Entries categorized "ABR Learning Tips"

Mercedes-Benz Accidentally Reveals The Secret Of Walking, Sitting And All Other Locomotions In Between

Few days ago I was travelling back from the 5th annual BioTensegrity Group meeting in Gent, Belgium – and whilst staying in the airport hotel in Dusseldorf – I accidentally saw an amazing commercial ...

It was by Mercedes-Benz ... but the stars of that video were... chickens ?!

I ran back to my room and found it on YouTube... and re-watched it again and again...

Is there a reason why you should pay attention to those chickens? – Absolutely!

This video is an excellent and compact illustration of how important is the proper head control for the rest of the movement & locomotor functions.

Actually, I should put this statement even stronger – head control is not simply important for walking etc -- head control is the single most important factor, the absolutely necessary condition and pre-requisite of ANY controlled locomotion where a human body is in the contact with the ground!

Continue reading "Mercedes-Benz Accidentally Reveals The Secret Of Walking, Sitting And All Other Locomotions In Between" »

A puritanical pleasure of working for each and every point

This post is going to be one of my shortest and yet one of the most important ones. Sometimes it makes sense to look outside of the ABR and even outside of the domain of "therapies" to re-learn and internalize the most essential lessons.

US Open 2013 tennis  championship ended last  Monday and was won by Rafael Nadal – the hardest working man in pro tennis.

I am not a real tennis aficionado but I am fascinated by it as the most vivid and obvious display of the human work ethics.  Sure, all high level sports are about the work ethics too – but In many other sports there is either too much of the background grinding and sweat with too many tiny details that are not visible to the untrained eye.

For me tennis exposes the qualities of consistency and work ethics in the most elegant and easy-to-observe form. The rallies are visible and the points accumulate in clusters (games & sets) that are grouped in such a way that reward the effort over the sporadic  flashes of brilliance and lucky shots. What I find fascinating is exactly  this duality – on the one hand, the game of tennis looks "light" – like "one doesn't have to" keep the intense work rate all the time; but on the other hand – it is the consistency and tenacity that defines the winning ways rather than a pure talent & skill…

That was a pre-amble – but my message itself today is very brief. A couple of days ago I picked up a newspaper in the plane where the sports section reported about Nadal's US Open triumph and these are the quotes I really want to share with:

Nadal US Open_IMG_7207

Nadal US Open_IMG_7209

"[Nadal] plays by his own confession, not just to win titles but for the puritanical pleasure of working for each and every point " It is a process rather than a  destination for Nadal. "I am a positive player, not a negative player" Nadal said.

Continue reading "A puritanical pleasure of working for each and every point" »


This post is somewhat of a re-start . I have made an announcement about starting these series THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WALKING FOR THE PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH CEREBRAL PALSY  a good 2 months ago – but my full immersion into the depth of Salutogenesis matters kept me pretty much oblivious to the outside world for the past 2 months.  Those  were an extremely rewarding months for myself intellectually and I assure that all of you are going to be the major benefactors of these new ideas for years to come…

Anyway with the key pieces of the Salutogenic puzzle being in place – it feels like it is time to re-emerge and deliver on my previous promises – especially bearing in mind that all the videos for the "The Truth About The Walking" series have already been done back in May – all I need to do is to give you a little bit of a written context around them.

With "The Truth About The Walking" series we are going back to the story of Luca that I spoke about back in May Prevailing over tragedy -- ABR facilitates amazing recovery

First of all, that post illustrated the remarkable saving of the heavily damaged leg by the "simple" technique of Transfascial Viscoelastic Stimulation aka "Egg Rolling".

Back then  I included a couple of before/after pictures that shown the remarkable recovery of walking abilities in less than 2 weeks after introducing a set of ABR exercises.

So in this post,  you can see that walking transformation much clearer – in the form of a 3-minute video that plays simultaneously the 2 short videos  of Luca's walking taken on April 26th, 2012 and on May 7th, 2012 – so you can see the dynamic aspects of where we started from and how the situation have improved within just 12 days.


