KIP EVAN DUVALL, LMT
STRUCTURAL BODYWORK FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE AND PEACE OF MIND

The New Normal



Given the title, I bet you thought I was going to ruminate on the Corona virus. Psych!

I had to take a break from working on the barn just now, because my low back is creaky. I haven't done much this week,
shingles and all. I noticed that when my back was grabbing (cramping), I found myself tilting my pelvis forward, arching my back, and tightening my glutes to stabilize it. What's interesting to me about that is that I used to tuck under, and flatten my back when it felt glitchy. I've been working to get my body to break the habit of flattening my low back, and to arch it instead. The new normal.This may seem like a small thing, but I believe it is critical for all of us, as we age to be aware of what I call the "default mode". This is the natural degenerative process the body takes if you allow it to run it's natural course, or default mode. It involves the flattening of the back, the loss of your ass, and forward rolling of the shoulders and neck. I know about this because I adopted the posture in High school when I started to grow. I was insecure about the attention I got from being the tallest person in the room, so I hunkered down. I flattened my back, and over time my body curved forward leaving my head forward of my body. This caused thickening and strengthening in the front of my neck, locking in the overall posture. When I started trying to change that 30 years ago, the first stage of releasing was in my neck. It gave me fits as I tried to get my head back and my chest open. Next was my low back and hips, same discomfort in adjusting. My SI joints followed along as my hips opened.Those are buggers, but very liberating! Now it's my mid back and rib cage. This is where the Shingles hit me, and I don't think it's a coincidence. Also I feel another round of changes coming in my neck as a result of the changes in leverage in my ribs and back. I suppose it never ends, but it would be worse to let it go.
All of this is to point out that we need to snap and make change as we age and our body starts to break down, or we'll suffer the normal aging process! Focus on your posture (structure), and don't listen to those who tell you to tuck your tail under and tighten your abs. I say put an arch in your low back and engage your glutes, to the degree you can. If it gets finicky, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Just go slow. Find the power and mobility in your hips. Your abs will come along as you engage your core.