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-   -   Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8928)

LinSuHill 09-19-2005 10:01 AM

Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
My husband and I began regular aikido training this year at the age of 51, with two and then three classes a week. We are challenged with beginners' problems exacerbated by age, such as stiff joints and lack of flexibility. We know we'll get over those. However, we are concerned about dizziness and nausea we're getting from doing forward and backward rolls.

With three months of limited ukemi experience, I still get dizzy enough after one or two forward rolls that I can barely stand. Assuming I'll eventually get over it, I do a few rolls until I'm loopy, then sit in a wobbly seiza until the next part of class. :hypno:

Laddibuck is worse off. He does perhaps six rolls and gets white-faced nauseated, a condition which stays with him all day and sometimes longer. He says it feels like he's been gut-punched. Maybe some of you guys know what he's talking about. :crazy:

We've been tinkering with when and what we eat prior to class, but no combination seems to make a difference. Yesterday a non-aikido friend recommended trying Dramamine or another motion sickness pill. As it is, Laddibuck will check with our family doctor to see if some low-grade digestive problem like acid reflux is being aggravated by rolling around. Grasping for solutions, we're willing to try anything.

Anyone else have any such experiences or know about this?

James Davis 09-19-2005 11:36 AM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
You've probably already heard this, but make sure you EXHALE while you roll. Make it audible. Breath out so that your internal organs don't bump each other so much.

Personally, I find I'm better off not eating at all a few hours before practice.

Good luck!

John Boswell 09-19-2005 03:22 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Quote:

James Davis, Jr. wrote:
You've probably already heard this, but make sure you EXHALE while you roll. Make it audible. Breath out so that your internal organs don't bump each other so much.

Personally, I find I'm better off not eating at all a few hours before practice.

Good luck!

This is excellent advice:
1) Don't eat before class
2) Exhale before and during your roll

Personally, when I first started aikido, I came in on the weekends just to practice my rolling because I was so unconfident with it. It was 3 months before I felt able to take ukemi without breaking my neck.

The more you roll, the more you'll get used to it. Relaxing is very important. Exhaling will help that considerably. Try not to rush anything or push yourself to hard. If you aren't relaxed and enjoying yourself, chances are your doing something wrong. That's a pretty stable peice of data I use in aikido.

If you are just starving before class, try a simple granola bar at least 30 minutes before class, but for sure nothing heavy or bulky. Go for light and easy: Apple or Orange or snack bar 30mins to hour before class.

For stiff joints and aches and pains: try Cal-Mag (Calcium Magnisum). Muscles need calcium just as much as your bones and joints do. If you suffer from arthritis, you might try Glucocimine (sp?) This helps lubricate the joints. I have arthritis in my knees and I'm sure various other places. When I've gone too long without these things, I can really tell. And be sure not to dehydrate yourself. Potasium is always good, but you'll get plenty from Gatoraide or even just bananas or avacados.

Good luck! Practice, practice, practice!

henry brown 09-19-2005 05:10 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
I think it would be pretty hard to know exactly what's happening to you without being right there.
1) Make sure you are well hydrated, but don't eat before class
2) Make sure you don't have any blood pressure or heart problems. Do you get dizzy if you stand up quickly from sitting or lying down?
3) Sometimes you can make the dizziness go away faster after rolling by lightly bouncing up and down on your toes. This helps make the otoliths in your semicircular canals settle faster (now you can reply 'Yes!' when people ask you if you have rocks in your head.)

Is your husband talking about nausea or chest pain when he says 'gut punched'? Usually reflux presents as chest pain.

Talking it over with your physician (if you have insurance....) is probably a good idea.

SeiserL 09-19-2005 05:19 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
IMHO, takes a while for the inner-ear to acclimate and accommodate.
I started at 44, 11 years ago.

Relax and exhale.
Don't try to make your body circle too tight.
Be patient.

Give my best to McGouirk Sensei.
No doubt we will train together some day.

MaryKaye 09-19-2005 05:43 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Sympathies on your problem. I helped teach an older student with the same difficulty, and it took a frustratingly long time for rolls to get easier for her.

You might try practicing being dizzy in some safer circumstance, like sitting on the merry-go-round at the park, or just spinning in circles. The problem is not really the inner ear, it's the brain saying "Yikes! This is wrong!" and eventually it may learn to cope.

One of the AikiWeb blogs had entries from a student who got horribly nauseated when rolling; he found that Dramamine did help.

