Exploring postures, moods and emotions in response to avoidance and protection

This week we are exploring what we feel in our bodies when we are protecting ourselves from injury and discomfort.
If you've ever sprained an ankle, the moment you rolled your foot, one side of your body contracted to avoid further damage. It is a reflex and thankfully your nervous system responded as such.

The problem is, while your ankle is healing, you timidly hobble around, and the muscles running up the side of your body continue to contract to reduce the weight on your injured ankle.

Over a few days to weeks, as your ankle heals, this wonky posture becomes your new "normal." Even though your ankle has recovered, you now subconsciously have hiked and twisted your pelvis, shortened your waist, contracted your ribs and drooped a shoulder down a bit. All setting the stage for future injuries because your whole body, from head to feet, is imbalanced.

This postural pattern can result in 
  • why you've been diagnosed with different leg lengths 
  • hip, knee, ankle and/or foot pain
  • sciatica
  • pelvic floor imbalances
  • neck and shoulder pain
  • even scoliosis
Other similar postural patterns that create this lateral/rotational imbalance include repeatedly doing things like
  • hiking a baby on one hip
  • throwing a bag over the same shoulder
  • playing a dominate-arm sport like golf
  • a manual job that requires repetitive twisting/bending
  • even working on a laptop
This bending and twisting pattern also shows up in response to emotionally upsetting events that make us cringe and want to turn away from the sources of uncomfortable situations.

The fact that you aren't aware of the tension patterns you've created is what we call sensory-motor amnesia. The parts of your brain in charge of moving (motor cortex) and sensing what you are doing (sensory cortex) have a faulty feedback loop. And no amount of force, bodywork, stretching, strengthening will reset that loop.

So how do you reset that feedback loop? With gentle Somatic movements, done with awareness, called pandiculations
When we become better aware of what we are doing subconsciously with our bodies, we can create a new way of doing something new with our bodies. 
When we become better aware of what we have been doing subconsciously with our bodies, we can change what we are doing with our bodies. And when we change our tension patterns, we can shift to a calmer state so we can better handle life events, relate to others better, and forge a better future.

This week in classes we are exploring the tension patterns that run along the sides of our bodies. 

I hope you can make it to class. Live classes are hosted online using Zoom. You can get more info here. If you can't make to live classes, I've created the Think Somatics Members Library, so you never miss out. :-)

freedom and ease for all,
Kristin


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