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Episode 4: Polio [Breathe]

Harry and Aj take a slightly different approach to episode 4 in their breakdown of 2017’s Breathe.

Set mainly in 1960’s Britain – when polio was still rampant – Breathe follows the story of Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield), who after being diagnosed with the condition, dedicates his life to medical innovation.

Using this as their soundboard, the guys go on to discuss current innovations in the medical field that may one day transform the lives of many.


Hello and welcome to another episode of unaware Be physiology. My name is aj and I’m harry and this is the official podcast, I can’t remember if I’ve said that already officially and this is our first series titled “Be Reel”. Harry, do you want to explain to the good people at home what Be Reel is all about? Tell you what it’s all about, Be Real is a series where we break down  references from movies and tv shows about people with disabilities and relaying them to our professional lives and see if those actually check out to reality. So a lot of times Hollywood will embellish things and we’re here to see if they’re actually on the mark with these things if it’s realistic in our world. Or is it unrealistic? What actually this is, what we think happens, and in terms of what our world is. Harry and I are exercise physiologists, what we do is we use exercise as a form of medicine and we use that to treat particular conditions. This falls into the realm of disability. But it could be something such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, we have a pretty broad spectrum of conditions that we can work with. But in the context of our podcast it will mostly align with people living with the disability, or characters living with a disability. So just a disclaimer guys, we don’t know everything. We’re here to learn, we are not philosophers, we’re not living with a disability, we’re not film critiques. We do however have a very unique perspective of looking into the lives of the people that we work with. We look to analyze how disabilities we see in real life are portrayed on the screen, to not only help us in practice but in everyday life. We always preface it as well by saying that we welcome any feedback that you guys have.Of course we’re going to say some things that may be incorrect and we don’t do that intentionally, we’re not trying to lie to you. But if we ever do, please let us know and please align us because as Harry said, we’re trying to better ourselves, we’re trying to better our practice and this is just one avenue for us to do that. This is all about our experience and our knowledge as professionals so you can only get better at that so that’s why we’re here. I thought you nailed that intro today, that was good, that’s getting a lot better. You should hear the other ones, horrible. Note they’ve all been good but why don’t you tell everybody what movie. Yes, we will be covering today breath. Is it breathe? it’s Breathe, it’s with an e, it’s Breathe. So Breathe is a movie about a young man Robin Cavendish, yes Robin Kevin. It’s a true story as well so that’s something to note. It’s played by actor Andrew Garfield, not to be confused with Garfunkel, or Andrew Morris, also a pretty good actor. But he has polio, acute onset at  28 years old. So I had a look into the actual plot because it’s not made clear where in the movie, but I think he’s over in Kenya. At the point where he collapses and then he’s repatriated, I think that’s how you would say that word probably back to England. Obviously at that point the condition has well and truly taken over. So spoiler alert guys! If we do spoil something, we don’t mean to but it’ll be necessary for getting our point across. We know we always recommend watching these movies whether we like them or not, it’s just a good way to learn a little bit more about a particular disability and broaden your horizons a little bit. But spoilers generally and look we will go through how polio essentially works and how it affects the body. I suppose as much as polio is an elephant in the room during this movie I think the big theme here is trying to provide innovation to people living with a disability at this time. It kicks off in the 60s,it’s a 50 60s type thing. It’s a lot of tennis playing English people in Africa. Is that a 50s thing? I don’t know. Essentially he’s 28, he’s just about to have a child with his beloved that he has proposed to and everything. Life’s just about to kick off then all of a sudden he wakes up in the middle of the night and just has an attack where he faints. His brother calls the ambulance and he wakes up in hospital and he’s unable to move. Another big thing that I didn’t really know about polio is that they were treated by putting heaps of ice on him. I didn’t think a bit of ice to cool his core body temperature down. I assume that might be a nervous inflammation thing. But I didn’t think twice about it. I honestly was like old times, people just doing wrong work. Should we explain what polio is, because I’m sure you’ve all heard the term polio before. I can imagine that very few of us have actually ever seen it in the flesh. There’s a good reason for that and that is polio for the most part being eradicated. it was about 99% eradicated back in 1980 and that was through vaccination in the first world war. That’s attributed to the vaccination of polio meningitis melonitis. I think it’s an actual virus, it’s a poliomyelitis one. The way that it actually works is it’s transmitted through contaminated food, even feces, maybe water. There was a time where it was actually quite prevalent  and essentially everybody was at risk. I mean I wouldn’t compare it in terms of extremities to coronavirus today, but in terms of how you would potentially go about trying to avoid polio, social distancing might have been one of the first things that you could have looked at. I suppose it wasn’t known well enough, but the way that the condition works is you’ll contaminate or become contaminated either through water or through food. The virus itself, l think, enters the central nervous system. Then it will eventually start to break down the neurons from the central nervous system, which will break down your ability to engage your own body and breathe, which is kind of where the movie leads. Another thing to mention is it was most likely