Exploring more recovery: increased activity

Posted by Jeanne Barrett on September 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

For people intrigued by the challenge of new movement, new physical strengths, and daily exertion, serious injury changes all expectations.  What was once easy and joyous becomes painful and impossible for weeks, months, even years.  The reduced possibility of movement exploration can be a recipe for despair.  Lengthy recovery affects every aspect of being.  Patience, instead of pushing, becomes primary.   Any end-gaining in movement is no longer an option.  Proceeding intelligently in rebuilding strength in mobility requires support from expert professionals who view the whole self as an elastically responsive and integrated system.

Happily, in augmentation of my Alexander knowledge, I have found  Physical Therapists whose approach to recovery and rehabilitation is compatible with Alexander thinking.  Janette, a PT with certification as a Gyrotonic exercise instructor, worked with me this week to tweak, refine and clarify my Gyrotonic routine.  With deeply preceptive attention to detail of the entire self,  Janette showed me simple ways to not only strengthen the muscles supporting my injured knee, but to also address nervous system connections and feedback loops, so that I can exercise vigorously and consciously without increasing pain or inflammation.  The work that she showed me also addressed lymphatic drainage, so that inflammation around the injury site clears as the whole body moves with ease and intelligence.

Today, I attended, for the first time since injury, a Gyrokinesis class given by Master Teacher Mia Munroe.  Since I haven’t taken a class for 6 1/2 months, I was uncertain how much I could do with ease.  Happily, I was able to move, with Mia’s skilled direction, with rhythm and strength.  Obviously, I had some limitations.  I can’t kneel, for instance, due to the hardware (pins and wires) in my knee, nor do “knee circles” with any comfort.  Limitations aside, I deeply enjoyed the experience, once again, of exhilarating movement, of challenge, of learning, of thinking in motion with my entire self.

Feeling strong, being appropriately challenged, experiencing vigorous mobility reduces attention to the possibility of pain, and even reduces pain, if the whole self is attended.  Enlivening the entire self with conscious thought, and taking conscious thought into activity, is what the Alexander Technique supports.

The dance of my Self in recovery continues!