Posts Tagged ‘graduation’

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Graduation

December 2, 2022

Five years ago I realised that the work I was doing with Leonid Blyum couldn’t just roll on forever. I was still making good progress, in fact more progress than ever, but it was important to work towards a new phase of both rehabilitation and life, so I set Easter 2022 as the date for graduation from the school of Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation. At the time I had no idea what graduation would be and early this year, as the date rapidly approached, I still had no idea. I was however planning for change. I planned a public talk to both talk about all that I’d learnt and to see if somehow I could find inspiration or inspire people to help me launch a new way.

Interestingly, Leonid Blyum arranged to come and visit at Easter; the first time I’d seen him in England since 2003 and the only time he’s ever been to my house. I organised a graduation dinner at the pub with past and present therapists, my fund raising manager and a good mate who supports me. Leonid is certainly not a socialite and it took some persuading for him to come to the dinner, but all went well and it was a good way to celebrate our achievements and bring an era to a close. The venue was booked for my talk and flyers printed so it was also an occasion to announce my next move, not that I knew at the time where it was leading. Twenty one years of working under Leonid’s guidance and twenty one years of my front room as a therapy studio had come to an end.

The day of the talk came and it was a little nerve racking, although I was well prepared and so pleased with how it went. I managed to capture the audiences attention and there was good interest with questions and discussion afterwards. Out of the talk came a few good connections and possibilities including an osteopath who offered to treat me. He was obviously interested in what I had to say and his input in the questions and discussion that followed intrigued me so I decided to take him up on his offer, having little idea of what he could do for me.

My first treatment was at the end of May and I was shocked at the result. The feeling of euphoria was incredible. It was as though I could feel every articulation in the spine. So much had been unlocked and opened up. By the evening of the following day my spine was feeling terribly weak and fragile. So much had been exposed that now had to strengthen. I couldn’t resist getting my vibration massage gun out and working along the spine. It helped enormously. After a few days when things started to strengthen there were obvious improvements after only one treatment. I started seeing the osteopath every two weeks, each time with great results.

It took twenty one years working under Leonid Blyum’s guidance to rebuild sufficient underlying structure for me to move onto a new phase. Without all that we had achieved I don’t think the osteopath could have worked his magic. There is little he could have done when the spine was still a column floating around in the body playing little functional role whatsoever. In rebuilding the underlying structure we brought the spine back into play, transforming it from a flat plant like form to the primary curve of the animal and eventually to the super curve of the human. My body was beginning to look and feel normal and my functional ability had improved enormously. By the early part of this year, although I was still slowly improving through Leonid’s techniques, I was beginning to feel like the work was coming to a natural conclusion and that I was hitting a brick wall that I couldn’t move beyond. Unbeknown to me my spine was still off the rails and the vertebrae needed bringing into alignment and there was much more development to come in improving the curves.

Osteopathy has brought my spine back on track and the curves have improved beyond measure. To start with it felt really strange having such a curve to the lumbar spine, almost unnatural, but as I continue to improve it feels more and more normal. What is more my body has become integrated and I have truly come into my limbs. By unlocking the spine my limbs have become integrated with the underlying structure. I am becoming more and more upright and more naturally in that form rather than having to hold myself through my will. There is profound change taking place in the pelvis and hips with both structural and neurological improvements.

Some of the osteopathic treatments have provoked dramatic reactions while with others the reactions were more subtle, but all have created incredible improvements. Six months later my body is still absorbing his inputs and transforming week by week. The latest improvement is in the curve of the back, the dorsal (or thoracic) spine. The defining characteristic of paraplegia is the missing back and although we massively improved the depth there through the years of pursuing Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation there was still more to come. There was too much of a curve at the top of the spine and then it fell away. We are slowly improving this and after the last treatment I felt for the first time like I really have a back to me. I can’t describe how exciting this is.

With the integration of my body I can now work into the system through movement exercises. For all these years it was not possible, or at least extremely difficult, to create formative inputs through the functional use of the body. All of a sudden I have the ability to continue to improve the form of the body through my own conscious effort in the form of movements. I’m not talking high intensity exercise through muscular effort, I’m talking Bothmer style exercises with slow controlled movements capable of being formative, capable of working into, and continuing to reform, the structure of the body.

What I really developed through Leonid Blyum’s work is the passive structure of the body. That structure defined by the cavities of the head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis. A structure that is essentially pneumatic and worked through the breath. Through the development of the underlying form we brought the skeletal structure back into its proper alignments, or at least its basic form even if the alignment of the vertebrae left much to be desired. We worked directly into the skeletal structure improving the hydraulic capacity of the joints, but again we did this in a passive sense. The improvements created better functional ability, but never did we work into the body through function.

With the osteopathy, and the movement exercises I am doing myself, we are working with an entirely different structure, the active structure. This structure is not defined by those passive divisions but by the active form. A form in which the head and neck are one unit rooted at the fourth dorsal (thoracic) vertebrae, D4 or T4 and the legs ascend to the waist at the third lumbar vertebrae, L3.

The more we bring the spine into alignment the more this active structure really comes into play. We are unleashing a whole new realm within me. Building upon all those years of painstaking work to claw my body back from its terribly depleted and deformed condition, revolutionary work that transformed my body, I am now, through osteopathy, sky-rocketing to a new future.