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Ciaran

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Ciaran last won the day on June 18 2016

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About Ciaran

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  1. @Tris- I had/have the exact same issue from trying H2T. Long story short. You'll probably be finding a whole lot of spasm along that posterior muscle chain for a wee while. I think piriformis is the muscle that gets the beating because this is where the greatest excursion likely happens on the nerve i.e. the greater sciatic notch, during the H2T. There are a bunch of other nerves and smaller muscles here too that could contribute. It doesn't necessarily mean this is where the nerve may have become stuck. May have been adhered to other tissue further down, like the calf, OR, higher up. The nervous system is continuous throughout the whole body. I remember Kit saying something like his wrist movement improved from doing the 90 day lower body ballistic protocol. I think the main thread about the nerves different pathway possibilities was posted by Dave. I think. Take some rest, especially with nerves as initially they can remain prone to flareups. Along with any stretching or soft tissue work your doing. You may benefit from sliders to help reduce sensitivity of the nerve and promote sliding of the nerve against the muscles, fascia etc. Don't do a lot of them and DO NOT do them in a range that brings on symptoms. Gradually the range can increase as symptoms decrease. Once that feels good, nerve tensioners would be the next step which would basically be a scaled down version of H2T. Here's a video:
  2. Heya mate. Did the MRI come up with any pathology in the knee joint itself?
  3. @Nathan - Definitely! Was sort of a question to the group mixed in with my answer so far from experience. Working as a physio I can definitely vouch for the site of pain sometimes not being the cause of the problem. Sometimes with an insidious onset, it may be linked to a lack of ROM somewhere else in the chain. In the case of my hip it was ankle/thoracic ROM and with my elbow it was neck ROM. @Dexter - Initially my programme was structured quite similar to how you described. It may have been other activities (i.e. soccer, weight training) that pushed things over the edge for me. For the position you described and location of pain, neural tension doesn't feel right. It could be muscle cramp, joint impingement, or hard musculature not becoming soft when compressed and 'moving' out of the way. A muscle can be tense in both its lengthened and shortened positions. Given it goes away after 20-30 seconds its likely musculature in nature. You'll have to play with the variables and see what eases it. Perhaps you're really using your hip flexors to pull you into the pike intially. Also, TFL is a hip flexor and internal rotator! Try some roll stretch/ball mobs on it with active movement in those ranges. Time under tension may be another factor. My girlfriend's favourite thing to say to me is, "you don't spend enough time in your stretches!" They must have an active component if your goal is strength and control in these ranges though! Research is showing that while passive stretching may lead to hypertrophy, it doesn't necessarily lead to increases in strength. Contract-Relax. Others here may argue against study limitations around research and stretching, and rightly so given their usual duration, but it is an interesting result nonetheless. I think Nathan is right with the moderate approach for most. Especially in the beginner stages (although this principle seems to be the one for learning new disciplines). It isn't up until recently that there has been a confidence in being able to handle an intense stretching session without either some neural backlash or crazy DOMs in the forthcoming days. What has made the lure of such lofty goals for me, like the pancake, much more manageable was integrating more assessment points. Instead of focusing on the end goal of itching my nose on the carpet with my bottom firmly on the ground, the focus became on first hitting the tipping point for gravity to take over i.e. 90degrees. For the cossack it has been focusing on form over depth, achieved with videoing myself and scrutinizing my lumbopelvic activation (was my lower back straight?). With the tailors pose, less focus on the knees to ground and more focus on can I sit with my back in neutral while gradually reducing bolsters under my knees. Making these changes to how I measured my progress is what has really been significant for me in injury recovery and prevention. It is a slightly more cautious mindset, but was needed as my neural system was literally fighting back. It seems it needed some graded exposure to new ROM. Maybe more so than others. Somatically and psychologically, I have felt more significant change from focusing on the spinal musculature than I have from say increasing hamstring or pec ROM. I don't know if this is because breathing mechanics are challenged more with some of these positions and the effects it may have on the autonomic nervous system, or if because movement generally originates from the spine. Probably both. Regardless, I have been experiencing increase in limb ROM from just working on the spine. Particularly, for me, when working on the neck in relation to my arms. Interestingly, as I have been working on more people in my practice I am finding my haptic intelligence has increased, particularly of my back. I can literally feel my back more from seeing and touching more backs. There seem to be many variables that can influence not just your ROM but also your perceived ease of using the ROM. I feel as though I have had actual changes in ROM from just altering my goals and mindset. Likely the limits of my fascial system haven't been met yet and my somatic and psychological limitations are still mainly within the realms of neural restraint. But, there is a deeper understanding now of what systematically stretching the body feels like. Something that may have been learned sooner had there been more experienced eyes on me. You can't beat self-taught experience though! But isn't this the nature of Stretch Therapy. Feel what is tight for you that day and work on that. It has taken time though, serious time to get an ounce of that awareness, or haptic intelligence. I am left wondering, what am I not feeling. So to TL;DR - Start centrally (spine) and work your way out to the limbs. Make sure to stretch everything in moderation. Don't get stuck on achieving certain goals, if it isn't coming and something doesn't feel right, look elsewhere to improve your range. Make sure you are stretching the intended structure. Lastly, patience. Consistency will bring results.
