How to reduce back pain with SomaticsHeidi Hadley
Recently I was holding a workshop and there were a few journalists in attendance. They mentioned how they suffer with right sided pain in their neck, hip and shoulder. This complaint is not uncommon and in today’s blog I will explain why this is common and will provide a free somatic movement audio for you.
Do your shoulders feel level?
This is a question I ask clients when I guide them through a standing body or soma scan. It is only when we break down the scan, that many may feel there is a difference. Sometimes people may comment that they notice tension through the front and back of their body, but not their sides. Interestingly this comment is not uncommon. Thomas Hanna, the ‘father’ of Somatics actually said that to many people the sensations and internal awareness to the sides of their body can be “blank,” they are unable to identify the level of tension and tone in these areas.
That is why tension and pain can gradually increase. Mild tension through the sides of your body will over time increase and intensify if you are unable to identify how much tension is there. Your brain is amazing and not only do the muscles of your torso alter, but your eyes muscles adapt and shorten. Your brain realises that if one shoulder is being drawn down towards one hip, your head and eye line will be looking at the world on an angle. So as a result, your eye muscles recalibrate and create muscle tension around your eyeballs. This can then create further issues and discomfort such as tension headaches because your eyes muscles are also now under strain.
Within one of my workshops recently I encouraged the journalists to consider their habits. In their case, the habit of rolling their right shoulder forward and drawing their right armpit down towards their right hip had gradually created tension. In time the space between their ribs on the right side of their body and the space between the bottom of their right rib cage and pelvis had narrowed. As a result they had created the typical journalist or office worker posture - one shoulder tilted higher than the other, usually the right shoulder rolling forward and down from repetitive use of the mouse.
When a person becomes very dominant through one side, their muscle tone and mass can be significantly bigger or bulkier. Recently I was contacted about this very point.
When we consider this situation, I would ask the following questions:
* What is your job? Are you dominant with your movement patterns on that one side?
* Do you have scoliosis?
* Is the change in muscle tone affecting your breathing, movement and creating an increase in pain?
* As you stand and walk, are you loading through one foot or one portion of your foot more so than the other side?
The reason for this question is to open your mind to consider how your brain is patterning your ENTIRE system. As a regular reader of my bogs, you may be aware that I often encourage you to always go back to the centre (pelvis) and recalibrate. When you release muscle tension through your lower back, waist, belly and pelvis, you can generate a ripple effect throughout your body and create efficient movement.
Whenever you practice Mindful Somatic Movement, always consider the following principle:
When one side of your body contracts, the other side has to lengthen and release. That is how you naturally move.
When you remember this principle with your somatic movement practice, you are reminding your brain of efficient muscle memory. This cannot be achieved with stretching because it is a passive practice. However when you pandiculate with Somatics, we are making changes at a brain level.
Below is a FREE 23 minute somatic movement sequence to teach you how to release tension through your belly, waist, back and reintroduce a gentle spinal twist into your body. I have created the cues in a concise manner so you can follow along, even if English is not your first language. As you become more familiar with these movements, could you consider allowing your creative juices to flow and adapt some of the movements to a seated variation? Could you create a mini version at your desk with the pelvic movements and the hip and armpit action? When you start becoming creative with somatic movement in different settings, you are really exploring how effective PANDICULATION is to release chronically tight muscles.
On another note, when you become familiar with your daily habits, you can consider how somatics can be incorporated into your day. You cannot completely change your daily habits - working at a computer can be adapted but at the end of the day you are still stationary, either sitting or standing. However bringing greater awareness to how you stand or sit and creating mini somatic movement moments in your day breaks the habit(s) you have generated over the years.
Enjoy the audio below. Following the free audio is another somatic movement audio which will address specific regions within your shoulders, hips, back and ribs. You can purchase it for $20.00 and keep it indefinitely. It complements the free audio brilliantly.
Let me know how you get on with the audio and the purchased audio. I love hearing how somatics has transformed your life.
Purchase the audio below to complement the free somatic movement audio.
CLICK HERE to see what is included within this audio
Have a brilliant week.
Heidi Hadley xx