The Power of Physiotherapy and Pokemon Go!

IMG_20160727_124826Pokemon Go – Really?

I’ve learned an entirely new language this week. Usually, as a Physiotherapist who works with kids, and who has kids of my own, I try to stay current. Sort of. I know the names of Thomas trains and the words to “Let it Go”. I love American Ninja Warrior and play a mean game of Guess Who.

But Pokemon Go? It was like going back to university! New lingo, new applications and new concepts. I gathered pokeballs, caught the little pocket monsters, learned all kinds of nonsensical names, evolved things and even went to battle.

And then the biggest challenge – how to combine it with Physiotherapy. And not just wander and talk the lingo but really make it therapeutic.

Physiotherapy for Kids – Strength, Balance, Coordination

So I mapped it out – where the PokeStops are in relation to Butterfly. I found the nearest gym. I located curbs, rocks, picnic tables so we could do appropriate exercises as we wandered. I tried to look at what could be really functional – and that’s actually much easier outside in the environment.

We can jump, run, squat, lunge, work on balance, and concentrate on foot placement. Skip, gallop, motor control, and strength – it’s easy outside, especially when there is a reward at the end.

The hardest part? There aren’t a whole lot of Pokemon in our corporate area. The cure – incense! (Lures only work at PokeStops don’t ya know…)

Motivation and Trust

My research was all worth it! Physiotherapy works best when kids are motivated and Pokemon Go really helps. I love that I can tell them about that I hatched a Pikachu and caught a Bulbasaur and they are so excited to see them. I can ask questions because who really knows what those green leafy things mean? It builds trust, and so far has led to some great therapy sessions!

What’s more – I see the potential. It’s only been in Canada for just over a week! I think it will be good not just for our little ones who are walking but also great motivation for walker trials, wheelchair training, and using a power wheel chair.

Home Programme

The fun continues when the parents integrate Pokemon Go as well. Not to say that everything has to be therapeutic, but you do have to go 5 km to hatch most eggs, and you can only replenish pokeballs at PokeStops – so why not add an element of therapy? Depending on your child and their Physiotherapy goals – be creative, but also be careful!

Get Started

This can help get you started http://www.imore.com/pokemon-go

Contact us directly at (905) 206-0300 if your child needs Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy or Speech Language Pathology. Maybe Pokemon Go is or isn’t their thing, but we will do our best to find out what motivates them and to make therapy fun!

-Keiri

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