Tag Archives: disabilities

With Head to Goal


Institute for Special Systemic Therapy

The Institute of Special Systemic Therapy is considered as a competent provider of therapies to promote and restore the health of patients. Our main focus is dedicated to the rehabilitation of language, speech, movement, brain function, nerve function, pain, hearing impairments, dizziness, sleeping and snoring and sleep apnea.

Staff at the ISST are proud of more than thirty years of successful work with patients of all ages from over ninety countries around the world. Neurophysiological treatment methods and patented technical aids, that are developed and applied from ISST, have received international attention. The successful work at ISST has been proven by numerous media reports and is well documented by an impressive list of scientific publications.


was founded in 1984 by Dr.Klaus and Sabine Berndsen. This was created under the influence of many years of therapeutic experience, consistent research and cooperation with universities, hospitals and international specialists. Together Dr Klaus and Sabine have created and developed new diagnostic and therapeutic methods as well as technical aids for ill and handicapped people. Their methods and devices have become known internationally and have been publicised by the media worldwide. As authors Berndsen/Berndsen have published numerous scientific papers. They have also been granted patents for their specialised medical devices and aids.

The innovative ISST team works on a high level of engagement and continuity, based on current scientific research, to allow the best possible results. ISST is organised in a tranquil, very personal and family based environment. Thus the important, trusting relationships between patient and therapists are always guaranteed. Patients come to ISST from all over the world and the ISST team have English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic language skills. Interpreters and nursing staff are also available on request.

We are looking forward an intense close cooperation with our patients!

Sabine Berndsen
Managing Director
Dr. Klaus Berndsen
Scientific Direktor


Upcoming Events

Aktuell keine Veranstaltung

More events

Place of our practice

We are not born in Unna, but very long and happy here. We enjoy freedom, openness, interdisciplinary networking and diversity. As creative people we are guided by cultural highlights such as the International Light Art Museum. We lose bad ideas under the impression of this fantastic art. The good ones we use for our imagination, our actions and our patients.

Success for the patient and user

We work for the success of our patients and customers, not for our own glorification. We learn from them and optimize our qualifications not only through professional training, but also through a competent analysis of the different problems and the resulting of constant creative development and adaptations of individual assistance.

How we work

We do not consider and treat the symptoms of disease. We adjust ourselves individually to the patient. We always seek the causes of his problems. Together with the patient, we develop a partnership-based therapy in which the patient is extensively informed about the causes and therapy. Mutual respect and acceptance are important factors.

Our treatments take into account the complex mechanisms of the human organism, the psyche and important – old and new – findings from general research and brain research.

With head to the goal

The numerous interactive functions of the head and neck region with effects on breathing, eating, drinking, swallowing, hearing, metabolism, nervous functions, body balance and body statics are particularly considered.

Together with the patient, we develop strategies that prevent recurrences and have a positive effect on health and joy of life.

Ideas and creativity

Ideas for new methods and projects are often derived from intensive work with patients. We developed new therapeutic approaches and medical devices that were urgently needed for the rapid and effective improvement of patients’ quality of life. These patients suffered e.g. Dysphagia, swallowing, tinnitus, pain, etc. Some of these developments are now being applied worldwide.

We also developed speech aids for throat-less people, non-communicating communicators, respiratory devices, learning or re-learning of walking or body motor skills and products such as FaceFormer, LoopCup, hearing aids, communicator, intermittent heat treatment for neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain. Seat cushion with spring systems against decubitus, measuring devices for hearing tests and tinnitus measurement, electronic noise protection, etc. Some of these products have been patented.

Professional presentation

We want professional and ethical discussions on the same level, based on logic, analysis and experience. Ignorant dogmatics we encounter with dialectical argumentation. We are pleased to receive invitations to present us in information and expert forums. Comments and questions in our block are welcome.

What we do not react to

Destructive arguments for delimiting inappropriate hierarchical positions or unnecessary authority destroy the discourse. Conflicts with such only benefit the aggressor. This would take a step closer to their goal of destroying important innovative initiatives. They are basically ignored by us.

Selection of our employees

When selecting our employees, we attach great importance to the combination of professional expertise and a lived value orientation in our thinking and acting.

