The Treadwell Story

The serendipitous discovery of increasing the velocity of blood in the circulatory system was made while providing physical therapy in patient's homes.


Treadling, the movement of feet in a toe-heel-toe-heel motion has been employed for centuries to power machines including spinning wheels, looms, sewing machines, player pianos and organs.  The story of the early textile industry can be told by those early treadlers.  Threads spun using a spinning wheel were woven into fabrics by looms and those fabrics were made into furniture coverings, rugs and clothing using early treadle sewing machines. Music was enjoyed with treadle powered organs and player pianos.

Fast forward to this century and witness a new and novel application for treadling!   It all began in 2004 when a treatment based on physical therapy practices was impossible.  The result was going to be a new dependent, rather than independent, life-style for an 84 year old woman.  We all understand the aim of physical therapy is to return the patient to their pre-injury or hospitalization life style to the extent possible.  Yet in this woman’s particular case, the physical therapist was unable to put in place a treatment plan that provided a pathway to increased strength, improved health and a continuing independent lifestyle.


In the mind's eye of this physical therapist a downward health spiral was pictured as the mental checklist of usual therapy options was eliminated one by one.  Then he noticed a treadle-powered sewing machine in a corner of the room.  The therapist asked if she ever used the sewing machine; she indicated that she had not been able to operate the machine for several years.  At that instant serendipity intervened and the thought that “If she can power this with the belt disconnected then maybe we have something here!”   She was queried as to her willingness to try using the treadle if the power belt was removed and she agreed.

Following removal the woman was seated at the sewing machine. She put her feet on the treadle and was able to move it in the customary motion used when operating a treadle.  When asked if this motion was causing discomfort, she replied that it was not.  The physical therapist observed that she was maintaining the motion without undue effort. He was eager to have her try anything that might benefit her condition. The physical therapist prescribed that she use the treadle for twenty minutes each day.

To the surprise and satisfaction of the physical therapist this compromised woman showed significant health gains within two weeks of commencing the daily treadling sessions. Further gains led to adding usual strength building PT protocols to her therapy plan while continuing the treadling therapy.

The woman’s improving health status resulted in her ability to walk with the physical therapist three times per week for up to a mile after only ninety days of therapy!  Thus, the novel and remarkable treatment protocol of treadling for improved therapy outcomes and improved wellness was born.

The end to this success story was the woman retained her ability to live independently.  Richard Hand, PT, was rewarded with the knowledge that this woman and her husband would be able to remain in their home and continue to enjoy an independent lifestyle.


Continuing discovery and refinement of treadling treatment protocols began by applying the newly discovered methodology to other patients with varied health issues. Health outcomes consistently resulted in gains that superseded expectations from traditional therapy without this added methodology.

Mr. Hand was convinced that treadling for improved therapy outcomes and improved wellness was a new and valid tool for physical therapists and applied for a patent on his newly discovered therapy methodology. The methodology results in up to a 9 fold increase in blood flow velocity as compared to the at rest velocity, remarkably, without any increase in the vital signs!  The methodology also provides the "impossible with any other known exercise or activity", ability for the user to engage the calf pump mechanism for thousands of repetitions every day without incurring fatigue or repetitive motion syndromes. This is a novel, unique and remarkable methodology of increasing the velocity of blood flow in the circulatory system provides healing acceleration and a myriad of health benefits.  Richard Hand, PT established Treadwell Corporation and commenced developing the Treadwell Methodology™ in December 2005. The Treadwell Methodology™ for improving physical therapy outcomes and improving wellness was granted a patent in February 2011. The Treadwell Methodology™ combines the patented ,near-effortless methodology and an ergonomically correct device design with current best therapeutic practices for accelerating healing and health outcomes.

Treadwell Corporation

Members of :

First Flight Venture Center

RTP, NC 27709

Union River Center for Innovation

Ellsworth, ME 04605


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Treadwell Corporation