I recently returned from my annual backpacking trip. The majestic beauty of the pine forest, flowing rivers and streams always replenishes my soul and rejuvenates my spirit. I love backpacking, but after 4 days of carrying a 25 pound pack along steep cliffs and rushing waterways my body starts to complain. I feel energized after these hikes and always look forward to the next one, but often some of the movements like twisting and turning with that heavy pack wreak havoc on my body.
Movement is essential for every aspect of our health it’s linked to every function and process our bodies make. Our joints have ideal ranges of motion. When we use our bodies for external movement we use our joints and muscles for continuous periods of time. Our joints also have internal movements and these depend on the contraction of our muscles, blood pressure, breath and external movement. Our outward flexibility actually is a mirror of our inner flexibility both physically and psychologically. By finding new and more efficient ways to move we stop forcing movements which waste energy and lead to injury.
How does movement in the body happen?
Control of our bodies comes from a feedback loop that includes our perception, neural signals and body movement. This motor control system generates movement which helps when we are practicing purposeful coordinated movements. This practice creates new neural patterns and by practicing everyday actions like bending forward, side bends, rotation, extension and flexion we can maximize our movements injury free. One way to do this is to practice The Feldenkrais Method(awareness through movement). The practice is not difficult but can be mentally challenging. By learning new ways to move your daily activities become easier. At Fitness for Life we offer “Move Smarter” classes every Thursday 1:00pm-2:15pm.
The instructor Madeleine Perrone can be contacted at: http://www.bodyinmotion.us
For more information about Feldenkrais contact: www.feldenkrais.com