I liked Yelizaveta Nersesova’s blog article, 5 Steps To Recovering From Tango Injuries. I wanted to answer her call for ideas from others, and this article resulted.
Nice list of helpful strategies for healing injuries! Thank you.
I have discovered a technique, based on the NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) “headache” cure. I find it simple and effective.
Before describing the technique, here’s an example of what can happen. A person gets out of bed and an ankle feels painful and weird. Was it overuse, or did they sleep in a strange position? They start worrying the body part AND themselves. “What’s wrong there?” “What do I need to do?” “How long will this go on?” All the while, they hobble around the house favoring the “injured” part.
They are now supporting the disabled use of the part. For “part”, think of a backache, stiff neck, muscle spasm, odd pain anywhere. Even an itch that wants scratching!
We want to break the state of our connection to the unfavorable use of our body. My technique is to think/feel that same part — in the opposite side of my body!
In the “good” part I try with earnest effort to recreate the feeling calling for attention from the “bad” part. We hope the good part feels fine. I ask myself, “What would have to change for it to feel more like the other (bad) part?”
“Whoa! David, won’t that make two bad parts?”
No. The good part, because it is closer to our natural state, wins. Indeed, I often feel that the good part is teaching the bad part what it needs to get back in alignment with healthy use.
Here is a personal example. From an old weight-lifting injury, I have a recurring muscle spasm in the area of one upper trapezius. It comes back with no clear provocation. At random intervals, sometimes after long dormant periods.
In the past I tried all kinds of recovery. Rest. Special rehabilitation exercises. Trigger therapy. Heat. Cold. Vibration. The pain spot would grow in intensity and size as I fretted over it. It often lasted a couple of weeks, until it seemed to “tire itself out” and fade away.
Now, when it calls for my attention, I instead send all my attention to the corresponding spot on the other side. I try to be as precise as I can about placement, size, shape, energy, and so forth. Most often, in a few seconds, sometimes with a few repetitions, the issue leaves my awareness. I’m comfortable and functional again.
Detailed examination of feelings in the good part seems to reprogram the bad part.
Sounds strange, I know. I’ve found it quite reliable.
How might we connect that to the Argentine tango: learning, dancing, teaching? In my experience and opinion, we give too much attention to the bad parts. Like a muscle knot. The more we worry over it, the tighter it becomes. Instead, I try to ask, “If my teacher/partner/I don’t like that, what do we like? What could work well to do what I want?”
We explore the good parts that work well for us. Seeking to extend, expand, adapt, reduce, change them to inform the “bad part”.
I’ve found it quite helpful.
(Image credit: Excerpt of Drawing: Expressions of emotion, hate or jealousy, anger, desire, physical pain. From Encyclopedie. Art Institute Chicago. A work made of etching with engraving on cream laid paper. CC0 Public Domain Designation)