Archive for exercise

Feeling Stuck in Our Bodies

Are We Stuck in Our Bodies

Some days and some times we all get that feeling of:  OMG I’m not going to get better.  Maybe we are overweight, out of shape, have chronic aches and pain, or are feeling caught somewhere in life.This pain or this situation is just what I have to live with from now on.  Fear starts to have a bigger say in our mind.  We not longer are in touch with that more reasonable (laughing Wisdom) character.  Now we are controlled by these emotional winds that blow from different corners of our mind moment to moment.

Pause and Breathe

What to do?  First hang out a bit.  This pausing before doing is a bit difficult.  Often we’d rather rush to make a change.  Totally reasonable for this emotional self.  Totally unreasonable for growth and change.  This hanging out literally involves dealing with a tension we just are too uncomfortable with.  So as with much of life’s stress and strains we can often refer to our breathing.

There is nothing magical in this first part.  We have heard it all before.  So what is the problem often for us.  It is the lack of implementation for a long enough time in a systematic way in order to appreciate change.  This first part is a slowing down on the outside so that we can get a view from the inside.  This interior view must include the stresses but the view is a bit broader if we let breath take us to a calmer place.  This calmer place takes some time and some work.  It is worth it.

For some of us there will be a lot of work just at this initial stage.  It can be very unfamiliar and seemingly stressful to not initially do something to alleviate the discomfort/pain.  Please note if there are acute problems one may need to take immediate action (breathing, not leaking, etc)

Talking to Ourselves

Once we have established the breath AND feel a bit more calm, we can have a brief inner dialogue.  Nothing like a complete Soap Opera–just a way to have the rational self chat with the emotional self or whoever is answering inside at the moment.  Ask ourselves:  What do we really want?  Not just pie in the sky kind of thing.  But what is it that would serve in our best interest.  Our best interest will also serve and fit well in the interest of the family/community that we reside in.

Again as you respond to this inquiry, check in with your breathing and inner perspective.  The inner perspective feels a calming sensation and you start to tap into your own interior wisdom/intuition.  It may be a very soft inner voice.  So all the noise of fear and stress makes it difficult to hear.  This is why taking the time to properly prepare is absolutely critical.

You will know it when you feel a shift from this furtive questioning that leads nowhere.  You start to feel a quieting that causes a release of held tension.  You will feel it in the body as relaxation and the breath automatically becomes deeper.  You may even start to feel more tired or periods of greater energy.  Stay with what ever you are experiencing and repeat this initial process of breathing and paying attention.

Next Steps

All these steps subsequently are predicated on one’s desire for change.  We might want change, but we need to define what that change really looks and feels like.  This means having a goal or goals.  Nothing too fancy or high-sounding.  The more practical and measurable you can make it the better you will know when you have achieved it.

Now lots of us have goals but we never reach them.  Here a goal would be that something or aspect that you could not live without.  Kind of like breathing when you are under water and run out of air.  Boy you know how much you want to breathe-NOW and you are driven literally to the surface again.  This is a burning goal that successfully drives us.  We literally stop doing all the other things that naturally sabotage our efforts or take us away from the direction we need to be moving towards.

This power of ones will in the above example is the type of fuel that take you to your goal.  This will power is critical to develop for many of us.  Often we start out on this journey of change and end up quitting too early.  As soon as it becomes inconvenient or too difficult we find we don’t really want it anymore in that way.  We would like it delivered and all ready to be consumed.  The work of changing ourselves becomes a bigger effort than the effort we are willing to make to create the change.

We lose sight of our goal.  We become again disillusioned and loathing of ourselves.  We once again settle back into this comfortable yet uncomfortable lifestyle.