  4. Haven't posted in a while but have decided I want to bring this topic to the forums to see what people think. Should you systematically stretch areas of the body instead of focusing on one area until a goal is reached. In my haste to pursue more range of motion (ROM) at certain joints it has left me with neural injuries/irritations in both my upper and lower limbs. First it was pursuing more ROM in my shoulder which resulted in an injury to my ulnar nerve and a year off serious weight training. Ongoing neural tension has existed since then but I have been able to get back to weight training the past four months. What I have found most helpful in relieving this neural tension are neck lateral/flexor stretches (particularly the scalenes). This has had a dramatic effect. This was realised as a 'last' option, after focusing more on stretches at the site of pain (elbow) followed by the shoulder. Second, was more ROM in my hips. Particularly external rotation to help with those squats, lunges and sitting cross-legged! This led to an injury of my sciatic nerve. Luckily I had seen the signs earlier than my ulnar nerve injury and it only kept me out of running for a couple weeks. However, I have ongoing neural tension there for any piriformis stretches. While Banded distraction stretches/mobs into external rotation AND internal rotation have reduced the neural tension, I feel it is still hanging around. This brings me back to the topic question. Is it more conducive to injury prevention and overall ROM gains, to focus short stints of time on joints/kinetic chains of the body, instead of large volumes of stretching on one area/joint in pursuit of a ROM goal (e.g. perfect Pigeon Pose or 180d shoulder flexion). Say a couple weeks to a month spent on one area, then moving on to another. Maintenance of ROM would be achieved with general limbering sessions. OR, as I have read elsewhere, instead focus more centrally on mobilising the spine first to address any neural adhesion's and soft tissue restrictions. This would be followed by more focused attention on the upper and lower limbs. Lo and behold...the daily 5. As always the answer seems to have been in front of me the whole time (i.e. Stretching & Flexibility). How interesting that after using myself as a test dummy for the past few years I have ended with a similar conclusion to that laid out by Kit in his book, Stretching & Flexibility. Have a more central focus on the spinal muscles, be they intrinsic or extrinsic, followed by systematically addressing the rest of the body.
  5. Hi kate, You may benefit from doing some banded stretching (tried to find the one by Kit but was unable): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkzFT6rRMhQ You may also benefit from doing some posterior capsule stretching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_713h6iug30
  6. Have you since maintained strength in the muscles around your knee? Additionally ACL injuries have been largely shown to come from poor firing patterns of the whole chain of leg muscles, starting with the glutes/external hip rotators. that is, poor biomechanics during functional activities Try practicing external rotation of the hip/leg etc while doing some functional activities like squatting, cutting/side stepping while running or single leg balancing with knee bent. Look up the fifa 11+ program. There could be many reasons why your knee has started to hurt but given the previous trauma to it, it may very well be damage secondary to ACL injury or simply something that has recently changed your biomechanics. For example, new shoes, new activity, walking on a challenging surface e.g. sand. It's very unlikely the ACL has been compromised given what you've described i.e. "came out of nowhere".
  7. @marktn - interesting thst you bring up the subscap as my attention has definitely started to go there. @swissdanny - sorry did you mean it did provide short term relief?
  8. @SwissDanny - just wondering if this ever resolved for you?
  9. Day 28 Update I spent some time over in Aussie last week partaking in 'Into the Stretch' & 'Deeper into the Stretch'. Both workshops were thorough, challenging and educational. They really solidified my understanding of Stretch Therapy and answered questions of my own that I had developed over the past couple of years. Unsurprisingly I felt like I've now made a leap in progress after attending the workshops. In particular I am feeling a greater range in spinal movements and a reduction in resting tension in my body. Needless to say I found some very tight lines for me, particularly the anterior & posterior superficial fascial lines (along with the hip flexors, rectus femoris and piriformis). Lots of work to do! Lastly, I was lucky to get a taste of Physical Alchemy with Dave Wardman, something I still don't really have words for other than the walk back to where I was staying was very 'interesting' that evening. I am sure my girlfriend would have some funny quotes! Meditation - It is at a point now where I really look forward to this everyday. I am relaxing much quicker than when I first began and my mind is wandering less. With the concurrent hip flexor stretching I am doing, my lumbar spine is finally starting to get closer to the floor which has brought on another level of relaxation it seems! Swallowing is still an issue at times but I have really relaxed into 'letting it happen'. Interestingly, my left leg doesn't externally rotate as much as my right and I am finding it difficult to relax my left heel. External rotation is fine in hip flexion so I will have to do some tinkering to see what internal rotators/fascia might be preventing this. Spinal Waves - This has been an interesting journey. There was a period where I started doing the waves too fast and had to intentionally slow each movement down to increase awareness. This has helped develop much more control and I am now beginning to really 'feel' most spinal segments. Particularly in the sagittal plane. Transverse plane has been really difficult, especially when trying to be fluid during transitions of left to right to left. I am getting more control now and I would say that the transverse movements feel the best