I’ve written about the benefits of NeuroKinetic Therapy in a previous post. For two years, it has slowly brought dormant muscles back online. Frequency Specific Microcurrents used during our sessions have changed my connective tissue. Although these improvements were slow-going, they stopped me from getting worse. But I couldn’t quite figure out how to best exercise these reawakened muscles.
Finding BeFit Movement Therapy (which I also blogged about last year) taught me the importance of focusing on my joints if I want to move better. Building muscle is great, but my joints must be able to bear the burden as well.
Because I’m disabled and can’t move normally, stumbling upon Dr. Tara Tobias’ YouTube channel added another important piece to my puzzle. She offers a variety of prop options and modifications to her exercises to meet me where I am. By showing how to progress through her exercises, I know where to start and where I’m going. If you check out her channel, go to Playlists, where you can watch the videos in order based on what you need to work on.
Not only does she show me what to do, she tells me why she’s doing it, which I appreciate very much. I’m a jerk that way. I can’t follow orders if I don’t understand the “why” behind the instructions given. The good news? People like me don’t join cults or storm the US Capital. The bad news? People like me don’t join the military or become CIA agents to protect their fellow citizens.
This need to understand often keeps me from doing. For years, I would think, “Just go outside and take a walk, dummy.” But every time I did, I would become fixated on my arm that wasn’t swinging, my hip that kept collapsing, or my knee that kept locking. Reinforcing poor movement patterns seemed counter-intuitive. Yet sitting on my ass constantly wasn’t helping either. Now that I better understand how MS affects my body, I’m glad I didn’t spend hours strengthening bad habits.
I finally have a system, and for the first time in eight years, I look forward to exercising. Not because I’m creating endorphins or burning calories, but because I’m slowly feeling my body rehabilitate itself. Using straps, skateboards, bungee cords, gym balls, poles, wedges, and other props, I’m breaking old movement patterns while creating newer, more functional ones.
As for carryover, I notice things when I go grocery shopping. Pushing a small cart around a gigantic store is the equivalent of using a wheeled walker to practice ambulating. It safely allows me to take many steps and integrate any changes that have occurred during the past week. I can feel my brain trying to incorporate what it’s learning, which is exciting and a little freaky, to be honest. I have no idea how far I’ll go in terms of functional mobility, but I’ve got nothing better to do, so why not work on this?
Full disclosure: I’ve never met Dr. Tara Tobias or been a patient at the Orlando Physical Therapy clinic. I stumbled upon her YouTube channel last month. Because my left side is weak, I present more like a stroke patient than someone with MS, so her modifications were exactly what I needed. If you are trying to rehabilitate a body plagued by mobility issues, check out her site to exercise safely.
(Remember to subscribe, like, or become a member of her channel to send some cash her way. She has put a ton of free resources online. Making, editing, and uploading content takes a lot of time and energy on top of running a physical therapy clinic, so share the love if you’re able.)
Featured Image from Unsplash / Jungwoo Hong