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GyroStim Therapy: Improve Vestibular Dysfunction & Enhance Athletic Performance

Updated: May 2

The GyroStim is one of Better Brain & Body’s most advanced technologies and therapies, yielding drastic life-changing patient results. Our clinic aims to serve people with the most sophisticated and cutting-edge therapies available, and the GyroStim is one of them. Currently, there are only 34 locations with the GyroStim worldwide, making this advanced therapy a privilege to offer to our Charlotte residents and neighboring communities.


Table of Contents:


What is The GyroStim?

Labeled as a “Breakthrough Medical Device” by the FDA, the GyroStim is an FDA-approved non-invasive rotational therapy device that assists in treating vestibular dysfunction and balance disorders. The GyroStim can also help rehabilitate traumatic brain injuries, concussions, or neurological conditions. The therapy is also used by many professional, student-athlete, or recreational athletes to optimize and maximize brain-to-body performance in any given sport or athletic endeavor. In fact, the GyroStim was used as a supplemental therapy to help “rebuild Sidney Crosby’s brain” after a concussion (Gulli, 2011). It is also a promising therapy in alleviating symptoms for many other conditions, such as central vertigo and childhood developmental disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Dr. Brown oversees a patient in his GyroStim session.

In this blog, we dive into how the GyroStim works, its benefits, and who may consider its use for optimizing their brain and body health. Read till the end for a video of the GyroStim in action!



About The GyroStim

The GyroStim is a non-invasive rotational chair that simultaneously moves a person in various directions through controlled movements to achieve a desired health goal. A medical technician or nurse will securely strap you into the device and guide you through your rotational journey. The therapy is fitted with round, circular targets that the patient aims to hit while rotating with a laser pointer they are given. A beeping sound is made when the laser hits the target. However, all patient treatments are unique to each person’s condition or goals and may or may not involve “target practice” with the laser during treatment, but perhaps just rotational therapy. For example, those who wish to improve their athletic performance may undergo rotational target practice to improve hand-eye coordination. At the same time, those with a balance disorder may not need to undergo laser target practice to achieve their treatment goals.


Initially, the GyroStim was invented as a vestibular therapy for the founder's four-year-old daughter, who had spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, to improve balance and coordination (McWhorter, 2019). The current vestibular therapies of the age did not offer a simple and practical treatment that allowed his daughter to benefit easily from the treatment. So, Kevin Maher decided to build the GyroStim. Now, a vestibular rehabilitation device, the therapy is practical in the holistic treatment of many other conditions and contexts. The device has been employed in the treatment of cerebral palsy, post-concussions, TBI's, and athletic performance training (McWhorter, 2019).


How Does the GyroStim Work?

Seated Rotation: The person sits comfortably in the Gyrostim chair, which is designed to move in multiple directions, with a person safely secured to the chair.


Controlled Movements: Trained Better Brain & Body technicians operate the GyroStim, guiding the chair’s movements according to a customized treatment plan. The chair can rotate gently or more rapidly depending on the therapeutic goals.


Sensory Stimulation: As the chair moves, it provides sensory stimulation to the vestibular system located in the inner ear. This system is responsible for balance, spatial awareness, and coordination.


Brain Adaptation: The sensory challenges posed by this therapy stimulate the brain’s natural ability to adapt and positively change, known as neuroplasticity. This encourages the brain to make positive connections and changes in its overall and long-term function.

Dr. Brown supervises a patient's GyroStim session.

Customized Therapy: GyroStim therapy is very customizable. Treatment plans are tailored to each person’s specific health needs or personal goals. A treatment plan may involve different combinations of movements, speeds, durations, and use of laser pointer target practice, or not.


Regular Sessions: Typically, patients undergo a series of therapy sessions with the GyroStim over a prescribed period. Progress is monitored, and therapy plans may be adjusted as needed to achieve optimal patient results. At Better Brain & Body, our advanced diagnostic testing procedures allow us to view areas of dysfunction in a person’s brain. This exam is an integral piece of data that allows us to customize your GyroStim treatment properly. After your therapy sessions, a re-exam is conducted to analyze and see areas of progress in a patient’s brain.


The Vestibular System Explained:

The vestibular and human sensorimotor systems are intricately connected, working together to regulate balance, spatial orientation, and coordinated movements (What Is GyroStim? Why Is It Effective? | GYROSTIM, n.d.). The connection between these systems is fundamental to our ability to navigate the world, perform everyday tasks, and maintain stability. Common symptoms associated with the dysfunctioning of one or both of these systems are problems with balance, coordination, muscle weakness, blurred vision, dizziness and vertigo, pain, postural problems, numbness or tingling, and motor control issues.


In 2013, a study was published by the NIH titled “Personality changes in patients with vestibular dysfunction.” This study was conducted by Smith and Darlington, who found that patients with vestibular dysfunction may experience feelings of “depersonalization,” affecting their sense of self and quality of life. This finding highlights how serious a condition like vestibular dysfunction can be and how treatment should be considered with a qualified therapy like the GyroStim. As the FDA's designated breakthrough therapy device, the GyroStim is still the only approved therapy to help vestibular system dysfunction naturally and drug-free. Helping the vestibular system means improving the functionality of the human sensorimotor system at large--which is necessary for a functional daily life.


