Guarding, Feldenkrais, Triathlon Training, AAA-Stents and Origami


Hi folks,

Tip for the day:
find what your neuromuscular system is guarding unnecessarily, as it can kill your training and will certainly slow you down.
Book for the day: “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig. (all about quality of life, right!). Still a great book!
Links for the day: Did you know that Origami played a big role in the design of your endovascular AAA-stent graft. This interesting and valuable application of the ancient art of Origami in endovascular stent design was brought to my attention both by my surgeon, Jo, and by my artist friend, Andy Fleishman. This makes our AAA-stents a thing of magic – art and science coming together, not that they have ever been apart!

I hadn’t heard of guarding until I started working with Feldenkrais , but it turned out to be the most important thing I ever learned when it comes to getting to the starting line healthy and ready to race. Whilst reading to prepare this entry, I came across an excellent description of how it feels when you deal with guarding in a Feldenkrais session 

for the first time, in this case for a shoulder injury related to swimming. I found this article by Michel Sigman, which contains a number of useful links, in the Huffington Post , a journal which was new to me! Here is a brief quote from the article:

“The Feldenkrais Method often involves work in a remote area of the body by helping a person make internal connections to improve a far-away injured or underdeveloped area. An injury can trigger guarding patterns that make the sore spot resistant to direct treatment. By offering clarity to a more receptive part of the body, the injured area becomes more relaxed and amenable to healing.”

For over five years during my early fifties I experienced all kinds of treatments that eased but never fixed problems in my right knee and hip, including cortisone injections! This ‘knee’ problem stopped me racing and training frequently. My first Feldenkrais session with Karen revealed that I had been guarding my right ankle for about forty years, since it was broken in a motorcycle accident when I was 18 years old. This unnecessary protection of a region of my body that no longer needed protecting was throwing out my alignment in many areas, placing load on my right knee and hip rotators. Once you are aware of guarding you are on the road to recovery, and for me that chronic ‘knee’ problem was gone in a few weeks. So! I consider Feldenkrais to be a key component of my endurance training approach. As important as good nutrition, sleep, and massage.

When it comes to the subject of this blog, training with an AAA-stent, the related surgery leaves damage in your groin and lower abdominal muscles, and of course fear that you might move the thing and kill yourself. However, I’ll be ready for any unnecessary guarding that weakens my core, which as we know is a large part of our physical strength.

-k Your Medical Mind


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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.