Friday, May 10, 2013

Deep Breathing Relaxation

I made a discovery at PT today. For 7 weeks of PT I have tensed up when bending my knee. Really tense. I grab the handles of the shuttle, I basically fight the bend. Every muscle in my body is fighting against bending that knee. I grit my teeth. My face is contorted, I am sure I am making some crazy faces! Even though I want to let her help me bend, I end up fighting against it. I have even said, don't touch me! PT is hard work!
Today, I decided to try deep breathing! I have used my childbirth deep breathing when the dentist has to work on my teeth, fillings, root canal. It has helped in the past. In fact, the dentist will ask me, are you OK? I want to yell, "Yes, I am OK, quit messing up my relaxation!"
When the dermatologist had to remove a basal cell from my nose, I used the deep breathing.
I learned the technique when pregnant with Andrea. It is the Bradley Method of Husband Coached Childbirth. I will say, I learned to relax, Ron didn't really learn to coach me, but that is another blog post. You take deep breaths, relax starting with your feet and work your way up. Taking deep cleansing breath. I gave birth to Andrea and Amanda without medication!
Today, I gave it a try. I started taking deep breaths, concentrated on filling  my lungs, breath in, breath out, I bent to 117 without assistance, I let her push to 120! And I didn't yell!
Earlier in the week, I could get to maybe 110 and she had to push to 120, with me groaning in pain! Grabbing the handles, about to jump off the shuttle!
I have compared this process to giving birth several times. I actually feel that giving birth was easier!
The weekend, when I work on bending, I am going to practice my breathing.
Basically, when you tense, your muscles do not receive oxygen. If I can relax and let go, my muscles will relax, let me bend, get more oxygen and should be less sore after therapy.
I do not know why it took me this long to try this. At three weeks out from surgery, I hit a wall and could not progress. The doctor prescribed predisone for inflammation. The next day they prescribed Valium as a muscle relaxer. I still did not progress. By then I had scar tissue, which I believe was present before the knee replacement. Not only did I not progress, I regressed, I could only bend to 85!
I am excited to try this new technique. Especially if my muscles are less sore.
My muscles are so sore. And I am so tired about being sore! I have to take pain medicine for muscle soreness. I feel like my muscles are ripped apart!

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