TRX Suspension Training System.
Probably one of the best Firefighting conditioning tools available.
Easy to setup anywhere (mine travels with me when I head out of town), it's cheap, and gives a great workout!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
After six weeks I was pain free but at the end of the day, I usually felt like a pretzel, and many times woke up feeling unrested and stiff.
One day I was in a Dr.’s office and picked a Natural Solutions magazine while waiting. There was an interesting article titled,” The Ultimate Workout”, by Katy Santiago. Katy is a trained biomechanist, who developed Restorative Exercise™, a science-based system of diagnostic and prescriptive exercises, designed for the realization of optimal wellness.
I summarily dismissed the workout as a new age namby pamby workout. I didn’t read it at first but my wait time increased and so I decided to read the whole article. When I finished I was surprised that it was so similar to my philosophy of the body and exercise.
According to Katy, the routine helps undo, in just minutes a day, the most common (unhealthy) posture habits and increases circulation and mobility to muscle systems not regularly used to keep optimal range of motion”... just what I needed.
I performed the routine at the end of the day, and found that I slept better. It’s like it erased all of my postural problems before bed.
I enjoyed her routine so much I ordered her DVD programs,(order her Restorative Exercise Institute-In-A-Box)based on her Restorative Exercise system. I HIGHLY recommend it. I found her foot and spinal alignment program to be one of the best DVD’s I had seen that dealt with corrective exercise.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Although my pain was at the neck, my real problem was that my hips were out of alignment. In fact one hip was higher than the other, throwing the whole kinetic chain out of sync. Once that began to correct itself with the postural exercise and the subsequent stretching and strengthening of the facial tissue the last piece was doing some restorative exercise which ironed everything out.
I continue to follow the program. For me it’s a habit now and it has actually changed the way I approach the athletes and people I train. Treating the whole body starting with spinal and postural assessments, correcting any dysfunctions and then and only then loading them vertically and horiziontally for performance and life.
THANK YOU Pete Egoscue, THANK YOU Ming Chew, and THANK YOU Katy Santiago.
Be Safe and KEEP MOVING!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I developed severe neck pain from having a forward head posture, but the truth is that my hips were misaligned throwing off my whole skeletal system and THAT’S what the problem was. The source of the pain and the site of the pain were different and as a result I also started to have problems with my left shoulder. Once the hip jams in an up or down position the shoulder has to react. The neck pain was simply a symptom.
“How did you get that way”. My bout with Chronic Fatigue certainly had something to do with it, as my movement was reduced...and the body needs movement. Sitting too much and lack of overall movement creates a situation in the body where some muscles become weak and others tight.
"Some schools of Chinese medicine…refer to the shoulder and hip joints as the Four Knots and where there is an imbalance of tension or strength in any of the Four Knots problems…can occur…" according to Dr. Mark Cheng of kettlebellslosangeles.com
I started to tackle the problem by picking up Pete Egoscue’s, “Pain Free” book. The Egoscue Method is a unique and very effective program designed to treat musculoskeletal pain without drugs, surgery, or manipulation. It is a process, which involves a series of stretches and gentle “egoscuecises” designed specifically for each individual.
The process strengthens specific muscles and brings the body back to its proper alignment. It allows the body to function the way it was designed—pain free. I incorporated his exercises for neck pain, which primarily dealt with realigning the hips...my problem.
Seven days after starting the exercises my pain diminished by about 40%. Four weeks later I was 80% pain free, and six weeks later I was pain free...PAIN FREE!!!
If you would have told me that by doing some fairly simple exercises my battle with neck pain could be relieved, I would have thought you were absolutely crazy.
I also incorporated some other things like, increased H20, systemic enzymes, and facial stretching to the mix from Ming Chew’s, “Permanent Pain Cure”, along with using multiple types of "toys" for myofacial release which helped with tissue remodeling and pain.
If your tissue isn’t healthy and your body is out of alignment doing any strength training isn't a good idea. If you load the body vertically, it will just add to the dysfunction making things worse. So I stopped any strength training and waited the required 10 days per the Ming method.
After 10 days I incorporated Ming’s Strength program, which is meant to lock in the gains made from the facial stretching. It also targets fast twitch fibers along with helping correct lower and upper cross syndromes.
I’ll tell you next time about the final piece of the puzzle.
Monday, February 16, 2009
So how did I end up such a mess and in so much pain.
For a while now I’ve noticed I’ve had postural issues. I primarily had a problem with a forward head posture.
It wasn't a painful condition in the beginning because the body is wonderful at adaptation, and compensates. Your head normally weighs about 10lbs. If you have a forward head posture you essentially carry a 20-30 lb weight depending on how forward your head is from the spine. Mine was pretty forward so I was carrying around about 30 lb bowling ball on my neck.
For me it developed into a position of comfort. The problem is that in compensating, some muscles get tight while others get weak. When it gets real bad, it throws the whole skeletal system out of alignment and your biomechanics suffer.
Your joint force increases putting an extraordinary amount of stress on the joints, tissues, even the amount of oxygen your system can take in. If your body is constantly fighting gravity and having to deal with all these issues you can start to develop chronic fatigue which I was also having.
My alignment was so off I was actually having balance issues and was suffering form dizziness.
This all took time and I didn’t develop it overnight.
I’m a firm believer that you and you alone are responsible for your health, which meant it was up to me to try and find the answer.
Since my background is rooted in science, and I live a holistic lifestyle, that’s where I returned to develop the plan that got me pain free.
I’ll tell you about it next time.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thanks for all the e-mails asking me to return to blogging. It wasn't that I just got tired, found a new hobby etc.
For the past year I've been suffering from terrible and horrific neck pain. So bad that the quality of my life was severely affected. I became in essence a chronic pain patient.
When you wake up wondering how you're going to get by the rest of the day...life sucks.I had severe pain EVERYDAY for about 13 months. Some days worse than others.
I saw Dr.s, Chriopractors, got x-rays , MRI's, Cat Scans, tried hundreds of different treatments and did everything you could think of with the exception of drinking cat piss...and I would have gladly done so if it would have taken the pain away.
A lovely aspect of the neck pain was the massive migraine like headaches I was getting. No medication seemed to help and when something took the edge off the side effects were just as bad as the pain.
I'll tell you this week what the problem was and then how I got rid of the pain.