taennyn: a woman's torso, left elbow and right hand visible and decorated in henna designs (wild by the roadside)
My bad ankle actually feels like an ankle for the first time in almost two years (my knee is extremely confused about this), and my chippy hip is looser than usual.

I've been told to keep my witchy fingers inside my own goddamn hands (or the equivalent in inarticulate noises) four times already. =D
taennyn: (at the altar of knowledge)
Wow does the two-fingers baby cpr method suck. Ouch my overstretched knuckles.

On the plus side, it's looking like I could actually manage at least a few cycles of cpr in the wild. \o/
taennyn: (eeeecute!)
"Well, yeah, but you walk like a velociraptor."

(She does. Nice epic knots in her calves, too.)
taennyn: (one of these days I'll fall on my head)
Setup, to save eating reading lists )

I was expecting a rather needly appointment. Instead we wound up talking about the limbic system* and how breathing pattern/depth/speed and eye movement/blink rate can tell an observer how someone's doing.

*: I know this term is getting outdated, so if anyone has an update, please let me know!

This is going to be somewhat babbly and nonlinear, since I can't find a good internet source to paraphrase from, and may be wrong in the particular tiny-level details of why this works because I wasn't taking notes Monday. That said, I did a pilates session before I saw her Monday, and a second session yesterday afternoon, and my body shifted between 'em.

By staring, breathing, and humming.

I wish I was kidding. I'm not: instead of pulling on my diaphragm and my pelvic floor to do ab work, I got a broader sense of less-ouchy work through more of my belly, and I could use my iliopsoas muscles like they weren't welded to my inner curves of hipbone. o.O

So, limbic calming. It's a thing.


Plotting against your lizard brain, a primer )


Related reading: A Dr Stephen Porges interview on his polyvagal theory and methods on using other humans to calm an Inner Lizard/trying to help calm someone's Inner Lizard.

a babbly post I made after reading the Porges interview talking about acoustic therapy protocols for anxiety, and noting a new term for the 'I'm driving a meatsuit with bad controls' problem: 'sensory processing dysfunction'.


Questions, corrections, links, and New People are welcomed to this post. So yes, if you want to link people here, that's cool. :)
taennyn: (one of these days I'll fall on my head)
Group the Third and final (unless some poor bastard needs hypermobile neck strengthening stuff or a psoas stretch), the lying on the side!

Arm Lift ) If your arms/shoulders don't bug you, don't worry about this.


Arm Circle ) If your shoulders don't bug you (or make alarming crackling noises that kind of hurt), don't worry about this.


Leg Lift )


Bananas ) This one makes you look like a hooked fish; if anyone laughs make them join you on the floor.


I feel obliged to point out that before doing exercises, you may want to roll out areas that you know tend to be tight. This can be done with a foam roller, assuming you have one, or smaller areas can be tackled with your friend, the Tennis Ball.
Foam rollers or bigger balls (smaller than your head but not by that much) are excellent for getting big muscle groups to let go and do their own damn jobs, not steal other muscles' jobs. Think quads, sides of bum, bum proper, hips, that sort of thing.
Tennis balls, Franklin balls (which are a bit bigger but mostly a bit softer than tennis balls) and related sizes are good for smaller areas like shoulders, calves, the outsides of hips, which will also try to redistribute work orders based on who's on vacation and who's the workaholic in the office.

I also feel obliged to point out that shaking like a leaf, especially if it's your lower belly, is actually a sign that things are going very, very well. A weaker muscle is being worked, and if you keep after it, will get stronger and you'll not only shake less, you'll be able to do more with it. (The trick is finding the stopping point between 'shaking like a leaf' and either pulling something or having a secondary system jump in to be Helpful.)

Personal trainers, pilates instructors, physiotherapists, that housemate with the anatomy colouring books and the gleeful grin, the Internet, and others can be really, really useful in helping you troubleshoot. Make use of 'em.

Most of all, pay attention to your body. What motions bug you? Where do they do it? How does it feel? The more specific you can be when talking to a professional (or the Internet) the better troubleshooting you'll be able to do. Even a 'My shoulder hates me, but it's worse when I do [...]' is helpful.
taennyn: (one of these days I'll fall on my head)
Behold, Group the Second of the Exercise List of Doom, our lying on the back section.

