In this blog, I have written about Tom Balchin, M.Ed, Ph.D., FRSB, CSci, earlier (about 14 months ago). He is the Founder and Director of the ARNI Stroke Charity. The ARNI Approach uses a unique development in stroke rehabilitation with an international reputation for serious results.
ARNI Stroke Charity (also known as ARNI Institute to encompass its teaching element) was formed in response to the demand throughout the United Kingdom from stroke patients who find they are ‘stuck in limbo’ after therapy comes to an end. ARNI train physical and occupational therapists and then guides them to help better stroke patients.
Since the early 2000s, ARNI Institute has taught stroke patients the ARNI functional ‘retraining’ strategies, and they will support you in taking charge of your recovery via these principles. However, generalizable motor movement strategies can be learned, which is a feature of ARNI teaching.
It has been primarily available in the UK but is becoming more widespread across Europe and elsewhere.
Stroke warriors want to be more independent but usually need some help to do so. They aim to take you from the stage where a physical or occupational therapist becomes unavailable to the phase where you can go on to make the activities of your daily life part of the ‘retraining’ you do to help yourself.
Tom is aware that reading about stroke warriors’ stories is very inspirational. At ARNI, they have found that people want to know where some of the ideas that their unique programs use.
In 1997, Tom had a significant brain hemorrhage that paralyzed the left side of his body. When he came out of the hospital, he was still in a wheelchair, weighing roughly 130 lbs. He knew there was only one way to improve: going upwards!
Tom was fortunate enough to find an extraordinarily innovative and expert physiotherapist (physical therapist in the USA) whose aim was to help him regain self-reliance as quickly as possible. This positive approach helped him to regain emotional stability, which increased the possibilities of physical abilities. It was instrumental to his further successes in his recovery.
He found that he has regained nearly all his functional movement through an innovative combination of movements derived from martial arts, resistance training, and many other approaches. Still, he continues to perfect the ARNI-developed techniques over the years, which help stroke patients.
The outcome of his transition from his former paralyzed state has meant that he has had to develop many beneficial techniques designed to restore function in people with paralysis on one side. Tom has researched, investigated, and evaluated many useful strength techniques for stroke patients.
His recuperation involved an incredible amount of ‘task training’. Neuroplasticity is about repetitions, and though the exact optimal dosage of repetitions is still unclear, you need to repeat over & over!
The Institute supports the hospitals by providing professional development for therapists and specialist physical instructors around the UK who wish to work (or are already working) in rehabilitating stroke patients.
ARNI matches stroke patients with these therapists and specialist physical instructors. The Approach to stroke rehabilitation is designed by a successful stroke thrivor around the best evidence-base as a working structure to help people with partial paralysis who want to recover as much as possible.