Thanks to my colleague and proud father, Charles, for sharing his time in the accompanying movie. And for sharing his problem—I’m sure he’s not the only new dad who finds himself with unaccustomed aches and pains. His problem is fairly universal too, so his solutions can apply to your life, even if you aren’t rising to feed someone at 4 a.m. It’s a matter of having the right support: support from the pelvis for the spine, support from the spine for the shoulders, support from the shoulders for the hands and arms. What you’ll see is a typical example of my coaching approach: I try to help you find better use of your body along with a greater feeling of ease, and of course, better posture. First we look at what you're doing and try to determine where your movement errors may be. An error is a movement that undermines your body’s natural system of support, so you're replacing biomechanical logic with a reaction born of urgency, fatigue, resistance, eagerness or unfamiliarity. In Charles’s case, the error was a product of joy and sleep-deprivation.
Next we do some exploring to help you establish alternative sensations of support. (Finding a different feeling in your body can be a step toward finding a different viewpoint about a situation as well.) After making sure you can recreate those sensations without my help, I suggest some homework you should do to continue revising the sensorimotor mapping in your brain. That takes time and commitment on your part. So I might need to help you find your motivation for practicing. Then we proceed to revising the way you do things in daily life--the way you bend over, or reach for things, the way you grasp and hold things, how you walk and drive and brush your teeth. In Charles’s case the initial motivation was obvious—to feed his baby without incurring pain in his own body. But the motivation he discovered at the end of the session turned out to be more profound. Watch the movie and tell me if you agree.