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Maureen McHugh, Feldenkrais
Using Movement To Extend Youthfulness
Wellness In Motion
. http://wellnessinmotion.com

Using Movement To Extend Youthfulness

Procrastination is bad except when it comes to the body getting old. So, why not procrastinate on purpose? Not all bodies get old at the same time. Some are lively into their nineties. Let’s try to be like them. What helps? Movement can play a big part. All sorts of movement are good. But there are special advantages to twists.

In the photo you can clearly see the identifiers of a twist. The young woman’s lower body is turned to the side, but her upper body remains facing the ceiling, helped out by her extended arms.

Is this a good twist? It is a big twist because the legs are totally on the side. But in terms of extending youthfulness, the key thing to look for is the contribution from the ribs. They are the bridge between the hips and the shoulders. What shape do they take? To speak in another way, the hips have given a signal. And, how have the ribs responded?

In a twist the hips set a pattern of “one high, one low”. Here, the right hip is high toward the ceiling and the left hip is low toward the floor. By contrast, both shoulders remain low.

The pattern of “one high, one low” is strongest near the waist and diminishes as it reaches the shoulders. For the young woman the ribs respond nicely, in a graceful, gentle arc.

Less visible, but just as important, are how the vertebrae respond. They are asked to rotate “one (side) high, one (side) low” in the same manner as the ribs. In this young woman, most likely, they do.

In a body, though, that is not as young, or that has gotten stiff through injury or for some other reason, the ribs would not respond as well, nor would the vertebrae. Some place would be stuck. Then, very likely, pain would develop at the level where “responsive torso” intersects with “non-responsive torso.”

Pain can be relieved by clarifying and improving the pathway of the twist through the torso. Besides pain relief, a well-executed twist is important for many things.

Walking is twisting. And, many every day movements of the arms and legs depend on barely visible twists in the torso. Thus, it is worth some time to maintain the ability to twist easily and well.

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