that (and I guess it still is today) infants under the age of five were the most at risk to contract it and it was actually called infantile paralysis before it was called poliovirus. Before they knew what it was, it was called infantile paralysis, so this movie really made me remit. It reminded me even though I wasn’t alive back then, just how bad the polio virus was. It affected thousands of people across the world and it was literally, wake up one day and be paralyzed. Through no fault of your own, you’ve just drunk something that had that virus in it and it’s attacked your central nervous system. Horrible virus. It’s a pretty significant consequence for something as simple as having a drink or basically being in contact with somebody else. First things first, when he does get emitted he gets a tracheotomy. They slice down his neck, I know now they slice across because that actually   goes along with the rings in your trachea. In your windpipe, there’s horizontal rings (or transverse rings), so they slice horizontally. They feed a tube down to get air into the lungs because you don’t have the capacity to do it with your nose and your mouth anymore. They put a balloon cuff in your trachea so no air can get up to your vocal cords. That’s why you can’t speak when you have a tracheotomy. Also they attach that pipe to a breathing machine, or a bag where they push air into it. Initially (you do see in the movie) the manual ventilator and then also the powered ventilator, or the mechanical ventilator (which we’ll go on to talk about throughout the podcast). It’s also worth mentioning that people still get tracheotomies today and  it could be from a car crash if someone doesn’t have the capacity to breathe. Tracheotomies have happened today, I’ve had clients with the scars on their necks and stuff like that because of accidents and injuries that they’ve had. If you’ve watched any medical show before you’ve more than likely seen  exactly what we’re talking about. Holding that bag and they’re pushing it in and out and as Harry said, providing air when somebody can’t breathe for themselves. I suppose that where the movie starts to go from there is Robin, obviously the main character’s wife feels that she can provide in-home care for Robin. Despite the fact that he’s very clearly debilitated by the polio disease and mainly she wants to get him out because of the isolation. They’re essentially trying to keep her away from him, they’re saying that he can’t do anything, just forget about him and let him rot in this place. She is the context of what life was like with polio for someone who was debilitated as Robin, because I don’t think we’ve touched on that yet. Imagine a life in a hospital bed where you essentially cannot move for yourself, you can barely breathe yourself. I don’t think many people got to a point of being able to eat for themselves, I think they make a point of saying that swallowing is a huge accomplishment. Most of the people in this movie outside of the main character Robin, at least for the most part are forever inside a hospital bed. That is where the real theme of the movie is, which as we said is the innovation of technology and Robin really pushing the idea of what is possible to allow people with that condition to have a life, and not be in a hospital bed for the rest of their lives. That’s what would happen, you would be isolated, you wouldn’t be allowed to see anyone and I don’t understand the protocol. My grandfather was in a polio ward when he was young and I’ll mention some stuff later on but he could have visitors a couple times a week. Apart from that you were just locked in this room, sometimes restrained to a bed. It’s crazy, there’s a scene later on in the movie where Robin’s character is overseas (I think he’s in Germany at the time) and you see how the condition is still being treated over there and it is crazy. It almost looks like you’ve entered the matrix! That’s right, enter the matrix, you’re in and you took the blue pill, you’re no longer having a good time. It’s all destruction but they’re all slotted into the walls like little capsules and they’re just lying there with machines up to their necks. They’re looking into a mirror like most of the people in there so it’s a weird science experiment it seems. It’s just like a weird thing that people just got placed into, cans of sardines type things and to think that that was essentially like 60 years ago. We’ve come a long way and you’re talking about iron lungs a little bit. They’re like a negative pressure dome that people would wear over their chests and essentially would simulate breathing the way that the lungs actually work. Excuse me if I muffle my words here, but essentially they work along a pressure gradient. When the pressure inside the lungs exceeds that of the pressure outside, or in the atmosphere and will move out and vice versa. It’s basically just constantly matching the pressure gradient and I think these machines and (I’m trying not to over simplify it) provide a pressure gradient to the lungs, from inside the capsule. Because oxygen will move to that lower pressure zone. As Harry said, the way that the polio works is it breaks down your ability to use skeletal muscle. It also breaks down your ability to engage (or not necessarily engage) automatically, or we would say autonomously engage your respiratory muscles. Somebody with polio immediately goes onto these breathing ventilators for the sake of survival. Without them they die. There was no other option and that’s what this whole movie is based around because technology wasn’t as progressed as it is today obviously. It’s just improving by leaps and bounds every day. New things and new discoveries are being made, and thank God for that because looking back at even the progression of and the evolution of a wheelchair. The wheelchairs they use in the movie, these big clunky wheelchairs, now they’re streamlined, they’re efficient, the cushions have particularly designed gels so that you don’t get pressure sores and things like that. Guarantee you back then, rolling around in one of those wheelchairs, pressure sores would be a huge issue and you’d need to be rolling from side to side all the time. That’s not something that they show in the movie but it’s something to be aware of. Not quite at this stage or where the movie is set,  but in research for this podcast I actually had a look at a bit