Housecleaning time, so Katy answers your letters in an extra long, MEGA Movement Mailbag.
DANI: It’s the Katy Says podcast, where movement geek, Dani Hemmat – that’s me – joins biomechanist, Katy Bowman, author of Move Your DNA for discussions on body mechanics, movement nutrition, natural movement, and how movement can be the solution to modern ailments we all experience. What’s up today?
KATY: It’s liked a super mailbag, day, right? We’re cleaning out the mailbag, so to speak?
DANI: It’s a mega- mega-mail bag.
KATY: It’s mega mail.
DANI: It’s m-m-m-mega! It’s the mega mailbag! We’re going to clean out the mailbag. Why?
KATY: Are you in cleaning mode? Like, I always clean at the end of a season, and I always seem to live my life 6 weeks ahead of a regular season, so as far as I’m concerned, fall is here, you know, so I’m doing my fall purge, if you will. I feel like this is right on – like, we’re right on par with everything else that I’m doing, so that feels good.
DANI: I think that it’s timely. Every year before school started, I would just go into my room with a giant garbage bag and clear everything out with no prompting from the parental units, they just kind of stand there and shake their head like, why is she doing that? But I just felt like – like, fall was the time for cleaning. I don’t know why, it just – well, because, don’t critters do that too, you know? They kick the poop and feathers out of their nest so they can hunker down in their dens or whatever? I don’t know.
KATY: Yeah, maybe the prepping of a den. There’s so much that we don’t even know about human and animal behavior, so it’s kind of cool to think – it definitely has to do with making my space cozier, and also less aggravating.
DANI: I think functional, yeah. Definitely.
KATY: It’s calming. I feel it to be calming. So get rid of all the fluff that’s been dragged in through the summer.
DANI: Right, well, that’s kind of what we’re doing today. It’s not really fluff, but we have to kind of streamline. So Katy and I have been talking –
KATY: No, we haven’t. I’m just kidding. Yes, we have.
DANI: Because we had a little break this summer, and it was lovely. We were getting all sorts of other stuff done. But we get a lot of mailbag questions. Like, a lot a lot.
KATY: How many come in on the website, would you say, per month?
DANI: It averages about 30 a month. Sometimes it’s much more than that and sometimes less. I’d say about – just put in one a day, and we had planned – we were starting to do those little movement mailbag shows to cover that, but we just could not keep up.
KATY: Well, it’s another way of cleaning it out, right? We tried something and were like, well, that doesn’t actually – it turns out we like, we have time to fit two a month in, and one of the things – I don’t actually see all of the questions; Dani is either responding online and directing people to resources they don’t know exist. Some people only listen to the podcast. They don’t even know that there’s other stuff, maybe, right? Because I listen to podcasts.
DANI: [singing] A whole new world…
KATY: So I would say that of the ones that I have seen, a lot of the questions tend to be about one person’s individual journey, right? Like if they’re – if they’re just like, this part here hurts, what do I do? So we’ll talk about what to do if that’s your question. This is just like a Romper Room. Just because you don’t hear your question doesn’t mean you don’t exist. We see you. We see all of you.
DANI: We’re thinking about you. We see you, and this – this podcast is designed to kind of help steer you. This may not be your question we read, but we understand where or how to find the answers, hopefully, once we’re done. So I’d sent you pages and pages and pages of questions.
KATY: So many.
DANI: I was overwhelmed and I just dumped them in her lap and said, “ah! You decide!” and so she sent me back pages and pages and pages, but we’re not going to be able to do them all. But I have to know: how did you choose?
KATY: How to whittle?
DANI: How did you cull these questions?
KATY: Well, so anything that was related – anything that was really just one person’s long, particular journey that the answer was really like, well there’s a whole book on that, go get that book type thing – I cut those out. Because we’re going to direct you – if those are your types of questions, I would say right now – if you’re wondering what to do about your shoulder or your elbow or your hip or your knee or your kids’ knee or hip or whatever, that the best thing that you can do is go to the blog that has been a Q&A for 10 years, and get familiar with the topics on those particular areas, and then there’s one particular page that you can find on the Store page the Shop page so it’s Nutritious Movement/shop and go to the bottom left and there’s like a square that says, “search by body part.” And that – it’s actually, “Do you want to search by body part,” and there’s a little write-up and you can link to it in the show notes –
DANI: I will do that.
KATY: And it just explains, again, how every part issue could really be thought of as a whole body issue, and that I don’t have a lot of part-by-part products because I don’t really – I don’t think a part by part approach is the ultimate, like, most efficient use of your time. So anyway, you can read that or you can go to the blog, put in your issue, try a couple different – try 7 to 8 different word combinations, single words, and then read the posts that come up and go from there.
DANI: And have fun down the rabbit hole.
KATY: Yeah. And then for all the other questions – I picked the questions that I thought were interesting or maybe I’ve gotten so many times, that I thought, this would be a nice place to answer that. Or I felt like they were questions that even if they were the question, for those people who don’t really have questions so much as they’re looking for understanding, could see how maybe something clarified in a different podcast or in a book can be applied to these different situations. Like, even if you don’t outline one particular problem explicitly, that you have enough information if you’re well-versed in the material to – like, that the material is implicit in the answer but you’re going to have to work for it a little bit. So it’s a bit of an infiltrating session as well. So that’s how I picked.
DANI: Okay. That’s helpful. And I’m just going to – we’ll do as many as we can before our time runs out and we have to go do other stuff.
KATY: And I’ll try to be concise. I’ll try to be concise, you know what I mean? I’ll try.
DANI: I’ll try. I’m going to hold you to it. Is that going to be like the whole book thing? Okay. Here’s the first one – ready, Freddy?
DANI: Is engaging one’s abdominals the same thing as sucking it in? If not –
KATY: If there’s a multiple part, maybe just throw them out and I can answer.
DANI: Okay. Could you explain the difference, and maybe give us a movement example that would illustrate of embody that difference? Thank you, Rebeca.
KATY: Well, suck your stomach in.
KATY: You can do it yourself, you know it’s sucking your stomach in – but the sucking of your stomach is not – it doesn’t initiate with the abdomen as much as it initiates with the diaphragm. Right? You’re creating a vacuum. So if you’re – 1) if you would like to understand this in more detail, you could find all this information in Diastasis Recti, where it explains the difference between the two. Anything related to the core, right? So you are creating a vacuum by lifting the diaphragm up, so it’s like a plunger almost, think of a toilet plunger. After you plunge the toilet down, when you pull it back up it just sucks everything up. So the diaphragm is the upward motion of a plunger, and then it pulls the organs up – and then the organs are going to move the abdominal wall and then anything that is on the front of the abdominal wall will go in towards the spine. You’re making an inward motion but what you don’t see is the upward motion. And what was the first one she asked?
DANI: Oh, was it engaging your abs the same thing as sucking it in?
KATY: Ok, so engaging your abs is, again, a huge category. There are many different things that would qualify as engaging your abdomen, but most basically, you wouldn’t necessarily see an EMG increase from sucking in your abdominals compared to them enervating based on the mechanical load that you’re responding to. So any other type of exercise or movement where you were using your core for strength, that would be different than what is happening when you’re sucking your stomach in.
DANI: Thank you.
KATY: You’re welcome.
DANI: Next question, from Marc. “I practice the pelvic list, and I practice going up stairs and it’s going well. Now, how do I go down stairs? Please help.” This poor guy’s been upstairs since he wrote this question, so please answer it so that he can get down!
KATY: I can’t come down! Well, Marc, I hope your computers upstairs, because I have done a video of this on my YouTube channel, and we can link to it in the show notes because it’s “downhill gait.” So I’m just going to take my words there to refer you to that, because I think a technical breakdown would make less sense – it’s essentially that you’ve got the downward part of the pelvic list as well as also shifting your hips laterally. You’re basically emulating a horse going downhill where the pelvis is swinging side to side as you go down to basically slalom. Going down is essentially you’re falling down. You’re keeping yourself from falling when you go down, which is different than going up, when you’re lifting your mass up hill. As you go down, you’re just preventing it from going faster and faster, so it’s more like brakes. You’re putting on the brakes. But if anyone’s ever skied before, bombing the hill straight down you’re going to get a lot more speed and therefore require a lot more braking, and keep in mind that the braking that’s happening is going to be in your quads, which is why your knees kill you when you go down. You’re just gripping with the quads the whole entire time. So one way to dissipate that work is to share it over more body parts and instead of bombing straight you slalom. Right? Is that the right word? You kind of go to the right, and you go to the left, and you go to the right?
DANI: Yeah, yeah.
KATY: But I don’t want you to take your whole body and step to the right and step to the left, because in that case you’re still heading straight down. Your center of mass is in your pelvis, so you’re penduluming – penduluming – your pelvis to the right and left, which again, is going to be a pelvic list action, meaning the more mobile you are to the hips, the more you’re able to slalom on the way down. And then go check out the video.
