Finding The Most Effective Way To Move Body Parts Is Quite A Trick But Worth The Trouble


Hi folks,

Chez Ollie

Fenzel lenses to assist opticians, same Frenzel as in the Frenzel Maneuver.

About 20 years ago I was an enthusiastic SCUBA diver, but I had lots of trouble clearing my ears. A bolus of air would just remain lodged in my middle ear, while my Eustachian tubes would refuse to release the pressure. Several dives were ruined that way, but if I could get below about 30 feet, no more problems. I repeatedly tried to clear the air by yawning or using the Valsalva maneuver (bad idea), to no avail. Then one day I learned a magic trick, the Frenzel maneuver, whilst reading a flight magazine in an airplane, where ear clearing was also a problem for me. It is essentially impossible to demonstrate this maneuver, but it goes like this, (for me, anyway): (1) gently close your nostrils with your fingers, and being gentle is what distinguishes this approach from the potentially dangerous Valsalva maneuver, (2) place the tip of your tongue just behind your upper teeth, (3) raise the back of your tongue, which can be achieved by doing a ‘half yawn,’ and (4) VERY gently increase the pressure in your throat and nose, which will expand your nasopharynx (the back of your throat) and open those pesky Eustachian tubes, and POP, it’s over. No forcing! No danger! No more clogged ears, and you can hear again. Sounds easy, but it took me several dozen attempts before I got it, then I’d forget and have to learn again, until now it is a simple procedure. Which brings me to my latest Continuum lesson – you had to do it to understand the power of a simple change of game plan.

Continuum, safe exercise, blogging ideas

Rebecca, FitOldDog's dance and Continuum teacher is finally bringing my posture into line.

One thing I learned from my studies of the Feldenkrais Method is that there are many ways to move a body part, however much you assume that there is only one way. This came home the other day during a Continuum lesson when Rebecca asked me to lie on my back and lift my leg knee first. Now, here is where it becomes difficult, but I’ll try anyway.

First I moved my leg, but it was apparent to Rebecca that I was engaging a whole bunch of muscle groups, including my abdominals and even my upper back and shoulders. Not very efficient for such a simple movement. Rebecca said, just try to pull your femur into the hip joint (acetabulum), and the leg will just rise all on its own. I thought, “That’s not going to work because the round ligament is holding the head of my femur in the socket, so it is sitting in there and can’t come out!” I tried anyway, and as if by magic my knee rose followed by the rest of my leg, and it felt completely effortless.

The difference:

My knee-jerk approach was using primarily quads and abdominal muscles, engaging a whole bunch of movement in my trunk.

Rebecca’s method simply engaged the psoas and hamstrings, with a little help from the glutes.

I practiced this a bunch of times at home – and what do you know? – during training the following day I found that this approach helped me to select which muscle groups to use in the run and on the bike, especially during hill climbs and rapid acceleration. More control is great, and all I have to do is gradually adapt to this new knowledge and avoid straining anything.

I strongly recommend that you give it a try, which I plan to do again right now – I’m off on the bike on this lovely North Carolina day.

-k @FitOldDog

Keywords: safe exercise, blogging ideas,

Today’s workouts:

Workout PLAN Coach: Chris Hauth
Duration: 02:00:00
with 3x7mins at Zone 4
Distance: 3700.0 yd
Duration: 01:00:00
400 swim – 200 kick – 200 pull
10×100 – 10 sec rest – evry 5th one easy
10×75 – 10 sec rest – pulling, breathing 3,5,7 by 25
10×50 kick – 10 sec rest
10×25 – 10 sec rest – fast, NO FREEstyle
400 swim long and steady

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.