Saturday, February 26, 2011
Over time my routine got longer as I added new muscles groups and began using my TENS machine which helped my paralyzed muscles firm up and made me aware of when I using them. Just the fact that I could feel myself contract my stomach muscles and flex my buttocks muscles again was positively thrilling. Although, what seemed to me like big contraction could really only be seen or felt by others as a small movement but that’s still okay I was actually using paralyzed muscled ON MY OWN!!!
I kept adding muscles groups to my nightly meditation/ exercise program as well. I would start with my feet and toes as described in my previous post except I added my feet where I visualized myself holding them up straight and tall, bending forward toward my knee, then I alternated flexing and relaxing several times my calves, upward to my hamstrings, my thighs(inner, outer, and quads), my lower buttocks,(I do this one while trying to lift my knees off the bed), my upper buttocks and back, my tummy, my chest, my neck and finally my hands and fingers. Don’t be upset if you fall asleep before you’ve finished them all. You can do the rest when you wake up. Or if you’re like me, you may wake in the middle of the night; do them then to help you fall back to sleep.
After doing some more research into muscle stimulation I found the advice I needed from the Care Cure Community which just so happens to be a GREAT forum for the newly injured SCI/SCD victims. There is a direct link on the right of my blog that will take to right to website designed just for those of us with spinal cord injuries and diseases and the people who care for them. This forum saved my life when I was newly injured I had so many questions and concerns. Not only are there thousands of members with whom to discuss your problems, questions and concerns, but there is also a renowned doctor who specializes in SCI/SCD’s and a SCI/SCD’s nurse specialist on cal l anytime to post questions to. Well, I posted my question and the doctor told me if I was using a muscle stimulator to build muscle then the TENS (transubcutaneous nerve stimulation) was NOT the right machine for what I was using it for.
Every morning we could my attendant and I would use the TENS unit on two major muscles groups of my body, my abdominals or my buttocks. It was exhilarating to watch my tummy jump and contract while the TENS pads were in place. The more movement I saw the higher I asked my attendant Kristi, Mary, or Sharlene to turn up the settings. Finally, I found a website that had TENS settings for various outcomes then I began using those. I definitely felt a difference in muscles after using the TENS unit for about a week. I could swear that I could suck in my tummy just like I did before I got hurt and I knew I could flex my buttocks because Kristi could feel it and see it!
However, after learning that I wasn’t exactly using the right unit for muscle building Eric sent away for the NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation). The doctor on C.C. said it was better for building muscles than the TENS. But because of a shipping error where I didn’t receive my original order for over two months I ended up with two of the NMES units which is fine by me! So now I use all three units every time I stim (stimulate my muscles) and can work entire muscle groups or maybe even two groups at once and the results are phenomenal!