Health Headlines: Stroke patients dancing their way to better health
SEATTLE, Wash. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Recovering from a stroke or TBI can be a tough, long road. Sometimes lasting for decades. However, a non-profit in Seattle is now offering something surprising.
Gus Koerber loves to dance. He says, “I’m 30 and had my traumatic brain injury when I was 19 years old.”
Gus and a group of TBI, stroke and mobility-impaired friends are using a new dance-based walking program. Founder, Gabriela Condrea calls the class Tango Stride.
Condrea says, “Our goal is to, to help people with their balance, strength and stamina, and coordination in their walking.”
Condrea, a trained dancer, came up with the idea years ago. She says, “I actually saw somebody who had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was really heavily leaning on a cane. It was kind of a seed of an idea.”
The results, so far, have been a revelation.
Condreas says, “One student who had come in a wheelchair, he hadn’t walked in on his own in 20 years.”
Stroke sufferer Barbara Winters has also seen progress. She says, “It’s been so helpful with coordination. And just that being able to get up out of the wheelchair and learn to take steps.”
Condreas explains, “It’s really about getting the student to do as much as they can on their own and then giving them some resistance.”
Sarah Devine, Neurology Nurse Practitioner at Harborview Medical Center says, “Gabriella’s way of thinking about Tango is perfect for people who have had a stroke or other problems walking or moving. You’re creating joy and connection and communication. All those things that the brain needs to be alive, and to heal and to learn.”
Gus says, “It’s nice to feel good. I really enjoy dancing.”
Gabriela says the only requirement for new students to her class is that they can bear weight for at least a few seconds. From there, they are able to work on posture, balance and ultimately dance.
Contributors to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Joe Alexander-Short, Videographer, Bob Walko, Editor.
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