Description: In this episode: walking with neuropathy pain, breathing while hanging, and tricky technical advice.
DANI: Hey, there, this is Dani Hemmat, and it’s time for the Katy Says Movement Mailbag, where we answer your questions. Join me and Katy Bowman as we talk while you walk – this is nice and short so you can grab your headphones and head out the door while Katy answers some unknown questions.
KATY: It’s like uh, like, trying to trip me up! I want to be on a walk. I think we should record this while we’re walking. That would be really awesome.
DANI: Oh, that would be good.
KATY: Let’s see what technology – I actually did a podcast on foot, so – that would be fun.
DANI: I’ve got it all figured out, so we should try that. Okay. But not today.
KATY: Not today!
DANI: All right. Our first question today is from Jayne, and Jayne writes: “I am hanging and swinging and on the road to pull-ups. I can’t even hang for more than a few seconds. Why can I not breathe while I hang? What can I do about it?”
KATY: Ooh, well, one likely place would be to check out your rib thrust. So rib thrust is – if everyone is standing and lifts their chest up really high like you’re going for, you know, that uber-super good posture and your ribs go way up and out, a lot of times when you have tight shoulders, that’s what’s happening. You’re reaching up to the bar but your arms only go so far so you have to go the rest of the way with your ribs. But if you imagine your rib cage – where your lungs are located – they should call it a lung cage.
KATY: That would be maybe more helpful. When your ribs are going way forward like that, they’re tipping backwards. They’re rotating forward on the bottom and backward on the top, kind of like spinning a basketball backwards if you’re holding it in your hand. You’re changing the loads – or the pressures – that are in the lung cavity. Lung cavity is not the right word there, but in the thoracic area of the body. As you change geometries and you’re pulling on your diaphragm via different connections going – you are probably not used to the mobilities required for breathing that way. There’s lots of different ways to expand the size of your container to get breath, and there – the reason you have many different ones is so that as you’re moving in different ways, different parts of you can open and close. But we don’t move that much, so we kind of depend on one repetitive way of getting oxygen. But when you have your arms over your head and you’re hanging, now all of a sudden, that way that you breathe most of the time with your arms down and your hands on the computer doesn’t work. So you’re experiencing – you know, likely experiencing – a rib cage that’s not able to expand. So that’s why. So you can practice doing similar motions, you know, like extending your arms way overhead. Everything in the diastasis recti book would be excellent – which she might already have, right? And if she’s doing some of the hanging stuff.
KATY: But that explains more what I’m talking about, and how to transition: 1) get more shoulder mobility so you don’t have to take your rib cage as far with you, and 2)
DANI: Like you say: if the ribs move, the shoulders didn’t.
KATY: Yes. Not always. Like, I can move my ribs without moving my shoulders, but if you are moving your ribs in lieu of shoulders, then yes, you have done some of the shoulder’s work with the rib cage. That’s what I would look at – and I would actually address that specifically, like, why is it so hard to breathe right now? Because you’ve got – you just put immobile parts back and now you’re feeling the limitation so the tendency is to go back to how you were breathing before. And do whatever it takes to get oxygen, people. Do not not breathe to do an exercise.
DANI: Thank you.
KATY: You’re welcome.
DANI: Sound advice!
KATY: A little clarification.
DANI: A breath of fresh air. Okay. This next one is from Martha, and Martha writes, “Hello. I finished chemotherapy a year ago and I still have a lot of pain in my feet. I’m taking a neuropathy medication that’s prescription in addition to lots of vitamins, and I also have acupuncture treatments twice a month, and see the chiropractor twice a month. I was an avid walker prior to getting cancer, and I used to walk 3-9 miles a day –
KATY: Woo hoo!
DANI: depending on the day. I know, gee whiz, that’s great. Now, I still walk, but even walking one mile is hard without stopping because of the pain in my feet. What else do you suggest? I’m trying all kinds of things, and trying to follow up on any suggestions. Oh dear, Martha.
KATY: Well, what I would say is –
DANI: You’re wonderful.
KATY: You can – right. You are 1) congratulations.
KATY: And also, well done, for all this self-care that you’re doing. That’s amazing. What I would probably suggest right now is to – I imagine there’s a hunk of time she didn’t walk to tend to other needs, and what happens is you just atrophy. You get weak and things get sore, and then you try to jump back into what you were doing all of the time. So instead, I would recommend just foot exercises. There’s so many of them out there. You could just go to the foot section on the blog – foot and shoes and try the toe lifts and the toe spreading and the calf stretch. Or anything from Whole Body Barefoot, you know? Create a little texture path that’s gentle. Maybe put a towel over it, which is, again, one of the transitions in Whole Body Barefoot, and –
DANI: That’s a good idea.