of a timeline for wheelchairs and some of the earlier models. They look dead uncomfortable and you’re (for anyone) I suppose in the industry or anybody with a disability that has ever had to deal with or is aware of it, pressure sores are a huge consideration and looking at any wheelchair that’s pre-1930s. It just seems like an inevitability, it’s waiting to happen. Pressure sores are so debilitating because if you don’t feel, if you’re we’re sitting down on this chair, the amount of times I’ve changed position on this chair already I probably can’t count (but I can probably look back and see how many), but every time you move you’re adjusting the pressure areas through your hips. If you just are sitting here and you don’t have the option to do that, the high pressure area just starts damaging the tissue underneath the skin that continues to happen until it becomes a wound underneath the skin. That can grow to the size of a fist before it breaks out and then all of a sudden you have this extremely infected and open wound on someone that can literally take (because of low circulation and blood flow to these areas) years to heal. It’s crazy for   Harry and I as the example, Harry said how he’s basically moved his hips and I’m sure I’ve done the same a few times already. It’s not a conscious decision to do that we have sensory innovation that essentially signals our brain to readjust, whereas a lot of people who suffer from these pressure sores, it comes on account of the fact that they don’t quite have the sensory innovation to realize that they’re putting a lot of pressure in one area or sustaining pressure in one area. Chair setup is super important to try and avoid those things so the evolution of the wheelchair has been a great thing to avoid things like pressure sores from becoming the death of someone because they definitely have been the death of many people in the past. If I can nerd out for a second or not necessarily know that I had to leave and go through or just have a quick breakdown of what the evolution of the wheelchair is today. Today in terms of one that falls into itself and can fit into a car, they were actually first coming around in the 1930s, granted they weren’t as comfortable. Even beyond the point of using a wooden seat in the 1930s you would see a wheelchair that looks pretty similar to what we look at today. From there going into the 1950s or 60s I think is when the power chair first came about as well so it’s weird to think that  we’re going to talk about how far technology has come from what is set in the movie but then also some of the technology that’s around at that time is still very much being used today. I mean tweaks and adjustments and trying to pick on the problems but it’s literally the same thing, nothing’s gone too far except for some things actually so there are some innovations that we might mention a little bit more later on that have started to now really move past the initial knowledge of what mobility is or how someone can be mobile. It really gets down to the physiology of the injury as well which is super interesting to us at least. Another thing to mention covert ventilators were such a huge thing in this movie. Ventilator’s are such a huge thing and they actually started bringing back iron lungs (those negative pressure things) back into use in Canada and in the states as well. This was on account of the fact that they just didn’t have another ventilator and it’s a cheap kind of rudimentary way to get it done. That’s when they were like we need more ventilators, iron lungs were reintroduced back like digging up some fossil from the past. That’s crazy. Especially when you see the iron lung that we’re talking about and you imagine it’s essentially like a big coffin  with a head sticking out of it and you have to say that it’s a death sentence to be in there. We just have to lie there as well, I don’t think that I could do that, absolute torture. There was one little point in the movie  he’s all about trying to get out of this isolation, he doesn’t want to be stuck in a hospital where he never sees his loved ones. He won’t see his child grow up because his wife was pregnant but when he contracted polio and he is going to live a life he was an adventurous guy he’s going over to Kenya before this happens. All of a sudden you’re stuck in this room, he essentially defied the rules in a way but not the laws. The rules were you stay here and the law was you can’t hold someone prisoner. So he ran that line, he went I’m getting out of here he look, he got friends involved and he had a really good supporting network of friends and obviously a very supportive wife that built him a wheelchair that had the ventilator onto it. It was the first one of its type and he created that archetype and then pushed that across the world. He pioneered it, he went on to seek funding for his idea and try to make it more accessible. Which I’m sure is another point that we’ll touch on which is these pretty amazing innovations that I suppose more than anything now require funding like there are definitely some steps to take. Technology’s so expensive and it would have been back then as well but it’s crazy especially the heights of that technology is out at the moment and the things they’re trying, money has to be no object really to get anywhere. At no point would you ever question the intelligence of a doctor and that the doctor in this movie.  He’s pretty adamant that Robin’s character or not he’s a real human being but Robin would die within I think it’s like two weeks of leaving the hospital. He’s told immediately that within two minutes without that ventilator he’s dead and you do see moments in the film where the ventilator on account was unplugged by the dog or something. It’s purely by luck the wife was able to come back in and rescue him but in real life I don’t know if that particular thing happened, but if that stuff would have happened all the time he would have been good at holding his breath. Even when you’re cleaning the tube and stuff like that which you have to do daily, you’ve got to be holding your breath. I feel like there’s a really good scene here which is when that happens in the film and the respirators, or the ventilator, sorry not the respirator because I think there is a difference. I think the respirator is like that gas mask that you used to avoid I’ve definitely probably been interchanging.


