Erica Demarch is the CEO and Founder of Step and Connect and the inventor of Balance Matters®.
After graduating with a Master's degree in Physical Therapy from Boston University in 2002, Erica started her career at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey where she worked primarily with the neurological population and specialized in traumatic brain injury.
In 2006, she moved to New York City where she continued to build upon her neurological expertise by working with the geriatric and multitrauma population at New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center. In 2010, she moved to Denver to work at South Valley Physical Therapy, a specialized vestibular and neurology clinic.
In 2008, Erica became certified in vestibular rehabilitation through Emory University and in 2009 completed the National Parkinson Foundation Allied Team Training. As a trained Parkinson’s Wellness Recovery clinician expert, Erica teaches specialized exercise classes with the Parkinson Association of the Rockies
She is a certified instructor in ‘A Matter of Balance’
which is an evidence-based falls prevention program that was developed at Boston University for older adults who are limited in activity due to fear of falling.
Erica is also a certified instructor of ‘N’Balance’ which is an evidence-based falls prevention program developed by the Consortium for Older Adult Wellness. This system was designed using the same principles of human kinetics that inspired FallProof!, a balance program created by California State University, Fullerton.
She has been treating clients with balance and walking problems in a wide variety of settings for 15 years. Her clinical expertise in neurorehabilitation has led her to found Step and Connect, a company that offers educational programs and clinical services geared towards promoting balance. Erica has taken all her experience, knowledge, and inspiration from her patients over the years to develop, manufacture and bring to market the patented product Balance Matters®.
Erica speaks at multiple conferences and support groups on the importance of incorporating balance into programs. She also participated in research at Regis University studying the effects of multisensory feedback on the automaticity of walking using a home exercise program for people with Parkinson’s Disease.
Philosophy of Clinical Care
Erica's philosophy of clinical care is that people move better when they understand their bodies and exercise prescription must be based on evidence. Her approach to exercise is teaching clients how exercise connects to their function and goals. She strives to help clients of all ages understand their bodies and know what exercises regimens are best for them in order to proactively prevent injury and/or improve function. She believes clients should be referred to physical therapy before problems with balance arise. She believes wellness exams should become normal practice where posture, strength, flexibility, neuromotor (balance, coordination, agility), and aerobic capacity are assessed.
She emphasizes optimism to all her clients by encouraging them to focus on how they want to feel instead of how they don't want to feel. Rather than thinking, “I don't want to fall” she suggests for clients instead to think, “I am strong and balanced”. By simply changing words and thoughts to be positive during exercise, clients begin to feel a greater sense of mobility, agility, and balance!
Erica is interested in incorporating sensorimotor exercises and in how feedback, cues and verbal instructions can change how people move and balance.