Case study : Hand tremors (Essential tremor)

The first dedicated tester during the Smooth Move development was a male, over 70 years old, who had been developing a hand tremor for a few years. It had been noticeable by other family members for around 3 years. In the year prior to starting to use Smooth Move the tremor had also become a step more pronounced. It was starting to have an effect on day to day living, for example carrying liquids in cups was becoming less and less practical.

Initially the focus for the tester was in helping to develop the algorithms and interface for the Smooth Move app. This was a slow process through many weeks, but while in this technical refinement phase there was the first indication of some positive therapeutic results. About three to four months after the testing started the tester reported that they had noticed they could influence their tremors. This in such a way that the tester could on occasion avert, or reduce tremors as they started.

There was another three months or so before the next change was reported by the tester - a further improvement. The testers ability to influence the tremors had further increased. They had gained a reliable level of ability to avert tremors as they were triggered. A threshold in daily living had also been passed in that the tester had restarted carrying cups of breakfast tea across the kitchen.

The final major step was after a further few months of Smooth Move use, when the level of control was becoming something that really could be trusted. This step was marked when the tester had regained the confidence to carry morning coffee from the kitchen through to the lounge, over a carpeted floor.

The tremors are now considered something that is not largely noticeable by the testers family in every day situations one usually encounters.

The tester has thus far (June 2017) been using Smooth Move for a year and a half, and now investigates matters such as what hand positions, and what type of social situations trigger tremors. This with the confidence that with their mind, and how it now interacts with the body, they can reduce and often switch the tremors off again. The one exception to this is that when public speaking to a room of people, the 'stress' of this situation can still leave the tester unable to control tremors, so that is a final goal the tester hopes to achieve.

The Smooth Move practice regime used was 7 minute practice sessions on a daily basis. Initially two or occasionally three sessions were practised on most days, but after the first six months this was switched so a single daily practice session.

The Smooth Move app is available free for Android smartphones from the Google play store, and for iOS iPhones from the iTunes store. The development team can be contacted by email for further information.