Steps-2-Balance

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Taking Steps Toward Recovery

SAVE THE DATE: May 15-21, 2022

Steps-2-Balance (S2B) is VeDA's annual call to all "Vesties"—those living with vestibular dysfunction, their loved ones, healthcare providers, and support partners. Let's all celebrate the steps we are taking together on the journey to finding a life rebalanced. It’s a week to celebrate the steps you've taken on your journey toward finding a “Life Rebalanced,” and set a goal to support your recovery.

Since its inception in 1985, VeDA has evolved into a powerful force that informs, represents, and advocates for people struggling with vestibular dysfunction. By participating in Steps-2-Balance and sharing your story, you’re helping raise awareness about the millions of people who suffer invisibly from inner ear and brain dysfunction. With the long-term effects of COVID-19 causing a significant increase in the number of people experiencing vestibular symptoms, including brain fog, dizziness, and tinnitus, now is the perfect time to make vestibular visible!

We can take steps toward recovery by using tools, like walking sticks from Urban Poling, and coping mechanisms, like poetry-writing or any path that fosters creativity and self-reflection.

Poetry-4-Balance

Poetry for Balance

This year, we're introducing a new activity open to all vestibular patients and those who care for them—Poetry-4-Balance (P4B).  P4B is an opportunity to take two free virtual online poetry writing classes specifically geared towards vestibular patients, taught by Meniere's patient, James Hainlen, PhD. Never written a poem? No worries! We've put together some rhyming and meter tools to help get you started.

 

S2B Ambassador Lynn Johnson

LynnAfter being struck with an autoimmune inner ear disorder that robbed her of balance, hearing, and independence, Lynn observes that “I’m constantly trying to grip something to find firm, solid ground.” Lynn’s balance is so compromised that she has to use a cane to get around the house and a walker or transport chair on any excursion that takes her past her front door. Her chronic symptoms affect every part of her life: work, social activities, cooking, shopping, and even simple tasks like bathing and getting dressed.  She is dependent on her family for support, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

LynnBut Lynn has never lost hope. “This vestibular disorder comes with its challenges, but it also comes with a new perspective on loving yourself, and I have learned to give myself grace,” asserts Lynn. Recently, she started using walking poles by Urban Poling and she finds them “exceptionally helpful on slippery terrain, like snow and ice.” Lynn notices that “they offer a different kind of support than a cane. My weight is shifted evenly, which gives me better balance.” With her poles, Lynn walks faster, stands taller, and they have helped correct her habit of leaning to one side, which she developed when using a cane.

Lynn is taking steps to regain her balance, and you can too. When she describes her new normal, Lynn observes that “it feels quieter, it feels slower, it feels joyful.”  Take a page out of Lynn’s book and give yourself grace. Listen to your body. Eat a healthy diet. Get enough sleep. Take frequent breaks to rest and recharge. You may discover and embrace your “new normal,” like Lynn has.  You can also watch a little of Lynn's journey in Walking Rebalanced, one of our new Life Rebalanced Live Vignettes, which we will continue to create and post throughout the year.

Who Can Participate?
  • Anyone with a vestibular condition, along with their family, friends, loved ones, and support partners.
  • Healthcare professionals, please encourage your vestibular patients to participate.
  • VeDA Ambassadors, board members, and volunteers will also be along to provide support.
Why Participate?
  • It’s fun! Let's celebrate the progress we make.
  • Let's take steps forward together. No one should be alone on their journey to find a life rebalanced.
  • Assist those around us in better understanding the challenges vestibular patients face with dizziness and imbalance. Help make vestibular visible.
  • Writing poetry can enhance memory and mood.  Even if you're having an off-balance or non-vertical day, you can participate in our Poetry-4-Balance event.
  • By raising funds, you’ll help VeDA achieve its mission of supporting the global vestibular community by empowering vestibular patients on their journey back to balance.
How Can You Participate?
  • Check out our handy S2B Toolkit and spread the word.  We've created sample images and text ready for you to use on your social media accounts.
  • Participate in Poetry-4-Balance.
  • Create a fundraiser or donate to one. Visit our S2B Toolkit for tips, sample emails, and other helpful resources to put the “fun” in your fundraising effort and help you reach your goal. We are so grateful to those who host a fundraiser to benefit VeDA’s mission!
  • Shop our VeDA store for exclusive and new S2B merchandise and make vestibular visible.
S2B Merch

Movement for Balance

Support our partner, Urban Poling, which makes amazing walking poles designed by a physical therapist to help vestibular warriors, like our Steps-2-Balance Ambassador Lynn, move with confidence. You'll get a discount, and a portion of the proceeds supports VeDA's mission.

 

Free Fall Prevention Webinar

On May 19th at noon EST Urban Poling is hosting a free webinar: A New Strategy for Fall Prevention Programs – ACTIVATOR® Walking Poles. Learn about the extensive research and how walking poles can be used for both seated/standing exercises as well as walking programs for balance, strength, and improving walking ability!

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