Degrees of Awareness

The question of how much physical awareness one needs to get by has been on my mind a lot lately, and the variety person to person and day to day is astonishing. Think about it for yourself... How much attention do you need to give your feet as you walk down the street? How much does that change if the sidewalk is bumpy? What if you have a sprained ankle or some other foot injury? Are you someone who can walk while looking at your phone or reading a book?

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How To Be Kind To Your Neck

A recent conversation with a client:

Me: Try letting your shoulders turn with your head and see how that feels.
Client: Wait... is that an okay thing to do? I thought I needed to turn my head by itself for some reason...
Me: It's absolutely an okay thing to do.

Pop quiz: If you think about your neck and the rest of your spine, do you think of them as A) discrete sections of your body, or B) both as part of your spine?

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Moving On From Injury and Trauma

It's a universal desire when we have a problem to want an easy fix and a solution. We all look for easy fixes for all kinds of problems, and often there is one. When it comes to somatic questions, however, there isn't always a fix. I don't mean for that to sound depressing. Instead, I'm offering a perspective shift.

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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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