BalanceWear LSO

MS Success Story

Posted on December 8, 2015. Filed under: Balance, Balance-Based Torso-Weighting, BalanceWear LSO, Hope, Lifestyle and wellness, Multiple Sclerosis Treatment, Physical Therapy, Postural Control, Quality of Life, Vestibular |

Yellowstone

Yellowstone


Interview: by Sean Noah
Daniela Lee was diagnosed with MS at age 40. The disease limited her mobility and hindered the active lifestyle that she previously enjoyed. But thanks to BalanceWear, she is surpassing the limitations of her diagnosis and reclaiming the activity and independence that she once took for granted.

How did you first hear about the vest as a potential therapy?
I read an article about the BalanceWear balance vest in the National MS Society’s quarterly newsletter. The article described how the vest could improve balance. Given the fact that balance loss was one thing that I had been suffering greatly from, that was enough to get me interested. I looked up the BalanceWear website, and reached out to Cindy.

What was the fitting session like?
Cindy Horn from Motion Therapeutics put me in touch with a very helpful Kaiser physical therapist in Richmond – Judith Fairchild. The fitting session was fast, but also uncomfortable at times – the initial pushing to assess my balance made me dizzy and very fatigued. I had to sit down and rest. Then she told me there were a couple more tests with the vest on. She moved the weights around to places that made sense according to my specific balance issues, and then said that she was going to push me again. I was already thinking “I don’t want to be pushed around again – it’s so uncomfortable!” But then she pushed me and it was a night-and-day difference. I was still a little wobbly, but I didn’t need to reach out and grab her; I was able to catch myself. By the time she finished the testing and figured out exactly where the weights should go, she could push me and I literally did not even move. I could just stand there. It was beyond what I was expecting! Furthermore, my dizziness and fatigue were both gone – I had recovered within ten minutes from my initial discomfort. It was a very positive experience with BalanceWear right away.

After the initial fitting session, how did you feel about BalanceWear?
I only wore the vest that first day for ten minutes in her office, but when I got home, the effects lasted all day. I was still walking at 11pm when my husband came home – I didn’t want to go to bed! My husband looked at me and said “you’re really walking normally, I can tell!” I was running up and down the stairs no problem. The next morning, the effects were slowly fading. From then on it was absolutely clear that BalanceWear was something I had to get. It was such an immediate effect. It was an incredibly powerful, life changing experience – I can’t describe it any other way. I felt like I was back to normal, back to how I used to walk. I’ve had issues walking, even before my diagnosis. To get walking back… people take walking for granted. It’s only when I couldn’t do it any more that I realized how important it was, for mobility, independence, and daily life.
What I realized later, once I got my own vest, was “I don’t have to think about how I’m going to take my next step.” Before, I had to map out my path, think about where I would place each foot for every step – even short 20-yard walks felt like the effort of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. But with BalanceWear, I feel like I have little motors in my feet.

How often do you wear the vest?
At the beginning, I was wearing it four hours a day. Pretty quickly I realized that I don’t have to wear it every day – I would still have residual positive effects the following day, so I started playing around with it. “How long will the effects last if I wear it for two hours? What about if I wear it every other day? When will I need to wear it next?” It blows my mind how it works, why it works, and how Cindy came up with the idea.

What is it like to wear the vest?
I can definitely tell when I’m wearing it, but it’s not cumbersome. It’s a positive feeling, because the plastic within the belt that goes over the front makes me feel strapped in – I feel that much more secure.
The only negative aspect is that in the summer it gets very warm because you’re strapped in and there isn’t much room for air to circulate. It can get uncomfortably warm. With MS, heat is one of the really negative outside influences – it brings on fatigue and dizziness, so even though the vest is countering your balance issues, you’re still dealing with the dizziness and the fatigue. A lighter vest would solve this problem.

What are you able to do now that you weren’t able to do before BalanceWear?
BalanceWear has absolutely given me a new sense of confidence in my abilities and my potential. I do still have symptoms that are not related to balance, and I’m aware that the vest is not going to fix those – it’s not a panacea. But I can walk normally, even jog. Before, jogging was not possible, but now, I can jog almost a half mile. I can go downtown to the farmers’ market and get what I need, without having to rest in the car for ten minutes before and after walking around. It’s such a simple thing, but believe me, it’s a big step forward.
What advice would you give to people wondering if BalanceWear is right for them?
Get assessed. Try it out, even if just in the PT’s office. You might feel right away if it makes sense for you or not.
I’m very open about my experience with BalanceWear and MS. If people want to get in touch with me, they are welcome to reach out to me, and I’d be happy to talk to them.

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Testimonial from Thorkild Who has Ataxia

Posted on October 23, 2014. Filed under: Achievements, Ataxia, Balance, Balance-Based Torso-Weighting, BalanceWear - About Cindy, BalanceWear LSO, Be Your Best, Cerebellar ataxia, Elderly, Falls, Head Injury, Quality of Life |

THORKILD ERRITZØE
Generalkonsul

E-mail: thorkild@erritzoe.com

TESTIMONIAL
Personal information

Man born in 1935 in Denmark.
Diagnosis: Cerebellar Ataxia
My sickness started slowly back in 2003.
The following 4 years my gait became increasingly worse and I started having speaking problems – especially in the mornings.
Treatment: absolutely nothing ! The neurologist at the Copenhagen University Hospital told me that there was no cure. It was a progressive sickness and the only hope was that due to my age the sickness would most likely develop slowly over the years.

