Envision your body as a chemistry set enveloped in a casing (skin and fascia), supported by an internal scaffold (bones), and enlivened by a motor system (nerves and muscles). Everything is interrelated through tubes and labyrinths of cobweb-like fascia. Bone, sinew and digestive juices all work together to make your day. Or not. To further this idea, I’ll share an example from my own embarrassing recent history.
In a fit of holiday craziness one evening, I managed to consume half a chocolate-covered panettone. Upon rolling over in the morning I experienced a knife-like pain in my back. It took forever to ease myself out of bed because it hurt to breathe; it hurt to move my arms. Posture was the last thing on my mind as I shambled into the kitchen.
Now, I happened to know that a knife-like pain often accompanies a rib having gotten cockeyed against its mooring at the spine. I guessed this one was Rib 9. A cup of tea seemed to help, and moving about became easier, especially after some moments in the bathroom. (Sorry—I’m just trying to show you the interrelationship between the chemistry set and the structure in which it’s housed.)
Encouraged, I set out for a walk. The rib pain had dissipated, but now my right sacroiliac joint seemed to be hinting at twinges. This joint is positioned right behind the cecum, the antechamber of the large intestine. If the intestine is stressed, that joint becomes inflamed (by a about a pound of butter, gluten and sugar--ya think?) Knowing all this, I engaged the front triangle my pelvic floor because of its link to the corseting multifidi muscles that support the sacroiliac joint—I hoped that ramping up support there would avert a low back incident.
Thankfully, all those Pilates workouts paid off—I was okay, walking along, free of pain, enjoying the day. Somewhat sheepish, I felt like I’d gotten away with a small crime. But then the fascial network came up with a new torment in the arch of my right foot.
I stopped, knowing that tensing my foot would only squeeze the little bones more tightly into a misaligned position. I checked my deep corset support while simultaneously opening and spreading my foot inside my shoe. After gingerly taking full weight on my right leg and foot, I bounced on it a bit. Nothing! Just a passing twinge, perhaps the last gasp of the toxins working their way through my system.
What if I hadn’t known about the way the body’s joint interfaces respond to the chemical environment in which they swim? What if I hadn’t been in “good shape” to begin with—both in terms of maintaining my flexibility through regular exercise, and in terms of having a basically “clean” nutritional habit? These practices—I believe—helped the sugar binge move through my system without graver mishap. Any of those potential subluxations--foot, rib or low back-- could have become fixed. And could have resulted in a painful episode that might have lasted for weeks. Along with the postural expression of that pain that could have lasted even longer.
Let me know if you’ve ever experienced a correlation between food choices and how your body moves and feels. If this is a new idea for you, I invite you google “food choices and subluxations”.
P.S. I took the rest of the panattone to a potluck.