Saturday, November 20, 2010

Egoscue Method, Day 23: Loosening Up

Astoria, Oregon ~ November 20, 2010

This photo has nothing to do with my Egoscue Method theme, except that the morning brilliance reflects some of the feelings I have after my appointment yesterday. It was my third appointment, and a long drive to Portland in pouring rain with a little snow over the pass on 26.

We went through the excercise routine I'd been doing for two weeks, and Matt asked if I felt I was still getting benefit out of all of the exercises or if there were some I felt done with. Being new to this, I didn't know how to evaluate that, except that if I was still feeling stretching or pain with any of the exercises, I guessed they were still doing something. So, we went through them and talked about how I felt doing each one, where there was still any pulling or stretching, and he watched how I walked and moved, asked about feelings of balance, etc., as before.

Then he tried me out on a whole new set of exercises. After my first visit, he had kept the original routine and added three. Most of these new ones were very different, so it seems I had made enough progress with the original set to begin stretching further to deepen the results or add to them. They were hard, and some of them hurt, while others were easy, just different. By the time I was done going through the new ones, I really felt limber and less painful in a whole new way. I'm beginning to have a real feel for how this works. Matt answered some questions I had about why I still have pain in certain areas. My feet have been especially bad the past few days, and I realize that probably has to do with a) being more active, b) getting into positions with my feet at the computer or during work that exacerbate the problem, but he also explained again how the twist I've developed over the years in my upper body affects how my feet work when walking and standing. He didn't say this, but I envisioned a marionette. If you twist the shoulders and upper body, the feet aren't going to contact the ground the same way any more. You spend years walking and hiking in that condition, and you're going to create problems in the feet. I also asked about some issues with strength for lifting vs. pushing in the upper body, and he demonstrated that, too, so it made sense for the first time. What we will be doing is correcting these things, and as we did the new routine, I could see even more than with the old routine how one side of my body performed differently than the other. The goal, of course, is to balance it out. I left feeling extremely positive about my progress, and I when I got home, despite a difficult drive in the rain with car headlights in my mirror and fog on the road, I felt looser and more natural in my skin than I have in a long time.

A few things I've noticed over the past few weeks:

1. I've taken stairways rather than the elevator just because I felt like it. I used to do that until I crashed at the end of last May. It felt good doing this again.

2. I can box up orders in the store with less pain than before.

3. The exercise routine became easier over the two weeks, and I didn't find myself doing only part of it and then taking a break and going back to finish. (I also learned from Matt that it's good to do it all at one time and in the right order, because one exercise may get your muscles ready for the next one, etc.)

4. I've generally felt better with less pain, but then when I feel better I do more, or maybe I've spent more hours at the computer, so it creates a feeling of being static and not making progress unless I really notice something like taking the stairs or walking farther without thinking about holding myself back to favor my feet.

5. The pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia are improving. I don't know that I could have done this routine back in June when the relapse was new, but during the summer I did find some very simple Egoscue excercises online for fibromyalgia, and with those I began the process of feeling better. They were not as dramatic as these, but they made a difference, and they were easy enough that I could do them at the time. (I did the one linked here and two others. Here is another page that describes all three. There may be a better link somewhere that shows all three visually the way the first link shows the one, but I want to get going.)

I thought I would be really sore this morning after yesterday's new and somewhat painful workout, but I was hardly sore at all, and I still felt flexible . . . better than waking up most other days. After yesterday, I thought I would be dreading the new set of exercises, but I'm very much looking forward to them. There are 11 exercises in all, including the new ones and a few of the old ones that were kept or modified. They'll take a little longer, because one requires lying on the floor for about half an hour. I would usually rather be DOING than not doing, so this is always a tough one for me to follow through on. It will make me feel better, though, so I'll just turn up the music and relax into it.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.


Matt said...

I'm glad you are feeling better and having fun getting your body back working for you! Keep it up. -Matt

Francisca said...

I echo Matt... good stuff, Sheryl! Hugs!

Jacob said...

It is to nice to know that you are making regular progress that is quantifiable!

Our Denise won't be ready for this kind of thing for some time but ultimately, I think it might be quite beneficial for her, also. I'm going to make sure she gets all the material you have sent.

catherine todd said...

I have found that almost ALL my chronic pain has disappeared now that I take Magnesium pills and Espom Salts baths every day. In fact, the baths have been reduced to once or twice a week after a particularly strenuous day now that I'm taking the magnesium pills (one per day) along with a host of other nutrients and that monsodium glucosamine (or however you say / spell it) and it's a miracle to me. I can walk without a cane now and drive the car for more than an hour and many more "miracles" without pain medication for the first time in years. I have been "saved!" Glad to see that your exercises have been helping and I'll try to start doing some of them myself. Thanks for sharing this all-important information! Hope you feel even better SOON. Sounds like you're on a very good road now.