Free Yourself from Back Pain

nine weeks or fewer to a comfortable back you can trust

2nd Edition, revised and enhanced

Hanna Somatics Gold
Lawrence Gold, Hanna somatic educator

TM

Free Yourself from Back Pain, second edition copyright 2004 Lawrence Gold awareness@somatics.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Brief portions of this volume may be reproduced for use in articles and reviews. More extensive portions may be reproduced with written permission from the author.

The movements shown in this book are inherently natural and safe. However, if you have a medical condition or are concerned that you may have a medical condition, consult a physician and show him or her this program and get approval before beginning the program. Done properly, these movements relax and coordinate the muscular system. Occasionally, soreness may result for a day or two after doing them. Such soreness is normal. However, if your soreness persists for more than 24-36 hours or your symptoms worsen, stop doing this program and consult your physician or physical therapist. Since the author cannot be present to supervise you, you and he must rely upon your good judgment and intelligent application of the instructions found herein. In undertaking this program, you assume all risk of injury that may result from failure to follow the instructions correctly or from inappropriate use of this program.

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Look forward to the Whole Body yawn.

This is a book to help you work smarter rather than harder, to reclaim your body from the tyranny of pain and stiffness.

The instruction comes from outside. The learning comes from within.

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They can free you from back trouble for a lifetime. That means you can relax tight. these movements restore your muscles to their natural pliancy and suppleness.PREFACE How Is This Program Different from Other Programs? The movements found in this book are designed to create sensations that enable you to improve your muscular control. but as you are changing habits of muscular tension. these movements improve your ability to control your muscular tension. This book teaches a progressive program of brain-muscle reconditioning. Instead of strengthening and stretching muscles (a common approach) they change the brain-programming that controls your entire muscular system (a more effective approach). That means you do all of the movements in sequence for at least the minimum amount of time specified. You are likely to experience immediate relief each time you do a movement sequence. iii .” these movements free you for all kinds of movement. The benefits are cumulative. They involve a new approach to back trouble. Instead of confining you to a “neutral spine position. Instead of merely strengthening your back muscles. you may sometimes find that your progress goes “two steps forward. painful muscles. Instead of stretching your muscles. rather than a selection of movements from which to choose.

only. this movement program involves a learning process. Each movement addresses a different aspect of the muscular system. To work this way is perhaps the biggest change you will have to make.” Don’t be discouraged. The sensations these movements create are as important as the time you spend doing them. explore and practice. All of these movements are of equal importance. Go slowly and gently. Persist. You’ll feel the difference. To learn what’s here. Instead of a symptomatic approach that involves working on painful areas. Have patience. Feel the movements as you do them. Put attention into feeling. to maintain balance in movement. Above all. You are building a sound foundation for a secure back.one step back. you will be doing some new things. iv . through coordinated movement. this book provides a whole-body approach. A whole-body approach is important because the muscular system works as a whole.

Some muscular activities. Very tight back muscles may pull neighboring vertebrae together closely enough to pinch nerve roots that exit the spinal canal. v . Tight. by the movements shown in this program. such as coordination. tension habits form and some freedom of movement is often lost. are controlled by the part of the brain dedicated to voluntary control. When vertebrae are pulled closely together. Control has shifted from the voluntary to the involuntary centers of the brain. such as ordinary movement. discs between the vertebrae may get compressed and even break down (bulge or rupture) from long-term pressure. when you lifted something? After an accident? A large percentage of people with back pain have nothing more than tight back muscles. still other muscular activities. tired muscles are also more prone to cramping than relaxed. Here’s the simple premise of this approach: Muscular tension is controlled by the brain. even involuntary. long-term performance of a movement. holding of a position. Many symptoms of back trouble and their underlying causes can often be corrected. other muscular activities. Tight muscles are tired muscles. causing pain and numbness in the extremities. refreshed muscles. are controlled by the part of the brain and nervous system dedicated to involuntary bodily functions. such as reflexes. and tired muscles are often sore.INTRODUCTION D id your back pain start mysteriously one morning? Did it start suddenly. After injury. result from deliberate learning and become automatic. The movements found in this book retrain the voluntary part of the brain to take back control of those muscles from the involuntary parts of the brain. or their progress stopped. or stress.

Because not everyone can get to see me or my colleagues (usually for geographical reasons). which is slowly. The results I get with the methods I use are highly reliable. All that is required is to do the movements I describe in the manner I describe. Lawrence Gold Certified Hanna Somatic Educator awareness@somatics. I have created this self-help book. I am a certified somatic educator who. even with difficult cases. with awareness of the sensations of movement. the methods found in this book do bring relief to people with back trouble. and within your comfort zone. by using the methods of somatic training.com vi . has had consistent success with clients who have back trouble. Your days of guarding a bad back can be over. Although not nearly as fast to produce results as clinical sessions at my office. results that are durable enough to stand up to all of the activities of daily living.Freedom of movement and comfort quickly improve.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Self-Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 My Story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Why “Gently”? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 INTRODUCING THE METHOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Orientation to the Somatic Coordination Patterns . . . . . . . . . .28 What Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 CHECKLIST B: Integrated Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 How to Go About Doing this Program . . . . . . . . .30 The Meanings of Certain Terms Used in the Instructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 What to Expect . . . . . . .27 Learning Control vs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 . . . . . . . . . . . .22 The Instructions . . . . . .15 If You’re Overweight . . . . . . .26 Pace Yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CONTENTS PREFACE How Is This Program Different from Other Programs? . . . . . . . . . . .9 Stories of Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 A Fresh Look . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Preparatory Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 The Origins of the Somatic Coordination Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 CHECKLIST A: Learning the Coordination Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Whom is This Program For? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 How Best to Learn the Somatic Coordination Patterns . . . . . . . iii INTRODUCTION Understanding and Overcoming Back Pain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 The Significance of the Obvious . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 The Feeling is the Thing .29 The Mechanism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 UNDERSTANDING THE SOMATIC COORDINATION PATTERNS About the Coordination Patterns . . . Stretching . . . .1 The Status Quo . . . .5 Conventional Therapeutics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . .92 The Folding Seesaw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Hidden Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145 The Twist that Untwists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133 Lengthening Your Sides . . .213 The Mortar and Pestle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Special Technique: Muscle Equalization . . . .163 In-Bed Stretches. . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 MODULE 1C: The Folding Seesaw and The Kite . . . . . . . . . . . . . .THE PROGRAM MODULE 1A: Spine Waves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191 The Rising Sphinx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 MODULE 2A: The Wiggling Jig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 The Wiggling Jig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .189 Introduction: Claiming Your Full Flexibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77 On Gravity and Sensation . .111 MODULE 2B: The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha . . . . . .48 Spine Waves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193 Module 3C: The Mortar & Pestle . .149 MODULE 3A: In-Bed Stretches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165 Module 3B: The Rising Sphinx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137 MODULE 2C: The Twist that Untwists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143 Explanation: Security for Your Low Back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 Centering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 MODULE 1B: Lazy “8”s . . . . .211 The Role of Adequate Water Intake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79 Lazy “8”s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161 Relation and Mutuality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 The Kite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105 Explanation: The Whole Body Yawn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .242 Injury vs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .228 SUMMARY 2A(b) . . . . . .245 Appendix C: We Become How We Live: An Expanded View of The Three Reflexes of Stress .229 SUMMARY 2A(c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230 SUMMARY 2B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .234 SUMMARY 3A(c) . . . . . . . .232 SUMMARY 3A(a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223 SUMMARY 1B . . . . . . . .235 SUMMARY 3B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241 Spinal Subluxations . .QUICK REFERENCE Pictorial Summaries of Coordination Patterns SUMMARY 1A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .233 SUMMARY 3A(b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .243 Appendix B: An Experiment in Perception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .242 Referred Pain . . . . . . . . . . . . Spasm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .243 Facet Joint Syndrome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .COMPLETE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231 SUMMARY 2C . . . . . .243 Radiculopathy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .227 SUMMARY 2A(a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225 SUMMARY 1C(b) . . .224 SUMMARY 1C(a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .236 SUMMARY 3C . . . . .226 SUMMARY 1C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .237 APPENDICES Appendix A: Some Comments on Typical Terms Applied to Back Pain Degenerative Disc Disease . . . . . . . . . . . . .249 Appendix D: A Functional Look at Back Pain and Treatment Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .265 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Such a claim may seem presumptuous. particularly if it’s about a method other than the most well-known and accepted methods. One of my favorite sayings is. or the newest that medical science (e. Does that description sound familiar? In that case. In fact. meaning. but then you tighten up. exotic surgeries or machines) can offer. they tire. There’s inevitably a sound of audacity to such a claim. It works for a while.” Consider for a moment: What happens to muscles that stay tightly contracted for a time? First. it ought to be declared. see Appendix A. if you’ve already had surgery and still have pain. 1 . you go every two weeks or every week. what’s in this book could be what frees you from it. they go into spasm. At some point. they simultaneously hurt and become difficult to relax.Understanding and Overcoming Back Pain This book has one basic message: you have a good chance of getting control of and getting rid of your back pain . if I am going to make a claim. (For commentary on technical terms associated with back pain. then.. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating. they burn. Can’t help it.even if you’ve already had surgery. they lose strength. Let me present a premise: “A large percentage of chronic pain can be traced to tight muscles. when better help is available.) Consider your sore back muscles. and you need another massage. again. the question becomes how to get your tight back muscles to relax. then. You’ve tried massage.g. Same thing with acupuncture. I owe it to you to back it up with an explanation.” Still. Keep working them.

