Monday, July 18, 2011

Shoulders with a Brain attached, vs Shoulders as a Car Door to Oil

A friend sent me to the blogsite of a kind of neat guy, who has
some pretty fun stuff to recommend now and then,
but the link was to one of these insulting;
Here's your body,
treat it like a machine and you can make it a better machine
kind of deals.

The big scoop: Raise up your shoulders, hold them there,
release. Do this a number of time,
and you can increase "Range of Motion."

Some other time I'll return to earlier rants
about how insulting "Range of Motion" is
as a goal for a real human being, but let's just think like
this for a minute:

We are one being.

We evolved from creatures living in nature
and needing to feed and defend and clothe and procreate

We have a brain,
perhaps the most amazing 2-3 pounds of matter
in the Universe,
and what is it concerned with as far as the amazing shoulder,
this joint that is barely a joint,
with the shoulder blades floating so freely on the back ribs:
bringing our hands to our mouth to feed ourselves,
throwing a javelin,
grabbing a tree branch to climb to safety,
reaching out to pick up our babies,
or hug and more our mates

"range of motion."

Can you begin to see how insulting it is
A. Our lives
B. our shoulders
C. our brains
D. our ability to learn and improve
to come up with some scheme to treat ourselves like a machine
that needs oily and improve
"range of motion?"

(Okay, there, I guess I didn't wait to rant,
did I?

If you enjoyed it, thanks.)

so instead of shrugging up and releasing down,
what is the alternative for those of us with a brain
and the ability to lay down new neural pathways like crazy
(the so called brain plasticity,
that every live wire person who kept learning their whole
life knew about without knowing the name for it)

Okay, here goes:
I'll include some pictures,
and when I'm bored or something,
if that ever happens, add more, because it takes a long time to upload photos,
but here is a way of treating your shoulder

Just sit.
Feel yourself.

1. Then do the shrug thing, and lift both shoulders.
Okay that's the beginning comparison.

2. Intelligence and laying down new neurons only takes place
with awareness and noticing differences, so
Lift one shoulder
and then the other.
Do this several times and discover the differences
and what's the same.

3. Now pick one shoulder to improve.
Don't pick one that's in pain, but if it's past pain that no
longer is around, pick that one, if you want.


4. Now just lift and lower the shoulder you picked,
noticing a difference between these two areas:
your shoulder blade
your ribs.
Go slow, slowly, slower.
Go gently. Notice the ribs not moving much,
and the shoulder blade rising and lowering.


Notice differences one side to another just from that.

5. Now lift you shoulder, always this same one,
and very slowly turn your head to one side as the shoulder turns,
and then bring back to the middle as the shoulder descends.
Go back and forth,
notice differences.
Find pleasure to each side.

Time for a picture or two:
Here Vick raises his right shoulder, the one he chose to work with, and looks to the right.

Here he raises the same shoulder (through the lesson, always the same shoulder, then at the end, the perception of differences is the greatest)

6. Now rest
and notice a difference in feeling one shoulder to the other.

7. Now, and this is hard to show with a picture,
while turning your head first one way,
and then the other, slowly and gently,
as you raise the chosen shoulder gently.
As the nose comes back to forward, the shoulder comes down slowly and easily.

When doing this pay attention to four things:
your shoulder blade
your ribs
your neck
your eyes.

Rest after several times each way,
and feel differences,
in your whole being,
and differences
from one side to another.

8, Now while lifting, again
slowly and gently, the same shoulder,
one time tilt your head toward the lifting shoulder

and one time tilt your head away from the lifting shoulder

Do this several times, looking for pleasure and ease in your whole being,
and learning.

Rest and notice differences side to side.

9. Now shrug one shoulder and then the other and notice differences.

10. Just sit and feel yourself and notice differences side to side:
can you see differences here?

Here's Vick before the lesson: for starters:

You might be able to see differences side to side,
and in a general feeling of ease and relaxation.

But this is dynamic relaxation.
The shoulder on the right is a smarter,
more evolutionarily cool shoulder.
How to tell?
Well the pictures won't show much,
but you do it and you'll feel.

One at a time lift the arms forward and up
and see/ feel/ notice/ exult in which shoulder seems
like its younger and more vital and really part of "all of you,"
and which one's just "off on its own."

What would be a cool book to add to this lesson?
The Elusive Obvious, by Moshe Feldenkrais,
with its great section on "doing it right" as a dead end,
and "Doing it better," as a lifetime of improvement,
joy and discovery:

For a whole batch of movement lessons, click on the label below, there's sixty of so, I think

Anat's book, too, with its slightly watered down
but superb descriptions of the way we can keep improving our vitality
our whole life.

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