Saturday, May 11, 2013

week 3

It's week three at the Scoliosis SOS clinic ( there are definitely changes felt.

We lost two of our group, one who was only doing 2 weeks and the other who will do her second 2 weeks at a later time.  We have added four, one who is only doing 2 weeks, with the others now completing  their 4 week program after a gap when they did their home program in between.  I am curious as to whether there is greater benefit in doing the 4 weeks in a row or taking a break in between.  The physios. say that it takes 6 weeks of work to change a muscle - how many hours a day constitutes "work" in that instance?  No one knows either answer.

I felt very achy the second weekend, so was quite happy to relax, do a few stretches, walk for an hour, and converse for 48 (not quite but it felt like it!)  Monday I was very stiff at the beginning, but slowly felt a bit looser during the day.  I walked for an hour afterwards and that seemed to settled a few remaining kinks.

We are working hard, with more exercises than stretches filling our days.  We move swiftly from exercise to exercise as we know the set-up and waste little time, which of course means we are working harder.  On the one hand there is more quiet huffing and puffing of exertion filling the silence, and on the other hand the room breaks into frequent chatter, teasing and laughter, as we are all more familiar with everyone and the way things run. 

On nice days several of us eat our lunch together in one of the little nearby parks, along with everyone else in London.  The minute the sun comes out, the Brits. escape outdoors and there is barely a scrap of green grass that isn't covered with pale bodies (or burned red ones, if the sun was out yesterday too).  I have found a small church (St.Olave - Hart Street) that offers free lunchtime concerts twice a week, so when the weather was cold and wet I slipped off to sit in an ecclesiastical sanctuary and listen to a piano-accompanied soprano singing Benjamin Britten, or a young and passionate pianist channeling Beethoven.  I had to escape before the encore to get back, but it was worth it.  With the body working so hard all day, it's nice to let it rest and allow the brain and other senses some freedom.

From here you can barely hear
the building site noise next door
A rare escapee from London's Great Fire of 1666

I was confused about the Norwegian flag,
until I realized that st. Olave (or Olaf)
was (or presumably still is) the patron saint of Norway
I am starting to feel muscles I've never felt before: one up by my left shoulder blade that I can feel move while doing my rotational breathing, another at the base of my lower right spine when I lie over the large ball and kick my right knee into the ball's side.  At the end of traction exercises, I feel almost faint, and quite dizzy when I get up, but a rub of the lower back and then a "prayer stretch" with rotational breathing fixes me right up. Two of our crew have missed days due to pulling some muscle or working a little past their comfort zone, but I am lucky to be able to work at maximum every day and still be able to walk a fair pace in the evenings.

I had felt rather proud of being fairly flexible when we started, thanks to Martha, Nancy, Shauna and Anita back home, but I am now able to put my head to my knees, both sitting and standing.  I can't get my legs apart enough to do the splits, but I can now sit and lean my forearms on the ground with my legs out in a V.  I have the most flexible calves in the class.  "Look Ma, I'm a success!"

I don't know if I have lost any weight but I do feel a bit more toned.  And if I am heavier due to muscle, which is heavier than fat, then that is just fine by me!

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