Over the weekend, 6400 readers forwarded my post on breastfeeding mechanics. Which is awesome, only, now 72,000 people are sending me emails like,
“Hey, I just found your blog and I’m overwhelmed, and I’m trying to read it all while squatting and holding my baby in my arms, and wiggling my toes, and keeping my ribs down! But I’ve always heard that I’m supposed to keep my stomach in and my feet supported with good shoes, and I have scoliosis and I don’t have regular pelvic floor disorder, I have a rectocele and I’m searching keywords and I don’t find a blog post written about me, exactly so now I am paralyzed to move because it might cause my organs to fall out or my bunion to worsen or knees to grind or my baby to contract some weird alignment-induced ailment and by the way, is my belly really supposed to be hanging out like this and why didn’t anyone tell me this a long time ago? I’m just going to sit here until you answer my email, ‘kay?
So I decided to create you a little road map.
1. CALM DOWN!
2. There is no wrong way to move, it is just that you’ve only moved one way for a very long time -- it is time to both move differently as well as bring some of your movement habits more inline with the loads you would have incurred had you moved in a time without modern convenience.
3. Read this blog post, so you know what you’re getting in to: About This Blog.
4. Do not freak that you are messing up your kid. It’s practically a fact that it can take decades to botch up your kids. And you can certainly learn about alignment as it relates to biological function in less than a year.
I’m kidding of course.
It takes much longer than a year to learn about alignment.
5. Do not be so paralyzed to move incorrectly, that you don’t move at all. The information written here it to help you, not hinder you. Your plan, should you choose to accept, is to transition gradually from one paradigm to another. Or, maybe you never transition, but just like a couple of the exercises or concepts I’ve posted. It’s good all around.
6. If you’re truly interested in how alignment works with biology, start with the feet. I’ve written what is, essentially, the primer for alignment, starting with the feet, in this book.
Yes, this book about feet, but it's not only with feet. Nor is it only for Women. Marketing science kind of blows. Yes, it is entirely OK to start with another body part, like the butt or the pelvis, and focus on the squat -- but then, you’re only getting better in the moment you do the exercise. Which is like 5 times a day. If you learn about how footwear chronically affects the position of your ankles, knees, hips, pelvis and ribs, then by simply changing your footwear in conjunction with the exercises in the book, just walking around while you’re not exercise makes you better. Dig?
7. There are hundreds of articles to be read here here. And, guess, what: They are ALL about you. I don’t write, that often, about a specific set of ailments because my advice for all ailments would be the same: whole-body alignment. The points and correctives we use will be the same no matter your starting point. Read EVERYTHING. Watch all the videos on Youtube.com and listen to all the interviews and audio courses on the “radio” page. I'd start by listening to the Liz Koch-Psoas interview and then move on to the one on Interneurons and Inertia. All of this information is free, although you’ll have to put up with the fact that it’s not organized well. <------ Did I mention that it’s free?
8. Did I mention that you should really start with the book? It will set you back about $11.50 right now on Amazon. Consider investing $11.50 into the future health outcomes of your entire family. You will not be disappointed and you will find it interesting too. Can I get an Amen?
9. If you’re on Facebook, friend our page. This is where I spend any free education time I have and I answer about 20 questions there daily. I can’t, realistically, respond to your email. I can help you help yourself, by writing information free for everyone. Writing to you, personally, isn’t an option. Unless you live in the mouth of one of my 2 kids and the question is Boob? and breast milk is the answer. In all other cases, my answer would essentially contain all the info here. So, consider yourself answered.
10. If you discover, shortly, that you are what we like to call an alignment nerd, figure out how you can make taking the Whole Body Alignment course happen. No, you do not need any background. Nor, if you have a background, will this course be redundant. Watch the first two hours (also free) on our site. Then, if the information resonates with you, write an email to your friends, family and clients, asking them to donate to your new path of education. Or, instead of donating, how about selling them a one-hour session with you, where you can do some hands-on sharing of this info? Here, I’ll write your letter:
Dear Friends, Family, and Clients:
I have recently discovered a health-through-movement program that teaches me some of the basics of optimal human movement. In this program, I will learn to quantify my (or your) current ranges of motion, how to modify behaviors to incorporate better body-loading throughout the day, and a bunch of exercises to help awaken areas in the body that have atrophied from decades of misuse.
I am volunteering my time to take the course and share this information with you one-on-one. I am trying to offset the cost of the course by taking $50 donations, in exchange for an hour with me when I’m done with my training. I am hoping that there are twenty of you out there looking for information like this too!
A potential whole-body student.
11. I have GOT to get back to writing my book. It’s a book on the body you should have -- would have had, if you had grown up in a time and location where being a hunter-gatherer was still necessary. As a thank you for reading this, and many other posts, I give you these paragraphs from the newbie to mull over:
Viewing ancestral-health data through modern eyes can skew our conclusions with what to do with this information. Because we come from a movement-free culture, our relationship to moving tends to boil down to exercise. Only, exercise science, like nutritive science, has attempted to isolate the variables it perceives as most beneficial to the human. Despite the fact that we now know the quality of food varies with its freshness, the way it was fed and or grown, and even the way it was treated (or not), food is still most often evaluated by caloric quantity and percentage of fat, sugar and protein. This, despite the fact that these are not the most important variables when it comes to eating for health, they are still our culturally-selected variables.
In this same way, human movement has been reduced to variables that those evaluating science-data have determined to be most influential in health. Things like heart rate, or intensity of exercise and for how many minutes. The amount of pounds or kilograms to be lifted and the number of times before resting. The length of resting before repeating the loads again. Like nutritive science, exercise science has come a long way in the last 30 years, but also like nutrition, our relationship with exercise is deeply-tinged, culturally speaking with variables that have little to do with actual, sustainable health. <--- From Katy Bowman's Kick Ass New Book.
Yes, feel free to share those paragraphs with your friends.