Sit in a chair with a firm seating surface where both feet can be flat on the floor. Sit forward enough so that you are not leaning on the back of the chair.
1. Establish a sensory “baseline” (what this particular movement feels like now): Let your eyes look upward, your head lifting to allow you to "follow" your gaze. Assess how easily your chest and rib cage allows movement up and forward while you look up this way. Go slowly. Don’t do this more than twice.
2. Interlace your fingers with your hands comfortably in front of your torso but not resting in your lap. Look down in the direction of your hands. While you continue looking down, un-interlace your fingers and then re-interlace them in the non-habitual way. Do this ten times; each time you re-interlace your fingers, alternate between habitual and non-habitual interlacing. Each time you re-interlace your fingers, give your hands a brief but firm squeeze before you undo and re-interlace your fingers. (Interlace, squeeze, undo, interlace the other way, squeeze, undo, etc. until you’ve done it ten times).
3. Sit quietly for a moment with your hands free and resting comfortably. Then try the initial movement of looking up, letting your head follow your gaze upward. Is there noticeably more “willingness” of your chest and ribs to move easily upward and forward?
What happened? In general terms, these actions alerted your subconscious to the fact that the musculature in the front of your chest was in a state of unneeded shortness, or that there was some residual contraction of that musculature that was not doing anything positive for you at the moment, so that contraction/shortness was changed by your brain. (The action with your hands provided new “input” to your subconscious and a change was made as a result.)
If you’d like a more detailed explanation, come to the workshop and ask Mark to explain what happened more specifically.
If you felt no change in the baseline movement at the end, you may have discovered that you began this little exercise with what your nervous system felt was already an equitably distributed balance of effort/non-effort in your flexors and extensors. OR this little exercise was not enough “experience” to change a state that might be such a familiar habit pattern for you that more input is needed before a change is made. Come to the workshop and you’ll get the chance to experience more and bigger stimulus, engage in a bit of practice and be rewarded with the resulting benefit of feeling better.
To register for the workshop, click here.