Monday, November 28, 2011

1,2, buckle my shoe (without bending my knees)

I had a dream last night that I was on the beach somewhere with Katy doing partner work.  That is, we were dragging each other around by an arm or a leg in the sand, putting traction on the bones to increase their strength.  It was an odd dream to say the least, but I woke up thinking "geez, you can really work on alignment anywhere, can't you?".  Then I thought it was high time I did an update on my progress.

It's going really well, actually!  I surprised myself the other day when I realized I could touch the floor with ease, straight-legged, bending at the hips (not the spine).  I'm not fully palms down, but I'm not reaching and sratching at the floor, either.  They're down enough that I can start working a finger stretch into my hamstring stretch.

That little bit of progress is so encouraging.  I found that I put so much more time and effort into my stretching that day, after seeing some really positive results.  Though it's never happened to me, I guess it's the same feeling as if you're on a diet, and you step on the scales to suddenly realize you've lost 10 pounds.  It made me realize that all the little things I'm doing are really starting to add up.
Looks like his toes are even a little higher than his heels, super stretched!

I make an effort to always bend like Nanook of the North, getting a hamstring stretch in where ever I possibly can, even if it's just while I bend down to grab the butter out of the fridge.  I work on doing short little stretches (a minute or so) as many times in the day as I can, and once or twice a day I do a longer deeper stretch (about 2 or 3 minutes per leg).  I keep my halfdome kicking around my house so I can either do a pelvic list on it while balancing, or just stretch my calf on it while I'm talking to my baby, or typing an email, or watching a dvd or something.

So there you have it.  An update.  A good update, at that!  And it's not even 9:00 in the morning yet.  Happy Monday, and Happy stretching everyone!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

If you think you know more than evolution, you're an idiot.

I wrote this post before I made this blog, so it is a repeat from my blog Little Green Room.  I think it works better here though :)  

Has anyone ever heard the saying "the more I learn, the less I know" ?  That's just how I feel lately.  The incredible things that I've been learning over the past few years are showing me the fantastic intricacies of life, and the amazing interconnectedness of it all, all of which we're just beginning to understand.  I am ceaselessly astonished at how one factor can affect the whole of a being and have impact on a myriad of things that you would never EVER be able to guess without science.

I'll start small, so I don't blow your mind.  The direction in which you point your foot while it is weight bearing affects the height (or even the existence of) the arch in your foot.  But get this, the way you rotate your THIGH while weight bearing affects your arch too!  As soon as you straighten your feet, and then roll your knees outward, POP!  Up come your arches, which you thought you didn't have.

Here's another one.  You must know that the length of your hamstrings affects the angle of your pelvis.  Having short hamstrings makes you stand like a shitting dog.  Attractive, yes?  By stretching your hamstrings, you can tilt your pelvis back to where it's supposed to be, regaining a butt and a lumbar curve, and reducing back pain.  When I started stretching my hamstrings though, it reduced the pain in my neck.  The shortened muscles of my calves was hurting my NECK.  Madness.

Here's a crazy one.  The way a baby feeds literally determines the chemical make up of your breast milk, so allowing a baby to feed however and whenever they want means they are controlling their diet.  Not just the amount of milk made, but the amount of fat, water and protein they take in at each feed.  Lactating breasts respond to cues like fullness, length of time the baby spends on the breast, and the spacing between feedings.   That means that using any other method of feeding besides direct mouth to breast takes away the baby's ability to get exactly what they need. (No judgement, just stating fact here, friends!)

 I love those studies that go on about the dangers of sleeping with your baby.  Oh wait, did I say love?  Cause I meant hate.  Infant mother sleep interaction is fascinating.  A mother who is breastfeeding her baby has hormones to keep her alert enough to not roll over her baby.  Not only that, she'll wake up at the same time as the baby (not being woken by the baby, just waking simultaneously).  Not only that, she'll wake up if the baby has stopped breathing for longer than normal.  Not only that, the mother's breath on the baby's face literally teaches the baby how to breathe during a transition at 3 months, during which time babies are especially prone to SIDS.  Not only that, but when a mother and baby sleep in close proximity to one another, their EEG readouts will be almost the same as they drift into and out of different sleep stages at the same time.  That means their brains synchronize DURING SLEEP.  WTF!?  Anyone else totally amazed??

The tightness of your hands is related to how effectively you are able to breathe (how much oxygen you can take in). Skin to skin contact regulates a newborn's blood sugar!  Breasts heat up and cool down according to the baby's temperature that's resting upon them, to keep the baby at the perfect temperature.  Bending a certain way in the middle of your spine (thrusting your ribs outward) can literally give you cardiovascular disease.  Chewing your food mixes it with saliva, which starts the digestion process in your mouth, but it also keeps your teeth from falling out (given that it's something tough like raw food or something which puts pressure on the bones which causes them to regenerate).  Carrying your baby as opposed to using a sling or a stroller reduces the incidence of osteoporosis later in life.  Need I say more?  No seriously, somebody stop me before i start up on diet and health.  My head is gonna explode.

Please know that I'm not writing all this stuff to make anybody feel bad about the choices they've made in life, I'm not writing this to pass judgement or to boss everyone around like a stupid jerk.  No one needs to justify themselves to me! I'm just saying we must be aware that evolution always has something specific in mind, nothing is without rhyme or reason, and all things are connected in life.  The way you spend your time, the food you put in your mouth, the way you parent your children, all these things have an optimal approach that was perfected over millions of years.  Your choices now can affect something way down the road that you don't even know exists yet.  The point I'm trying to make is that we are ancient bodies living in modern times, and to make it into the future, it wouldn't hurt to think and act like our ancestors sometimes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Post One.

Somehow it feels rude to start writing a blog without a teeny tiny explanation.  Basically, I'm writing this blog to document my journey to alignment, but also to talk about my growing interest on living more like our ancient ancestors.  I'll be posting on awesome stuff I learn, my progress as I fix the malfunctioning parts of my body (like my claw hands and Quasi Modo style hunchback), and of course, there's garunteed to be a little ranting and raving thrown in somewhere.  There!  I did it!  Now I can dive "write" in.  Get it? Write?  Like writing?  Writing a blog?  Am I right?