afterwards. The funny downside of all of this is that I now feel like I need to move my spine MUCH more often throughout the day, or else I begin to get aches in my back. The upside is that it has meant I move through more ranges of movement during the day then I used to! Stretching/Mobility (2x/week intense stretching with daily mobility into these ranges) Pancake - been doing this with partner assistance either front or back. Need a decent bolster to get past 90 degrees but it is an extremely tight line for me and one which I feel once loosened will really open up my pelvic ROM. I can feel with any forward bending, be it straddle or x-legged that my Pubus and Ischium just do not want to move and the line is very tight all the way down past my knee. Thoughts are that I need to attack gracilis! Advanced piriformis - partner assisted as well with a decent bolster. Left side is much tighter than my right! Again limiting factor for my pelvic ROM and tight hip flexors. Finding it more useful to do partner hip flexor stretching before piriformis stretching. Much easier to get into position! Partner rec fem/hip flexor - left side much tighter than my right. This stretch gives off the most intense sensations it seems. Very very intense. Working on squaring the hips before I enter the stretch but finding it very hard to maintain this position. Bent leg hamstring - both sides are relatively equal. Really enjoying this stretch and I am now finding that it is turning into a double stretch with hip flexors getting some nice work as well. Lacrosse ball - working attachments of all hip musculature. Ischial tuberosity attachments have been particularly gunky! Very brief reflection on the workshop: Particular exercises from the workshop that seemed to really open up new ROM for me were stretches for the fibularis muscles and flexor hallucis longus muscles. I can sit much more comfortably in various positions now. They were both one of those lines I knew needed work, but avoided because I knew they would be unpleasant. It was good to get back into the rollstretch for the calves, something I had stopped for a while. Like most, I feel the workshop has provided a burst of motivation to really put some work in, now I just need to make sure its consistent!
  10. @Kit_L - I went through the whole jaw sequence before my meditation session today. No way was I able to fit 3 knuckles into my mouth, but got closer at the end. Practicing the swallowing was difficult. I found that if I spent time with the sensation it ultimately led to a reflex swallow. I can't imagine I would aspirate, but maybe that was a defense to it. Throughout the session I was able keep my head on the ground for swallowing by keeping my same start head position and ignoring the "tuck chin" queue. I did feel a loss of length of spine because of this. I will have to work on how to feel a lengthening of the spine without tucking the chin. Ultimately though, the act of swallowing was still a forceful feeling, but improved from the previous session. Thanks though Kit, I feel I am on the right path now and with more practice this should resolve. I'll update any changes in my training log.
  11. Posterior elbow pain has resolved but ongoing neural issues. I have rested the nerve as much as possible the past 6 weeks. Will do so for the forseeable future as anything beyond ADLs aggravates it.
  12. This has been a long time coming! Due to a recent string of injuries I have decided to step away from my strengthening and focus on a 90-day challenge of body awakening. Inspired from Kit's ballistic challenge and Dave's video log I have decided on a 90-day challenge of daily meditation and 15 minutes of Craig's spinal waves. I started 7 days ago at the beginning of the lunar cycle like Dave (22/5). Finish date (19/8). I will also be logging weekly stretching. Current goals: Daily: 15 mins of spinal waves (5 mins for each plane i.e. sagittal, frontal, transverse). Lying meditation from a variety of sources, mainly Kit's uploaded sessions on this forum. 3x/week: Stretching focusing on hip musculature -- with emphasis on resolving hip impingement and re-injury of a previously debrided labral tear. Upper limbs put on hold - previous ulnar nerve injury is still resolving. Documented in another thread. Day 7 Update Spinal Waves - In the first few sessions the undulations felt like one piece of rope, especially in the frontal plane. It feels very whip-like, with the final movement at the atlanto/occiptal joint feeling like the "crack" of a whip . Unsurprisingly my upper traps have been quite sore! Now, at Day 7, the undulations are starting to feel separated, with individual links, like a chain. I am looking forward to these sessions each day as my awareness is increasing already! I am finding that my walking and sitting posture is already changing and the feeling of needing to move my spine is becoming more frequent. Daily lying meditation - this is going well - averaging 20-25 minutes on a carpeted floor. I had already started meditating before this challenge but it was infrequent and after 7 days of consistent meditation I am now feeling a difference during each session. I am feeling more relaxed sooner into the session and feeling more and more relaxed each time. Looking forward for whats to come! Re-injured the hip about 7 weeks ago now. No loss of ROM. Still a 24/7 ache/pain. Finding that standing pancake is helpful in reducing pain. 2 sets of 10 reps each. Knees fully extended.
  13. Thanks Kit. I will give that a go next session! The sensation increases the more I "tuck" my chin. For whatever reason the more I tuck my chin the more I need to lift my head off the ground to swallow. I will try to not resist this and slow the movement down.
  14. Does anyone have regular buildup of oral secretions in lying meditation? This has been a regular problem for me, requiring active swallowing which breaks my state of mind during meditation.
  15. Controlled articular rotations (CARS). Basically active ROM at end range. It's from andreo spina. Edit: Here's a summary on it http://www.toddbumgardner.com/hip-and-shoulder-mobility-the-cars-solution/
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