In my work, I look at people stand, squat, walk and assume different postures to determine what is bringing on their pain, or to help them become more efficient in their chosen performance discipline.
The organisation of the body represents information. When you have trained your eyes to observe movement (anyone can do this), it is fascinating how simple changes in symmetry and tone have such a profound influence on function.
People I work with, who become motivated enough to develop a ‘listening ability’ tuning to subtle changes in dynamic function, dont tend to give this up. What develops is the attention to the sense of up and down of the spine and therefore the sense of the position of the diaphragm in relation to the pelvic floor and the ankles. This on-going experience elicits a shift in their perception of the body.
This invariably translates into shifts in movement sophistication and the drive to experience different ways of feeling the body. An intuitive drive to enhance feedback has found a means. Learning to love feedback can teach you much about dying to assumption.
One of the exciting perspectival experiments I am using with clients is to be able to see and feel the body from the perspective of looking down through the crown of the head to the pelvic floor. The experiment can be done in standing, prone, supine or inverted, and is an amazing practice for all rotational sports.
The looking involves seeing down and through the three major inner openings of the body. The opening of the neck space, the big opening of the thoracic space and the opening into the pelvic basin. Of course all of this is also intimately involved in breathing.
When one does this, and at the same time checks in with the quality of activation in the core abdominal cylinder, or said another way, the even-ness present in the circumference of the push outward through the narrowest part of the waist in all directions. A number of very interesting, inter-related aspects of function improve.
The crown of the head seeks to reach away to infinity, so that the spine can be at its optimal length. Concurrently the chest position wants to travel down caudally/posteriorly (toward the sacrum) and at the same time widen in the front-side ribs underneath the line of pec-major. As a result of these energetic changes in the posture it is much easier to establish and maintain the positive intra-abdominal pressure. It is important to notice if you are tightening the legs when you do this. The activation of the cylinder should go up to 8/10, with the sense of effort in the legs being a 2/10.
When we lengthen the spine by bringing the chest position down instead of pelvic-tilting, we positively influence the tone in the para-spinal muscles, because we have managed to horizontalise the diaphragm. Ultimately when we can maintain this position in walking, our experience of ease in walking is perceptually changed forever. Walking becomes gliding.
This ‘listening’ and checking in can be done many times throughout the day, and will lead to optimal long-term adaptation in body-balance for enhanced performance and outstanding results in injury-prevention.