Myofascial Release

Gentle Reader,

My newest therapeutic intervention for progressive osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis is Myofascial Release.  Since hurting my back in 1992 and dealing with arthritis, I have sampled and treated with private Feldenkrais (Becci Parsons).  Becci restored me to functional walking, sitting, rising up from sitting, lying down and even entering and exiting a car.  The next therapy was private sessions with Mary Sue Corrado, a therapeutic Pilates specialist, who, after about eight years, helped me develop enough core strength to enjoy yoga without hurting myself.  You can read my arthritis history here, and longer explanations of both Feldenkrais and Pilates.

 

I have had some sessions with a Rolfing specialist.  I get regular deep tissue massage and have benefitted from acupuncture.  Myofascial Release goes to the heart, the source of the structural problems in my body that contribute to pain.  It does not cure arthritis, but it helps the body gain fluid movement.

Through a series of synchronicities, a friend introduced me to Cedron Sterling. She suffered from knee pain and her doctors recommended knee replacement surgery.  Instead of surgery, Cedron worked with her through myofascial release therapy.  The restrictions melted away and she walks without pain.

I decided to try this treatment.  I have a lot of pain in my lower back, hips and feet and my right leg goes numb especially when standing around for a long period of time, choir practice and performance, museum viewing for example.  In a recent diagnostic MRI, the sports doctor could see bulging discs in the thoracic and lumbar spine, but did not feel I was at risk for a major problem that would interrupt a walking tour in England.  It is troublesome to have a leg go numb, I can tell you, even if danger of debilitating injury is slim.

You can read about the therapy on Cedron Sterling’s web site.  You can listen to his teacher’s talk about the treatment and the resistance to embracing it as a viable therapy.

The fascia is a thin film, an internal skin that holds muscles, organs, blood vessels, tendons in place, interconnecting everything in our bodies from the top of the head to the big toe.  Over the years, I have had a number of surgeries, strains, twists and each time the fascia adjusts its hold on the effected muscles, tendons and organs.  Things get tight.

For example, I had a mastectomy of the left breast in 1971 and the scar area has been rigid for 44 years.  By applying gentle pressure into the barrier of resistance, Cedron was able to release all tightness in the rib cage, the chest wall, the muscles and tissue where the incision was made all those years ago.  My whole left side opened up.  My left arm swings wide and strong without restriction.

He has worked on my feet which have large bunions and an inflexible second toe that has held an immovable arch after a neuroma in the ball of my foot.  I have been able to walk long distances without pain because of the masterful craftmanship of Dr. Huppin.  He fashioned an orthotic which spread the weight bearing function of the foot out and away from this damaged area.  Cedron has released the holding that caused the problem in the first place.  I have been grateful for Dr. Huppin’s band-aid, but I realize now that it is no more than a band-aid.  Correcting the problem at its root requires release of the fascia which was stuck in a holding position that served some purpose at one time.

Myofascial Release cannot make the body new with one treatment.  You are on the treatment table for 90 minutes and the cost is $160 per treatment.  Insurance usually does not reimburse for this treatment.  I will probably have upwards of twelve sessions before the most binding fascia relaxes enough to give me a fluid range of motion.  Once we agree that one to two times a week is no longer necessary, I will return for fine tuning monthly or every couple of months.

I am taller.  I can breathe with more lung capacity. I have not had any numbness in my right leg.  Better yet, I am learning how to do my morning stretches more slowly, meeting the point of resistance and gently, with the breathe, increasing the pressure and range of motion as the restrictions melt.  This is not about pushing through pain.  It is about release.  Athletes, young and old, find new movement, relief from chronic pain.  People who sit at desks all day, or do repetitive activities like playing the violin, giving facials and massage or bagging groceries can get relief.  Self care instruction is part of the deal.

I recommend myofascial release therapy highly.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

Please add your comments and be in touch.  206 933 1889.

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Go ahead and dig in the garden

Dear Gentle Reader,

With the strains of Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons setting the tone, spring has finally come to Seattle. While so many of you are enjoying unseasonably warm weather, we have seen snow flurries, much rain and the thermometer has not climbed into the upper 50’s. Until the last couple of days.  The parking lots at the nurseries were full this weekend.  I came home with 11 bags of top soil and 6 roses.  Getting these in the ground usually means an aching body.  My friend, after a day of digging, complained that she couldn’t bend down to tie her shoes.  What’s a person to do who nurses osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis?

Here are some suggestions:

On your hands and knees.  Perhaps you, like me, are most comfortable crawling around on your hands and knees.  My friend, catching sight of my knee pads hanging from the wall, asked what sort of art object that was.  Those are my knee pads.  I have them hung right by the back door so I grab them when I head outside to do a gardening chore, however small or brief. If they are hidden away in some garden shed, you won’t put them on.  You’ll be in the garden and you’ll bend over to pull a weed and there goes the back.

A garden stool  I love my garden stool made of sturdy plastic. Upright I can sit on it to work in the barrels and containers, harvest pool beans and fava beans.  Inverted, I can kneel on it and use the legs as handles to lift me up.

Stretching i didn’t mention this first because I stretch everyday first thing in the morning, first on the Back2Life machine and then a few Feldenkrais hip opener moves followed by yoga down dog, runner’s lunge and plank.  Then while the oatmeal cooks, the seated routine with Jennifer Kreis. I blogged about Jennifer’s seating wake up exercises last Feb. 12, Yoga and Arthritis. I just checked her website: The DVD I love so much is now part of a set of 4 and they are currently discounted to $29.95.

Time limit  Don’t over do it.  The minute I sense a strain, I stop.  Manana es otro dia.  Tomorrow is another day.

I found this delightful forum on gardening which I’d like to share with you.  Enjoy the comments of these women as they share how they keep their bodies moving. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/accessible/msg091943101715.html  Together we will achieve more, and more comfortably.

Thanks for reading, and please send your suggestions so we can learn from your techniques.

Be well, Do Well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

Betsy Bell’s Health4U

206 933 1889

www.HiHohealth.com

I enthusiastically forster a person’s business development in the health and wellness field.

More Travel tips for a healthy back

Gentle Reader,

A month ago, reflecting on managing arthritis when traveling,  https://nowheelchair.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/pain-free-flying/, I promised more hints for healthy travel.  Here they are.

Overnight flights: these are the killers for a bad back, especially when you really do need that sleep to begin your first day functioning.  I can usually sleep with the help of a sleep aid, a neck pillow and a pillow for lumbar support.  You can buy these on line at Amazon I haven’t actually tried the one pictured, but will probably get it for my next big adventure mid February.  My granddaughter and I are off to Nicaragua with a group from Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral.  This is an all day trip and I chose a two stop itinerary.  You probably think I’m crazy.  I have found that shorter hops and getting up to change plans, actually helps maintain back health.  It is long flights that put the lower back at greatest risk.

We will probably be at the airport and through the check in and security screening with plenty of time to spare.  While waiting for my flight, I often lie on the floor in an out-of-the way spot and do some simple Feldenkrais and Pilates moves to line everything up before boarding.  Alicia will probably be totally embarrassed at her grandmother’s bizarre behavior.  It is easy to make a 13 yr. old uncomfortable!

Once we arrive at our hotel, I will do some simple stretches, mostly lying flat on my back before getting into bed.  Take the bed covering and lay it on the floor as a mat to protect yourself from the myriad leavings of many previous shoes and bare fee.  In the morning, find a chair without arms or the corner of the bed to sit on and do a series of sitting stretches.  I use Jennifer Kreis’s Hot Body, Cool Mind sitting series designed to wake up every joint and gently stretch every muscle.  I have been using this DVD and this particular segment for so many years that I have the moves memorized.  I think my immune system is greatly supported by the lymphatic thumping at the head, neck, inner elbow and underarms, chest, stomach and groin, then down the spine.  The same DVD has a standing chi gong segment, plus a Pilates routine (too rigorous for most of us dealing with spinal issues), a simple yoga routine I love following, and several other segments.  You certainly get your money’s worth when you buy this DVD.  My grandchildren think this little routine of mine at the corner of the bed is hilarious and they have teased me about it months after our trips together.  By the way if you are interested in the pictures from these trips, go to www.betsystrips.shutterfly.com.  Enjoy.

