Notes from the Neuro Café on 26th February 2021.
Sarah had made a presentation earlier about PMR or progressive muscle relaxation techniques. More details can be found on slides in the Members’ Area of the LEGS website (please contact Victoria - firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help accessing this).
This is a system developed in the 1920’s whose aim is to promote physical and mental relaxation. The idea is to work on one muscle group at a time. Tense muscles strongly, then release. It may assist in the reduction of high systolic blood pressure. Conor asked how many people had tried this: not many! This is something we can all do for 15-20 minutes (in a safe and relaxed environment) even if we feel calm. Avoid holding your breath. Think about moving with mindfulness.
Members’ Area LEGS website
Conor reminded us that the LEGS website is an excellent reference point, with numerous pieces of useful information, including a blog, video resources, exercise demonstrations broken down group by group and extra reading.
The link to the website can be found at the bottom of LEGS emails: www.legs.org.uk
Conor reminded the group how to log in and demonstrated what to do. We watched the presentation made by Annys about LEGS at the recent Stroke Forum meeting which talks about some results obtained from the group. Sound quality was poor; some of us were quietly worried about our hearing during the video until we realised that the problem was computer feedback, not ourselves! We can replay this interesting video via the Members' Area at a later time.
Conor encouraged participants to login and use the LEGS resources. It was agreed they are very helpful.
We agreed it can be difficult to motivate yourself. Perhaps working with a partner can help, or noting down what you do. Some members are helping to trial a light-hearted tracking system which aims to help people log what they are doing and motivate themselves to move more each day.
It can be fun to try some exercises with others. One participant had had fun trying out our exercises such as sit to stand, balance etc with teenage visitors.
Everyone is looking forward to lockdown ending. We were happy to hear people venturing out more as the weather improves, some after one and a half months inside. LEGS people are posting their images to prove they have got past the door and Conor will collate them for the month of February.
It can be a challenge to go outside, but it is good to smell the fresh air. Take things one at a time. Cars, noise, traffic can add to the challenges, as can doing more than one task when walking, such as avoiding people, concentrating, step technique. It is a good idea to slow down, take time, realise things are ok. Someone’s hat blew away in a gust of wind - they realised they would have to let it go; concentrate on the essential things, i.e. be safe! What a good demonstration of mindfulness. A hat is not really that important!
We have some keen gardeners, experienced and novice. Following a kind offer of very strong chilli seeds, we agreed we might like to do some competitive chilli growing. Some members keep buying plants and are running out of space. Also comparing Northern Hemisphere plants with Southern Hemisphere plants. Suggestion to plant strawberries in the house, to acclimatise them, take them out during the day and return them inside at night.
We recalled it is important to get enough rest, could we agree to send group messages no later than 9pm please? Some of us need more beauty sleep than others!
We are finding it enjoyable to be part of this supportive peer group and look forward to meeting each other at the sessions. LEGS participants and staff can profit from each other, and it is valuable to learn from our lived experiences. The group is diverse and we wonder whether we would have met each other at all if we were not part of LEGS.
Being part of LEGS does not seem to have diminished the ability to tell bad jokes and we were treated to a couple of groan-worthy jokes at the end of the session.