GyroStim and balance

What is balance?

Balance is the result of the synergistic relationship between the sensorimotor systems throughout our body. This complex and coordinated effort between sensory input systems, the brain, and motor output systems allows us to perceive, process, and react with the world around us. 

When we have "good" balance, we can perform a wide variety of tasks automatically and without thought. Engaging in physical activities feels effortless and simple. In fact, the underlying interactions that occur between the brain and body are anything but simple. Our balance system is amazingly complex and relies upon a chain of interconnected sensory and motor interactions, all processed with incredible speed, coordination, and efficiency between the body and brain.

However, when any link in the chain is broken or becomes weak due to injury, illness, aging, or other conditions, symptoms such as dizziness, spatial disorientation, brain fog, loss of balance, slower reaction time, and other related issues may result. Activities such as work, school, or sports may seem overwhelming; engaging in them can be very difficult. These symptoms can become so debilitating and intolerable that many people simply withdraw from everyday activities---and life. So, then what? 

The good news is that in many cases the balance system can be rehabilitated by engaging in exercises and activities that challenge and recondition it. Activities to stimulate the vestibular system and challenge the balance system are routinely prescribed to people with balance related disorders.

This is where GyroStim comes in...

Traditional gravity-dependent equipment such as swings, platform swings, spinning discs, rocker boards, and other devices are manually propelled.  While these methods are effective to some degree, they are---by nature---limited by what gravity and human strength will allow--lacking power, control, and precision in the delivery of vestibular stimulation.

GyroStim’s computer controlled, interactive balance training programs provide EXERCISES and ACTIVITIES to stimulate, recalibrate, and challenge the vital combination of links in the chain of balance. 

Balance is often characterized as a “use it or lose it” skill. It is a complex network of physical and neurological sensorimotor systems that work together with great sensitivity and timing to help us perceive, process, and react to our surrounding environment.

As we age, overcome illness, or recover from injury we may feel subtle, or in some cases significant, decrease in our ability to do things that require reliable balance, i.e. walking, exercising, engaging in sports, dancing, etc. When this happens, we tend to avoid those activities which we are no longer comfortable performing. Much like a muscle that weakens from lack of exercise, our balance will further decline from reduced use, triggering a debilitating downward spiral in health and quality of life.

GyroStim’s innovative technology provides a fast and effective way to recondition, rebuild, and optimize balance. GyroStim uniquely combines interactive, multisensory stimulation with “incremental adaptation” strategies that have been used successfully in aerospace medicine for decades. 

This powerful combination of physical and neurological challenge is key to GyroStim's effectiveness. Automated, comfortable, and safe, GyroStim provides a wide array of balance training profiles for individuals from all walks of life and all abilities.

Pictures of progress

The two graphics below show the results of balance tests performed by a person with balance issues following a concussion.

BEFORE GyroStim:
Balance Profoundly Reduced
The balance data below was captured BEFORE use of the GyroStim. The test indicates a "Profoundly Reduced" ability to stand upright with eyes closed.

AFTER GyroStim:
Balance Mildly Reduced
The same test was repeated AFTER a 30-minute GyroStim session. The test results indicate a significant improvement in sway, fatigue, balance, and stability.  
     

The video at right shows a high school basketball athlete attempting to walk in a straight line with eyes closed before and after using GyroStim to address balance problems following multiple concussions.

This video was taken during the first of five GyroStim training sessions. At the conclusion of her training, she reported better sleep, dramatic drop in headaches, relief from dizziness, restored tolerance of light and noise, and return of her abilities to read, focus, concentrate, and engage in school.

 

Facts and stats about balance disorders

Impaired balance resulting from a variety of conditions and circumstances affects millions of people in the
United States each day.

“During their lifetime, 90 million Americans will consult with health care providers about vertigo, dizziness or balance problems. Over 9 million people each year will consult with their doctors about dizziness. Balance disorders are the second most common complaint heard in doctor's offices, and will occur in 70% of the nation's population at some point in their lives.”
Source: National Institute of Health


“35% adults aged 40 years or older in the United States—approximately 69 million Americans—have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction.”
Source: Vestibular Disorders Association

“Balance disorders can result from trauma, disease, or the effects of aging on all the balance-related systems. Vestibular dysfunction can lead to dizziness, vertigo, nausea, migraines, blurred vision, and various forms of postural instability.”
Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

“Falls account for 50% of accidental deaths in the elderly, and 8% of falls result in hospitalization.”
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention