After her head injury, shinfinTM fins dramatically improve Connie’s balance, both in the water and walking. The fins retrain her kick to lift her legs more horizontal and streamlined. She finds they give her tremendous power from her glutes, obliques, thighs and stomach muscles. Swimming in open water at local beaches, she is very thankful for how much shinfinTM fins have improved her balance after her head injury. (On another note, the fins are highly adjustable. So many of Connie’s relations from age 6 upwards have tried her fins and also love them.)
Connie’s review from Long Beach, USA
“I am recovering from a head injury and also injured my knee when I fell on my head. I have been trying to think of the words to express how much I love my shinfinTM fins. But no words seem to do them justice. I have been using them here in Long Beach harbor. I have also swum with them in San Diego Bay. There is a long shore current that used to torment me on the return leg of my swim. With your shinfinTM fins, I power right through it. With concentration, I let the shinfinTM fins pull me up into good horizontal kick alignment. It gives me tremendous power and I can’t believe the way the shinfinTM fins strengthen and work my glutes, obliques, thighs and stomach muscles.”
“In addition, the lateral balance feedback they give me in the water seems to be greatly improving my balance (which I lost from the head injury) both in the water and on land. Your shinfinTM fins have added a stabilizing feedback component to my brain. I have had a dramatic improvement in my balance. Before, I needed a cane on one side and a person on the other to get to the water. Now, I can get there with just a cane. Thank you for my fins.”
Connie’s review: Fins improve balance after head injury
“I am recovering from a head injury. I swim in the harbor here in Long Beach, California as part of my rehabilitation and because I love water more than land. Your fins look terrific. I’ve been very excited about your fins ever since I saw them on Beyond Tomorrow (my favorite show). I also injured my knee when I fell on my head. They look just the ticket for knees.”
“I am so excited about your fins. I went to your website and reread all about them and I can really see the mechanics of how they work the leg, glutes, and stomach muscles instead of beefing up the calves. This is good, because I inherited massive leg muscles from both parents. If my calves get any bigger, I won’t be able to get my long wetsuit on this winter.”
“For ten months I couldn’t balance my own checkbook or dial phone numbers. The swimming is so great because it is helping me get back my left right coordination and balance.”
We have a lot of happy customers around the world using them for rehabilitation. We actually have quite a few customers using shinfinTM fins for recovery from knee surgery. They say that they help recovery, without stressing the knee like foot flippers.
Please let me know how you both go. I’d be particularly interested to hear how they help you to regain your left/right coordination. In swimming, as you know, there is a lot of cross-body coordination and balance. For example, in freestyle, when you pull with your right arm there is a larger kick down with your right leg. A cross-body diagonal balance. shinfinTM fins really help with this.
There are a lot of people using them for various types of rehabilitation. I am in the process (as always!) of improving the information on the website to help people get the best from the fins. So I’d really appreciate any feedback.
“Your description of the cross body balance of swimming helps me understand why swimming has been so helpful to me. I have been swimming with a snorkel, wetsuit and Churchill fins. (They are smaller and scalloped like a seal’s flippers.) I felt so compelled to swim, even earlier when the nausea was so overwhelming, I would swim anyway. I tried to explain to my doctor that I felt the swimming was improving some deep understanding in my body about balance, coordination and proprioception, but I didn’t know to tell him about cross body balance and coordination. This will be very helpful, thank you.”
“I still have trouble coordinating my feet with my arms. I will let you know how this improves with shinfinTM fins. Also, once I get used to the shinfinTM fins, and my knee improves, I intend to add in the Churchill fins. I don’t know if this is a good idea, or I am just being seduced by the power of all that thrust. I may just overshoot the harbor and knock on your door after a brief sprint to Australia. Thank you for finding great fins for us!”
You’re very welcome Connie. I think the shinfinTM fins will really help with your feet/arm coordination. You will need to have strong legs to power foot flippers as well. You will probably find that adding foot flippers alters the kick biomechanics and reduces your kick tempo, but by all means experiment! I look forward to hearing how you go.
