It’s not easy writing long-winded blog posts. It’s much easier giving long-winded speeches. Just ask anyone who knows me.
Today’s Facebook post: Ask a question and you’ll get a single-sentence answer and a link “for further reading” if I can find one. Here goes:
Beyond the obvious - REST - what is the #1 thing a postpartum woman can do to promote wellness through alignment?
Throw away your television and start a easy-going stroll habit (with neutral pelvis and lowered ribs), carrying your baby in your arms (not in a device) for 20-30 minutes every day to aid in restoring your pelvic floor and core strength, establishing correct arm and back strength (relative to the weight of your baby) and to assist the baby in establishing what should be their first milestone -- vertical stabilization of their head on a vertical spine. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379706005629
My Chiropractor told my I have Cardiac Outlet Syndrome, (my fingers would go numb, and arms would ache). I've looked it up/ researched it, and get adjusted often. I try to keep my shoulders low and back, but is there anything else (that could particularly help, say a set of workouts? or stretches?) that I could/should be doing? I'm 29 and this started last year in my first year of nursing school. 🙁
Assuming you mean Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and assuming you want to establish habits now that last throughout your body-using career as a nurse I would suggest adding these exercises to your daily unwinding (https://www.alignedandwell.com/shop/my-hands-hurt-from-elbows-to-fingers/) as well as paying attention stress and shoulder tension habits and how you are using your body at work/school throughout the day.
Help is on its way: http://nutritiousmovement.com/neutral-pelvis/
Author's note: This isn't a question. And one day, I swear, I will ignore all "questions" not in the form of of a question. I'm getting all Alex Trebek on you guys. Except I don't want your question in the form of an answer, I JUST WANT YOUR QUESTION.
If you have the habit of head thrust forward and you begin to re-align...do your eye muscles have to adjust to the "new" looking straight ahead since you've been sort of looking down to see ahead?
Your eyeball-moving muscles absolutely adapt to chronic head positions, so as you reorganize your ribcage, spine and head habits, you will se using your eyes at a new angle -- which means fresh muscles will be used to position the eye on the horizon! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1310377/
Sometimes physicians will suggest leaning forward while urinating during pregnancy to help completely relieve the bladder of urine. Does this help, hurt, or is it neutral (i.e. does it do nothing good or bad)?
At 38 weeks pregnant, I can tell you that 1) nothing feels as good as an empty bladder (save an empty womb, I’d imagine) and 2) that this doctor’s suggestion sounds a lot like the torso-hip-leg position one would find in squatting as opposed to perching on only slightly-flexed hips and a royal throne. http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowAbstract&ProduktNr=224282&Ausgabe=234188&ArtikelNr=111727&ContentOnly=false
So I've been entertaining myself in lines at the grocery by working on my alignment from the bottom up- adjust the feet, adjust the knees, untuck the pelvis and I notice that if I stand very long in what is my best guess of alignment that the small of my back tends to feel stressed, stress relieved if I slightly tuck. Is that a common complaint from people who are doing something particular wrong? If so, what? Or (and I know this is tough to guess without seeing anything) would you guess it would be an indication of need to build strength somewhere? Note- I stopped my description at the pelvis but I do go on to check for rib shear and do my best to avoid it.
After suggesting that you keep in mind that static positions aren’t what this “natural movement” thing is all about (and standing for a long time in alignment sounds like a whole lot of not moving, which isn’t ever good for the body) I would suggest that your ribs need to drop a lot further down and back than you realize and that when you do get them down enough to restore your normal lumbar curve (low-back pain free!), you’ll realize that the problem is excessive thoracic curve (hyperkyphosis) and start working on getting your strength-to-weight ratio in your shoulder girdle. http://nutritiousmovement.com/year-of-the-upper-body/
Katy, is there any evidence to show that proper alignment improves reading comprehension? 😉
Try reading this sitting and slumping in your chair: Hoksd asdf aweh dfhjl lknoian wuebkaf.
