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Torn Achilles Tendon Healing Amazes Orthopedic Surgeon

…Let me begin with a brief background of my injury, which was the underlying reason for engaging in Somatics. In the summer of 2005, I ruptured my left Achilles tendon. I was placed in a non-walking and non-load bearing cast for about three months. When the cast was removed I was given a rigid plastic boot which I was to wear for four to six weeks and told to begin physical therapy. I started physical therapy the day after the boot was removed. The therapist advised me that this part of the rehabilitation process had two objectives: strengthen my left leg and ankle and regain my balance. After months in the cast, understandably, my entire left leg was weak, especially the calf and ankle, and I walked with a distinct limp. What I hadn’t planned on was my body being so far out of balance. The actual physical therapy involved light non-impact exercises three times per week and was suppose to last until late January or early February.

From the moment the therapist told me part of the p/t program was to recapture my balance my mind thought – Sifu John Loupos. Because I had taken Tai Chi classes from John in the past, my mind and body knew what it meant to be in balance. After a month of p/t I contacted John. John told me about Somatics and I attended a private session. I subsequently read the Somatics book by Hanna and followed the exercise routine prescribed by John and included in the book. I should point out I found the exercises in the book, which are depicted by stick figures, difficult to follow. So, I decided to purchase a CD of the exercises which is much easier to follow. A week or two after my Somatic session, I had a second session. At the end of the second session I walked out of Jade Forest with virtually no limp. For days later, people who I routinely come in contact with all said the same thing, “What happened to your limp?” My quick recovery also created a dilemma for my physical therapist who recommended I discontinue p/t and reschedule my appointment with my orthopedic surgeon from late January to early January. Simply put, I had cut six weeks off the traditional p/t program for ruptured Achilles patients. I did reschedule my visit with the orthopedic surgeon and we met the first week of January. Now for the fun part, a member of the Red Sox ruptured his Achilles almost two months to the day after I ruptured mine. I told my orthopedic surgeon, who operates out of a top Boston hospital, I would recover faster than the Red Sox player. There are two major problems with my arrogant pronouncement. First, the professional ball player is about half my age. And second, his only job was to recover and heal and he was receiving the best that money could buy treatment. After examining the Achilles, my doctor asked me if I could stand on one leg, first the right (the uninjured leg) and then the left. I thought a better demonstration of how well the Achilles had healed and how good my balance was would be to perform a few basic Tai Chi movements, which I did. In addition to the orthopedic surgeon, an orthopedic intern was also in the room and both had the same speechless reaction. After a moment of being frozen in position with their mouths open, the surgeon said he couldn’t believe how I got my balance back in such a short period of time.

I firmly believe that no two people are exactly the same, physically or mentally. Moreover, I do not recommend following the program I used to expedite my recovery. In fact, I deliberately omitted an account of the exercise routine (physical therapy) I followed. What I can confirm is that without Somatics and the expertise of John Loupos I would not have recovered faster than the younger professional baseball player and my recovery would have taken months longer. If you have not taken the time to study Somatics and consulted with John, I would proffer you are selling yourself short. To anyone who is a prospective Somatican, I impart the following question, to paraphrase an ancient Stoic, is it the anticipation of an event or an event itself that causes a person trepidation or anguish or is it the person’s interpretation or opinion of the event?