Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the Motor Control Restoration therapy right for me?
You can usually tell at the end of the first session if it is helping. I write “you” because I always value patient input throughout the treatment. The numbers may look good, and the graphs may show improvement, but if it does not help you move then it is not working. We’ll typically complete three sessions before I share my thoughts on the effectiveness of the treatment. The reason three sessions are used is because we all have good and bad “muscle” days (especially as we get older) and if you happen to come in on a “bad” day we may get a false read as to the effectiveness of the therapy.
2. How long will it take?
Length of treatment depends on a number of factors such as the person’s age, mental status, previous treatment, level of impairment and motivation to change. Some show significant gains after two or three treatments; for others it takes longer. Also, everyone has their own definition of “significant gains.” For a person in stroke recovery unable to lift their arm, just the ability to bend it at the elbow may be an exciting change. Another person with the same impairment may feel disappointed if that is all they are able to do after the same amount of treatment. I have had patients stay in treatment for a month after which they were happy with the outcome. I have also had patients stay for years, as they moved on to other movements after mastering the movements they first came to treatment for.
3. Will you be contacting other therapists or doctors I see?
Most definitely. Of course you may ask me not to do so but it will make therapy much more likely to succeed. Rather than waste time going over your past history and treatment with you I can get up to speed by reviewing your history before you come for the first session. Most of my patients have had previous treatment with varying levels of success. Sometimes they just need a little insight into their muscle function in order to make some nice gains.
4. What age patients do you see?
The age range is 18 months through adulthood. The therapy for an 18 month old born prematurely, who is working on standing is different from a 50 year old that is recovering from a stroke. Each person has their own unique program. Most of my published articles come from actual patients I have worked with and succeeded. Of course no personal information is used in the publications.
5. What movements do you work with?
There is no movement that cannot be targeted. In my 30 years doing this work I have found most of the patients fall into the following categories: standing balance training, upright sitting, head control, upper extremity work post stroke, gait modification, crawling (babies), restoration of arm and hand function, chewing, and facial expression. However there is always someone that comes in and presents their own unique case. I recently had a child that was autistic and learned to chew in four sessions.
6. Once I start, do I have to keep coming?
You may terminate therapy at any time however I may advise you to continue until we are finished with a given movement. The reason is that I do not want you to leave with a partially completed movement pattern that if not completed could lead to problems later on
7. Is it possible to just come and see what this is before I make up my mind?
Yes we can arrange for a half hour introductory session that is limited to viewing and discussing the therapy but you will not be connected to the equipment. The half hour will have to be scheduled around existing patient times since patients have priority regarding scheduling. The reason you are not connected to the equipment is because some patients change after only one session and I do not want to make any changes during a demonstration.
8. I have seen a lot of different “biofeedback, mind therapy, mind control” stuff on the internet. How is this different? Is this like brainwashing?
In the past year the internet has exploded with web sites claiming to treat a variety of illness. Most of them skirt the law by not claiming to “cure.” The devices range from helmets that fit over the head to sensors on the skin that can supposedly read what chemicals/minerals/body compounds one is lacking. My program has been published in peer reviewed journals and ran for 26 years at the Cleveland Clinic. “Peer review” means other professionals in the field have reviewed the work and found it worthy of publication. This is how the field of medicine grows. If there is not sound scientific basis for the therapy, it would have been abandoned long ago. One of my publications reviewed past cases and found an 85% success rate and these were mostly patients that had stopped making gains in traditional PT/OT therapy.
9. How will I know if it is helping me?
The program automatically keeps track of the time the movement was performed successfully during the session. This is called “intra-session” success. The success over a number of sessions is also calculated. It is called “inter-session” success. This is one of the real strengths of the program—there is no guessing as to whether we are on the right track. Either the numbers prove increasing success or they do not. If they do not, it is up to me to figure out why. Insurance companies love this type of feedback.