Author Archives: jeanine

I coined the name Soundtouch when I was a teenager being a songwriter and having developed a love of making people's pain go away as a child. I am living my dream in Beautiful Santee in the East County of San Diego California. I have a small practice, by referral only. My sister in Ohio has been after me forever to write a book, and I don't have that kind of attention span. I am a mildly dyslexic contemplator, and didn't know I needed vision therapy until recently. This explains why both literally and figuratively, I see things differently. This is my forum; family, friends and clients have encouraged me to share my perspective. Please, make coments ask questions, if you know me share something about our experience or let me know how you like the site. I would love to hear from you,

On Dancer on Prancer….

I take great delight in the joy in movement I see when my grandchildren dance. Despite, or maybe because of the genetic anomaly that runs through the family hypermobility is both blessing and curse. The youngest, given a death sentence when he was six weeks old, dislocates joints at the drop of a hat, but he, who wasn’t given 6 months to live, just performed in his first Nutcracker. His oldest sister does backbends,  split leaps, and is an amazing dancer…. not just for a 10 year old but amazing….period.

When faced with instability, core strengthening and dynamic stabilization activities are the key to optimizing function. if the joints don’t hold shape because of ligamentous laxity, strong tendons and muscles that have developed the skill to optimize different fibers for different purposes allow for grace and stability.

North County Academy of Dance has done an awesome job of looking after the unique needs of each of my grandchildren involved in their programs. https://www.facebook.com/ncadance/

hypermobility plus trained strength =grace

hypermobility plus trained strength =grace

strange shoulders (4)

so the shoulders rest on top of the ribs, big deal….

Yes it is a big deal because the ribs are supposed to be buoyant.  I refer to the rib cage as a rib slinky. Between each set of ribs there are three sets of muscles diagonal left, diagonal right, and vertical, when fully stretched, functional and strong they can create a powerful bellows effect for the lungs (which have no muscles themselves) . Ribs should move up and down, in and out, side to side. They allow for rotation with one side compressing while the other side expands, turns, bends.

Your thigh has one bone that is longer than the whole of the thoracic unit which contains more than thirty bones.   Why so many bones? just as the foot and hand have so many bones because of the movement demands on them, the ribs were intended to be flexible and very mobile. they compress and expand. the upper ribs are connected front and back but your lower ribs are only attached in back, this allows them to move out of the way when you bend forward to tie your shoes and to really open out lake a gate when you take a large expansive breath. Your diaphragm muscle attaches to the underside of the ribs, thoracic vertebrae and the sternum providing for a canopy like expansion to take place during singing and breathing.

Eyes must rest on a horizon, that’s a neurological rule; if the neck is off center because of damage or poor posture, the ribs may compensate allowing the shoulders to remain relatively level. the later dysfunction in the shoulders as the ribs become less mobile, because Wolfe, Davis and Starling’s laws can work against our conscious goals.

Want to try something? hold your ribcage still and swing your arms… Hold your arms still and rotate your rib cage. Notice you can turn your ribs using your ankles, knees or hips and keep your shoulders almost perfectly still.  not move them together, hold your ribcage at the furthest possible point of rotation, and add shoulder retraction, pulse this and find you move further and further still  because at that end range, your rib cages is again in a fixed position and the shoulder blade can move on it once again.   try doing this with your arm at different levels and different positions. I am always amazed at what tightnesses I find and can relieve in my own body when I do this as an exploratory exercise.

Freeing up the rib cage allows greater freedom of the arm. Especially if you lengthen the latissimus dorsi to decrease its compressive forces on the rib cage

Change your rib cage change your shoulders

strange shoulders (3) ribs

The entire arm rests on the ribcage

the shoulder girdle is only attached to the sternum

Your two arms are more attached to each other than they are to the rest of the body.This is either a terrifying or very liberating thought.

