Pick Up Your Feet
Pick Up Your Feet!
Love this title because my dad used to tell me this all time as I drug my feet and ruined my tennis shoes and every few weeks I’d need a new pair.
I’m on a journey that I hope will improve the quality of my life in ways I cannot imagine. I have an idea what I want to accomplish. However, I have no idea if it will work or be better than I ever imagined.
Step by Step
You see; I have Cerebral palsy (spastic Dipledga to be exact), and I want to get better. I’ve been told that I wouldn’t get worse, and that wasn’t exactly true but now with new information about Neuroplasticity and a real life example of someone who gained total control over his body who has the exact same type of CP as I do have unlocked the key and is now walking just fine. How exciting is that? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty psyched.
I’ve been on the road to health for a while now I’m the “Reluctantly Healthy” chic and write about my adventures in eating healthy and staying fit despite not really liking healthy foods. I have an uphill battle but I’m ready to make my dreams a reality.
No longer am I going to sit back and wish for things to change I am going to make them change.
Ballet Class for Beginners
Currently started therapy and he’s unlike any other I have had before and is doing different things than any others before him. Yes, I’ve spent most of my youth at therapy, but I can honestly say nothing helped and eventually I ended up in a wheelchair due to back pain.
Here’s the skinny on my back pain that no one bothered to mention might be an issue all these years. My muscles are so tight they are pulling so hard it’s exasperating my minimal arthritis in my spine.
That information would have come in handy at my last MRI in 2009 or with my last therapist in 2009. Now that I know what I need to do I’m going to stretch those muscles like they’ve never been stretched before. When my therapist does the massage and finds the trigger points it’s obvious that it’s causing a lot of my spinal pain.
Walking Before & After
Vita Vibe BD48 Prodigy Series Portable Double Freestanding Ballet Barre, Stretch/Dance Bar, 4-Feet
Stretch! Stretch! Stretch!
I always focused on my hamstrings and heel cords, never dawned on me that my hips were tight too because I like to sit Indian style to help stretch my legs, I’ve been doing it since I wasn’t allowed to W-Sit as a kid.
Let me try to explain what it’s like when someone asks me to move a certain way that I am unfamiliar with. Do you hear birds chirping? Yep, my body has NO idea how to do it until it finally finds the connection and then from that moment on, I can do it every time.
That’s the way it is for kids with Cerebral palsy. Therapists & parents ask them to do things and until the connection is made, they cannot really comprehend how to do it. Its super exciting when a connection is truly made because then they can do it repeatedly.
My friend Gregg made those connections through his dance training, and he has no signs of Cerebral palsy now. He dedicated an entire year to learning to dance for a performance (he’s an actor- not a dancer) and had NEVER danced before.
The only difference between him and I is I could walk unassisted for short distances, and he didn’t walk with any help. However, it was very awkward and he was ruining his knees/hips/back and doctors said that he would need a wheelchair eventually. Traditional therapy didn’t help him just like it didn’t help me.
SUPERIORBAND - Ballet Stretch Band for Dance & Gymnastics Training
So what made the difference in switching on the connections and removing the spasticity that keeps us stiff and unable to move smoothly?
Gregg mentioned the shaking method changed his spasticity and eventually got rid of it. You lay on the ground and start moving, and eventually you start shaking uncontrollably it seemed to reverse the effects of spasticity for Gregg.
I have tried this and so far no luck, but I do stand on a vibration machine, and it shakes me and I have noticed improvements in my spasticity and my balance as I try not to hold on while it’s shaking. It is by far the best therapy I have ever had. It does a variety of things and keeps my osteopenia in check and with any luck, it will go away. My husband and I were at a fair, and they had one of these, and I stood on it and fell in love immediately and eventually we bought one of our own.
I have learned over the years and it has been verified by Greggs hard work that you must maintain control over your body at all times. I see it all the time. Therapists/parents want their kids to walk no matter what and unless you walk with control you’ll end up ruining your body parts such as your back/hips/knees and such.
“The Brain is constantly telling your muscles to tighten up when your muscles are actually fine. Your legs and arms are constantly being reinforced to be tight.”
Gregg has found what works for him which is the shaking that he does and it reverses the messages that his body normally has gotten since he was a child.
My tip for parents and for anyone who wants to improve themselves is to really concentrate on how you walk, not how fast you walk or anything just focus on each step and make sure your body is aligned properly as you step and then you won’t learn so many bad habits as I did growing up. My gait was an embarrassment to say the least. Get a full mirror and practice how to stand properly by looking in the mirror and get a friend to stand beside you and look at how they are standing and try to mimic the stance.
If your child is tired or in pain let them rest don't make them continue to walk in an unnatural way and build that as a habit which is very hard to break as an adult.
Gregg worked hard on each piece of the puzzle which was his body and learned how it felt to move certain parts and how it felt to do it correctly because he had been doing it very wrong for so long.
In the last few days I’ve been reading about how spasticity is really just a bad habit our bodies use to deal with the fact that we have CP and that you can reverse it and I have proof just look at Gregg’s before and after videos. It’s stunning the change in the way he walks now compared to before.
I want to be that change as well. I would LOVE to be able to walk as he does and that might be a big wish for me but what’s the point in wishing if you don’t wish big?
I’m off to work out and practice a few things like balance, sitting up straight and stretching which is VERY important piece of the puzzle.
If you want to follow my adventure please add me to your favorites. I love sharing everything I learn and hope it helps someone else who’s wondering if there’s hope.
Yes there is hope!!!