Our local community partner, the Arthritis Foundation, is hosting their annual Baltimore Walk to Cure Arthritis on Sunday, June 9th!
We see clients from all walks of life, and I’ve seen first-hand the impact arthritis can have on someone’s life.
At the end of 2018, we had the pleasure of working with one of the most well known Baltimore area members of the Arthritis Foundation. He grew up with Juvenile Arthritis and continues to live with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
When he came to us, his goal was to walk the entire Jingle Bell Run For Arthritis (a 5K). It was a lofty goal, given that the arthritic pain and fatigue had never allowed him to complete the 5K, and we only had 1 month to help him prepare.
However, using Neuro Therapy, we were able to help him pull it off.
He continued to work with us in to the first few months of 2019 to manage the inflammation around his joints, prevent muscle atrophy, and improve his overall quality of life, and has since accomplished his second goal of being able to work 30 hours/week!
Arthritis is the nation’s #1 cause of disability, and it is the mission of the Arthritis Foundation to fight for a cure, while providing educational tools and resources, along with community connections, for the 54 million Americans who are diagnosed.
The Walk to Cure Arthritis is a FREE wellness event where the Arthritis Foundation raises awareness and funds to support their mission.
At the event, we will hear from Young Adult Honoree, Nia Phipps, who has been living with Juvenile Arthritis since she was 5 years old.
Nia credits the Arthritis Foundation’s Juvenile Arthritis Camps for helping her make friends and learn to live life beyond her diagnosis. It costs the Arthritis Foundation $1,000 for a child to attend a Junveile Arthritis Camp each summer. Our goal is to raise $1,000, and send a child like Nia to one of the 42 Juvenile Arthritis Camps across the US so they finally have a chance to be a kid.
We have a team for the Walk and would love to walk with you on June 9th.
Visit https://events.arthritis.org/team/premier to register, or create your own team to walk with your family and friends! If you’re able to donate, even just $5, it will make a difference. Thank you in advance for all your support.
To learn more about the Arthritis Foundation and how you can get involved, contact Lexi Evans, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-948-6657.
One of the toughest parts of the recovery journey that we see day in and day out is day 1 of what we call “force absorption testing.”
I would imagine this concept isn’t unique to Neuro Therapy – there are similar moments during the recovery process for everyone, whether they are just “resting” their injury until it gets better, going through traditional physical therapy, or have recently undergone a surgery.
It’s that moment when you get to test the activity that’s most important to you and see how the injury feels. Whether it’s just going for a walk, jogging, biking, or getting back on the field, you finally get to see how you’ll feel going at a little higher intensity than what you’ve been allowed to do in therapy so far.
So what makes it so tough?
Surely, this is a joyous occasion. All the hard work and time you put in to therapy is about to pay off!
Except when it doesn’t (at least not on day 1…)
In 90% of cases, that first day of testing isn’t about being 100% pain free or to feel like you’re performing at your best again.
Day 1 of testing is about starting to acclimate your body and more specifically the nervous system, to the forces that are required to do that activity again without any hesitancy or guarding.
Because it’s been so long since you last performed that activity without pain, it’s extremely likely the nervous system will still be guarding. And when the nervous system is guarding, it causes the brain to send off signals like pain, stiffness, and “this feels weird.”
It takes repeated exposure to the activity over the course of several days in order for the body to “take the guards off” and realize the activity can be completed without any resistance. When the nervous system realizes this, it eventually allows the activity to be performed without pain, stiffness and the feeling of “this feels weird.”
In other words, to put it shortly:
You should expect there to be pain or some level of discomfort on Day 1 of testing – do not let it discourage you!
The goal of day 1 of testing is to establish a baseline. How much activity can you do before feeling discomfort? If you’re a runner, maybe its ¼ mile and you start to feel that nagging pull in your hamstring at a 2/10 pain level.
In general, we look at pain levels of 1s and 2s out of 10 as a warning signal sent by the nervous system. They aren’t there to indicate you’re doing harm – just to let you know “hey, we’ve been down this road before, and past experience tells me we might be doing an activity that can cause damage.”
