Blog of the Week: Don’t Drive (Yourself) With the Parking Brake On!

Originally posted by Jeffrey Glazer on October 6 at nycalexandertechnique.com.

skeleton-forward-and-up-smaller-cropped-without-fingerHere is a simple way to think about the Alexander Technique… it’s about learning to move without compressing your spine. Just as you wouldn’t want to drive your car with the parking brake on, you don’t want to shorten and compress yourself because that limits movement and can cause or exacerbate all sorts of health issues. Habitual compression can lead to bulging or herniated discs, neck pain, lower back pain, nerve irritation or impingement, sciatica, shallow or poor breathing, poor posture and more.

Here’s how it works. Your head, depending on your size and structure, weighs approximately 10 – 15 pounds, and sits on top of your spine (the top of the spine is referred to as the Atlas). The spine begins in between the ears and goes all the way down to the tailbone; it is one whole unit. What the head is doing affects the entire spine. When not interfered with, the head naturally balances at the top of the spine, and the spine properly bears the weight of the head so that those 10 – 15 pounds feel weightless.

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