Sometimes people look at the “red cords” hanging in the gym here at CHARM and feel a bit intimidated. They may look at videos online and see athletes and young people with significant strength and control performing feats they could never dream or maybe even desire trying.
It is true, closed chain, multi-point, suspension exercises play an important role in the training of professional and Olympic level athletes around the world, but it is also a remarkable method for active individuals simply wanting to maximize their core stability and muscle balance. Finally, when one adds the body-weight off-loading component of the Neurac, it becomes an irreplaceable tool for those struggling with severe deconditioning and/or chronic pain. This Norwegian based method uses a term “den rode traden” which translates “common red thread” thus – Redcord. I have seen this common thread of the Redcord Neurac method take patients from severe deconditioning and pain to an active lifestyle once again.
This lovely 76 year old woman photographed below struggles with mild Parkinson’s and following a right total hip replacement in 2014 and degenerative spine compression over the last few years, she now struggles to stand upright or walk the distance to her mailbox. We have a lot left to work on, but after just two sessions using 1:1 guided exercise on the Redcord Neurac she is standing more upright and symmetrical. Neuromuscular reeducation of a long-standing problem takes time, hands-on guidance, and repetition of proper muscle recruitment and movement patterns, but we can all appreciate the difference between the photos on the left taken 6/28/19… And those on the right taken two sessions later on 7/1/19.
In June I had the opportunity to spend a week in Hovik, Norway at the original Redcord Clinic. I was there with other therapists from Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada, and Russia all seeking to be credentialed as instructors to teach the Redcord Neurac Method in our home countries. Our mentors were some of the originators of the method itself and our students were new young therapists from Norway, some pulling ropes for the first time. What an amazing demonstration of the Common Red Thread that bound us together in this place and time.
As I think about my international colleagues, my distinguished mentors now friends, the amazing clinicians I practice and train with everyday here at CHARM, the patients we are blessed to serve, and the healing that takes place in every authentic relationship, I am struck by the very similar and ancient Chinese belief:
Those who know me well know how fascinated I am when seemingly disparate ideas fall together in relationship. This is especially true in the tools and strategies I choose to combine in order to clear the barriers so a patient’s body can repair, recover, heal, and feel hope again. One of those tools will forever include the use of the Redcord Neurac Method because of its ability to meet virtually all people with all levels function and all height of goals right where they are, and help take them to a place they may have thought they could no longer go.
Michele Zink Harris, PT, CNP, RAS