A deep passion for the art of Laido aids recovery

Murray Lynch was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm in February this year, following a history of severe headaches and a seizure. He was transferred from Whangarei Hospital to Auckland Hospital where he underwent neurosurgery.

Following a period of rehabilitation in Auckland he was transferred back to Whangarei in early March for ongoing input and rehabilitation. He was referred to the Northland DHB Community Assessment and Rehabilitation Service on discharge from hospital.

At the time of Murray’s diagnosis, he was a self-employed wool broker. His main goals were to return to his previous level of function including returning to work and driving, to increase his energy levels and return to his interests and hobbies, which included Laido, the art of Japanese Sword Drawing.

Murray was very proactive with his rehabilitation, and was aided by his wife Sue and occupational therapist Jacque Piggott. His main limitations included high levels of fatigue which impacted on his ability to function when not managed effectively.

He also experienced impaired memory and attention span and was taught to use strategies to cope with these impairments. The Northland DHB Community Assessment and Rehabilitation Service have been instrumental in providing a problem solving process with Murray to enable him to meet his goals. The rehabilitation process acknowledged environmental factors, personal factors, and the family issues when setting Murray’s goals and the therapist also communicated with those professionals in the community who have been an essential part of Murrays healing e.g. Bob Sturge, Acupuncturist and fellow Laido Club member.

Murray progressed well over a period of four months, he was able to start a gradual return to work under the supervision of the occupational therapist.

He has since initiated the sale of his business, and although he has not fully returned to work, he has been able to manage his work in a productive capacity.

Another goal was for Murray was to return to Laido, the martial art of Japanese Sword Drawing.

Non-adversarial and deeply contemplational, Laido requires an extreme level of self-awareness, physical control, concentration and precision of movement with refined breath control.

Recently, Murray attended the annual national Laido seminar, a two-day event in Auckland attended by more than 30 practitioners from around New Zealand. Murray was awarded the Spirit of Laido Award, an annual award given to an individual or group who has shown above-the-norm perseverance and dedication in their Laido training throughout the year.

Two of Murray’s training partners also gained awards/grades at the seminar, most notably Ellis Reader who gained the grade of brown belt (2nd Kyu) after training with Murray for less than a year. Reader also took second place in the annual national open non-black belt competition which is a huge accomplishment.

This is a testament to Murray’s weekly instruction and the classes he continues to run at his home.

Laido Northland and the national Laido organisation have been incredibly instrumental in supporting Murray by getting on board with his recovery, understanding his fatigue levels and being aware of his recovery requirements on his journey back to wellbeing.

This involvement by the members of Laido Northland has been essential in Murray gaining the Spirit of Laido Award.

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