I had to change my living from a big house with many staircases to a protected apartment. My walking problems became beyond endurance with daily falls and lots of injuries as a consequence.
Finally – spring 2013 I was instructed not to walk at all, and was submitted to a wheelchair. Doctor’s order ! By ordering this the doctors would for any reason avoid further injuries to me by falling.
This enormous change in my life style resulted in serious depression, which lasted about 2 months.

Motion Therapeutics (MT)

In my daily investigations in medical literature and information found on the internet I came across a publication from MT offering a balancewear vest.

The problem was that I had to travel to USA if I wanted a vest. I therefore started a market research within the international medical field in order to get more information about the vest. My sister is a doctor, and she helped me in my investigation.
I was in contact with the neurologists at the Copenhagen University Hospital, the University Hospital in Munich, Germany (professor Thomas Brandt who had diagnosed me), the Ataxia Foundation of Denmark and the Ataxia Foundation of UK.

Unfortunately I only received negative feedback. Many had heard about the balance vest but no one believed in its ability to stabilize these types of balance problems.

Meeting with Cindy Gibson-Horn (CGH) – inventor of the vest

Despite all the bad publicity I had obtained I finally decided to try to get an appointment with CGH in San Francisco. She was most obliging and asked me to have a video taking of my gait and send it to her along with the official diagnosis of my sickness.

In spite of my handicap – SAS and my daughter brought me in my wheelchair to the clinic of CGH in San Francisco. It took place October 2013, and it goes without saying, that Cindy (CGH) really took excellent care of me from the moment I “rolled” into her clinic. My daughter and I were

impressed by the efficiency and professionalism of her performance. After having pushed me around and tried to get me totally out of balance for some time, Cindy said the fantastic and unbelievable words “You don’t have to sit in a wheelchair”.

Cindy then started building up a vest, which would suit me and help me in keeping my balance no matter what kind of exercise I performed. We are not only talking about normal walking but I should also walk backwards and to the sides, pick up things from the floor, reach up for things far beyond my natural height etc.

Having “worked” with me for a couple of hours and placed all kind of weights in my vest on various places on my back, shoulder, stomach and front, Cindy told me that she had finished the job and I could start walking. First I tried within the parallel bars, and here I walked normal without falling to the sides or crossing my feet. Then I asked whether I was allowed to try to walk up and down the hall space ?

“You just try”, Cindy said. For everyone who have seen my gait before such as my daughter, we experienced a miracle. I walked without any problems, and I was even able to look to the sides when walking, which I haven’t been able to do for years.

Having embraced and thanked Cindy for the incomprehensible help I walked out of her clinic – leaving my wheelchair behind.

Upon my return to Denmark I swore that I would do my best in order to arrange that BalanceWear would be introduced to the Scandinavian market in order to help other people with balance problems.

If everything goes according to plan I am happy to announce that as from June 2015
Motion Therapeutics, BalanceWear will be available in all Scandinavian countries.

Wonderful! Not only Scandinavians but also other Europeans will then only have to go to Skodsborg Physiotherapy in Denmark avoiding the long travel to USA. If they are successful most likely MT will also have other representatives appointed in more European countries.

I have deliberately postponed this testimonial for half a year. I suppose that everyone will understand that in the beginning I could hardly believe that all of a sudden I was ”brought back to life”. I am so happy to report that since Cindy put on my vest I have become even better. In my home I am now frequently able to walk without the vest and my handwriting and speech have improved. I am more capable to use my computer, and someone might even claim that my intellectual faculties have improved.

On top of all this I am so happy to report (knock the wood) that I haven’t fallen one single time since Cindy put on my vest.

All in all a SUNSHINE STORY. Apart from what I have stated in this testimonial I am only too glad to receive inquiries from interested people. My mail address is: thorkild@erritzoe.com

FINAL PRAISE to CINDY:
Congratulation Cindy for inventing your simple solution to an extremely complex problem, a mechanical balancing of one biologically very complicated imbalance.

Thorkild Erritzøe
Skodsborg, Denmark – March 16, 2014

Thanks Thorkild!
cindy

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PT Month Day 20: Sandra Jo Rampy – MS Activist – Is Running Again With BalanceWear

Posted on October 21, 2014. Filed under: Achievements, BalanceWear LSO, Exercise, Hope | Tags: , , , , |

Sandra Jo Rampy has been an avid runner and athlete her whole life and has not let a diagnosis with MS stop her. When she was diagnosed in 2002 she began setting fitness goals for herself and never gave up on her body. Today she is Chief Encouragement Officer of the Rampy MS Research Foundation (http://researchms.org/ ), an organization run by Sandra Jo and her husband Scott. Part of what keeps Sandra Jo going is BalanceWear. BalanceWear has improved her balance and stability and she calls it a life changer. This week, for the first time in 6 years, Sandra Jo will be traveling and navigating a busy airport independently thanks to her new found stability and confidence using BalanceWear. Congratulations Sandra Jo! We hope you have a wonderful trip Below is a video of Sandra Jo taking a jog in her backyard. Before BalanceWear, she was unable to control her body while jogging and had difficulty coming to a stop. She now has a smoother gait and much more control. We are so happy to see her success! https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=884871554870422&set=vb.127437677280484&type=2&theater See how this activist is helping those with MS Website: http://researchms.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/researchms Twitter: @Research_MS

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