 In the movie when that actually happens and the rest of the ventilator’s unplugged it is a catalyst for this innovation I guess where Robin’s like well I need to get some sort of way of garnering attention should I ever need it. That’s when he and his mate develop the bell which he will get with a bit of a head wobble, it’s like a fatty vortex ding ding. Without going too far away from the movie just yet some of those head movements these days are being used with much greater technological advances so I think it’s the gyro wheelchair, where the head movement is used to control the chair and some sensors or body movements. If someone is paralyzed from the shoulders down, it’s a weight distribution thing. So you calibrate it to what kind of where you shift your weight and if you lean your head forward, or lean your body forward slightly, it’ll roll forward, bring it back it’ll roll back, side to side. They’re pretty amazing, I have no idea how the engineering works but crazy cool innovation that hopefully is (it’s not perfected yet) in some final models. When they really crack the code and I’m not saying that a bell that you hit with your head is at the same level of innovation, is what Harry’s talking about there. But I am leaning toward that point I would like to push that point no but it’s got to start somewhere, and realizing that the potential of that guy to move his head that’s what he has what can you do with that and that’s literally where all those inventions that we have today have sprout from. What do you have? If you have something, let’s use that. If it is eye movement, now you can drive things with eye movements, you can use computers with eye movements and things like that in terms of typing what you have and how can we make your life more independent you can gain some kind of autonomy back. I think I cut you off before I started on that little tangent sorry! Where were you going previously? Oh no idea, let me have a little read. Actually there was one thing in the movie that was quite funny how they ripped the door frame off. They fly overseas and they can’t get in the front door of the place and we’ve talked about this on another podcast but they just kind of get a crowbar and jimmy the door frame off the door, and voila you can actually get in. They all kind of sneak into the room because they don’t want to tell the hotel they had to rip the door frame off to actually get him in but those little things if you’re in a wheelchair, you’d have to do little things like that all the time. Use your surroundings a little bit better. Just worth mentioning (not that we would like people out there ripping off) I’ve never done it but cool one of the issues that he comes up with. In terms of dying, when he’s on a ventilator later on the movie is internal hemorrhaging. In his lungs when the surface of the lungs becomes irritated they say and causes lesions which then bleed, the blood fills the lungs and this is an account of long-term. I think it’s another 20 to 30 years after the initial diagnosis (but moving forward into the story) he’s pushing for these mobile ventilators and he’s flying overseas and he’s tripping with his family. He lives a great life and he has come to a point where he is finished and (spoilers spoilers obviously) he wants to pass away. A lot of people have their opinions on that and  it’s not something that we’re going to get too far into today, but euthanasia is actually legal in a couple states in Australia. I think Northern Territory within reason (unless my googling is way off), I think there is some kind of way to do it here but he essentially decides that it’s time for him to go after being told that he was supposed to die 40 years ago. Every day since then is quite a powerful message that he just defied the medical world for so long at the end, he’s seen as this medical enigma. That he was something pretty highly of in terms of his ability to survive. Survive is a good word to abuse, because I think there’s actually a quote in the movie where he says he wants to live and not just survive. Like I said , the catalyst for all of the innovations that happened here is that he was either going to survive confined to a hospital bed, or he was going to take a chance to potentially die, but also live a normal life. It is a great movie to watch in that regard but the thing we really got from it as exercise physiologists is paralysis is a problem that a lot of technological companies are trying to solve. Which is fantastic so there’s a few that spring to my mind straight away one is the innovation of wheelchairs that we’ve talked about before. There’s a wheelchair called the Scewo. We’ve talked about in the past, how wheelchairs are such a big issue even getting up one stair. This chair in particular climbs flights of stairs and it (from what I saw of it) looked as if it was almost one of those like gofundme (it’s not on gofundme), but essentially this is like an independently engineered piece of equipment.   They are essentially trying to push for greater availability and if you check it out on Youtube, it’s s-c-e-w-o you’ll see what the chair does. It has some pretty crazy capabilities that we’ve touched on in other podcasts that are considerations for people that mobilize using wheelchairs, so going upstairs, or getting on and off public transport. They’re things that are essentially like showcased in the teaser for this piece of equipment. One thing to just go back on when you mentioned the process of, it’s a gofundme and they’re trying to get more funding that’s literally what happens in the movie with the ventilator wheelchairs. It might be in another movie in about 40 years but an awesome bit of innovation and best of luck to them. One of the pieces of equipment that I thought was really cool and I think it’s something that’s almost been hypothesized for a while, and not necessarily just in the context of disability but like an exoskeleton which is essentially a piece of equipment that will surround the body and act as a motor or a vehicle for that  body to to move or to function. So somebody who might have spinal cord injury and is not capable of innovating from the waist down, using an exoskeleton could essentially mobilize, there are some big names like ReWalk.This gapped but lightweight exoskeletons that you can get out of bed in the morning strap into and then have a control in your hand, or some of them are also gyro weight distributed control and voice command is a big thing now.  You can get up, stand up and walk around your apartment doing whatever because you have this bionicle suit attached to your legs which is crazy.


