Therapy & Beyond Programme
The Therapy & Beyond Programme encompasses Walking with Brandon’s rehabilitative philosophy and treatment approach. It is an integrated, holistic treatment package, and it is currently comprised of two sub-programmes: our Neurological Rehabilitation Programme and our Peer Support Programme.
Rehabilitation can be incredibly taxing, both physically and mentally, yet conventional rehabilitation typically relies on physically measurable recovery as an indicator of progress. When we say that Therapy & Beyond is ‘holistic’, what we’re really saying is it considers the body as well as the mind. How can a patient be expected to self-motivate if they are battling with severe depression or PTSD?
Neurological Rehabilitation Programme
Our Neurological Rehabilitation Programme focuses on the body and is run by our team of highly-trained and empathetic biokineticists. We do this by providing advanced medical care for neurological conditions and disabilities, using our ground-breaking rehabilitative technology – like the EKSO Bionics EksoGT exoskeleton - and the latest research in neurology..
The Programme is based on a 6-stage approach to patient recovery:
Stage 1 – Pre-habilitation: stage 1 prepares patients for the intensive rehabilitation programme that follows. Blood pressure control is emphasised, muscle spasms/contractures are stretched or released, and secondary complications like pressure sores must be addressed before progressing to stage 2.
Stage 2 – Muscle Recruitment: the regeneration of damaged nerves as well as neural ‘re-wiring’ (neuroplasticity) is the focus of stage 2, as the treatment attempts to remedy any nervous system functionality lost due to injury. New neural pathways are formed, and patients improve their ability to recruit muscle fibres. This stage requires intense concentration to cognitively re-connect with the neurons that activate muscular contractions.
Stage 3 – Posture & Joint Stability: an essential foundation of correct posture and joint stability must be developed, as it enables sufficient force to be generated in the limbs. An example of posture development is sufficient lower back and abdominal support to maintain a natural curvature of the spine. An example of joint stability is sufficient co-activation of the hamstrings and quadriceps to adequately support the knee joint. This stage is crucial before a participant can become weight bearing
Stage 4 – Resistance & Endurance Training: Muscle contractions are initiated whilst in a stable posture developed in Stage 3. The strength to perform activities of daily living independently should be developed. Strength, endurance & co-ordination to facilitate a functional walking pattern are also of key importance. The therapist’s task is to help clients do the work, not to do the work for them.
Stage 5 – Pre-Gait: The aim within Stage 5 is to improve coordinated movement. The individual is in a transition as they have the function needed to move and control their legs and arms, but do not have the strength, balance, endurance and/or co-ordination to walk unaided. Proper walking technique should be developed to avoid a poor and inefficient walking pattern during the final stage.
Stage 6 – Gait: Advanced functional walking training is conducted with individuals who are able to walk, with or without adaptive aids. Proper gait technique and the endurance to maintain this technique are once again emphasized. The training program in Stage 6 is unique to each person’s individual goals. While one person may want to get upright and walk in a shopping centre, another may want to go beyond that and partake in competitive sports.
We use a wide range of equipment and cutting-edge technology in our Neurological Rehabilitation Programme, including:
- Ekso Bionics EksoGT exoskeleton
- EasyStand Evolv and Glider standing frames
- Weyergans VACUMED® Intermittent Vacuum Therapy device
- Halo Sport transcranial direct current stimulation headphones
- Motorised inversion table & plinths
- 6m long walking parallel bars
- Advanced wireless electrical stimulation
- Inversion therapy
- Suspension training
- Fully equipped performance and rehabilitative gyms
Less than 20% of South Africans have medical aid, meaning that more than 80% of the population depends on government funding for healthcare. With little access to long-term rehabilitation, few people reach the full potential of their physical abilities after a neurological injury or disorder. Many remain wheelchair bound with low levels of physical activity.
In order to reach our goal of providing for all disabled South Africans with neurological conditions, regardless of their financial limitations, we offer subsidised rehabilitation for the financially restricted. To apply for subsidised treatment, you will need to submit the following documentation, along with the completed application form (downloadable below):
- 1. Doctors report of injury/disorder and clearance for moderate-vigorous exercise
- 2. One-page motivational letter describing why you need physical rehabilitation and what goals you would like to achieve.
- 3. Financial affidavit
- i) Latest salary slip & 3 months bank statements of patient (if unemployed then the highest earning individual in the immediate family)
- ii) List of immediate family assets (property, vehicles etc.) & value
- iii) Total monthly household income & list of dependents on this income
- 4. Patients will receive a maximum of 12-weeks of rehabilitation before having to submit a motivation letter to continue rehabilitation. This process will allow other patients the chance to enroll in the clinic.
- 5. Please email your completed application form and financial affidavit to: firstname.lastname@example.org, the outcome of your application and cost of rehabilitation will be decided within 10 working days.
- Application Form Here
Peer Support Programme
Our Peer Support Programme focuses on the mind, and is run by Brandon Beack, our founding ambassador. Periodically, Brandon will host a meet-up or workshop at one of several recreational locations, where patients are invited to gather, creating a safe space for disabled people. At each of these meet-ups, Brandon will give a short talk on one of several topics, and patients are able to share stories and advice, vent pent-up emotions and mutually support one another. If patients are experiencing significant mental health issues, then they are directed to seek further psychological support.
Peer support offers patients a platform of mutual support and education. At the workshops, patients will be invited to share their personal experiences on topics pertaining to disabled life, like personal health and hygiene, wheelchair maintenance and how to prevent and treat pressure sores. This gives patients the opportunity to engage and learn.