Barry Shore believed strongly - if somewhat vaguely at first - in the healing properties of water and aquatic movement. I've not suffered any challenges as significant as a stroke, but have recovered rapidly and strongly from a whole range of injuries, surgeries, etc by acting as an empowered participant in my recovery, doing the thing I know best which is swimming -- the definition of which I do not limit to whole-stroke versions of the four formal styles.
The water's buoyancy, density and accommodation facilitate the recovery of strength, range of motion and body control. The limitless potential for step-by-step progression of swimming's skills--building one mini-skill upon another--is a proven prescription for building, or rebuilding, robust neural networks. And practicing mindful movement, in combination with moderate HR, respiration rate and movement frequency--which is precisely the nature of TI drills--is known to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This fosters a sense of well-being and optimism, which are just as effective--if not moreso--as any pharmacology or physical activity, in recovery and healing.
One of my students, Jeanne Safer PhD, is writing a book on recovery from significant health challenges, in her case from a rare form of leukemia which hit her just as she was completing a course of treatment for breast cancer. As Jeanne has written, her weekly lessons with me, along with her own practice, were central to her ability to bear up under the exhausting effects of her year-long treatment, which included five weekly hospital visits over 7 months for infusions of highly toxic arsenic.
Her swimming allowed her to maintain an identity as a physically active -- and even athletic -- person . . . rather than a patient. Identity is essential.
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist
May your laps be as happy as mine.
My TI Story
Last edited by terry : 09-02-2012 at 10:50 AM.