Does rolling onto your back and up to sitting ("koho tento undo") bother you? If it bothers you just a tiny amount, it would make a good experimental lab for finding out what approaches will help, since it's much safer than forward or backward rolls. You can try controlling your breathing, as many posters have suggested, and also controlling your eye direction--try to keep looking forward as you roll back.

Best of luck. Rolling is great once you get it, so you have something to look forward to.

Mary Kaye

Mark Uttech 09-22-2005 02:54 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
The students I have had who have gotten dizzy, found that in the beginning it would help if they would not try to "watch their rolls". That doesn't mean rolling with your eyes closed, that just means not intentionally looking at anything. Hope this helps. (Of course, you first look to see if there is a safe space).

aikidojoe 09-22-2005 03:09 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
A lot of good advice here.

Breathing I think is the most important one. Not only to exhale on doing the roll (VERY IMPORTANT), but inhaling a deep breath upon getting up. You might want to try some extra aerobic activity and see if that helps.

Stay very hydrated. If you lose 10% of your hydration, your performance drops 50%.

Don't eat large meal before class, but you should eat something (like a banana or apple) about 1.5 hours before class so you still have some energy.

Try focusing on your hands as you go over. To your point of view they are stationary, and by the time you look away, your roll is over and the rest of the world has hopefully stopped spinning (unless of course you were at a bar before class, heh).

I think the best advice I sw here, was to make sure your blood pressure is ok, and not dropping or raising too quickly.

A point not mentioned here is whether or not you're progressing with the technical aspect of the roll. Are you improving? Does it feel better (or rather do you feel less pain when doing and after your roll?) If not, then perhaps you are concentrating on the pain, and that can certainly affect your breathing which affects dizzyness, blood pressure, etc...
Try to get someone a lot higher rank to take the time and see what you might be able to do to improve. You might want to check out a couple videos on ukemi and rolling.

OK, guess I've rambled enough for today. I hope this helps.

Masa Katsu Agatsu

justin 09-22-2005 03:11 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
any suggestions on good videos on ukemi ?

dyffcult 09-23-2005 12:40 AM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
When I first started aikido, I had probably done only 20 forward somersaults in my entire life. They never felt natural and they always made me want to throw up. I had never done a backwards somersault.

When I first started aikido, I had a hell of a time learning to do rolls...backward more so than forward. But I perservered. However, forward rolls and backward rolls quickly nauseated me and left me dizzy for a few moments after each one. I practiced every day, six days a week and practiced ukemi at home before practice....for three months. Unfortunately, this sensation never left me. More than two rolls in quick succession in either direction and I was dizzy and nauseous.

Fastforward fifteen years after a ten year absence. Now a single forward or backward roll leaves me dizzy. More than two in quick succession leaves me ready to heave on the mat. At forty years of age, I wonder if I can ever practice enough to make this "easy."

Yes, I am hydrated. No, I don't eat right before class. Yes, I breath out. Yes, I focus on an object to avoid the dizziness. Yes, I do everything my sempai tell me to do to avoid these sensations. Nothing seems to work.

I have come to the conclusion that my body simply does not like forward or backward rolls and therefore I do not take them from a technique unless I absolutely have to. Otherwise, my ukemi is great.

Throw me as hard as you like. I will hit the matt gleefully. Slap my arm and hand to absorb the impact. And get up to take your next technique. To the best of my knowledge, there are only a few aikido techniques that require uke to roll out of the technique. Those that do, I do. Those that don't, I don't.

My body and mind simply weren't designed to go head over heels. Just my two cents.

Brenda

cconstantine 09-23-2005 11:02 AM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
There are many great hints above. I'll add these which I don't believe I saw mentioned...

- during your roll, make sure you don't have your eyes or head trailing behind. If your head trails, you get that whipped-on-the-whirly-ride-at-the-fair feeling; that'll make you dizzy every time. Your mental/visual focus should be forward through, and up/out of the roll as it finishes. Don't dive into the roll with your mental and visual focus pulled inward. A learning tool is to try to look at your belly button going into the beginning of the roll, then find the horizon in front of you asap, after your feet go over your head. Do not look down as you exit the roll this actually makes your head go through more rotation than your body goes through -- ie, you're extending the roll from the point of view of your inner ears.

- there is a pressure point you can use during recovery from dizziness, or discreeting between rolls while on the mat. About an inch below your zyphoid process (the lower tip of your sternum), apply gentle (a few pounds) pressure inward (toward your spine) and slightly downward toward your feet, with one or two fingertips. This is not a "ding, you're better" button to press, but works well in combination with key breathing in a seated position. Keep your eyes open but "dull" your focus so your eyes and eyelids relax.

