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-   -   Multiple Sclerosis (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11086)

Steven 10-04-2006 10:00 PM

Multiple Sclerosis
 
If you have any personal, first hand experience at teaching someone with any level of Multiple Sclerosis, I would be interested in knowing how you approached this. Especially if you teach the "harder" (whatever that really means) systems of Yoseikai, Shodokan and/or Yoshinkan.

Thanks ...

Just Jamey 10-04-2006 11:18 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Although I don't have any experience teaching Aikido to someone with MS, I have studied MS and treating its presentations with Chinese Medicine.

I believe Aikido can be of benefit as far as helping maintain joint suppleness and as a way for someone with MS to remain active. That said, people with MS need to be careful to not over-heat, or over-exhert themselves because there is data that shows a correlation between a worsening of symptoms when this occurs. If they are in a more advanced stage of the disease and have difficulty walking, or another more severe impairment, then a high paced class might not work as well for them.

They need to be aware of where their personal limits lay. That really holds true for everyone though.

Mark Uttech 10-04-2006 11:20 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Basic tenkan-ho and irimi -ho is a good start.

In gassho,
mark

John Brockington 10-05-2006 01:46 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
I have not trained anyone w/ MS, but I treat them as a neurologist, and the primary obstacles I see in any physical activity for MS patients is their transient increase in symptoms when body temperature rises and also a substantial level of constant fatigue. A hard fall should not cause an exacerbation of disease, but you do have to take into consideration their neuro status, ie, do they have impaired vision due to optic neuritis, impaired coordination/strength/response time due to prior exacerbations, urinary incontinence, hypersensitivty (dysethesias/allodynia) to even light touch stimuli, or even cognitive slowing. These possible situations could result in a major problem on the mat. Let me know if there is a specific situation you are concerned about.

John

Dennis Hooker 10-05-2006 01:50 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
I have worked with people with MS and I have Myasthenia Gravis. Contact me off list and I will send you the book I wrote for my grandchildren regarding my life. A good bit of it revolves around the training.
Thank you for taking the time to work with special people.

dawolfie 10-08-2006 08:48 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
My dad found out he had it last year. It is a very hard thing to deal with in the later stages. If your student is younger, Aikido could really help out. In our dojo, we have a young man with Cerebal Palsey. The training has given him a renewed sense of confidence and perpsective on life. I really do think if you have your mind working on something, like the principles of aikido, their body will adjust and respond better.

Steven 10-08-2006 10:41 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Quote:

Jody Thompson wrote:
My dad found out he had it last year. It is a very hard thing to deal with in the later stages. If your student is younger, Aikido could really help out. In our dojo, we have a young man with Cerebal Palsey. The training has given him a renewed sense of confidence and perpsective on life. I really do think if you have your mind working on something, like the principles of aikido, their body will adjust and respond better.


Sorry to hear about your dad Jody. Thanks to all that have posted thus far.

DarkShodan 07-26-2011 03:22 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
I have resurrected this post from a few years ago.

Starting August 1st I am going to start teaching Aikido to MS patients. I already have several people interested in various stages. I myself have learned a lot about MS in the past month or so. I would welcome any suggestions you all might have.

Thank you Urban Sensei for sending me your tips and advice!

This is an exciting opportunity for myself and the new students to figure out what can be done, rather than what can not be done. Too often we've been told what we can't do because of our age and our limitations. Now we figure out what we can do. Work around those obstacles and see for ourselves. There are some University Medical Students coming to class to see what we do and how we do it. No pressure! ;-)

I'll come back and post on my findings. Thank you all!

Janet Rosen 07-26-2011 03:36 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Lloyd, that is wonderful. Please post as things progress!

DarkShodan 10-05-2011 02:24 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
I cut/paste part of a letter I sent to Urban Sensei. Didn't want to retype it, so here it is...

We tried doing the MS Aikido in the summer but it was too hot for most of the students who wanted to try Aikido. We started back up a few weeks ago. For now we are only doing 1 class a week for 30 minutes. It is slow going but everyone seems to be excited. I have about 10 students in my MS class and one of them joined my regular Aikido class with her husband. Her MS is very mild and she is doing well. All the students are very different. There is no one size fits all class for MS Aikido. I started out with our basic self defense class we teach to women's groups and children. It's a lot of pinching and twisting but follows many Aikido concepts. I have been learning lately someone with MS may not have enough strength to push but has the strength to pull.

Even with the upper body and arms pushing and pulling are different even though they are the same muscle groups. The few techniques we have worked on we have to modify to either pushing or pulling motion, since some have strength in one direction but not the other. It's been very interesting. Most of the students are not able to stand well or not for very long.

Most of the things we have done have been from a sitting position. Body movement has been an issue and we are working with different motions with the shoulders and arms, trying to imitate the hip/waist movement. Almost all the students in the class have a tremendous amount of Ki and can really project.

It is really interesting to feel the Ki and intent of some of these people. In that area they are very strong. One of the goals is to come up with some form of testing standard, something we can actually measure progress. Since we cannot do a one test for everyone I am looking at testing on concepts of Ki, movement and balance, along with physical techniques from a standing or seated position.

