Monday, October 8, 2012

Anatomy of Movement

Recently arrived from Amazon, Anatomy of Movement, by Blandine Calais-Germain, and its companion volume of exercises. They're great books, lavishly illustrated, and both volumes are serving me well, in conjunction with all the other exercise I'm doing.

That the exercises are helpful is no surprise: they're well explained and well illustrated (with drawings and photos--terrible hair), cover stretching and strengthening, and have accurate correlations between exercise and specific muscles. There are plenty of muscles affected by the stroke that are not obvious in their failure, although the effect is pretty evident (I fall over), and the volume of "Exercises" helps target them where free weights, Pilates or yoga cannot.

Slightly surprising, though, is that gaining a better understanding of my own anatomy from the first volume has been useful by itself. I have mentioned in the past that every action involving my right side has a conscious component: I can't simply raise my leg, I must think about it. It turns out that knowing what the principal muscles involved and not involved are is useful, and seems to be helping my brain recover.

I'm pretty sure that the deep muscles of my spine are affected, for example, but my brain has not had to work on them for 40 years or more. Knowing what they are, and having tools to exercise them will help with getting them more brain time, which, I hope, means less falling over.