Why Change

One must have a good reason to have this goal.  It must be based on a deep inner desire.  We have to make a connection from the inside.  This connection inside will show us and bring us to a clearer understanding of ourselves.  This goal will resonate deeply in a way that we begin to feel better.  This better feeling needs to be nurtured by lifestyle changes and proper practices.  This process then continues on it’s own accord and we end up following a deeper calling.  This automatically directed process can easily get side tracked at the beginning (the first several years or decades!).  So of course our exterior effort of pushing towards as we feel the pull from the interior is all part of this dynamic dialectic.

We just don’t take the time to develop this interior appreciation.  This interior life can join with our exterior life and this becomes our great goal.  The movement towards this goal becomes our practice.  First we might need to spend a good amount of time in once again, paying attention and developing this full deep diaphragmatic breath.

How to Change

Go ahead and read the classic wisdom texts for guidelines.  Develop a relationship with like minded seekers.  Nurture your inner spirit/intuition.

Also develop a basic practice.  Choose maybe one thing–two things for a busy minded person.  Remember how to climb a mountain?  One step at a time.  Running up and take leaps and bounds doesn’t really do ANYTHING in the long run.

Basic Practices to support your Philosophy of Life (Goal)

  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Lifestyle
  • Exercise
  • Environmental Considerations
  • Healthy Close Relationships

Maybe start with just avoiding some problems and poor habits.

  • Stop staying up late with your computer or videos
  • Skip a breakfast and get use to hunger and just eating a normal next meal
  • Stop talking or checking Facebook, or email or phone messages all the time
  • Take a break from an unhealthy relationship (person or thing or habit)

Come home

  • Lie down after work: Relax and Breathe for 10-20 minutes
  • Get up and do 15 minutes of exercise
  • Prepare a simple stir fry meal of veggies and a protein source
  • Read something inspiring
  • Go to bed

Don’t make it too complicated.  The complexity is there and it will evolve over time.

Get ready for your new day

Stick with your plan for 4-6 weeks before you change it.  Just get in a good month of training.  Then reassess by again going inside and listen as your relax and breathe.

Remember Dude:  We can all still change.

 

Stop Neck and Back Pain

What is Going On?

Things were much simpler when we were younger–do you know what I mean.  Now days we are looking for the cure of our ailments and troubles of the world.  Well stop right now and open a different book or URL than what you are reading at this moment.

What we can do here?   We can look beyond what we are noticing as far as the pain.  Pain in a chronic area of the neck and/or back is poor prognosticator of the problems location.  Always consider the adjacent body areas in figuring out what to address in correcting and alleviating this common problem.

Basic Anatomy

Our spine is an interesting and integrated structure composed of three primary curves.  Most people who have neck (cervical) pain or lower back (lumbar) pain do not think of the thoracic spine.  This thoracic spine is conveniently “surrounded” by the neck and lower back spine.  This arrangement of the anatomy is a key in addressing these pains.

Remember the spine operates as an integrated structure.  This means that each area is functionally related to the others.  You must not just think that the anatomical structure as the cause of the pain–follow the connections.

Advice for Stopping Chronic Neck and Lower Back Pain

Let’s be practical here.  First you should have had a thorough medical and movement assessment.  This means that if you are having chronic pain (longer than 3 months) you should get medically cleared by your doctor.  Next it would be great to have a qualified Physical Therapist or movement expert screen and assess how your structure is moving and working.

Often in my practice I find that the thoracic area is really neglected.  It becomes stiff and a poor transmitter of spinal forces.  The areas of the cervical and lumbar are performing way too much work (many times this is in one or two directions though).  Remember the place that is complaining is certainly not the only place that should be looked at.  A myopic view of pain often distorts the larger view of functional relationships of important adjacent regions.

Exercise Approach

One simple set of exercise you can immediately start is shown below.  Here you are using sidelying to work on moving and mobilizing the thoracic spine in a variety of directions.  During these movements you are learning much more than might be evident.  A primary direction of movement is in rotation or twisting.  During this twisting of the chest you are learning to stabilize the lumbar area.  Over time you will get a very good sense of how much we over rotate the thoraco-lumbar to lumbar area.  Therefore you can appreciate how under used the thoracic are becomes.

