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Hscovern 09-01-2012 02:41 AM

TI for stroke (cerebrovascular accident) rehab?
A relative recently suffered a hemiparetic stroke, meaning he is weak but not paralyzed on one side of his body (the right). He now walks with minimal support and is able to use his right hand for gross activities though has difficulty with activity like writing or typing that requires fine coordination. No significant problem with understanding or verbalizing. He is frustrated by his loss of function and has no physical outlet. I'm wondering if there is any role for TI, with close supervision and in a shallow pool to start of course, for both rehab and as a physical outlet. Anyone have experience with TI as stroke rehab or adaptive swimming techniques?

jamescounsell 09-01-2012 07:09 AM

I am sorry to hear that.
I started up TI swimming as a means to recover after an accident. Among other things i broke my neck. I was dizzy for a long period of time though all the head down positions in the water felt really good. Using the the water to help support the weight of my head. I stayed in the shallow end and just practiced skate, superman flutter and fish. I could practice small movements in skate, such as putting a 9o degree flexion in the elbow to initiate the catch. This way i could make small improvements without having to deal with co ordinating side to side movements.
I am afraid i can not offer advice specifically to your case. But what i would say is that any time in the water would help. I only started swimming after the accident and the benefits have been amazing. Not only as a physical outlet but a form of meditation. I would say starting TI would be a great option. Its great to have a goal and a sense of purpose after these events. TI swimming could be the way forward.
Kind Regards,

Richardsk 09-01-2012 11:05 AM

Swimming and aquatic exercise are well established for various kinds of rehabilitation but would be need to be done with a qualified physiotherapist, I think, or at least in consultation with one.

Hscovern 09-01-2012 03:23 PM

Thanks for your comments. I guess my thought was that, with one side weakened by the stroke, that the left toe flick-right hip rotation-right hand spear and vice versa - requiring right / left and left / right coordination - could over time maximize potential for the intact side to guide the weakened one, so as to perhaps regain integrated and balanced health. Also, beyond simple right / left rebalancing, encouragement of thoughtful whole body participation might be useful in a rehab sense. And, as you said, a great physical outlet to decompress the caged mind.

Richardsk 09-01-2012 07:55 PM

Swimming and aquatic exercise are well established for various kinds of rehabilitation but would be need to be done with a qualified physiotherapist, I think, or at least in consultation with one.

CoachSuzanne 09-01-2012 10:03 PM

Google "Barry Shore Total Immersion".

Also, see this thread and linked article

terry 09-02-2012 10:47 AM

Barry Shore believed strongly - if somewhat vaguely at first - in the healing properties of water and aquatic movement. I've not suffered any challenges as significant as a stroke, but have recovered rapidly and strongly from a whole range of injuries, surgeries, etc by acting as an empowered participant in my recovery, doing the thing I know best which is swimming -- the definition of which I do not limit to whole-stroke versions of the four formal styles.

The water's buoyancy, density and accommodation facilitate the recovery of strength, range of motion and body control. The limitless potential for step-by-step progression of swimming's skills--building one mini-skill upon another--is a proven prescription for building, or rebuilding, robust neural networks. And practicing mindful movement, in combination with moderate HR, respiration rate and movement frequency--which is precisely the nature of TI drills--is known to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This fosters a sense of well-being and optimism, which are just as effective--if not moreso--as any pharmacology or physical activity, in recovery and healing.

One of my students, Jeanne Safer PhD, is writing a book on recovery from significant health challenges, in her case from a rare form of leukemia which hit her just as she was completing a course of treatment for breast cancer. As Jeanne has written, her weekly lessons with me, along with her own practice, were central to her ability to bear up under the exhausting effects of her year-long treatment, which included five weekly hospital visits over 7 months for infusions of highly toxic arsenic.

Her swimming allowed her to maintain an identity as a physically active -- and even athletic -- person . . . rather than a patient. Identity is essential.

Hscovern 09-03-2012 09:40 PM

Thank you Terry and Suzanne, insightful and well phrased, as always.

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