For those overnight flights getting to your destination between 6 and 9 in the morning, the best antidote to jet lag is outdoor walking.  Arriving in Ireland with May, and in Scotland with Danny and Carsten, we set out walking the town, the countryside, the castle grounds (save serious tourist investigation for later when you are rested).  Keep moving.  Stop for a snack when needed.  Tea helps.  When you check in to your hotel, maybe 30 minutes flat, but avoid a deep sleep.  Walk to a place for supper and then go to bed.  You will wake up remarkably rested and in tune with the new time zone.  Once traveling to India, I walked my legs off all day long in Bombay, now Mumbai.  There was no where to sit down, the parks occupied by homeless.  I knocked on the door of a church and asked if I could sit for a little while.  A little later I joined at lot of office workers in a cafeteria style restaurant, sitting at a long table and listening to their chatter.  I’ve never felt unsafe.  People are nice the world over.  As someone said, there are only 10 bad people in the world; they just move around a lot.

I carry a back pack instead of a purse.  This was recommended to me by my chiropractor years ago.  I know it’s hard to fashionable, but they make some really cute back packs these days.  When traveling, keep your eyes wide open and aware at all times, and pull that pack around in front to hug next to your chest at the slightest hint of crowded conditions or motor scooters approaching too close.  Never leave it hanging on the back of a chair.

My really important stuff, i.e.  money and passport, plane tickets, URail pass, CC and Drivers License, are always in a money belt.  If you haven’t heard of him,

Rick Steves, Europe Through the Back Door, is a travel guru and his store in Edmonds, WA (and on line) sells the most comfortable money belts ever made.  The material handles sweaty Latin American, Asian and African climates and there is a plastic lining to keep your documents and money from getting wet from your dripping sweat.

I just heard a story yesterday at our Nicaragua orientation about a woman whose back pack with her money in an outside pocket was on top of the bus transporting them to their next home stay.  A sudden down pour soaked her pack and her money was ruined.  USA dollars with a black bleed from a notebook making every bill’s denomination indistinguishable.  Keep your money in your money belt inside the plastic liner.   Put in on with your underpants every morning.  Loose change for the day’s expense can live in your pants pocket in a small purse.

Personally, I think the stress of travel can increase your arthritis twinges.  The money belt wearing practice and the back pack for your sun screen, water bottle, camera, notebook and guide book, can smooth out your day and reduce stress.  Keep your pain-reducing supplements or medicines for the day, plus your supplements for the next meal and a couple meal bars or snack bars in the back pack as well.

One last tip:  when walking, a brisk pace will keep your back healthier.  The museum walk is lethal.  I remind myself to pull up the pelvic floor while staring at a painting or waiting in line, a kegel exercise.  Straighten your shoulders and let your skeleton drop from the base of the skull.  You will fatigue much more slowly.  Take tea breaks to rest.  If it gets too bad, hang upside down.  Here I am doing that in Montreal.  My grandson hid when some other tourist came by.  Ah, youth.  They will have arthritis someday and perhaps he’ll remember his silly grandma.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving.

Betsy

Betsy Bell’s Healt4u

206 933 1889

www.HiHoHealth dot com

The Fat Trap

Dear Reader,

I have been thinking a lot about weight and arthritis, about weight loss and how challenging it is to begin and maintain a healthier relationship to food.  In my last post, I talked about the study that found our hypothalamus may be running the show.  If this regulating organ has been damaged by a long term diet of too rich food, is it possible to ever heal it and establish a new normal for ourselves?

