Posture through motion
Have you ever lifted something only to feel a highly unwelcome jab somewhere in your back, neck, or shoulder?
Join the millions of perplexed folks who are frequently accosted by the same offense. It happens so frequently in fact that the whole bodywork industry is FLOODED with folks just looking for some relief. I've come to find most folks are also looking for a reasonably understandable explanation as to why such a type of occurrence happens more frequently than is convenient or beneficial (of which it is never of either.)
Here's my solution.
I heard a gal mention once that the design of humans, particularly as infants, is flawed in that the infant of a human against any other animal has such a massive head, and is therefore hindered from much functional movement for the most fragile years of its entire life. I had nothing to say at the time. But it stuck with me over time, and over time I reckon I have a word to say about it.
She was not wrong in her observation, but her conclusion was premature.
There's an ancient technique as old as human existence. This technique we most all have learned at the beginnings of our lives here on Earth. Very few of us humans cultivate this technique we learn as infants into a discipline to benefit us regarding how we move.
Our heads as infants are not a design flaw, but instead a design feature! Hear this: The feature of a beautiful blossom is not realized until the bud has bloomed in due time.
Our primal structure aids us in the long run by crippling us as a newborn. Our big ole alien looking ballooney heads initially overwhelm our wee little toothpick necks!
As this evolution has it, our spines are stimulated in such a way (through the stages of development) that after 9+ months of surviving the chaos of developing a new consciousness and corporeal structure, we`ve been primed for the fate twisting event of taking our first steps. Our bodies were learning the entire time, based off of the structure of our joint surfaces (and how massive the counterweight of our head is,) how to optimize functional movement.
If you've not noticed, babies that can walk have the absolute most perfect posture after just 2 years of life, and their body mechanics are impeccable. Squat form? Perfect. Scapular positioning? On point. The only thing they lack is the finesse we develop over years.
ALL THIS to say it's a darned shame that most of us learn social cues that guide us, for a number of reasons, to end up slouching and conversely un-learning what our own biological structure taught us naturally. So, now that we understand babies are awesome, let's get into the benefits of proper body mechanics and how to attain this physical programming for superior life-forms.
Benefits are to include:
- Reduced aches and pains, lest I say it again
- Reduced aches and pains
- Proper function of joints, to reduce injurious happenings
- Improved circulation, google “benefits of circulation” or something of the like
- Flow of Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF), a topic still shrouded in scientific mystery to date
- Functional muscle growth. To move is to live!
- Accurate proprioception. Correct neuro-calibration helps with our spirit/ human interface in this physical world
- Stabilize joints and gain your balance back!
- And many, many more!
Good body mechanics are applied with the magic of kinesiology. Developing good body mechanics requires an understanding that:
- Joints, though inherently mobile, require stabilization from surrounding musculature and ligaments.
- Creating stability through movement requires the exertion of strength and the utility of muscles (AKA continuous effort.)
- Fascia, this inter-connective intra-structural support tissue, plays a huge huge role in “muscle memory” and the way we program our bodies to be able to perform tasks specific to our lifestyles.
- The way you have your fascia currently programmed may disservice your joints and muscles in some aspect.
- Your nerves adjust to accommodate the bodily activities you frequent most so that you experience your body in a more or less comfortable means. Translation: what you sense through the ability to feel is not always right or true! It is relative to your proprioceptive calibration.
The how is simple.
Watch babies and replicate their bodily movements. We need to reintroduce good vertebral placement by re-learning how to stack the joints for leverage and mechanical advantage.
Ultimately, correct body mechanics require you to stack joints when structure is necessary, maintain stability through your daily movements by using large muscle groups, and always rely on your muscles to take the jolt of impact (instead of your joints) through all activities.
The takeaway message is this: having good body mechanics may look and feel awkward, especially at first, but it is a crucial component to longevity and a graceful aging process. Hiyaa!