One day I watched a friend approach me from some distance away and noticed straight away that something wasn’t quite right. He was still a hundred yards away when I realised that his body had changed shape in some way. He came up to me his usual cheerful self, only to say that he was on his way to the doctor as he had numb tingling sensation in his hands and feet. This didn’t surprise me considering that his body had ballooned!
As we mature as adults, or as that expression goes ‘reach middle age’, we tend to get settled in our daily routine. We’ve set up a home, established a career, found a partner and maybe had kids. The youthful thirst for life diminishes and exercise levels drop as we adopt a more comfortable existence. This is when many succumb to what is known as ‘middle age spread’. The scientists will tell you that you are putting on fat as you’re not burning enough calories, but I will tell you that this is the sort of utter drivel we get from scientists these days on matters of health. Middle age spread has little to do with fat and certainly nothing to do with calories, in fact calories play no part in the way in which a body processes food. We are not an internal combustion engine and do not harness natures destructive force of fire to burn our food; we are formative living beings. When a body starts to sag it is doing just that. The structure weakens and starts to bulge.
Our bodies are made up of extremely complex cellular structures, internal organs, sense organs, bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons, skin etc. but in order to understand the shape of our bodies we need not concern ourselves with such detail and must take a much simpler view of the body. The body is made up of tissue that has a volume, density and pressure. If we maintain a good level of exercise then the structure of the body stays wound up tight; the volume remains small and dense. If we allow our exercise to drop significantly then the structure loosens; the pressure causes the volume to increase and the density to decrease; the body bulges and becomes soft and flabby. This is a very simplistic understanding, but it does much more to explain ‘middle age spread’ than the mistaken notion of fat and calories ever can. Obviously there are many factors at work and it would be wrong to think that it is purely down to exercise. Good quality food and a balance diet are important, moderation in our vices, structure to our daily routine, attention to posture and using our bodies well, even emotional well being. All these factors play a part in our overall health and the ability to keep in good shape.
Getting back to my friend, he is a stocky guy with great mass to his body and for years he maintained that mass in good shape, but being a body of such great mass, when the structure starts to loosen then the change is all the more dramatic. Rather than the slow expansion of the waistline, his entire body increased in volume almost overnight. The density obviously decreased but with so much mass the pressure remained high causing the ballooning effect. It was quite obvious that this ballooning of the body was restricting the flow to his extremities, hence the numbness and tingling in his hands and feet. Once such a change has occurred, trying to reverse it and winding up the structure back to what it was is no easy task, especially when marching with rocks in your rucksack to keep fit no longer figures in your daily routine. However, our bodies have enormous ability to compensate; the restricted flow to his extremities eased, the numbness and tingling subsided and life simply enters a new phase.
The accident I had, that left me with the condition of paraplegia, has caused catastrophic decline in the structure of my body putting the inconvenience of an expanding waistline into perspective. Not only did the density and pressure of the structure of my body collapse, but the mass deteriorated so badly that I was left with no volume to my body. It was possible to push into my stomach and feel my spine and to push in above my collar bone and feel the top of my shoulder blade. Through the techniques of ABR Therapy we have been slowly rebuilding my body, over the last eleven years, improving the structure to regain volume, density and pressure. The first element to undergo significant expansion was the chest. To start with it had little more depth to it than the width of my arm but I’m pleased to say has improved enormously. Improvements tend to come in waves of expansion followed by consolidation, to develop a dense quality to the body. This was followed by my abdomen filling out and finally my pelvis is starting to expand quite rapidly. There are still vast improvements to be made in all these elements, particularly rebuilding volume to the back, and this will take many more hours of work yet. My neck has also dramatically improved in volume and quality and even my head has recently undergone a phase of expansion and consolidation.
Unfortunately such decline in the structure of the body is no longer confined to the middle aged or disabled. We are now seeing this phenomena in very young children who are not developing strong healthy bodies. Whereas in the past, the ways of childhood naturally took care of the development of their bodies this is no longer the case. The computer age has replaced outdoor play and processed food replaced good home cooking. This is by no means universal, but even the best intentioned parents often seem to struggle to rear children with well formed bodies. Maybe the techniques of ABR Therapy that we are using, with great success, to rebuild the structure of my body, can be used to help young people ensure that they develop in a strong healthy manner.