Two therapists at The Westchester House in Chesterfield, Missouri, recently earned certification in specialty therapy approaches.
Katie Strawbridge, occupational therapist, earned her certification in LSVT BIG™ in May 2017, while Molly Dunsworth, speech therapist and assistant director of rehab, earned her certification in The Guardian Way® in June.
LSVT BIG is a treatment protocol developed by LSVT Global for people with Parkinson’s disease. It teaches patients to use bigger movements to offset the effects of PD. It has been proven to reduce shuffling steps and improve trunk rotation, among other benefits. Exercises can be done from any position – whether standing, seated or even lying down – which allows the treating therapist to tailor the program to each patient.
“The certification taught me treatment techniques to improve patients’ balance and quality of life through a series of gross motor movement patterns,” said Strawbridge. “It helped me improve patient care by providing a new assessment of people with Parkinson’s disease. I have seen rapid improvement in people’s gait patterns, transfers and overall movement in activities of daily living.”
The Guardian Way is a dysphagia (swallowing impairment) treatment approach that uses neuromuscular electrical stimulation. Dunsworth earned her certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
“I am now well educated in the use of electrical stimulation to the suprahyoid muscles [in the throat] to improve the swallowing functions of patients,” said Dunsworth. “I am excited about incorporating my knowledge into patient care.”