More hope, further recovery

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on August 8, 2009 in Uncategorized

This continuing journey of recovery from serious injury has led me into unexpected paths of exploration and connection.  Previous to enduring an injury, I had minimal experience with Physical Therapy.  Now, I am building a matrix of sources and connections, so that I can have the best possible expert support for my eventual full recovery.

This past week, I was delighted to exchange work with another PT referred to me by my Gyrotonic instructor, Lindsey.  Janette Arhndt is a PT with refined skills in Gyrotonic, myofacial release, and lymphatic drainage therapy.  Janette kindly came to my office for our work together.  I gave Janette her first Alexander lesson, and she gave my injured knee much needed hands on soft tissue work.  Her intent was to relieve the inflammation (and the resulting pain and immobility) in my knee, as well as to encourage lymphatic drainage.  As an Alexander teacher, I am quite selective about hands on me.  Janette’s hands reflected her overall superb use.  I experienced an immediate increase in flexion, reduction in discomfort, and a deep sense of well-being.

Janette was very optimistic about my recovery, as she observed my movement with care and attention.  Her calm, kind and professional presence, as well as her intelligent recommendations for pursuit of simple recovery approaches, was hugely reassuring.

The day after my delightful exchange of work with Janette, I enjoyed a Gyrotonic session with Lindsey.  I was able to happily explore much more vigorous movement, and all without pain or fear of pain.  I also walked most of the way from my office to the Gyrotonic studio (about 1 and 1/2 miles), a greater distance than I have walked with any ease since injury!

Our current health care system (please, can we just change it?) outlines a “productivity model” for injury recovery that is deeply end-gaining.  PT’s are typically expected to advise specific muscle strengthening exercises (focussing on the part more than the whole) and present a standardized list of exercises for an injury.  There is often little time or attention allowed in our current system for  the PT to notice how the recovering person is motivated to think or believe about the process of recovery.  The weight falls upon the recovering person to find a means of rehabilitation that best suits their hopes and personal goals.  Due to my Alexander skills, and connections I have made through my long term interest in intelligent activity, I am blessed to have found PT’s who are compatible in their approaches with Alexander principles, and who support me in my insistent belief that I will recover fully.

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