How to Go from Wheelchair Dependence to Biking, Part 2
If you want stronger muscles, the first thing you need to do is stop the autoimmune attack on your brain and spinal cord.
Eating foods that feed your brain and avoiding ones that don’t can help stop the continued attack driven in part by eating foods to which we are sensitive. Diet is very important, but so is exercise. A major reason that I had such remarkable gains in such a short period of time was my partnership with a physical therapist who was willing to give me a test session of electrical stimulation of muscles, also known as E-stim. I trained intensively using exercise and E-stim, every day, for years.
I still train with exercise and E-stim daily and meet with my physical therapist every month to evaluate my strength, endurance, and coordination and advance my exercises.
Where do exercise and E-stim fit into rehabilitating our muscles?
Adding E-stim to my exercise routine made my workouts much more effective and accelerated the speed and depth of my recovery. At the time, no one was using E-stim for MS patients, and only a handful of research studies had been conducted on stroke patients; none had been done on patients with MS. E-stim was mostly used by sports teams and their trainers. Athletes have been using E-stim for decades to recover from injuries more quickly and also build stronger, more powerful muscles without the use of banned anabolic steroids.
We depend on our muscles to contract, which allows us to move our bodies, find food and friends, and flee from those who might harm us.
As our muscles contract, they release signaling molecules that are vital to how we run the chemistry of life.
Those molecules help our cellular biochemistry run properly and preserve our health.
Without those signaling molecules, inflammation increases, as do rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.
As we become more disabled and move less and less, we have fewer of those signaling molecules and harmful changes in how we run the chemistry of life accrue. That is why it is so important to keep moving our bodies.
The biology of life depends on our muscles contracting. The more we sit, the greater the harm to how our cells conduct the biology of life. As we become more disabled, we sit more, increasing inflammation and worsening our health. It is a vicious cycle that leads to steadily declining health.
But what if there was a way to help our muscles contract even when the connection between the brain and muscles is damaged?
I will cover that in the next article.