As the title asks. Are you stuck?
Is your body stuck in the same daily movement patterns?
When you approach stairs do you head up with the same foot leading? Or do you consistently move forward with the same foot when starting to walk?
How about picking something up single-handed? Your coffee mug perhaps. Always the same arm? Do you play a one-sided sport such as golf, softball, or tennis?
We’ll never have perfect symmetry in our body as we are constantly changing and evolving, but we can at least try to use and activate both sides to the best of our ability. Otherwise, the body becomes tired and unable to do what it needs to do well.
Notice for yourself what you always do. What habits are you stuck in? Then consciously try to shift them to the other side. It might feel awkward or even impossible to make that same movement with the opposite side.
Ask yourself- Is it because the muscles aren’t strong enough? Not flexible enough? Is the joint lacking range of motion? Why do you always use that same side?
Is it because you were born left-handed (for instance), or perhaps because you received a shoulder injury long ago that forced you to use the other side and you’re still doing it out of habit.
There is always a reason. Once you find it, there’s a reasonable chance you can correct it.
Our brain is constantly trying to protect us, so it’s easy to see how it would allow you to continue to use the other side for life because initially, it kept you out of pain (past shoulder issue). But retaining that pattern over the long haul could be a recipe for disaster. Muscles stop working, joints don’t get enough movement, etc… Things start turning off.
When the body isn’t centered (or mostly centered), we are without a doubt setting ourselves up for injury potential in some way, somewhere along the line.
This is especially true in our feet.
The feet are our roots and everything that happens in them works its way up the kinetic chain.
When our body is off-center (weight distribution in the feet), the brain re-wires to help you believe you are centered and you go about your life like that. But the body feels the difference even if the brain doesn’t. Over the years the body starts compensating and eventually you begin to feel pain in the hips or maybe the knee.
You go to see a hip or knee specialist, but really the problem didn’t start there. It began with the uneven weight distribution of your feet. If you had made the adjustments to finding center after your foot injury 10 years ago, you might not be sitting in the doc’s office listening to surgical options right now.
In my opinion, our body’s ability to find center is so important it’s one of the first things I look at when a new client comes to see me. No matter what they are coming in for I check the weight distribution in their feet and log it. Taking note of how it could possibly be affecting their movement and their pain. Only once I have a better understanding of where their body is at, will we move forward.
Here’s an exercise to try at home:
close your eyes,
bring your awareness to your feet,
note where your weight or heaviness is in your feet.
Is it in your toes? Your heels? Midfoot? Is it more in one foot than the other? More on the inside edge or the outside edge of each foot? Complete opposite on each foot or similar?
For you personally, this is an exercise in awareness. Most people don’t take the time to tune-in to their body until the pain comes, so I like to give you these mini check-ins simply for the experience.
But if we were working together in my studio, we’d take what we learned from this, plus other assessments and give your brain new movement experiences to try and even out the body and the way she works.
This kind of work makes moving, walking, standing, bending, lifting,
aka; living in your body- easier!
Helping your body find center in the here and now can save you much pain and frustration later.