Your arms were designed to work in concert with your rib cage…

I like the term concert because sometimes the ribs and thoracic units have the same melody and purpose. Sometimes one takes the high note and the other takes the low note and harmonize, sometimes one is supposed to just take a rest and let the others carry the movement… and if a small instrument lets say a piccolo (or muscle) is too tight, too loud, off key, sharp and piercing is disruptive to the whole movement, well that’s a concert I don’t want to listen to.[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B00SFVPINK” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51LCaoknDcL.jpg” width=”333″]

In strange shoulders (4) I will explain why I dislike the term rib cage and prefer the term rib slinky, but the image lets you see how unattached the shoulder blade is to the body. it is capable anatomically of many motions, many angles, many resting positions based on gravity and posture and usage.  Any one of those three corners can go up, down, inside, outside, rotate, be adhered to the tissues that connect to the rib cage underneath them,  Resting position can be affected by the fit and style of bra a woman choses to wear, how heavy items are that are routinely carried, by bulking up of muscles anywhere around the joint.

Going back to Wolfe, Davis, and Starling , the bones, connective tissue and blood supply to the entire area are affected by usage, and by default, non usage.   A shoulder can have just as much pain or dysfunction caused by a weak, poorly initiated muscle as it has from a muscle in spasm so strong that it has shut off its own blood supply…..and all the time, it, they rest on the ribs whose movement or lack thereof affects the function of the shoulder.

Want to try a new shoulder exercise? close your eyes and breathe…. feel the connection. Breathe deep sitting, standing, in a recliner, in your bed, lying on your stomach…. discover the magic of how breathing can change your shoulders.

 

strange shoulders (2)

…. so do you know where the only bony connection of your arm to your body is?

at the top of your breast bone, you might feel two little bumps…. medically known as the sterno clavicular joints, that is where your collar bone attaches to your body.

You have almost thirty bones in your wrist and hands

they attach to the two bones of the forearm

which attach to the long arm of the upper bone

which rests in a shallow, almost saucer shaped receptacle

that is part of the shoulder blade

which has an almost pencil thin attachment to your collar bone….and no other bone

which attaches to your breast bone

about one inch away from your other arm

ALL OTHER CONNECTIONS OF YOUR ARM TO YOUR BODY ARE DONE WITH SOFT TISSUE

muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, fat, skin…etc

 

your shoulder girdle, is designed to rest….and move on top of your rib cage[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B005EI8R3U” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MVxo13pFL.jpg” width=”500″]

 

 

strange shoulders…. (1)

I have been fascinated by shoulders for a long time.   I have two of them one has had chronic problems and when I went for diagnostic testing and the only offer I got was “surgery to clean it up in there” but with assurance my arm wouldn’t fall off if I worked on it myself, I revisited anatomy, what I was taught in school,  and my own dyslexic interpretations of pictures and explorations I’ve done on my own.

  1. Most people have no idea where the only bone on bone connection of the arm to the body is, I’ve surveyed clients, colleagues, and friends and less than one in fifty responses are even close….. think about it …. the answer will be in strange shoulders… (2)
  2. Shoulders are very connected to the pelvic girdle and most shoulder rehab programs I’ve participated in when I worked in PT totally ignored the pelvic and lumbar vertebral origins of the Latissimus dorsi [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B017AYJLXK” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NnqNf81xL.jpg” width=”333″]  http://www.easynotecards.com/uploads/226/70/_53022d86_13d85ffda7d__8000_00004862.png
  3. In swimmers, this muscle is seen in the front and is what some call the ‘flying squirrel muscle’ https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&espv=2&rlz=1C1OPRB_enUS522US522&biw=1600&bih=775&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=swimmers+shoulders&oq=swimmers+shoulders&gs_l=img.3..0l3j0i5i30j0i8i30j0i24.767896.780643.0.782613.18.17.0.1.1.0.123.1680.6j10.16.0….0…1c.1.64.img..1.17.1674.3iVJ1fAAv58#imgrc=2SdJugHTY_3zsM%3A
  4. In my experience, when people with shoulder problems do not realize how their arms are connected to their backs and simply do arm exercises, the likelihood of of full, painfree motion is reduced.

