Power assisted exercise, or induced rhythmic motion as it is was historically known, was originally devised and developed as a rehabilitation tool to treat polio, by a physiotherapist named Bernard Stauffer.
Since then, Shapemaster have pioneered the development of power assisted exercise to treat a wide range of conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), scoliosis, back pain, motor neurone disease, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, polio and many others.
The Shapemaster equipment is a key offering of the Brain and Spinal Injury Centre (BASIC) in Manchester (www.basiccharity.co.uk). BASIC is the only centre of its type in the world, which has gained clinical and technical acceptance from the medical fraternity and now 600 new patients are referred annually from Hope Hospital, the Manchester Hospital specialising in brain, stroke and spinal injuries.
Central to the treatment that BASIC provides is the suite of Shapemaster equipment which has been jointly developed between BASIC experts and Shapemaster engineers to specifically provide the type of motor-assisted exercise that the sufferers of stroke and spinal injuries require in order to speed up rehabilitation and recovery.
Assisted exercise can also be beneficial in developing muscle groups before surgery in preparation for the post-surgery rehabilitation and healing process.
Similarly, following an accident or sports injury, even if exercise of the injured area is not recommended, the rest of the body can be exercised and toned during the recovery period to maintain overall fitness and wellbeing.
Evidence has also shown that assisted exercise can provide a gentle workout, an enjoyable form of exercise which is an effective preventative solution, helping to strengthen muscles, to aid fall prevention, lower blood pressure, improve circulation and reduce the risk of diabetes and various other health conditions.
When used passively, the equipment provides relaxation for the user and also stimulates circulation, whilst re-training the muscles in functional movement patterns and preventing the muscles from atrophying.
Doctors and physiotherapists have long recognised the benefits of repetitive rhythmic movement as a form of rehabilitation. However, for a physiotherapist to conduct this with a patient on a one on one basis can be time consuming and expensive and many patients can experience spasms that can make this difficult. Shapemaster’s power assisted exercise equipment provides a safe alternative, which is time and cost effective and can greatly and speedily enhance the benefits gained from a rehabilitation or physiotherapy program.
Depending on the development and ability of the individual patient, a progression can then be made to using the equipment actively, so users actively train with their own muscle strength, with a variety of biomechanical settings designed to offer varying levels of resistance. Unlike conventional equipment, patients actually get the best results working with the equipment, rather than against it.
By using the equipment actively, patients can safely experience even faster improvements to muscle strength, mobility, balance and co-ordination. In addition, they can be assured of an all over body workout as the combination of equipment on the Shapemaster circuit is specifically designed to exercise all major muscle groups.
"Shapemaster is used regularly in physiotherapy sessions for people with MS. The adaptability of speed and different targeted areas of the body for mobility, strengthening and circulation means it is valuable for a wide range of problems."
Alison Stain, physiotherapist
Mercia MS Therapy Centre
Those living with the following conditions will benefit from the Health Shack experience: