I’m reading a book about neuroplasticity and I was blown away by the first case study.
A lady who had been taking a drug which had a side affect of attacking the vestibular system (your inner ear balance mechanism).She had many falls and ended up seeing a specialist who referred her onto a guy who was trialing a new technology to help the brain correct itself and learn to balance the body again.
She wore a helmet which contained accelerometers, which were wired to a pad that she held on her tongue. The tilt of her head would set off a tingle on her tongue that related to the direction her head was tilting. After a few sessions her balance normalised. The experimental tech worked. The AMAZING bonus benefit was that there was a residual effect. So if she wore the helmet for 60 minutes she would benefit from a further 20 minutes of good balance before it wore off. This benefit was linear for a few more sessions but then it became exponential – to the point where her brain had re-learnt to balance and she no longer needed the helmet!!! Mind blown – this is how powerful the brain is. So if your balance if off and you want to improve it you really can.
Help your own balance – checklist below…
The clever people at Nymbl have a balance checklist:
☐ You need to use your hands to get out of a chair – this means your legs may not have the ability to take your entire body weight
☐ You find yourself touching surfaces frequently – this is your brain’s way of saying “I need more stability”
☐ You’ve caught yourself and thought ‘That was a close call’ I could’ve fallen
☐ You find yourself withdrawing from things that you usually participate in
☐ You’ve had significant changes in vision – vision is a third of your balance
☐ You’re experiencing changes in your body, e.g. joint sensation like arthritis
☐ You’re on four or more prescription medications
☐ You’ve had significant change in your brain health such as dementia or Alzheimer’s
☐ You’ve previously fallen
|Top 10 daily balance tips1. ADJUST YOUR STANCE Every time you brush your teeth, challenge yourself to stand with your feet closer together.|
2. FOCUS ON YOUR FOOTING Focus on stepping from heel to toe when you’re walking. This gives your brain the information it needs to assess the walking surface.
3. TALK WHILE MOVING Train your brain and body to work together by counting items around a room or carrying a conversation while exercising.
4. LIFT YOUR FEET OVER IMAGINARY OBJECTS Practice lifting your feet over imaginary objects to prepare yourself for every day trip hazards, such as rugs.
5. SHIFT YOUR WEIGHT Hover your hands inside a sink for safety and shift your weight from one leg, then the other.
6. RISE FROM A CHAIR MORE THAN ONCE When you get up from a chair, make it a habit to sit and stand 3-5 more times
7. NOTE OBJECTS WHILE WALKING Train your brain and body to work together by walking through a room, turning your head, and mentally noting objects around you.
8. FOCUS ON AN OBJECT WHILE MOVING YOUR HEAD Sit on the edge of a chair and focus your vision on an object across the room while moving your head.
9. DANCE EVERY DAY Move your body by including dancing into your routine.
10. PRACTICE LESS WEIGHT ON YOUR WALKER/CANE If you use a cane or walker, practice taking 20-second periods of time where only the weight of your hands are on the device.
I have a number of other balance drills that involve the feet and also getting into and off the ground again – things we all take for granted until we can’t do them!!
If you are interested in learning more please feel free to >>book in for a free chat << to see how I can help.