Goodbye old year, old ankle, old problems

It’s been an interesting couple of years…. after the food poisoning, mystery insect bite, pneumonia, allergic reaction to the medicine taken for said pneumonia, slip and fall with concussion and subsequent development of sleep apnea, I was enjoying getting back to my usually active joyful self when a slip and fall left me with a fractured fibula.   That skinny little bone on the outside of the ankle that ends just under the knee…. the foot end snapped clear off.

The doctor says I’m lucky, I have a fracture, not a sprain. my ligament was stronger than my bone.   I can now say definitively, that Ice water, although awfully uncomfortable during application, is a far more effective pain reliever (for me) than any of the oral meds they gave me.  It does not make me sleepy, make me constipated, or stink up my poop.    Elevation, rest, g e n t l e movement in non painful ranges, and  vibration therapy,all seem to be helping.

Ice water in a rectangular trash can is far more effective than an ice pack laid against the injured area. The ice pack drives the inflammation out of the sore spot but it seems to go inward and muck up the joint, but when the injured part enters  literally bone chilling ice water, the coldness sends the inflammatory materials all the way out of my foot… it decreases the swelling and opens new non painful movement paths.   Popping a pill is easier and more comfortable but nowhere near as effective…at least for me

Have a happy New Year, I wish and pray for you health, joy, freedom of movement and peace of mind

jeanine

Soundtouch

If it wasn’t for Your LIght (suicide prevention song)

A friend of mine worked at a suicide hotline.   We talked about it and he shocked me when he said he could usually find some encouraging thing to say but there were times he almost felt like saying “You’re right, you should go for it”  This song is my answer to that with the perspective of being a suicide survivor.  Looking back over the thirty+ years since my own episode, I wish I could talk to that injured girl and tell her we’d be ok.  

If it wasn’t for Your Light

Life is just too hard

I cannot continue.

There’s no reason to go on my friend cried to me that night

I listened with my heart

My soul sadly tingled

because I might agree if it wasn’t for Your light.

If it wasn’t for Your light I’d stumble and I’d fall

Over presents You gave me that I could not see at all

I’d stand and curse in darkness bemoaning my sad plight,

Lost and blind to love if it wasn’t for Your light.

We embraced in prayer

Tears turning into laughter

Problems all still there we gave a sacrifice of praise

Giving up our lives

but not as we intended

Our outlooks ever changed with You there to light our way

If it wasn’t for Your light I’d stumble and I’d fall

Over presents You gave me that I could not see at all

I’d stand and curse in darkness bemoaning my sad plight,

Lost and blind to love if it wasn’t for Your light.

Lord shine on me

make me Your reflection

Let others be drawn in Your direction

Beam a beacon in the night saving others from destruction

we all would surely face

if it wasn’t for Your light.

Poi Please

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B00CJJ67N4″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FSsxju%2B-L._SL160_.jpg” width=”144″]

I love poi, not the mashed root of the tara plant, which i confess I’ve never tried, but what court jugglers who could not catch or juggle did to entertain folks back in cold castles.  They put balls in socks and twirled them around. Today’s versions (you can still put tennis balls in tube socks) may attach with swivels, contain led lights, there are some soft enough that you can hit yourself without pain, and there are tutorials everywhere on how do begining skills as well as  cool tricks  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-MRaPBjpMg&list=PL215093DF249EF900http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-MRaPBjpMg&list=PL215093DF249EF900   you can play by yourself or with someone else there are even poi vacations and contests

But me, I love them because, they are fun, pretty, and very effective as a rehabilitation tool.  Holding the string can be done with the string looped through fingers so they don’t go flying away. Spinning is good for stability, shoulder motion, visual tracking, improving brain function as practice encourages cross brain integration, Even a novice can play.   My son (a 35 year old soldier) loves to see how high he can throw them in the night sky. I gave pod poi to my nephew as a high school graduation present  to help with his college transition because short bursts of activity between studying helps to improve retention, and with its USB charging actually makes a nice mood light for his dorm room.  My youngest daughter introduced me to poi because she wanted to ‘spin fire’   and in southern California that’s a pretty dangerous proposition.  I even use poi and its properties to help  my golf game.

