Friday, November 13, 2015

As Above, So Below

I marvel at the connectedness of my arm and leg – how working on my arm causes a reaction in my leg and vice versa. I’m told the body is wired for efficiency – that the nervous system’s control mechanism for the arm and leg, which perform essentially similar motions, is the same. Brain damage makes you wish nature had built in system redundancy, but alas.

What this means is that I can’t work on one area in isolation. More than any other function, I would like to recover my leg – so I can walk quickly and distances, ride a bicycle, kick in the water. But sometimes my foot hits a wall in its progress and the solution has been to work on my arm.  When the tension in my wrist releases, my ankle relaxes and the foot straightens out.

Eric tells me “as above, so below,” meaning that you can roughly approximate the shoulder to the hip, the elbow to the knee, the wrist to the ankle and the fingers to the toes. It’s no coincidence that the finger and toe I have trouble extending are the same – the second. 

Recently, as Eric and I practiced walking, I was having trouble straightening my foot and my ankle threatened to roll outward.  I pointed to tightness under my upper arm. As he worked through it, the triceps engaged to roll my arm and shoulder back. Simultaneously and without thought, the peroneus muscle on my outer calf adjusted to pull my heel straight beneath my leg.  Eric worked the kink through my hand and there was a snap as the tendon in my second finger released.

I set off across the gym floor on a straight ankle and a flat foot with a gloriously elongated second toe.  


  1. Wow! You continue to be amazing - thank you and keep up the good work!

  2. It's amazing how everything works together! When we're healthy the correct movements happen with no thinking involved. And now, what a god shot that you have a person with expertise and your mindfulness to learn to walk with a straight ankle, a flat foot and an elongated toe. Thanks for sharing your success!