We’ll encourage you to keep running through that 1 or 2 out of 10 until one of two things happen:
1) The discomfort goes from a 1 or 2 out of 10 to a lesser value (maybe none at all). That’s fantastic – it means the nervous system has realized there isn’t actually a threat present and has started to ease up on the guarding mechanism.
2) The discomfort goes from a 1 or 2 out of 10 to a greater value. That’s great as well, because now we know and can start gauging progress as you continue with the recovery process. Our goal will be to continue working at it to extend the amount of work you can do without discomfort levels elevating to a more alarming level.
Primary message of this post? Don’t get discouraged on day 1 of testing your body with your favorite activity! It’s only purpose is to establish a baseline for where you’re at in the recovery process.
The recovery process is a journey with ups and downs along the way, but you will reach the end goal!
If you’ve been through the Neuro Therapy process, you’re well accustomed to the following send-off after sessions (perhaps even as you’re walking out the door).
“Don’t forget your protein, water, and sleep!”
Whether you are recovering from a sport/exercise related injury or doing what you can to put years of persistent pain behind you, all 3 play a vital role in the recovery process.
Out of these 3 recovery factors (protein, water, sleep), the protein is the one we get the most questions about.
“Do I have to eat protein?” (Yes!)
“It makes me so full!” (That’s a good thing!)
“Won’t I gain weight?” (No!)
We know – Optimizing your lifestyle to increase the body’s ability to repair isn’t easy. But as anyone who’s experienced it knows, the point of Neuro Therapy isn’t to be easy.
It’s to get better.
So why do we constantly preach protein when clients offer so much resistance to the idea?
Here’s 4 reasons hitting your protein target is crucial to reaching your Neuro Therapy goals:
1) Protein is the essential building block required to repair muscles, bones, and nerves. If you’re injured, your body is damaged, or suffer from nerve pain, your body literally cannot repair itself without sufficient amounts of protein. Hoping that Neuro Therapy can help you recover without hitting your protein targets is like trying to build a house without wood or brick (ask the 3 Little Pigs how that worked out…). It just won’t happen!
After writing this, I’m starting to think just this reason alone should be sufficient to convince you protein is needed…but we’ll continue with the other 3.
2) Protein helps to prevent muscle atrophy associated with injury. Injuries often cause a state of anabolic resistance in the affected muscle, which decreases the ability of the muscle to create protein. This causes immediate losses (atrophy) in muscle size and strength, sometimes in as little as 5-7 days. Hitting your daily protein targets will decrease the effects of anabolic resistance, and thus decrease the chance of muscle atrophy in the affected area (boosting your ability to recover quickly).
3) Protein helps to decrease muscle soreness between Neuro Therapy sessions. One of the reasons Neuro Therapy is so effective is because it directly targets muscles and ranges of motion that the body is not accessing properly. Often times, re-introducing the body to correct muscle activation and movement patterns causes muscle soreness – something we keep an eye on throughout the Neuro Therapy process. While muscle soreness is expected (and generally is a good sign of progress), if the muscle soreness becomes too intense, it may limit our ability to be as effective in Neuro Therapy. So how can we prevent the onset of soreness and optimize the Neuro Therapy process? Hit your protein targets! Protein will help to repair and re-vitalize muscles between sessions so you can arrive at your next session ready to get to work!
4) Protein increases your capacity to do work during Neuro Therapy sessions. In order for Neuro Therapy to be the most effective, you must arrive every single day ready to get to work. If you’re coming in hungry or malnourished, your body will start to reserve energy for vital functions, meaning you won’t have as much energy to put into your session. There’s nothing worse than having to deal with a growling stomach and a max tolerance set of Neuro Therapy. Hunger will limit your ability to push yourself to higher output powers, meaning your results will be limited. Hit your protein targets, and I can promise you, hunger will not be on your mind during sessions, allowing you to put all of your energy into pushing yourself and driving results.
What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is characterized by decreased or improper neurological communication to the peripheral nerves.
The peripheral nerves are responsible for neurological communication throughout the body. The brain uses them to communicate with the muscles to make them move and also to receive sensory information from the environment, like the sense of touch. When these nerves are damaged, it can affect either (or both) functions of the peripheral nerves.