To make it clear, it’s not providing innovation so it doesn’t mean that somebody living with a spinal cord injury using this piece of equipment, but one thing that it does that is really cool (or at least in one of the examples that I saw) is it’s set up in a way that as you’re standing, the load is still through the patient’s legs which is super important for bone mineral density.  Even that grand reaction of when the feet land, bone density, fantastic circulation health of those joints. Because of the circulation being the only way your body can send nutrients to an area through the blood system or in the lymphatic system. That whole process is really slowed down just like we’re talking about with pressure sores, low circulation can cause a lot of issues so having that circulation getting up every day. As opposed to never getting up, it is a great thing for those people to have that opportunity to get up and walk around and upstairs. When they want to they can use the device to just sit down. But they don’t sit down on anything because it’s a mechanical thing, they can just sit down, it’s like the people you see in the middle of Queen Street Mall. You can see how the machine is better than the human in a way, things like that and it will get the innovation in a number of years. There was a quote that I heard while researching a lot of these new technologies and it was once you remove the brain from the limits of the physical body the limit is our imagination, which I thought was a really cool quote. Like I said, the idea of an exoskeleton has not just been hypothesized in the context of a disability but attempts essentially creating superhuman capability with the support of an exoskeleton.I’m sure there’s comics about it, you’re a bigger comic than 100. There is Iron Man? Probably, he’s number one. Good quote, that kind of leads into the next area of devices which are brain implants. I think you did a little bit more reading into brain implants tonight.I know Neuralink, I think it’s n-u-e-r-a link. Neurolink is under the same umbrella as Tesla, Elon Musk runs it and they’re planting chips inside of (I think) they’re still on animal testing at this point but the animals are able to use computers and a chimpanzee can control a computer with his brain, and if that doesn’t blow you away what will? It’s crazy because the potential only increases with the intricacy of the human brain. That’s exactly right, because they’ve already created computer chips in computing that is thousands of times faster than a human brain can comprehend, what’s the potential of putting one of these things into your brain and actually boosting your cognitive function. Seems pretty high to me. Little things like that, whether they use that in particular to then control particular devices, say an exo suit so the controlling is seamless. They’ll get better at building these things and using more human movements I guess. You can control those seamlessly with your brain, problems solved in a way mobility. Were you also talking about where they have this idea that essentially you could have a chip that’s inserted in the brain, and then maybe another chip that’s inserted below the level of injury. Even things like that, they’ve been hypothesized a fair bit and the theory sounds difficult but the technology is advancing. When is it going to stop? It doesn’t look like it is, after getting a chip in your brain getting another chip below the level of lesion and then just sending those coordinated electrical signals to the chip that fires it down the spinal cord or the rest of the remainder of the spinal cord. Then you have innovation to then propagate those signals because if we haven’t gone over it before essentially, when you have a lesion to the spinal cord it’s a road that is now blocked. A signal coming from the brain to innervate somewhere below if there is a lesion that travels past halfway, you’ll no longer get through. But if you could skip that lesion using something like a chip, that would be absolutely crazy insane and it’s actually similar to another piece of equipment or not necessarily a piece of equipment but another innovation that I’d seen. I can’t remember the particular scientist’s name but he’s sort of pioneering this decoding of the neural network of the brain. When you do enough of that essentially what you can do is you can decode simple motor movements, so you can understand where a motor movement originates in the central nervous system or from the brain. By using a piece of equipment you can essentially have what you were saying before in terms of chip you can have this seamless sort of engagement or activation of an exoskeleton just by using your own thought and not necessarily having to cross control with your hands. So you’re right, it’s crazy! I guess no implant then, where I believe it was like a helmet, I mean I’ve seen those cerebral things that people wear with all the points and they can pick up brain activity. That’s a lie, it requires direct implants but that’s probably better because that would be easier than wearing a helmet the entire time. Brain surgery is pretty tricky, well, if you look up some of the Neuralink stuff as well as Elon Musk, there’s so much footage on him talking about this stuff but the inserts are tiny, they take out this little tiny bit and then it’s gone. That heals up, the scars gone and no one’s any of the wiser that you have this super brain chip. Would you sign yourself up for it? Yeah I need it.


