As mention in a previous post I am reading Christopher McDougall’s Born To Run.
One of the main topics of the book is the amount of injuries runners get and the fact these injuries have been on the increase since we have started wearing more advanced running shoes.
The book advocates going back to basic flat shoes which when I search the internet I see can still be expensive like VIBRAM – FiveFingers. The argument of the book is that these basic shoes allow our bones and muscles in our feet to work correctly whereas cushioned running shoes that protect us from impacts mean we lose the feeling of what we are doing. If a runner used to cushioned shoes switches to “barefoot” shoes then they will be more aware of discomfort and need to naturally adjust their running style to keep going. When we are cushioned our feet get deconditioned and we can develop faults in our running style that then cause injuries. Apparently in any Marathon 9 out of 10 runners will be injured at some point in any one year period. People running “barefoot” however tend to get far fewer injuries.
I can believe this this line of thinking because it matches my experience with my back. I have suffered from ME/CFS/PVFS (Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome) since 1994. (While I am now a runner again I still am learning to crack the mental and physical exhaustion. I often need to sleep after a run which is not a normal reaction to this kind of tiredness). From mid 1994 till November 2008 I was on painkillers for my back. In November 2008 I finished my required training to be a hypnotherapist and I decided “if I can help people with pain control I better see what I can do with myself”.
I was on 7 Co-codamol and 3 Ibrufen a day. I decided to stop taking them. Instead I used a trance every time I felt uncomfortable. I got through the first day and took some painkillers at 9pm so I could sleep. I woke at 1am and took some more. The next day used trance and then took some painkillers at 9pm. The third day my daughter visited and I didn’t have much time to work on myself but I still chose not to take any more painkillers and I didn’t take any until I have an operation 16 months later. For three weeks I experiment with all the techniques I knew but within 5 days noticed I was more comfortable than when I was on the painkillers. By three weeks I was bored and not actively doing anything for my back.
From time to time I will get little aches. I am often aware when lifting things that I tweak my back. Even getting out of the chair in the living room can give it a little twinge. All the time however I have focused on having a comfortable back that is getting stronger and healthier and these twinges are minor events which I view as a warning to adjust something.
My view is because I wanted to be comfortable my unconscious mind is helping find good postures and exercise to keep my back in a free comfortable moving state. In the past with pain control I just blotted out the problem and therefore kept the uncomfortable posture which possibly put my body under stress and helped keep me more tired than I needed to be for my illness.
To me this is exactly what is being suggested for barefoot running.
As a hypnotherapist I love watching for signs of principle I use in hypnotherapy in real life. The link with my back pain and the suggested reason for barefoot running come from different places but seem to have common principles in common. It doesn’t matter both these theories ultimately turn out to be wrong because they have both helped me more forward physically with my illness and that is all that counts.
What ideas can you link to improve your health or make your dreams easier to reach?