Few would dispute the countless benefits of exercise, but for
persons with complex medical conditions, standard exercise
programs are often not the right solution. Organizations such as NCPAD offer excellent education on modified exercise programs specific to each health condition. The take-away guideline of this New York Times article is to engage in as much exercise as your body will tolerate. With medical supervision, a variety of ways exist to adapt exercises to provide challenge and accommodate limitations. Keep searching for the right type of exercise for your body. Movement creates momentum and health.
The gentle, meditative, paced movements of Tai Chi hold promise as a path of restorative exercise for those struggling with mobility challenges. A widely practiced Chinese martial art, Tai Chi improves balance, aids in stress relief, and promotes circulation of the "chi" (energy) - a therapeutic effect common in eastern healing modalities yielding balance in the body. The Arthritis Foundation sponsors a unique Tai Chi program, Sun Style, created by Dr. Paul Lam. This program is composed of a series of movements tailored to the needs of persons diagnosed with arthritis.
Each time I attend a live musical performance, I am always awed by the soul-piercing effect of music on the audience, be it jazz, blues, gospel, rock, or classical. I witness how music moves the listener spurring relief, joy, play, or an escape into imagination.
Earlier this summer, I visited the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy and spoke with director,
Dr. Alan Turry, on the healing aspects of music and the unique treatment approach of the center.
“Pull on a single thread in nature, and you will find it
attached to everything in the universe,” says the naturalist John Muir. These words came to mind when I recently discovered the cinematic artwork of mouth painter, Moses Hamilton, 37, who lives in Kauai, Hawaii.
Capturing subjects ranging from the mundane to the transcendent, Hamilton’s paintings draw the viewer into the breathtaking landscapes of Hawaii and tell a moving visual story of the island’s people.
Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Falls can be traumatic, both practically and emotionally. When such an incident happens, seek medical care, as the fall could be a sign of changes in your mobility or an underlying health issue. Fall prevention training is a holistic model of intervention involving three areas: balance training/adaptive exercise, medical management, and home modifications.
The Fall Prevention Center for Excellence is a health advocacy organization seeking to raise public awareness of the incidence of falls and the importance of Fall Prevention education. If you are concerned about a loved one, StopFalls.org offers several educational resources for support.
The outpouring of emotion for the recent passing of tech genius, Steve Jobs, is validation of how much the magic of digital devices has become a central part of our daily lives. Phones and tablets are lifestyle managers, offering apps that help with organization, planning for dinner or checking one's budget. Jobs will be remembered as a central inspiration for the digital age, but how people continue to make creative use of digital technologies is the post-Jobs story.
Bridging Apps is a innovative web community of parents and professionals who seek to share information on ways to use educational/therapy apps on the latest technology devices—iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android and others—to support developmental learning goals for people with disabilities.
Each year in the U.S., 765,000 American youths, about one every 40 seconds, visit an emergency room for a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Compounding this complex diagnosis, families have to navigate an
often-frustrating maze to access health care or discover the lack thereof. “Whether you are prince or a pauper, you face the same struggle across the U.S.,” says Patrick Donohue, founder of The Sarah Jane Brain Project (SJBP).
Donahue knows the challenges parents face firsthand. The Sara Jane Brain Project is named after his daughter, Sarah Jane, who at 5 days old was shaken by her baby nurse, breaking four ribs and both collarbones and resulting in severe pediatric acquired brain injury (PABI). From the outset, Donahue became harshly aware of what families of children with brain injuries contend with—an uncoordinated system of care, a medical issue with minimal research dollars, and haphazard treatment options.
Exploring better ways to move, exercise or sustain physical resilience with mobility challenges is a constant source of interest for me. I recently discovered the Feldenkrais Method, with the help of Stacy Barrows, PT, GCFT, CPI, a physical therapist, Pilate’s instructor, and passionate practitioner of the approach. We explored some of the benefits for persons with disabilities. The main distinction of this form of movement therapy is its engineering viewpoint on understanding the body, “How do all the parts of the body work together? It's less of a cause and effect mindset,” Barrow notes.
[I had the privilege of speaking with Judy Goldberg back in 2011. Passionate with an advocacy spirit in every sense, Judy cared deeply about empowering young women. Judy passed away on November 5, 2013. It was an honor to know her and this post is in memoriam to her work and to the continuing work of IWD...]
The Initiative for Women with Disabilities (IWD), Elly and Steve Hammerman Health and Wellness Center, located at the NYU Hospital for Join Diseases, is a comprehensive health care facility designed to empower women and adolescent girls with disability. IWD is fully equipped with an accessible GYN table, and scale, and it offers a variety of wellness education resources, “We teach the wellness aspects of disability - how to sustain a healthy life style with nutrition, acupuncture, stress management – not only to help to minimize hospitalizations, but also to bounce back easier after relapse,” says Judith Goldberg, director of the center. The wellness movement is a growing one; health care centers around the U.S. are each defining how this approach would translate for their patients.
The world of hand control driving technology for persons with disabilities is not a widely known area of accessibility. Three years ago, when I transitioned to hand controls, I embarked on a new learning curve that I had little familiarity with. I reached out to my former teacher, Beth Rolland, an occupational therapist, driver rehabilitation specialist, and tri-athlete at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, to gather advice for people who may be thinking of taking this step.
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