Spatial Orientation as a Source of Support

Spatial Orientation as a Source of Support

This exploration is one I share with nearly every one of my private clients.  Awareness of the space around our bodies is uplifting. It emancipates joints, making movement freer, as I hope you’ll be able to feel for yourself..

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How to Sit in Your Car

How to Sit in Your Car

Car designers seem to devise seats to support the lowest common denominator of posture, believing that people need soft seats that cradle the derriere, and backrests that ignore the capacity of your spine to support itself.

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Use Your Toes to Protect Your Knees

Use Your Toes to Protect Your Knees

When there’s a problem in the knee, there are probably imbalances in the feet.  My friend had no complaints about her feet, but when I watched her move I could see that, especially on the side of her knee surgery, she wasn’t using the full  articulation of her foot.

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Manspread Explained

Manspread Explained

To roll forward onto an upright pelvis often requires a manual adjustment men would rather not make in public. He told me about friction between the fabric of jeans, an undergarment, and the skin of the scrotum. Especially when the weather is warm . . .

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Mastectomy, Spatial Perception and Movement

Mastectomy, Spatial Perception and Movement

After explaining these phenomena to my client, I suggested she notice any sense of diminished movement on the affected side. To become more aware of the space around her body she could imagine a sphere—something like a snow globe—and standing within it, notice differences her sense of the qualities of the space on each side.

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Posture, Elbows and Consciousness

Posture, Elbows and Consciousness

As a Rolfing® practitioner, I've observed that tension in the elbows affects the whole body. Habitual flexion there, however slight, pulls the upper arm forward in its socket, starting a chain reaction that pulls the shoulder blades forward, and the collarbones and chest down, and the neck forward. Elbow tension often corresponds with flexion in the spine just behind the diaphragm, and that interferes with fullness of breath. The postural end result feels, and certainly looks, nothing like the upper crust ladies of Downton…

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Minimal Shoes and Biofeedback

Minimal Shoes and Biofeedback

If our hunter-gatherer forebears wore simple hide foot coverings or, depending on the weather, went barefoot, wouldn’t shoes that are barely there be good for us too?
Well, not necessarily, because “we’ve paved paradise and put in a parking lot.” We walk on flat, smooth, unyielding surfaces, whereas our forebears walked on grass, dirt, sand and gravel…

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Wake Up Your Feet!

Wake Up Your Feet!

If you’re thinking that feet are my favorite subject, you could be right. I definitely think that adaptable, responsive feet are a vital component in healthy posture. By adaptable, I mean feet that are able to move--not just to take steps, but also to spread and clasp, to wriggle and writhe and bounce. They can sense the ground and respond to it…

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Rounded Shoulders and Elbow Tension

Rounded Shoulders and Elbow Tension

I often observe a particular pattern of tension in nurses, mothers, and caregivers in general. It’s a pattern of being ready to help at a moment’s notice. If you have this habit, you’re likely to complain about neck and shoulder discomfort. The source, however, may be lower down in your arms…

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On Breathing Patterns

On Breathing Patterns

Thanks to a reader of The New Rules, for inciting me to write again about breathing. It’s a HUGE topic, so this post is a distillation. Here’s my reader’s query:  Here in Germany, singers, yogis, and tai chi practitioners are hotly debating the possibility of two types of people with different body organization. The focus lies on differences in breathing: exhalers and inhalers. In my understanding, their spatial organization corresponds to what you call earth-orienting and space-orienting, respectively. In everyday breathing…

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Becoming Bone Conscious

Becoming Bone Conscious

I’ve been browsing through a wonderful new book about myofascial efficiency in movement. Born to Walk, by my friend, James Earls, delves into the minutia of joint mechanics and into how they are supported by the soft tissue layers. The book is exhaustively researched and elegantly illustrated. Earls considers the helical motions of the feet and pelvis, legs and spine, and for my money, gets it about as right as right can be. Body workers and somatic educators will do well to study this fine volume…

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