I was introduced to Tom Balchin by a mutual friend who had heard that I was becoming frustrated because I was experiencing problems following my discharge from hospital after having a stroke in Jan 2011 and was not getting much help from the medical professionals .
Their response was that these things happen after the type of stroke you have had which affected the deeper ganglia in the brain and you have to learn to live with it.
Well those of you who have met Tom will know that he believes that there is a lot more that can be done after discharge that will regain you action control, balance, gait, strength.. the kinds of things that I was lacking.
He immediately started me on a series of exercises, and having worked in the Health Service myself I hold fairly traditional views about treatment so you wont be surprised that I was feeling slightly sceptical when I found myself “flowing around the room” like a trainee modern dancer only to follow this with a poor imitation of a samurai warrior with a shortened broomhandle.
As we discussed what I was doing it became obvious to me that it was not only the movement that was important but also the coordination throughout the body, which is so important in maintaining one’s stability.
THE other important feature was that he focussed on what I could do and not what i couldn’t do thereby giving me a much more positive attitude to my situation.
It was certainly the positive attitude and confidence which he instilled in me that has enabled me to continue the significant improvement in my recovery which started at our first session when having hobbled in using my stick I ended the day carrying heavy boxes across a rough drive and up steps totally unaided.
I was shattered when I got home but I really amazed my wife by getting out of the car without stick or help and walked into the house up a steep step without stick or help. I’m not going to use the stick or plastic orthotic again.
I would certainly strongly recommend the ARNI programme to anyone recovering from a neurological injury