Innovations like that and the more you come across them, you look into them and some of them aren’t going to work out and that’s that, happens all the time. But it’s always interesting and enlightening to find out what people are actually thinking about to solve the problem of movement paralysis. One more thing that I saw which is still crazy but probably not as like further down the line as the other innovations that we’ve just spoken about was the innovation of prosthetics. I saw something which was essentially for like the shank or like the lower part of your lower limbs, where the prosthetic is using 3d printing. It’s perfectly formulated in accordance with someone’s body and if there is residual muscle left above the level of the amputation, they can essentially feed into the neural engagement at those muscles. Then this prosthetic gets real-time feedback. I’m telling you that this is the thing, either I’m doing a bad job at controlling this. But the way that it works is like this prosthetic foot


just two different terrains and the speed that you’re walking because if you’re walking or running the way that you strike with the foot or push with the toe it’s completely different at a different speed. This thing is when you see the researcher, you see the equipment that they’re using, it actually seems pretty realistic. To be a piece of technology that we might use sooner rather than later, it’s probably not cheap. It’s not, we’re not awaiting, the neural decoding which sounds difficult enough, so thank god they’ve nudded that bit out and then we can move on to the building something cool. I mean was there anything in terms of that in terms of the movie Breathe? True story about innovation and technology at the time. It really puts a perspective on how bad polio is back in the day. He wouldn’t take no for an answer in a way and he really pushed to live his life and he did that through     pushing the limits. Pushing the limits of technology and thought and innovation so I thought it was a great movie. That he well and truly changed the world I think and changed the lives of many people. I think you said earlier in the podcast, ventilators haven’t changed a whole bunch over the last 50 to 60 years. Engineering-wise, we’re not the best but looking at     progressions online, it seems mechanically very similar to what they were back then. Battery ventilator will last and I could be very wrong, I didn’t do the most extensive google search. I got four to eight hours was pretty standard battery life for a ventilator and they don’t really touch on how long a battery or the ventilator will last in this movie. I’m sure at least one or two if you’ve got one or two hours in like the 60s and now at four to eight this guy’s killing it. That’s it yeah cool so anything else to add from that movie age? No, just that it’s a good movie it’s worth checking out. I have one more sort of point I guess which is based on what you see with these new technologies. Even in the context of the film itself, there is a supposed idea that   without too much else going on there is the potential to eliminate physical disability. Not necessarily reinvigorate innovation   intrinsically to the body, but disability in terms of mobility. It’s very plausible in fact it’s very likely yes that at some point in the near future it will be a thing of the past. It’s a matter of time. As we said before it’s and it’s so exciting, especially working with   so many people who have mobility dysfunction. It is such a cool thing to think that could be a thing in our lifetime that we can see. People being able to use, and get, and having these catastrophic injuries won’t be so catastrophic anymore. It would be really cool. If you hear of anything else if we’ve spoken of a technology slightly incorrectly (which it would only be slight) or very incorrectly, or any other stuff that we’d love to hear about. I guarantee you we will. Hit us up, drop a comment, like and subscribe for sure. Thank you very much, I’ve been Harry, I’ve been Aj and we’ve been Be Physiology. Have a good night, you’re listening to Be Reel, series one of the Unaware Podcast. I feel like I’m more aware now!