Also you can use a foam roller very nicely for this thoracic area.  The below video emphasizes thoracic extension.  There are many variations.  One not shown is just to use the roller to massage the back muscles here.  Most people find it very useful.

 

 

There You Have It

Try these ideas for a chronic problem with your neck or lower back.  Go slowly as with anything different or new.  Don’t try to perform the exercise.  Rather use these as movements to explore your own body and what you are noticing.  Your job here (should you accept this “Mission”) is to make a change by feeling something you haven’t felt before.  This work should be in the direction of making you more comfortable and more freely moving.  So use these movements as guidelines and not just a prescription of “exactly” what to do.  That being said, please try it out this way for several weeks before you become too creative.

Remember to work with your breath once you have the basic movements.  Stay in this sidelying position for awhile–you will be greatly benefited by putting in 15-30 minutes.  These longer times really benefit from proper diaphragmatic breathing–this type of breath is not the belly expansion but the sides and all around the lower rib cage.  There is an extremely important relationship with the breathing and the thoracic spine.  It is a much more detailed topic than will be covered here.  It is one of the keys to unlocking chronic pain.

 

Train and practice daily.  Go and try out these movements.  Write to me what you have learned.

Ouch! My Back

Geez My Back Hurts (again)

Low back pain can be very frustrating.  Make sure you rule out any medical condition that may be underlying these symptoms.  The next issue is to get a proper mechanical evaluation.  Sounds practical but a lot of us are not getting the proper evaluation.  So the help offered becomes anecdotal and lucky at best.  Does this treatment or that treatment work best?  What should I do to get better?  Nothing seems to work, Egads!

Evaluate the problem

We often start with some type of complaint.  In this case–my low back is hurting.  If it is a chronic problem make sure you have looked at more than just mechanical problems.  As said before, get clearance from your medical practitioner at some point.  Also life style plays an enormous role here.  Do not under value things like proper sleep and nutrition.  Much more could be said on this but it will have to wait till later.

Mechanical evaluation

Here I am thinking about movement of the body through space.  Specifically we pay attention to the pain most of the time (and sometime all the time).  We need to also look at what movements and/or postures worsen and lessen the symptoms.  This question of what (movements) make it worse and better are critical to evaluating and then re-evaluating this type of condition.

Simple categories can give practically anyone some guidelines to finding ways to change this condition.  One of the most popular underlying reasons for Low Back Pain is related to flexion problems of the spine.  I will try to keep it fairly simple here or make it as easy for myself to explain one of the popular scenarios we see today.

Flexion problems mean forward bending and sitting that causes an increase in the low back symptoms.  In this post, that means that the opposite direction of extension or straightening of the spine does not cause pain and/or alleviates it.  So one will usually notice that they are worse during or after sitting or when they lean forward to write/shave/clip toe nails, etc.  Often they are better if they walk around or lie down flat.  There are many variations to this problem and a good evaluation will figure it all out.

A good test that I include in my evaluation is a standing flexion and extension test (among many others).  For this example, let’s say that in standing, you try to bend forward keeping your knees straight.  Notice how far you bend before you first feel an aggravation of your symptoms.  Note the distance down the leg you are able to reach and remember it.  Repeat it a few times just to see if movement and symptoms  improve, worsen or stay the same.

Again to keep it simple, let’s say that when you bent forward you were limited to reaching 4 inches below your knees before you said, “Ouch” (meaning it worsened your symptoms and you didn’t want to reach any farther).  Now you have a movement paired with your symptoms.  This is very important.  This will become your simple re-test when you decide on a treatment.

A proper evaluation will include more movements to better determine what to do and what to not do.  Again the evaluation is critical and the first step.