DANI: That’s a good video, too.
KATY: If you don’t have your computer upstairs, call a friend.
DANI: Because we need to get you downstairs, man. We need to get you downstairs.
KATY: Maybe. Go out the window. Climb down until you can figure out how to get down.
DANI: You’ve probably exhausted that mini bar a long time ago. I don’t know when that question was from.
KATY: Because everyone has a mini bar in their upstairs.
DANI: They don’t?
KATY: You’re so bourgeoisie.
DANI: That’s me, all over. All right – this one is from – ooh, this is a good one. This is from Rachel. This is about breast implants. “I have noticed quite a few women with breast implants placed under the muscle complaining of upper back problems and postural issues. What impact does shoving an implant under the pectoralis muscle have on the rest of the body?” Wow. I think that’s the first one of those we got.
KATY: Well, I mean – it obviously impacts it. I mean, because you’re moving tissues around. How does it impact it? I don’t know, and no one has really investigated that, especially because there’s a greater incidence of things like frozen shoulder with breast surgery. The reason I chose this question was – isn’t it interesting that there is no research on that?
KATY: Meaning that – or when you’re – or when we’re trying to weigh the cost/benefit of things, that there’s not very much research on cost. So you’re – the ease, you know, if you make a decision with all available data, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re making a balanced decision when there hasn’t been hardly any investigation into the cost. The whole body cost, long term cost. I think you can apply that to many different choices.
DANI: That was a thoughtful answer. Thank you. Okay, next question. This is from Lindsay. There’s a little bit of a preamble here. “Katy, I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on high impact exercise.” Don’t go yet. “I’ve incorporated many elements from all your books into my lifestyle, and movement is incorporated throughout my day as best I can. However, in this modern world, I simply can’t achieve what our ancestors did, movement-wise, in the course of my day, and I think my body needs more. I don’t always have a large enough chunk of time for a 5 mile walk, but I might be able to squeeze in a 3 mile run. So what’s worse: always falling short of what I consider required movement nutrition? Or what I’ve come to perceive as the evils of high-impact exercise?” And there were air quotes around evils.
KATY: Well, and high impact might not be the best word there. I think intensity might be what she was –
DANI: Wanting to say?
KATY: Wanting to say, because I don’t think, necessarily, pounding your body harder is of benefit, where intensity you could surely make an argument for intensity.
KATY: Intensity is the piece. Again, I would probably need to have that in front of me to see all the pieces of it. I definitely think that not only are we not getting enough total movement, but we’re also not getting enough intensity. I just don’t – the way that we get intensity is always through a sole method, right? So if you think – how can I get more intensity? Chances are you’re going to go for the same thing over and over and over again because it’s familiar to you. Where if you had a rope in your back yard, you know, hanging from a tree – and I’m just looking in my own back yard – it could be many, different other things – if you took those 20 minutes that it would take you to run 3 miles, you probably bust out, I used to be able to run a 5K in 20 minutes.
DANI: Okay, which is a little over 3 miles.
KATY: 21 minutes, actually, it was like 21 minutes. So that’s if you’re a fast runner, but say you’ve got 24 minutes, do you invest it in a run, or do you invest it in a walk? And I think that the easiest answer for a lifestyle that is unable to change is you just take turns. You just don’t always do the same thing. And then that way, you know, you’re meeting your vitamin intensity, and your macronutrients of walking and different things.
DANI: Mix it up!
KATY: Just play around with it, a little bit, yeah. Or take your walk and push it up some serious hills, you know what I mean? In which case you’d get both – you’re getting slower extensions, you’re not using so much explosion where the actual force production is less, but you are getting your intensity at the same time, so maybe there’s a third option. You can walk some, run some, and then walk up some hills or down some hills, so that. That would be my answer.
DANI: Okee-dokee. That’s a good one. All right – this is from Deb. And Deb says, “I’ve been transitioning to minimal footwear and working with the exercises for feet and legs.” Must be from the book. “I’m watching my curled up toes uncurl and gain movement, and it’s so cool – but my issue is: when I do the external rotation of the femur, I get a pain behind my knee. It doesn’t hurt when I walk, but it makes bending and getting up and down off the ground painful. I can even see that I have a slight external rotation of my tibia that I never noticed before. What’s the remedy? Am I just not ready for external rotation yet? Thank you.”