Perhaps you saw this article in the New York Times on January 1, written by Tana Parker Pope.  I recommend it to you.  She has struggled with extra weight for years and takes heart and hope from the understanding she has about the hypothalamus and the possibility of actually changing its messaging system.

I am going to leave you with this long article from the NYTimes.  I would love to hear your reaction to it.  Please share.

Are you engaging in any winter sport?  I enjoyed my first day on cross country skis this past Wednesday and managed a pain free day with 2 Aleve at breakfast.  Thursday morning wasn’t bad either, maybe because I took a protein sports recovery drink with me and drank it on the bus coming home and again before bed.  The one I use is called Physique and is made by Shaklee.  It repairs torn muscle with the proteins, vitamins and minerals in it.  Thursday night I could feel a stiffening up and did some of my Pilates floor exercises before hottub and bed and this morning did a big routine of Feldenkrais, Pilates, weight lifting and other stretching and then took a long walk including a stair case with 190 treads.  All this helped keep me from arthritis pain.

What is your routine after a work out?  BTW when you climb stairs try walking up sideways, facing the railing, right shoulder toward to top.  Lift the left leg and place it on the step above crossing the right.  Then, weight on the left foot, step up with the right still  facing the railing.  Next step with the left foot, swing it behind and up.  You are going up the stairs with the left foot traveling in front and then in back and then in front.  Then turn to face the left shoulder to the top and do the weave with the right leg. This strengthens the sides of the knees.  We girls hurt our knees by always walking straight up the stairs because we are just slightly (sometimes more than slightly) knock kneed.  This stair climbing (and descending) greatly strengthens the muscles and tendons along the sides.  Do this slowly, planting your foot solidly and lifting with the thigh engaged instead of heaving the body up with the shoulders.  Make the legs and side knees work for you.  I may have described this in an earlier blog when I was talking about my training program for climbing Mt. Shasta.   If you try this, let me know how it goes.

Good luck and keep moving.

Betsy

206 933 1889

www.TiredNoMore. com

 

Speaking of weight

Dear Reader,

Have  you sat with your plans for the New Year and included weight management?  If you are suffering from arthritis pain and stiffness, and you are even 15 pounds over-weight, your plans will turn out better if they include weight management.  The bloggers are full of advice on this topic.  I would like to share some new research with you that may help you realize just how challenging it is to establish a new “normal” weight.  You may forgive yourself for all that struggle without permanent results.  You may decide to figure out what you must do to change your own future, a daunting but not impossible task.

Take heart.  There may be an explanation for why we get stuck at certain weight.

In a recent study, scientists discovered a change in the appetite regulator in the brain that interferes with our internal conversation

about what to eat when.  Apparently the hypothalamus gets inflammed when a person eats a fatty meal (fried clams, fudge, ice cream, cheese cake, sugar cookies, onion rings, you know, fried foods and buttery sweets).  It takes a few days for the repair mechanism of a normal healthy body to quiet down this inflammation and restore the hypothalamus to its regulating job.  Repeatedly eating a high fat diet day after day interferes with the body’s ability to repair the organ that helps us say ‘no’ to weight gaining foods.  If we do manage to stop eating them as we try to lose all the weight we put on while the hypothalamus wasn’t helping, it is extremely difficult.  We just can not hit the re-set button.  The mechanism is broken.The study is reported here.  http://www.gpb.org/news/2011/12/28/could

-obesity-change-the-brain

The actual published abstract is here http://www.jci.org/articles/view/59660?search%5barticle_text%5d=obesity+&search%5bauthors_text%5d=schwartz

You may have seen Carol Ostrom’s report in the Seattle Times on 12/30. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017122171_brain30m.html

