YOUR HEALTH: Recovering from a stroke or TBI

Recovering from a stroke or TBI can be a tough, long road.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 8:48 AM CDT
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SEATTLE, Wash. (IVANHOE NEWSWIRE) - Recovering from a stroke or TBI can be a long road, but a non-profit in Seattle is offering something surprising to help.

Gus Koerber and a group of TBI, stroke, and mobility impaired friends are using a new dance-based walking program. Gabriela Condrea, the group’s founder, calls the class Tango Stride.

“Our goal is to, to help people with their balance, strength and stamina, and coordination in their walking,” Condrea explained.

Condrea, a trained dancer, came up with the idea years ago.

“I actually saw somebody who had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was really heavily leaning on a cane. It was kind of a seed of an idea,” Condrea added.

The results, so far, have been a revelation.

“One student who had come in a wheelchair, he hadn’t walked in on his own in 20 years,” Condrea said.

Barbara Winters, a stroke sufferer, has also seen progress.

“It’s been so helpful with coordination. And just that being able to get up out of the wheelchair and learn to take steps,” Winters explained.

“It’s really about getting the student to do as much as they can on their own and then giving them some resistance,” Condrea said.

“Gabriella’s way of thinking about tango is perfect for people who have had a stroke or other problems walking or moving,” said Sarah Devine, a neurology nurse practitioner at Harborview Medical Center. “You’re creating joy and connection and communication. All those things that the brain needs to be alive, and to heal, and to learn.”

Condrea said the only requirement for new students to her class is that they can bear weight for at least a few seconds. From there, they are able to work on posture, balance, and dance.

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