A message for health professionals
Hi I’m Meggen Lowry Physiotherapist and creator of Clock Yourself Clock Yourself is a series of brain games that you perform with your body. It’s a fun pscyho-motor skills training method designed by me, and based on the best available clinical evidence and I’m really proud to put my name to it. This video is not supposed to be a sales pitch It’s a call to action. And it is aimed at health professionals and researchers near and far. Rehab clinicians have long been prescribing movement as medicine for the injured brain. We’ve designed programs to stop people from falling over (with varying success) but we also know that movement is nutrition for a healthy brain. With an abundance of evidence that links physical activity to brain health and evidence that also links our falls-risk with our cognitive processing speed rehab clinicians can and should be combining physical activity with cognitive exercise simultaneously and we should not be just using that as a rehabilitation tool. We should champion it as a very powerful rehabilitation tool Clock Yourself uses a familiar mental model of a clockface beneath the feet. Stepping on a clockface is such a simple concept but it lends itself to so many uses. The spatial arrangement of those twelve numbers around the feet allows us twelve intuitive co-ordinates that we can direct movement to. without having to set up mats or sensors. Abstract concepts and semantic memories can be linked to those numbers. I’ll present the algorithm to you in a moment. But first let’s have a look at how our current practices are actually failing our clients who are at risk of falling. Balance training is about trying to teach people to keep their centre of gravity over their base of support. But it does very little when their centre of gravity actually accelerates further, outside of their base of support, such as when a client slips or trips. In that case the brain needs to execute a very fast response but it’s not a true reflex, it is a learned motor response a choice reaction and it can be trained. So this is what an effective stepping reaction actually looks like Whoah! That was my app developer. So that was a VERY LARGE step and a VERY FAST step but most importantly it was in an unanticipated direction. How often in rehab do we actually train our clients for something like that? Now if you’re like me you’ve probably done a lot of gait training, stepping on and off a block sideways steps and maybe backwards steps but in a typical rehab setting we very rarely teach clients to step fast really fast and we very rarely train them in an unanticipated direction and I think it’s time to change that That’s what the Clock Yourself algorithm was built on; staged progression of those skills. Now at this point what any good clinician is thinking is Is this safe? and is this proven? I’ve gone to great lengths to cove those bases to the best of my ability and in the interest of brevity I’ve put those details on the Frequently Asked Questions page of the Clock Yourself website But please don’t take my word for it Go and have a look at that mind map Look up the articles that I’ve referenced Piece it together yourselves and see if you come to the same conclusions that I have. And finally I’d ask that you look at the bigger picture here. I ask that you contemplate our collective potential as health professionals to reduce the incidence of falls, fractures, and possibly even dementia with clinical innovations such as this and that you get as excited about it as I am We have a culture of being deeply suspicious and discouraging of entrepreneurship and innovation in healthcare and that really does need to change. From little things big things can grow. I’m trying to be a part of the solution so please join me, support me, and share this video.