Advanced Exercises : advanced mobility required to perform these exercises.
Timing and Repetitions
10 repetitions of each exercise should take about 8 minutes. As with all exercise you should warm-up first. Marching or jogging on the spot for a few minutes interspersed with some gentle stretches will do the trick.
Caution: Body toning exercise can be a pretty painful experience if muscles have been dormant for a while. The problem is, it's not until 24-48 hrs after your exercise that you'll realize you've overdone it! Body toning exercise should not be painful while you are doing it - if it is you're using too much weight.
Exercise 1 - Chest and Shoulders
Lie on your back and grasp your weights with the palms of your hands facing up, and your arms outstretched to the sides. With your elbows slightly bent, lift your arms above your chest until your hands are almost touching. Return to starting position and repeat.
This is a standard exercise for the able now let’s make a few modifications for the stroke survivor. While you are on a bed, use your good hand to reach and grasp your bad hand. Pull it up and toward the middle of your chest. Repeat this 10 times.
Exercise 2 - Chest and Shoulders
Lie on your back and grasp your weights with the palms of your hands facing up, and your arms outstretched above your head. Grip your weights and bring them over your head and down to your hips, by your sides - a semi-circular motion. Lift back to starting position and repeat.
This is a standard exercise for the able now let’s make a few modifications for the stroke survivor. While you are on a bed, use your good hand to reach and grasp your bad hand. Pull it up over your head and rotate it in as big a circular motion as you can make. Repeat this 10 times.
Exercise 3 - Back and Shoulders
If you can stand then stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms by your sides, gripping the weights with palms facing outwards. Making sure your movements are slow and concentrated, tense your shoulder and upper back muscles, then slowly "shrug" them up and down.
MODIFIED FOR BED OR CHAIR
While sitting on the edge of your bed or in a chair allow your arms to hang down off the bed. Begin by shrugging your shoulders and then rotate your shoulders. Repeat this 10 times.
Exercise 4 - Shoulders and Upper Arms
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms raised straight up above your head, grip your weights with your palms facing behind you. Slowly bring your arms forward and down, without bending at the elbow, until level with your shoulders. Lift back to starting position and repeat.
MODIFIED FOR BED OR CHAIR
While sitting on the edge of your bed or in a chair with arms raised straight up above your head, grip your weights with your palms facing behind you. If you cannot grip a weight then use the good hand to move the bad by interlacing your fingers. Slowly bring your arms forward and down, without bending at the elbow, until level with your shoulders. Lift back to starting position and repeat.
Exercise 5 - Upper Arms, Shoulders and Back
Standing with feet slightly apart, grasp your weights and bend at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms towards the floor with palms facing outwards. Lift your arms out to the side, keeping them straight, until parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.
MODIFIED FOR BED OR CHAIR
While sitting on the edge of your bed or in a chair grasp your weights and bend over at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms towards the floor with palms facing outwards. Lift your arms out to the side, keeping them straight, until parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Exercise 6 - Upper Arms, Shoulders and Back
Standing with feet slightly apart, position your arms straight down in front of you almost against your body - with your weights almost touching. Bend your elbows and lift your weights towards your chin, bringing your elbows out to the side, in line with your shoulders. Return to the starting position and repeat.
MODIFIED FOR BED OR CHAIR
While sitting on the edge of your bed or in a chair position your arms straight down in front of you in your lap - with your weights almost touching. Bend your elbows and lift your weights towards your chin, bringing your elbows out to the side, in line with your shoulders. Return to the starting position and repeat. Again if you can’t use weights then interlock your fingers in your lap and bring them up to your chin.
Exercise 7 - Arms and Chest
The classic push up. With your hands shoulder width apart place your palms on the floor. Stretch out your body with either your knees on the floor, or if you're feeling ambitious, your toes - so you are supporting your body weight. Keeping your back straight and using your arms lower yourself gently toward the floor until you are hovering just over it. Push yourself slowly back to your starting position and repeat. Remember - don't lower yourself to the point where you come into contact with the floor, it'll be much harder to push back up.
MODIFIED FOR BED OR CHAIR
Most forget this and figure it is too difficult but we’ve made a few changes. While sitting on the edge of your bed position your arms at your side and push down on the bed attempting to straighten your arm and lift yourself in the air. This resistance is a great exercise.
Exercise 8 - Arms
In a sitting position with your back straight, relax your arms in line with your body. Grip your weights with your palms facing upwards and curl them up towards your shoulders, then back down again. Repeat. Keep your torso still and back straight, let your arms do the work.
Exercise 9 - Forearms
Holding your weight with your arm outstretched in front of you, tilt your wrist up and down repeatedly. Try doing this with both an overhand and underhand grip on your weight. Do one arm at a time.
