Monday, March 31, 2014

The easier paths

I worked with a stroke patient at one facility. The MD had left a gastric enteral feeding tube in place even though he was eating as the patient was not expected to improve much. He began standing with nursing staff at bedside by pulling on the bedside rail. He then worked worked with several of the therapy staff who had not had extensive stroke rehab experience. I did not either but had much more than the other therapists for stroke rehab.  When I started working with him he was very unbalanced, and unable to transfer without two people assisting. After several months of us working together he was able to leave the facility. He was walking a couple hundred feet with a quad cane and was able to manage minor steps up and down stairs. I was never able to help him become fully independent with standing without use of the rail however. It was hit and miss, with me usually giving tactile cues, as he did not need the physical assistance as much as the guidance. Most of the people who assisted him in his daily tasks used the rail to facilitate his transfers for increased safety. There is a debate in rehab with those who a employ a pure "neurologically" based rehab and those who are more generalists in the way they progress patients. The problem of letting a patient cheat and use the rail to stand at first by pulling with their good arm is that they become very good at standing in that pattern. If a rail is not around they can lose the ability to rise their body above their feet.  My feeling if I was a better more experienced therapist I could have helped him more with coming to stand independently as I would have been better at finding the key that would have led to the understanding that he needed.

In my own movements I feel once a efficient moving pattern is established it can become habitual. Once habitual if I want to change what I am doing I have to recognize what I am already doing. How I find what I am doing often is far more challenging than the actual change. The simple act of me looking for another person's right eye I believe established my habitual head postural position. It exists whether or not another person is there for me to relate to.  I was not looking for this 'understanding" of my eye influence on my head but found it more by accident after many years of following other cues provided by studying the works of Moshe Feldenkrais. I believe I did not relate to the left half of people's faces in my past. Now I often consciously look for it first and it allows me to feel the difference between my usual and what I am trying. As I pay attention to the discrepancy, what I usually do becomes clearer in it's artificiality. It is still my normal mode of moving and relating to people by a vast margin..

I have always had the view that I have one tongue and throat with two sides now I feel I have both a left and right tongue and a left and right throat. To be more exact the musculature of my left under tongue and my left anterior throat had no sense of differentiation. I could not access that area to relax what it was doing habitually. Now it feels I have some control and it immediately relates to how I use my posterior head and upper and lower back musculature. At this point I am not able much to change how I usually function as with my former patient my predominate habits are the much easier paths.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Skeletal reorganization

I have spent an inordinate amount of time playing with the left tongue/face head connection and I have progressed very little in terms of a objective discernible difference. However if I take a retrospective look on my subjective perception of what I am feeling there has been a tremendous change. Today I went to a farmers market and was talking to a peddler of a certain ware and he was working hard to sell me his product. I was trying to make the left eye to left eye connection and it feels like it requires a musculoskeletal reorganization to facilitate the connection. It is just not seeing the left eye but to get my left face to mimic/empathize the emotion expressed there needs to be greater muscular range and expression for my whole left side of body. I suspect there are many people who incorporate both sides in normal conversation but I was not one of them. Using the musculature in the left side of my face in this way is a new activity for me. I am not sure exactly what I was expressing in the left half of my face before. My best guess it was a semblance of the right but unable to initiate the actions on their own. My normal of what I feel in my left half of face reminds me of what I said of the girl in this link. Almost like a lower neurological processing of expression.

She appears to be using her the left side and mirroring the movements partially with the right when she talks.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Taking it from my left chin

I often open my mouth without thinking and regret what I say. I think I do it with the right side dominant and the right side perspective. The left side perspective did not exist until very recently. I believe it ties into the function of communication and the left side role was to stay out of the way and support the right side dominance. To put the right side in a slightly dominant position I keep the left side musculature slightly contracted and undefined with the right with greater play and definition. The left side play and perspective did not exist and to maintain the imbalance it involves far more than the jaw. My smaller muscles are supported by the larger musculature like links in a chain the extends far from the point of my left chin. Playing with my left chin position from the left perspective I get strong connections to my posterior neck and lower back. I am not able to maintain the sense of opening the left jaw from the left perspective as most of my muscular habits are from the right side perspective. I can play with it in a very limited range and fatigue quickly compared to my normal right side dominant movements. There is a sense of vulnerability as I feel I can easily hurt and strain muscles that are out of the normal positioning.  It feels like I could much more easily screw up my neck than get any benefit.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Left audio persona

I have been listening to many podcasts using my left ear only. I can hear fine and make out the words without problem. I am not sure that I can hear and see the persona on someone else's left side at the same time however. It again feels to be an active not a passive process. I think I need to both see and hear that the persona is communicating from his/her left side. Seeing the persona on the left is still intermittent and I have the sense that it has a separate audio component. When I try to combine the both I think my comprehension of what is being said goes down. There also feels to be a postural adjustment that like visually seeing the persona on the left I have to hear the audio persona coming from his/her left and my spine/head makes the subtle adjustment to position myself in relation to the speaker.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NY Times article


Good article. It shows the difficulties with simplistic claims like mine. The fear and anxiety of the author comes through strongly as well as the plight of his son lost in his dark maze of autism.  It is highly improbable that I have anything pertinent to say about the brain and mind when it is tremendously unfathomable by some of the brightest in the world. For me to think that I have anything useful to say about it is folly at best.