Strategic Perspective

Now if you find yourself seeking treatment before you have done a proper evaluation, you will do yourself a disservice.  Do not ask what exercise should I be doing until you have enough information related to movement.  Exercise is not magic.  It is movement based to help alleviate the stresses and strains of both pre-existing and current problems.

It is interesting to note that many pre-existing conditions (i.e. in this case a movement dysfunction) can go undetected for years without seemingly causing any problems.  Once you have symptoms, especially chronic ones, you need to deal with many of these pre-existing conditions and patterns.  That’s why it is so important to have a regular program of practice where you are always working with yourself and making discoveries and changes along this route of your movement in life.  Otherwise we get caught at these stressful times of our lives without the proper tools or even the time to work on these multi-layered problems and movement dysfunctions.

Treatment

So if in this case let us say we have someone who is flexion intolerant.  This means as said above, that bending forward activities or postures aggravate their symptoms.  So one approach would be to do backward bending activities.  This makes a lot of sense.  This simple advise would also include to stop doing or curtail/lessen the flexion activities and postures.  Also one would find it very difficult to stop sitting all together.  Then another strategy would be to do things that neutralized the effects of the flexion pattern many times throughout the day.  One can use a combination of many of these strategies.  They don’t all have to be used all the time.  Many of us find a limited amount of time and focus for these practices.  So be practical.  Some days rotate in the things you were not able to get to on the previous day.  Always do something everyday.  Just modify it.  Your retesting will show you if you are doing enough, too much or something needs to change.

Now in this case the evaluation showed some adjacent areas of mechanical dysfunction in the chest or thoracic spine.  Also there were movement dysfunctions in the frontal plane (side to side movements vs the sagittal plane–forward/backward movement as described previously) of the hips and lumbar through thoracic spine.

An interesting note is that sometimes you do not want to start movement exercises  in the place of the reported symptoms.  It could be that a person is too irritable.   It could be that greater movement dysfunctions exist in adjacent areas.  It could be that through experience in certain cases one has found it better to start in these non-traditional areas.  For a variety of reasons, we will be starting at increasing mobility of the adjacent areas (i.e. the thoracic/chest spine) and increasing the stability in the local and symptomatic area (i.e. the lumbar to hip area).

We will work at the start in the sagittal/front to back plane.

Here in the below video we start with prone lying on the belly/chest area first.  In asana work this position is called Makarasana (crocodile pose).  It is an excellent rest/restore and recovery position.  The position in this case eases the symptoms and the diaphragmatic breath is just an excellent support for healing.

Next when one props up on the elbows, there is a further exaggeration of the backward bending nature of the spine.  Remember that this position of backward bending does not aggravate the symptoms.  But look in the video and note that the person finds it a bit uncomfortable.  We do not eliminate the posture but just modify it with supportive pillows based on his symptoms.  We always have to be ready to listen and modify based on movement and symptoms.

Next we work in the  frontal and transverse (rotational)  plane (exercises shown in side lying).  Quickly we will using all the planes as it will be part of the demands of some of the movement re-education patterns/exercises.

Here in the below video is an interesting way that seems to be very helpful for a variety of mobility problems in the thoracic area.  I have used this position for neck, shoulder and back symptomatic problems as they relate to movement dysfunctions of this chest/thoracic area.

As you watch the example of the below video keep in mind some of the above information.  It is only one approach.  There are many ways to start.  My point here is that they should be based on an appropriate evaluation and constant retesting.

Sagittal Plane and Frontal/Transverse Plane Movement Training Video

The next two video are dealing with hip flexion (forward movement) and hip abduction (outward movement).  Here the emphasis is on creating activation of the leg in the direction of limitation while the spine remains extended and stable.  Quite a bit of stabilization training of the trunk, pelvis and lower extremity are emphasized in these next two videos.

