Beating Back Pain
October 4, 2012, 9:16 am
Beating Back Pain.
Back Pain affects 8 out of 10 people in Australia at some time in their lives. Often we have little niggles on and off for years . We do some exercises or swallow some anti-inflammatories and then the pain goes. Eventually it returns and doesn’t go! By then we are in trouble. Permanent damage has been done to the soft tissues and joints. This may result in compression of the nerves exiting the vertebrae, referring pain down the legs. The muscles surrounding the spine go into spasm to protect from further injury which causes further restriction, locking up the movements of the pelvis, vertebrae and hips. A vicious cycle has set in.
Wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could prevent this kind of damage in the first place? Wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could reverse the habits and protective movement patterns that caused the problems in the first place? The good news is that there is a way out! Many people have found the Feldenkrais Method ®helps when nothing else does. By learning to do slow, small, gentle non habitual movements within your comfort zone, you can release the patterns that are causing the problem in the first place.
Our Brain/Nervous System is always trying to protect us, but those protective patterns linger on long after there is a need for them. The initial problem has healed, but the protective patterns from every injury that you have had in your life are still subtly pulling you out of alignment. A Feldenkrais Practitioner can help you to sense those patterns and gradually and safely move in a non threatening way to release those patterns.
One of the side effects of the Method is that we release parasitic muscle contractions, learning to use only the muscles that we specifically need for each activity. This allows your skeleton to come into its’ optimal alignment so that it supports you and your muscular system is free to do its’ own work of moving you. Releasing those overworked muscles results in Pain Relief. Even if the damage to your spine is irreversible, the FM can still help you to manage yourself better.
The private Functional Integration® lessons are a good place to start, as the Practitioner gently guides you, fully clothed through the movement sequences. You will notice a difference immediately and over the next few days you will find everything you do becomes a little easier. S/he will give you some gentle exercises to do at home to continue the learning. As you are changing long term, deep habits, it’s very important to do them twice a day for the first 3 weeks. That’s how long it takes to make new pathways in your brain and undo the old inefficient habits. This is called neuroplasticity (the ability of your brain to change and make new connections). After that you can drop the exercises back to 3 or 4 times a week, but if you find you are slipping back into the old habits again and your pain is returning, simply go back to doing the movements more often.
Awareness through Movement ®Classes are also available and they are a great way to continue the Learning. They can be used as a preventative, for rehabilitation or simply to do as personal growth. There are many benefits in using the Method to enhance all your abilities in Life, including sports, stage movement and voice. The FM is also useful with neurological problems, arthritis, poor posture, breathing problems etc
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