Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On Breathing & becoming a Lifetime Learner

While in upstate New York, I took a class on healing Thai Chi. The instructor mentioned that we should be breathing in through the nose and not the mouth in practice because it restores more oxygen to the brain than mouth breathing which is more of a fight & flight mechanism.I thought , wow I never new that and I have been doing yoga a while now. it reminded me that you can never stop learning if you want to optimize your well being and your ability to help others. I watched a sales presentation on lasers once and the video had the standard doc in the white coat behind a bunch of books stating that 100% of his patients improved with the laser. I started getting this "Amway brain wash"Danger Will Robinson" feeling wash over me and had an impulse to take my own flight from the program. When the sales rep spoke to me regarding my hesitation with the studies he said a bit exasperated "Well, Dr. Pearl, you're a unique individual - you're a Lifetime Learner and sometimes you just have to pull the trigger. I suppose being called a Lifetime Learner isn't such a bad thing.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Extra Discretionary Effort

In my match at the pitch today in front of thre Washington Monument I had a realization. We play White Jersey's versus Dark Jersey. The White Jersey team consists of the lower skill level player but the team that hustles more. I probably epitomize that giving it all you got as much as anyone out there but I also figured out that you have to stay disciplined about the timing of that discretionary effort. You can't go all out at once and burn out. You have to be disciplined( i.e. not chasing the ball, playing your position) about maintaining focus and continuing to put the gas pedal down to succeed. In the end it might be that extra five percent of discretionary effort that decides the outcome of the match or applied to a larger context your health and your life.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Could Modern Laser Medicine Prevent Jozy's Hamstring Injury?

It's widely accepted that dehydration is the number one source of muscle cramping but what about Jozy Altidore's hamstring strain in las weekend US - Ghana game. According to Brazilian Doctor Ernesto Leal Jr. low level laser therapy decreases muscular fatigue. He measured CK and C-reactive protein levels which were lower after laser therapy administered to volley ball players preemptively than those that did not get the laser pulses. These are markers for muscle breakdown in the blood. Peak performance load was also increased. The study was relatively small but did suggest some benefit. Currently the Brazilian soccer team uses laser therapy as part of their injury recovery regimen but US Soccer preferred to stick to what they have been doing. I would not say that laser would have stopped the Altidore's hamstring strain- the field conditions were very humid. It may hsve decreased the damage and quite possibly may add something more than the conventional e-stim and ice to the recovery. sometimes cutting edge treatment can does just that- it gives you an edgd and that can be the difference in world competition.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Recovering Outside the Box

Injuries are not fun . In order to keep fit you can do other activities while you recover. I recently hurt my achilles tendon playing soccer and have been swimming, doing yoga and using a speed bag to get some cardio. I try to swim underwater the length of a pool as another means to help keep up my cardio that is less taxing on my body than sprinting injury or no injury. Usually, unless you are spinning hard or doing lots of hills biking is ok with an achilles tendon injury. People underestimate how helpful your core can be in helping to recover from injury. Because we function as a unit in sports a strong core can help prevent slumping while running or worse not sustaining a twisting motion and having the force create an unstable moment in the back, knee or ankle. Part of sustaining training is keeping it interesting and this applies to recovering as well. Gary Hall Jr. used to go spear fishing to break up the monotony of pool laps. Coaches are always trying to think up creative games durin practice and you can apply the same philosophy to recovery.