Hip Flexion with 40 inch Band Video

Hip Abduction with 40 inch Band Video

Conclusion

The “ouch” of the pain usually cannot exist when you improve dysfunctional movement patterns.  Remember one of the keys is to identify what movements and postures have set us up for these problems.  Have a way of noting a movement or movements that correlate with worsening and improving your symptoms.  Then use these as a way of retesting as you explore better ways of moving through life.

Moving in these ways described above is a good start.  Let it be only a start.  Start identifying lifestyle issues that mirror the same problems.  All of this takes us on a journey deeper within ourselves.  You can stop at any time or continue.  A continued journey becomes an expanded practice.  Discoveries that lead us to ourselves at deeper levels become an awakening of the richness of our true lives.

Good luck in wherever you practice leads you.

Strong Back and Improved Posture

Proper Posture and Strength

You need to have sufficient strength in order to have good posture.  Many people put the cart before the horse.  Here I am referring to thinking that you just need to work on your posture.  How many times have you seen people (most of us) just try to sit better and in seconds to minutes find ourselves back to a comfortable slouch.  Ouch!  On the other end of the spectrum there are many who are really strong and their posture is abysmal.

We need to work on this from many perspectives.  Here we will start with assuming that you want to improve your ability to sit better and longer (with less pain and discomfort–looking beautiful, etc).  Alright, once you have a goal that will allow you to train this aspect, we can start.

Problems

  • We complain of back pain when sitting
  • We often do not have the muscular strength and endurance to sit properly.
  • We often over correct at the thoraco-lumbar region (the area where the rib spine meets the lower back)
  • We don’t have the proper guidance for proper sitting
  • We do not practice regularly

One of the biggest problems and complaints that I hear regularly about sitting–is the discomfort one gets from trying to maintain the proper position.  This is certainly true for those doing sitting meditations.  This group of folks usually know that proper sitting will allow them to breath properly with the diaphragm.  Good, deep diaphragmatic breaths will allow the body and mind to begin to settle down.  Good posture definitely facilitates this diaphragmatic style of  breathing.

Those not meditating can still benefit greatly by taking a very similar approach.  If the spine is erect and the shoulder and pelvic girdles and associated limbs are positioned well, it is much easier to have a sense of ease in this position.  You will find that the better that your body alignment is the better and more comfortably you can sit.

We can find out how to sit better.  There are many pictures of the ideal out there.  But sitting is a very dynamic activity.  The body that cannot sustain the activity returns back to it’s default posture of usually being slumped.  Then we often try to correct our sitting by straightening our spine from the mid to low back region.  This over activates the back extensor muscles that many complain of during their good intended corrections.

Strengthening the Upper Back

There is a video below that will go into a bit of the detail to help with strengthening this upper back area.  I often teach someone to work with a pivot prone or candelabra position or simple called the New York position.

This exercise with a mini-band is quite helpful.  The one thing that is good here, is that the mini-band can travel easily with you in a pocket, bag or purse.  Frequent use of it is helpful in retraining the movement pattern.  What I have found is that people still are way too weak in the upper back area to help in postural retraining.  The following video is another way.  I also have been using these 40 inch long and 1/2 inch wide cords for a pretty good test of the upper back.  It allows me to standardize what I expect now with most people.

In the video you will see this pulling apart motion of the band.  Watch carefully the testing protocol.  It is simple, but do not re-grab the band in a different way.  It is the wrapping of the band around the thumb and hand that really asks for a lot of external rotation and scapular stabilization.  This position is with the arms away from the body.  I am finding so many people are extremely weak in this pulling motion.  They all are so much stronger in the pulling motions that mimic a row.  Rowing strength does not seem to be a correlate for proper upper back strength in posture.  Remember the the lats are internal rotators of the arm.  If you row, you get better at rowing type movements.  Proper posture of the upper back requires external rotation of the upper arm and strong and enduring scapular stabilization.  This means the mid and lower trapezius fibers and rotator cuff must be activated in a particular manner and direction.

