Review of KMI and CrossFit

Review of KMI and CrossFit

CrossFit most of you would have probably heard of before. Maybe you don’t know exactly what it is, but the word rings a bell.
KMI you most likely would not have heard of, except from me over the last few weeks maybe 🙂

Now, these two have nothing in common as such, besides me testing them out in the same time period. 
One of the words mentioned above was perfect to help get rid of the not so nice after taste from the other one.

So here it goes
KMI stands for Kinesis myofascial Integration. It is a slow fascial and myofascial manipulation with some movement re-education, developed by Thomas Myers, based on the work of Dr. Ida Rolf and the Anatomy Trains Myofascial meridian concept. Short: Hands on Body Work – if you need to put it into a box.

Over the last 12 months the first ever training course for KMI had been running here in WA (The first ever in Australia!!). For the final practical evaluation they were looking for models for the to-be-practitioners to see them for 12 sessions, experiencing the whole series first hand.
I signed up for it, and for the duration of about 7 weeks (2 weeks break half way) I received 12 sessions of gentle hands on work with the aim to unglue areas of my body to create more space through the joints and more fluidity through the tissue.
The techniques and involvement of the client is very different to your common remedial massage. Throughout the session I had to get off the table multiple times to take a walk to feel the difference between left and right or simply feel if and how things change throughout the session. On the table the practitioner got me to do movements whilst she was working on the tissues
Each session started of with having my photo taking from the front and back as well as right and left, all in underwear. I was going to put up my pictures to show you the difference it made for my posture. However, I am very body conscious and I simply want to avoid nasty negative comments (not from you, but you know how it is like with social media nowadays).
If anyone is interested, I am happy to share my pictures on request.
How people react to the treatment can be very different. I took it all quite well, and had no major issues as such. I remember after the first couple of sessions, I suddenly started to feel a difference throughout my massage treatments. My hands and arms would get tired quicker, which I have to say, was a bit annoying. But I kept going and my body adjusted. Once we got to half time, one of my biggest issues had gotten very good. I used to suffer from my hand and fingers going numb when holding them in the same position for too long (the position when reading a book or holding and looking at your phone). Unfortunately, that also did come back a little throughout the 2 week break. How is ti now after it is all finished? I still get it, not quite as bad or quickly, but it is still there. Though I know now that I need to keep my thoracic region open and mobile and get some work done through the arm lines every now and then to keep that at bay.
As I do not have any other major issues, it wasn’t easy for me to tell a difference. 
There was only 2 things that stood out on the photos.
1. My left shoulder is shifted towards my ear and with that comes a lean of the upper body towards the right
2. Looking at myself from the left my whole body leans forward
These things don’t cause me problems on a day to day base. That left shoulder has been raised since I can remember.
However, as we worked through the 12 sessions I could feel changes happening. The more unstuck I become, the more cracking happened through my body (the type of cracking that happens when air pressure gets released, like a vacuum – it releases tension and creates room to move!)
And, I felt lighter when going for my runs.
Throughout the picture series you can see how I get more length through my feet into the heel, which led to my body coming back from that forward lean, taking compression forces off the front of my body, as well as giving the back of my body a break, not having to constantly trying to hold me from falling forwards. 
Therefore more length was created through the front of my thighs, my torso as well as my neck. I kept a record of my height and at some point I did reach 169cm. I usually hover around 167/168, so not a massive difference, but still pretty cool. (unfortunately I do not have any proof of that as I measured myself as I had no one around at the time to help me out with that)
Overall, now that my last session has been a couple of weeks ago, I can feel my body stiffen up again. What is cool though as I can actually feel the fascia stiffening, which is great as it allows me to work in these areas rather than where the body expresses it.
For example: I trained on Friday and for some reason ended up with a very sore left lower hip, the area where gluts, ITT Band and hip bone come together. I started releasing that area, but found quickly referral pains down at the ankle, which I felt throughout the training giving me some stability issues. So I moved on to work the ankle, which then led me to the inner calve. After releasing that and then going for a little gentle walk, my hip was fine again. So that is pretty awesome!!!