Something has to control them all so that they act in coordinated ways. What might that be? What causes muscles to contract? Answer: your nervous system. parts of our nervous system are under our voluntary control. or to stay contracted. And then.” Nerve pain occurs when a contracted muscle squeezes a nerve trapped between it and another muscle or a bone. resulting from overcompression by tight muscles. That something is your brain. your brain. Your muscles don’t decide to contract. on their own. something caused your pain to return. controls your muscular system. not something that improves your control over your own muscles. Perhaps you’ve been around the health care system and found the same thing no matter where you’ve gone: temporary or incomplete relief. it’s your brain controlling that movement. Firstly. again. Another variety is joint pain. a bit. by and large. Lift your arm. 2 . That wouldn’t surprise me. One variety is “nerve pain.Same thing with chiropractic. This explanation has so far been a bit of an oversimplification. and others run on automatic. so let’s go back and fill in the picture. there are at least two varieties of pain often experienced by back pain sufferers that are not the pain of sore muscles. Most ways of treating back pain have one thing in common: they’re something done to you or for you. your muscles to tighten up. Secondly. Hip joint pain and facet joint pain are of that variety. Your nervous system. meaning. Sciatica is of that variety.

Learning is what happens to make our muscles stay tense. Somatics -. Thomas Hanna. tension is established as a habit. one you experienced as you developed any skill. Hanna. This is a condition in which the sensory-motor neurons of the voluntary cortex have lost some portion of their ability to control all or some of the muscles of the body.In fact. The answer is as simple as the first premise above (that much pain is muscular in origin). and this answer is my second premise: the brain changes how muscles function by learning. our brain is designed to establish new patterns of control and to make them automatic by a process known as .stressful. to write. it’s a familiar kind of learning. demanding. You learned to walk. coined a term for that condition: Sensory-Motor Amnesia. No. learning. ones own brain has a power that manipulative therapeutics does not: the ability to change how our muscles function.A New Discipline in the Field of Health Care”. Vol. . all of which are activities with a large automatic component. VIII. 3 . 1. . if technically: “It is my understanding that perhaps as many as fifty percent of the cases of chronic pain suffered by human beings are caused by sensory-motor amnesia (SMA). “Clinical Somatic Education -. “insult” -. He explained the condition concisely. Ph. As an organ of learning and conditioning. 1. .D.Magazine-Journal of the Bodily Arts and Sciences. though some of our brain functions are strictly automatic. .. or plainold hard times.”1 The brain is the master-control organ of the muscular system. Actually. Thomas L. After that. This learning is not an alien kind of learning. (which also prompts us to tighten up) -. autumn/winter 1990-91. a pioneer researcher in the field of somatic education.. Through injury (which prompts our nervous system to contract muscles in an involuntary cringing action) or through what I call. The question is how to activate that power. to drive. and our brain forgets to relax muscles during times of supposed rest.our brain learns to accept tension as the norm.

By learning to control your strength better. let the soreness go out of them. Let the over-compression come off your discs. let’s do a “reality check.an oversimplification of the problem. brain-muscle learning occurs fairly quickly and can result in changes. It’s learn by doing -. structured (and therefore easier) learning. of conditions that have existed for years.You learned to control your muscles better by causing them to do what muscles do. again." Why do people think so? Perhaps it’s due to the history of conventional treatment methods. but with the help of the coordination pattern sequences presented in this book. Let those muscles rest.and your brain does the learning. You may not be able to do that. You’re involuntarily tense. So. The learning gained from this book. These coordination pattern sequences. it is likely that you’ve lost significant control of the tension in your back muscles. occurs in a more organized way. You need to improve your control of those muscles. you gain better use of your strength and reduce the possibility of injury. If you have back trouble. in weeks. Based on common experience. your back muscles become refreshed and comfortable. By relaxing your muscles. now. which is to cause movement. Many people think. as training exercises. "Back trouble is too painful.” 4 . Words like that may still seem too incredible to be believed -. popular opinion holds that the problem of back pain is large and difficult and anyone who says anything to the contrary suffers a loss of credibility. By learning more efficient coordination. or that easily. too serious a condition to be dismissed that quickly. It’s concentrated learning. you’ll learn to do it. you get better balanced and more flexible. For that reason. so that you can relax. can restore your trust in your back. although a similar kind of learning.

they always do one thing: shorten.The Status Quo According to the mass communications media. the shorter it gets. When muscles contract. If you have had back trouble and been told to expect to live with the problem for the rest of your life.as you may have experienced. Medical doctors. For the good these approaches do -. cannot contract and shorten as much as strong muscles do. back pain is a costly epidemic that afflicts eight out of ten of us sometime in our lives. osteopaths. and bodyworkers use manipulative methods supplemented.are the common fare of such reports. Medical solutions -. Weak muscles. it’s most likely because the muscle is too strongly contracted. on the other hand. Something else is needed.they often fail to bring lasting relief -. physical therapists.even lifelong -. with recommendations for "strengthening and stretching". relaxation techniques. The results of conventional therapeutic measures are often temporary and the person remains vulnerable to re-injury and subject to prescribed limitations to movement. or drugs.drugs. in many cases. The idea that a muscle is both weak (and unable to shorten) and needs stretching (because too short) is a contradiction. for a moment. Sometimes other methods are featured -.and some people do get relief from them -. It's either that. Let’s think about strengthening and stretching. exotic surgeries -.acupuncture. you know what I mean. chiropractors. 5 . biofeedback. The stronger the muscle contracts.care. Conventional Therapeutics The traditional therapies with which most people are familiar often require regular -. If a muscle is too short (and needs stretching).

Back pain comes from something the body is doing. have weak back muscles. 6 . Whatever medical problems may accompany back pain. exactly. upon examination of a person's musculature. not soft. they are usually not the cause. What evidence do we have for this assertion? The Significance of the Obvious What.A Fresh Look Clinical practitioners of the methods presented in this book very often find. that their back trouble is not a medical problem. compress intervertebral discs (leading to bulging or herniated discs and so-called “degenerative disc disease”). contracted muscles. Our clients usually have back muscles conditioned into a painfully high state of tension that predisposes them to muscle spasms. is it that seizes up and hurts when you have a back spasm? Everybody knows the answer to that. Touch the lower back of people with back trouble. flaccid muscles. what they do not know is. Why? Thomas Hanna pointed out that one thing you will almost always notice about people with back pain is their high shoulders and swayback. and you will usually find the same thing: hard. of heightened back tension. but the effect. One thing that is almost always said about people with back trouble is that they LANDAU REACTION CLOTHES DON’T MAKE THE MAN. it's a conditioning problem. That’s rarely the case. and cause the pain and numbness of sciatica. not something that is happening to it. High-tension back spasms cause muscular soreness.