For people with neurological disorders who have  been given pages of boring exercise, poi is engaging, like a video game, I lose time when I practice, I like to coordinate with music, flamenco, world beat, Rodrigo y Gabriela.  the colors make it easy to focus, centrifugal force becomes a helper so a weak person can develop control. Although usually done standing, poi can be done seated on a stool, ball, wheelchair, picnic table. I have even lay on my back secured it to my toes and spun with my legs. I hope as poi becomes more popular in general that more therapists will incorporate this into wellness programs

I have been known to incorporate the use of finger lights and rave gloves to observe symmetry or lack thereof in mirrors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHvixLnjL1M

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0045H0L1W” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PeNQsp1BL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″][easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B004U0IRGU” locale=”us” height=”114″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41rGkc66WKL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]

Can Cuss, Concussed

I haven’t written for quite some time, why you may ask…or maybe not, I’m not sure there is anyone reading what I write except the spammers, and since I’ve stopped writing, they are even slowing down.   Why did I stop writing?  I fell, hurt my dominant hand,  gained a new concussion, lost my ability to come up with coherent written thoughts.  Not good for a writer, not good for a manual therapist. but who am I to questions God’s timing or my klutziness.

My daughter didn’t let me drive for three whole days. I’m not allowed on my inversion table for a month. Swinging a golf club hurts as does poi.I saw my doctor and she mentioned post concussion syndrome…. I asked, what can I do? she said “time” is the only medicine. sigh…. this could be discouraging… I asked for a handout, she recommended I google information I did…guess what, by the common descriptions… yup, the symptoms describe what I’m going through to a T: Lethargy, apathy, headache, light-sensitivity,   dizziness, tinnitus, poor concentration, sleep disruptions, easily fatigued, impulsivity, poor judgement, increased stubbornness, mood swings… every article I’ve found says that time and rest are the only things that help.

I don’t like that answer…no, I am not stubborn, argumentative, unable to focus, distractible…lol, my daughter would laugh at that, but, I do have experience in working with other people with severe head injuries who unfortunately have these symptoms piled on top of physical disabilities and hope to use that experience to help me in my recovery process.  Once again, I have to go by what I know not by what I feel.  I know the concussion is only part of what I am dealing with. The fall also resulted in spasms along my neck and back and some neck injuries mimic concussion signs as well.  How can I tell which is which? it doesn’t matter.  Brain fog is brain fog.  If y’all could see how many typos I’ve made in just these two paragraphs you’ll laugh or cry with me… yup it’s messed up.   I’m making this list for you, but I’m making it for me as well, so I can come back to this list when I remember that I am still healing and that therapy tools are actually helpful

I’ve spent the last two weeks resting….very important

  • when I rest, I lie down and immediately feel like I can breathe better, showing me that my diaphragm  and postural muscles also need time to recover from the impact.
  • for that part I am using my ma roller[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B000H1VBX2″ locale=”us” height=”55″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21S619QXVEL._SL75_.jpg” width=”75″] to help stretch my connective tissue and encourage spinal segmental motion.  Opening my back and neck up may help decrease the unfocused-ness in my eyes
  • I wear a hat when I go outside…when I remember, if I forget squinting and headache remind me…so now I keep a hat hung next to the chihuahua’s leash and in my car.
  • I gargle and do my saline snuffs because of the acrid taste that has been added to my post nasal drip,
  • I practice my twirly thing exercises from the legs up instead of the head down.
  • No inversion table, downward dog, aggressive cardio because those things all exacerbate the volatility  of my heart rate and blood pressure.   In the ER when checking for neuro-signs, my heart rate was 37…no joke thirty-seven. Low heart rate can be a sign of excellent conditioning, but it can also be a sign of intracranial pressure…. I never knew that.
  • I need to go back to doing my vision therapy exercises.   The optic nerve has brain tissue in it, I need to remember that using my eyes and forcing them to focus really does change what they do automatically.  I slacked off  n the months before this fall, 3-d sight was automatic more than half the time,   In the ER one of the things that made me realize I’d hit my head (that’s right, I didn’t even know it) was the extreme difficulty  I had in creating single image. My eyes were not working together at all.  I am not remember to do this on my own, so I have my tool box  in my living room. my brock string, red green glasses, finger lights, marching clock poster, and am playing my vision therapy video games.
  • I am not wearing my balance challenging sketchers…my balance is already compromised I do not want to fall again.
  • I am crawling, doing rotisserie exercises, singing
  • since I’m not at the golf course there’s about 15 hours a week of sunshine I’m missing so I keep reminding myself I should probably eat more fish and get some vitamin D sources included in my diet.
  • brain is made of a lot of fat, so I am allowing myself more good fats
  • ginger has helped with tinnitus before, so I got some now to remember to use it
  • vibrator to my belly and armpits to help with the inflammation
  • and rest…I don’t remember  to do that on my own…I set alarms to remind me when to do stuff.
  • I’m looking at my neuro-sculpting group, http://neurosculptinginstitute.com/ or visit them on facebook, because they always have suggestions for brain changing activities.

