Overcoming a natural reflex

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Caters
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Overcoming a natural reflex

Postby Caters » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:56 pm

I have tried to do a handstand several times. I have always had my body do this reflex of keeping 1 leg on the floor to prevent falling and thus fractures. This makes me either freeze or fall. And the freezing is not because of my legs and arms being too close together. However this prevents me from doing a handstand. Even if I do everything else easily the lifting of both legs and not just 1 is hard to do without falling. With a lot of my falls landing right on my pelvis I am lucky that it isn't broken. I am female so I am more prone to fractures because of a lower bone density than my dad.

How can I overcome this natural reflex so that my hands can do the work of supporting my 140 lb body?

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Re: Overcoming a natural reflex

Postby Boss Man » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:09 pm

Hi Caters, good to speak with you.

What sort of environment are you using to do the handstands?

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Re: Overcoming a natural reflex

Postby Caters » Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:18 pm

I am using a wall to assist me in getting into a handstand. I don't have a problem getting my head and arms in position or lifting 1 leg. However the natural reflex of keeping 1 leg on the floor is keeping me from getting into a handstand even with the wall assisting me. I either freeze because of the muscles keeping 1 leg on the floor tensing up or I fall because of those same muscles being relaxed and the arm muscles tensing up as well as the force of gravity pulling me down. When I fall it is usually right on my pelvis but is sometimes on my abdominal muscles.

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Re: Overcoming a natural reflex

Postby Boss Man » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:37 pm

Have you considered doing the handstand an inch or two further away from the wall, then if you over rotate, your body would be leaning up against the wall slightly and then you could use your hands to try and walk yourself do the wall into a face down flat position and then get up.

You may find a thick rubber mat or a couple of folded up yoga mats near the wall, might be of added security if you don't use anything like that, especially if you're doing the handstands on a wooden or laminated floor.

Perhaps these things might help you get over the psychological barrier you seem to be experiencing.

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Re: Overcoming a natural reflex

Postby Caters » Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:43 pm

Yeah that seems like a good thing to do. If I do that I will less likely fall and after several weeks may even be able to do a handstand completely in open space and not pushing myself off the wall into open space.

But when I get into a handstand I will likely feel pressure in my head from the oxygenated blood going to my brain so fast. I have noticed this before when doing a full shoulder stand. And what about the blood coming back to the heart via the jugular vein? Even if the jugular vein has valves the blood pushing on the valves would actually push them open and not closed since now down is towards the brain and not towards the feet. This could potentially lead to signs of low oxygenation like fainting and cyanosis. and even oxygenated and deoxygenated blood mixing in the cappilaries so that mixed blood goes back to the heart instead of fully deoxygenated blood. This mixed blood going back to the heart could lead to even more serious problems. So how will my circulatory system be able to cope with all of this so that I don't faint or become cyanotic or have mixed blood going back to the heart?

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Re: Overcoming a natural reflex

Postby Boss Man » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:44 pm

I think you're over analysing this. If you do a handstand and you feel like you're starting to become a bit faint, just exit the handstand.

If you're concerned about oxygen flow then consider if you do, quitting caffeinated drinks, for the following reasons.

1. Caffiene blocks iron intake, which will reduce red blood cell, (erythrocyte), production as hemoglobin carries oxygen around the body, so less red blood cells less oxygen circulation.

2. Iron is also used to create myoglobin that stores oxygen in your muscles and the ATP that helps your muscles to contract carries oxygen molecules.

3. Less oxygen means more lactic acid production as the body ties to convert stored glucose, (glycogen), into end products and the lack of oxygen helps to encourage anaerobic respiration rather than aerobic respiration, hence more lactic acid production.

4. Caffeine vasodilates, so constricted blood vessels, will promote oxygen transportation around the body, which coupled with point 1, would mean less oxygen circulating more slowly to areas like the brain and heart.

So avoid caffeine if you're concerned about circulatory issues, not least as it is a heart stimulant.

However as I said, I think you're over analysing the circumstances and if you feel the first signs of fainting, exit the handstand :)


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