degenerative disk disease. here. which is the brain. That's the whole story. and it persists throughout a lifetime.that reaction becomes a tension habit. hurrying to placate impatient people. the muscular pattern of contraction associated with back pain matches the Landau Reaction. I refer to this pattern of contraction as the Landau reaction. The bad news is that your muscles are out of control. the problem starts in your brain. and lasts throughout a lifetime as a normal response to the demand for action. pinched nerves.driven. These consequences arise from excessive tension and strain on body tissues. because physical therapists and exercise physiologists are going to be reading this book. The tension habit that keeps your back tight is the habit of being “wound up. one that might outlast the stage of life when it seemed necessary. deadlines. facet joint irritation. this reaction tightens the muscles of the spine in preparation for going from rest into activity. The Landau Reaction occurs as we go into a heightened state of alertness in preparation for moving into action. This answer is a "good news/bad news" type of answer. muscles and movement are controlled from the largest nerve center of the body. and your brain can be retrained. I need to make a bit of an aside. So. despite this disagreement. if you have tight. driving. It is taught that the Landau reaction is outgrown after a certain stage of infancy and does not appear in the adult. Perhaps this difference of opinion is only a matter of what we call the pattern of contraction.” “on the go” -. So. That emotional state triggers an ancient bodily reflex (known to developmental physiologists as The Landau Reaction). headaches -. this pattern of contraction is common among human beings. sciatica. Many consequences of back pain -. triggered incessantly for years -. is associated with heightened alertness. spastic muscles or pinched nerves.by telephone calls. However. Now. They cannot be "cured" by manipulation because the body is "doing it to 7 . and it's your brain's fault! The good news is that your muscles obey your brain. but whatever name we use. and general aggravation -.Except for momentary reflexes controlled in the spinal cord. and reacting to every situation.stem from habituated Landau Reaction.

. a brief daily regimen of movements is sufficient to keep you from accumulating the daily tensions of a driven life of job. improve freedom of movement and muscular control. the involved muscles. massage. The Landau Reaction is not “bad”. hypnosis. muscle relaxant drugs. Now there is. Bed rest has been discredited. bed rest. Treatments for persons stuck in Landau Reaction (chronic tension and stress) include pain-relievers. home and career. Getting stuck in Landau Reaction is a consequence of accumulated stress. Once you have sufficiently improved your control of your own body to regain your comfort and trust in your back. electrical stimulation. such as those found in this book. assert voluntary control over.itself" and does not stop “doing it to itself” until the tension habit of The Landau Reaction is broken. skeletal adjustments. improve physical comfort and natural grace. just to clarify. i. doctors having discovered that people recover from back pain episodes more quickly when they stay active (use.e. schedules. and at last (as at first) pain-relievers. rapidly improve ones ability to feel and control muscles tension. New methods of learning and conditioning. relaxation techniques. COMING OUT OF LANDAU REACTION 8 . Until recently. to the contrary: it’s a normal arousal-response to situations that need our attention. What’s “bad” is getting stuck in Landau Reaction. there was nothing better than the therapeutic options listed above. However. The Landau Reaction is behind the back-pain epidemic in our society.

That became my driving style. majoring in Physical Therapy. On the second day of training.My Story It was Chrismas. and I made the trip as often as time would permit. On the day before. I have a picture of him grinning down from the branches of an apricot tree on the campus of the Dominican College in San Rafael. a three hour drive from Fresno. It lasted a few days and then was gone. where he was conducting our training. with searing pain that went down behind my right shoulder blade and that lasted for months. I was moving Christmas presents from their hiding place in the hall closet to their place under the Christmas tree.you know what happened. he announced with characteristic flair that he was going to show us something that would seem to be miraculous. Hanna was a character with a penchant for the dramatic. but as I leaned over to pick it up -. In the years that followed. my neck would from time to time seize up in pain. It felt like a hot cable running from my buttock down the back of my thigh to my knee. preventing me from turning my head. a mysterious sensation appeared in my right leg. developer of the approach presented here. sharp and surprising. In 1988. During that time. Friends and family lived in the Santa Clara Valley. but I found that the only way I could get comfortable was to tuck my leg under me and use my left foot for the accelerator. I was a student at the California State University in Fresno. This was not a particularly heavy box. He had climbed the tree without a ladder. a man who at age sixty-one had the body of a forty-year-old. I was a student-in-training under Thomas Hanna. By 1990. California. 1979. It was my first back spasm. he had started preparing us to learn something that had never been 9 . Dr. A subsequent injury made things worse. I didn’t know what it was.

without massaging or stretching. This is not the end of the story. had one word to say: “Astonishing!” Then. low-level pain at the waistline that came and went. but when he made this announcement. with nagging. I. and from those who raised their hands. lifted off the table. Hanna’s methods by ministering to each other. One of the other students. on his back. hands-on movement maneuvers that. In my mother’s side of the family.taught. I had just seen something I had never seen before. before. there is a tendency toward lower back pain. My low back seized up. the hot cable behind my right thigh and my searing neck pain have disappeared and never returned. myself. we students-in-training learned Dr. “O. 10 .K. he selected a tall man in his sixties with rounded shoulders and a sunken chest. I sat up. Hanna had told the truth. thought to myself. have had a similar tendency. Let’s see it. but presented no limitation to my movement -. Some older members of the family have a forward-leaning posture characteristic of the elderly. he proceeded to guide the man through a series of slow-motion. to a new position. Dr.until one day. Hanna and his volunteer did the other shoulder. in the space of about thirty seconds. and with arms crossed.” He asked for a volunteer. (The ministrations of my fellow students during our training period had failed to reach that deeply. my “hype” meter came on strongly.) I thought to clear the pain up by using the somatic techniques that I knew. In the weeks that followed. shifted one shoulder from its held position. After explaining what he was about to do.this. He invited the man to lie down on a padded treatment table. a trainer in a method of bodywork called Hellerwork. relaxed and flat on the table -. Dr. and I didn’t have it. In the process. however. but I couldn’t reach it. I had just finished delivering a workshop on somatic techniques and was helping to stack chairs when a very unexpected thing happened. The pain was deep in my pelvis and felt like lightening bolts that went down the fronts of my thighs. Something new was needed.

however. Hanna’s challenge and to be a well-tested example of what I represented to others. I’ll present some here. before. Eventually. but in the months that followed.” She was unable to sleep on her back or to maintain any lying position for more than a few minutes. Nothing worked. I felt I had no alternative but to explore the problem and arrive at a solution. recurred several times. themselves. Tobe had so many injuries that the pain of one injury would prevent us from doing the movements that would free her from the pain of another. the pain subsided. Stories of Others In working with clients. and she now sleeps comfortably on her back and has no need of either treatment or pain medication. 11 . “Tobe. and pain killers. “I hurt all the time. but I finally found a combination of coordinated movements that reached where nothing had reached. which I present to you in this book. Further exploration of those coordination patterns have led to new techniques and to refinements of the movements. If I was to get relief and to be able to walk my talk.” an avid rider and fox hunter. Hanna used in one of his lectures to us.After weeks. we were able to unravel the situation. at last. “Physician. massage. I have come across some interesting situations. I was at last able to be true to Dr. I will not pretend that this was a quick fix. In her own words. had a history of injuries from falling off her horse. I took two years or so of delving into movement explorations. heal thyself. She had what she described as “horrible sciatica and lower back pain” that was ruining her life. I was able. to relax the deep contractions of my pain and achieve relief. I tried chiropractic.” was a phrase Dr.

She also found me on the internet. you. can obtain the relief you need. he has been able to get relief and to maintain it by himself for long periods of time. suffered injury when she was hugged rather too enthusiastically by a large man. Under my guidance. Hanna put it.“James. The significance of his story is that people’s occupations can cause them problems.somatics. and having failed to obtain relief from physiotherapy or from two years of osteopathic treatment.” Another person. It takes an awful lot to damage ligaments.htm. and perhaps to be less tall in a world of shorter people. In fact. A moment’s visualization and you can see how this would be the posture of someone who stoops forward to be close to his work. “Sally.com/JCourt. James tends to recreate the problem. she began a program of somatic instruction that brought her relief. including my own. but that by using the methods shown in this book. After consulting with me by e-mail. too. he had multiple postural problems. restricting his breathing and forcing his head forward. “You can have your cake and eat it.” a sculptor. using the methods shown in this book.” a health-educator in California and a small woman. Her diagnosis: ligament damage. suffered debilitating back and neck pain that interfered with his ability to work. 12 . Having been diagnosed with a slipped disc and a disc bulge. You can imagine. he had a tight chest that pulled his ribs down. it was perfectly safe for Sally to try them. due to geographical distance. She has since recovered her physical comfort.com). they can recover and maintain their physical comfort. I was unconvinced of the diagnosis. too. Janette. I am confident that with the methods presented here. In addition to a tight low back. was unable to see me in person. Listening to her story. A tall man. because of the nature of his work. Since the methods I offer are gentle and non-invasive. she sought help on the internet and found Somatics on the Web (somatics. As Dr. I have presented some rather challenging cases. Her letter appears on the website at www.