Everyone in our team has an excellent qualification, experience and the associated talent.

Important characteristics such as punctuality, reliability and honesty are further bases for reliable cooperation with our partners.

This is how we work

Ideas for new projects often come from direct work with patients or from inquiries from health care institutions. In the beginning, it was exclusively the help we developed for our patients. They were urgently needed by them as a quick, effective improvement in the quality of life. Such patients suffered e.g. dysphagia, tinnitus or pain. Subsequently, other health care facilities sent those affected, for whom we should invent something. We developed mainly individual aid for individual humans, e.g. speech aids for throat-less people, communicators for non-speaking people, respiratory aids or devices for learning or re-learning walking or body motor skills.

Afterwards, we developed numerous new products like FaceFormer, LoopCup, hearing aids, Communicator, device with intermittent heat treatment against neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, seat cushion with spring systems against pressure ulcers, measuring devices for hearing and tinnitus measurement, electronic noise protection, etc. Patents were granted for some of them.

We are also constantly looking for products from other manufacturers. We assess and test this for suitability and quality. If they meet all our criteria, we recommend them to our customers. Our customers’ experience helps us constantly optimize processes and products.

Development to the International Center for Rehabilitation

Numerous specializations, which have developed over 30 years at the ISST-Unna, have resulted in complex rehabilitation therapies.

First, we did treatments for patients with Down-Sydrom, lips-jaw-nose deformities, swallowing disorders, speech disorders, voice disorders, stuttering, autism, developmental delays, hearing disorders, tinnitus, dizziness, malocclusions, pain in the joints, facial pain, shoulder pain, neck pain or patients with stroke.

Today, also patients with severe disabilities from various parts of the world come to the ISST-Unna: Body impairments, brain diseases, accidental injuries and various syndromes.

Methods such as Neuro-Cell-Stimulation-Therapy (NCST), FaceFormer Therapy (FFT), PhilPaso Therapy (PPT) have been specially developed by us for these patients. Dr. Klaus and Sabine Berndsen are often invited by international clinics to work with patients and explain the treatments.

Intensive Therapy

Intensive therapies have been given by ISST in Unna for many years. Local, national and international patients have taken advantage of this offering.

Until 2010, patients from 92 different countries have taken part or introduced themselves to the treatment opportunities at ISST.

The goal of the intensive therapies is the significant improvement of functional operation or functional compensation of inherited or acquired disabilities: Diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, diabilities due to accidents, syndroms and of disruptions in the following activities:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Swallowing
  • Motion
  • Body tension
    and balance
  • Speaking
  • Perception
    and cognition

The special therapies of ISST are well-known for their effectiveness and are supervised by experienced, long-standing academically and practically trained ISST therapists. Besides expert professionalism, an empathetic and individual conduct with the patients is furthermore an important basis for a success therapy outcome. The therapy module is designed for every individual patient.

ISST Principles

  • Supervision of individual treatment in a well-observed and familial atmosphere with specially trained rehabilitation personnel.
  • Execution of highly controlled quality standards when necessary
  • A trusting relationship between therapists and patients
  • Avoidance of site and personnel expansions at ISST
  • Limited number of intensive patients at any one time during treatment – maximum of 5 patients

Variable Intensive Therapy Time Courses

  • Compact weekly
    Duration of 1 to 12 weeks
  • Daily treatment schedule
    of 3 to 5 units
  • Daily for several hours
  •  Weekend schedule

The duration of the intensive courses are agreed between ISST and the individual patient.

Accomodation During Treatment

All intensive patients and their loved ones are accomodated outside of the ISST premises. There are hotels, private pensions or apartments near ISST available for accomodation needs. Outside the therapy schedule, nursing staff may be ordered when necessary. The costs for food, lodging, nursing care, etc. are not covered in the treatment costs.

Supplementary Services

Supplementary services are available if required:

  • Shuttle service between airport and ISST
  • Daily shuttle service to the treatment
  • Hotel or apartment booking
  • Car rental booking
  • Nursing care booking

Intensive Therapy Costs

Intensive therapies are private demands. Generally, patients are responsible for the treatment costs. If the costs are to be paid by a third party, the patient must clarify the arrangement before the start of therapy. A signed statement from the third party of compulsory payment must be presented to ISST prior services rendered.