KATY: You could not be ready for external rotation, or external rotation to the degree that you’re doing it, or the way that you’re doing it is straining your knees. So when people talk about – and I don’t know, see, and I don’t know if people are doing a few exercises from the blog, or if they’re working from any one particular book, so I would say that the issue that she’s talking about is probably most explained or explained most deeply in Whole Body Barefoot, where you’ve got neutral knee pits and also the difference between lower leg rotation, so she’s saying she’s noticing she has external rotation, and that would be really hard to separate from tibial torsion, which is a turnout in the lower leg bone itself, which is different than just external rotation of the lower leg. So she doesn’t know the difference between those things – in Whole Body Barefoot, there’s a whole section on it. You could just externally rotate less; I guess I’m just more confused where the external rotation – is it hurting when you’re doing it? In which case, just, do it differently, do it less. But she’s also saying that she’s feeling the pain from external rotation when she’s getting up and getting down. So I don’t know – are you trying to externally rotate when you’re getting up and getting down? Because I wouldn’t recommend that; it’s more like a static practice exercise where you’re just putting yourself in traction. It’s a period of being in traction, in which case, don’t worry about it as you get up and get down. Or are you turning your thigh to change your foot or knee position – in which case, just do it to a less extreme. So I would need a little bit more information, but hopefully you can go find out some more details if you haven’t already checked out that resource.
DANI: Okay. Whole Body Barefoot. Okay. Oh, this is really – I love this one, because you know, I think I know the answer, but I love that she asked this. This is from Sabrina. She writes: “Until I started listening to your podcasts and reading Move Your DNA, I never realized I was a rib thruster, or that I stand with my toes pointed out so frequently. I am working on correcting myself throughout the day, but I’ve been curious where these behaviors come from. Why do you think so many of us stand like that now?”
KATY: Oh, I think it’s just a compound issue of a portion of it is observation, right? You pick up your postural gait patterns mimicking those who are around you, right, so that can be transferred that way. Then you also are picking up movement patterns from the previous generations, which are very low, right? So they’re kind of the passive, natural organization of the body when it has adapted to the way we execute sedentary living. So it is the – it’s really the most efficient position of your body, given your habits, which is usually positive heels, lots of sitting, infrequent walking, and a lot of flexion. A lot of bucket-style type seats. So it’s just that. Which, I mean, is everything. It’s just the sum total of many different things, and we want to parse them and I would say in research you’re trying to find out which one is it, exactly? But the fact of the matter is that everything is the result of everything, so how much of it is in your brain, like, oh, I’m supposed to stand like that. And people will say, oh, gosh, I’m trying to put my ribs down but I hear my parents’ voice. Well, maybe now you have a little bit of insight where you heart that correction all of the time and you’re lifting not because of an adaptation to your chair so much as you were told to so many times and it’s kind of in your most deep recesses of things you know to be true. That you’re constantly referring back to.
DANI: Right, and when she asks why so many of us do that, I think in the first foot book and now it’s Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief, you do refer to ballet – you know, that western European influence of ballet and the military stance as well.
KATY: Well, everyone – I mean, cultures definitely have a unique postures. They’ve done different data collection on it. There are proud – you know, there’s pride and there’s humble and there’s all these different ways we communicate with our body, and it would be a much deeper perception – like all animals, right, communicate with their body. And we’re doing the same thing – we might just not be tuned into that we’re communicating a message that came from a long time ago. Sometimes, turn out – like, she’s noticing turnout. Some people would be like, I never thought of turn out, but then – or my own family that’s from a military background, where these are trained postures, right? Someone actually said, explicitly, turn your feet out and put your heels together. Lift your chest up, tuck your tailbone. So then – everyone’s going to have a different reason that it went through and came out the other side, and then there’s a lot of things, you know, people are talking, you could probably figure out that you are, that you have been given geometrical cues directly, explicitly, and you probably give them to your kids without realizing.
DANI: Oh, yeah. Oh, and how you do the detective thing in the foot books and you look at old pictures?
DANI: I have a relative that adopted a little boy from Russia, and from like, he was maybe 8 months old when they adopted him so he wasn’t walking yet, and my – it’s my brother in law, and he really turns his feet out and swings his arm a certain way. And when the little boy started to walk, he walked exactly the same way. And so it was nothing genetic, right? Because he stopped and it was all mimicry, what he saw and what he was used to. And it’s so funny that that was just passed on by a monkey see, monkey do sort of a thing.
