Monday, June 17, 2013

Core Stabilization and Strrrrretching!

I had another physio visit yesterday at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. With a lilting Irish accent, David watched my gait, and pronounced it 'goot'. He said, however, that I need to lengthen my hip flexors and energize my transverse abdominals. The pain in my hip flexors over the past years had caused me to increase the curve in my lumbar spine, relaxing my abs.

Core Stabilization
David asked me to lie on my back, knees bent. He put something slippery under my right foot, and his fingers lightly on my belly. He asked me to slide my foot away from me about a foot, then back. I told him I felt my abs working. David explained that my rectus femoris were working, when they should be relaxed. That my transverse abdominals aren't doing their work of stabilizing so I can move from the leg.

Then David offered a lovely image. To imagine my heart to be connected by a string to my diaphragm. As I inhale, the diaphragm bows downward, and the heart rises up, lengthening the string. With the exhale, the drum skin of the diaphragm  and the heart move towards each other, shortening the cord. He left me to breath like that for 5 minutes.

Then he asked me to picture the framework of core stabilization surround my core. The transverse abdominus as a girdle across my belly, and the multifidus winding through the erector spinae, stabilizing the back. At the top, the diaphragm, and at the base the pelvic floor. So ever since, I've been passing to check if I'm engaging, gently, this core support. 

As my core becomes more stable, my hip flexors and psoas are opening. Backbends feel awesome! I had not realized how omnipresent the sense of pain and tightness at the front of my hips had been. How when I lay on my back to stretch on leg, the hip flexor of the other leg was the first place I felt the stretch. 

I can also feel the beginnings of how glorious it is going to feel to stretch my inner thighs. The first place I felt pain was the right hip flexor, probably in 2002. The second was the inner thigh of the same leg, after a workshop in 2007. It never healed, both adductors becoming tighter and tighter, until when I tried stretching, it felt like pulling a thick robe. Solid. Immobile. Now the feel loose, fluid, willing to let go and elongate. But not yet.

The day before my birthday, July 18th, I have my 12 week visit with the surgeon. I'm hoping I get the go ahead to start some gentle stretching. Can't wait!

Today's Quote: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others

~ erroneously attributed to Nelson Mandela, actually written by Marianne Williamson. Let's send some healing thoughts to Mr. Mandela, hospitalized with a lung infection. He is 94 years old. 

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