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A Balance Test Taken from the Flamingo

Doctors of note will often use balance tests to indicate your overall health. As we get older, if our balance is compromised, falling and hurting ourselves is the leading cause of injury-related death for seniors over 65 years of age.

Your Body and Results

Luckily your body will help you with balance. If it didn’t, you might fall over when you shut your eyes (and you still might, without practice).


Your inner ear: is extremely sensitive to movement and this can be proven by just slightly tilting your head from left to right.

*Important: if you have “crystals in your ear, they may make you feel dizzy—a type of vertigo. The condition, called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), is downright alarming because it comes when you least expect it such as, turning over in bed.

Cilia, hair-like developments are attached to tiny nerves in your inner ear. When the crystals move, it stimulates the nerves to fire, which tells your brain that your head is moving. It is akin to a motion-sensing map.

A physical therapist can help you learn self-repositioning exercises at home, or he or she may practice the Epley maneuver on you, which will move the crystals back into place.

Try the Pose

So, try a pose that is often used to assess balance readiness: position yourself near a stable counter or fixed island in your kitchen; stand firmly on one leg and lift the other without locking your knees together. See how long you can safely hold this posture.

If you are struggling, you need to practice.

Some things to try:

· Utilize the flamingo technique often and practice

· Use a step to condition your legs and muscles

· Build up your core by walking with mindfulness, bike riding and, if able, jogging.

An excellent method is to take a class in tai chi, the Chinese martial art technique—you may see them at your local council on aging, senior center, or practicing in the park.

I encountered BPPV when I injured my back and lower spine just recently. The technique I employed to rid myself of the dizzies was to clean out my ear wax with a mild solution and flush both ears gently with clean, warm water for nearly a week.

As far as balance, I continue to add tests into my exercise regimen.


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