- also the pressure point on the back of your head. Find the bone-point at the base of the back of your skull. Moving your head around slightly helps you initially figure out what is your skull and what are muscless and spine. Place thumb and pointer fingers on either side, and just below this point -- in a gesture like picking up a pinch of salt. (You want to appy the pressure to the nerves/muscles not the bone.) Place a few pounds of pressure inward towards your spine and upwards towards the top of your head. If you press too hard you're likely to give yourself a quick headache. Settle the pressure gently for 10, 20 or more seconds. Again, this pressure point works well while seated and breathing. If you have a student sitting, breathing and trying to stave off dizziness, you can place on hand on the forehead and apply the pressure *geeeeently* with the other hand.

Other than that...

Stick with it, but pace yourself! And you should *absolutely* consult your physician -- 50-ish is not "spry chicken" age. Make sure you don't have any latent medical problems.

Camille Lore 09-23-2005 12:11 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Make sure you tuck your chin to your chest when you are rolling. We have students get dizzy during ukemi, and our sensei tells them that.....

Carol Shifflett 09-25-2005 01:49 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Quote:

Linda Hill wrote:
My husband and I began regular aikido training this year at the age of 51, with two and then three classes a week. We are challenged with beginners' problems exacerbated by age, such as stiff joints and lack of flexibility. We know we'll get over those. However, we are concerned about dizziness and nausea we're getting from doing forward and backward rolls . . . With three months of limited ukemi experience, I still get dizzy enough after one or two forward rolls that I can barely stand.

Hello Linda,
Are either of you old enough to be wearing bifocals? Young enough to be doing word processing or computer time or watching TV on the floor with head propped in hands?

There are several muscles that cause severe dizziness and proprioceptive problems. Primary offender is the sternocleidomastoid muscle, followed by trapezius and suboccipitals. Over the years I've noticed that students who had remarkable problems with dizziness also had remarkably hard (as in rock-hard) SCMs. If you ever suffer from "sinus" pain, top of the head pain, or odd vision problems or ringing in the ears, or problems swallowing -- well, those can be related. IF SCM is the root cause, you can fix it in minutes.

See my website at www.round-earth.com. Scroll down to "Pain and Injury" and click on headache. That will take you to a page which shows pain patterns for SCM, trapezius, and suboccipitals. The link will take you to the SCM page with illustrated information for treatment.

SCM is followed by trapezius which is the Number One muscle to develop trigger points in both children and adults. And it forms a feedback loop with SCM and causes nausea.

The suboccipitals tend to be strained in anyone who consistently holds head with chin tilted upward. This is a constant problem with those who wear bi- or tri-focals, a side-effect in TV-watching children. This area of the neck is loaded with proprioceptors, every bit as critical as the vestibular equipment of the inner ear. If you temporarily anaesthetize the suboccipitals in monkeys, they'll fall right over. We humans manage to do that to ourselves by doing silly things to our necks on purpose. I doubt that suboccipitals are the precipitating factor for dizziness -- however, they can certainly contribute, especially if you have tight hamstrings . . . . but that's another story.

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett

Mark Uttech 09-25-2005 04:02 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
By far the best videos I have seen on video are vol 1+2 of the Donovan Waite videos. In gassho

Mark Uttech 09-25-2005 04:04 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
oops I meant to say : "the best videos on ukemi"

aikidojoe 09-26-2005 03:14 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Brenda,

If you believe you can't do it, then you will find you are right.

Also there are a ton of techniques where the proper ukemi is a forward or backwards roll.

To the ukemi video question, I also think the 2 ukemi videos Donovan Waite has are awesome. Again though, I'm a bit biased.

Joe
:square: :circle: :triangle:

Jeanne Shepard 09-26-2005 08:49 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
I 'm an occupational therapist and I use sensory stimulation (vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile) with kids as many therapists do.
What I've learned is that children require it for their nervous systems to develop and crave it at times, but that adults, with their mature nervous systems need only a little to light up their systems. Stay with it, slowly and you will habituate to it. And it is good for you too, may even be pre-rehabing your brain in case of a future brain injury, such as a stroke.
I used to get horribly dizzy but hardly notice it anymore. But if I take time off, I get desensitized again.

