Owen Hartnett

When people become blind or deaf, there are places they can go where they can learn how to deal with their newfound disability so they can function in our society. When a person develops ataxia, they are told that there is no cure, recommended to a cane, walker or wheelchair, cautioned not to fall, and sent back out to deal with their problem. Since there is no treatment, regular doctor visits consist solely of measuring the progress of their impairment.

Dr. Tom Clouse combines his self-developed balancing exercises and regimens, along with the inner quieting and outer awareness of Zen methods, with his own experiences battling and getting his own ataxia under control. I saw dramatic improvement in my wife Rosemarie’s gait, balance and walking after only a few sessions with Dr. Clouse. Dr. Clouse did not cure my wife’s ataxia, she will always have that, but he gave her the tools by which she can take better control of her balance and live in less fear of falling, and walk in a more disciplined and normal manner. He provides a systematic approach starting with self awareness of one’s body’s posture and stance, going on to a simple set of practical exercises which my wife and other ataxia patients can use to re-achieve control of their balance and re-learn how to walk with more confidence and normalcy.

It isn’t magic, and the process requires work and exercise. The results, however, are impressive: After only the third session, my wife was able to walk with her shoulders forward, head up, at a pace she would never have imagined she could do again, walking and looking like a “normal” person walking.

I would strongly recommend Dr. Clouse to ataxia patients who want to improve their quality of walking, have more control and awareness of their movement, and want to do more than just wait for their symptoms to get worse.

Owen Hartnett
Tiverton, Rhode Island