Saturday, June 29, 2013, was the first International Scoliosis Awareness Day. It's a day to "create positive, public awareness about scoliosis, promote education, advocacy campaigns, and bring people together with the condition." In honor of this day, I'd like to share with you new possibilities for breakthrough improvements in mobility, strength, balance, breathing and pain relief for people with scoliosis that are based in the capacity of the brain to change itself and create new patterns and freedom of movement despite the curvature.
You don't need a straight spine to have a healthy, flexible and powerful back.
A healthy spine can move in all directions: It can twist, bend forward, backward and sideways and any combination of these four directions. When in action, the spine repeatedly twists and curves, moving in and out of the midline. With scoliosis, the spine has some degree of fixed curvature and as a result never moves fully back to the midline.
It is natural to want to straighten the spine. Many techniques, from exercise to braces and even surgery, attempt to reduce the curvature as much as possible, often with limited success. However, you do not need to have a straight spine to have a functionally healthy spine, in my opinion. What you need is the ability to move your spine in all directions with ease and dexterity. And that is possible to achieve, I believe, also when there is scoliosis.
The Brain Organizes All Movement
If we only focus on the structural aspect of scoliosis, we have no choice but to try and "fix" the structure and have it define what we can or cannot do. However, the moment we realize that it is the brain that organizes all movement, that it is an information system and that the brain can change itself throughout life, we can look to provide the brain with new and relevant information with which to form new connections and patterns and create exciting new possibilities for us. In other words, the structural limitations needn't create nearly the typical functional challenges that many of those suffering from scoliosis experience, in my opinion.
Five Ways To Inform Your Brain and Increase Your Mobility and Well-Being
Before doing the suggested movement exercises below, make sure to get the approval of your health care provider. Make sure to do the movements slowly and gently, no more than 10-20 minutes twice a day. If you experience pain doing any of the movements, stop doing that movement.
- Move your spine in all directions: Rather than focusing on trying to have a straight or a straighter spine, instead focus on moving your back in many different directions in space. It's important you do small and very gentle movements for effective and rapid brain change. You can use your imagination to visualize the movement if trying to do it is presently difficult.
To find out why it's important to move gently and slowly to induce positive brain/body change, you can read about the Nine Essentials.
To learn more about the NeuroMovement approach of the Anat Baniel Method you can go to: www.anatbanielmethod.com, read the article "Movement and Learning Based-Approach to Working with Scoliosis."
Please share this information with others: This is good news for scoliosis!
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