As you can see there has been 2 articles published on Martin and his story about stress and stroke, and, how I am helping him recover so he can easily achieve his goals he has set himself for this summer. To do a 5k run and a cycle, all for charity. Please click Derby Telegraph and the Birmingham Mercury to see pdf of each. Or go to articles page here.
So further on with our journey of discovering what is possible with Martin's body and to see if we can unlock the birth trauma from Spina Bifida that has impacted his posture and mobility throughout his life, which the stroke exacerbated the underlying issues in his body.
Here's the thing - what I consider small steps in progress when I am working on Martin are big leaps over deep crevasses for him. I am finding this really interesting. I can feel where and what his body is capable of, but then we have the emotional limits that affect what we are ready to let go of, and, we may find some of us can only cope with peeling back the layers, yet others are ready to cope with the band aid be ripped right off and allow the emotions to come up and out.
Although each session probably feels like a new fresh band aid is being ripped off for Martin as we work together, as his body lets the activations in and releases the years of stored mental/emotional and perceived trauma.
It would of been great, if, I took videos and photos from the very start of working with Martin, oh well that didn't happen, and, it hasn't been done every session either. So below you will find video's that are from April when Martin's body had a big breakthrough with the Activations and releasing, he found his 2nd real deep belly breath on the couch.
I have been focusing on his left arm during some of the treatments, using all of the activations the same way. As I noticed, when I watch him move, something would go through his mind or emotion come up, which Martin is not always aware of. I do ask him what is going on in his head, to which many times I get the reply nothing. I just go hmmm........ a pattern that locks in the left arm to function as hip flexor and glute, why?
The most recent answer is determination to walk/run/move better, before lately there wasn't an apparent reason.
I feel this pattern has possibly been run since his Spina Bifida removal at birth. The stroke happened to highlight the left arm over function to point of tiredness and weakness, well it would be tired if it has spent over 50 years being the hip flexor and glute. Just my theory and the length of time of course could be less and maybe my excuse for not quite un-ravelling the left arm over compensation yet. Smiles.
Martin has to be ready to let the pattern go and sometimes we have held that pattern for so long it feels safer with it than actually not running that pattern any more. We do like to hang on to things don't we?
The video sequence goes from left to right.
Below is 3 videos from the session on 7th of April, 2015. The activations got Martin's second real deep belly breath which made him feel like and physically be able to run. Then he wanted to try outside to see how that felt.
In the videos below you can find Martin walking after his activation session on 12th May, 19th of May and on the 2nd of June, 2015. I am looking at how his left arm is more relaxed and not driving the movement, as it likes to think it is the right hip flexor and glute. I decided to focus on the arm and see if we can get it to stop driving the hip flexion movement, as when it locks in this makes Martin tire easily and more wobbly when he walks.
You can see the difference in the 3 videos, maybe subtle to some and you can clearly see the difference between the right arm swinging freely and relaxed fingers and hand compared to the left side which swings with less ease. This is not muscle weakness, he has strength and relaxation when the left arm is being an left arm.
During the session on the 2nd of June, 2015, I decided to observe the connection whilst walking with his feet. As his left leg likes to shorten, tighten and drive upwards trying to be the left hip flexor. The left leg, hamstrings have length and so does the calf muscle and yet the default position is to shorten when over compensating during movement.
His left leg had an more exaggerated turned out position after the stroke. His left foot was never more parallel like his right foot before the stroke, however each time I work on the left leg being a left leg, it gets a little straighter.
I had the pleasure of meeting Carmel Warrillow on 2nd June, 2015.
I challenged Martin to see if he could run. Left foot you can see was still quite turned out, however left arm was nicely relaxed and moving with his stride.
Next 4 videos are from the 16th June, 2015.
Martin is walking with his left arm swinging freely, relaxed fingers. Left foot still turning out, yet it is not as exaggerated as it has been prior to the sessions with me. He then decided to run and he shares his thoughts of how it felt.
In another video, below left, he started to tense his left arm when running, so I got him to pause and activated to release the tension. He is turning around quite sprightly these days, which shows his body is getting more balanced with improved mobility.
Below right is Martin stepping up his running, he said he felt he could go faster, so I just say go ahead.
He still wants to run faster and gets concerned about how to do so, which actually makes him tense up. When the breathing kicks in more when he is stood up then the body will be able to perform much better. He has nice deep belly breathing when lying down, however this dynamic shifts when he stands up and walks and runs and I am not sure why it does, something I am still exploring with him.
The next set of videos are from the session on the 30th June, 2015. On the way to this session Martin told me what his dad had said to him, about the improvements since working with me. His dad lives in Spain and sees his son infrequently.
“My son Martin has been seeing Emily since January 2015, having had a stroke in December 2013. I live in Spain, so I only see Martin occasionally.
You can see the left arm swing is much more and more relaxed. His left leg no longer quite as rotated outward and felt much more inline with his body to him. It is important what it feels like to you, when I am working with you.
Martin told me he wanted to do more running and get better at it, so I took him outside on to the sports pitches, which were full of clover and bees.
This brought up some anxiety for Martin, one, he couldn't see where his feet would land and whether the ground was even under foot. Two, he was getting the clover stuck between his toes, which he didn't like to feel of. I just told him it's nature and get on with it, and I sometimes get clover in between my toes too. Again he forgets his breathing and arm tenses up due to concentration and we are still working to gain more awareness what his body is actually doing when he moves.
I then chose to run up and down with him to give him a little more confidence that running through clover is easy, then I let him run again by himself.
I noticed on the way over to the sports pitch, that, when he was walking up the steps this was rather awkward and saw room for improvement, which I knew was possible from his activated body.
Below left, is, how he normally gets up and down stairs. I suspect when Martin is out and about he uses his stick for support still. This is not a problem and I know he is trying to go out without it more and more.
Some people are taught by physios and other therapists to use strong leg to get up the stairs and weak leg to come down on. So I get Martin to change it up, use left leg going up and right leg going down, at first his body and mind did not like this change in pattern.
So I then I did the diaphragm activation point on Martin at the top of the steps, as he was going into fight or flight, and, it's much easier to learn and do things when you are not in that state and in a parasympathetic state.
The second video down on the left, I had Martin take each step individually with each foot, which again messed with his mind and body again, yet he did it. Great achievement.
I made Martin run inside again, for comparison to previous indoor footage and to see any difference on how it felt from running in the long clover laden grass.
I like where he tells me the left leg feels a little weak as we haven't strengthened it yet. His left leg is more parallel than it has been before when moving an stood still. So I just do the calf activation point and set him off again.
Nice relaxation with left hand and much better going round the corner with more speed.
If you see anything in Martin's posture or progress I haven't shared please do with me in the comments below.
If you are still wondering as more of an athlete how this could help you........ if this treatment can get Martin running and going up and down stairs more normally then just think how much more power this could give you, faster times, more strength and energy, higher VO2 max and FTP.
Or if you are not an athlete but business person, this could help you relax at the end of the day and perform better in your business, as when the body is performing from a parasympathetic state you can see and take much more information in and process much quicker and easier since the body will be under less stress and stress affects this ability which this treatment can give you much more resilience too.
Just my musings.....