Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unconventional Therapy

I'm a little old to be in conventional therapy anymore. When I was young, we did run the gambit of regular therapy. Now I'm older, and my therapy is a little less conventional.

Movie and I recently started Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Movie has been doing some form of ground fighting for the last couple of years, so he knows what he's doing. It was way easier for me to start something new because he was there to talk to me about it.

Wikipedia (the oracle of all knowledge) defines Jiu-Jitsu like this:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique – most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.

What that really amounts to on a day to day basis is me getting flattened by people who have at least 60 pounds on me.



Now here's where this gets interesting, I love it. The amount of pressure from other people moving and working on my joints feels amazing afterwards.

You know how therapists recommend weighted blankets and doing exercises that put pressure on the joints? Jui-jitsu is like that, but on steroids.  

Here's how I know that these classes are good, and more importantly, safe:
Classes are small, and supervised by a black belt. Like bowling and unlike Vietnam, there are rules.
If it hurts, you tap and everything stops.
Before you start a move, everyone checks and makes sure that they are on the same page. 
You can only spar with people who are more advanced than you.
The best part, if you don't want to do something, don't do it.
Boundaries are totally respected.


But this isn't the only thing that I think makes for good unconventional therapy.

SeaStar and I started doing a Bosu class at our local gym.

A Bosu is essentially half of a huge exercise ball. The main focus of the class is to improve balance and build muscle.

It's like an hour of intense balance, cardio and strength building. You end up crossing the midline a whole bunch, which is supposed to be good for you. 


Now I can totally do this:
(not)



I actually think that in some ways I get more out of this than I do conventional therapy. It may be because you're thrown in the mix with people who are NT. It might also be because it works more than the parts of me that are NNT. Whatever it is, I know that after practice, I feel better about myself and that's what counts.

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