Spinal Twists - Technique For Living

Spinal Twists


It’s very easy to look at the body from a symmetrical viewpoint. It's how we tend to experience our bodies and achieve our balance. We can see visually if we have one shoulder higher than the other and sometimes we can tell if that’s happening with our legs. But most of the time we isolate the problem to one area. We think that everything else is normal apart from the one part that has pain. To correct this we like to line everything up straight, to counteract all the problems. 

Not the solution

However, rarely does this solve anything. It usually causes more problems. This is because we’re not symmetrical. Not symmetrical at all. The harder we try to be symmetrical the more trouble we get ourselves into, and the less symmetrical we become. So you have to stop all that and throw away all those ideas about the body. Or you’ll succeed in creating another set of habitual problems over the ones you already have.

Length, width and depth.

The body is also three dimensional and when we try to line things up we rarely do so. We generally think in one or two dimensions. We think of pulling our shoulders back to spread them out. But this leads to stiffening across the lower back, where your lungs are located and restricts the breathing.

We hold our heads up thinking that is the problem but we tend to think of the head going up when we raise our eyes and all that does is tip the head backwards. All of this doing only serves to make the problem worse. So what’s really going on?

Twisting and holding

Well, by various degrees we twist our spines. We twist them both horizontally and vertically. It's much more likely that your shoulders are different heights because of the muscular tension you are making in the surrounding areas, instead of your bones being different lengths. We are quite reluctant to allow the shoulders, hands and arms to hang from the top of the neck (up between the ears, behind the eyes).

Stop standing on one leg.

We can also twist the spine standing. Thinking it’s perfectly natural to rest on one leg, that it’s a relaxed pose. While this may present a casual attitude it really puts the person’s weight heavily to one side and usually twists the spine because the hips turn inwards whilst the torso faces out. The pressure on the leg is intensified by a lack of support from the back. Usually the the hips will be tipped backwards too. Most people have no idea why they do it. If you look at the images we are presented with, models in particular you can see this happening. It’s become normal and accepted. But just because it’s normal and accepted doesn’t mean you should do it.

Less effort

If you want any of this to change you have to throw out all the ideas of symmetry and correction. Then very calmly and quietly you have to take a look at what you are doing with yourself and see how your weight is distributed. There is a very big difference between even weight distribution and symmetry. Giving away the weight can happen via release. It also doesn’t require vast amounts of effort to keep it going throughout your day. Holding yourself up or in place does. It’s a tremendous waste of time and incredibly difficult. Doing this to your body will make your life harder and more painful. Most of us realise sooner or later that this isn’t what we want. 

What not to do

So when you go to do something remember that you don't want to tighten up, or pull yourself into place. If you want to make life easier you want to balance by releasing muscles and letting go of the weight. This will happen the more you are able to stop and give yourself time throughout the day.

About the Author Edward Fisher

Hi, I'm Edward Fisher and I believe that everyone can have a life free from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and many other musculoskeletal pain related conditions. I recovered from slipped discs and sciatica. I spent 10 months being unable to walk. After 3 months of Alexander Technique I was walking again. Now I show others how to overcome their own pain related conditions for themselves.

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