HAPPY NEW YEAR ! 3 Videos on good reasons for looking forwards with optimism..
Part 2."Hawk" or "Dove" - who are you? Cerebral Palsy Peacenik Manifesto...

"Hawk" or "Dove" - who are you? Cerebral Palsy Peacenik Manifesto(Part 1)

"Hawk" and "Dove" –Ever heard those expressions before?
"HAWK": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Hawk:

The term War Hawk (or warhawk or hawk) has often been used since the War of 1812 to describe politicians or other persons with "hawkish" positions on warfare

"DOVE": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_dove

In politics, the term dove refers to person who advocates peace and pacifism, in contrast with a hawk, who promotes war and belligerence.

Peacenik (plural peaceniks) http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/peacenik

Someone who publicly opposes armed conflict in general, or a particular conflict; or who publicly opposes the proliferation of weapons; a pacifist or dove. The term is pejorative, unlikely to be used by those to whom it is applied.

Have you read that? – “The term is pejorative, unlikely to be used by those to whom it is applied”. Well I do not have such reservations and proudly call myself ‘a peacenik’ in all matters related to Cerebral Palsy.

My minimalistic hairstyle, or lack thereof, is misleading :-)...

What do you first think about when you see a 'peace' sign? – Hairy hippies and flower power, right? Well, I am far from that hairstyle – unless I put on a wig :-) – but ….      I am the 'PEACENICK' -- more precisely a CEREBRAL PALSY 'PEACENICK'...

Being a CEREBRAL PALSY 'PEACENICK-- What does that mean? 

I believe that the core fundamental difference between a CP child and a healthy one is the excessive weakness of an entire MyoFascial system of a child with cerebral palsy.

This ‘peacenick’, ‘dovish’ stance is the exact opposite of a mainstream  healthcare approach to Cerebral Palsy, which is led by ‘war hawks’ who are pre-occupied with the ‘fight against’ the selective manifestations of predominant fake “strength” – the spastic muscles, contractures etc.

Do I understand their logic? – Sure, I started out as a ‘hawk’ myself. Anatomy textbooks describe >600 identifiable muscular ‘threads’ within a human body. Indeed in cases of Cerebral Palsy there are some elements among those >600 that appear to be ‘too strong to handle’– contracted and shortened muscle bellies and tendons, as well as the ones that exhibit uncontrolled acceleration (the spastic muscles).True, these ‘rogue’ elements exist and they are indeed interfering with posture and movement...

However, where is the horse and where is the cart?

The modern studies made a serious dent in the justification of a ‘hawkish’ stance by showing that even the most lambasted and castigated among uncontrollably strong ‘bad guys’– the spastic muscles –are fundamentally weak in their underlying MyoFascial build.Indeed, a spastic muscle bundle exhibits a greater torque (“force”) than a healthy one of comparable size and location, which at first glance supports the traditional understanding of their leading disruptive role. But on the other hand, the same research demonstrated that ExtraCellular Matrix, i.e. the underlying MyoFascial ‘fabric,’ of a spastic muscle is many times weaker than MyoFascial fabric of a healthy one.   The force of individual spastic fibers might be ‘too strong’ but their overall composition and ‘build quality’ is too weak.

How do we look at these facts as ‘peacenicks’? – We conclude that spasticity is just another manifestation of MyoFascial weakness.

How do the ‘hawks’ look at this data? –  They disregard whatever doesn’t fit with the scope of the weaponry they already have…

That’s the key question: What do we focus on? –Do we recognize the overall weakness of the underlying MyoFascial ‘fabric’ or do we chase the individual tightened threads fighting them one-by-one whilst disregarding the fundamental weakness of the ‘fabric’ as a whole?

The answer to this key question defines the decision-making, choice of tools and evaluation of any transitional phases.

ABR is the based on deliberate, undiluted, non-compromising ‘peacenick’ approach. Everything we do – whatever new methods or tools are defined by one main axiom: “Nothing Forceful…”

Who are you surrounded within the medical community? – “Hawks”.

Some of them advocate extreme brute force – surgeons; some are less intrusive – manual stretching or orthotic casting… But nonetheless – the difference between those medical branches is like the one between artillery and infantry: different tactical roles but parts of the same military force… Philosophy remains the same – sending light troops first and if they fail to “tame an enemy”, then the heavy troops take over…  New weapons are being developed from time to time, new strategies are designed but the underlying mentality remains unchanged: “Shoot ‘em up those dirty bastards!”
That’s exactly what you see in medical handling of kids with cerebral palsy. A child is being passed through a conveyor belt – from light ‘stretching’ troops when he is young to heavier and heavier gunners: repeat toxic attacks on muscles by Botox; then “small and local” surgeries to cut the tendons or nerves electively; eventually arriving into the hands of ‘master’ surgeon for Multi-Level surgery who goes all guns blazing  – with bone cuts and repositions, metal rods insertions and so on…

It’s also important to realize that a ‘milder’ member of this chain, physical therapist, is conditioned by the system to accept the authority and to be a subordinate of the most intrusive one – the orthopedic surgeon. What else to expect when a leading orthopedic surgeon announces that maybe 30% of mildest CP cases (GMFCS Level 1 kids) will not require surgery over the course of their life? – Gees, what is it – if not the acceptance of intellectual defeat that is being sold as a huge grace bestowed on a child.  

Another thing that really makes my blood boil – I guess I am not a true peacenick after all :-) – as a real ‘peacenick’ I should be able to contain this aggressive emotion – is that “hawks” routinely  use disguise and pseudo sweet-talk that hides the true workings of a certain ‘hawkish’ method.

How about this one, that all of you definitely heard? – “Botox injections relax the spastic muscles”. ‘Relax’ is a nice and comfy peaceful word, correct? – True. The only problem is that the way Botox works has nothing to do with true ‘relaxation’.

Botox is a toxic substance that causes partial paralysis of the muscles. Why you are not hearing this real explanation often? – Well, it’s obviously a lot harder to sell. You are much less likely to respond positively to a suggestion: “Let’s inject some diluted poison in your child’s body – we think he’ll get better because of that…”

That’s why I can’t help but smile semi-helplessly when parents ask me: “Mr. Blyum, tell me something clever about ABR that I can pass to the surgeon to make him stop pushing for hip operation…”

What can I say? They are “guided by the beauty of their weapons” (L. Cohen)…  

Orthopedic surgery has been amassing the ‘weapons arsenals’ for centuries nurturing the ‘demi-god’ culture within their ranks.

Can you imagine being called to meet a prominent general who spent all his life rising through the rank and file, earning stars through military operations and then you open your mouth and suggest … –disarmament!?

Try to convince him that ‘guerillas by night’ are impoverished peasants by day and suggest that investing in better fertilizers,  tools and education might be a better strategy then trying to ‘shoot all of ‘em up’? – Good luck…

Well, your chances of convincing a surgeon in viability of ‘peaceful’ options like ABR are as realistic as talking a high rank military person into giving up his shiny new weaponry. “What do I do then?” – You might ask me. Unfortunately, I do not have simple answers for you…

But I’ll try to discuss some practicalities of ‘dovish’ life of a cerebral palsy ‘peacenick’ in a hawkish environment in Part 2 that is coming in a few days….

P.S. Please make sure that you watched my videos on the effects of Supersoft Rolling ball technique.