The Journey: Working Through Life
You may recall last week I posted a blog entry about my client Leslie who has been fixing her ankle pain by correcting her posture. After making incredible gains in healing from her injury, Leslie recently had a little bit of a setback. I want to share with you about what Leslie discovered as a result of this setback because it is something we can all learn from.
Leslie came over for her visit on Friday (yesterday) and she seemed a little down. She had just returned from a business trip so I asked her how she was doing. She told me that her ankle was stiff and just wasn’t getting any better. By the look on her face I could tell she was frustrated. The exact words out of her mouth were “I am doing my menu (this is a word for a customized set of stretches and exercises), I am doing everything you have told me to do but my ankle is just not getting better”.
When someone tells me their menu isn’t working I know from experience that there is usually a misunderstanding on the client’s part as to how to effectively apply the tools they have been given as well as how to identify when the body has simply reached a plateau and needs a new set of stimulus. In order to identify how to approach the situation I went on to get some facts from Leslie.
Here are the facts that she reported: Leslie did her menu every morning while she was on her trip. The remainder of the 3 days of her trip were spent driving long hours in the car, wearing high heels, sitting in conference rooms for up to 6 hours at a time and consuming little to no water throughout the day.
I went on to measure her alignment and saw that things had gotten worst. Her ankle was so pronated that she was practically walking on the inside of her foot (no wonder it felt stiff to Leslie!). The hip elevation and rotational patterns throughout her body were all back as well.
So what’s the deal, what do you think happened here?
This is what I explained to Leslie (in a very sweet voice, of course): The exercise menus I am giving you are your tools. It is up to you how you choose to apply those tools. Your exercises are not magic. Gravity does not stop. The originating source of your ankle pain is a lifestyle that is lacking in sufficient movement. Every hour that you spend sitting and not moving, you are counterbalancing the positive stimulus that your menus are providing for your body.
I also explained to Leslie that her body had reached a plateau with her current menu. At first she was seeing enormous progress in her pain and function, but then she reached a sticking point. There is nothing wrong with this either, this is just a part of the healing process.
After explaining all of this to Leslie we went on to create a new exercise routine which immediately left her ankle free of stiffness and her posture improved greatly within the session. She left my studio that day with a new set of tools and a new found understanding of the importance of making lifestyle changes and the actions to take to continue on her road to better health.
Thank you Leslie for letting me put your story on loudspeaker here so that we can all learn from your journey!