Hooray! After two hours of looking at and feeling and moving your spine you now know a little about how it works. Just in case you’ve forgotten what we did here is a reminder.
You Can’t Change What You’re Not Aware Of
We noticed our bodies, in one silent minute we tried to get a sense of where our weight was over our feet, how our alignment felt today, where our breath was in our bodies and whether we had areas that were clearer than others.
We did this for many reasons. One is if we want to feel better in our bodies we need a baseline for comparison. Another is to calm our nervous system with a clear body map and another is to listen to what our body is communicating to us today.
A Healthy Spine Needs Healthy Language.
Then we wrote down words/moods/beliefs that our culture, family and friends use to describe their backs. Knowing that neurons that fire together wire together we decided to take the first step in unravelling our own concepts of our backs (neurotags). We chose words that reflect how we would like our back to feel.
The Spine Functions to Support us and to Help us Move
Because the spine has two very different roles and over 100 joints that need lubricating with daily movement to train our spine we need to move in all planes of movement, we can also add balls and bands to create resistance: Here is a photo of all of the positions of the spine dance
The Spine is a Tensegrity System
as we bend our legs the spine compresses sending energy to tissues and ligaments, these then send that energy back to the body as our legs straighten. We imagined deeper curves as we bent our knees and longer curves as we straightened our legs.
The Atlanto - Occipital Joint
We felt the areas behind our earlobes (the mastoid processes) and drew an imaginary line between them, we imagined the occipital condyles (where the head meets the first vertebrae - the atlas) rolling back as we nodded our head forward and rolling forward as we returned to upright.
The Atlanto Axial Joint
We imagined our head resting on the lifesaver ring that is the atlas, rotating around the dens of the axis.
These were different for each section of the spine (cervical, thoracic and lumber). We imagined them moving up and forward as we rolled down and back and down as we returned to straight.
They have coupled motion in rotation and side bending but this concept is trickier so we skimmed past that.
As we flexed forward we imagined that our spinous processes were bristles; as we extended we imagined blinds closing; as we bent to the side imagined a fan opening; as we rotated we imagined our thoracic tassels swinging with us, (and possibly lumbar swinging away - but this is a little tricky). When we inhaled we imagined that our spinous processes lifted and as we exhaled out they lowered.
We lay on balls to release any tension in our spine, we rolled up and down, side to side, flexed and extended and circled. We then rolled our feet and stood on our balls and chatted about posture.
Posture is our Spine’s Main Training Partner
Here we felt and experienced our central axis, we turned and walked experiencing a line of energy directed up through the centre of our bodies.
Then we tapped ourselves from top to toe with balls and that was it!
Brilliant work. Thanks for coming