KATY: Well, it’s – that’s how – that is a big transition of information between animals is just through observation. And I have – I have had more than 5 people – I don’t know if that’s enough for two hands. More than a handful of people who have had really strange things, like the one that sticks out in my mind is that my father only has one leg, and created a coping mechanism of moving, right? So it’s not anything that you would spontaneously come to when you had two legs. It was like this anomaly, it was this accident that happened after birth. I mean, as an adult after – you know, so it wasn’t anything that could have been passed on genetically, and she developed his – whatever the movement that he did for coping, was what she did as a small child. She just walked like him, she walked like her dad. And I have another friend here who just got out of a surgery, and had a particular walk, and that child who walked differently before started walking like his dad. After the surgery, you know?
DANI: Well, we do that as adults, too.
KATY: You totally get it – it’s like an accident.
DANI: Because my husband is deaf in his right ear, so I have always walked on his left side so that he can hear me talk, because I think he wants to, and I cannot walk, and I don’t even know if you noticed this when we were together, but I cannot – I keep everybody on my right side because otherwise I feel like they can’t hear me. I’ve just adapted to it.
KATY: So it’s an adaptation like anything else that you probably didn’t think of, but at the same time, you do see it, you do recognize when people walk – I can spot mother/daughter combos or father/son combos, I’m like, even if they don’t look exactly alike, I can from far away, I’m like, that’s a father/son. That’s a mother/daughter. And they’ve got this exact – it’s just an accent, right? You just – you add these little trills – it’s the accent with their gait is just the accent with which you walk, and so much of it is just how you observe.
DANI: Wow. Well, that was a good quote – “your accent is just the gait with which you walk.” I mean, that’s –
KATY: That’s in one of the books.
DANI: Is it?
KATY: I came up with it a long time ago, yeah.
DANI: How can that be? I’ve pored over those bad boys.
KATY: Let’s make a meme for that.
DANI: Okay, I’m on that. Right now. I’ll be right back. Okay, here’s a question from Heidi. I’m so curious to know why you picked this and what your answer is.
KATY: Is this the farmer one?
DANI: That’s in there. Okay, this is: “Katy, what are your thoughts about menstrual cups and how they may influence pelvic floors? I love them for the convenience and environmental factors, but they seem a bit suction-y.”
KATY: Yeah, I did that because I get that question a lot. So not having used one, not being really an internal user of anything, all I can say is – and I’ve asked a few people, like, well, how do you put it in, and they’re like, oh, well, you, you know, you get it up there and – yes, suction is a big thing. So I would say, like, how is it affecting it? I don’t know what the accumulation of effects would be but in the moment you basically have, wherever the ring of it is – so if you imagine a tube and then you have a disc, like a rubber disc, it’s a cup but it essentially creating a circle of pressure after you insert it. So then you’re going to have pressure in that spot on those tissues – I was just trying to think of what are the loads of a cup. You’ve got the ring of pressure, and then you’ve got an element as you’re moving around of like a slight suction, if you will, which would then be displaced from the organ as the organs potentially would be transmitted to the ligaments that are supporting those structures. So that would be what are the mechanical effects, and then what’s the accumulation of those effects? Don’t know yet. They’re new.
DANI: Again, this is something that hasn’t really been looked at. I mean, those have been around for a long time – I remember using one 25 years ago, but like you said, it’s the breast implant thing. There just hasn’t’ really been a lot out there yet on it.
KATY: Yeah, and that’s why I’m not really a user? Like, I don’t really have any strong opinions one way or the other, but in general, I don’t do things that no one has really considered what are the costs – I mean, that’s like, I would always be like, well, what are the costs or benefits, and if no one really knows, then I’m like, well, we’ll find another way or whatever. So, yeah.
DANI: Yes. Where is that farmer one? I thought you picked that out.
KATY: There was a farmer one.
DANI: I Know.
KATY: I liked it, want me to see if I can find it?
KATY: This would be good, we should just let this hang.
[Theme music from Jeopardy plays; Dani sings along.]
DANI: Okay, got it here. “I am a –“ This is from Heather, and Heather says, “I am a farmer and a massage therapist. Now, I’ve always had jobs standing, moving, working physically with my hands and body, and I’ve also trained in capoeira.” Oh, that’s cool. “For 2 and 12 years – that must be 2 ½ years. Until recently, my body – “
KATY: That’s like the old fashioned – four and twenty years ago!
DANI: For a fortnight!
KATY: Two and twelve years ago, I did capoeira.
DANI: Oh, my gosh. Heather. I’m sorry.
KATY: She’s like, this was 100 years ago.
