Walk like a Gorilla
How well do you know how your body’s going? I don’t mean: are you a bit tired, a bit sore, a bit stiff? I mean: when was the last time you mentally scanned your body to see how each area, each muscle is? How many of your body’s muscles do you know the ‘feel’ of – that is, how that muscle feels when firmly pressed with a finger (as in, after a tough workout saying “I’m sore in muscles I never knew I had”)? And what’s all this got to do with a complaint like lower back pain? Or gorillas??
A central pillar of my remedial massage therapy approach with clients is to help ‘reacquaint’ the body and the brain, a connection of which we understandably lose track amid the flurry of To Do lists, traffic, social media and…well, life in general. The problem with just letting our body do its own thing (“hey, my legs can walk fine without me needing to tell them how”…right??) is that bodies are great at finding the path of least resistance but not necessarily at moving in ways that promote strength, stability and longevity.
The next time you’re at the Zoo (or YouTubing), watch how an ape walks when upright. It’s a very muscular action that leaves them stable and strong. On the other hand, watch someone who has become infirm with age ‘shuffle’ along the street, their legs thrown out in front and feet falling. Certainly not particularly muscular nor stable. The gorilla uses a concert of muscles to achieve locomotion; most humans rely on only a few, generally weak muscles which then predisposes most of us to consequent injuries.
My point is this: lower back pain? In many cases I can help it by assisting you to adjust the way you walk.
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