Introducing the Method 13 .

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you may also notice that some of the pain returns. and recent acute injuries.Orientation to This Program Whom is This Program For? This program is for people who have had back injuries that have not healed as expected. What to Expect Generally. Ask if you might try the coordination patterns under their supervision (with them guiding you). Your first performances of these coordination patterns are likely to be approximations of the instructions. Your energy for movement is likely to increase. your old conditioning is reasserting itself. you can expect decreases of chronic pain and increases in freedom of movement. coordination. The results you get will largely reflect how well you convert words into actions. get the advice of your physician before beginning any regimen of physical conditioning. balance. you may find. Sometimes. that means you haven’t yet sufficiently retrained your brain. You can expect improvements in flexibility. If it returns. for people who want to improve their posture. if you are under their care. and for professional athletes who want to improve their performance and reduce the likelihood of injury. Show this program to your physician and to your physical therapist. Don’t worry. Just persist in the program. 15 . for people with discomfort accompanying scoliosis or excessive kyphosis (types of curvature of the spine). however. and you’ll find that your improvements accumulate. at times. that what you think you are doing and what you are actually doing are a bit different! With practice. strength. You may find that your comfort and flexibility improve immediately with each pass through a movement sequence. If you have had a recent injury. expect to discover that you have more strength and more energy for movement. You’ll feel better and look better. to find out if they are ruled out by your condition. It is appropriate for people with long-standing chronic. posture and appearance. In fact.

I have some suggestions -. and it probably means changing your dietary mix. Once you’ve got more movement. By “diet. The more weight you have forward of your midline. The muscles that enable you to bend back are found in your midand-upper back. If You’re in the Acute Phase of Back Pain You’ll have to go more gently and exercise patience. you may reduce to two and then one session per day. Regulate your effort to be within the range of sensations you are willing to experience. It’s a practical question: Can you do the movements as shown or does your pain prevent it? If your pain prevents it. I mean change your diet and eating habits permanently.” I don’t mean go on a diet. the more you must bend back from your waist. The pain will subside in the hours that follow each session. I recommend that you do three gentle sessions per day. but that belly adds significant strain to your back. provided you do them gently and with consideration for your comfort. Otherwise. you are unlikely have a completely successful outcome from this program without dealing with your excess weight. particularly simple 16 . Diet and exercise.the usual ones. you need to do what you can and work up to doing the movements as instructed. particularly if you have a belly that protrudes significantly. These coordination patterns are safe to do. Carbohydrates. that weight pulls you forward and off-balance. up. That may mean eating smaller portions. If You’re Overweight If you’re overweight. I’m sorry to say it. In other words. If you’re in acute pain. aided by your low back muscles.you will find you can do the movements more exactly as instructed and get quicker improvements. to stay in balance. you have a preparatory project ahead of you: lose the excess weight.

Even so. exercise more. this program will give you relief. I recommend you read it and make the necessary changes in your habits of life. my recommendation is that you start reading about diet and start experimenting until you find a dietary mix that works for you. tends to stay elevated for hours.” has a physical as well as an emotional meaning.” I mean some activity that gets your metabolic rate up. Sometimes. It’s the mindbody connection in action. To help you get a handle on clearing up the habits of life that may be contributing to emotional tension in some readers. “somatic. “uptight. once elevated by exercise. Derived from ancient Greek. As dietary recommendations are beyond the scope of this book. as muscles burn fat. I also mean some activity that builds muscles. By “exercise. habits of life contribute to emotional tension. It’s summarized in the slang expression. “nervous tension. It refers to the body experienced and controlled from within. A walk for twenty minutes. If you’re passing through an emotionally trying period of life.” and refers to the fact that emotional tension is accompanied by muscular tension.sugars and white flour -. will help.” 17 . If you hurt too much to exercise. Your metabolic rate.raise the blood insulin level and cause carbohydrates to be stored as fat. you need to handle the issues surrounding your emotional tension. About Emotions and Nervous Tension The term. and when your pain levels are lower. Sometimes.the Magazine-Journal of the Mind-Body Arts and Sciences.” is a word with a special meaning. which by itself can trigger nervous tension and back pain. twice a day. muscular tension lingers after the emotional tension has passed. You’ll find it in Appendix C. “soma. If you’re under emotional stress beyond that caused by your back pain. start with this program.carbohydrates -. I have included a reprint of an article of mine originally published in Somatics -. The Origins of the Somatic Coordination Patterns The word.

calling the result Hanna Somatic Education. evolved Functional Integration along his own lines. Feldenkrais studied both Alexanders’ work. whose method was called Eutony. and evolved it with his own insights and methods. in turn. for example. Gerda Alexander ((no relation to F. 18 . Somatics: Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement. The word. what was involved was a way to improve self-awareness and freedom of movement . including those developed by Alexander. are ancient. coupled with my own research and development efforts. and the basic discoveries upon which the somatic coordination patterns are based. Moshe Feldenkrais. Mathhias Alexander.means “living. Alexander was a Shakespearean orator whose techniques grew out his search for a way to control his stage fright. Many practitioners of that approach exist today. and Hanna. which he first described in his book. soma. specifically. which was causing him to lose his voice. Matthias). In each case. the union of mind and body. their underlying principles are similar to those of ancient yoga. enhance your ability to function by having you put your intention where your attention is and your attention where your intention is. Matthias Alexander developed a system of movement education called The Alexander Technique. The somatic coordination patterns improve your sense of the union of your mind and body.” This self-awareness includes the kind of internal self-awareness you have of chewing or yawning. So both the meaning of the word. He called the result.intentions originally found in ancient yoga. four individuals stand out as originators whose work contributed to the methods found in this program: F. The integration of what I learned from Thomas Hanna and others. Feldenkrais. Hanna. Functional Integration. F. your body will be able better to do what your mind intends it to do.” including. Though the somatic coordination patterns are new. and Health (published by Perseus Publishing). More recently. Flexibility. “yoga”. All somatic coordination patterns. Gerda Alexander was another developer of somatic education. means “union. has led to the somatic coordination patterns found in this book. self-aware body. and Thomas Hanna. dating back thousands of years.

Understanding the Somatic Developmental Coordination Patterns 19 .

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involuntary tensions let go. The muscles stay in a relaxed state unless you are using them. Take your time progressing from one coordination pattern to the next. Soreness is a normal. If you find a coordination pattern too difficult or painful. but temporary. The most common mistake people make doing the coordination patterning is to use too much effort. Soon. Some of these muscles are in your back and others affect the muscles in your back by affecting your posture and balance. As you improve your control of these muscles. You need the results from the earlier coordination patterns to get the best results from the later ones. In the sessions that follow. give yourself a rest for a day. you will recover and improve voluntary control of the muscles that affect your back. don’t worry.About the Coordination Patterns THE COORDINATION PATTERNS DON’T LOOK LIKE MUCH. If you do get sore. you will no longer tend to cramp. It passes by itself in a day or so. then pick up where you left off in the program. which sometimes leads to cramping. Don’t worry. 21 . each coordination pattern builds upon the gains produced by those that came before. WHAT THEY FEEL LIKE IS SOMETHING ELSE. Instructions will guide you to a preparatory coordination pattern that will make things easier. be thorough and patient. use less effort and lend more attention to what you are feeling. If you get a cramp. outcome for a certain percentage of people. I present these coordination patterns in a specific sequence. You should also know that there is a possibility of some soreness appearing once you have started working with the coordination patterns.