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Be Physiology

At Be Physiology we focus on exercise and movement for the management and improvement of neurological and chronic conditions.

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Trent Brock

mobile exercise physiologist
I have had 3 major passions throughout my life; exercise, competitive sports, and a strong will to help others. Those 3 factors made it an easy decision to pursue a career as an exercise physiologist. By encouraging and facilitating evidence-based exercise rehabilitation, I can help individuals living with various chronic conditions, particularly those living with neurological conditions.
I see exercise physiology as an extremely beneficial practice that enables clients to experience an improved quality of life. Personally, being able to provide insight into exercise and other tools that can equip clients with helpful skills and wellbeing improvements is extremely fulfilling. Being able to improve not only an individual, but their support network’s day-to-day life fills me with great joy and motivates me to continue to be better so that I can do better. I understand that everyone has a different view of exercise and there is no one-size fits all approach, so I operate with an open and adaptive mind, supported by evidence-based practices. If you or anyone that you know is looking to improve their quality of life and begin a journey to improved living, or just have any general questions, get in touch and let's have a chat!
Michelle Marais AEP

Michelle Marais

mobile exercise physiologist
My passion for movement, health, and helping others led me to become an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Through this role, I facilitate exercise-based rehabilitation for individuals with various chronic conditions, with a primary interest and area of expertise in neurological conditions.
To me, exercise physiology is about equipping clients with valuable skills that make daily tasks easier and empowering them to achieve their goals while enjoying the process.I take great pride in being a part of my clients' rehabilitation journey and exploring new methods with them to find the optimal exercise approach that works best for them.If you have any questions or are interested in starting your journey to a happier, healthier lifestyle, please feel free to reach out to me.
Angus Sullivan AEP

Angus Sullivan AEP

Mobile Exercise Physiologist
As an accredited exercise physiologist, I see my role as an opportunity to facilitate a safe and effective environment for my clients to explore their physical capabilities, identify areas where they would like to improve, and then prescribe meaningful and appropriate activities to achieve these improvements.
I currently work predominantly with individuals living with disability and have a keen interest in acquired brain injuries (ABI), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), cerebral palsy (CP), spinal cord injuries (SCI) and rare neurological conditions.
To me, exercise physiology is not only about achieving narrow objective goals (eg. 1 Rep Max bench press), but improving an individual’s lifestyle and making activities of daily living easier (mobilising, transferring, feeding, and more).
I love what I do and enjoy learning new methods and discussing different opinions about exercise. I am always happy to chat about it so please get in contact if you have any questions or knowledge that you wish to share!
Our team of mobile exercise physiologists