Cockroaches ) Don't do this until you're comfortable engaging from your core.


Bridge ) I've been trying to do a clean bridge every week since the beginning of June. I'm getting closer--I hardly ever have my sacrum shout abuse at me for trying it these days--but I'm not there yet. Again, this ain't easy.


Start with this one if you feel in bad condition. Really. Everything on this entry builds from a strong core, and this works on getting yours to engage.
Tight Abs )
Once you're comfy with the full sets of these, start sliding one leg down to straight and back up to starting position while maintaining your core, then do the other leg. Once you're comfy with those, try the cockroaches.


Curl-ups suck )
Ideally your lower abs should be the big puller on this, and your belly will actually drop towards your spine as you work. This can take a while.
Go slow. Like with the pushups, you have to control yourself better to do these slowly. Don't let yourself jam your head and neck forward--that just gets your sternocleidomastoids really, really mad at you. (Yes, this is the voice of experience. Why do you ask?)


Criss-crosses also suck )
Trust me when I say this one sucks.  But oh look, obliques!


Most of us have old strains and injuries and/or bad habits that encourage us to overuse certain muscles to the exclusion of others; for example the front of my left thigh (the quad) likes to steal work from the left side of my bum, resulting in my bum not getting as much work/development as it should and a profoundly whiny quad. This is about as helpful as it sounds.

ALL of us have asymmetries.  One side of your body will almost invariably be under different tension than the other, and it'll shift around depending on what you've been doing.
taennyn: (one of these days I'll fall on my head)
Group the First of the Exercise List of Doom: our standing, sitting and kneeling section.

Weights: two I was assigned and three I added )

I'm considering adding in some bicep curling, mostly because it's kinda nice to have them. First I have to be able to get my shoulderblades to glide the way they're supposed to, though. It's easy to fall into bad habits and my right shoulder thinks it's funny anyway.


Wall/Counter Pushups )
Slow is harder. Also lets you notice when you're losing form.


Boards )


Adductors )
My specialist physio has me do these three times a day. I might have adductor issues.


Calf Stretch )
taennyn: a woman's upraised, tattooed arm touching the nape of her neck (paper-flowers and arabesques)
Yes, really.

No, the only things I'm on are prescription.

So I've been reading a book lately (emphasis sadly on the past tense, given that French ate my skull) on trigger points, and one of the therapy tools recommended for home treatment (in addition to superballs, golf balls and a small monstrosity called a Theracane) is a tennis ball.

You smush it between you and a wall, or between you and a floor/bed, and roll it in small arcs over something that's bugging you.*

Say, the back of a right hip: you start with the ball smushed against the right edge of your sacrum, and roll/squirm around until the ball is hanging out in an ouchy spot, work there for a bit, then move on.

You will likely wind up working everything from your lower back to the upper area of the back of your thigh as a result, and drop the stupid ball two or three times in the process**, but when you walk away from the wall your hip will, well, move.

This process will either make you look like a truly demented belly dancer or someone attempting to become one with a wall (let's just say working on a pectoral muscle is ouchy and weird looking, shall we?).

On the other hand, I haven't had to ask my physiotherapist to specifically unknot my hip in two weeks.

It's not as effective as I'd like on my arm, though it does seem to help with the lateral knot--I occasionally idly think if I didn't already have ink in the general area I should go for a Celtic- or Gordian-inspired series of knots along my lateral elbow, the angry little bastard--and I can't take the time necessary to properly work on my rhomboid because the ribs under there start making rattlesnake noises.

The book also sounds a bit like my dad right after he's found a New Shiny Thing and it is obviously the answer*** to everything, so I'm having a bit of trouble taking it entirely seriously, but it's definitely interesting reading.

*: Yes, you can do this to your feet, too, though the book claims a golf or superball is more ideal because they're smaller and can zero in on deeper muscle groups. Don't use a wall. The floor will work better. =P

**: Apparently trapping the ball in a tall heel-less sock helps with the escapee problem, but I imagine that mostly works for upper back areas, where you can hold the end of the sock.

***: The book does not consist of one page labeled 42, I promise.

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