The life-altering experience of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be causing you or your loved one to have sensory disturbances, issues with movement, memory problems, word finding and fluency problems, balance issues, paralysis, changes in stamina, mood, personality, and much more.  You may appear fine to others but are suffering deeply in a way that others just don’t understand.  

Once a TBI diagnosis is identified, the decisions for appropriate treatment are typically assigned according to symptoms. For example, medication for headaches, depression, anxiety, and pain; cognitive therapy for emotional and cognitive symptoms; visual therapy for blurred vision; and balance therapy for vestibular disorders. The medical system offers some support, but you may find it doesn’t provide the deep results needed.

The HANDLE Perspective-Gentle Enhancement ®

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays a big role in post-concussive rehabilitation, but it is often overlooked. When the sensory processing and movement coordination systems are not working properly, it can cause the sympathetic nervous system to be overactive and the parasympathetic nervous system to not work as well. This leads to chronic stress in the body. When the body is stressed, it can limit daily function and interfere with rehabilitation. In patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system can make it harder for the brain to heal and create new connections. 

Neuroplasticity is an important part of long-term rehabilitation. It is the brain's ability to form and reorganize connections in response to learning or experience, or after an injury. Research shows that movement-based rehabilitation can help with recovery by causing these neuroplastic changes.

HANDLE Approach

The HANDLE paradigm focuses on Gentle Enhancement®. It aims to keep the client in a relaxed state by identifying early signs of nervous system imbalance and making adjustments accordingly. Each program is customized to meet the exact needs of the individual, and is created following a detailed assessment.

The HANDLE program deals first with lowest level underlying functions like vestibular function and communication between the two sides of the brain, and later with higher level functions. The nervous systems respond to the repeated movement patterns of the HANDLE activities by growing new or repairing damaged neural pathways in the brain.  

HANDLE is often reported as an empowering experience for clients and their caregivers. It gives intangible tools to promote long term recovery. HANDLE programs allow clients to take control of their health care and future. It empowers them to become more self-aware of the information their body is providing and how to support it naturally.

Results You Might See

  • Equilibrium (balance)
  • Body awareness
  • Stamina
  • Audition (hearing, filtering, and focusing sound, processing auditory input)
  • Vision functions
  • Processing information (reasoning; organization; memory)
  • Social skills
  • Verbalization of thoughts
  • Orientation to time and space

“HANDLE has really helped me become more organized. It helped me use my left hand; before I never used it at all because I have left hemiparesia. I play piano and can play in sports for the first time. I am so much more able to accomplish anything I want to do. I am so pleased I can do more with other people. I CAN RIDE A BIKE WITH MY FRIENDS I could never get my cerebral palsied side to help balance until HANDLE.”

~ “Spike” Bauer, Homer, Alaska

HANDLE programs can help a person open up to more experiences in their world. To find out more about how HANDLE could help,talk to a provider today.