Our exercise regimen so far

A couple weeks ago, I posted about my daughter’s results in the Tornado Suit.  Then she blogged about how she is doing, from her perspective.  This week, I want to cover the fundamentals of the different exercises that she is doing so far.

Morning and Evening:

1.  Pettibon/ARC 3D weights in her Tornado Suit.  She puts on her Tornado Suit, then straps on her head weights and shoulder weights – she either stands, or walks around.  At Dr. Morningstar’s office, he has her walk on a treadmill, because the movement of the leg actually emphasizes the de-rotation on her spine.  She has worked up to wearing her weights for 10 minutes, twice a day, and this is the point we will stay for a while.  The weights help re-educate the nervous system to make her body naturally align.  As I’ve said in previous posts, this method has changed the shape of my neck (for the better).  See the Post Here.  Read more about the ARC3D approach: Dr. Morningstar’s Book

Evening only:

1.  Torso rotations – in the office, we use a weight machine sort of like this one, but she rotates her upper body and not her lower body.  She does 6 sets of rotations with 10 pounds each.  At home, we’ve set up a weight with a cable to her ladder apparatus (pictured below).  She sits in front of it on an exercise ball chair and does one side at a time, pulling on the chord and rotating her pulling arm in front of her.

2.  Grab and pulls – she sits in front of her Schroth ladder apparatus on an exercise ball and reaches her left hand as high up as possible and her right hand low (and underhand, so fingers are facing up) and she pulls on the bars as hard as she can for 10 seconds. She does 10 of these with a pause in between each.  This helps to de-rotate her spine and build the corresponding muscles.

3.  Breathing over the ball – she lays on an exercise ball, knees on the floor, and takes 10 slow, deep breaths, trying to breathe ONLY into her left thoracic (mid-back).  Her hump is on the right thoracic, so this breathing helps her to de-rotate.  We can even take a Scoliometer (search your smartphone for Scoliometer aps) and put it on her back to see how many degrees she de-rotates.  Once she gets good at this over the ball (it is VERY difficult), she will be able to do it standing, and for more prolonged periods.  The hope is that she will train her body to de-rotate when she breathes.

For now, that is it, but it is still a lot for an 11-year-old.  She has handled it all like a champ.  Every two weeks, I make her a chart for morning and evening.  She can check off every time she does her exercises.  And, of course, we always pick one evening a week to blow off the exercises!  We can’t be perfect, after all! 🙂  Next week, I take my daughter on a special trip to see relatives in Seattle.  She is excited to blow off her exercises for 5 entire days!  Of course, she will be wearing her Cheneau brace all the time, as usual.  But, it will seem like a holiday!

Schroth Ladder Apparatus
Schroth Ladder Apparatus