Scientific discoveries like this tend to make the obese shake their heads grimly and say “no wonder it is so hard to loss 10 lbs. and have that be my new ‘high'”.  Their brain is urging them toward the old higher set point.  More research needs to be done.  An MRI scan of the brains of 34 obese individuals tells us there is inflammation there, but leaves a lot of questions.  While they are rare, some people who drop 15 to 100 pounds are able to maintain their weight loss for years.  In my own case, I spent eight years with a psychotherapist dealing with childhood issues, and at the end of that time I was no longer uncontrollably tempted by cookies in the house.  I’ve been at my healthy body weight for a while now after many years of yo-yo diet struggle. There was a time when I couldn’t bring a box of cookies in the house and I certainly never baked them.  I would plan my behavior carefully before attending a stand up party with hors d’oeuvres and deserts. I still eat a healthy protein snack before going to a stand up party.  If I put on 3 to 4 pounds during the vacation, I drop it easily.  Did my hypothalamus recover and establish a new, lower set-point?  Could yours do the same thing?

When I first went into business as a wellness adviser, I held weight management classes in my home.  The attendees came at lunch time for 8 weeks.  I prepared healthy food, taught them about the way our body handles sugars, how the pancreas reacts to coffee/black tea/cola drinks all day long and how to recover from exercise so they could get up and do it again the next day.  I taught them how to prepare and carry healthy snacks, introduced them to thin slices of jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, turnips, and bean sprouts.  They learned about alternatives to wheat flour: rice bread, soba and rice noodles, rye breads, breakfast cereal of cooked rye, barley and oat flakes.  Today the stores are full of gluten free foods.

My students fell into two groups:  people whose metabolism had slowed down as they aged and one day they realized they had gained 15 pounds and needed some help to change their eating and exercise habits; people who had put on a lot of weight over the years and developed a real love/hate relationship with food. Learning these tools helped this second group, but did not guarantee permanent weight loss.  Both groups found the extra weight caused creaky joins and discomfort.  The first group relieved their arthritis pain considerably by following the dietary suggestions and moving more.  The second group were discouraged.  I was discouraged that I couldn’t seem to help them.

If you are in this second group and suffer from a chronic over-weight dieting cycle and you feel this weight is causing or increasing your arthritis pain, take heart from this new study. Inflammation is real.  It is present whenever there is disease.  The immune system can repair inflammation and does so every moment of every day.  Perhaps, with careful healthy eating, even the hypothalamus can be repaired.
I take a lot of food supplements manufactured by the Shaklee Corporation.  They have helped my body repair tissue damaged by inflammation.  Food alone could not do the job for me.  After reading this study, I wonder if 10 years of daily intake of extra nutrients provided by the Shaklee Wellness Program actually repaired the hypothalamus. I don’t think it can be done in 6 months or even 2 years.  A long term approach is necessary.  Perhaps you need the help of a top quality line of food supplements to pour massive amounts of nutrients into your damaged body.  If you would like to learn more about the weight management program Shaklee has to offer, please email or call me.  betsy@HiHoHealth.com or 206 933 1889.  Wordpress doesn’t allow me to put an active link to my shopping website.  I prefer to discuss these nutritional issues with you first anyway. So be in touch.

Be Well, Do Well, and Keep Moving.

Betsy

Watch for a review of an independent study showing how resveratrol and polyphenols can literally stop this inflammation process at the cellular level.  I will present this information in my next blog.

BTW here is an interesting blog on weight management.  I pass it along to you.  http://kirbsfitness.wordpress.com/

Feldenkrais for back pain?

Dear Reader,

Feldenkrais for back pain.  My neurologist, head doc for theUniversityofWashingtonsports teams, suggested I see Becci Parsons, former dancer, now Awareness Through Movement and private Feldenkrais practitioner.  “Watch out for your pants,” she said.  “Your clothes can be dangerous to your health.” Her levies were on the baggy side.  You could put your balled up fist between flesh and belt when she sucked in her breath.  I remembered that when I put a new (ValueVillage) pair of genuineLevis, hip hugger style, which I love, and my back talked to me nastily.

