Can This Mechanical Spinning Chair Treat TBI?
Can the GyroStim help cure a host of disorders including traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and Asperger’s syndrome? No one is quite sure, but the machine is credited by more than one NHL star for getting them back on the ice after years of therapy and according to the Denver Post, parents of children with autism are claiming to see dramatic results/
The GyroStim is a computer-controlled, enclosed spinning chair invented by Kevin Maher, a former semiconductor engineer from Colorado Springs, and father of a daughter with cerebral palsy. The FDA has yet to approve the machine, and no double-blind studies have been published yet.
Still, some neurologists are already raving about the new machine. Dr. Lisa Avery, an M.D. neurologist from Florida works at one of the few clinics to already be using the GyroStim, and she claims it has converted her from skeptic to believer.
“I know a lot of this is just anecdotal evidence right now, and I was skeptical at first because if someone with a concussion for only a week or two got better using the GyroStim, it could have been from anything. Concussions can be gone, just like that, in the early stages, ” Avery told Adrian Dater. “But what impressed me was seeing so many cases of patients who were a year or two out from injury, suddenly getting better. I believe we could see one of these machines in every major hospital and every high school district some day soon for the treatment of brain-related injury.”
Others are still holding out until there is scientific backing for the machine. As of yet, it is entirely unproven according to the medical community as a whole, but there is some history behind the practice.
Doctors told Maher and his wife that spinning movements could stimulate the vestibular system, a system regularly damaged by TBI which regulates balance and spatial awareness, but the exercises had limited effects and were exhausting. However, one suggested exercise involving spinning in an office chair sparked his imagination.
However, until the machine is tested, it is entirely possible it is as much placebo as it is scientific miracle worker. Any machine proclaiming to relieve symptoms from such a wide range of disorders does raise eyebrows. We can only hope the GyroStim is the revolution it claims to be.