I recently was given a book by a friend which is literally changing my life for the better. The title is Pressing Reset-Original Strength, by Tim Anderson and Geoff Neupert. It’s all about rebooting your body by engaging in the same developmental movements you made as a child. The authors draw an analogy to modern-day electronics: “What do you do when your computer or cell phone freezes up? More than likely, you reboot it. What if you could reboot your body? What if you were not able to move the way you know you should be able to, or you weren’t as strong as you know you should be? What if you could simply press a button and reboot your body’s operating system? You can!”
I was skeptical at first, as the exercises involve diaphoretic breathing, rolling, crawling, rocking on hands and knees, and head nods. But, after doing these simple (but not necessarily easy) tasks daily (they only take 10 minutes or so) for the past month, I can definitely feel a positive difference. I have recently begun using these exercises in my practice with my clients including the two with Parkinson’s disease.
The easiest to begin with is the breathing. We are meant to breathe through our nose, though many breathe through the mouth. Breathing through the nose encourages diaphragmatic, or belly breathing. If you’ve ever watched an infant, toddler, or dog breathing, they do it right. The belly moves in and out. Somewhere along our life’s path, most of us have become chest breathers. In my case, I know when it happened. As my interest in girls grew, I sucked in my stomach and stuck out my chest so I’d look trimmer and stronger. Belly breathing feels so much more natural, and more oxygen gets sucked in. PLUS, with each breath comes an abdominal contraction, so I get stronger in my core with each breath. Considering most of us breathe 15,000 to 20,000 times per day, we can get pretty strong by doing something we have to do anyway. Plus, it feels really good.
Segmental rolling from back to stomach and back again is another exercise from the book. In short, I start by leading with a leg to start the roll without using the arms to my stomach, and leading with the leg again to roll onto my back. Next, using an arm to lead both ways, and finally, leading with the head. When I first started doing the rolls, my back muscles weren’t very happy with being on my stomach. After a week, no pain at all!
My favorite exercise involves head nods. I get on all fours and push my rear end back over my heels. With my arms straight, I lift my head as high as I can, then tuck my chin as far as I can. I do 20 reps each time. With all the neck issues I see with my clients, this seems to be quite the fix. It feels great!
Again, I highly recommend the book, and I will be attending a workshop by the authors in October. The book is a great read, and easy to understand.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.