The OSP therapy has been successfully applied in numerous indications such as TMJ problems, snoring and sleep apnea, paralysis, lack mouth or tongue circuit malfunction. The OSP used are characterized by a high user acceptance. The desired orofacial reactions typically occur convincingly.

Oral Stimulation Plate Therapy
acc. Dr. Berndsen/Berndsen

therapie-osp-04-wAccording to the gum plate concept of Dr. Castillo Morales, Dr. Klaus and Sabine Berndsen at ISST researched and developed the OSP Therapy since 1989. As a result, more than 3000 OSP therapies with differing stimuli and materials for patients have been created and the stimulation-reaction influences measured.

Ultimately, OSP developed from 16 distinctively individual stimulus bodies which are integrated in a soft plate system. OSP provokes intraoral stimulations such as tongue, lip, soft palate activation and influence on complex functions: Swallowing, breathing, chewing, neurological behaviors, ventilation of the middle ear and improvement proprioceptive activities. OSP supports initiation, correction, and automation of basic tensions, basic positions and functional models.

A range of typical OSP

A range of typical OSP

Stimulus body variations, variations in material hardness and strength are decisive for the successful course of therapy. Scientific investigations support the successfulness of the OSP concepts and prove greater advantages as oppose to other soft palate therapies.

The necessary quality standards of the novel neurophysiological OSP therapies are selected in cooperation of universities, dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, dental technicians and clinics. OSP manufacturers, special laboratories are trained and require a certification for the OSP production by the specialists of the Dr. Berndsen GmbH company.

Indications for OSP

  • Difficulties eating and drinking
  • Change from special nutrition to physiological nutrition
  • Changing from mouth to nose breathing
  • Special handicaps, syndromes (i.e Down’s Syndrome)
  • Cleft palate
  • Failure to close mouth
  • Hypersalivation
  • Facial paralysis (i.e. after stroke)
  • Neurological problems
  • Tongue enlargement (Macroglossia)
  • Incorrect tongue function
  • Post tongue operations and by tongue paralysis
  • Initiation of correct swallowing behaviors
  • Preventive jaw orthopedics
  • Mandibular joint problems
  • Facial, shoulder and neck pain
  • Snoring and sleep apnea

Research Results

Comparative clinical scientific studies of the OSP therapy of Berndsen/Berndsen draw the following conclusion:

“After application of OSP therapy (Berndsen/Berndsen) show that within a six-month observation period a noticeable increase in application acceptance and the desired oral-facial reactions were adapted to convincingly. With this result, it can be assumed that the application of OSP therapy in an individual case is not only more comfortable, physically, than other stimulus plate applications, increasing compliance of its use. The activation of desired form and function was also adapted to. The variations of the OSP systems which are offered from Berndsen/Berndsen take into account the necessary individual stimulation intensity and direction.”

University of Hamburg, Department of Orthodontics.

OSP Characteristics

Individual OSP are made from soft materials, which are developed and approved for medical technology. The product does not exert pressure or create unwanted irritations in the mouth. The use of the OSP in the mouth does not uncomfortably fill the mouth because of the thinness of the material and therefore hinders insignificantly the familiar spatial settings within the mouth.

OSP Application

OSP are placed in the soft palate three times daily (not during feeding) for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. In some cases, the device is worn at night. The OSP adheres to the gum tissue. The adhesion of the OSP may be helped with the use of menthol-free fixative creams.

Application Example – Child with Down’s Syndrome

Before OSP Application - Child with Down's Syndrome

1. Before OSP Application

Insertion of OSP - Child with Down's Syndrome

2. Insertion of OSP

Spontaneous reaction on OSP - Child with Down's Syndrome

3. Spontaneous reaction on OSP



Korbmacher H., Berndsen, K., Berndsen S., Kahl-Nieke, B.: Vorstellung eines modifizierten Stimulationsplattensystems bei Kindern mit Down Syndrom. In: Forum Logopädie, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Bundesverbandes für Logopädie, Heft 3, Mai 2003, S. 14-16