Since not everyone can do exact techniques I was thinking, as an example, test #1 the student would be able to perform any 3 basic techniques. Test #2 would be performing the same techniques in test #1 at a higher level, and be able to perform an additional 3 techniques. Test #3 would be test #1 with a advanced knowledge of test #2, and a basic understanding of 3 additional techniques. Something like that.

That's where I am now. I think people are excited about the program and I hope it continues. It's been pretty slow but it's been a learning experience.

Janet Rosen 10-05-2011 04:54 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Lloyd, I wonder if instead of any upper body pushing or pulling, the focus could be on just gentle outreached extension and then moving center? I would think turning center and opening hips would be very good...anything that is more central and involves relaxing/opening since spasms are often a problem for folks w/ MS.

DarkShodan 10-06-2011 09:57 AM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Good day everyone. Thanks Janet. Maybe I said that wrong, pushing and pulling. When I was teaching I was using the word "extend" and some people were not getting it. I started saying push, like you push a door, meaning you don't touch the door you push through (extend) the door. That seemed to work.I see what you're saying about hip movement and center. The students who are able to stand are not comfortable with hip movements. It's not something they are used to, but we are working on that. Some of the students are in a chair and hip movement is not possible. We are trying to figure out ways to move center with what we can move. Not everyone is the same so it's a lot of learning and adjusting. I had one issue with spasms, something I just learned.

Janet Rosen 10-06-2011 10:28 AM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Lloyd, good points you make on the issues of folks in chairs.
You may want to connect w/ Tom Osborne who has worked w/ disabled vets some of whom were chairbound. (I'll pm you his info)

My thoughts: it ain't easy but one can move one's center while seated. Having been doing kokyudosa many years via sitting crosslegged and immobile (rather than in seiza and finishing w/ suwariwaza) I can testify it is challenging but a heck of a good way to really learn how to drop center and move center (both enter and rotate) when other movement isn't possible - its what taught me the difference between "hips" and "center"!

DarkShodan 12-12-2011 10:05 AM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Good day everyone. I was reading some other random posts about attitudes and egos and hypocrisy on Aikiweb. Tell you something, it's not just here in the forums, it's art imitating life. I've had enough of it here and in my own life. So back to what is really important and what Aikido should be about......

The MS Aikido classes I have been teaching are going well. We only have class once a week for about an hour but the students really like the class and what we have been going over. It is slow going but they are patient and are eager to learn, and learn quickly! I still have a difficult time getting them on their feet. We are still working on balance and movement as much as we can. We have learned some simple wrist techniques and have worked with many people in different stages to work around varying capabilities. It really is an exciting program we are starting. One comment I would like to pass along for you teachers out there; the electric wheel chairs... did you know they weight 250lbs, have a lot of torque and can turn on a dime? I think we have all seen them but did not realize the potential. I was grabbing the wrist and shoulders of some of the students in my class. They are not able to stand and turn tenkan, but they can hit the little joystick on the electric wheelchair, and let me tell you they'll take your arm off! We are learning to use the chairs to mimic different movement. I suppose it's like playing a video game and just learning to use the joystick. Cool stuff!

Janet Rosen 12-12-2011 10:37 AM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Quote:

Lloyd McWhirt wrote: (Post 299670)
One comment I would like to pass along for you teachers out there; the electric wheel chairs... did you know they weight 250lbs, have a lot of torque and can turn on a dime? I think we have all seen them but did not realize the potential.

LOL!!! Lloyd I'm so glad to have the update.

hughrbeyer 12-12-2011 09:40 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 294105)
it ain't easy but one can move one's center while seated.

I've actually been working on moving the hara for a while while driving. With good sport seats, your hips and shoulders are held in place--great for isolating the hara.

I was at a party the other night with a guy who's doing guided meditation with PTSD survivors, and that conversation got me thinking--do you think breathwork and basic connected-movement practice would help people who have mobility issues? My mother is having a harder time getting around as she gets older, and this MS thread got me thinking about that--you think that kind of practice would be helpful to these folks?

Janet Rosen 12-12-2011 10:00 PM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
Quote:

Hugh Beyer wrote: (Post 299737)
do you think breathwork and basic connected-movement practice would help people who have mobility issues? My mother is having a harder time getting around as she gets older, and this MS thread got me thinking about that--you think that kind of practice would be helpful to these folks?

I think there are three valuable practices for middle aged and older folks who are not interested in martial arts per se:
1. qi gong or tai chi on a regular basis
2. a referral to at PT specfically for plyometrics to increase coordination in whole body movement
3. learning to get comfortable being on the ground, relaxing and opening their hips to sink to the ground, working on low impact ways of getting up and down and if they do well on that, learning to fall - not forward and backwards rolls, falls, but building from many sessions of being comfortable, relaxing hips, sinking, etc Still trying to convince folks in my town to try it - lots of my professional peers endorse the idea but won't get into the dojo to play with me on it!

DarkShodan 12-13-2011 09:56 AM

Re: Multiple Sclerosis
 
In my experience, yes. The group I work with has been doing meditation for a long time so when I started talking about meditation they had already been practicing it for years. This groups is a firm believer in meditation and so am I. A friend of mine works at the VA and works with PTSD patients. Same thing, he believe in meditation and it works for his group as well.


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