Now sit up straight: If you can comprehend this you must have perfect alignment.
Just kidding. I've done some work with the founders of this group: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_Gym which has a lot of information on learning and body-awareness you might find interesting.
What does a Kegel do after delivery? How about conventional "exercises" for getting core strength back in those early days?
If there’s a best time to practice your Kegel, it’s right after a vaginal delivery as the sarcomeres that make up the PF muscles will never be at a longer position and need a little concentric contraction to aid them in "coming home" -- although I’d toss out the crunches and other internal-abdominal pressure-increasers (read: pelvic organ pusher-outers) and focus on restoring whole-body strength (appropriate strength-to-weight ratios of the arms, core, and legs) FIRST before moving on to one specific body part. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/2/161/
Heel lifts. Can I fix my legs, supposedly of different lengths after a fall on my hip a few years ago?
Dear Heel Lifts, if that’s really your name,
I would say, whole-heartedly YES, you can restore the “leg-length discrepancy” in your legs back to what is was before your accident unless 1) you are aware of an inch or two of bone being surgically removed from your thigh or 2) you are under the age of 14 and your hip accident was a direct trauma applied to your epiphyseal (growth) plate.
Thanks for writing,
What causes chronic butt squeezing, is it related to lateral hip weakness (thinking glute medius weakness) or just general whole body alignment being off? If only all the butt squeezing at the kitchen sink actually helped to get the dishes clean faster...sigh.
Chronic butt squeezing is caused by engaging the buttocks, every time, but(t) to determine if this habit was formed in response to lateral hip weakness or the cause of it is impossible to tell.
A lot of literature says to contract the PF simultaneously with the TVA & multifidus. Is this something to focus on, or will it happen naturally as I work on adjusting my alignment, strengthening the glutes, etc. and as the PF lengthens and strengthens?
I don’t think there is literature (if you mean peer-reviewed articles) that say that you should contract these muscles, only stuff that some of the EMG results of these muscles appears to be synergistic, so *trying* to establish or enhance this pattern may, in fact, be unhelpful in the same way that trying to hold your bladder when you really have to go has been shown to interfere with the natural neurological mechanisms of bladder control.
Does the pelvic floor get a neurological switch on only through the somatic pathway when the bladder is full?
Not sure what you mean here exactly (are you wanting to know about the urethra striated wall?) as the pelvic floor muscle group has various tasks beyond sphincter maintenance and can be self-innervated with respect to continuously changing loads (i.e. in response to intra-abdominal pressure changes, mass accelerations due to movement, coughing) as well as all volumes of bladder-fill -- although the mechanism of Pelvic Floor Disorders seems to be the owner of said Pelvic Floor doesn’t realize they are somatically tensing, which, as you can imagine, becomes an issue when tensing is chronic.
And, FYI, just for fun, I just emptied my bladder and tensed my PF the entire time I typed this sentence as an experiment. (She releases. Ahhhhhh.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11409618
Is it normal to experience muscle spasms after stretching a super-tight muscles (eg. my mid-back spasms throughout the day after finishing a spinal twist).
In my experience of working with thousands I can comfortably say that anything and everything to do with physical sensation has been experienced by someone before you and to use that feedback thoughtfully, i.e. adjusting the intensity (depth) of the position, the duration of the hold, the order you perform your movements, so that you can proceed without some sort of negative feedback loop (really? was that spinal twist even good for me because now my back hurts throughout the day and that can’t be right, is it? I better email Katy to see if that’s right because that can’t be right? why am I doing this if I still hurt, hurt differently or hurt more or...) that keeps you from noticing that you’ve began taking steps in a new direction and that continuing to Choose Well is really the habit to cultivate. Oh, and probably more helpful: Make sure you're not rib-thrusting while twisting. You might have to bolster your head and shoulders to get a true rotation and not a shear-twist combo. More on internal thoughts: http://www.livealigned.ca/2012/07/23/internal-dialogue-or-dont-cultivate-boring-assholery/