Last October, Ivy from New Zealand left a comment on Fitness Fixer how she first found me while looking for relief from severe sciatica with foot drop. For 11 months, she had tried treatment and an exercise regimen from a chiropractor. Last week, she e-mailed me a funny update of improving mobility and health from a new stretch. I started writing this post just to tell of Ivy's stretch and how readers can have the same success.
I looked over my file of Ivy's comments on Fitness Fixer and her e-mails to me over the last two years - each story weaving to the next - of improving health, mobility, and joy of life for herself and people in her community. Reading them again was like sitting by a stream that sparkled over rocks on its way by, inspiring and lovely. Some are private, some I have her permission to tell.
Last October, Ivy wrote:
Ivy wrote, "I knew I should be feeling better than I was. During those months I was continually surfing the net looking for answers, then in November 2005, I discovered Dr Jolie Bookspan's "How to fix your own pain without drugs or surgery." Everything she described was ME, 69 years of bad habits had finally caught up with me.
"So began my journey to good health and freedom from pain. I began with the pec stretch, trapezius stretch, wall stand, sitting correctly at the computer without sticking out my chin, hamstring stretch, isometric abs (no more crunches), squats and lunges instead of bad bending.
You can imagine my joy when after 2 days I was free of pain. I was so excited that I contacted Dr Jolie, who in turn, took time out from her busy schedule to e-mail me giving me further advice and exercises which I might add, I follow religiously along with a daily 30 minute walk (weather permitting).
"Some months ago, I decided to follow a vegetarian diet. I feel so well and happy, in fact, I have loads of energy. I turn 70 at the end of this month (Oct 2006) and am looking forward to the next stage of my life feeling healthy and free of pain."
"This is the second winter that I have not had either a cold or 'flu. For someone who was always getting the 'flu, that is really something. I put it down to my healthy vegetarian diet."
Ivy used my free web site summary sheets on fixing pain, my books, and Fitness Fixer posts. Here are links to posts Ivy used:
- Pec (pectoral) stretch - Fixing Upper Back and Neck Pain.
- Trapezius stretch - Nice Neck Stretch.
- Wall stand - this is a quick check of functional muscle tightness to see if you can use healthful positioning for normal activity. It is described in the first paragraph of the post Fixing Upper Back and Neck Pain, above.
- Sitting correctly at the computer - When Did Health Become Thinking Out Of The Box?
and Get Better Exercise From Your Chair
and Are You Making Your Exercise Unhealthy?
- Hamstring stretch - Healthier Hamstring Stretching
and Sitting Badly Isn't Magically Healthy by Calling It a Hamstring Stretch
and Doorway Hamstring Stretch.
- Isometric abs (no more crunches) - this one isn't up on Fitness Fixer yet. It is in my book The Ab Revolution and Fix Your Own Pain, and on my web site summary on functional use of abs to stop overarching the lower spine. Ivy sent a photo of doing this exercise. I will post it when I post about this fun, different, functional abdominal exercise.
- Squats - Bending Right is Fitness as a Lifestyle
Free Exercise and Free Back and Knee Pain Prevention - Healthy Bending
and How Good Would You Look From 400 Squats a Day - Just Stop Unhealthy Bending.
- Lunges - Strengthen and Retrain Function With The Lunge.
The posts on lunges, Doorway Hamstring Stretch, and Functional Achilles Stretch, feature photos that Ivy sent me. I had written Ivy earlier this year asking if she could send me photos demonstrating what she is doing. She invited a neighbor to visit and take the photos, had them developed, then mailed a pack of them to me from New Zealand. Ivy writes:
"My dear 86 year old friend took them and we certainly had a lot of fun doing what I will call a "photo shoot." Bear in mind her age when I tell you that while I was trying to hold the pose, she would press the incorrect button and would have to start all over again. I would lose what I would call the correct form and so it would go on... I can now sympathize with models who have to hold poses for what seems an eternity."
In February 2007 Ivy sent an update, signing it:
"I shudder to think where I would be if I had not found your web site over 15 months ago. I mean it when I say "Thank you for helping me get my life back." I am fit, I am healthy, what more can one want in this life. I have passion about what I do something that I haven't had in a very long time."
What about her e-mail and the new stretch? We're out of room. Click for the next post- Inspirational Ivy II - Beating Foot Drop and Sciatica, and Getting Healthier.
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