What Are The Benefits of GyroStim Therapy?

The GyroStim is not your typical therapy–it’s a multisensory experience that combines movement and cognitive challenges in a safe and controlled space. The benefits that are derived from concentrated GyroStim sessions are numerous and transformative. Here are a few:


  • Enhanced Vestibular Function: As mentioned previously, the GyroStim challenges the vestibular system, which is responsible for balance, spatial awareness, and coordination. It stimulates the vestibular system in the inner ear, helping our brains recalibrate and fine-tune these crucial functions.


  • Improved Balance and Coordination: Through GyroStim therapy, people can experience significant improvements in balance, coordination, and proprioception (your body’s ability to sense its position and movements without relying on sight).


  • Neuroplasticity Adaptations: The various rotations GyroStim can perform engage the brain’s natural ability to adapt and reorganize, which plays one of the most integral roles in the health and function of our bodies and brains. These rotations encourage the brain to make positive changes, optimizing its function and connectivity in every aspect of our lives.


  • Cognitive Enhancement: GyroStim is not just about the physical benefits–let’s clarify that. It also boosts cognitive abilities. The sensory challenges the GyroStim offers stimulate cognitive processes, enhancing attention, focus, problem-solving skills, decision-making, and more. This can be particularly valuable for athletes, individuals recovering from brain injuries, or those seeking to optimize their cognitive function.


  • Athletic Performance Optimization: Many of our patients who use the GyroStim are athletes of all ages and levels seeking to improve their brain-to-body performance in their given sport or physical activity. Here are some athletic benefits one can expect from regular GyroStim sessions:


  1. Enhanced Attention and Focus

  2. Heightened Cognitive Processing Speeds

  3. Heightened Mental Agility

  4. Improved Reaction Times

  5. Shorter Recovery Times


Conditions Treated With GyroStim:

One element that may not be well known is how the vestibular system has an impact on many other functions and systems of the body. The vestibular system plays a role in arousal, emotions, vision, brain and executive functioning, and many more systems and functions. Due to this complex web of connections that the vestibular system has with the rest of the body, medical practitioners and clinics utilize GyroStim for many other conditions that may be impacted by vestibular dysfunction or not. The Neuroscience Group clinic out of Wisconsin highlights many of the separate conditions that can be improved with GyroStim therapy.

Dysautonomia & POTS

Balance Disorders

Cerebral Palsy

Autism / Aspergers

Down Syndrome

Vertigo

Motion Sickness

Neuro-degenerative Disorders

Concussions

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Athletic Performance Training

Depression

PPPD

Labyrinthitis/ Neuritis


Cervicogenic Dizziness


Parkinson's Disease

Mal de Debarquement

Unilateral and Bilateral Vestibular Loss

Brain Fog



Notable Users of GyroStim Therapy:

While the list is long, notable names that have used the GyroStim across the world are Bubba Wallace, Claude Giroux, Solomon Thomas, Sidney Crosby, and Amanda Kessel.


Check out this video of the GyroStim in action!


Closing Out:

The GyroStim is Better Brain & Body’s most revolutionary therapy equipment. With only 34 locations worldwide offering this therapy, it is a unique opportunity to take advantage of. As a holistic and hands-on approach to brain and body improvement, the GyroStim empowers individuals to take charge and take notice of the dramatic benefits and changes one can acquire from this therapy. If you or someone you know may be interested in the benefits GyroStim can offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer a free 15-minute phone consultation with our lead doctor, Dr. Alicia Brown, where you can speak with Dr. Brown about how this therapy may maximize your health needs and goals. Fill out this form to schedule your appointment! At Better Brain & Body, we see patients of all ages and are happy to help families and their children on their way to a better brain and body.


Reviewed by Dr. Alicia Brown, DC, DACNB.

Sources:

Gulli, C. (2011, November 3). Rebuilding Sidney Crosby’s brain. Maclean's. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from https://macleans.ca/society/rebuilding-crosbys-brain/


(n.d.). GyroStim. Neuroscience Group. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from https://neurosciencegroup.com/gyrostim-treatment/#:~:text=Benefits%20of%20GyroStim&text=GyroStim%20can%20promote%20neuroplasticity%2C%20the,work%20and%20daily%20activities%20sooner.


(2019, November 19). 5 Ways You Didn’t Know GyroStim Therapy Could Be Used. McWhorter Chiropractic & Neurological Rehabilitation. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from https://www.mcwhortercnr.com/blog/5-ways-gyrostim-therapy-can-be-used


UltraThera Technologies, Inc. (n.d.). GyroStim. GyroStim. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from https://www.gyrostim.com/gyrostim-about


Smith, P. F., & Darlington, C. L. (2013). Personality changes in patients with vestibular dysfunction. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 7, 678. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00678 What is GyroStim? Why is it Effective? | GYROSTIM. (n.d.). GYROSTIM. https://www.gyrostim.com/gyrostim-about



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