If communication with the muscles is disrupted, you may find it more difficult to move and experience decreased coordination, decreased balance, muscle weakness, and/or stiffness.
If neuropathy affects the nerves responsible for the sense of touch, you may also start to experience numbness, tingling, and/or burning.
When the brain senses it has lost communication with the peripheral nerves, neuropathy often starts to become painful.
Why does it occur?
Neuropathy occurs for a number of reasons, but the primary reason is that the brain has a lost the ability to communicate with the nerves in the affected area.
Whether it is because of a previous trauma to the area, head/neck injury, nutrition deficiency, or biochemical imbalance (like Diabetes Mellitus), the nervous system has a diminished ability to communicate effectively, resulting in the symptoms listed above.
In order for the problem to be addressed, the nerves need appropriate resources (oxygen, nutrients) to repair themselves and re-establish appropriate communication.
However, often times, the problem is compounded over time. Because neuropathy causes people to use the symptomatic area less, the brain starts sending less resources that way.
The nerves become inflamed, scar tissue can develop, and blood supply is restricted, meaning the nerves receive less oxygen and nutrients to repair themselves. Additionally, muscles in the area become weaker, so the nerve becomes likely to become even more damaged.
How can Neuro Therapy be a part of the solution?
Neuro Therapy was designed to re-establish proper neurological communication throughout the body. When proper communication is established, the brain can start to communicate with the damaged nerves appropriately again and symptoms may start to decrease.
Through its unique, targeted approach, Neuro Therapy also helps to bring needed resources (blood flow, nutrients, oxygen, etc). back to the affected area, so the nerves can begin to repair themselves.
During the process, clients also work to re-educate the nervous system and muscles around the affected area to work properly, to improve movement patterns, increase range of motion, and limit the chances of future damage to the nerve.
If you or a friend are experiencing symptoms consistent with Neuropathy, it's possible Neuro Therapy can help.
We've designed a 3 step assessment process to determine whether or not Neuro Therapy can help relieve your Neuropathy symptoms... and for a limited time, it's 100% free.
If you're interested, just click the blue button below to apply for the free assessment. Once you've completed the form, a member of our team will reach out to learn more about your problem and determine if you are a good candidate for the assessment:
This week’s post is short, but sweet, and may be one of the most valuable techniques I can share with you.
It’s about re-programming the script that runs through your head.
When the script is tuned improperly, it drives negativity and unhappiness. It turns stress into anxiety, opportunity into dread, and gratitude into apathy.
I call it the “I have to” script.
It’s when we think things like “Today, I have to do x” or “Why do I have to do y?”.
Because when we tell ourselves we HAVE to do something… we’re telling ourselves we have no control over our lives. We’re telling ourselves that we don’t have a choice to do what we want to do.
In some ways, we’re training ourselves to be victims in our own lives.
But life is about creation! And we get to choose every single minute who we want to become and what life we want to live.
You literally don’t “have to” do anything, as long as you understand the consequences of your actions. You get to educate yourself enough to weigh the pros and cons of every decision in your life before taking action – a liberating thought.
So how do we re-program the script?
We’ve got to be guardians of our mind and teach it discipline. Every time you think of all the things you “have to” do, simply pause….
And re-frame it.
Let’s take a look at a common one. I have to go to work on a Monday morning.
I choose to go to work this morning. It’s not always the easiest to get out of bed, but work gives me a sense of pride. It gives me the ability to make a difference every day (no matter how big or small), provide for my family, who I am very lucky to have, and do many of the things I enjoy doing outside of work. If this job was affecting my life negatively more than it does positively, I would make the choice to find a different opportunity.
That’s just one example, but I’m sure if you pay attention to how you speak to yourself throughout the day, you’ll find many more opportunities to start the re-programming process.
It will feel extremely forced at first, and it’s not easy, but given time, commitment, and discipline, you’ll start to see your mind naturally starts thinking this way.
When the mind naturally starts thinking this way, you’ll find yourself feeling more fulfilled, gracious, and ready to take on the opportunities that come your way.
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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