Saturday, September 18, 2010

Breathing and Rooting

Went to see the neuropsychologist again.  He has a very interesting office. It's a combination of the normal psychologist office and an occupational therapist (OT) office.  I think Oriental culture must be "in" for psychologists as he has a small collection of Oriental art and artifacts.  There is an "executive" chair for me:  A big black comfortable chair with good back support and neck support.  Dr. Berman sits on a black exercise ball anchored to the floor.    Around the office are a couple of other exercise balls and weights.  There is a bed in the office.

We don't talk too much about the ups and downs of my life or my emotional state per se although Dr. Berman does ask me how I feel.  We do a number of exercises so it is more like OT.  He is very interested in my breathing from the diaphragm.  Today we tried to incorporate movements and exercises into the breathing.  Not too successful as it takes a bit for me to remember to keep my balance and breathe or to do the exercises where I am touching my knees and breathing correctly.  But it will come.
We tried the exercises where he flashes cards with parallel lines or an X.  I can't seem to hold out my arm  correctly.

We also have been working on balance and proper stance.  Feet shoulder width apart.  My posture is very lousy.  We also started working on walking and breathing... walking by leading your knee first.  He picked up on what the OT's noticed:  that my gait is a bit off.  I pronate... that is, my feet turn outwards.  I have known that since college when I was running.  My boyfriend at the time was an avid runner who was the son of doctors.  His parents sent him off to get orthotics and he knew enough to get me sneakers, Saucony, that corrected a bit for pronation.  I had the worst shin splints at times as I was running 30-60 minutes a day.  So, I knew when we started doing all the exercises in OT about balance and gait that I should see a podiatrist.  At any rate,  I told Dr Berman, I would be seeing a podiatrist shortly and he gave me the name of a podiatrist who also treats the Pennsylvania Ballet and many of the dance companies  in Philadelphia.  More on this fellow later.

I noticed that as I  started breathing, standing and walking differently that I began to feel the earth very firmly underneath my feet.    I  felt what the Chinese would call "rooted", connected physically to the ground.  I felt stronger and more secure.    Not quite a feeling of qi circulating in my body as we aren't moving breath or energy in my body but just a feeling of a very secure attachment to the ground.   I began to feel my limbs well attached to each other and a direct line of feeling to the ground.   It's quite interesting.

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