Vision Therapy and me

When the movie Avatar came out, a friend took me to see it in 3D format in an IMAX (curved screen) theatre. Leaving the theatre I kept remarking how things kept “jumping out at me” they said “just like in real life”…we each repeated these statements a couple of times, he did not understand that things didn’t usually feel like they were ‘invading my personal space’ and I did not understand that for him it was normal to feel surrounded by things with dimensions.

One of my clients is an optometrist with a pediatric vision therapy specialty and we discussed my experience at the movie and the very frightening ride home where cars kept popping out at me like the creatures in the meeting. It seems that somewhere along the line, whether by genetics or multiple head traumas growing up, not only was my vision bad in the 20:475 range but I also tested with very limited peripheral vision, poor tracking ability, limited convergence and divergence, multiple blind spots, astigmatism, mild color blindness they will randomly change dominance and  then there is the severe lack of stereoscopic vision (inability to see three dimensionally) …She told me not to bother with Lasik surgery since more of my visual problems had to do with poor processing than eye shape. She lent me the transformational book “Fixing My Gaze” [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B003YGVCWM” locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21%2BKCXuujdL._SL110_.jpg” width=”73″]

She started me on exercises, I started doing more research into vision and found that the optic nerve is more like brain tissue than any other nerve and that extreme motions of the eye can change the pressure in the cranial vault. The eye socket itself is made with articulations between 7 bones with 9 separate openings! Expanding my peripheral vision was her first concern because she drives the same roads I do!

vision therapy helped my golf game

Vision Therapy brought focus and helped my golf game

I have been able to mentally re-write some of my history knowing I am not uncoordinated (you should see me belly dance) I was just blind….no wonder i couldn’t catch or throw…depth perception is a function of stereoscopic vision with tracking control motor responses based on judgements made by full complete sight. I was even in the 5th grade before anyone even figured out I needed glasses because I have always tried to be adaptable. I started doing body work, in part, because the world always made more sense with my hands than it did with my eyes.

My world is different today. I am much better at remembering people’s names….because I truly see their faces.  I have not run into a curb (driving) in over a year…who know’s what else I’ve missed 😉 I don’t have to remember where I put my keys, I can stand upstairs and scan the room below and find them…with my eyes…usually within 20 seconds.  I have been told I have better fashion sense, this is because I can see single images of my whole body when I look into a mirror.  Less spoilage in my kitchen because I can see the leftovers and get to them before they spoil.   Doing body work makes so much more sense with a three-dimensional image of a body in my mind’s eye and not just in my hands kinesthetic memory tied to two dimensional books and reality for me. The thing that really gets me is that I test less color blind than I used to, and things seems brighter. Golf is harder because of the trees poppin out all over but easier because I can read the greens. I stare in amazement at the levels of depth, the qualities of roundness, texture. I appreciate the breeze  through the trees because I not only can watch leaves rustle but individual leafs turn in the wind. My attitudes have changed, I am more calm, and tend to be less anxious, less restless leg syndrome, and have fewer bouts with depression.  People seem find me more approachable, it seems squinting is easily interpreted as scowl. I am at an age when my friends are experiencing age related declines in vision while I am seeing better than ever, and loving it.

 

 

 

Soundtouch

vision therapy,