but I know exactly what it means to me.  It’s cheating, in a sense, because this short statement includes ALL of the principles I try to live my life by.  “Principle-centered” means that all the decisions I make in life will be deeply routed in the principles I have set for myself (and may have had set for me by an external influence, such as my parents).

Mission Statement - to climb this cliff and catch the a$$hole that thought this was funny

One of these principles is to raise my children with love, compassion, and patience.  Every time I make a decision regarding one of my children, I should ask myself: “Am I doing this out of love? Am I showing compassion? Can I be more patient? If I can’t say YES to any of those questions, I am deviating from one of my core principles.

Do you have a personal mission statement?

If not, I challenge you to write one.  Take 15 minutes one night and wright out some basic principles you would like to live your life by.  If you are having trouble, try to think about how you would want to be remembered by those close to you, once you pass away.  Yes, this is a bit of a creepy exercise, but it works.

Keep your mission statement somewhere close by – in your wallet, on your car’s dashboard, in your bedside drawer.  Whenever you have a decision to make, no matter how trivial it seems, make sure that decision doesn’t go against your personal mission statement.

Matt