care. check off the corresponding place in the checklist abd decide on a time for your next session.” How Best to Learn the Somatic Coordination Patterns First. There is an unsuspected depth of self-awareness in you. Allow yourself about thirty minutes. you are ready to learn the next. rather than in a rote. gain confidence. • Play the audio CDs and follow along in this book. The meaning of the instructions becomes clearer with experience. Each time you complete a session (daily is best). and undistracted time. Enter it into the space. it’s important to know what you mean to do. Always do them in an exploratory. deliberate way. each session. exercise patience. improve your control of how much effort you use (more or less). • When doing the coordination patterns. Each day has a space for you to make an appointment with yourself and with me (via this program). set a time in your schedule. There is a checklist at the end of this section To be effective. • Decrease the amount of effort. My basic suggestions: • Make sure you understand the ideas in this section. many will be shorter. revealed by the 22 . The coordination patterns provide a learning experience. use enough muscular effort to feel where the muscular effort is. This is a learning process. Allow for some confusion at the beginning. Learn to perform them equally well. the somatic coordination patterns require concentration. It’s now a “prior engagement. after all. After you have learned a coordination pattern. At the end of this section. with equal control. • Start with larger muscular efforts. you will find a checklist that guides you through the program.How to Go About Doing this Program Since you’re making changes in yourself. Use the illustrations to make sure the instructions make sense to you. mechanical way.

you will be more able to distinguish the muscles that are non-essential to the movement and to let them be relaxed. the first time you do a movement. from pain. produces significant improvements in muscular control. To get the most benefit from a somatic coordination pattern. To repeat. Do one new session several times within a week until it’s very familiar to you. Use as much effort as needed to get a bit more sensation in the involved areas (the amount of sensation you are willing to experience). you will continually uncover patterns of tension you have held without awareness and be able to relax them. the more you will benefit. relax slowly. the relaxation phase. Take your time. That way. The somatic coordination patterns are more than they may seem to be. notice the last sensation of effort as it disappears into rest. During the relaxation phase. and if not. you are likely to need more muscular effort to sense your muscular effort than you will with subsequent repetitions. decrease the amount of effort as your ability to feel muscles awakens. relax them. Soon. If you feel areas tense other than those indicated. never cause yourself to cringe. and the more you do them. hold the contraction long enough for the feeling of the contraction to “fade in” and stabilize. using just enough effort to sense the movement. from over-effort. The earlier sessions prepare you for those that come later. feel whether they are actually needed for the movement. • Always relax completely between repetitions of a movement. done slowly. • As you end a movement. go slowly enough to sense the movement as you do it. and feeling the areas indicated in the instructions. Follow each 23 . Once you can feel how you cause a movement to occur.coordination patterns. • During the contraction phase of a movement. as you start a coordination pattern: • Notice the first sensation of effort as you move from rest into action. Practically speaking. or from fear.

Given the tendency people have to accumulate nervous tension. You may be surprised at the new improvements you get with each pass through. follow the instructions to a coordination pattern elsewhere in the program that can prepare you for the one with which you’re having difficulty. use the illustrated summary page to remind you how to do it. in this program.session with a brief review of the previous one. If you haven’t spent enough time with an earlier coordination pattern. you will probably find it beneficial to spend about ten minutes a day reviewing the coordination patterns in the order in which they appear. If you find that going back to an earlier coordination pattern doesn’t help. 24 . If a coordination pattern seems too difficult or feels painful. you may need to go back to an earlier session to prepare yourself better. go more slowly and more gently.

). followed by the KEY to the coordination pattern. Within each module. for best (and easiest) results. (main instruction. before adding the additional parts. Each new set of instructions starting with (1. it is necessary to rehearse the basic part until you can do it easily. Do all of the units of a module. you’ll notice that numbering often starts over at (1. provided you are doing the basic part correctly. it’s useful only as a reminder of what you have already 25 . The symbol appears at instructions where the helps to get the result. In most cases. basic level) (intermediate level) ⇒ 2nd level⇒ (additional instruction) ⇒ 3rd level⇒ (additional instruction) (more proficient level) Adding the additional parts makes a coordination pattern more potent.The Instructions Each set of instructions starts with a STARTING POSITION.) is a unit to be practiced by itself until you get the intended sensations. As with any summary. The simplest steps of the movement are numbered. before moving on. you will find a pictorial SUMMARY. More advanced additions to movements appear as follows: 1. The somatic coordination patterns often have several parts. the SUMMARY is a short form of the instructions. For that reason. The is a special hint for doing the coordination pattern in good form. In a section that follows the instructional modules. which you add together for greater potency.

26 . Significant results come relatively quickly from doing the somatic coordination patterns. The Feeling is the Thing Unlike most systems of exercise. as you slow down and pay attention to the sensation of effort. you’ll know how much time you want to take.learned. In other words. Make them part of your daily regimen. You may have noticed that you can’t see much detail in things that are moving quickly. The long-term change occurs during the relaxation phase. use a SUMMARY to remind yourself how to do a coordination pattern. the essence of the somatic coordination patterns is the sensations they produce. you discover the unnecessary tensions you hold during movement. With experience. However. particularly during the slow relaxation phase of each somatic coordination pattern. The whole point of these coordination patterns is to do something in a new way: to change how we move and how we feel. we tend to do them in the usual way. For example. during a movement. the more time you have for details to “fade in” to your perception. In the case of the somatic coordination patterns. themselves. you may not at first perceive the restrictions and habitual tensions of your usual way of moving. people forget to breathe! You may even discover that you are holding tension that directly interferes with the movement of a coordination pattern. not as a substitute for the full instructions. Pace Yourself Doing things at the usual speed. The same is true of your body-image. the slower you move. it’s much easier to see the details of things that are moving slowly. Once you have gotten the results from this program and are in the maintenance phase. when you do a few minues a day.

So. At that point. nor is it a sign that you are weak. It is a way of working smarter.” These words are. “in a leisurely way.” To do the movements in this program gently (or in a leisurely way) calls for you to develop more care and awareness of what you are doing. an abstract generality to you. at this moment. feeling more elegant and under your control. Why “Gently”? Another way of putting it would be. not harder. it is already too much a part of the movement for you to relax. If you catch interfering tension too late (because you’ve gone too fast). maintaining the smoothness of the movement. It also teaches your brain what less contracted muscles feel like and cultivates a shift from more contracted (at rest) toward relaxed. 27 . you can release the interfering tension. Go slower with each repetition. they don’t have much meaning. ALLOW.If you catch the interfering tension at the very moment it begins. DO. Their meaning will be obvious once you experience results from the coordination patterns. “Know exactly what you INTEND to do. As you do. to go slowly is essential. It is a way of operating more carefully and attentively. Here’s another set of words that will have meaning once you start the coordination patterns: INTEND. and then. At the beginning of this explanation were the words. get the distinct feeling of ALLOWING yourself to do it (relax into doing it). That means. “The whole point of these coordination patterns is to do something in a new way: to change how we move and feel. you will notice your movement getting smoother. and it is particularly valuable when confronting a challenge. So going gently is not being lazy. DO it. you will be able to relax it.

to the level of tension (or shortening) they experience habitually. The key question is. to avoid injury. The obvious conclusion to draw is that muscles get shortened because the nervous system is stimulating them to contract. people return. attempts to stretch muscles work against those reflexes. whatever benefits stretching confers. So. Stretching Concerns with stretching muscles point to one key observation: muscles get shortened. the need for which is neither recognized nor intended when being stretched by another. Because muscles cannot relax and lengthen beyond what the conditioned postural reflexes permit. Afterwards. forcible stretching is usually a painful ordeal. Someone stretches their muscles. The changes that result from stretching are therefore generally unpredictable and unstable. how can someone’s being stretched (or adjusted or massaged) by someone else possibly change the person’s way of controlling their own muscles? How can a person internalize the change merely by being manipulated from outside? To internalize a change requires learning (to do for oneself). As anyone who has had someone stretch their hamstrings (or any other muscle) knows. “Attempt” is the correct word because stretching produces only limited and temporary effects.essential for balance. you develop the ability to control the degree of contraction -. Instead of muscles being stuck in contraction. the muscles feel weaker. “gently” is a secret key to improve control.Finally. Muscles have no control of their own. “Why?” The nervous system controls the muscular system. which is one reason why so many athletes (and dancers) suffer pulled hamstrings and knee problems. by tendency. Learning Control vs. That being the case. it teaches control. Athletes and dancers attempt to stretch their hamstrings (at the backs of the thighs). The muscles resist. It hurts. agility and grace. for example. As a result. Clearly. it has some significant drawbacks. So 28 .