Also for you folks who do mainly asanas for your exercise, you really lack pulling strength.  There is an overabundance of forward pressure with the upper body in asanas.  There is an absolute lack of pulling strength in asanas.  (so much for balance, heh)

Of course proper mobilization of the thoracic or rib spine into extension is quite helpful.  Also evaluating for an improper head and neck position is critical.  There is much work to be done.  Remember that strengthening has to be coupled with proper retraining of ones postural habits.  Postural habits can be influence by a large number of other factors to include:  psycho-social, cultural, medical and other biomechanical issues.  Our work has just begun.

Video of Strengthening the Upper Back and Improving Posture

Conclusion

Go have some fun training this upper back area.

I have used many companies to purchase bands from–below is a listing of the three most popular ones I use:

  1. PerformBetter.com—-You should see the Superbands listed–I’d buy 1/2 and 1 inch sizes
  2. ResistanceBandTraining.com
  3. IronWoodyFitness.com

Start your training and let me know how strong you get.  Now if you practice your posture, do you find it much easier to sustain it?   Now that’s skillful training.

Best of efforts–peter

Shoulder Rehabilitation

Shoulder Rehabilitation

Recently I had the opportunity while in India to work with a variety of people.  In the video that follows, this person was well recovered from a fracture of the proximal humerus.  They were still experiencing pain upon end range movement.  Here we will look at only one of the functions that proved bothersome–overhead movements with the left arm.  Their range of motion in this direction (shoulder flexion) was fairly good, though lacked the last 10 degrees–which were also a bit painful.

One thing to check is to see if the shoulder blade is participating sufficiently in these movements.  Since stretching of the arm overhead proved painful and since her prior rehabilitation had taken her in this direction, I thought we would explore more approximation or pressure into the shoulder joint.  (and this compressive movement was not painful and helped her to improve)

This concept of compressing the joint in these weight bearing positions that you will see in the video is a very good alternative for improving pain free terminal flexion.  Often in hatha yoga where there is today and emphasis in stretching, the stability work that is needed is often marginalized.  (This post is not about yoga but focuses on a case example of rehabilitation).

Another important aspect here is the emphasis on testing before and after exercises.  This testing can be accomplished quickly and easily before and after your session.  You will see it at the beginning of the video.  It would be wonderful if people found out things that they could not do easily and then determine the exercises that would help them function better (i.e. less pain and more gain).  In other words don’t just perform a bunch of exercises without seeing if they are appropriate and giving you the results that you want and need.

Also this is not a complete program, it is a first example of where one might start out in their journey of recovery.

Lets take a look at the video:

 Mobility

You can see there is not an emphasis on stretching out the shoulder at this point.  The place that we try to increase mobility is at the thoracic spine or rib spine.  This associated area of the middle back is often left out with rehabilitation of the shoulder.  Of course one should test the ability of rotation to take place here before prescribing the exercise.  Do note how much shoulder mobility is asked for in the down shoulder.  For some people you will need to support the space between their armpit/rib area and the floor.  For some people, without using the support–they will have too much stress on the bottom shoulder in flexion and abduction–they will not be able to relax or benefit from the spinal rotation.

It is interesting to note that in the side lying movement of reaching and rolling of the upper body–this person had difficulty in stabilizing the pelvis and lower trunk while accessing the middle spine area.  Again this difficulty is fairly typical.  We often over move from the lumbar and pelvic area especially in the side lying position.

There are many variations in sidelying that can be very helpful here.  This is only one of them.

Stability

From the above instability of the pelvis and lower trunk, you can see that this area will need to be addressed in follow up routines.

Notice the weight bearing aspect of being on hands and knees and prone on elbows (supported cobra asana).  These are just excellent positions to stimulate the shoulder complex and begin teaching stability.  Always consider there to be 3-5 ways to regress and progress any exercise.  That gives you a much wider appreciation of the functional relationships that are involved in rehabilitation.  It is also quite a challenge to come up with this range of movement possibilities.  This challenge is mainly for those who are teachers, trainers and therapists.