“I think I’ll probably just use the shinfinTM fins for awhile, to get the most benefit from the left right coordination. I think the idea of all that power was getting the best of me. After needing a walker for a year and a half, the prospect of driving my self through the water like that is intoxicating.”
“It was so great to get in the water and move freely without fear of falling. The worst part of the head injury was that it rendered me completely without a sense of balance. For close to a year, if I was not touching something vertical, a wall, my walker, etc, I had no feeling of where up is. (This came with violent nausea.) It’s much better now; center and up are in there somewhere. Although, loud noise and bright light can make me pitch over suddenly without warning. This is the thing that seems to be helped most by swimming. It is sending some kind of messages deep inside my brain about where my body is in space. I think the shinfinTM fins will really help with this because of the lateral support and streamlining.”
“It occurs to me that I am already rather an oddity where I swim. I use a cane to get in the water. It floats and I anchor it so that it is there when I get back. Now, with the fins, they are going to think that I am from another planet.”
Thank you again for your kind email Connie. It is amazing how the brain can recover if you keep at it like you are doing. Things like movement and music really seem to influence brain recovery in a wide range of areas. My father works in human movement, psychology, sports and rehabilitation etc. at Edinburgh University. So I have grown up with these kinds of new ideas all around me. Follow your gut feel as you are already doing. Experiment to continually expand the movements that feel good to you. That would be my suggestion. And then write a book about it to help other people. I can see you clearly like writing and are good at it.
All the best and please keep in touch. I’m fascinated to hear your comments.
“I have been trying to think of the words to express how much I love my shinfinTM fins. But no words seem to do them justice. I have been using them here in Long Beach harbor. I have also swum with them in San Diego Bay.”
“My niece and nephews, ages 6 and 8, tried them. Even though the fins should really be to big for them, they loved them. One, who wants to be an inventor said that he is going to expand your idea and line his whole arms and legs with fins. Their mother thinks the fins might help her back. My other honorary nephew, snorkeled with them at Silver Strand Beach in San Diego. He is amazed at how great it is to dive with them.”
“I have been using the fins with my Churchill Makapuu fins. The combination is perfect. The Makapuu are light and they float. With concentration, I let the shinfinTM fins pull me up into good horizontal kick alignment. It gives me tremendous power and I can’t believe the way the shinfinTM fins strengthen and work my glutes, obliques, thighs and stomach muscles.”
“There is a long shore current that used to torment me on the return leg of my swim. With your shinfinTM fins, I power right through it. In addition, the lateral balance feedback they give me in the water seems to be greatly improving my balance (which I lost from the head injury) both in the water and on land. Before, I needed a cane on one side and a person on the other to get to the water. Now, I can get there with just a cane.”
“Thank you for my fins.”
That sounds great. I’m really happy to hear you are doing so well and that the fins have helped too. And nice to hear that there are more budding inventors out there. (Maybe don’t tell them quite how much work and dedication it involves just yet!) My children have been using them since they were 6 or 8 or so too.
Have you been using shinfinTM fins just by themselves too? (As well as with your Makapuu fins.) How do you find your kicking style goes when you wear shinfinTM fins just by themselves?
I’m particularly interested in what you say about your balance improving after your head injury and that transferring to improved balance on land too. That is great. I’ve been picking up a few comments like this and would like to cover it on the website to help others.
“Yes, you may include my testimonial about the fins and anything else that I have written to you which would elucidate the brain injury that the fins are helping me overcome.”
Retraining natural kick
“Yes, I swam several times with just the shinfinTM fins. I’m so glad I did that, because it retrained my leg position, so that my legs are trailing behind me in a natural kick. I truly did not know what this felt like before the shinfinTM fins. As a child, I did all of my swimming underwater. I didn’t start swimming on top of the water until I began distance swimming (a mile or so) with snorkel and fins.”
“I didn’t realize how low in the water my legs were kicking until I swam with your shinfinTM fins. It was only after retraining my kick with shinfinTM fins that I could relax my body and achieve a natural kick with the Makapuu fins and the shinfinTM fins together.”
