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Looking for Health: Balance

Very early one recent morning I took a little walk.  A fox bounded laboriously through the tall meadow grasses and I could hear the swish of each jump.  So did our dogs.  A fuzzy black and white caterpillar twisted its way through the lawn, and up above I heard the dry woosh of wings as a small skein of geese circled indecisively.

Other mornings I step into fog or watch the sunrise glint off a spider web that resonates in the breeze a vibrating drum in a physics textbook.

I have been able to go for such little walks for a few weeks now.  Before that, walking and standing took an enormous amount of physical and mental effort because I had balance issues.

Balance issues can be related to inner ear or even brain problems, but then they are often accompanied by dizziness and vertigo.  Since I’ve been taking regular, long-term supplements of vitamin B12 (see below) the dizziness and vertigo have almost completely disappeared, but I’ve still needed to hold onto things or people to stand for any length of time. I’ve regularly used shopping carts as walkers, even considering getting a real walker or cane for myself, and my family and friends have often steadied me as I walked short distances, although at times I was able to walk well myself.

But now I can regularly go walking, by myself, over uneven ground, in a straight line, completely effortlessly, and all it took was a person trained in neurokinetic therapy to discover and correct muscle imbalances that had developed over the years.  First she worked on the back and forth swaying that made standing a difficult task requiring conscious and sustained effort.  That correction exaggerated the side to side wandering that made it so difficult for me to walk in a straight line even while concentrating, but she fixed that as well, in just 10 (painful) minutes!

So now I can walk a straight line while thinking about other things and can stand effortlessly when chatting with my friends.  I also have more energy for everyday life now that the ‘simple’ tasks of standing and walking no longer take up so much of it.

How did these muscle imbalances develop?  Perhaps they began when I was seriously dizzy a lot of the time, or when I was too weak to walk much, or because I have been driving a lot (one of the imbalanced muscles is in my leg).  Who knows?

All I know is that God created bodies in an amazingly complex way.  Of the many things that can go wrong, some are easy to fix, and I am very grateful to have discovered this.

To do if you have balance issues: 

Obviously, see your doctor for a thorough check up.

If you are both unsteady and dizzy and suspect B12 deficiency (and the likelihood of this increases as one ages or if one has absorption issues such as celiac disease), it’s worth your while to ask your doctor to test your B12 level.  If your B12 level is low, then take B12 as a sublingual (dissolves under the tongue) tablet, being sure to buy the more effective methylcobalamin form.  (Not all doctors will tell you these details.)  If your B12 level is very low, you should ask for an injection or a series of injections.

If you are unsteady as you walk but not really dizzy, it might be worth your while to see a person who knows neurokinetic therapy.  These therapists are often chiropractors, massage therapists, etc. who have learned this relatively new technique.

If, however, you are unsteady due to a concussion, try to find a doctor who specializes in post-concussion syndrome who will likely refer you to an array of other specialists, depending on the nature of the damage.

If you stumble because the ground seems uneven although it isn’t (the disorienting feeling of the ground not being where it should be), this is worth mentioning to a physical therapist as well.

Miranda Esmonde-White mentions balance in her practical books Forever Painless and Aging Backwards, and Norman Doidge shares cutting edge research for extreme balance issues in The Brain’s Way of Healing.

If you are in eastern Ontario, I can pass on the name of the neurokinetic therapist who ‘rebalanced’ me as well as the name of a pediatric concussion specialist.

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical doctor of any kind and am just sharing what I learn as I try to regain my own health, things that might be worth looking into for anyone else for whom standing and walking are difficult due to balance issues.  I am sharing this information because it is not easy to find, and many doctors do not seem to know about it.  Yet these suggestions are safe, simple ways, supported by medical research, to get your life back.

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This article may be linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, Literacy Musings Monday, and The Book Nook  as well as to Inspire Me Monday, Raising Homemakers, Friendship Friday, Make My Saturday Sweet.

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