Fountain of Youth
I see people every day with back pain, knee pain, body pain, pain and more pain. Current research supports imaging techniques focusing on MRI, bone, cartilage. THERE is no imaging of muscle. There has not been a break through in the why of the degradation of the body.
Ten years ago I had a patient with severe osteoarthritis. He was in his mid 70”s, lived with his wife on a large sailboat that the managed alone in the carribean. I looked at his hands and spine, incredulous that he was able to sail unassisted. He told me his secret, at 65,crippled with pain and limited mobility he started yoga. He continues with a daily routine. At that point, my knees were in constant pain, and my back was stiff and painful.
Always listen to your elders. From that moment on i started yoga classes, three times a week for a decade. My AHA moment came when I felt all the joints in my spine slide effortlessly when I was in spine twisting pose. My knee pain was long banished, my back no longer bothered my, and I was comfortable running, biking, hiking and playing singles tennis. I have reversed the aging and degeneration of my body with yoga.
This led to research in how the body can regain youth. It was well documented that muscle strength could be regained at 80 years old as efficiently as those in their 40’s. So if strength training was part of the answer, what was the other side of the coin? FLEXIBILITY.
I met Bob Cooley 3 years ago and worked with him on imaging muscles, resistance and flexibility. Since the 1950’s it was known that eccentric resistance training produced results not achieved with any other exercise. Yet it remained an unknown part of traditional medicine.
Yoga postures eventually allow self resistance and flexibility to work on the muscles in a way to conformationally changing connective tissue. Think of your body and posture like you are a building. We use a level and plumb line to build foundations so that a building stands the test of time. When your posterior muscles are out of sync with the anterior muscle plane the head projects forward , the spine rounds, and hamstrings get stretched. Try contracting your hamstring. Everyday I demonstrate for patients that their hamstring is so weak it can’t lift their foot without cramping…they are always amazed.