Shared peer advice from polio survivors about what works for them.

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Diabetes and Post-Polio Syndrome: Conditions Which Are Chronic but Manageable

Brian Tiburzi

Jann Hartman, Baltimore, Maryland  I was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome in 1989, and I assumed that my extreme exhaustion was due to overusing my muscles. It should have dawned on me that it isn’t wise to dismiss all symptoms as due to having post-polio syndrome. Last spring, during a routine visit to my physician, a simple blood test revealed an …

Why the weight? Losing a few pounds is possible … right now. Why wait?

Brian Tiburzi

Sunny Roller, Ann Arbor, Michigan Even if one uses a wheelchair full time and has a metabolism that is a bit slower due to aging, losing weight is possible. I had almost given up, but then 14 months ago, my doctor fiercely demanded that I lose 10 pounds. If I did not, she threatened to infuse me with some creepy …

What to Eat: Revisiting the Basics

Brian Tiburzi

Ann Crocker, West Gardiner, Maine What to eat? Nearly every day we may hear or read about the benefits or risks of certain foods or specific elements in foods. Sometimes, we may be tempted to try some hard-to-believe, miraculous food or food product, which later may turn out to be of little value. With so many daunting warnings about what …

Relationships: An Overview

Brian Tiburzi

Every relationship is built upon unique experiences and qualities. For a relationship to succeed, both individuals will need to cope with any disability. This requires a realistic acceptance of the disability with an emphasis on what one can do, rather than on what one cannot do. The following are brief general suggestions on how to maintain personal relationships when facing …

Life-course Perspective

Brian Tiburzi

The life-course framework for studying disability emphasizes the importance of developmental stages and tasks within an historical and medical context. It finds that decisions about current disability-related issues are influenced by broader concerns about identity and the fulfillment of personal and cultural expectations (Scheer & Luborsky, 1991). Early life experiences with disability are often found to still be important in …

(Complementary) Alternative Therapies

Brian Tiburzi

Alternative therapies, also called complementary, can support natural self-healing and encourage behaviors that promote a sense of overall well-being. Some alternative therapies originated in diverse cultures and in earlier times; others have emerged from new discoveries in science. In one survey, the use of alternative therapies by people with disabilities was higher than in the general population (Krauss et al., …

Yoga for Polio Survivors

Brian Tiburzi

“Our goal in this video is to introduce Hatha yoga, breath awareness and stress reduction to people with Post-Polio Syndrome in order to increase their energy, reduce fatigue and create an increased sense of well-being. These exercises and postures can be modified according to one’s abilities and limitations and can be utilized and integrated with most other medical treatment plans …


Brian Tiburzi

Post-polio wellness retreats provide an opportunity to renew the mind, body and spirit to have post-polio questions answered by unhurried medical experts to spend custom-designed days enjoying recreational activities to learn more about how to stay strong and healthy Moving several steps beyond re-rehabilitation, retreats offer ongoing wellness approaches that promise to improve overall health and quality of life. Important …

Post-Polio Wellness Retreat Ideas from Colorado

Brian Tiburzi

The first Colorado Post-Polio Wellness Retreat was held Aug. 17-21, 2014 at Rocky Mountain Village (Easter Seals Camp) in Empire, Colorado about 40 miles west of Denver. In attendance were 53 people (Three were faculty and not polio survivors; eight spouses/caregivers; 42 polio survivors). There were two on-site faculty/organizers/polio survivors and a number of faculty members who drove up for …


Brian Tiburzi

Throughout life, people move in one direction or another on the wellness continuum ranging from maximum performance on one end to serious illness or premature death on the other end. Polio survivors do not need to constantly struggle from one health crisis to the next. While some health problems require professional assistance, others can be controlled by the individual. Once …