At NeuYou Rehab, we understand that every person's experience post-stroke is unique - from the difficulties you experience to your home situation, your life demands and how you feel in response to your diagnosis. This uniqueness requires an approach that is individual and tailored to your needs.
Our aim is to maximise your functional independence - from personal care to confidently getting in & out of the car to remembering your To Do list or coping with changes in your relationships.
We will target your specific difficulty in two ways - addressing the issue you're having today & planning how to improve this for tomorrow.
Today's plan will be about creating the most efficient, effective and safe setup to use at home - maximising on the strengths you have but also using adaptive methods & strategies.
The plan for tomorrow will be about working to improve your skills and strengths to minimise compensatory techniques and enhance true independence.
We will work with you to develop the plan to reach your goals so that you can continue to do the things you love to do. Regain, retain, live well.
We use our bodies to 'do' all the things that fill our days and our nights. Personal tasks, working, driving, sleeping...they all put demands on our body to perform.
When that is challenged by a stroke, we have to work extra hard and find other ways of doing things so that we can keep doing the things we want and need to do. This can put stress and strain on the stronger side and leave the weaker side unchallenged, underused and no longer helping where you need it to. This can result in pain, stiffness, discomfort and frustration, on a daily basis.
So let's challenge that! Let's get moving well again.
Through addressing the subtleties of movement - the role of the shoulders in walking, the sensation of the feet, stimulating balance (visual, sensory & vestibular systems), the core strength required to reach forward & so much more - we train the whole body in unity, with the overall focus being on reaching your functional goals to increase your independence and quality of life.
What tools do we use?
Pilates - studio Pilates equipment provides the perfect toolbox in creating the right challenge for your body - assistance, resistance, working in all planes, with and against gravity, fully supported to unstable. With all-body integration at all times - legs pushing, arms pulling, core activated, breath assisting - to create coordinated, flowing movement. Pilates is able to challenge the whole body and the brain in ways that traditional therapy and training does not do. Without the need for intrusive devices. Always maintaining your dignity.
Aerobic activity - raising the heart rate for people post stroke is just as important as it is for any other person. Doing this in short bursts promotes the release of chemicals to improve mood, reduce pain and enhance neurogenesis - the generation of new nerve cells in the brain. It also provides all the benefits that general exercising has on the body - fitness, muscle power, endurance, bone density, breathing, circulation, digestion, sleep & more.
Mental imagery - more than just visualising or rehearsing before practise, a mental imagery programme can impact you psychologically, emotionally, & physically. It is the number one tool used by athletes shown to improve their performance - think of it as weight-lifting for the mind.
Mirror therapy - a form of brain trickery, using the reflection of your stronger hand (arm, foot or leg) it is possible to 'trick' the brain into seeing your weaker hand as strong again. Adding movements into the reflection (& in the weaker hand where possible) can help stimulate the neural pathways that communicate with the weaker side, helping to encourage and improve movement, and reduce pain. A great addition to therapy is to exercise that part of the brain, even before you can create the movement in the hand.
Cognition is the process of thinking and knowing things. Damage to the brain caused by a stroke can cause cognitive changes. This can be stressful to live with as they effect how you participate in everyday activities, and interact with those around you.
Areas of change that you or a family/friend may have noticed include issues with memory, concentration, communication (expressing yourself or understanding what you hear/read), planning tasks, neglecting one side of any given task you are doing, and changes in your perceived social norms, judgement & self-monitoring.
We can work with you and your family/caregiver to find a solution to your identified difficulties. Each issue you experience requires a specific solution that is tailored to you, the task you are wanting to achieve and the environment in which you complete it in. This may involve developing a routine to follow to complete a task or using visual cues to help you remember where key items are located at home.
Exercise also promotes brain health and neurogenesis (the formation of new nerve cells) in the part of the brain associated with memory, motivation & emotions. We therefore recommend exercise as a part of the plan to promote as much positive change as possible and to enhance overall quality of life.
Emotional changes can occur after having a stroke. Physical effects of stroke can cause changes in your personality and in how you feel, including increased anxiety, frustration, anger or uncontrolled laughter or crying (known as pseudobulbar affect - PBA).
Other changes can be in response to the stroke. You may experience fear, anxiety, anger or a sense of loss for the changes you have experienced. These feelings are a natural response to stroke and should be addressed as part of your rehabilitation plan.
We can work with you to provide the emotional support you need. Using a structured programme, we can teach you the tools and strategies you need to process these feelings and find a positive path forward.
Carer support is also a critical component to success. We therefore offer this support to your family and caregivers to not only help them understand your perspective, but also to support them in processing their own emotions related to you having had a stroke.
Exercise is again a crucial component to both physical and mental health and has the ability to improve mood by boosting the release of chemicals such as endorphins - our natural pain relievers; serotonin - our natural mood enhancer & stabiliser; BDNF - like fertiliser for brain cells, helping to maintain the life of your brain cells as well as helping to grow new ones.
OWN YOUR JOURNEY
The key to success is determination. The more you do to challenge your weaknesses, the stronger you can become. With anything in life, practice really does make progress. For positive neuroplastic change to occur, you need to be aiming for hundreds, if not thousands, of repetitions. The more you do, the better the outcome.
We therefore need you to remain focused and motivated to reach your goals.
We will help you do this by supporting you along the entire journey - providing you with the education, advice and tools needed to succeed.
Team work: We look forward to supporting you in reaching your goals and are happy to provide all the support you need. If you already have a physiotherapist or other movement specialist in your team, we are keen to complement the work you are doing with them and will work alongside them to support you in any way you need.