and coordination.they tighten up. again. you may assume that those muscles are completely relaxed and need stretching. To change the set-point requires more than stretching or massaging. you cannot relax past a certain point.that is. if you try to relax muscles that are habitually tight. You may not recognize that you are contracting “on automatic” due to postural habits stored in your brain.the degree of relaxation muscles attain when we are not voluntarily contracting them. relaxation. Better results come by changing the muscles’ tension-set-point -. This return of muscular tension (controlled by conditioned postural reflexes) makes repeated stretching necessary. The person is holding them tense by habit.” Somatic development involves enhancing the ability to feel the body from within. Such a learning process is referred to in some circles as “somatic training” or “somatic education.. using an act of will. another way to deal with muscular tension than by stretching. Ponder this point for a moment until you understand it. they are actively contracting. there is a way out of this situation. you are likely to find that your ability to do so is limited. we must first start with the recognition that muscles that need stretching are usually holding tension -. That way. The brain “wakes up” and its ability to control muscular tension. it requires a learning process that affects the brain. which controls the muscular system. Oddly enough. At that point. visualization. or other non-learning based techniques. That is why hamstrings (and other muscles) tighten up again so soon after stretching or massage. Any attempt to stretch them simply re-triggers the impulse to re-contract them to restore the sense of what is “familiar”. Fortunately. To understand how it works. is enhanced. even with special breathing.. you contract only when you intend to do so. usually involuntarily and without awareness. What Works . is to shift the “tension-set-point” that your muscles habitually assume from one of continual tension to natural relaxation. Techniques that enhance the ability to feel the body from within often use systematic exercise techniques and movement maneuvers to improve the brain- 29 .

Slow motion is the key to coordination patterns and to any other learning process where details make a difference.BOTH YOUR AMOUNT OF STRENGTH AND YOUR COORDINATION. and require no special attention during ordinary activities. These techniques do what biofeedback does. TO CHANGE YOUR SET-POINT REQUIRES MORE THAN STRETCHING OR MASSAGING. the coordination patterns send a clear sensory signal to the brain. THIS BOOK TEACHES YOU TO DO JUST THAT. a signal that wakes up (or refreshes) the related nerve pathways.or from repetitive use of certain movement patterns -.it is advisable to include a few minutes of somatic coordination patterns in your daily health regimen. IT REQUIRES YOU TO IMPROVE YOUR CONTROL OVER YOUR MUSCULAR TENSION -. 30 .and the results are usually more durable. and when they do. The Mechanism By deliberately contracting already-contracted muscles. To avoid accumulating tension from stress responses in daily life -. the benefits are durable. you improve your brain’s ability to control the amount of muscular tension. but without need for electronic instruments -. Continuing to do somatic coordination patterns produces cumulative improvements in muscular control and decreases the likelihood of injury during vigorous activities. With the looseness that develops. you are likely to develop a preference for somatic coordination patterns over stretching. Performance in slow-motion gives a clearer and more complete body image. more robust. using patterns of movement. than the results of biofeedback. Significant results come relatively quickly from doing somatic coordination patterns. feel second-nature. By releasing the contraction in slow motion.body connection.

so take your time to understand them. not of a stretch. certain terms have specific meanings. below. giving in to gravity push = to apply force away from yourself pull = to draw toward yourself underside = the side on which you are lying or sitting topside = your uppermost side in relation to the Earth slowly = slowly enough to feel your movement continuously as you move gently = two “degrees” more gently than you think of as gentle. lift = to move away from the ground.. the location of the most vivid sensation of muscular contraction. giving in to gravity down = toward the ground. I define these terms. Feel what’s working. = Stop moving. against gravity up = away from the ground. = Stop moving and stay in position. but with enough effort to feel what you are doing smoothly = without sudden movements or loss of control where the movement comes from = as you move. the location of a contraction. against graviy lower = to move toward the ground. 31 . So you have an easier time understanding the instructions. feel your muscles at work. as revealed by the sense of effort . hold = to maintain an effort at a steady level Pause in place. To understand them once is sufficient -. = Feel which muscles are working by the sense of effort. Pause and feel.. and in the position you are in.The Meanings of Certain Terms Used in the Instructions In the instructions.

The following diagram shows the main sequence (coordination patterns of same color) and the “debugging” sequence (indicated by arrows). Then do the coordination pattern. or just before going to bed. you will now find it do-able. So. 32 . Twice is better -. you set the tone for your day (more comfortable) and for your night of sleep (more relaxed).once in the morning and once in the evening: before dinner. That way.Getting Started The coordination patterns in this book are organized so that if one coordination pattern is too painful or difficult for you to do. which follow this section. Table 1: Learning Plan MODULE 1 COORDINATION PATTERN A COORDINATION PATTERN B COORDINATION PATTERN C MODULE 2 The Wigging Jig Yoga of the Reclining Buddha The Twist that Untwists MODULE 3 In-Bed Stretches The Dog Stretch The Mortar & Pestle Spine Waves Lazy “8”s The Folding Seesaw Do the coordination patterns at least once each day. after dinner. It will take you about five minutes. another coordination pattern will prepare you for it. then return to the coordination pattern from which you came. The hardest part of this program will probably be to get started. begin the program immediately by reading Self-Assessment and Preparatory Learning. You go to the “debugging” pattern and do it for four days. When you return to the previous coordination pattern.

You may be inclined to stop there.To start any new program requires an act of will -. 33 . Afterwards. there is an unsuspected depth in these coordination patterns and in you.” Repeat it to yourself now. three times. notice what you feel about doing the program. These coordination patterns have a depth that is not achieved in one or two performances. spend at least one week with one coordination pattern.self-determination. Continue through the whole program. An easy way to see how determined you really are is to repeat the following sentence to yourself: “I’m doing this program until I get results. That may also reveal something about how you “do” your life. Unsuspected benefits await you. before moving on. One final word: You may get results early on in this program. As a general guideline. More performance brings more results. done thoroughly several times.

DON’T GUARD AREAS BECAUSE THEY “MIGHT” HURT.” APPLIES. UNLIKE CONVENTIONAL POSTURAL TRAINING. IF ANYTHING. YOUR POSTURE WILL IMPROVE NATURALLY. ONCE YOU FEEL IMPROVEMENTS. ASSUME A LONG.NOTE: THE IMPROVEMENTS YOU GET FROM THE SOMATIC COORDINATION PATTERNS ARE CUMULATIVE. THE SAYING. DO NOT HOLD “GOOD POSTURE.” AS IT ONLY ADDS TENSION TO YOUR OTHER HABITUAL TENSIONS. GET ACTIVE. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HOLD GOOD POSTURE TO HAVE GOOD POSTURE AFTER DOING THESE COORDINATION PATTERNS. TALL POSTURE THEN RELAX INTO IT AND LET GO. “USE IT OR LOSE IT. 34 .

~ o 0 O 0 o ~ After each coordination pattern. in the buttocks. Slide a hand under your low back and feel the space. This pattern usually involves tension in the muscles at the backs of the shoulders. This section gives you a chance to get familiar with your pattern of muscular tension. 35 . so you can recognize and own your progress. Other muscles at the front of your hip joints may be contributing. As you lie there.Self-Assessment There is a common pattern of muscular tension in people with back trouble. their tension has the same effect on your back as the string of an archer’s bow: The tension of your back muscles creates a curve in your back just as the tension of the bowstring creates the curve of the archer’s bow. As they do. along the spine. take some time to feel how your shoulders and buttocks meet the surface. Feel how your shoulders and buttocks contact the surface. (Stop reading. Lie on your back. Do that now. Do this now.~ o 0 O 0 o ~ The space you felt is the result of the muscles of your low back contracting. you will have a chance to feel the changes. again. After you complete each coordination pattern. Lie on your back. (Stop reading. It’s useful to have a clear picture of where you’re starting.) . notice how much space there is between your low back and the surface on which you’re lying.) . and sometimes the neck and hamstrings. You will feel this curve decrease as you do them. The coordination patterns that follow will retrain your muscles to relax.

Preparatory Learning STARTING POSITION: • lying on your back • knees up. Bring your attention to your breathing.” 2. on the inside. legs balanced (upright) leaning neither in nor out • arms bent with hands at shoulder height 1. “the place behind your nose. Bring your attention to your throat behind your nose. warm with exhalation. 36 . You have located the place where your head rests upon your topmost neck vertebra. In the following coordination patterns. this place is called. 3. Feel your throat (behind your nose) cool with inhalation.

begins to close. locate the head position at which the place behind your nose. That’s known as “the neutral position.” 37 . opens. By moving your head slowly in a nodding (“yes”) movement. and the place at the back of your head where your neck meets. in your throat.4.

• Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing. You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. Notice where you feel it. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. Feel there continuously through the movement. • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort.• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. 38 . • To repeat. • Follow the instructions.

5 Day 4 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Spine Waves page 45 CD 1 tracks 4. “NEXT APPOINTMENT DATE AND TIME. bold face indicates instruction. If you don’t complete a day’s program. 5 Day 3 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Spine Waves page 45 CD 1 tracks 4. Light face indicates “introduction”. Day 1 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Spine Waves page 45 CD 1 tracks 4. the time after that. 5 Day 2 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Spine Waves page 45 CD 1 tracks 4. 5 Day 6 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Spine Waves page 45 CD 1 tracks 4. Each time you finish the day’s program. That’s your next appointment with me. also. via this program. 5 Day 5 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Spine Waves page 45 CD 1 tracks 4. complete that day’s program. If you miss an appointment. check the box [ ] and make an appointment for your next session in the space marked. 2 39 . just set another time and pick up where you left off.CHECKLIST A Learning the Coordination Patterns The following checklist helps you get and stay on course. 2 Day 8 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Lazy “8”s page 77 CD 2 tracks 1. 5 Day 7 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Lazy “8”s page 77 CD 2 tracks 1. Start the next day’s program. next time.” Mark your calendar.

5 Day 11 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Lazy “8”s page 77 CD 2 tracks 1. 5 40 .Day 9 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Lazy “8”s page 77 CD 2 tracks 1. 4. 2 Day 12 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Lazy “8”s page 77 CD 2 tracks 1. 2 Day 15 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Spine Waves page 45 CD 1 tracks 4. 5 Day 16 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Folding Seesaw and The Kite The Folding Seesaw and The Kite The Folding Seesaw and The Kite Lazy “8”s page 91 CD 2 tracks 3. 2 Day 18 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 19 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Folding Seesaw and The Kite The Folding Seesaw and The Kite page 91 CD 2 tracks 3. 4. 5 Day 17 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME page 91 page 77 CD 2 CD 2 tracks 4. 5 tracks 1. 2 Day 14 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Lazy “8”s page 77 CD 2 tracks 1. 2 Day 10 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Spine Waves page 45 CD 1 tracks 4. 5 Day 17 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME page 91 CD 2 tracks 4. 4. 5 Day 20 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME page 91 CD 2 tracks 3.

7 track 1 tracks 6. 4.Day 21 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Folding Seesaw and The Kite Spine Waves page page 91 45 CD 2 CD 1 tracks 3. 4 track 7 track 4 track 1 track 4 track 1 track 4 Day 24 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Wiggling Jig Day 25 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Wiggling Jig Day 26 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Wiggling Jig Day 27 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Wiggling Jig Day 28 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Wiggling Jig Day 29 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Wiggling Jig page 111 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Wiggling Jig page 111 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Wiggling Jig page 118 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Wiggling Jig page 118 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 Day 30 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 31 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 32 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME 41 . 7 track 1 track 1 track 2 track 1 track 2 track 7 track 1 track 7 track 1 track 7 tracks 3. 5 Day 22 MODULE 1 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 23 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Wiggling Jig page 111 page 118 page 111 page 118 page 118 page 130 page 118 page 130 page 111 page 118 page 111 page 118 CD 2 CD 3 CD 2 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 2 CD 3 CD 2 CD 3 CD 2 CD 3 CD 2 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 tracks 6. 5 tracks 4.

4. 5 Day 40 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME In-Bed No-Stretch Stretches CD 4 tracks 4. 3 Day 42 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME In-Bed No-Stretch Stretches Day 43 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME In-Bed No-Stretch Stretches Day 44 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Rising Sphinx 42 . 2 track 4 tracks 1. 5 Day 41 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME In-Bed No-Stretch Stretches CD 4 CD 5 CD 4 CD 5 CD 4 CD 5 CD 5 track 4 track 1 track 4 track 1 track 4 track 1 tracks 2.Day 33 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Wiggling Jig page 130 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Wiggling Jig page 130 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Twist that Untwists page 149 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Twist that Untwists page 149 The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Twist that Untwists page 149 In-Bed No-Stretch Stretches page 165 page 171 page 165 page 171 page 165 page 171 page 165 page 183 page 165 page 183 page 165 page 183 page 193 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 4 CD 3 CD 4 CD 3 CD 4 CD 4 track 2 track 4 track 2 track 4 track 4 tracks 1. 2 tracks 3. 2 track 4 tracks 1. 5 Day 34 MODULE 2 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 35 MODULE 2 [ ] _______________________ [ ] NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 36 MODULE 2 [ ] _______________________ [ ] NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 37 MODULE 2 [ ] _______________________ [ ] NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 38 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 39 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME In-Bed No-Stretch Stretches CD 4 tracks 4.

5 Day 53 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Mortar & Pestle page 216 CD 5 tracks 4. 5 Day 54 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Mortar & Pestle The Rising Sphinx page 216 page 193 CD 5 CD 5 CD 3 CD 5 CD 5 track 5 track 3 track 4 track 5 track 5 Day 55 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Mortar & Pestle page 216 The Mortar & Pestle page 216 Day 56 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME 43 . 3 Day 51 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Mortar & Pestle page 216 CD 5 tracks 4. 3 Day 49 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ Day 50 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Rising Sphinx page 193 CD 3 CD 5 tracks 3. 3 Day 47 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ Day 48 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha page 137 The Rising Sphinx page 193 CD 3 CD 5 track 4 tracks 2. 3 Day 46 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Rising Sphinx page 193 CD 5 tracks 2. 4 tracks 2.Day 45 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Rising Sphinx page 183 CD 5 tracks 2. 5 Day 52 MODULE 3 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME The Mortar & Pestle page 216 CD 5 tracks 4.

CHECKLIST B Review Day 57 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME page 45 page 89 page 111 page 137 page 118 page 137 page 130 page 137 page 149 page 183 page 165 page 183 page 183 page 214 CD 1 CD 2 CD 2 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 3 CD 4 CD 5 CD 4 CD 5 CD 5 CD 5 track 5 track 4 track 7 track 4 track 1 track 4 track 2 track 4 track 2 track 3 track 5 track 3 track 3 track 5 Day 58 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 59 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 60 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 61 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 62 [ ] ________________________ NEXT APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME Day 63 [ ] ________________________ Congratulations! You’ve done what you set out to do! 44 .

MODULE 1A Spine Waves 45 .

) Module 1A: Spine Waves 46 .(This page deliberately blank.

They get stuck in unequal degrees of tension! That means that as soon as one group goes below its usual degree of resting tension. which brings its co-worker group back to where it started.which may already be at too low a level of tension for postural stability.Special Technique: Muscle Equalization Why Equalize Muscular Efforts? The procedures that follow have a very interesting feature: they involve equalizing the tension and sensation of muscles in two or more areas at once. For the sake of stability. and balance. The effect on back spasms? Permission to relax! All of the coordination patterns in this book consist of a contraction phase and a slow relaxation phase. The solution is to link the two groups together in a single action and to bring them to comparable levels of tension and sensation. posture. THE “EQUALIZE” ICON By so doing. That’s what the following coordination patterns do. It’s a stuck situation. for which there is no adequate substitute. goes even lower. the brain brings the too-low group back up to a higher level of tension. As you do these coordination patterns: Module 1A: Spine Waves 47 . A very odd thing happens when muscle groups that ordinarily work together get conditioned to maintain unequal degrees of tension. its co-worker group. Why equalize tensions? It unlocks tension patterns. they produce some remarkable changes of muscular control.

Module 1A: Spine Waves 48 . but breathe when you need to! Hidden Connections Among the body’s parts.• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. Spine Waves. • Follow the instructions. we can reset muscular tensions that are otherwise habitual. makes use of such hidden connections. THE “FEEL” ICON The following coordination pattern. By moving both parts together and feeling the effort. in which movements of one part elicit responsive movements of other parts. there are hidden connections.

Locate the tension of the effort your are applying at each step. hands in line with shoulders IF NECESSARY FOR COMFORT. then come back to this coordination pattern. use less effort. • place your hands on your belly • place a pillow under your head. go to Module 2A (page 101). Module 1A: Spine Waves 49 . If a movement hurts. legs balanced. If you still tend to cringe involuntarily. If your condition makes you want to cringe in this movement. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Spine Waves STARTING POSITION: • lying on your back • knees up. Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort. leaning neither in nor out • arms outstretched.