We have a client that is two years post stroke and has moderate speech difficulties that we will be following. In the initial evaluation we looked under his tongue and notice the dark coloration and stasis of blood flow. (Picture 1) After treatment we looked at the tongue and the stasis was gone and good coloration has returned. (Picture 2)
After 1 week of treatments his tongue which was not curling on the right side now can be curled bilaterally and feeling is retuning to his inner mouth. With the blood and Qi flow returning to normal in the tongue speech patterns are beginning to change. We have a number of exercises that he is doing daily and I hope to do a podcast with him soon to demonstrate the progress that he is making and the speed with which he is making it!
Part II—Symptoms and treatment plans (1)
Our last blog mentioned there are 5 categories of hypertension based on TCM. Today let’s look at the symptoms and corresponding treatment plans of the first two of them.
Recommended Herbal Medicine:
Pills of Six Ingredients with Rehmannia (Liu Wei Di Huang Wan)
Effect: Nourishing yin and supplementing kidney. It has a phenomenal effect on deficiency of the kidney-yin, dizziness and vertigo, tinnitus, deafness, emission, night sweat, hectic fever due to yin-deficiency and diabetes.
Recommended Herbal Medicine:
Gastrodia Elata (tianma) and Uncaria rhynchophylla (gouteng)
Gastrodia Elata is used for calming the liver and treating headaches, dizziness, tetanus, and epilepsy. From a nutrition point of view, its root has been shown to exert novel pain relief and inflammatory-mediating activities.
Uncaria rhynchophylla is most frequently used to relieve headache, clear heat and calm the liver wind. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and immune-modulatory effects against cancer. It is one of several dozen herbs being promoted these days as an effective treatment, even a potential cure, for cancer, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, candida infection, arthritis, and other disorders for which western medicine is often unsatisfactory.
Today, we have covered the first two categories of hypertension. Another two categories will be discussed in our next blog.
Part I—Understanding high blood pressure
Hypertension is the most common of cardiovascular diseases. It usually does not cause obvious symptoms. Long term high blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, and chronic kidney disease. And it has become a threat to human health and one of the main reasons of death.
High blood pressure is classified as either primary (essential) high blood pressure or secondary high blood pressure. About 90–95% of cases are primary, defined as high blood pressure due to nonspecific lifestyle and genetic factors. Lifestyle factors that increase the risk can include excess salt, excess body weight, smoking, alcohol, and stress. The remaining 5–10% of cases are categorized as secondary high blood pressure, defined as high blood pressure due to an identifiable cause, such as chronic kidney disease, narrowing of the kidney arteries, an endocrine disorder, or the use of birth control pills.
Both TCM doctors and western doctors have invested a tremendous amount of manpower and resources to find answers for hypertension and certain solutions have been found. But you have to be wise and visionary to choose the right one. Western medications have a quick effect in responding to the symptoms of hypertension, but with unresolved headaches, dizziness, palpitations, tinnitus, insomnia, and other symptoms. Moreover, long-term medication will cause side effects on the liver and kidney functions or require you to increase your dose to maintain the effect.
Featuring treating the root cause of a disease instead of responding to symptoms, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a definite advantage in treating and curing hypertension. It has been discovered in TCM that kidney deficiency is the fundamental cause of hypertension disease. Correspondingly, the therapeutic principle of nourishing kidney-liver yin, warming kidney yang and the tonifying of kidney active blood was developed in curing it. Modern medical lab results and clinical trials have testified to the efficacy of the kidney therapeutic principle.
According to TCM, hypertension can be classified into 5 categories: Kidney deficiency syndrome, Liver Yang hyperactivity syndrome, Transformation of liver Yang into wind, Phlegmatic-damp syndrome and blood stasis syndrome. Each category has different common symptoms and corresponding treatment plans. We will discuss each in detail in our next blog.
So that I don't get in trouble from the copyright police please read WebMD's article at (http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/chinese-medicine-topic-overview?page=1)
It's interesting that they refer to TCM (a form of medicine that has been used for over 4000 years) as a "belief". As if it is not a true form of medicine. They do however, admit that it is gaining in popularity in the west. One point for them. In their statement "Chinese medicine doctors look at the balance of body, mind, and spirit to determine how to restore qi, the yin-yang balance, and good health." Without explaining that it is an involved art and science. In other words each person is considered as a whole and not just parts. One thin effects another! I seem to remember way back when, when I was a child that we had a general practice doctor that knew everything about our family and life too. In other words TCM focuses on maintaining health and then on healing and curing a disease process once it is identified. With me they quite literally rolled back the clock and corrected almost all of the challenges I faced after my stroke and reigned in my hypertension so that it is rare for me to need medication.
I know hundreds of doctors personally and practiced in the US medical system for years before heading to China and after every meeting I had with them I was encouraged to except myself as I was and be content with the challenges that remained after the stroke.
WebMD stats, "Promising results have been found for the use of acupuncture in treating nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy, postsurgery pain, and pregnancy" an "Acupuncture also may be useful for other conditions such as addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma. In general, acupuncture is safe when done by a certified acupuncturist. The treatment can be expensive and time-consuming."
