Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pistols and the Stress Response/Experience

I had some major negative stress last week. BIG stuff. Stuff you don't ever want to have to face. And it wasted a lot of my time, especially my creative time. It was interesting to notice my body's response: My knees got stiffer. The progress I had made started to reverse.

One of the things I had stopped doing the last two weeks was the acupressure. So I tried some pistols last night cause I felt like it was time to try. The first two on the left were painful. I couldn't even get down on the right. Then I tried some acupressure. I was able to perform pistols on both legs pain free, although I still had a little discomfort on the medial side of the left knee.

So I performed one pistol holding onto a 16kg KB per leg and supersetted them with 5-10 bodyweight squats with my heels elevated. I paused each one at the bottom and really focused on extending the non-working leg and really sitting into the hip of the working leg especially on the left side to stretch the posterior hip capsule and fully engage the hip musculature on the ascent. I've noticed that if I don't get the bone rhythms correct then the knees pop on the ascent of any leg exercise. I didn't count the sets, but it was somewhere around seven and I rested as I wanted. I also performed acupressure for 30 seconds between each set just before I started each set.

The knees feel OK this morning and were fine when I went out for a 90 minute walk. My quads are slightly sore and my left glute is slightly sore.

I need to further investigate the links between stress, acupressure, and pain in my knees. They are somehow related at this point, I just don't know how.


Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

even though you say that z is a complete system I feel that things like accupressure, massage, myofascial work, etc still need to be given their due; as you are finding with the accupressure.
to me the foam roller is just another form of least thats how I use it.I see the 'hot spot' as a point that will create a release. and it seems to be doing that pretty well for me.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

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2:52 PM  
Blogger Tim Anderson said...

Geoff, I know i don't know enough yet to speak of this as i just got my manual, but do you think the stress you're under is causing a startle reflex resulting in pain in your knees? Maybe a vacation or rest would be the best prescription for you.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Frankie Faires said...


We often use other systems for a purpose other than they were designed for - especially for diagnosis. Other parts of other systems definitely work - the explanation of why they work is sometimes lacking.


"I need to further investigate the links between stress, acupressure, and pain in my knees. They are somehow related at this point, I just don't know how."

Where does startle start? Answer that and you'll know how dis-tress is related to pain and why your accupressure Rx is effective.

Hope all the negative stuff is coming to an end.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Geoff Neupert said...

Rif, I agree. The upper level of Z, T-Phase is for PTs, chiros, MTs, etc who perform a lot of hands on work. But here's the funny thing: The DJM in both R- & I-Phases creates movement that produces very similar, if not identical effects on the CNS to your aforementioned methods. The difference in many cases is DJM is active and many of the methods you cited are primarily passive. (I realize they can be done on yourself.) Also, many times massage and SMR are actually painful and this is a negative stimulus to the CNS which invokes our primary survival reflex, the Startle Reflex, thus contributing to the cause of the problems in the first place. I agree with Frankie--more often than not they are misused.

The "hot spot" or "trigger point" as you point out is merely an indicator that something is wrong. It is a symptom in most cases if not all (scar tissue and localized trauma the exceptions) and is not the problem. This is why you have to keep "treating" it repeatedly.

Tim and Frankie--Yes, I have considered the SR as the cause of the issue and for the last 45 days or so I have been acutely aware for the need of a vacation. And Frankie, you're right, I need to start playing with more eye stuff--perhaps massage, etc.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...


what I have found is that i have to work on the trigger points well and less all the time,although the build up of muscle tension from high volume and or intensity work still responds well to massage and other therpeutic modalities.
what about athletes or trainees that use massage,etc to decrease recovery time( tour de france cyclists get massages daily).
would you say that these methods would not be needed with enough z work?

4:27 PM  
Blogger Mike T Nelson said...

In my biased experience, GOOD Z Health done with precision can greatly cut back on massage and SMR work dramatically. Of course there is still a place for those modalities, but I think with some good joint mobility work they can be used much less. It also depends on the reason for their use---pushing recovery processes or actual structural work.

There also seems to be conflicting beliefs on massage for recovery. I think there is a place for it, but some reasons cited are vague--lactic acid clearance (not much of an issue since it does not hang around long at all), toxins, etc.

Thoughts from others?
Mike N

10:56 PM  
Blogger Hooker said...

I've been trying to work up to a respectable pistol and today after trying every now and again for a few weeks I made it up and down each leg once without falling.

Weird thing that keeps happening though is, my left quad just above my knee feels like someone hit it with a bat after trying pistols. Any insight?

4:57 PM  

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