Real JEMS® People: Gavin Church shares a Multiple Sclerosis Story


JEMS® Certified Practitioner Gavin Church has kindly shared this story about using JEMS® with a patient with Multiple Sclerosis:

“A recent client of mine was a 48-year-old man who had been lucky enough to get on the first Sheffield trial for stem cell treatment for individuals with MS. He was a keen runner who I had met at Parkrun weekly and was able to run 5k in 50 minutes. It had been about 3 years since his treatment and physiotherapy intervention within the NHS and had been exposed to the usual  treatment most physiotherapists would use in the MS population.

I started the JEMS® method and he instantly noticed the difference in approach. He did recognise some aspects of the intervention such as the clam and variations of string of pearls, but became aware of how these were then integrated into global movement strategies. We used a lot of the activation and awareness phase of rehabilitation as a real foundation through his journey including listening foot, ball bouncing and the balloon, and referred back to these components during progressions into dynamic coordination and then functional integration into rainy running session in the park.

After a year, a once described “tin leg” sensation and “leap of faith” into a support strategy over his affected leg in running, became a smooth and beautiful propulsion onto a balanced support leg and appropriate vertical force management and adaptive foot. A personal best 5k time is now 39 minutes 58 seconds with a lot of tears from spectators, but the big impact has been to his participation skills in everyday activities such as lifting a heavy lawn mower, stepping onto a wooden stool on a wooden floor in socks, standing on a tram and train without having to hold on and being able to be a bigger part of the family.

JEMS® has taken an individual that would normally be considered to have reached his “plateau” and raised the bar to what is possible with a more evidence based approach.”

Gavin Church – Senior Physiotherapist and JEMS® Certified Practitioner

Gavin Church is a Senior Physiotherapist in the Sheffield community stroke service and clinical lead for Functional Electronic Stimulation, a Research Assistant with the Getting Research into Practice (GRIP) project on uptake of exercise and activity in stroke survivors; a Committee member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Interested in Neurology (ACPIN), a Level 1 Crossfit instructor and Level 2 weightlifting instructor. Gavin is currently awaiting confirmation of acceptance onto a pre-doctorial clinical fellowship programme. Gavin became a JEMS® Certified Practitioner in 2017.

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