She laid me on a low table just wide enough for me with her kneeling next to me to move my legs, my head, my shoulders.  Her movements were minuscule.  I struggled to let go, to allow her to be the conductor.  I attempted to refrain from guarding, tensing, pulling back or from anticipating her next move and helping her lift, roll, twist.  My only job was to let her have my body, let her move it and pay attention.

When the session was over, I could identify my surroundings but I seemed to inhabit Oz’s Scarecrow navigating uneven ground.  A dreamy hand opened the car door.  Taking the wheel, putting on the gas, I began to reengage with this road, this stop sign, this merge onto the freeway.

Subsequent sessions began lying on the table with the gentle rocking, lifting, moving by Becci while I slowly allowed her to propel my limbs in tiny unchecked movements.  She taught my muscles to reclaim movement appropriate to healthy, uncomplaining joints.  She brought me to homeostasis.  On the table.  To teach me to roll out of bed, to sit on the side of the bed, to lift myself off the bed, to take steps, find the bathroom, lower myself on the toilet and rise again, she gently rocked my hips, held my hands, lifted my leg and set in down.  Retraining.

As a girl, I proudly walked to school several blocks with a marble held tightly between my buttocks.  In 4th grade, I could carry that marble clamped tight all day as I sat at my desk and walked to the black board, to the coat closet, out the door for home.  What glut control!  My father, the orthopedist, had a cartoon on his office wall of a woman whose naked breasts sat on top of a dresser.  The top drawer, open just a little, pressed her ribs; the second drawer down, open about half way, pressed her waist; the bottom drawer pulled out all the way pressed her pelvic girdle forcing her butt to tuck under.  The female version of the military stance.  I aspired with all my 9 year-old might to conform my body to this most unnatural posture.

As a slouchy teen ager, my father poked my butt every time he passed by and commanded, “stand on two feet.”  “Tuck your bottom in.”  I danced tap and ballet and swam all summer, movements that relax and produce flow.  Or should.  Again constant reminders of  “stroke, kick, kick, kick; stroke, kick, kick, kick.  Lift your bottom” (I was a back stroke champion).

Feldenkrais method took me back, back to the earliest movements.  A gentle curve relaxed down my spine.  I learned the pelvic clock where you tilt your pelvis from 12 to 6, from 3 to 9, back and forth in ever smaller movements until the mind images and the body feels the suggestion.

“Becci, now come and show me how to get in my car,” I entreated after successfully getting in and out of a chair with no pain, no firing of the muscles in jerky movements.  It took about six months of weekly sessions for me to graduate to private and semi private Pilates.

I strove fiercely for pain free movement and returned strength.  My daughters Ruth and Eleanor and I planned the hike around Mt.Rainier on the Wonderland Trail.  I had to be strong enough to carry a 35 pound pack and walk 95 miles in 11 days, each day gaining and losing around 2200 ft or more in elevation.  We wanted to make this trip in August of 1990, one month short of a year after the injury.

Burroughs Mt. hike from Sunrise Visitor Center on Mt. Rainier, August 2009

Burroughs Mountain from Sunrise visitor center, Mt. Rainier, August 2009

 

This reminiscence of the Feldenkrais process is fresh in my mind.  I just had a session with Erik LaSeur, Alki Moves, Feldenkrais practitioner here inWest Seattle.  I met him at a West Seattle Chamber meeting and was drawn to investigate his work as a way of refreshing my body’s acceptance of organic flow.  I have developed my own set of muscle and posture strategies designed to avoid chronic, daily pain.  I wanted to discover how I was getting in my own way.  Erik’s session helped enormously.  A salsa CD has me dancing, hips swaying, legs gently and loosely swinging.

What is your experience of Feldenkrais?  Ready to try it to see if it would lessen your chronic pain?  I would love to hear your comments, questions and suggestions.

