Post by tetra on May 7, 2019 18:01:45 GMT -8
I read around the somatic movement site and was left unsure if I can make any use of it. As a former massage therapist I know a fair number of techniques for releasing tight muscles and use a number of them. Probably the most dependable is that if you briefly shorten a muscle that is too tight it will usually release. Then I stretch it. Most people do not realize that stretching is half of what is necessary- release, then stretch to educate the muscle.
Many SCId people lack the dampening function to which the normal, healthy spinal cord devotes about half of it's neurons. When a reflex is "set off" that is not truly useful, your brain zips a message down the cord that prevents a reflex spasm before it occurs. Quite likely every AB person's body signals a spasm when they stretch out in the morning because the body has not moved in hours. The healthy body prevents the spasm from happening because something in the brain realizes stretching is normal, not a reaction to threat. We spinal cord injured do not often have that working properly so we must relearn each morning. I managed to train myself not to stretch after about a year.
When I exercise I stretch whatever I am working after every set of 10 repetitions. If I am walking I must reset the misbehaving hip about every 3rd step (by stretching a certain way). We must continually remind the most affected muscles what it means to reset to full length because our systems have no way to remember. There is no automatic reset. Among AB people there are many different levels of this auto-reset. As an adult my basic tone always ran quite high, so I had to stretch more often than many people. Now it is a huge preoccupation.
I am a bit skeptical that the somatic movement system would help me much. I've tried Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais method, which sound like they have some things in common with Somatic Movement. Those methods were quite helpful when i was AB, but once I was SCId my body reverted quickly to it's condition before a treatment. Very quickly.
Here is another resource I like.
The first, the Bone Dreaming meditation, is the best place to start. Bone Breathing is fabulous for relaxing muscles and with experience, one learns to address specific muscles or areas of the body. In the end, it is about learning conscious control of our body. The teacher who makes the tapes, Giles Marin, has a typically heavy French accent but even I "get it" after some repetition.
I welcome correction if you think I have not adequately understood Somatic Movement.