On Back Pain, "Good" Movement, and "Bad" Movement

Almost all new clients I see have the same question - "How should I be moving? What's the right way to move?" This question is especially prevalent among clients with chronic back pain. They've often been fighting with themselves, trying out a wide variety of modalities and strategies to get their pain under control, and trying to sort out good advice from bad advice for years.

I try to re-frame the question of "good movement vs bad movement". I'm interested in functional, useful movement. Movement doesn't exist in a binary - it exists on a spectrum. While there are general rules that should definitely be followed (ways to not sheer your joints, for example), the details may vary hugely person to person. Not all back pain looks the same.

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The Trouble with Belly Breathing

If you've ever attended a yoga class, you've likely heard the term "belly breathing", and have probably learned how to do it yourself. It's often referred to as the best way to breathe, and is taught as a method to avoid shallow breathing. For those who tend to breathe up high in their chests with a short, shallow breath, belly breathing is a great tool for increasing oxygen intake and allowing the diaphragm to get more involved. However, belly breathing can cause trouble just like shallow chest breathing can.

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Finding My Way to Refreshed

2017 has been a challenging year, and I am not alone in that experience. I'm not going to go into my own story here, but personally it's been a tough one for numerous reasons. Recently, after a particularly overwhelming day, a friend wished me a refreshing rest, and it occurred to me that the last time I had truly felt refreshed was in very distant memory. Functional, yes. Refreshed, no.

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