Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) is an innovative, research supported technique
used by CIMT trained Occupational Therapist to promote development of new pathways
between the brain and the impaired extremity. Dr. Edward Taub, from University of
Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), developed CIMT, refers to this process as “rewiring”
the brain. He says after a stroke, a survivor tries unsuccessfully to use the affected
side. Their initial failure discourages them from using that side. Dr. Taub calls
this “learned non-use.”
In Constraint Induced Therapy, the unimpaired hand is not allowed to perform the
therapy tasks—it is constrained, either by voluntary non-use or by applying a CIMT
approved “mitt,” which is a large mitten worn for 90% of the waking hours. Wearing
the mitt on the unimpaired hand encourages the impaired hand to move, and over time
the brain is induced to “rewire” itself.
At A Focused Brain, we combine both Constrained Induced Movement Therapy with Interactive
Metronome to achieve optimum results.
Who is a good candidate for CIMT?
Candidates include children, adolescents, or adults who have arm and/or hand impairments
due to a neurological condition such as stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or
brain surgery. While treatment is most effective when started about six months after
the onset of the impairment, research and experience has shown that useful results
can be obtained even 20 years after onset (results vary). The program is intensive
and results driven—clients who commit to the program achieve the best results.
What should I expect from my CIMT/IM program?
Our program is a two week program, 5 days a week , 3 hours per day. We combine both
CIMT with Interactive Metronome for your level of function. You will be filmed with
a video camera on the first and last day the program–this records improvement and
provides you with visual feedback. Our Occupational Therapist designs a unique program
based on your functional ability and establishes goals to work with you to achieve
those goals. This includes behavioral techniques known as shaping and task practice,
where you repeat timed exercises of increasing complexity and the therapist provides
encouragement and feedback to improve each task. Task practice simulates a daily
activity or movement–as you improve, the therapist progresses you to performing actual
daily activity or movement in your home. Positive reinforcement and one-on-one interaction
is a key component in the success of this program.
The IM-Home is an integral part of this program in helping the participant regain
functional use in their affected extremity. Each participant will receive an IM-Home
unit at the beginning of week 2, which will help them maintain their functional gain
Your schedule is individualized to allow for rest breaks during the intensive 3 hour
day. In addition to the training session, you’ll be asked to complete practice activities
in the evenings. On the last day of your therapy, your therapist will have an
outing planned for you to implement what you have practiced in therapy .
Each client has a different way of measuring success. With our guidance, you can
set realistic goals and work toward them, continuing long after your therapy is completed.
Your success will positively affect you and those around you.
News Stories on Constraint Induced Movement Therapy
Reporter Dan Rather interviews Dr. Edward Taub and CIT patients in this story (this
video starts with Alzheimer’s – CIT starts at 1:39 into the video so if you prefer
you can fast forward to that point by moving your mouse along the bar at the bottom
of the video box).
News Story with CIMT and Stroke Patients
What are the steps to obtain CIMT/IM therapy?
We offer free consultations. Call us and our therapist will discuss this program
and ask you a few screening questions to determine if you are a good candidate for
Contact us now for more information or to schedule an appointment!