A few times recently when working with joggers and runners, particularly those who run long distances, there’s been a tendency for tightness in the shoulders. Everyone who runs even for a short distance remembers the tendency to lift your shoulders while running, probably as an instinctive way to make more room for the breath, since the upper lobe of the lungs is right under the collar bone area and in front of the scapula. This tension can permeate the membranes under the ribs, like the parietal peritoneum and the pleura,
Having had two experiences with frozen shoulder, one on each side, it’s been quite a learning process in how to resolve them.
The left side is still clearing out and was the result of a head injury that effected everything on that side. Since the neck took much of the brunt of the impact on the head, the nerves in the neck over-stimulated and locked the shoulder, the muscles in the arm, down the back, and the areas that I didn’t count on –
Many things happen bio-mechanically while you’re sitting, even if you have great posture, but less so when you optimize the distribution of forces. The main thing to consider is what you’re sitting on, not just the seat, but your body. Those two bones, the ischial tuberosities or ‘sit bones’ are just at the bottom of the pelvis – the ischium. They protrude a bit so they’re easy to feel and find whether you’re standing or sitting. We’re always guided to sit right on top of them because that will balance
Seated posture can be a difficult one to keep up with during the day, since the attention is often on what’s in front of us, particularly if you’re working at a desk. There are several different types of ergonomic chairs or seats out there that can help, but when your body is fatigued, it most likely will begin to slump. When the arms are forward for a while, the weight of them will tend to drop the ribs and diaphragm onto your belly and its internal organs. The loss of
So many of my clients have tight arches and painful calves. Walking, hiking, running, dancing, shoes – there are so many things that can send forces up through the legs from the feet. There are also several meridians that send energy through the legs, and ‘catch places’ for nerve, blood, and lymph flow. It sounds complex (and it is) but the remedies are not. There is an acupuncture point a couple of fingers up from the ankle bone on the inside of the leg – the 3 Rivers point –
Most men and many active women experience tightness in the IT band and some have been using those foam rollers to help out. There are a few things that contribute to that tightness, but what has worked beautifully and fairly consistently to release it is the mobility of the ankles. Most feet are prone to inversion and are almost prevented from eversion as the pattern progresses. This puts quite the strain on the lateral fascia which runs from the foot through the hip and all the way up the spine.
Something definitely changes with the feet in different periods of your life. I think rather than calling it age, it’s that awareness and sensitivity to them increase so that you notice more how things effect them. One year, I simply had to start over with each pair of shoes and see if my feet were okay with them. The instep area didn’t want the tongue of a sneaker pressing in on it and compressing the bones, or restricting the mobility of my ankle. The other very cool thing I noticed
Starting late in life with the jogging thing – an effort to add a quick, effective chunk of exercise during the week – meant starting slowly and tracking my body’s responses. I had to be extra careful since I’d be running around the neighborhood on asphalt and concrete. One of the things I noticed was that I was pushing more with my hamstrings rather than pulling with my quads, making my hamstrings pretty tight. I changed that the first day out and felt more balanced. I tried to relax my
What a great way to get your heart rate up! Just a quick 10 minute run, and a 10 minute cool down stretch. It helped a bunch to massage my feet and ankles first, since that’s what I noticed most after the last run. I’m also wanting to optimize my gait. I noticed that my shoes were almost incidental and I’d been using my legs to lift my shoes and put them back down, instead of using my feet to propel my legs. Big difference! The other thing that helped
The last years of writing put me in front of the computer so much more than usual, and the building stagnation from reduced movement was very noticeable. The shortening though the core, compression at the sacrum and low back, tension in the bones of the hands, tightness in the shoulders and hamstrings, not to mention the ribcage and diaphragm pressing down on the internal organs.
I experimented with some antidotes that were so helpful and restorative. The first was leaning through a doorway with my forearms on the frame of the