Overall, I enjoyed this experience and I know that for people who have real postural issues this stuff is gold!! The changes one will be able to see in body posture are incredible.
However I have to admit that I am looking forward to have a old-school massage this week. As with everything, ones personality plays into everything one does or goes through. For me I just like the feel of getting my muscle tissue worked. Though it is a real shame that there are so few practitioners who have knowledge of the connective tissue and can intuitively work ones body the way it wants to be treated. Some times soft and caring, sometimes with a bit more pressure. 

 

How does the CrossFit fit into all this you probably ask by now?
Well, one Saturday morning I went and did my first ever XFit training.
I had heard lots about it and had formed an opinion, though when I was presented with the opportunity to trial it I went for it, with an open mind and ready to give it my all.
Well, my all was reached within the first 10 minutes of the session.
Before this all happened, I had been in email contact with the owner and I had told them that I had never done this type of training before, never done any heavy lifting or free weight training as such, and that I am not as fit as I could be. I was made believe the session I was going to attend was like a beginners sessions for people who wanted to know what tit is all about.
WRONG! I was thrown into a normal session, with people who had done it for quite some time.
The training was done in pairs, sharing the work load. My partner could have done the whole lot on her own!!! Which made me feel like crap, because I felt I am slowing her down in her time (In Xfit it is all about how quickly you can make it through the given Workout Of the Day – WOD).
Anyway, I did awesome through the warm up as it was all body-movement like grapevines and bear crawls. I even did them backwards and still finished first….Though once we got into the WOD I reached my limit quickly.
The WOD was 200m run, 100 double under skips (rope skipping), 200m run, 100 sit ups, 200m run, 50 walking lunges, 200m run, 25 dead lifts, 200m run, 20 clean and jerk
Point for the instructor: He did give me time to show and learn technique for a dead lift. And instead of jerks I had to do burpees.
BUT, he made me do the lifts with 25kg, which was heavy enough for me to take me out of form, so I heavily had to concentrate and it slowed me right down. Only in the last round he finally gave me a 12kg kettle-bell which made it easy for me to achieve the XFit goal: Get through the reps as fast as possible.
However, before I got there I had been close to throwing up, couldn’t breathe and my whole body had just seized up. To be honest it was the skipping that got me. I was wearing, as usual my barefoot shoes, and even though my body has adjusted to running in them fairly well by now, I usually do not do any skipping!!! And I should have known better, but I was determined and didn’t listen to my body. After the first round of skipping followed by another run, my calves were not happy and it all went downhill from there. With my body being unhappy, and all the up and down movement (I tend to have low blood pressure in the morning, so doing a lot of up and down very fast…not a good idea).
Long story short, I made it through the whole session, thanks to my partner who did most of the work. But I did not feel good by the end of it.
Now in CrossFit they say, you will get used to it, it will get easier, and you will learn to enjoy feeling the pain and being puffed….
I had an opinion of CrossFit before, and I have to say, it hasn’t changed. I can see how some people like it, as I wrote just before, we all have different personalities and they need to be met, but it is certainly not for me.
I had to spend an hour working on my calves to assure some ability of walking was restored for the day.
One thing people always mention when talking about CrossFit is how awesome the mateship is. 
Again, unfortunately I can not say that I felt that much on that morning. Not the opposite either, but I can not say that people made a big effort to talk to me or support me. My partner and the trainer, yes. But everyone else who had finished before us, nothing. So…maybe it was just those people that morning, who knows. Anyway…

And how does it tie in with KMI?

I had a session the next day, Sunday, and my practitioner had a field day. But not just her, I could feel the difference of resistance of my tissues to her touch instantly!!!
That feeling of my whole body seizing up the day before, even though it got lost throughout the day, was still there the next day. 
Which means, even though you may not feel it, your body may still not be in a happy place.
After the treatment on that day the difference in my gait, how I held my head and my breathing was massive.

So the big conclusion after all this:
KMI is a great approach to help with postural issues and body aches and pains. Particular for those that do not like the often harsh approach of many massage therapists out there. It is very gentle, but super effective.
Though, as with everything, if you don’t use it you loose it. OR  if you want a different outcome, you have to change the way to get there.

What I am saying is, if you get treatment and then do nothing else to maintain or improve further, it is money down the drain, long term
To find a practitioner and more info click here
Crossfit: I truly believe there are smarter ways to train to be able to lift heavy and get “fit”. 
In the end, it is your decision to make. 
This is just me sharing my experience.

 

 

 

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