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Stimulation Part 1
There are 2 needs for stimulation. They are close in needs but have variations in methods;
When you have an client or athlete that is chronically parasympathetically dominant (very laid back, slow to warm up, slow to awaken in sessions) and we use a more therapy based approach using different modalities to increase sympathetic (fight or flight) activity.
When you have athletes, teams or clients coming back from time off, injury or a recovery period and you want to prepare them for somewhat heavier loads or intensity. In this case though we are using a training session to bring them closer to readiness. One of the greatest loss of athletes to injury or disinterest in early season is training too hard too early. For most there body will actually go into a mini state of shock and for many they will reject it. Same goes with new clients at a gym. Slowly-Slowly, catchy monkey!
In situations when an athlete is chronically parasympathetically dominant, stimulation methods can be useful for increasing sympathetic activity.
These methods include: ✅Intensive deep tissue therapy—soft tissue therapy with a high level of stimulus
✅Cold water immersion—1-3 minutes cold, 2-5 repeats, stabilize temperature in between
✅Contrast therapy—2-3/1 minute hot/cold ratio, 2-4 repeats, stabilize between
✅Sauna—5-10 minutes, 1-3 repetitions, finish with 2-3 minutes warm water rinse
✅Change of environment—training 2-3 days required, 6-7 days ideal. Going to the sun for serious athletes may be an idea.
✅Regeneration Core training with some very easy short tempo runs, spin Bike cycles or swims
The goal of these methods is to initiate a mild, small sympathetic response to get the sympathetic system working properly again.
These approaches are for when we reach levels of overtraining or over worked states where the sympathetic system may not be activating properly as the body desperately attempts to recover and regenerate through parasympathetic dominance.
In Part 11 we will have a look at the 2nd approach which is more athlete focused.