Walter White

manager of good vibes
Being active has taken on a whole new meaning and I am 100% here for it. I like to fink I'm pretty active, and I keep up de vibes during team meetings - just making sure everyone's hands are always moving (across my butt) because I know dat any exercise is good exercise.
I keep close to everyone, real close, just to keep dem on their toes when dey walk by too.
Fings are always better when I am der so if you need some good vibes, I will be der for you.
Brb just going to have a snooze.
Love and licks,
Brittney Kenward

Brittney Kenward

co-founder / Operations manager
I’m NOT an exercise physiologist, but I do take my hat off to my team and get to admire the work they do each and every day. Be Physiology means that we’re able to apply our passion, and our experience, to make exercise physiology more accessible to the people who need it the most.
You might hear the team describe me as ‘the person who does everything else’, and that can be translated to ‘marketing and operations'. My background is marketing and business, which I’ve lived and breathed since 2011. I’ve worked in both the agency and corporate spaces, across many industries, with many amazing people and now with Be Physiology, I get to explore the health industry further and continue to meet the most incredible people who are the ones to define motivation.
If you’ve met Harry and Aj, you’d know that they don’t really need marketing - they’re genuine, have ridiculous amounts of charisma, knowledgeable, and extremely passionate about helping people to be a better version of themselves. But, sometimes getting an introduction is the hardest part and that’s where I come in.
If you want to chat, a coffee, a laugh, I’m always here to make one or all of them happen.

So call me and let’s keep sharing the love!
Keegan Betts AEP

Keegan Betts AEP

mobile exercise physiologist
As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, my work is driven by my passion for movement, health, and empowering others. With my experience working with individuals of all ages who have neurological conditions such as autism, stroke, and cerebral palsy, I focus on delivering activity-based therapy to optimise their independence.
Seeing people empowered and handling daily tasks easier is incredibly rewarding, as well as being able to give others the tools to improve their mental health and prevent secondary health conditions.
I know the importance of creating a welcoming and safe environment particularly when improving our health and I always strive to ensure everybody feels supported by the team around them and receives the highest level of care.
Get in touch today and let's make it happen.
Kristen McCluskey

Kristen McCluskey

Mobile Exercise Physiologist
If you spend as little as 10 minutes a day exercising, it will still make a huge difference to your overall physical and mental health - this is a fact and it is very often underappreciated! The benefits of exercise don’t discriminate and the rumours are true, exercise is medicine.
Spinal cord injuries, neurological conditions and women’s health are areas I find to be very dynamic and that I am particularly passionate about, but all aspects of exercise physiology are unique and have a significant impact on people’s everyday lives and I want to continue bringing it to those who will benefit the most from it.
I'm passionate about learning new methods and learning what my clients enjoy and how they approach exercise. I am always happy to chat about the many benefits and outcomes of exercise physiology so please get in contact if you have any questions or knowledge that you wish to share.
If you’re interested in learning more about who I am or want to ask any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch at .
Charlotte Gill

Charlotte Gill

marketing assistant
My name is Charlotte, and I'm a sports enthusiast currently studying for a marketing degree. Although I am not an exercise physiologist, I have a passion for sports having a background in ski instructing and adaptive skiing. Like the team, I believe exercise is medicine and share a similar passion and values to help and motivate others I meet.
I've been fortunate enough to work globally with a background in event management, ski instructing, administrating, and climbing supervisor. However, working alongside the Be Physiology team as my dream role in marketing is a highlight. If you have had the pleasure of meeting the team, you will know their genuine, funny, knowledgeable, and passionate to help others. These are values that I also pride myself in, and I am so fortunate to be surrounded by like-minded colleagues.
Harry White AEP

Harry White AEP

co-founder / supervisor
Exercise physiology combines two of my favourite things: health and helping people. As an accredited exercise physiologist with more than seven years’ clinical experience, I have treated people presenting with a wide variety of health conditions and concerns, postural issues, chronic injuries and rehabilitation needs.
My expertise is spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders and helping my clients to achieve an improved quality of life through rehabilitation and functional training. Rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders can be slow but incredibly rewarding for clients when results are achieved, no matter how small. Assisting people through learning useful skills and functional training is the most important role that an EP can play to help people lead a more fulfilled life.
Working for many years with people who have suffered serious injury or live with a disability, I know that taking a proactive approach to your health changes your life. If you care for your body, it will take care of you.
I’m passionate about helping people live a long, healthy and active life, so call today.