“More fools know Jack Fool than Jack Fool knows.” 
― William ShakespeareKing Lear

The video is embedded but comes up in a bigger player here. Watching both sides of Owen's face when he drops into character he makes a pronounced shift to the right side of his face/mouth. I did not see as much as a shift when he seems to talk as himself. Watching the early shots in the beginning of the video I get a sense of fear as though he is looking for any kind of feedback and not seeing it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good mentations

It is still surprises me how much I do not see the left eye/ face even when I plan to make the connection. I will start talking to someone and find myself talking and relating to the right eye/face of someone else. It often takes a deliberate recognition I am not doing what I think I am doing.

I have had different reactions when I make the left eye to left eye connection. Many are positive, some are negative and I do not know if I am reading something into this that may not be there.

However to jump into the lake of speculation I feel there is a difference in the way I connect and people respond with the left eye. When I am in the left eye mode I seem to get out of my usual rational/worried mode and make a more personal connection. It might be just the difference of making the connection creates a placebo effect within myself, but I do not feel this to be the case. In replaying the way I felt and thought afterwards there seems to be a difference in the way I am mentating. A more immediate sense of the other person with my anxieties on the periphery.

*Further thoughts (jumping into the ocean of speculation)

Going back again to this post and this article how would my brain respond to essentially different signals through the amygdala. How I think I viewed someone's face was always right eye to right eye with my left eye seeing more the periphery on the right side of the other person. I am postulating that my left amygdala remains somewhat inactive/reflexive in my normal communications with others. Seeing and processing the left side while using the left eye to initiate leads to a more refined processing/reaction on my left giving me a different feel of the interaction (and conveying  a more relaxed feel to the person I am communicating to.)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Body language

Pentagon studies Putin's body language

Second article

No talk of a left tongue or seeing the left half of someone's face but exploring some of the same territory.

"A Pentagon research team is studying the body movements of Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders in order to better predict their actions and guide U.S. policy, Pentagon documents and interviews show...."

Last September, Rende, Connors and Colton published a paper in the academic journal Frontiers in Psychology that detailed the uses of movement pattern analysis to determine leaders' decision-making process. Such analysis, they wrote, "offers a unique window into individual differences in decision-making style."
While Connors declined to characterize her current work, she has written previously about Putin's movements, including what she identified as an irregularity in the way he walks. In a 2005 interview in The Atlantic magazine, she said Putin's physical problems "created a strong will that he survive and an impetus to balance and strengthen the body. ... When we are unable to do something, really hard work becomes the way."

Sunday, March 2, 2014

No left head

It is beginning to feel like I had no left head before. It was not just the tongue but a single representation of the head that was right side dominated and the left subordinate. My previous left head 's "job" was to support the right head dominance and did not develop the motor control independent of the right head. The obvious problem with my current understanding is explaining how I could feel the left side of my head through out my life and do somethings independent of the right such as moving my tongue along the edge of my left teeth.The only explanation to me that has some rationality (besides me being a crazed wingnut) is that the right side dominance and the left side subordinance precludes the usual sensing of the relationship. If a specific function is needed it developed for my left otherwise my right side movement image is how I understand the majority of functions.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Watching people in the real world and on the tube it is still amazing to me that I did not see/perceive the left half of other peoples faces. It suggests a one dimensionality of myself that I would never have guessed. I have to make a deliberate attempt to see the left half. I can focus on the left eye/face of others by either doing my normal which would be the right eye dominant or putting my attention in my left eye and making the connection with it. My sense of myself now is that I never clued in to many important hints that the left side of face was suggesting. It's not that I know what other people are thinking. It is more similar to looking at a piece of art and paying attention to what emotions are evoked.  It seems to allow myself relate to people in a more friendly way in many situations. However I can still be my immediate reactive self very easily and it often predominates.

Going back to this article  I am not sure I completely understand it. However I think my right eye to right eye/face connection is first and foremost a threat assessment. My dad's behavior was very volatile varying from tenderness to violence. My own survival may have been felt to be predicated on distinguishing between the two extremes. Seeing the left was always a secondary behavior which I do not seem to have developed. My left side posture feels to be crippled and to a degree twisted in expectation that the right hand may come out of the blue to hit my left side. If I watch a person who has the expectation of being hit by someone much more powerful there is often a cringing of the side that will be hit. My expectations may have developed postural habit formations which I feel is much more than just the visible skeletal position. To allow a relaxation of my left side to come forth to meet see and perceive does not feel to be my usual mode of behavior. It also suggests that I cannot generalize my habits to others