DANI: She says, her body was telling her to stop, and “I’m 40. It wasn’t telling me to stop capoeira, per se, but my shoulders were so tight I was having trouble sleeping. However, I did do yoga every day to stretch. But I think that all the repetitive – “ It’s almost like she’s answering her own question. “I think all the repetitive movement with farming and massage and poor shoe choice while walking all day at the farm did me in. I now have pelvic organ prolapse. I’m quite fit and surprised that I have this. I found you and….” Okay, so she’s got 2 questions out of this. Here’s the first one: “I’m having a lot of pressure in my head now that I am aligning.” Because she’s doing your program. “What could this be?”
KATY: I have no idea. I would need – in order to really answer that question, I would have to see how you looked before and how you look now, really to see you in person to see how you moved then and how you move now. I don’t even know what pressure in your head – like, headaches? Foggy head? So I don’t know. I don’t know on that one – I’m sorry; I wish I could offer more.
DANI: That’s okay, you’re not Jambi.
KATY: What’s Jambi?
DANI: Jambi’s the head in the box that PeeWee Herman used to –
KATY: Oh, Mecca Lecca Hi, Mecca Heiney Ho.
DANI: Kids would send questions in and Jambi just knew automatically what was going on? I was like, wow, Jambi’s really smart. Is that you?
KATY: No. Could someone please turn the phone off over there? Yeah, turn that down over there, thanks. What was that question?
DANI: Second question is: “It is difficult to work on a farm and avoid bending, squatting, leaning over. Is this bad for my healing prolapse?”
KATY: This is why I kept this question in.
DANI: Okay, thank you.
KATY: Because the fact of the matter is, is yes: and this is – in Move Your DNA, this is why I was trying to flesh it out. Really, movement functions in the same way that pharmaceuticals do. There’s a dosage, right, where something becomes too much or too little. So when you take – if you already have a weak body, which is indicated by a prolapsing organ, right? So I know – she’s fit in many other ways, but fit and strength of all of the parts aren’t – like, fitness doesn’t imply that you have necessarily a well-functioning structure, as much as you’d have one that performs fitness tests well. So two separate categories. So you have a body that’s not strong enough to support your organs at this time, or read Diastasis Recti, habits that are driving out your organs. You’re bearing down on your organs more than your pelvic floor can withstand, and you can’t just keep making your pelvic floor stronger and stronger and stronger – it doesn’t work that way. There’s a peak amount of resistance it can offer, and if you overcome that, because maybe your intra-abdominal force which can be translated to a pelvic force gets so high that there’s no natural way to resist it, so you get this downward motion. When you work on a farm, and the reason I picked this, again, was because there was an article that came out a while ago – in many countries that we would perceive, I say, they’re rural, you know, they’re not necessarily urban – there are populations of people where squatting is still in their culture – so they are not chair-dwellers as we are. They get a high volume of squatting, but their total movement is not what I would consider to be “natural.” So high amounts of labor of a repetitive nature, meaning you’re kind of specialized – like, farming is a specialized set of movements. There’s been a lot of farmers for a long time and they’re not as strong, despite their high level of activity. They’re not as strong, their bones were not as dense, their bones weren’t as robust for lots of movement as hunter gatherer populations at that same time – which is why I’m always interested, like, people will say, farming’s a lot of labor – but yeah, it’s a lot of specialized movement. It’s a very narrow range of high-volume, specialized movement. And so that is not a replacement for natural movement, which was much more generalist in nature. You’re doing lots of different things. So when you’re farming, you’re usually working a particular – a particular set of crops, because maybe farming is your business, it’s all in one place, you still don’t have large amounts of movement from place to place. You’re still maybe not walking as much. So, yeah – bending over, squatting, and leaning – if you are bearing down while you do it can be prolapse maker. Or it can offset some of the correctives you’re doing. So I don’t always have a practical solution for this, so if this is your job and it’s the way you need to get food – but I would revisit Diastasis Recti and also Move Your DNA to really practice, to go, okay, what is my range of motion of a squat without bearing down? And so maybe prioritize that, and then maybe try to figure out how to break up some of the repetitions of some of the large volumes of squat over a particular day, like if you’re farming with multiple people – maybe going, and we have friends who are farmers and there’s just a lot of work that needs to be done. Constantly with farming, but maybe you just don’t take on a single task for the entire day. So instead of like, for 6 hours or 4 hours I’m just going to mow, and this person over here is like, for 6 hours I’m just going to weed, then maybe you go, you know what? After every hour, let’s swap. So swap jobs.
