Julian’s had a variety of muscle issues recently. I think they began from a misalignment in his back, but what do I know? I’m just his mother.
In fact, he ended up sitting out part of a class or rehearsal…can’t quite remember now…after doing some jumps and then having his tailbone area hurt. Between school, ballet, and the chir0practor’s schedule, we couldn’t get him adjusted until about a half a week later. By then his back wasn’t hurting but he was having some major muscle spasms in his buttocks. Well, it was mostly down one side of his rear end. Plus, his lower back was super tight; this area of his body is always tight and makes it really difficult for him to be flexible. The tightness causes some spasms and he ended up doing a lot of sitting out of class.
I called our magician-like acupuncturist, who we haven’t used since Julian had tendonitis in his hips (cured it in two visits), but he couldn’t fit him in. I called another acupuncturist that my doctor had recommended, but he didn’t have time for a week either. Then, just by chance, I met a guy at the coffee shop who waiting for his acupuncture license to come in the mail who told me he had trained with an acupuncturist who specialized in sports medicine. Wow! That’s really unusual; most acupuncturists don’t specialize unless its in herbs. I called him, and guess what? He works with dancers. And, he made time for Julian the next day.
Two visits later, Julian was feeling much better. He said he had a pulled gluteus maximus muscle. (A pulled butt muscle?) He treated him the first time with needles that stayed in with tape until the next time. Very cool.
He mentioned that Julian was still growing and that his muscles, just like his tendons, were trying to keep up with his bones–which we’ve, of course, heard before. He said this could be causing part of the problem as he works so hard in his ballet program. The muscles are actually shorter than the bones, which causes a problem.
I mentioned this to the chiropractor the next time we went, and he said that the fact Julian is adding muscle all the time just adds to the problem.
Julian did tell the acupuncturist about an issues he was having with his Achilles tendon as well. The doctor stressed the need to warm up prior to stretching, telling him that barre work is a warm up, but if he wants to stretch prior to that he must run around the studio first.
Now, he used to never stretch before class, his excuse being that he wasn’t warm. All the girls stretch before, though, so he has taken to stretching. I will say that at Steps on Broadway in NY, I see the best of the best stretching as well…Go figure. Now, most of them have done a good bit of walking to get to the studio, and that does count as a warm up, I’m sure.
Julian also went for Hilot therapy, a special type of massage originating in the Philippines which he said was more painful than anything else he’s ever done. Hilot is a hands-on healing art that involves intuition and massage. The practitioner intuitively scans the body with touch to diagnose areas which are energetically imbalanced. Although Hilot is a deep-tissue massage the touch is supposed to be gentle, and I think it is, but he had knots in his muscles that his “healer,” Jeffrey Cohen, worked out–or down the muscle–until they were gone. We went back a second time for more pain…I mean, therapy. Jeff works on many of the dancers from San Francisco Ballet, and is very good–and very interesting. I loved going to talk with him while he treated Julian.
Anyway, Julian seems fine now…thank goodness. That was a lot of money spent on new doctors and therapy. I think we spent almost four hundred bucks in one week just to get his butt muscle working right again. A little rest might have accomplished the same end (hah!) but that wouldn’t do for the serious dancer.
One more week and he has a week off for spring break. He says he’s actually looking forward to it. He says he “can’t feel his legs.” Not literally, of course. This means his body needs a break.
Yeah, well, he better take it where he can get it. The rev up for spring show and YAGP after that. We’ll be seeing rehearsals Saturday and Sunday after that, which means seven days a week of dancing (and driving). Do I look (or sound) excited? A
And when that’s over, off to New York Julian goes. And, guess what? I get a real break. Six weeks with no dancing or driving while Julian is at SAB. Amazing.