Better balance, in and out of the water
“About the balance. There is something about water which has been tremendously healing for me. People don’t realize that swimming is one of the balancing sports which require a myriad of muscles to maintain position and trajectory.”
“Your shinfinTM fins have added a stabilizing feedback component to my brain. I have had a dramatic improvement in my balance. I know that part of this is the natural course of healing that I am on. But, before the fins, it would take me thirty minutes with two cross country walking sticks to walk 30 yards. Every other step, I would completely lose a sense of vertical and rotate wildly around the sticks. Now, I can cross the thirty yards with one cane in about ten minutes.”
“I use a floating cane, which I made, with floating rope, that I tether under the water with a spiral dog chain anchor. This means that I can lock my walker to the lifeguard tower and get to the water unassisted. This independence means so much, I can’t tell you.”
“It feels like the more I am able to swim with your shinfinTM fins, the sooner I will be on my own two feet again, without walker. It feels like your fins are retraining my brain in a feedback loop, giving me more comprehensible information on where my body is in space. They also give me a tremendous sense of power and they are strengthening my core muscles and thighs. This also enhances my perception of balance and the position of my body, relative to the world and gravity, in and out of the water.”
Thank you for your kind permission and for your very interesting email. I am really pleased that you are getting on so well. Also, personal recommendation is very important to get a new product like this going. So I really appreciate it and the shinfinTM word is spreading well.
You mentioned the shinfinTM fins giving you a “stabilizing feedback component to my brain”. And your significant overall improvements in balance and walking too. I mentioned before that my father works in human movement, psychology, sports and rehabilitation etc. at Edinburgh University. He actually does a lot of work (with his colleagues too) in rehabilitation. We were discussing your observations last night.
The basic idea is you get something inherently designed to guide you through a movement you are having difficulty with. (shinfinTM fins is one example, if I have done my job properly!) This gets your brain used to these movements again and indeed used to a much wider range of movements too. They all seem to work from a common base. Improve one movement and you seem likely to improve others too. This seems to be what you are experiencing, which is great.
Please keep in touch whenever you want. I’d love to keep a dialogue going on this. I will do what I can to help you too, of course. Happy swimming, and walking.
I would love to have links to material online regarding this area of retraining or rehabilitating the brain with movement. Also, if there are books on the subject, I would love to read more about it.
I talked to a woman on Friday who works with autistic people. One of her students had, not just the usual incoordination of autism, but an almost total disconnect between his left and right side. She took him to the park every day to have him climb poles. He improved remarkably.
This got me thinking. Part of what I am experiencing with shinfinTM fins is a return to the part of my brain that learned to crawl. It occurs to me that this is part of why water is so healing for me. Not just the relaxation I feel from not having to worry about falling. It is more. When we first learn to move, when we are first aware of our bodies at a physical level, we are immersed in fluid. It feels that way when I am swimming, like I am free, that I can start over. I swim a third of a mile to a mile, depending how I’m feeling. The harbor water is shot through with silt. I swim near sunset and the colors in the water shift to a sepia dream.
The shinfinTM fins are streamlining my body and adding an increasingly effortless power. I described your fins to this woman who works with autistic people and she said, “Oh my goodness, that would be more fish-like.” Maybe your fins take me farther back than the womb.
My only worry is breathing through my occasional attacks of irrational shark phobia. (Courtesy of Stephen Spielberg.)
Yes, there seems to be a lot of merit in working on the diagonal, cross-body crawling or pole-climbing or freestyle movements. You hear a lot about it. Including people who have skipped the crawling stage (i.e. went straight to walking). They may perhaps have some coordination problems in later life, which I believe can be remedied by similar exercises.
If you have a mobility impairment, for example after a head injury, shinfinTM fins can dramatically improve your overall balance. They can balance your swim style and also help your balance out of the water, for example when walking. The fins can retrain your kick to lift your legs more horizontal and streamlined. They encourage power from your hips, using your glutes, obliques, thighs and stomach muscles whilst avoiding ankle strain. You may be interested to learn more from the best swim style fins FAQ.