Video tutorial on functional, somatic rehab for people in wheelchairs

Over the past few years I have watched a fair number of rehab or restorative sessions in LTC facilities and outpatient clinics. These sessions have, more than not, been comprised of the patients doing upper body exercises with weights as a major portion of their occupational therapy and lower body strengthening exercises using resistance, usually therabands, and assisted standing and walking where possible for the physical therapy portion.

I also see, at times, the patient is left to do the repetitions without supervision or with few clues on how to do the movement safely. One could say that the patient already knows how to do the exercise but unfortunately this is not what I see from a biomechanic perspective.

Given that these appear to be the go to exercises, I asked myself how might I be able to help improve the quality of these exercises without asking therapists to do something entirely different. I believe good arguments could be made that these standard exercises are questionable in certain situations but I don’t want to argue that at this . Instead I wish to offer a way to make the chosen exercises safer, more valuable and start connecting all of them to standing and walking right from the get go.

I think this video provides that opportunity without intending to turn traditional therapists into Feldenkrais practitioners. The fast paced environments with incredible amounts of time spent on charting do not easily lend themselves to creativity in sessions, but perhaps there are ways we can get more with the resources that are available.

Besides the Feldenkrais Method, I have drawn on Bones for Life and the Integral Human Gait theory as well.

Let me know what you think. And if you find it worth while, please pass along. LTC rehab in particular needs support from my exposure here in Cincinnati although I think this is useable information for therapists in all environments. Personal trainers will also benefit. I am also offering a workshop in June on this topic. Let me know if you are interested.

Wheelchair Rehab with Feldenkrais Method from Future Life Now on Vimeo

About the Author

Cynthia

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Cynthia is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, a Senior Trainer in Movement Intelligence, and a co-creator of Integral Human Gait theory. By day, she helps children and adults find easier ways to navigate life challenges and thrive. By night, she is dreaming up new options for how we can all become more fully human through awareness, curiosity, elegance and action.

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