First things first

by Chris on November 16, 2009

A guy walks into a doctor’s office and says to the doctor, “Doc, it really hurts when I move my arm like this (he demonstrates).”


The doctor says, “OK,…. don’t do that anymore.”


We’ve all heard that joke, right?  Why does it seem sometimes that you’re trapped inside a body that won’t quite cooperate with what you’d like it to do?  Haven’t you ever wondered why your body didn’t come with an operations manual?


Wouldn’t it be nice if we heard this instead?

“Oh, right.  I see what’s going on – how about you stretch this other part over here out a bit first and then when you move your arm, let it move more like this…”, and viola!…it started to feel better.  I know that the first time someone did that for me, I was hooked.


What I noticed right away when I started doing bodywork (almost 20 years ago now) was that, largely because of my training, I was doing the same thing to everyone and expecting different results.  I think there were a number of reasons why I did that, but when I learned to see the body clearly and made the shift to a “let’s solve this problem together” approach with my clients, my results skyrocketed.


I’ve been called everything from crazy to mad scientist to genius and magician (as well as a few more colorful, but less printable, things).  I have created an approach to bodywork over the years that brings powerful results very quickly, all while feeling extremely gentle and “natural”.


Fortunately, I’ve had (and continue to have) the great privilege to study with some truly masterful people, and I’ve learned (and continue to!) a great deal about how the body works and how it can best interact with gravity and the world around it.


Many times over the years, I’ve been asked to explain what I see in, and how I think about, bodies and how I get the results I get.  On this site, I’d like to provide everyone with the “body working” lessons they never had – your Operations Manual.  Thanks to the marvels of modern communications, I’ll be able to respond to your requests by VIDEO as well as the written word – it’ll make things so much easier to explain.


So what’s fair game?  What can you ask about? Almost anything body-related is on the menu:
–    If it interacts with your body (car seats, shoes, clothes, chairs, etc.), I’d love to help you problem solve how to make it fit you.
–    If you interact with it (computers, musical instruments, sports equipment, etc.), I can show you how to use it so that you feel better at the end of using it than when you started.
–    How you can best do things with your body.  Walking, running, lifting, carrying, cycling, rowing, martial arts…  if you can think of it I’ve probably helped people do it better, faster and more easily.
–    Human geometry and the ideas behind how to re-design or re-task objects so that they fit you.  I’ve always thought it’s better to teach people the principles that lead to better results, rather than just give specific examples.
–    And, anything else you might think of or have wondered about.


I’ll be “seeding the waters” and priming your imaginations with little video clips that are designed to make your work life a little more comfortable, physically, anyway.  Please send in your questions to questions@bodygeometry.net


This first video is about the chair and why most of them are too uncomfortable for words.  Have you wondered why your chair seems to get harder toward the end of the day?   If you’re sitting in a chair for more than an hour at a time, even if you have it perfectly fit to you, you’re not doing yourself any favors.


Let’s think about that idea for a moment.  Here’s another way to say it: unless you’re a serious athlete, you don’t do any kind of exercise for more than an hour at a time.  Why would you ask your body to do anything else for more than that?


Sure, you say, but sitting isn’t stressful – I don’t get tired doing it. No, you don’t get tired, but let’s make the distinction between leaving  your work feeling tired versus feeling  refreshed.  You have a choice, even if you don’t know it; which would you prefer?


You see, your muscles and connective tissues have been stressed into holding a particular position while you’ve been sitting.  Anytime you ask your body to hold a particular position, it has to do just that – hold.  Holding something requires effort, even if it doesn’t overtax your respiratory system.


At the heart of this is the idea is that your bodies are designed for movement, not stillness.  Your body is in constant motion, all the time.  When it’s asked to hold a position for long periods of time or do the same motion(s) over and over again, it has to hold itself a certain way, which requires focused, localized effort and effort will tax the system.
Your body also does real well if it gets an occasional break from whatever it’s been doing, so that it can let go of any accumulated stress; Hence the need for getting up and moving around for 5 minutes or so every hour (or less, if you like).


Most of you have countdown timers on your phones – mine’ll even let you choose the ringtone that signals you that it’s time!  Set them for 40-50 minutes, then when they go off, GET UP! Walk down the hall, get a cup of water…whatever.


So, enjoy the video and I’ll look forward to hearing from you –follow up questions are allowed. questions@bodygeometry.net

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