From finding my Base-Line to the feeling of Qi.
Learning to use my body correctly was a long process. Both using my main muscles of movement to their full potential and in the development of my conscious proprioception skills - the ability to sense/visualise the position of my body in space and to instinctively feel where I should be able to move.
At first, there was nothing.
A few weeks after rock bottom I began to feel 'new' muscles working (and aching). I became aware of wrong muscle areas tensing, of just how much I braced the whole of my body to try and move a leg, of how much I used my neck muscles to try and sit up.
I would 'cheat' when I moved - making adjustments to compensate and an imitate a position, but movement never felt easy or natural. I was a physical wreck - tense and restricted.
The day my depression lifted as I stood up from a roll-down. A sudden lightness, brightness, a sense of hope. I felt the physical blanket of restrictions being pulled back from my face, the outer cocooon being stretched and cracked. From the years of deep depression, things were suddenly better. It was that dramatic. I started my healing diary.
Pilates had left me with a focus on moving in time with my breathing (the effort on exhalation) but I became more aware of my inhalations and somewhere along the line I started to think about a rainbow sequence of activating muscles - my "core strength", or as it became - my Base-Line.
A diary entry about a week after I started keeping notes:
"sunlight on face/forechead. eyes closed. light flash"
The sparkles Lights and colors flashing and moving.
I guess the sparkles had always been there, but now I was aware they were representation of my body extending from my Base-Line muscles.
It's visual effect in my head. My brain thinks it's activity on my retinas. Or it something from my visual center that I interpret as retinal input?
'body-phons' signals from proprioceptive sensory apparatus that register as flashes - my retinas the system for showing the proprioceptive feedback on my body-layout shadow ... I can only guess at the mechanics. I was like feedback from the body getting through - in little patches. minute dots ...
The first traces of the 'body map in my mind' and conscious proprioception.
As my sense of conscious proprioception developed I became aware of 'blank spaces' - big areas of my body there were no sparkles. Restricted areas on my physical being causing 'dead zones' with no feedback that I was aware of. Restrictions in the connective tissue and pain both seem to block the signals somehow?.
Thoughts about the rectus abdominis "switchboard" - the relevant part of the muscles needs to be engaged and the associated threads extended for the the sparkles to get through.
I was still trying to break my symptoms and pains down into components - naming muscles, researching symptoms etc.
An acceptance of a macro-dysfunction, a body wide problem. I could feel it. The cause of all my pain and misery.
With an ever-growing connection to my main muscles of movement I became aware of how imbalanced and misaliged my body truly was.
I could feel the twists and kinks from head to feet. Layers of tension zig-zaging across and through, up and down. I realise how rigid my neck and upper back were. The tightness in my lower back and the front of my hips making my stance crooked and uneven.
The inter-connectedness of the whole body. I could feel how making small adjustment in my pose would have distant effects. How the sense of orientation of my body map could completely shift and need realigned.
Instinctively knowing how to move to release a restriction when I focused on my Base-Line support.
After a year or so of focusing on my Base-Line becoming stronger and longer I could feel enough of the position of my linea alba and had some connection with my trapezius muscles to start to feel alignment further up my median plane - nuchal and supraspinous ligaments.
After 2 and a bit years... someone explaining "internal" martial arts.
The sense of conscious proproceptions, the moving colors and lights, the sense of flow, is the basis of Qi.
Hours a day for months on end, little by little moving through the restrictions and freeing my body from the pain. Every movement and release a tiny step closer to alignment and a truly balanced body and mind.
The key to healing.
A whole new world.
© Copyright Leigh Blyth BVM&S 2017-2019