Anyway, cut to the chase...Workshops that I attended at the Conference...
The first one which I'd share would be
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Susan shared with us on the skills to improve one's balance, and which we could use to address with an individual client - equipment and exercises that are appropriate for improving balance.
Skills for balance are namely:
- ability to walk and turn the head at the same time
- ability to stand on one foot for 5 seconds
- ability to reach down and pick up something
- ability to reach up
- ability to extend the hip and back
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I must attest how I realise the importance of maintaining one's balance because I'm living with an aging grandmother of age 83 and father stricken with Parkinson's disease, both of whom have to deal with their sense of balance, as well as continuing to exercise within their range of movement.
So, what constitutes the balance system?
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2. Somatic (i.e. sensations of the skin, nervous systems and joints and muscles; or also known as proprioceptors)
3. Vestibular (i.e. inner ear)
If you're interested to read more, causes of balance problems
a. Fletcher Fundamentals - the 7 standing and centering cues
b. Fletcher Towelwork - this will increase and maintain one's upper body strength (in the event the individual needs to catch himself/herself)
c. Fletcher Barrework
It is impossible to go into specifics here but the salient points metnioned hopefully will help and be a guide for you, whether for yourself or for you to teach your clients.
One last imporant note on breaking of fall strategies. We either use our hands or hips.
- Hence, we need to increase / maintain upper body strength.
- Also, when we lose our balance, we would step forward or to the side to stop the fall. So, stiffness in the hip is not good. We must maintain a strong and supple hip!
In addition, other skills required:
1. Cervical mobility and with gait, especially when we would turn our head to look at things as we walk
2. Ability to bend over and stand back up requires core muscle strength and flexibility
Test you can do to test your sense of balance -
(1) stand on 1 leg for 20 seconds. Better still, (2) stand on 1 leg with eyes closed, for 5 seconds. Can you do (1)? If not, then it's something you want to work towards to, and your next goal will be to do (2)