Friday, December 11, 2015
Muscle Memory and Mirror Neurons
While I have to reach far back to before I contracted polio at the age of 5 to retrieve muscle memory of a healed and whole left side, all things are possible.
Dr. Joe Dispenza talked about helping people affected by stroke to regain movement of their paralyzed arm in one of his videos. Using the concept of mirror neurons and a mirror, the once paralyzed arm was able to regain functioning!
A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.
I've been moving my right foot spreading all of my toes and concentrating while my left foot observes. When I first started this exercise, I imagined my left foot moving but nothing had moved initially. I've been getting increased movement with practicing this exercise twice a day AND can experience the neuromuscular connection from my brain all the way down my leg to the outer portion of my left foot.
Dr. Ryan Means, a beloved chiropractor and healer used kinesiotape to stimulate the growth of a new gastroc muscle after an MRI showed that it had long atrophied as a result of paralytic polio. He gave me gastroc strengthening exercises. At first I could not lift up and down on my toes doing the exercise on my left leg so I imagined it happening. Doing both legs together stimulated the growth of the gastroc muscle and little by little I was able to fire up the gastroc muscle and can now go up and down on my left toes continuing to nourish, strengthen and grow my gastroc muscle.
I have not run a half marathon since I ran the full 2009 Boston Marathon. Muscle memory takes over after about 8 miles or so and I remember how it feels to run long and strong.
I still pinch myself to realize that in just 37 days I will toe the starting line of the 2016 Bermuda Half Marathon.
Tomorrow it's 11.5 miles - fire up that muscle memory and use the power of the mirror neurons as well as my inner Jedi to go the distance!