DANI: Oh, that’s a good idea.
KATY: You know, if you do have that benefit, you know, or sometimes – I try to think outside of the box sometimes, it’s like, well, maybe there’s a farmer of another crop, or someone who – like me – would like, I would love to get away from doing this other task for an hour and maybe get in some movement and I’d be happy to do some physical labor, so you can swap out, maybe someone else doing your physical labor for something that’s not as intense for your pelvic floor right now. So maybe think outside the farm, think outside the current way you’re executing your life.
DANI: That’s a really good answer.
DANI: You’re welcome.
KATY: Okay, this next one, I am curious why you chose it. I love this subject. This is from Julie. This is kind of long: “I work with kids, and I notice that when kids are playing on the floor, they tend to use a similar base posture of one leg tucked under their butt and the other folded up with the foot on the ground, kind of like a half squat. They can pivot in different directions and reach around with ease. I noticed that it is habitual as an adult to stand while kids play, which keeps me out of the world of their play. So when I mirrored their postures, I was suddenly in the activity without actually doing the activity or telling them what to do. I could hear what the kids were saying about their creations and was able to talk with them. The preschool teacher commented sadly, I can’t do that anymore due to my knees. I guess I always thought that adults stood and talked to each other was that our conversation was more interesting.”
DANI: I know.
KATY: Which I’ve never found once ever. Standing around in a group of adults, ever.
DANI: I know, I’m always like, can I play with you guys?
KATY: Has anyone ever stood around with a group of adults at a party, going, this is an interesting conversation. Let’s stand up and continue to have…
DANI: She says, “Now I see the whole thing so differently. I wonder at what age people are losing the ability to move around on the floor? What are you noticing?” I love this. But why did you pick this?
KATY: Well, I just picked it because it’s such a great illustration. I mean, this is the thing. Right? This is – the squat is not only nourishing for your knees and your hips, but not being able to squat is not only a physiological issue. It doesn’t only have a physiological consequence; it is a cast on other experiences. You know? If you can – I posted on this on my Instagram, and I adapted this comment to a much larger essay for Movement Matters. This book is going to be so amazing, by the way.
DANI: I cannot wait. I cannot wait.
KATY: But it’s – you know, when I was going through the desert, there’s a ton of people hiking and walking through the desert, and I’ve got little kids, you know and so they’re stopping every two minutes. Two minutes – if they walk for 2 continuous minutes I would consider it a victory. They’re stopping every 15 seconds to poke at something on the ground, and I was just like, I was going to get down there, because I think that we perceive that we are choosing not to go down and not seeing it as that we don’t have the ability not to do it. And so we don’t do it until doing it is a discomfort, and then you actually do lose the ability to do it. But for a long part, it’s just because for a long period of time it’s just outside of your literal comfort zone, but also it’s just not anything that anyone else does. It’s weird; the adults stand, the kids sit. The men go over there, the women go over there. There’s just kind of a separation sometimes. I squatted down with my kids and I saw these teeny, tiny purple succulents that I could not even see from standing, and when I got down, it was just this revelation – it was just like, there is a whole different world that you can become aware of: sounds, like you can hear ants walking all over stuff, but you can’t hear it from standing up so high. And when does it go away? I mean, we are effectively – we are training it out of our children at the earliest points. I mean, there’s not even a lot of ground time in classrooms anymore. So basically, the time – everyone I think by the time that kids usually go to school is when these kind of sitting habits – I think that going to school used to be when sitting habits are really ingrained because everyone lived sort of in a semi-rural, you still had to walk from Point A to Point B, you know, your kids were still running around all day, there was no computers, but now I think it’s as early as 1. I mean, now we strap children down, we actually disable children, mobility-wise for their safety. So if you are now driving around because you have to get a bunch of stuff down and you have a child, you have no other choice but to cast your children for their safety, right? And then – and then there’s furniture around – I mean, it’s just – I mean, from the moment you’re born. I would say from the moment you’re born, you are effectively removing the movement from their lives. Systematically.
DANI: Each new level, it’s like a video game and each new level that you enter as you get older and move into adulthood, like, you start driving and then you’re just not noticing things like you would if you were walking through a neighborhood, right? Or riding a bike or on your scooter – it’s just as things change, you know, as we move up these levels we lose less and less. So there’s no real cutoff point; we keep doing it.
DANI: I can’t wait to read that book.
KATY: I can’t wait to finish writing it.
DANI AND KATY: Oh, my goodness.
