Are you prepared for the move?

NC_Icon

We also have a new Neurochangers logo !

This year we have made some new changes with our neurological centre Aim2Walk in Toronto. With many ideas and discussions regarding our name, we have decided to go ahead and change our name to Neurochangers. Our second location in Whitby is also named Neurochangers which made our decision and transition easier. With this going forward we have also amalgamated our blog into our website. Although this Neurochangers blog has been a successful way to create and share information to our readers for the past 5 years, this will be our last post on this site. We ask kindly that you take the time to follow us at our new site where we will continue to share health tips, technology and keep you updated on the latest events and compelling client progress stories. We thank you for your love and support over the past 5 years and we look forward to having you stop by our newest site! Click here to subscribe.

From Aim2Walk’s Neurochangers Family, we thank you!

www.Aim2Walk.ca

Walking with a Robot

How do you get the person into the Robot? This is a question that gets asked frequently, especially when someone new comes into our Neurological Rehabilitation Centre.

The Lokomat is a robotic walking machine, designed to help with gait training and neurological re-patterning. Basically, it has robotic legs which help assist the client while they walk on a treadmill. We are very fortunate to have the Lokomat at our clinic to allow our clients to experience a “normal walking pattern” and the visual experience of walking. But how do we get our clients into the Lokomat?

Our therapists start by stretching the client’s legs. This prepares the client for the workout and helps the therapist assess where the client may have some restrictions and where we might need to be cautious when weight bearing.

Next is the harness preparation. Basically the harness is the next best thing to a corset. It hides all unwanted belly fat and gives a nice hour glass figure. Unfortunately, tighter is usually better which can be a bit worrisome for some of our male clients. However, once you’ve been up a time or two, it tends to be just fine.

Then we wheel or walk the client up the ramp and onto the treadmill where we fasten them to what I like to call “the crane”. This raises the client up off the treadmill to allow the therapist to attach the Robotic legs.

There are three separate cuffs for each leg and each cuff is adjustable in size. Once all strapped in, there are adjustments to be made to the legs and feet.

Then it is go time… lowering the client onto the treadmill and raising the speed according to the client’s needs.

Although my description is as visual and award winning as the talented J.K Rowling, we have also made a video to help you see for yourself how the Lokomat set up works. Paul Maneri is our actor in the video along with therapist Lindsay Simpson. If you would like to learn more about the Lokomat or perhaps have an opportunity to try the Lokomat please do not hesitate to call the clinic at 416-679-9255 or email, info@aim2walk.ca

Michelle Wolfe
www.Aim2Walk.ca

STAND UP!! Sitting could be killing you!

Prolonged sitting actively promotes many chronic diseases and may shorten your life span. This is extremely scary for wheelchair users, office workers and those who need to sit while working.

According to Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic in the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, roughly 10 000 publications have stated that sitting is harmful to your health. Possible health issues include diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, curving of the spine, shortening of the muscles and even death. The studies are endless and the information is clear, we need to get moving and up out of our chairs as much as possible.

If you have a disability, standing may not be something you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle. The ability to stand means you would need some sort of assistive device such as a standing frame or another assistive apparatus. Luckily, the technology has improved greatly and these devices are more readily available.

Ideas for those using wheelchairs to incorporate standing into their life:

IMG_9837At Aim2Walk we have an amazing device called the Lokomat. Not only does it get you standing, it also moves your legs with the assistance of robotic legs. It is the ultimate tool to allow someone with no movement, to move their legs. Many of our clients report that the Lokomat is the key to keeping a regular routine for bowel movements.

We recently had Robert Woo visit our clinic with his Exoskeleton suit from ReWalk. We hope to see this technology improve and become more available to those using mobility devices. Robert has been using the Exoskeleton for the past five years and has not had a urinary tract infection (UTI) since. This is extremely positive for those who suffer from regular UTIs.

The Standing Frame is another great assistive standing apparatus at Aim2walk. Unlike the Lokomat however, it is sedentary. For most people, this is more financially realistic than the ReWalk. We have two at our clinic and they are used frequently throughout the day. Standing frames are great for weight bearing, helping to improve bone density and regulating blood pressure. You can also include an upper body workout while you’re standing in the standing frame.

Ideas for those with desk jobs to incorporate standing into their life:

Many work places are encouraging ergonomic work environments. This means you adapt your workspace to your body mechanics and preferences. If standing is the key to a healthy lifestyle, perhaps a standing workspace, at the place you spend majority of your day would be best. The video below is by Dr. Mercola explaining his standing workspace. He has limited his sitting to only 30 minutes per day.

At Aim2Walk, we have many clients who use the Lokomat for the very same reason. Although they may not be able to get up and walking, they maintain a healthy lifestyle by getting up out of their chair and moving their legs as much as possible at therapy.

Exercise is also extremely important in order to maintain a healthy body. Aim2Walk has adapted fitness classes for EVERY BODY type. In January, we will begin our next round of Fitness classes as well as Tai Chi classes.

If you are unable to get out of your chair, I would suggest moving your body as much as possible to encourage blood flow throughout your entire body. There are many online wheelchair workout videos if you cannot make it to our fun filled Every Body Fitness and Tai Chi classes.

Michelle Wolfe