Luca_Walking Tests April 26th vs May 7th_SIMULATNEOUS_YT HD from ABR Central on Vimeo.


Secondly, and more importantly – I wanted to use this opportunity to help your understanding  of what walking is – what makes it work properly or improperly – starting with this post and following into the series of connected ones: "The Truth About The Walking…".


Most of the people – including professionals – have a very intuitive perception of how walking "works" – the legs support the body, muscles of the legs contract, move the leg  bones and so it goes – the legs carrying the upper body in space.

Well, I hope that by now you realize – that when it comes to human movement – intuitive is misleading.  I'll actually  go further and say – intuitive is not simply misleading – it's actually profoundly wrong.

Who pays the highest price for the intuitive misconceptions about walking? – You, the parents of children with Cerebral Palsy.

You are the ones who end up doing damage to your kids bodies out of your best intentions, you are the ones who are being guided by false perceptions of what makes the increments of progress, you are the ones who invest your efforts in the activities with the least of long-term rewards … This list goes on and on …

So I am inviting you to really follow the next few posts very closely, especially if your child has a quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy  – because for spastic quadriplegic kids everything "intuitive" about movement is a sure path to destruction and failure

Please click to keep reading


Hip Subluxation in Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy_Part 7_How the femur head gets in

This post continues our explorations into the matters of hip subluxation in Cerebral Palsy.

I labeled it as Part 7 – but it might have as well been "The Part 1" since it addresses the issues that puzzle you the most.

"How will the leg bone get in if the "pelvic roof" is flat? " … In more appropriate terms it sounds: "How does the femur head find stability under the flattened acetabulum of the pelvis in cases of severe quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy?" – these are the questions that I receive probably most often.

In this video I give the entire context and reference the development of the pelvis in a healthy child through the transitional phases that it goes through.

The key message is straightforward – "it's not about the roof – it's about the wedging of the pelvic width by the triangle of sacrum". In this video you are going to find really clear illustrations on how it all works.


In case there are problems with imbedded video -- please follow the direct link:

Hip Subluxation in Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy_Part 7_How the femur head gets in


As always, I invite you to ask questions , leave comments and click likes to share with your friends. Don't hesitate – speak out! Was it helpful? Have I managed to ease your worries? What image did you have in your "mind's eye" before and has it changed after watching this video?

I am very grateful to a mother of this boy who sent me her elaborate questions and encouraged the making of this video as well as agreeing to share it with the other parents-- probably she's  going to appreciate your feedback as well.

Thanks a lot.


9 Valuable Lessons for Cerebral Palsy out of a Single Incident of a Broken Leg

This post might seem as a departure from matters of Cerebral Palsy – but it is definitely – not.

On opposite, I hope that you can see this as the opportunity to understand the fundamentals of rehabilitation domain much better once you have the exposure to the other side of the spectrum – how the surgery and physical therapy handle ‘regular’ fractured bones.

It is really important for you to keep in mind that – all the concepts, diagnostic criteria, best practices and tools of both orthopedic surgery and physical rehabilitation were forged and tested in the field of dealing with fractures, bone and joint displacements, muscle tears etc.

For instance I mentioned a number of times before – that deeply ingrained belief of physical therapy in the benefits of stretching and in the ability of a therapist to restore the proper mobility via stretching – stems from the practices of dealing with muscle contractures that follow the immobilization.

That’s where stretching works the best and every experienced physical therapist has an entire collection of ‘victories’ over contractures behind his or her belt. They witnessed with their own eyes how a severely restricted leg mobility consistently gets improved via stretching until full recovery within weeks.

That’s the experience and the expectation they transfer into the Cerebral Palsy field including quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. What happens then? – First, they see some 10-15-20% of range increase – they celebrate it and reinforce their believe in being on the right course. Second, when the range increase comes to a halt – they start blaming it on the spasticity and brain injury.

