Hello Zebras, I’ve been a member here for quite a while now but have only recently become well enough to embark on TZC Foundations. I’ve been responding in the Zebras chat section recently, so thought I ought to introduce myself and say “hi” properly. HI! I want to thank Jeannie for creating this TZC universe and developing the IMM and all the programs and classes and resources. It’s an amazing global 'healing and dealing' space (as in dealing *with EDS!) ☺️🙏🏼 And thanks to TZC Ambassadors here, too, who have been very welcoming and helpful. >Very Long post warning!< I also wanted to post a bit about my first month here and how I am managing to introduce Jeannie’s IMM to my life/rehab when the reality is that about 80% of even the introductory movements are still well beyond me. I know I’m not alone in that and I want to share one of my most helpful strategies (one step on from visualisation - which is also a valid and useful strategy!) and something about what “less is more”, as Jeannie emphasises and emphasises, means for me as I begin my TZC engagement. I really intend this as a ‘contribution’ to the ‘finding our range’ conversation (#findingyourrange). - Jeannie, I love that you give such special attention to unpacking why you gave your “Finding Your Range” podcast the title and subtitle you chose. All the ways we need to “find our range” are indeed many and varied and can relate to everything in life, not just our movements, so thank you for giving something so broad and layered and foundational such simple language. Language has been a really fascinating and important tool in the kit-bag for rehabilitating this body of mine. 📜🙏🏼 My brief background, for context, is - symptomatic since early childhood and diagnosed very late, at 50, a few years after becoming bedridden w a severe ME-like condition. I was a super sporty kid, plus ballet and then circus acrobat and trapeze artist as a young adult. Even leading up to the big decline I had (which accompanied the menopause - hello others 😅😅) and even though I now understand I’ve had ‘issues with tissues’ all my life, I was still pretty active - longboard surfing, carpentry, study, work - right up until I couldn’t walk, or get up, or sit up in bed, or even speak at one time. A lot of deconditioning actually happened while I was still active, it was like we could see it occurring as I declined and became less and less able to exercise or move at all. I think this was because my trunk musculature was just so dysfunctional, eventually everything gave up. Deconditioning got worse after becoming bedridden, of course. Six years on, hEDS, MCAS and Dysautonomia diagnoses have given me great tools and pathways to management (as well as pathways to self-forgiveness) and I’ve been able to begin stabilising this body and slowly increasing my basic functioning. Two years ago I began working with an EDS-aware physiotherapist - it then took me about a year to be able to do much movement therapy outside my bed (I still have to do a lot of my rehab in bed some days!). This physio is actively engaged with the international EDS ECHO consortium (very supportive of me doing TZC too) and I am beyond grateful to have her in my life! At that time my thoracic region and rib cage were extremely compressed and the T9 zone of my spine had a lot of instability (and still does). Along with those things came a tangled universe of hypertonic trunk muscles (psoas, pelvic floor etc.), locked/stuck fascia and deactivated/atrophied deep postural muscles. I also have CCI like many other Zebras. It’s taken 2 years of gentle gentle micro-level physiotherapy and somatic work to now be able to lie on my back on the floor, press my feet against the wall and feel a soft trunk and an *evenness of pressure* through my feet and legs and into my torso. I’ve only recently achieved this feeling with enough ‘balance’ to now start to feel the beginning of what pressing into a bridge feels like. This rehab journey is also involving very necessary nervous system repair and rehabilitation including somatic therapy, bowen techniques and cranio-sacral therapy (CST) and pelvic floor release. I’ve decompressed a lot and am much much more trunk-stable. I can’t emphasise enough how I’ve had to do things in extremely minute increments to get where I am now. I've had only one CST, treatment, eg, it was amazing, released lot and so also exposed a lot of instability that I’m still working on - so I won’t have another session for many months yet.Same goes for the pelvic floor release. Only once so far, slowly slow. Enough context! In the Welcome and the Foundations Jeannie talks a lot about how we need to really go so slowly in order to very gently condition all our tissues to the new movements. If I’m not super diligent with that advice, it triggers severe fatigue and flareups. Even new breathing needs time to get used to. An example - very recently I’ve had the joy of my ‘Lat' muscle and related fascia finally releasing and the sensation of muscle sliding over muscle the way it's supposed to is an incredible feeling! It’s also very overwhelming to my nervous system so I have to be really careful how much I ‘enjoy’ it or I become very nauseous very quickly. I have to get to know these new sensations very slowly, or I fall back into horrible whole-body ‘crashes’. So approaching TZC, heaps of the full movements are still way beyond me but I’m excited to begin and feel fairly well equipped, now, to know how far I should go. That ‘knowing how far’ can be really difficult to gauge, though, so my primary strategy is to approach new (to me) movements by initially only trying to feel the beginning of the movement and only going further into trying to actually do it, if there’s an ease and balance with that beginning - and if I can maintain softness elsewhere (not brace). So, very often I am only aiming to feel the departure point of a movement, (what muscles activate? Where do I brace? Can I 'unbrace'? How much pressure/action can I employ?, etc) and only going further once that beginning feels ‘balanced’. For example, in the “Soften and unwind tension” video, there’s a section where we’re on our back with one knee bent and one leg straight (I can do that!), Jeannie uses pressing into the foot of her bent leg to gently roll her pelvis over. That whole action is still too intense for me so I concentrate on one sentence that Jeannie says there: “see if you can find/feel the connection btw the foot and the hip” “and just feel that connection”. At this stage that is *literally all I try to do - just feel that connection of pressure, being gently mindful of the 3 points of my foot (as per the foot videos!). My next step with that exercise will be to try to feel what it might feel like if I *could* use pressure through my foot to roll my hip over, and then I’ll spend some time feeling the beginning of that roll and keeping it easy and soft and only try to begin rolling my hip over once it comes easily enough. In the Foundations ‘Relaxing' video, there is a lovely movement lying on back with knees bent and gently rolling knees/hips to the side and using our breath to soften and then letting the breath and the pelvic weight bring hips/knees back to centre - Jeannie goes quite a way down to about 50-60°, my current range is a movement of about 5-8°. It still feels lovely letting weight and breath bring my knees back to centre :) This approach means I often only “do” about 20-30% of many of the the movements in a video class (and this currently includes many of the Foundations videos) but I try to get acquainted with the starting points for all of them. I am really enjoying this engagement and exploring the feeling of where those movements begin - that I will be able to do down the track! So that’s my take home from my first month engaging with the amazing resources here (meaning the whole TZC App and community, not just the amazing resources section 😀). Approaching the movements by initially ‘practicing’ where the movement ‘starts’ gives me a really nice sense of accessing movements I’m not up to actually doing just yet, it also allows me space to gently discover what’s safe for me and what’s possible. For me, it's the next logical step after visualisation. As well as easing my tissues into the new movement, and slowly conditioning my nervous system to the new sensations, I also believe this approach helps my *brain get acquainted with the new pathways of action in a slow and gentle way, so it also effectively supports the neuroplasticity we are all exercising in order to do this work! I know there are maybe lots of Zebras here with similarly low function to me and it can be really hard to get any sense of progress. I truly believe we can take Jeannie’s advice about “less is more” and “start low go slow” to micro micro extremes, especially when coming from severe states of dysfunction. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. ☺️🙏🏼 I’ve spent quite a few days getting my thoughts in order around this and I couldn’t make it any shorter!. I promise not all my posts will be this enormous 😅

Posted by barbara at 2022-10-23 01:24:46 UTC