Episode notes: Tuesday Ruth usually talks about specific exercises but today she will talk about the need for proper exercise, slow exercise and repetition while allowing healing in the body.
Ruth is a stroke survivor sharing tips and advice for rehab, recovery and healthy living including nutrition, exercises, personal care, healing and maintaining a grateful attitude. She can be found online at http://stroke.global were she offers help to stroke survivors and caregivers.
Welcome back to the Healthy Life Podcast... Tuesday is the day I usually talk about specific exercises but today I want to talk about the need for proper exercise, slow exercise and repetition all while allowing and encouraging healing in the body. I know many will be able to finish the line... practice makes........ this is where you want to say perfect... and you’d be both right and wrong.
Right in completing the phrase that we’ve often heard... but wrong in assuming just because you do something repeatedly... you are getting “perfect” at it. Repetition makes things permanent or at the very least hard to undo! If I had taught you that 2 + 2 = 5 no matter how many times you repeated it... it would be incorrect .
The fact is only perfect practice makes perfect.... practice only makes permanent, so we need to be careful with what we do. Stroke rehabilitation is the one thing that we “push” and insurance, hospitals, therapists, and doctors are all caught up in the same trap and often the same misguided ideas. And “we” (the stroke survivors) pay the price...we are often misguided and mislead.
In my rehab in China I was not allowed to formally “exercise” or “work out for the first month. Why... I kept asking... after all I was three years post stroke? You are not ready was the only reply I got! Deng Yi Xia ( in a while)... was their answer. They were preparing my body in so many other ways that I had not realized. I mean I had gone though all the rehab steps in the states... speech, occupational, physical therapies...
“If you were satisfied with what you got in the states you wouldn’t be here.” Was their reply... and they were right. I was three years post stroke and I hadn’t made progress... not meaningful progress. So I devoted three months of my life and because of that choice I decided to be respectful of their suggestions, treatment methods, and style of rehabilitation. After a month of therapy I was finally given permission to go to the “gym” where I felt like I was doing things... but they had me operating at a turtles pace. Well, at least they had me doing something. It wasn’t until I was two weeks into their program in the gym (6 weeks into a 12 week program) that I finally started catching on. They had me repeating things, slowly and meticulously... at first I was impatient and bored... then intrigued with results... and finally... optimistically hopeful when I saw where this was headed.
Think about a roller coaster... it ever so slowly creeps up that big rise... we all remember the click, click, click, we hear as it is led and drawn up the hill... then it reaches the top and whoosh... it begins to pick up speed... the speed it will need to carry it through until the next hill.
It was a perfect analogy for my rehab. All along the doctors were triggering things that the body would and then ...could implement. I found that the traditional Chinese medical treatment modalities maximized the bodies healing mechanisms so that the physical exercises were confirmation of what was being unlocked in the body. I was no longer feeling as if I were beating my head against a brick wall getting an awesome headache. I was actually seeing slow and steady progress. Did I mention slow!
I was impatient and wanted more, faster.... The doctor in the gym stopped me and then said something I’d never heard before... more is not better... more is simply more... actually he continued, it can have a devastating effect... that of often wearing out the body... creating stress where there should be none. Because of that comment I learned to workout in “spurts”... for short times and doing things much slower and focused on the few, the details, and not the “many”. I typically “exercised” three times a day for 15 minutes at a time. I recovered faster, performed better, was energized rather than exhausted... all in all a great change!
Initially it took a bit of due diligence to make this type of “exercise” a habit but now it’s a part of me and my life. I have devoted and dedicated my life to giving back to stroke survivors and teaching and sharing what I’ve learned. I’m honored and blessed to help others and it’s just what I do and who I am now. Never think you are beyond hope... if you are willing... there is a way. I’m excited about our new Do-app that we are releasing soon. We just finished recording over 100 exercises. I hate to see myself on screen but felt you need to see first hand how a stroke survivor has overcome. I’m now over 60 but feel like I’m only 40. I’m blessed after 19 years post stroke to be improving more with each passing day. Reach out... i’d love to hear from you!
Well...Thanks so much for joining me as we learned about “proper exercise, slow exercise and repetition all while allowing and encouraging healing in the body.”....... Remember to visit the stroke.global web site often and give us feedback!... I also hope you’ll join us tomorrow! As always it’s an honor and a pleasure sharing today.... thank you! I pray that you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we are on iTunes and Google Play and have links to both on our stroke.global page... please subscribe it boosts us in the ratings and helps us in being able to continue these stroke survivor podcasts.
As always we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us by making this podcast possible. Check them out online at tcmrestoration.net
And thank you again for listening... Please feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions, and follow us online at our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. Well... I look forward to learning more with you tomorrow... as we continue our adventure ..