We have to move to get from place to another. The stuff we have to do – getting dressed, general cleaning, preparing food, personal hygiene – the basics.
Movement is a significant method for processing life experience.
Movement creates its own memories, whether our minds are conscious or not.
The more we move, the more we can continue to move.
“No pain, no gain” is bullshit. But ‘use it or lose it’ is truth.
Our bodies hold our life stories and it does not lie. Our movements reflect our inner worlds. Most often by sheer incidence. When we’re telling people stuff we want them to know, whether we are aware or not, our bodies are either saying the same thing – or something different. The body doesn’t simply gesture as accompaniment to our choice of words. It speaks on its own and commonly called body language.
Body language, is ordinarily unconscious. What I’m heading toward is very conscious; highly conscious in fact.
Ok, so we’ve accounted for movement for daily living. We’ve accounted for body language. What about body usage?
Body usage can be included in movement for daily living, but it has a much larger scope. Body usage is how we do what we do whether consciously making choices or unconsciously, perhaps not even realizing that we have a choice.
Our bodies are made up of three types of muscle tissue, smooth, striated and cardiac. Smooth is the type of muscle found in organs such as liver, intestines, lungs and kidneys. Cardiac is a striated muscle type that is specific to the heart – it is not found anywhere else in the body. Both smooth and cardiac muscle contract and relax on their own – so we don’t have to remember to breath or remind our hearts to breath. Good thing or I would be in baaaaaad trouble!
Skeletal muscle is also striated – the muscles that move our bones are under our control. This whispers to the idea that we have control over every single movement we make. Flash to pain. If it hurts to do something – we can choose to do it differently. Instead, we tend to prefer to avoid the activity or endure the pain. We have a choice. Ok, you know me by now…
We have a choice.
Do it differently. How about this: what if – we pay attention to how we do what we do so that we can choose another way; a way that takes us away from injury and toward ease and pleasure.
Movement does not have to be haphazard and accidental. Maybe you’ve heard this story or one like it, “I was walking to the car, I guess I slipped off the curb. I twisted my ankle and found myself sitting on the edge of the sidewalk – I don’t know how I got there!”
Start paying attention.
- How does your hand turn a door knob?
- What is your shoulder doing while your hand is turning the door knob?
- How do your ankles feel when you pick up an object from the floor?
- How much bend is in your knees? How do they feel?
- What words would you use to describe how your low back feels as you go through your movements of picking up an object from the floor?
Time consuming? If you choose. Or you can choose a window of time during which you give your attention to your body, how it does what it does and how that feels.
Paying attention and noticing are the steps necessary to begin. If I don’t know what I’m doing I will not have the tools to make any changes.
Reinforcement, Encouragement, Support: You and I can make significant changes in the way we feel as we live in our bodies. We can. Every day. We can feel better. We can move more easily. It all begins with paying attention.
It’s our choice.