Tim Ferriss Blog - Revisited


Strokes are often brushed off because witnesses (and victims themselves) aren't aware of the warning signs.  This is what happened to my paternal grandfather, and the results were permanently disabling.  The damage would have been reversable had it been detected earlier.

Bystanders can now recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions of someone who is displaying symptoms (loss of coordination, slower than normal verbalization or thinking, etc.).  The acronym STR for "STRoke" will help you remember:

Ask the person to SMILE.

Ask them to TALK and form a simple sentence (i.e. "It is warm out today.")

Ask them to RAISE both arms to shoulder height.

If he or she has trouble with any one of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

Here is a more comprehensive list of stroke warning signs from the American Heart Association.

(Hat tip to: Carl Fredericks)

5/26/2009 08:19:19 am

It's really useful to have no-nonsense tips like this to stay focused in a "situation." I remember in university that I once remained quite frozen while a guy in the class was having a seizure. It wasn't because I didn't "know what to do," but because I was running through my mind all the things I know about seizures. That's when a simple checklist is a perfect tool.


5/26/2009 08:28:51 am

I was told by my 21yo friend who had a stroke a few years ago about F.A.S.T.

Face, Arms, Speech, Time to call 911!

Derek t
5/26/2009 08:29:27 am

i will remmebr this all my life

5/26/2009 08:31:29 am

Such a simple process can be so revealing! Any heart attack hacks?

5/26/2009 08:35:39 am

Judging by a few of your tweets and this post, it sounds like someone close to you has recently had some health issues. My prayers go out and I hope that you're hangin in there.

5/26/2009 08:53:06 am


Strokes don't have to be permanently disabling - unless they're fatal.

A bit of background: I 'fell' into reading about a modality that sounded intriguing to me several years ago when a friend mentioned it in conversation. My traditional education was as a physical educator and teacher. It has now grown to encompass neuroscience. I am continually fascinated by learning, the human body, and what enables high performance- and how these are all complexly intertwined.

What I began reading about, and later saw first hand, has astounded me. So astounded, in fact, that I pursued a 4 year certification in it. It showcases our brain's uncanny ability to 'rewire' around damaged areas. The premise behind what I do is based on the work of physicist, engineer, and judo master, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais.

I have seen and participated in the rehabilitation of those who have suffered a stroke. I have yet to see a person not eclipse what was thought to be possible in terms of their recovery. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor (of TED fame) utilized this method to reeducate herself to be able to speak after she suffered a massive stroke. It (both the Anat Baniel Method and Feldenkrais Method) remains under the radar for now, as it simply doesn’t fit into the current paradigm of our medical system (it is a learning based method, not treatment based). However, the results cannot be denied.

I encourage you, or anyone you know, to seek out an Anat Baniel Method or Feldenkrais Method practitioner if you or someone you know suffers a traumatic brain injury or experiences neurological issues. It is even beneficial to those who are fortunate enough to not have to deal with those types of huge challenges in their lives.

I wish the best to you, your grandfather, and your family, Tim.

Best Regards,

Chad Estes

Matt Moran
5/26/2009 09:04:14 am

Thanks Tim - I'll pass that on to my mum. My dad's had a few minor strokes, lost his speech for a while but back from it (sorta). Useful info that could save lives.

5/26/2009 09:42:34 am

Another good acronym for stroke detection is F.A.S.T:
Face distortion
Arm weakness
Speech (slurred)
Time - Act fast!

As long as you remember at least one...

P.S.: This appears to be another trademark Tim Ferriss experimental sites... testing out Weebly?

Tim Ferriss
5/26/2009 09:56:06 am

Thanks for all of great comments, guys! This is indeed another experimental site, and -- yes -- there have been a number of health issues close to me recently.

More to come :)

All the best,

Tim Ferriss

5/26/2009 10:27:50 am

I hope I never need this information, but it's the type of thing I'll remember if the need arises.

Great post and I'm looking forward to what this site has in store.

5/26/2009 11:46:41 am

Thanks for this post.

I have had migraines almost monthly for many years, and been told by a doctor that this makes me more likely to have a stroke...which left me wondering, "If it was a stroke, how would I know?" This got even scarier when a friend suffered a stroke, but got help too late because his symptoms were mistakenly brushed off as "just a migraine."

The STR and FACE tips make it clear. These are definitely not migraine symptoms, nor or they signs of someone who is simply drunk. I feel better knowing how to spot a real emergency, and knowing that people around me and my loved ones are more likely to know, too. Thanks for spreading the word, Tim!

5/26/2009 01:56:26 pm

Thanks for providing a short easy-to-remember list.

It's helpful to know how to spot potential problems quickly before damage becomes permanent.

In times of emergency, we might forget. A credit-card-sized printout would be a useful reminder.


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