KATY: Lightly stimulate. A mile doesn’t seem that far to someone who used to walk, you know, 7-10, but for someone who hasn’t walked in a long time, a mile is huge. And so she might need to give a little TLC to her feet – do some restoration and strength, and then she’ll find that mile walk becomes easier because she’s kind of trained for it a little bit more.
DANI: Okay. That’s good. Well, that’s amazing that you’re still walking, Martha. That’s awesome.
KATY: That’s fantastic. Okay – I would like to turn the tables around on you, because this came up in our discussion earlier, and it affects people listening to this podcast – and also me.
DANI: I get to answer a question?
KATY: And you! It is for you. The question is, “How do I subscribe to a podcast?” I download podcasts all the time –
DANI: For reals, you don’t know?
KATY: For reals, I don’t know. I download them all the time, and I do it on my phone, right? I don’t do it on my computer, so maybe that’s the difference. But I just go – it seems like I go to the podcast that I want, and I click on “feed,” and then it gives me all of the past issues and I’m scrolling through just looking for a key word, and then I touch that one and I download that one. But I don’t actually know how to subscribe.
DANI: I think if you’re on your desktop, you would go – and I’m just telling you from iTunes.
KATY: I’m going to go to my desktop, yeah.
DANI: And I think Stitcher, which is a great way to listen to podcasts, is the same way. So you just go to Katy Says with Katy Bowman.
KATY: But that’s at the store. I’ve never even – I’ve never even gone to podcasts on my computer.
DANI: Into the search bar, one can type Katy Says with Katy Bowman, because if you just do “Katy” or “Katy Says” you get a lot of Katy Perry, and some sort of Vacation Bible School recordings. So go to Katy Says with Katy Bowman, and you get our podcast specifically.
KATY: I see it. Okay. Oh, there’s a huge subscribe button!
DANI: Yeah. Well, that’s on the desktop, so that’s pretty easy. There’s just a big subscribe button, and that way if you guys subscribe to the podcast, we usually release it at around midnight on the days that we release it, which is like every other Tuesday, I think. You’re going to have that in your inbox in the morning. You don’t have to go and look for the podcast – boom – we’ve served it up for you. It’s kind of like breakfast in bed.
KATY: It’s huge! I’m just looking at this list. We have 51 episodes. That’s insane!
DANI: I know! I know.
KATY: Have we been doing this for two – almost two years!
DANI: Almost two years. I know, it’s crazy.
KATY: Wow, congratulations.
DANI: You, too. That’s pretty easy. And Stitcher is the same way to subscribe to – it’s a pretty big button. If you’re going to look on your phones, that’s usually a different setup, and I believe in iTunes you go look up Katy Says with Katy Bowman in your phone, and then I think you scroll down to the bottom and it should have a Subscribe. It’s a lot more challenging on a phone, so if you do have time to get to your desktop to set yourself up.
KATY: It’s a lot more challenging relatively speaking. It’s like, finding that – moving your finger up and down the screen to find the button. It’s more challenging!
DANI: #thestruggleisreal – but here’s the cool thing: aside from you getting breakfast in bed from us every other Tuesday, it helps us, and I bet a lot of people didn’t know that. But when you subscribe and it automatically downloads, we get ranked on downloads. No matter how awesome you think the podcast is, we get ranked by how many downloads – and good reviews, which you guys have been fantastic about.
KATY: Thank you!
DANI: Thank you so much. We do – we have such good people. And they really are helpful. You’ve given us lots of helpful advice that’s helped shape the show, and we really appreciate it, because neither one of us knew anything -
DANI: when we started.
KATY: We still don’t. We still know almost nothing.
DANI: Pretty much not, but we have people that help us.
KATY: Thanks, everyone!
DANI: Anyway, there you go. A little thing, and if anybody has any issues, you can write me directly, and I’ll walk you through it.
KATY: Do not even put that out there!
DANI: So, Katy, you can write me directly and I’ll walk you through it.
KATY: Exactly. I’ll be calling you later. But actually, you can come see us live and ask Dani live how to subscribe.
DANI: Right? I’ll give a little tutorial.
KATY: Boulder, Colorado, May 21st. Boulder Bookstore.
DANI: The historic Boulder Bookstore on Pearl Street Mall. 5:00, May 21st. It’s a Saturday.
DANI: Yay! And come to our Q&A and meet Katy and meet me and ask us anything.
KATY: Take pictures.
DANI: It doesn’t even have to be like, you know, Move Your DNA related.
KATY: No, it could be, “How do I subscribe to a podcast?”
DANI: Right, right.
KATY: All right.
DANI: What’s that scent you’re wearing? It’s lovely.
KATY: Heh. It’s called, “Unshowered.”
DANI: Thank you.
DANI: Katy’s going to shower before she comes. All right, thanks for listening!
KATY: I will. All right, bye!
We hope you find the general information on biomechanics, movement, and alignment informative and helpful, but it is not intended to replace medical advice and shouldn’t be used as such.