Treating Physical Therapy Like It's Homework (or a Part-time Job)


I am (almost needless to write) a huge fan of physical therapy. Not just as a tool for rehabilitation, but for on-going, lifelong health.

Are you in pain? Do you suffer from limited range of motion (ROM)? Or limited strength in that ROM? I have a solution for you: physical therapy (PT). Not just with a professional for six weeks (as beneficial as that might be), but forever.

Our bodies are designed to move: to move in very different and complex ways, and to do so often. Through inactivity (and in response to pain and injury), many of us have forgotten how to move. And, in our forgetfulness, key areas of our bodies have atrophied. The old phrase, "use it or lose it" is about 90% correct in this instance. (The reason I write 90% [and not 100%] is because, even if you haven't moved a particular part of your body in 40-years, if you're still vertical and breathing, your body [despite significant atrophy] can be "moved" back to health. If you're still living, it's never too late to begin moving again.)

I, personally, spend no less than two hours a day on my own personal PT program. I focus principally on my spine, shoulders, and hips. There are many texts out there (and not a small amount of youtube videos) that can provide guidance for you in creating your own PT program.

You don't have to accept or resign yourself to chronic pain or significant range of motion impairments. Relief and healing is available. Begin today to focus on doing one or two PT exercises; practice doing them as "correctly" as you can; and, once you have the moves down, slowly increase the frequency with which you perform them. As I wrote above, I spend no less than two hours a day on my PT exercises. I do A LOT of different things, I do them often, and I spread them out over the course of my entire day. I do my first PT exercises in bed at 3am every morning, and I do my last excises in bed at around 830pm (right before my last prayer hour, which I call "Good Night Daddy"). Throughout each day, I never stop learning or moving. I call this "the practice of learning first to move healthily and then to move as often as I can."

The really cool thing about PT is it retrains the body to move the way it WANTS to move...the way it HUNGERS to move. Or, even more accurately, the way it's dying to move. PT is the on-going practice of creating health and healing through gentle, healthy (meaning, physiologically correct), and repetitive movement. The body really can heal itself through movement. The key (again!) is learning first to move well and then doing it often.

Here are some of the movement and training philosophies I draw from personally:

The Egoscue Method

The Alexander Technique

Functional Yoga and Pilates

The Wim Hof Method

Animal and Toddler Imitation (Yes, I practice moving like a monkey and rolling around on the ground like a toddler.)

If you're interested in this subject and want to talk with me about it more, please feel free to email me, or call me, or come see me, or, perhaps, come train with me. As I tell everyone I know, "A second grader can help his first grader friend with his math homework." And that's really all I am: a second grader.

Peace to you, friends...

 

IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):

Mondays: Meditative Prayer

Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

Fridays: Martial Arts Practice

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