Here is a beautiful little velella velella washed up on the beach. Notice the arches all through its little body.
Here is the Chihuly seashell ceiling, from the Chihuly Bridge in Tacoma, taken while lying on the ground looking up at the sky. Look at all of the arches and arcs all through the glass.
Here is an actual reflex arc diagram. See the arc created with red and blue lines? This is what we are going to take advantage of to help you actively rest…otherwise known as not stop moving while recovering from an injury.
In the classic definition of a reflex arc, most scholarly articles talk about the patellar tendon test, where the doctor taps your knee with a rubber hammer and your lower leg and foot shoot out in a kick. However, I was with a physical therapist who told me that not only does a reflex arc come in handy in situations where you need to respond before your brain has a chance to kick in, but in an injury situation. He told me that 30% of the neurological information transfers from the left side to the right side when doing a movement, or vice versa.
30% of the neurological information transfers? Fantastic!
I have used that one tiny tidbit of information to great advantage. I had always noticed from sheer observation that the second set of any exercise always seem to go better than the first try. I am not a big fan of assigning what I consider to be arbitrary numbers to any given exercise. Nonetheless, it is useful so that people will stop working one side, work the opposite side, and come back to the first side to give the muscle and the movement prime neurological feedback.
How does this help an injury?
Well, you don’t necessarily have to work on the injured side, but consider working the uninjured side to help your brain remember what it is like to move well. How it feels to move pain-free. What muscles are involved in the movement. If you are feeling somewhat healed, try it out on the injured side.I promise your body will tell you immediately if it is ready or not.
Do you feel the same muscles moving in the same way on the injured vs. uninjured side? Is there any pain? Can you figure what the discrepancies are from right to left or left to right? This puzzling out and paying attention will reap great benefits, even if it just feedback to give to your acupuncturist, physical therapist, chiropractor, etc.
Most people operate on the premise that all of their muscles are working all the time. I find that is almost never true.
Be a detective! Puzzle out what might be suffering from a little muscle amnesia, and talk to me about what has worked for you in the comments below!