Jeanne :p

LinSuHill 09-27-2005 06:14 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Thanks, James -- I do tend to hold my breath. I think it's part of my anticipation of not doing well. At least once in a class one of the instructors yells to me a reminder to breath.

LinSuHill 09-27-2005 06:20 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Quote:

John Boswell wrote:
Relaxing is very important. Exhaling will help that considerably. Try not to rush anything or push yourself to hard. If you aren't relaxed and enjoying yourself, chances are your doing something wrong.

Hi, John, and thanks for your good suggestions. I will write on my dojo duffle bag your words about relaxing and enjoying aikido! I tend to push myself way too hard.

I'm good on all the supplements you mentioned. sometimes I feel like I eat a month's worth of dojo dues every week in vitamins and supplements!

LinSuHill 09-27-2005 06:25 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Quote:

Henry Brown wrote:
Sometimes you can make the dizziness go away faster after rolling by lightly bouncing up and down on your toes. This helps make the otoliths in your semicircular canals settle faster (now you can reply 'Yes!' when people ask you if you have rocks in your head.)

Is your husband talking about nausea or chest pain when he says 'gut punched'? Usually reflux presents as chest pain.

Hi, Henry -- you're the second person I've talked to who mentioned bouncing up and down; but only you had all the fancy technical terms! I'll try it if I can remember it in the moment.

Jim's talking about nausea that lingers. He is planning to see our family doctor to rule out any medical surprises. I'll let you know what he finds out... if they find out anything.

LinSuHill 09-27-2005 06:35 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Quote:

Lynn Seiser wrote:
Relax and exhale. Don't try to make your body circle too tight. Be patient.

Hello, Lynn Seiser, and thanks for the reminder that this will take time and to relax. Learning patience is a big part of my training.

Quote:

Lynn Seiser wrote:
Give my best to McGouirk Sensei. No doubt we will train together some day.

I'll pass along your good word to McGouirk Sensei. As for training together, you've heard about all the seminars at Aikido-Ai next year, right? Have you seen a copy of our dojo's newsletter? You're in our neighborhood, so surely we can train together sometime. Maybe by then I'll be able to do a roll or two!

aikido funky monkey 09-27-2005 06:42 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
when i first started I would get dizzy especially when doing backword rolls. I eventualy learned how to do amore fluid and graceful roll and after that I rarely got dizzy unless i was rushing. good luck I know how you feel:D:D:D

aikido funky monkey 09-27-2005 06:49 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
bye the way dont hold your breath thats the biggest mistake you could make i still havn't completely stopped my self from doing it

LinSuHill 09-27-2005 07:04 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Quote:

Mary Kuhner wrote:
You might try practicing being dizzy in some safer circumstance, like sitting on the merry-go-round at the park, or just spinning in circles. The problem is not really the inner ear, it's the brain saying "Yikes! This is wrong!" and eventually it may learn to cope. ...

Does rolling onto your back and up to sitting ("koho tento undo") bother you?

My younger sister loves your suggestions. She is an over-the-top fanatic for thrill rides, and she is offering to take me on a couple rollercoaster rides every weekend. Ah, what we will do for our art and our discipline...!

Rolling back from a sitting position is okay for me, as long as it stops at the shoulders. Other aikidoka recommended all kinds of conditioning at home -- throwing blankets and quilts on our hardwood floor at home, then "rocking 'n rolling" such as koho tento undo, and easing into trying a couple rolls. This sounds very do-able, sensible, affordable, and even fun.

I'll start my "rock 'n roll" training at home in mid-November. Recently I broke my little toe and it's healing, taped to its neighbor. That's why I have time to sit here and answer posts... I'm not on the mat training! :blush:

LinSuHill 09-27-2005 07:15 PM

Re: Rolls, Dizziness and Nausea
 
Quote:

Joe Varano wrote:
A point not mentioned here is whether or not you're progressing with the technical aspect of the roll. Are you improving? Does it feel better (or rather do you feel less pain when doing and after your roll?) If not, then perhaps you are concentrating on the pain, and that can certainly affect your breathing which affects dizzyness, blood pressure, etc...

Joe, yes, I have had some improvement in the technical aspect of the roll. Though I'm stretching daily to improve my flexibility, I still can't perform suwari waza yet, so you can imagine how that inhibits my rolls. For instance, other students say I'm better at forward rolls from a standing position than from a kneeling position.

You are probably correct in that I'm anticipating trouble which is affecting my breathing. I'm hoping that conditioning exercises such as Mary suggested earlier will ease my anxiety and therefore improve my techniques.


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