KATY: How about one more question, because seriously, I am so far behind – I have like, edits coming out my ears, and two RES weeks, and –
DANI: This one I like, and you should be able to answer it pretty concisely.
DANI: This is from Jill.
DANI: We get these questions a lot. Thank you, Jill. She says, “I’m wondering what you would recommend when injury or illness keep us from moving. I’m having some foot pain – possibly plantar fasciitis – and walking definitely is exacerbating the problem, so I’m not going for walks right now and it’s driving me crazy. I don’t know how to get enough movement in the day without irritating my foot. I am doing correctives, floor sitting, etc., but even standing is painful and I’m worried foot mobility exercises will irritate the problem. I can’t even imagine how frustrated I’d be with a broken leg or sprained ankle, but what can a person do who can’t walk much due to temporary injury?”
KATY: As much as you can. I mean – so you’re doing correctives, but I imagine that you’ve got these hours or periods of time maybe where you had set aside for just walking – so just get on the floor, and just roll around and crawl around, and – I just think that – I think that you can always, even when you’re certain areas of you need to be immobilized for whatever reason, that that does not say that you can’t move all the other parts. You have so many parts. So just quadruple your correctives. I’m not even talking about the correctives for your foot – so just – I’m trying to think, if I had a broken leg, I would just be doing floor work for probably 2-3 hours a day. I would have the time there – I think sometimes we’re like, well, I don’t have time to do that many correctives, and it’s like, well, you were walking before –
KATY: You had bouts of time set aside, so you just need to parlay those into – and make it fun, you know, like, at this point, at this point, just get a floor workout routine, you know what I mean? Don’t worry about it being – at the most fundamental level, any movement is more nutritious than none, right?
KATY: So go to the library and rent a floor workout video. You’re going to have fun, you’re going to feel accomplished, and moved, so just move however you can and if you really like this exercise workout stuff, then just go get a, or download floor work and just fill it in so that you’re doing it to exhaustion. Pick harder things that don’t aggravate your injury, and then your anxiety level will come down. You’ll be like, okay, I moved, I feel better. So don’t worry that you’re not moving the right way. The “right” way is that you get moving, period. And then you can refine it once that’s more of an option for you.
DANI: Amen, sister.
KATY: Final answer. And with that, we should get moving.
DANI: Yes, gotta go, gotta go. Cool, well, that was it – you know, and every once in a while, who knows? Next year, every once in a while we might sneak in a mailbag.
KATY: We’ll do some mailbags every now and then.
DANI: Yeah, but for now you’ve got the answers of where to look, and I’ll put tons and tons of stuff in the links of the show notes.
KATY: All right, well, everyone – thanks, Dani.
DANI: Thank you!
KATY: Thank you for asking questions, always ask questions. Questions, questions, questions. But most importantly, go check out the resources that are there – they are abundant. They are abundant. For more information, books, online classes, you can find me at Nutritious Movement or any of my social media is probably an even better place these days.
DANI: Yes, your Instagram feed is really educational.
KATY: That’s the only thing I’m doing right now. I’m only doing Instagram, I’ve taken a break from everything else. But the blog on NutritousMovement.com – so don’t search the site, search the blog. You know what? Just – it’s back to school time pretty soon, back to school. Let yourself just read one or go get Alignment Matters if you haven’t yet and read that from the beginning if you don’t like to read online, and then you’ll be way more informed about some of this stuff, some of these issues. And then you can find Dani – what are you doing these days? You’re at uh, MoveYourBodyBetter.com, but where are you really?
DANI: Where am I really?
KATY: Where do you spend most of your time? Where can I find the most recent things that you put out?
DANI: Well, I took – I’m kind of off the Facebook, too, I’m just kind of off everything right now, writing privately. No one can find me, I’m like a ghost.
KATY: We’re going to come to your house. Go to Dani’s house.
DANI: Come to my house.
KATY: All right.
DANI: I’m a really good cook, come on over, everybody.
KATY: All right, we’re there.
DANI: See you soon.
KATY: 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.
To Search Katy’s Blog: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/blog/
To Search by Body Part: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/search-by-body-part/
You Tube Hill Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDIeu_QL51U
Move Your DNA: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/product/move-your-dna/
Diastasis Recti Book: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/product/diastasis-recti-the-whole-body-solution-to-abdominal-weakness-and-separation/
Whole Body Barefoot: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/product/whole-body-barefoot/
Katy’s Instagram Feed: https://www.instagram.com/nutritiousmovement/