Therefore, when a friend of my son had his lower leg bones fractured in the go-cart accident – I waited for few weeks until he got out of pains and decided to seize this opportunity to illustrate the essential differences between the orthopedic handling, physical therapy, rehabilitation and  recovery of a healthy person after a typical injury to a musculoskeletal system – in contrast to the most important specifics of the challenges experienced by Cerebral Palsy kids especially in quadriplegic condition.

I hope that you are going to find this being a valuable perspective that will improve your understanding of the priorities for your own child and have a clearer focus of where you need to put the most of your efforts.

P.S. As always – please let me know what you think and whether this perspective is helpful. Don’t forget the ‘Like’ button as well.

Video 4. Hip Subluxation -Why So Much Attention?--The Truths and the Myths

It's time for the video # 4..

As I mentioned in the overview I tried to cover some of the most wide-spread worries and concerns addressing them with as much of a bird's eye view as possible.

Unfortunately, too often there is so much hysteria being pumped up about the hip subluxation issue by orthopedic profession -- that at some point one might get absolutely swirled by all the pressure and scare-mongering.

I hope the video 4. "Hip Subluxation- Why So Much attention? -- The truths and the myths" is going to help you to get out of being scared mode and panicked cries for help -- and towards being able to approach this complex issue rationally and consciously.


I assure you that you have all the necessary intellectual capacity and background to be able to figure out the truths from the myths -- all you need is a bit of help.

I hope these videos will bring you closer to this state of having a clear and rational understanding of what's going on with your child and become confident of your own capacity to deal with challenges should they come your way.

In the previous post I already mentioned that it was difficult to keep this video short -- I couldn't keep myself on the rails all the time and took several tangential educational detours as well.

Hope you do not mind.

So frankly -- I do not know which video is better -- so I put both on. Your feedback is most appreciated and is going to help me to do better videos for you in the future.

Well, that's pretty much it...

P.S. Please do not forget to press Facebook 'Like' button --so more people can benefit from getting a little bit of rational outlook influx towards this emotionally charged issue of hip subluxation.


P.P.S. Do not forget that the best way is to actually to click on the 'ABR on Vimeo' link above -- and then you can actually download this and other videos from Vimeo website. Then you do not need to deal with streaming delays and play interruptions 'that some of you mentioned before

Benefits of over-learning

Amazingly – there is always a teenager within us – the one with a swagger and a bravado: “Only dumb need to be told the same thing in a class twice…”

How did I notice that? – Observing my own son. He is 13 now and finally his studies at school begin to go beyond elementary. He is a bright kid and until this year his school work was a breeze – he was mostly getting A’s without much sweat (Ok, I admit – art and music are not his favorites – but I guess that’s hereditary J). But lately the level of curriculum complexity went up to the extent that sometimes he actually needs an effort to get a deeper grasp  – implying a necessity to read the same chapter in a textbook more than once.

That’s where our positions began to differ quite dramatically – I was happy to see him entering the realm of proper learning whilst he was somewhat upset…

My first reaction was predictable – I just thought that he was in opposition to a ‘burden’ of harder intellectual work, and obviously ‘extra hard work’ is not exactly the easiest thing to sell to your teenage offspring…

However, once I started to dig deeper trying to improve his learning skills, I stumbled upon some insights that I find quite intriguing.

I think that by looking back at those formative school years – there are valuable lessons to be learned for most of us grown-ups as well.

What began as a parental duty, eventually unfolded into a quest about the way we acquire learning skills and use them throughout different facets of our lives.

Let me get back to the opening line of this post – loosely quoting from my son: “Only dumb kids need to have the class material repeated to them (twice or more) – smart ones get it quick …”

His words really struck me.

I suddenly got an insight on why so many of you expect us to teach new things all the time, and why any attempts to go over the material that was introduced earlier meet such a strong resistance.

Continue reading "Benefits of over-learning" »