Do you ever just sit and think about the body? Not just your own, but bodies in general? Do you ever just watch people move?
Probably not, I realize. But it’s something I think on often. And everywhere I go, I watch people move, sit, stand, bend, lift, squat, hunch, limp, pelvic thrust, pelvic tilt, shoulders hitched up, head thrust forward, and look generally uncomfortable within their body. And it’s painful to watch.
Sometimes I just have to look away, because if I don’t I know I won’t be able to restrain myself from offering them some “helpful” (cough, cough) information.
Meaning, that if you see some crazy woman suddenly jump out of her seat to instruct a restaurant employee how to properly lift and move a heavy tray through a busy restaurant. It’s probably me…. (Somebody hold me back!)
This is a real struggle for me, people. Like really!
Lately though, I’ve been thinking how it’s funny that we as a society compartmentalize the body. We don’t seem to make the overall arching connections between one part and the next. We have a pain in our foot. We don’t look beyond the pain in our foot. Could it be an alignment issue? Could it stem from our hip, knee, etc.?
No, the pain is in our foot so it must just be something wrong with our foot.
We humans love to categorize. It’s in our nature. Not a bad thing really, but it does create complications when talking about the body. Even doctors now specialize in one area of the body; feet, or hips, or wrists/hands, or well…you get the picture. And when we take the body apart like that we can miss seeing the big picture.
The big picture is that our body is one whole, interconnected, web-like creation. And like a pair of old fashioned webby nylons, when we get a small hole in it. the hole doesn’t stay put but instead runs up and down the leg. Tweak one area of the body and you will feel it in another area. Maybe not right away, but eventually. I guarantee you.
Finding the pain is easy, but finding where it’s stemming from, that’s tricky.
You have to become a detective, or find a great doc/physical therapist to become a detective for you. You need to lay your puzzle pieces out on the table (all of them) and take a look.
The first thing to understand when putting all the pieces of your puzzle together is that your body is not just a bony skeleton structure that holds your muscles and tendons up and moves them.
Instead, consider that you are an “aqueous bodysuit of netting” that your bones, organs, muscles, tendons, and more, FLOAT INSIDE of. The “aqueous bodysuit” is your myofascia (myofascia=muscles + fascia), and it circles,
Fascia is the sh#*!
And until recently, it was considered nothing more than a hindrance to those that were working on bodies. Med students working on cadavers would literally cut off the fascia and toss it in a bucket on the floor so they could get to the good stuff.
I find this amazingly shortsighted. Our bodies are incredible soft tissue instruments. I can’t imagine there is anything in our body that is not meant to be there and doesn’t have a purpose, nor can I imagine the audacity of some guy saying “well, I don’t know what this is so it must be useless filler.…” . Sheesh!!! The EGO of that!
You know what I mean? Am I crazy? Please tell me someone out there is yelling, “Yes”! And is sending me a virtual fist bump.
I’ve wandered off topic.
Here’s where my thinking was going…
We move every day, all day long. But most people don’t really THINK about their movement. And they were never actually taught it, so even if they did think about it they wouldn’t necessarily move well. And while we’d like to think it’s just a normal everyday thing wired into our brains, it’s not. As a society we don’t move well at all these days and infants learn by watching the movement patterns of their parents. So if you don’t move, stand, walk, and sit well. Then they won’t either.
Generation after generation…
Really give that a thought.
Doesn’t it make sense that in school we should have been taught the basics of movement mechanics along with math, science and history? I mean we only get ONE body.
Wouldn’t it have been nice to learn that ankle mobility is an important piece of getting our glutes to reflexively fire? And that if our glutes are firing properly we’ll likely have less back pain through life? And it would have been even better to be shown how to create and keep that mobility for life. Wouldn’t that have been helpful knowledge? I think so!
Maybe as a kid you’d have hated it, but as an adult you’d be pretty happy you gained some knowledge in that area. Right? You’d have a sense of your body as a whole unit. You’d enjoy moving more, because it’s easier for you. You’d know how to lift your children, go for a jog, or work on your scrap booking PROPERLY. Hobbies, sports, and work wouldn’t take such a huge toll on you and you’d have more energy for other things.
Poor movement and poor posture slows you down, as if you were running underwater. It’s exhausting too. You just don’t realize it because your body has normalized it. On top of that, many of our daily aches and pains stem from our movement patterns. Fix the patterns, fix the pain.
I realize that when we were kids they actually didn’t know as much about movement as we do today. And we certainly didn’t sit as much or have our head down looking at a cell phone every moment.
But it’s not too late.
I want you to realize that you are a beautiful, unique instrument. That your brain, body and nervous system work together to shape and mold you. That you can learn to move with ease at any age, even though you weren’t given a set of directions at the very beginning of your life.