My original contact with Dr Tom Balchin was:
‘Currently I am training a stroke victim named Desmond Christie. He was a pioneer settler on the Shashemane Land Grant in Ethiopia which was donated to the African Diaspora in the 1950s by the Emperor Haile Selassie the First.
Desmond only has partial use of the right side of his body and struggles to be mobile with a zimmer frame. His strength and dexterity have improved slightly over the 6 weeks of weekly session which last an hour.
I train Desmond at no charge as a charitable gesture to an Afro Caribbean elder in need and short of finance, otherwise there would be nobody else to assist his rehabilitation… which I truly believe is achievable. Any guidance that you may proffer will be gratefully acknowledged and applied accordingly.’
I had been training Desmond Christie intuitively using my martial arts and exercise science and practical experience. It was not an easy task ahead of me but a challenge which presented itself as worthy of my attention particularly because of Desmond’s iconic status in the Rastafarian community. It seemed a sad conclusion to a life of dedication to the principles and spiritual ethics held by this afro caribbean Rastafarian elder. As such my commitment was secured.
Attending Tom’s ARNI course helped to open my eyes to the full range of ‘enabling’ possible for Desmond as a stroke survivor. The excellent presentation on human brain plasticity and feasible cerebral adaptation was simply amazing and astounding with its depth and predictions fro stroke survivor progress and rehabilitation.
I for one was well impressed and this is not easily done after many cynical years in an industry dominated by fads, trends and gimmicks! The practical techniques taught regarding stroke survivor mobility lowering and raising oneself to and from the floor and simply ‘about turning’ (180 degrees) seemed to very competently gild the lilly so to speak!
Tom having survived his own stroke trauma was the very best person to demonstrate the effectiveness of the practical application of these mobility enhancement techniques. Tom was ably assisted by a long time friend and colleague martial arts master Nick Tsavalos. Evidently that was not deemed good enough! – Additionally there were two (a man and a woman) present as stroke survivors who demonstrated their competence at using the taught techniques. This was for me both heart warming and truly remarkable to witness.
I would encourage any trainer with an eye to learning a skill that will truly compassionately benefit humanity and rekindle social conscientiousness to attend the course. I will using the techniques taught practically with Desmond and looking forward to making leaps and bounds with his rehabilitative progress in the coming weeks and months.
I am aiming to leave the country for South Africa and would be happy to train as a representative of ARNI over
there in Johannesburg.
My blessings to Tom and Nick. Do keep up the good work!
Floyd Brown BA(Hons). Lond.
ACE certified Personal Trainer since 1996
CHEK certified Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach since 2003
BSDGB Associate Instructor since 1994
(Floyd will be working as ARNI’s representative in South Africa: he will be at the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology in Houghton, Johannesburg)
The Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinololgy
81 Central Street
Tel: 011 712 6000