Hope for the seated

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 5.29.34 PMI wish you could’ve seen the Cheshire Cat grin I saw last week, flashing in my direction.

It was a client who came in a few weeks ago with low back pain. She wasn’t smiling so much then.

But on this day – her 4th visit to the studio – along with her shiny teeth she gave this gleaming report: 

“I feel better, stronger. I’m having an easier time just doing everyday stuff.”

Not to take anything from her special-ness as a person, but her situation is pretty common. She’s a professional 50-something who was athletic as a younger person but not so much now.

She doesn’t want to be a couch potato. In fact, she’d rather be more active. But she has a job and a busy personal life, and she hasn’t had an exercise habit in a while. When she does get activity it’s sporadic, and she often ends up hurting her back.

What made her feel better after just a few visits? It wasn’t exercising for hours every day in a gym or even in her home. Nor was it sitting on ice or lying in bed.

No secret formula

It was a few simple moves, 2 or 3 times a week – some trunk stabilization and some targeted (gentle) stretching. Once she mastered those, we made some of the moves a little more challenging and then added a few more for variety. She didn’t need any equipment – just her body, plus a bit of time and focus. That investment was already helping her feel better.

I have had clients report feeling better after ONE session. I’d love to claim I have some secret, magic formula, but I don’t. The big “secret” is our backs are taking a silent “beating” from being sentenced to the seated position for hours on end, and they don’t like it. The “magic” in the formula is knowing what to do, how to do it, and – of course – doing it.

Results vary

Backache_Tom w garbage - Version 2Not everyone will be so fortunate as to feel better immediately after a few exercises. The type of experience each person has is going to depend on what, exactly, is happening “back there.” So many things can cause back pain, so remedies will vary accordingly.

But most people will benefit from some simple moves done regularly, and from learning how to do everyday things in a way that spares your back some of the stress it’s under.

If you are in the D.C. metro area and want to learn more about this in person, check out my Back Support workshops here. If you want a little more insight online, right now, read about the back stabilizers here, where there are additional links to resources.

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