Accupressure and Swimming
by, November 4th, 2008 at 11:37 AM (1009 Views)
Over this weekend, I participated in a research study that involved the use of visualization and accupressure. On Saturday, we sat by the pool and placed two fingers on the sides of our foreheads and placed the other hand on various areas of our torso (over our stomach, spleen, liver, kidney and bladder). We were told to remember a number of "bad" emotional experiences on a one to one basis. The first session lasted about one hour.
When the session was finished, I had a headache (very rare), felt dizzy and my right knee was sore.
The idea of combining accupressure and emotional recall is based upon the idea that the limbic system of the brain has a memory. In particular, emotional memory is stored in the limbic system - which is a very primitive part of the brain. According to accupressure theory, our organs are involved in processing these memories and affect our energy systems - and our functional performance. By recalling memories with strong emotions and pressing on certain areas, the theory believes that we can bring these emotions back to be reprocessed.
We were told to remember our worst performances and the emotions associated with the performances and other painful or humiliating events and the associated emotions.
After the first session, I was really drained. I experienced anxiety and anger (unassociated with any event) latter that afternoon. I think the session brought back subterranian feelings that I had repressed but lingered in my background processing.
The next day, we had another session in the therapist's office. The focus this time was on positive emotions. We performed the same actions (pressing on parts of our torso), but this time, we were told to recall the very best activities and associated emotions. We were also told to visualize our perfect performance and how we would feel about our performance.
During the second session, I did not feel anxiety or anger. Instead, I felt elated, happy and very positive.
During this week, I've felt better in the water and my workout times seem to reflect a small decrease in times for a workout set. I don't know if the sessions were effective or if it was a placebo effect. The researcher told us that we were the first group of athletes that she had worked with and that she was interested in measuring our performances (before and after the sessions). So I'm on the line to do some quality swim this weekend.
She did tell us that in individual therapy sessions with musicians that there was a definate positive effect. I have several musician friends and when comparing notes with them, I find that we have remarkably similar issues - performance anxiety and the desire to precisely and accurately control our motor performance.
The Mind has no firewall!