Never too old.

You're never too old to feel good!

For some reason I have been hearing the "I'm getting old" excuse from a handful of people, young and older lately and it bothers me. The phrase is often made in reference to some kind of chronic pain that is limiting their lives. When I hear, "I'm just old," the soap box rolls out of nowhere and I take a big step up and say what I am about to share here with you. "It's not your age that's hurting you, it's your movement patterns. Even though you can't change your biological age, you can change the way you move and feel."

As the days go on I witness my son discovering how to move about in his growing body. He is 4 month old and rolling from back to front, then pushing with his hands to lift up and look around. It's the best cobra pose I've ever seen (but I'm admittedly a bit biased)! He is learning to move in this gravity environment for the first ime and wow, it's awesome to witness. When my wife was recovering her strength after birth, she mimicked his tummy time, and recovered her neck and upper back strength within a few sessions. I'm looking forward to our crawling sessions in the next weeks :)

As we age, it seems that we take movement for granted. In fact, we can spend hours slumped in front of the blue screen without moving more than our typing or scrolling fingers. This sets us up for a slow return to the fetal position and our bodies don't seem to like it one bit. The external stimulation overpowers our body's signals of pain and discomfort, and over time the signal becomes less apparent until it is too late (or so it may seem).

What I mean by "too late" is that the physical body is breaking down and much of the time it continues silently. You don't hear discs expanding and pushing out on nerves, or feel the osteophytes (bone growth associated with spinal degeneration) growing and adapting to the increased loads of collapsed, stagnant posture.

I have good news and bad news about this. I'll give you the bad news first. Yes, you are getting older, this is true. But, here's the good news: you can take charge and pull yourself up and away from the force of gravity that is slowly, creepily pulling you down and in. The challenging piece is that you must bring your awareness back to your breath and body from time-to-time throughout the day, every day.

Only you can remind yourself to take a break. Only you can remember that you haven't stood up or had a drink of water in the last few hours. There are applications that will black out your screen for a time for you to step into the self-care mode. You can also set a timer on your phone every 20-30 minutes. If you're feeling chronic pain, remember, that it took you time to get to where you are and it will take some time to get you out of it. 

Foundation Training (FT) is the best way I know how to do this. It will not fix everything, but it will fix a lot of things. We start with decompressing the spine and expanding the rig cages capacity. FT creates space and lasting change when you make time for yourself. Even 10-15 minutes a day will help. I'm here to support you in person and by Skype or Zoom video calls.