My name is Sally Furnell and I work as a freelance Personal Trainer in Reading and the West Berkshire area. I was approached by Tom, the Director of The ARNI Trust via the NRPT with an invitation to attend his ARNI seminars on training Stroke Survivors.
I was very interested as my Dad had suffered a stroke when I was a student , and have been training mostly “special population“ clients.
So, on a snowy April morning I set off to Acton for my first seminar along with several other PTs . We were put through our paces by Master Lee – a Chi Quong expert and Tom spoke to us about his own stroke experience and showed us some techniques he uses on his clients .
I came away quite inspired knowing I could use some of my Sports Therapy Technique skills.
It is a sad fact that people are abandoned by the NHS, through lack of funds, with very few coping skills . Many resign themselves to being dependant on their carers , afraid to move in case they fall over .
Having a few sessions with ARNI can make a big difference by building up their strength, improving their balance and learning to get up from the floor.
My next seminar was in May 2008 in Lingfield , where I met Liz, Sandrine and Bill – fellow PTs , and a Stroke Survivor called Graham. This was a more hands-on-up-close session . Tom put him through some warming up exercises and he got tired quite quickly. I did not think at first that I could cope , but I saw how determined this man was to gain back some more skills to improve his quality of life and needed our help to achieve it .
I am really looking forward to the Strength Seminar in July. In the meantime I have been introduced to a lovely gutsy lady called Pat who had stroke and has looked in vain for sources of ‘re-training’ that actually works, and have started to train her. Thanks to Tom’s seminars, we had a brilliant session. A warm up, some strength training with my Gym-in-a-bag, some Pilates floor work and a really good attempt at getting up from the floor. Well done Sally !