VIVOBAREFOOT Rehab: Marjie Mills

October 05, 2012 by Marjie Mills

I've just received my Neos shoes and having worn them feel utterly compelled to contact you.
After a significant head injury put me in a coma for a few weeks I've been left with damage to my cerebellum, and the subsequent balance issues this brings.
Thanks to the help and experience of neurophysios and working with experts in yoga, pilates, feldenkrais, the alexander technique and power plates and twist conditioning I felt I'd made massive progress over the last 12years , leaving my wheelchair far behind.
[Above: The plantar pressures experienced by the foot in a natural walking gait cycle. The orange areas represent progression of body weight and the proprioceptive feedback to the brain. Variations on this pattern are linked to dysfunction and pathology.]
BUT having put on the Neo shoes I'm blown away by the amount of information my feet are sending back to me.  I'm very wobbly but that's because I'm not being allowed to plonk my feet down.  For the first time in years I'm aware of exactly what my weight distribution is and the effect is has on my walk.  Hamstrings and calf muscles, feet are all being startled into sending feedback.  It's unbelievable just how much I've been missing.
I read with great interest the download from your site [the eBook available for free from Training Clinic] and it's amazingly relevant and accurate to someone like me.  It took years to find out for myself that making the right patterns and shapes help form muscle memory and reroute nerve signals.  Your shoes are making me realise that despite great progress I can still find something to propel me further forward down the road to a good recovery.

Last night I tried balancing on one foot and was surprised that even my good left leg had to work like mad and wobble like crazy to maintain balance, my ankle being brought into play far more than in ordinary trainers or even bare feet.  I'm being careful as I realise that my signals and feet and brain are going to be at the extreme end of what you expect the shoes to do, but it's been a revelation to have to use my whole leg so differently.  Even gluts are having to buy  into fairly routine things and I'm fascinated to know how far I can go with this.
As an ex half-marathon runner I do miss being able to run, even just upstairs, but some things may never come back as my fast twitch reflex is shot, the right side in particular.
If you have any good suggestions for excercises for me to try, believe me I'm a good trier and willing to work hard.
I can't believe just how different things feel........watch this space.!
Marjie Mills

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