I would agree that TCM is slower because it is promoting healing and can be very expensive in the US but here in China the cost is extremely reasonable. As long as TCM is limited in its ability to be practiced in the US I guess I'll be helping people to get access to the best treatments here in China.
A study conducted by the leading TCM Hospital in China proves that both triple acupuncture therapy and regular meridian acupuncture therapy can improve the feeling function, movement function in chest lumbar spinal segments on traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Named: Effect of Triple Acupuncture Therapy Combined with Rehabilitation Training on CGPR Content in Peripheral Blood, Motor Function and Activity of Daily Living of Spinal Cord Injury, the study shows that Triple Acupuncture Therapy has an important effect on calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGPR) content, a key factor in nerve regeneration, in peripheral blood, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) motor score, ASIA sensory score, modified Barthel index (MBI) score of SCI patients in the early phase of treatment. And the CGPR Content in peripheral blood may be a potential protein for functional recovery for SCI patients
To observe the effect of Triple Acupuncture Therapy, 50 SCI patients meeting study criteria were randomly assigned to a treatment group (n=25) and a control group (n=25). Both groups received rehabilitation training; the treatment group was added with triple acupuncture therapy and the control group was added with regular meridians acupuncture therapy once a day and a month as a course. All patients received three courses of treatment. Besides, 25 healthy subjects were enrolled as a normal control group. It was found out that the CGRP content in two groups were lower significantly than that in the normal control group before treatment. However, after one month of treatment, the CGRP content in treatment group was higher significantly than that in the control group. After three months of treatment, the ASIA motor score and the ASIA feel score were significantly increased in both groups. After two months, three months of treatment, the MBI scales in the two groups were also increased significantly.
Often times, SCI patients were told by their western doctors to be content with their wheelchairs. It could have been worse. But I know deep in the heart of every one of them, there is a little voice asking “Can I do better?” or “Is there hope somewhere of the world?” The answer is YES !!! and the hope is in CHINA!!! Acupuncture has been practiced in China for over 4 thousand of years. Based on human experiments, its efficacy in treating spinal injuries has been proven. However, you need to make the decision and give yourself a chance to become your best.
I know that we have stated on our site that TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine and is a form of medicine and treatment modes where optimal conditions are provided to allow the body to heal itself... but in reality what does that mean to you?
Ok... I think you'd agree with me that most people do not give a second thought to their health unless they find themselves with a cold, the flu or heaven forbid an actual medical emergency! Well that's to late. As parents we often think and focus on our children's health. I know I have laughingly said that mothers can't get sick... their too busy taking care of everyone else! But the reality is we need to think of our health daily.
We need to be mindful of our sleep, food intake, exercise, stress level, environment and so much more. Our bodies do a wonderful job of handling so many things daily... but we really need to pause daily and think! I have a daily habit of walking, listening to music, exercising, and relaxing. So if you pray, meditate, read or exercise daily I applaud you and pat you on the back. If you haven't focused on this yet the I highly encourage you to focus on finding a time daily to do this.
I also encourage you to take time out annually and have your body balanced so that you are less likely to experience a catastrophic medical event. Our lives are much more complicated today and busy for most is a regular state. Take time now....or trust me you'll regret the consequences of your choice not to.
Today I stopped as I was taking my morning walk and considered that question? Did Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) offer me hope? Part of me wanted to laugh and scoff at the question because I sought treatment back in 2004 and of course it was effective and I’m alive today because of it! But I had to remember how doubtful, fearful, and desperate I was before that.
In retrospect I remember clearly how frustrated I was at all of the individuals I sought answers from. These professionals had limited experience in seeing any complete recovery and as a result their advice was be content with what limited function I had gotten back.
I have learned that most physicians I speak with are very open minded but their advice, like that I received, is limited to their actual experience. As a result I often face an uphill battle when it comes to convincing individuals to give TCM a chance to prove itself. I spent years documenting successes but many individuals either doubt or question results and ask to speak with former clients.
Although this seems like a great idea, HIPPA regulations regarding patient confidentiality do not allow for this and those who agree to speak with others are often met with disbelief. In the end each individual must decide for themselves what they will do…. to remain as is… or seek TCM treatment abroad.
As for me I decided to not live in the world of regret and as such became the first American to seek treatment in Tianjin. I came in 2004, almost three years from my stroke and my husband of 30+ years says at that time he expected me to die within the next 2 years (2006). Well I got my life back after making that decision and now the person who was being pushed about in wheelchairs and sitting at home is in China walking 1 1/2 miles a day for exercise! I’m also learning that after years of daily western medication I can now control my blood pressure (see picture) with diet and exercise after using traditional Chinese medication for 4 months and balancing my body. Now I seek an annual visit with my TCM doctor here in China and leave my US doctor thrilled at my state of health. (Its not a miracle… it’s medicine!)