Friday, November 20, 2015

Incremental Improvement

I don’t want my recent posts to give the impression that once Eric releases the trapped energy in a particular area of my body that it’s cured. It isn’t. The tension can build again and the adaptive habits of the past five years can reassert themselves. 

When Eric works on me, I’m able to move correctly for a limited number of repetitions, but my muscles fatigue quickly because they are unaccustomed to exercise and don’t store much energy yet.  Consistent with everything else you’ve read on neuroplasticity, I have to use the muscles repeatedly in the correct way for my body to reestablish healthy muscle memory.

The benefit of my sessions with Eric is that he gives my muscles space to move. An ankle locked like a block of cement must be swung and plunked on the ground. An ankle that flexes, however, lands heel-to-toe and ready to push off for the next step, which encourages the calf muscles to work. 

When my tension rebuilds, Eric releases it again and, over time, there has been sustained improvement. It’s a slow process that requires my constant mindfulness. Sometimes I think about babies learning to walk and marvel at how relatively unconscious they are. I am conscious of every step and must focus my attention on so many muscles. No wonder I fatigue so easily!

To maximize neuroplasticity, I’ve added another therapy day to my schedule so that I see Eric three times per week. We are greatly supported in our efforts by his boss, Dr. Arbi Derian, who still weight-trains me once per week and treats me three times per week with electrical stimulation, adjustments and passive stretching.

I always feel better after my treatments and believe they will help me continue to improve incrementally.