The Agile Back

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Over a lifetime we develop habitual ways of holding and moving that shape our daily experience in profound ways. Sometimes these patterns have developed as a part of our personality or character which may or may not serve us. Think for example of how a feminine woman or masculine man is “supposed“ to stand and move. These patterns may be so dysfunctional that they cause chronic pain and limitations to living fully.

One of the most common areas affected by habitual gripping and holding patterns is the back, which means the entire spine from the base of the skull to the bottom of the coccyx. For example notice when you are working at the computer how your head and jaw may extend forward.  This way of working places considerable stress on the neck which often produces pain in the neck, arms, elbows, wrists and hands.

Our posture also reflects unconscious holding patterns. Some people hyperextend their chests and may become frozen in their ribcages which limits breathing and creates tension in the mid and lower back. Some people lead from their bellies when they stand or walk which creates a swayback which can lead to low back pain and potentially sciatica.

Most traditional Western medical therapies emphasize strengthening and stretching our big muscles, such as thighs, glutes, chest, arms and abdomen/core. While this is helpful, without changing your habitual patterns you will most likely return to dysfunction.

My work focuses on helping you to reorganize the way you live and move in your body from the inside out. Rather than exercising to strengthen a particular muscle group you will learn how to use your entire body as a unit. Through practice and attention you will experience your body in a new and deeper way. By reorganizing your neuromuscular patterns you will increase balance, flexibility and resilience. I will help you develop a personal “toolbox” that you can use to break your pain cycle and respond effectively to pain when it arises.

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