Debbie demonstrates how Yogability can be a great way to help with breathing techniques and gentle stretching as well as having other health benefits. Here are 3 short films she made with Cameron and his carer: Breathing Techniques; Focus on the Feet; and Hands, Arms and Shoulders. Something you can try in the comfort of your own home. https://www.yogability.org.uk. https://youtu.be/czXYNWCFpXs, https://youtu.be/_AeSNXEC-Xc, https://youtu.be/QrxsLNVmLdc
Please note when you are working with someone you are constantly watching their body language to gauge if they are enjoying what’s happening or if it is hurting them, be aware of any joint pain or injury and miss the bits out that aren’t appropriate for that person. There should never be pain.
Breathing – we’ve used a Geo Ball to mimic the lungs. (you can get this from Amazon) do this for a minute or two. The carer is doing the breathing alongside the ball, sometime the person will join in but not to worry if they don’t, they’ll still benefit from your calm.
INHALE – open the ball slowly
EXHALE – close the ball slowly
We’ve used the feather. Encourage the person to blow the feather gently on the exhale. Maybe do 6 – 12 breaths using the feather
Feet and Legs
- Encourage wiggling of the toes, carer can help curl the toes in towards the sole of the foot and then help the toes straighten out again, with the person’s own range of movement, never over stretch
- Point the toes away from the body then flex the foot back up towards the person
- Circling the ankles, both directions
- Stretching the hamstrings, again just a gentle stretch, not pushing too hard
- Supporting the leg and bringing the knee towards the chest holding it there for 3 breaths (carers breaths) then move the knee in a small circle x 3 the move it the opposite direction then release the leg back down.
- Do other side
Hands and arms
- Encourage wiggling of fingers then encourage hands moving into a fist and open the hand as wide as it goes, if that’s difficult the carer can help curl the hand into a fist and then help open the fingers as straight as they go, maybe x3
- Helping the wrist straighten out, again not overstretching and being aware of when to stop. Just stop doing it if it looks painful, as with all these movements
- Circles with the wrist, both directions x 3
- Straightening the arm, if possible, if person is hypermobile then you keep a slight bend in the arm
- Bending the arm to 90 degrees and supporting both the forearm/elbow and the shoulder gently life the elbow up towards shoulder height x 3 (stopping when is appropriate for the person) it might not move that much and that’s ok
- Then taking the elbow up again, pausing, then drawing a small circle with the elbow x3 both directions pausing and releasing back down.