Conclusion

Do try out some of these movements.  You will find out that working with the mini-bands in the prone on elbow position can be fairly challenging.  Many people are quite weak in external rotation when the elbows are away from the body.  This variation opens up so many more ways to activate the rotator cuff musculature and the scapular stabilizers than just the standard “cuff” exercises with the elbow fixed to ones side.

This routine is only a beginning.  I hope it will be a continuation of the progress that has been made.

Best in Training–peter

 

Restoring Movement to the Neck

The Neck

The neck is about one of our most used connections of the spine (and well used in our lexicon)  It is designed to be mobile and capable of great feats of movement and stability.  Just remember the days you’ve arisen out of bed–even before getting up–you notice how stiff you became over night.   Sometimes we say life is a pain in the neck.  Some folks even still neck around a little.

The neck is just not an anatomical structure to be described of bones and soft tissues.  It is a highly functioning arm of the nervous system and ourselves.  Here I am concerned with looking at how to restore movement in the lower neck (in a particular direction).

Mechanical problems

In my practice of Physical Therapy, many people who come in with shoulder and neck problems usually have a problem in moving their lower neck and upper back spine.  This area seems to become easily rigid.  We often see degenerative changes of the spinal segments at the segments just above this juncture of neck and upper back.  We often label seven neck segments with the top one starting as number one.  So the fifth and sixth segment are very popular in showing these degenerative changes.  To me this means that the area below is not participating in allowing movement to continue through these lower segments.  By the way, we don’t just move our necks.  Our bodies don’t move the neck.  Our movements take place in the spine.  Our patho-anatomical  medical approach (getting a diagnosis of a problem based soley on the anatomy that has a dis-ease vs including a functional evaluation or how it is working in daily usage) can distort our perspective of how we look at how what is going on ie the problem.

Of course, the  direction of mobility problem can be different for different causes and different people.  Here I wish to share my observations of the problem at moving through this juncture of the neck (cervical spine) and upper back (upper thoracic spine).  This junction is easily referred to as the cervical-thoracic junction or C/T junction.

What I find is that many people do not have very good side bending of the lower neck.  They often over move in the segments above.  Also when you observe those with pain and dysfunction of the neck and shoulder complex, it is worth evaluating how well they are side bending at this lower neck to C/T area.

Of course there are problems of stability in the mid neck and also upper neck.  There are sometimes mobility problems of the upper cervical region as well.  Note the junctional areas of the spine are very important in transmitting forces THROUGH the area (versus into the area).

Example of Moving the Lower Neck Spine

Here is a short video I did in working with someone.  I hope it will explain a bit about how you might start to work on learning to move this area.  Note it spends most of the time trying to coach one to move the lower area while learning to stabilize the above area.  It seems un-natural for many who have a movement deficit in this area.

Remember the learning is not just about correcting and moving better.  Ideally one must spend a good amount of time feeling and practicing these directions.  Often it takes some coaching.  A mirror can be invaluable in this type of training.

Conclusion

Enjoy the practice.  Those who don’t move this lower neck area well will be rewarded with proper practice.  You will find that once you can create some movement here sometimes your shoulder and neck problems become less.

Try it out and let me know what you find.

Holidays and Travels

Greetings All

The Holidays are upon us.  Hoping you and yours are planning on much celebration.

We have been very busy here, just like many of you.  I was in SRSG, Rishikesh India for the month of November.

httpv://www.youtu.be/DaHoC3lNImA

What a great time teaching and learning from everyone.

 

Met some fantastic people from Delhi.

 

 

 

 

 

We had over 65 students from all over the world.

 

Now back in USA, California.

 

 

 

Wishing you all the best of the Holidays.  May it be filled with much love and laughter.

…and remember:  Many times bring the mind to itself–just watch your breath.

See you in the New Year–Shantih, Shantih, Shantih–peter