Julian is not just an ordinary Physiotherapist, he is a qualified Biokineticist (clinical rehabilitation specialist), has been a Strength and Conditioning Coach for some top sports teams and athletes and has a Masters Degree in Physiotherapy. Julian has also been part of the team behind the been the development of a new Physiotherapy led concept adopted by Bridge4Health in Leicester. Bridge4Health is a new wellness and preventative medicine concept, designed to accommodate anyone from the active individual to those who have never previously performed structured exercise.
TOGU UK: Julian, what is Bridge4Health and why is it so unique?
JULIAN: Bridge4Health is the brainchild of Judith Pitt-Brooke,a Chartered Physiotherapist, and is the first pilot facility of its kind, with more to follow in the future. We have an open plan functional exercise and rehabilitation gym on the ground floor with Watt Bikes, Concept2 Rowers, ESP Fitness Functional Frame, ESP weights and Bars, an indoor grass turf area, as well as a Pilates and group fitness studio. Upstairs, we have an advanced neurorehabilitation facility offering the latest technology in physiotherapy and neurorehabiitation but also offering the opportunity for patients using this facility to eventually be able to join a physiotherapist led group training session downstairs in the functional gym. It is our goal to get Britain exercising and that means everybody. Bridge4Health is an all-in-one physiotherapy gym and clinical practice which creates a more inclusive exercise environment.
TOGU UK: Who would join Bridge4Health? Can anyone join?
JULIAN: The facility caters for just about anyone, from neurological (stroke rehabilitation) injuries and illnesses, to the more routine physiotherapy cases such as back pain and sports injury management as well as the general sedentary population, and those wanting help with getting more active. . We also have an open membership, where the general public can come and train within a well structured and importantly, supervised gym environment. It is not just the facility and equipment that is new, we have a fantastic physiotherapy team with experts in many different areas allowing us to be a truly “all inclusive” practice.
TOGU UK: How are members responding to the facility?
JULIAN: It is a new concept and we know that people like to train in group environments. We have a lot of interest from the local community with over 300 members registering in the first month and with a range of illnesses, injury or general fitness levels. There are a lot of the population who don’t exercise that should and we want to help change this. You are never too ill or too old to exercise.
TOGU UK: What are your thoughts towards physiotherapy as an industry?
JULIAN: It is no coincidence as to why I have been involved with Bridge4Health, it is all in the word, ‘bridge’. Having come from a sports science, and strength & conditioning background and having been a physiotherapist now for a number of years, I see that there is a gap in the market. By the time one gets injured or ill, it is almost too late. We need to do more than just the rehabilitation of patients. So thats what Bridge4 is trying to do. Bridge4 is a Physiotherapy led team, all of whom have worked in Professional Sport. We are using this experience to help as many of our members as possible improve their health and resilience to illness – whether unfit , ageing, inactive, unwell or fit and very healthy! We are looking at bridging the gap between the extremes. Building functional ability, health and long active lives, is our vision for Britain. There is lots of evidence to suggest that many illnesses such as obesity and diabetes can be prevented by exercise, so our whole concept is physiotherapy led, and is about prevention.
TOGU UK: What are the Physiotherapy led group programs you mentioned?
JULIAN: The end goal is to create access for people of all ages, abilities and states of recovery to ultimately be able to perform and practice meaningful functional activity and exercise that promotes health and enable them to live a fulfilling and pain free life. We carry out wellness assessments for all members which include heart rate recovery, strength, mobility, cholesterol and blood sugar tests, so this enables us to advise each member where to start their activity programme. If the client is not yet ready to join a group session, then we do more specialised one-on-one sessions. These sessions look at functional movement principals in order to get them to a point where they are physically and mentally ready to take part in the next stage of their fitness development. As they improve they move towards larger functional group exercise classes. We also provide a fantastic range of Pilates and Movement classes which include pre- and post-natal Pilates, and functional exercise classes that involve using the ESP Functional Frame and suspension training devices. Its personal training in small groups. Proprioceptive elements have also been introduced that focus on body coordination. TOGU UK was our number one choice when selecting the necessary accessories for these classes.
TOGU UK: Why did you choose TOGU UK?
JULIAN: We worked closely with TOGU UK to create the environment that we were looking for. The idea was to make the facility feel positive and appealing with an “all inclusive” factor. Bridge4Health’s atmosphere is calm, friendly, open and functional. Perfect for group physiotherapy led classes and the wide range of TOGU UK products are by far the best in the world. We have a TOGU Wall upstairs with a range of products ideal for neural rehabilitation and another TOGU Wall downstairs specifically with functional products that best suites our musculoskeletal studio environment. TOGU UK products have also been around for decades and offer three important features which were considerations for us: quality, durability and variety. We will have a high turn over of clients and we need products to last and to be enjoyed. The variety of products that TOGU UK offer and the wide range of colours has given us the freedom to create our programmes to deliver our vision. TOGU UK have a lot of innovations with their products that other companies don’t have such as their range of balance boards and balls. Because the products are air filled, many of them can connect to their unique PAB system which will help Bridge4Health’s physiotherapists track and log patient progress.
TOGU UK: What are the benefits of using products in your programming?
JULIAN: Doing functional training with the equipment and tools we have means that we can vary our sessions daily, we can achieve different things with all sorts of people. We want to be there for the whole population group and products which are colourful, fun and functional allow us to do this. To train functionally one also needs space. We have a lot of innovative training tools at our disposal which we can incorporate into any training programmes. The gym can metamorphosise and change daily because of TOGU UK’s innovative wall design and variety of products.
TOGU UK: You mentioned PAB; have you found it to be beneficial in rehabbing patients?
JULIAN: Yes, we are using the Pressure Air Feedback system (PAB). It is a practical, effective system by which we can measure the progress of our patients. We chose this product because it is very easy to use, easy to set up and our neurological physiotherapists love it.
TOGU UK: Would you recommend TOGU products?
JULIAN: Absolutely, I cant think of any other company that offers the variety, quality and durability of physiotherapy products. Every physio practice should have a TOGU Wall with TOGU UK products.
You can find out more about Bridge4’s and Julian’s programs at: www.bridge4health.co.uk