Balance Invention Developed

Posted on April 14, 2012. Filed under: BalanceWear - About Cindy | Tags: , , , , |

As a physical therapist, I work with patients with complex medical needs. Driven by a series of observations during my work with patients, I created and developed a novel treatment for patients challenged with abnormal balance and mobility. I would like to share the story of how I created and developed the balance assessment technique program known as Balance-Based Torso-Weighting® and the balance correction product now known as BalanceWear®.

I was working on an osteoporosis research study to determine whether community based exercises could result in improved balance and mobility with people after they had a suffered a fracture.  As a part of this research, we were utilizing weighted vests in an attempt to promote strengthening, balance, and improved mobility. We would add increasing weight symmetrically at the bottom of the vest slowly over a few months. People in our study would learn to sit to stand, perform lunges, etc while wearing the vest.

At the same time, I was also working as a home health physical therapist. One of my patients, “Mary”, had multiple sclerosis and very poor balance.  After working with Mary for a while, and seeing her struggle with balance, I had the thought “what if I could change a person’s balance by placing small amounts of weight strategically at different points on the body to counter-balance her directional balance losses something like placing small weights on a car wheel’s rim to balance the tire – wheel assembly?

To my surprise, amazing improvements happened immediately as soon as I tried my new technique. Mary improved from walking very poorly to almost normally. The only thing I had done was apply 1.5 pounds of weight to counter-balance where I found her directional imbalance. Not only did her walking improve but she could turn around, walk backwards, and reported she was less dizzy.  Her comment was “I don’t have to think to move.” We both started to cry.

When someone says they don’t have to think to move, it is quite incredible because that is what it is like when we don’t have any balance & mobility problems. Hmm… What had I come up with???

See the videos on the bottom right hand side of the page.

After that dramatic improvement with this patient, I couldn’t sleep. This totally new therapy changed Mary’s walking poorly to nearly normally. In the many years I had been a therapist, I never before had seen this type of improvement in a single treatment.

This realization changed how I treat patients forever! It changed how I analyze all patient balance and mobility care and created the passion I now have for correcting balance in all patients that I encounter.

That observation and treatment has now led to a whole new line of research in physical therapy.

I began trying out this concept on many different patients with a wide variety of balance disorders and learned that each person  has their own unique directional balance loss most of which could be corrected by Balance-Based Torso-Weighting: BBTW. When I corrected their balance by placing light weights strategically for balance loss, many people started moving better during the same treatment. I video-taped many of patients and showed their improved balance accomplishments to Dr. Gail Widener, PT, PhD at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California.

We have been doing research together ever since. Dr. Widener has been funded by the California Physical Therapy Fund and the National MS Society for research with BBTW. In 2010, Dr. Widener and Dr. Allen, PT, PhD at San Francisco State received a NIH Recovery Grant to further the study of BBTW in people with MS. We will be starting the second phase of this grant in May.

Some people in my blog state that I am really educated about what I relate in the blog. This is because I am the inventor, a physical therapist, an educator in BBTW, and a researcher in all the studies. I perform all the strategic weighting in the studies. I created, developed, and continue to work closely as we develop BalanceWear products for people with disabling balance and mobility conditions.

Stay Tuned:

My next blog will be about what BBTW actually is!

Be healthy and never stop trying.



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16 Responses to “Balance Invention Developed”

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this immediate correction w/ BalanceWear seems hard to believe!
How can it correct balance problems instantly?


Hi Shirley,
In the Balance-Based Torso-Weighting Method we assess to find the directional balance loss. Once we determine a person’s specific loss we counter balance the person with light weights placed very stategically.
We order a BalanceWear garment from Motion Therapeutics that fits the person’s body size. The weights are placed in BalanceWear and the person wears the device. The weights provide a sensory input to the body to assist the body to have better control. I hope that helps.

I am a 56 year old female with Spinocerebellar Ataxia. How would I go about arranging for an assessment for the BalanceWear? I live in Texas but would be willins to travel if necessary.

Hi Rolynn,
You can contact me directly by emailing I do see patients in Oakland, California. I see that you have done that and I will give you a call shortly.
Anyone who is interested please send more information about yourself. You can contact me directly via email. The avaerage increase in ability from BBTW is 2-25% while wearing BalanceWear in about 80 percent of people I see.
Have a wonderful day!



I am so happy you came out to see me from Texas. I am pleased with your response to BBTW. There were several positive outcomes that I saw. Improvement in the coordination of both your upper and lower extremities: The ability to alternate you hands with better precision and heel shin. Your walking and turning, The ability to lay straight back down without as much dizziness or eye jerkiness. I think the most fruitful experience that we saw together was your ability to walk carrying water or your coffee without spilling. Please tell the group what other benefits you have found. Good luck on your continued success!

Hi Cindy,
I just wanted to say thank you for your commitment to improving people’s lives. I am home back in Texas with my new vest. The improvements I experienced while having the vest fited were exciting in themselves, and I am looking forward to continuing mobility! You are a blessing.

So glad I could help you! Keep us informed how it goes:-))
I would love to get the word out to others with SCA!

Is there a photo and/or a picture/diagram of this product?

Hi Christopher,
Yes there is a picture of this product at the motion Therapeutics site.
What is important is where you put the weights in the garment to control a person’s balance.
Thanks for asking!

Please let me know when in California the Abc special on your balance wear will be on.
My sister lives in Capitola, Ca and I want her to
see the special.
Thank you, Sandra
My sister is Rolynn Rose’s aunt.

Hi Sandra,
It is supposed to show this Thursday during the 6Pm new hour:-)))

My name is Wellington Igunbor and this BBTW vest looks incredible I just wanted to know how I would get my hands on this or how I can get in contact with you cindy

Hi Wellinton,
You can reach me by email

Thank you for inventing BalanceWear! I have my life back. I feel confident and centered while walking and doing activities I enjoy again! Love my BalanceWear!

Thank you Catherine! Glad to hear you are doing well!

I was working in the flower beds this weekend…thanks to BalanceWear Cindy! You’re the best! 🙂

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