Be Well, Do Well and most of all Keep Moving.

Betsy

 

BetsyBell’sHealth4U

4455 51st Ave. SW

Seattle,WA98116

206 933 1889

www.HiHoHealth.com

www.TiredNoMore.com.

 

I need a doctor! What kind?

Gentle Reader,

If you suffered trauma to your back, perhaps you would turn to a traditional medical practitioner. An orthopedist, a neurologist, at least your primary care physician. Surely, a medical problem like an excruciating pain in the lower back and the inability to walk unaided would send one to a regular doctor. I chose a chiropractor. Let me explain.

I grew up in a medical household. My father was an orthopedic surgeon and my mother, a nurse. After the Second World War, my father relocated us New York City people to Oklahoma. He wanted to start fresh and chose to do a year of specialty study with his fellow Naval officer, a professor at the University of Oklahoma Medical School. I was 10 years old when we moved to Muskogee, OK. It was 1947, only 40 years since statehood. The leading bone doctor in town had established himself during Indian Territory days.

I spent my summer evenings with my father, sitting on the hood of our station wagon watching rodeo riders crashing off bulls into the dust; stock car race drivers roaring into the barricades and each other; football players carried off on stretchers. He was waiting for the next injury, getting his Bone and Joint practice going. Youthful bodies he could put back together. A bone carpenter at work.

Back trouble was another thing. “People with back aches are no good malingering bums,” he would say. I now had back pain, unbelievably debilitating. As a high school student, I scrubbed in with him as he performed lumbar laminectomy surgery. I heard the stories of lengthy rehabilitation, set backs, never working again. Was my youthful athleticism going to end at age 42?

Our family lives in Seattle. I worked for a multi-national telecommunication company in outside sales. The office talk about stress often included reference to a chiropractor and the help she gives to tense neck and back pain. Three years earlier, on the eve of my daughter’s wedding, she woke up with a neck so tense she could not move it from side to side. On the advice of my co-workers, I decided to take her to a chiropractor. I embarrassed my daughter by grilling the doctor about the treatment she was about to perform. I could hear my father’s voice “charlatan, fraud” ringing in my ears. I was terrified. In 1986 neither Wikipedia, nor Google search engine was available. I wanted to learn more about the practice of chiropractic medicine. Briefly, chiropractic emphasizes diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. The hands-on manipulation of my daughter’s neck was successful.

The day after my angry early morning exercise session with Jack LaLanne and horrendous thrust of disc into the spinal nerve, Don drove me to my chiropractor. I knew her through my business-networking group. She had never treated me, but many in the group said wonderful things about her. The massage therapist who helped calm my muscles and spasms enough so I could get out of bed and into a car, referred clients to her. That visit and several more got me on my feet again.

Next steps: my chiropractor sent me to a physical therapist and to the leading sports medicine neurologist for the University of Washington Huskies. The physical therapist wired my thigh muscles, put me on a stationery bike and measured the power output. The left side functioned at about 75% capacity compared to the right. I had no reflex when they tapped below the left kneecap. The nerve down the shin was dead. No movement was comfortable, fluid, exhilarating. Were my running days over? Would I head for the mountains with a pack on my back again? What about the trip my daughters and I dreamed of, circumnavigating Mt. Rainier, the 95-mile Wonderland Trail?

Looking at my MRI results, my neurologist said my bones were not strong enough or dense enough for a laminectomy to be helpful. I had to build a strong structure of muscles to support the weaker skeletal frame. He suggested Feldenkrais.

What is Feldenkrais? Stay tuned for the process that taught me how to lie, sit, stand, walk and transition in and out of each of these positions and actions.

Tell me about your encounters with chiropractors? How did you come to embrace alternative medical practices? If you have not tried alternative healing methods, why not? Until next week,

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving!

Betsy

BetsyBell’s Health4U
206 933 1889
http://www.HiHohealth.com
http://www.TiredNoMore.com