Disclaimer: Please consult with your physician before performing new movement exercises to make sure that you are safe to participate. All of my patients are evaluated and monitored during their course of treatment for safety. I advise that everyone do the same.
Each exercise will consist of four components
1. A Test
2. Self Assessment
3. The Movement Exercise
4. A Re-Test
In this exercise, please lie down on your back with your arms at your side and make yourself comfortable. The first thing I would like for you to do is feel your body as you lie on your back. Is your low back touching the floor? Is your mid-back in between your shoulder blades touching the floor? Do you feel tense? Do you feel relaxed? Do you feel the need to place pillows under your knees?
The Self Assessment:
Now, gently reach toward your toes with your right arm while keeping your right hand next to your thigh and keeping your head on the floor. Feel the degree of tension that builds. Does the tension increase at your shoulder, arm, forearm or fingers? Then gently reach toward your toes with your left arm while keeping the left hand next to your thigh. Feel the degree of tension in your left arm. Please remember which side felt more stiff.
Reaching with your arms will increase tension of the nerves traveling from the neck to the finger tips. So, if your right arm felt tighter or more difficult to reach, that is the side I would like for your to self-treat. I would like for you to gently place that arm into ease. While keeping hand next to your thigh, gently bring your right shoulder slightly toward your right ear. Do not move your shoulder into tightness, discomfort or pain. Hold this position for two to eight minutes to allow the slow conducting fibers to communicate with your spinal cord and brain.
As you hold this position, it must be in ease. Try to pay attention to what your body is doing. Try to notice if you feel softening or relaxation anywhere in your body. Do you feel warmth anywhere in your body? You may stop at any time if you feel your body relax. The feeling of relaxation is similar to a child that falls asleep while you are holding them. You can feel their body decrease tension.
Variations during self treatment:
As you place your shoulder in the position of ease, you can add a second movement into ease. For example, is there more ease if you place your palm up or down? Is there more ease if you turn your head to the right or left? Is there more ease if you tilt your head to the right or left?
You may add multiple positions into ease as long as you are comfortable. But for beginners, one direction of ease is a good way to begin.
Now, lie flat on the floor again and notice for any changes. Do you notice if your body is more flush to the floor. Also reach toward your toes again with the arm that you put into ease. Do you notice any changes? I hope you do. Don’t worry if you do not, because it can be difficult in the beginning sense change. Just keep practicing. You can promote change within your nervous system.