Internationally Renowned Activator Poles

Learn about an internationally renowned device called ACTIVATOR Poles developed to facilitate balance,  strengthening, posture and normalize gait pattern.  Excepts from this webinar are from the International Stroke Congress, International 200 Years of Parkinson’s Disease and the National Fall Prevention Conference in Canada.  Over the 13 years of implementation, there has been a steady shift in practice to the use of ACTIVATOR Poles as an effective alternative to canes and to delay/reduce the use of walkers (when appropriate). The prescription of walking poles is now considered best practices in neurology, orthopedics, geriatrics, cancer rehab and spinal conditions across Canada as well as being prescribed in UK, Ireland and Australia.

This webinar will explain the development of the patented ACTIVATOR Poles and associated technique by a Canadian therapist to fit the needs of rehabilitation. As well, a brief overview of 9 studies on the Activator Poles currently underway in Canada and the renowned Royal National Orthopedic Hospital in the UK will be provided. The pros and cons of traditional mobility devices will be explained as well as the contraindications for the use of walking poles. The use of ACTIVATOR Poles as a motivating and highly effective tool for seated, standing and pre-gait exercises will be described.


By the end of the webinar, participants will:

  • Learn 10 researched benefits of walking poles.
  • Be able to perform the 4 steps of the Activator technique designed for balance and stability.
  • Understand the differences between walking poles compared to (or in conjunction with) canes, crutches and walkers.
  • Learn how  Activator Poles are used with neurology, orthopedic, geriatrics and spinal conditions
  • Learn 5 sample innovative seated and standing exercise with poles







Bilateral Exercises for Parkinson’s, BI and Stroke now found in PT-Helper App

Date:  Wed Feb 20, 2019 at noon EST (9 am PST).  Click below to listen to the recorded webinar. 

Recorded Webinar


Mandy Shintani has practiced as an occupational therapist for 30 years and is a Gerontologist.  She is an international conference speaker and recently presented at the 200 years of Parkinson’s Disease Conference in Newcastle, Australia and the National Fall Prevention conference in Toronto, Canada.

Fourteen years ago, she developed the ACTIVATOR Poles (patent) and technique specifically for rehabilitation.  The Poles are prescribed extensively across Canada as part of best practices for mobility & active living and are the focus of 9 current studies in fall prevention, dementia, posture and mobility.  5,000 therapists and instructors in Canada have completed the course she developed on the use of Nordic walking poles for fitness and rehabilitation. She has been featured numerous times in national media in Canada and was a finalist in the prestigious YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Provide variety in your routine, try double poling

Use the standard rhythm and technique, but swing both arms forward at the same time planting the boot tips slightly behind the handles. Then, keeping your arms straight, press down on the base of the handles, walk between your poles and feel your arms extend past your thighs and behind your body.
Barb Gormley, Director of Education

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