Module 1A: Spine Waves 50 . your back arch and flatten a little bit. First. 2. 2. automatically. use less effort. a bit. Repeat until you get good at arching your back deliberately where you feel it arch. If a movement hurts. Feel your chest sink. Never cause yourself to cringe. 1. Repeat until you feel your chest lift and lower. Slowly relax. Press the back of your head down and help your back arch where you feel it arch. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 1. Slowly relax.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Feel your neck stiffen and your low back lift. Press the back of your head down. we make the connection between the back of the neck and the upper back.

gently lift your breastbone and hold. Feel your breastbone lift. 3. Module 1A: Spine Waves 51 . Inhale.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 1. Press the back of your head down and help your back arch where you feel it arch. Never cause yourself to cringe. Slowly relax. use less effort. first your neck. Equalize the efforts at your neck and chest. Feel the back of your neck and your mid-back tighten more. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Repeat until the sensation is familiar. Feel your chest sink. If a movement hurts. then your chest. 4. 2.

1. 4. Inhale. Feel the back of your neck and your mid-back tighten more. Module 1A: Spine Waves 52 . 3. gently lift your breastbone and hold. Stop at the position of most vivid sensation. Feel your breastbone lift. Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Press the back of your head down and help your back arch where you feel it arch. Turn chin up and hold. use less effort. 2. Feel tension move up the back of your neck. Equalize the efforts of lifting your chin and tighening your back. If a movement hurts. Always work within your zone of easy effort.

Done correctly. Always work within your zone of easy effort. you feel your upper back relax. If a movement hurts. 5. Repeat about five (5) times at decreasing levels of effort. use less effort. Module 1A: Spine Waves 53 . Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Slowly relax.

gently lift your breastbone and hold. 2. Repeat until you can feel your chin tuck in toward your neck. your chest sink and your low back flatten. we learn to locate the base of the throat. Slowly exhale and relax all efforts. Breathe freely.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Module 1A: Spine Waves 54 . 1. Feel your chin automatically (slightly) tuck toward your throat. Now. Inhale. Feel your throat relax. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts. Never cause yourself to cringe. use less effort.

use less effort. Feel the tension at the front of your neck and base of your throat.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. and hold. Lift your breastbone. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Inhale. 1. 3. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts. press your head down. Help tuck your chin toward your neck by increasing its natural movement. Equalize tucking your chin and lifting your breastbone. Never cause yourself to cringe. hold. Module 1A: Spine Waves 55 . 2.

Slowly exhale and relax all efforts. Breathe freely. If a movement hurts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Feel your throat relax. Module 1A: Spine Waves 56 . Never cause yourself to cringe. 4. your chest sink and your low back flatten. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort.

and hold. turn chin up. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 1A: Spine Waves 57 . a movement that enables you to relax the muscles of your mid-to-upper back. 1. Feel the back of your neck tighten and shorten. the first spine-wave. If a movement hurts. use less effort. 3. Feel your breastbone lift.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. Equalize tensions at the back of your neck and mid-back. lift your breastbone. 2. Now. Feel the back of your neck and the muscles of your mid-toupper back tighten. Press your head down. Inhale. and hold.

stop at a position where you feel the tension or sensation in your back the most. (Breastbone stays lifted. Hold that position until you feel the sensation change. Slowly relax the back of your neck until tension moves in a wave to your mid-toupper back. Compare and equalize the effort in your two shoulders.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. and hold. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Move your shoulders evenly toward the tight place in your back. use less effort. 4. Never cause yourself to cringe. Module 1A: Spine Waves 58 . without changing the position of the tension in your neck. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts.) As you relax your neck.

Never cause yourself to cringe. use less effort. You may notice that your back feels longer and flatter. Module 1A: Spine Waves 59 . If a movement hurts. 5. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Breathe freely.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Slowly and together. lower your breastbone and relax your neck. Repeat until you feel the muscles of your mid-back relax as you lower your breastbone (at least three (3) times at decreasing levels of effort) until you can feel the movement as described.

up through the back of your throat (the front of your neck vertebrae). flatten neck down.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. constrict. Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort. breastbone up. and hold. 3. to the place behind your nose. 2. and throat. Now. use less effort. the second spine wave. and hold. 1. Feel the effort of lifting your chest. This movement improves your control of the muscles that run from the base of your throat. Feel the front of your neck tighten. It relaxes the back of your throat and gets your whole spine ready to relax and lengthen. Equalize the sensations of the front of your neck and midto-upper back by adjusting the efforts. Module 1A: Spine Waves 60 . Inhale. If a movement hurts. Tuck chin.

4.. Feel the wave of tension move from the base of your throat to the place behind your nose. When you feel the front of your neck begin to tighten .. Exhale and let your breastbone sink. 5.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. If a movement hurts. Slowly relax your neck. 6. Always work within your zone of easy effort. NO EFFORT Relax all efforts and breathe freely. use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. Repeat this combination movement until you can clearly feel the wave of tension move to the place behind your nose (at least three (3) times at decreasing levels of effort) until you can feel the movement as described. Module 1A: Spine Waves 61 .

⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Inhale fully. Never cause yourself to cringe Now you are ready to involve the muscles of your low back in the third spine-wave. If a movement hurts. Press your head down and hold. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 1. 62 . 3. and hold. Breastbone up. use less effort. Feel the effort of lifting your chest at your mid-to-upper back. Chin up. and hold. then breathe lightly. 2. Feel the wave of tension go up the back of your neck as it tightens and shortens.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 6. Never cause yourself to cringe 4. Continue to tighten until you feel your neck tighten slightly more. If a movement hurts. Slowly relax your neck until you feel the tension in your low back increase. use less effort. 5. 63 . Always work within your zone of easy effort. Tighten your low back (turns tailbone down into the surface). Equalize the efforts in your neck and back. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ To help your back arch: take a bit of pressure off your feet by lifting so the sensations at low back and groin are equal.

and low-back by adjusting your efforts. 9. Never cause yourself to cringe 7. Without changing position. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Help your back arch: take a bit of pressure off your feet by lifting. Exhale until you first feel your back tighten more. 8. If a movement hurts. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. ⇒ 3rd level ⇒ Pull your elbows and shoulders toward the tight place in your back. inhale. 64 . Always work within your zone of easy effort. Equalize the tensions at mid.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Lower your feet. use less effort. If a movement hurts. 11. and relax your back nd flatten. relax all other efforts. 12. Let your back flatten more. Never cause yourself to cringe 10.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Continue to exhale. Feel equal pressure at the heels and the balls of your feet. 65 . Actively exhale. NO EFFORT Notice what your low back feels. Relax all efforts and breathe freely.

imagine you are lifting your head. NO EFFORT 16. 14. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 66 . Lift a bit of weight off your scalp and look toward your knees. If a movement hurts. Inhale. 15. HEAD LIFT EXAGGERATED FOR VISIBILITY.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Never cause yourself to cringe 13. use less effort. Exhale until your belly tightens. If you can’t lift your head. Breathe freely. lie back and relax. total). Repeat at decreasing levels of effort until you cease to feel your back flatten further (about five (5) times.

Once you have gotten good at the movement shown below. it is optional for future sessions of Spine Waves. Feel your back curve. use less effort.). Always work within your zone of easy effort. you connect the muscles of your mid-back to those of your throat (inside-front of your neck). skip to the next set of instructions that begins with the number (1. Tuck by increasing the natural head movement. Gradually tighten the small of your back and hold. 67 . 1. If a movement hurts. Equalize the tensions of your low back and throat by adjusting your efforts. Never cause yourself to cringe Now.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Tuck chin and hold. Thereafter. 3. Lift breastbone and hold. 2. 4.

total.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Turn your face toward the ceiling. NO EFFORT Repeat until you can feel your low back flatten a bit more (about three (3) times. Feel the pressure equally on heels and balls of feet. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 6. at decreasing levels of effort). look there relax and slowly let your back flatten. use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe 5. 68 . Slowly relax all efforts and breathe freely. If a movement hurts. Press your feet down and hold. 7.

69 . 2. 1. use less effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Inhale. Feel your mid-to-upper back. Never cause yourself to cringe Now. If a movement hurts. Equalize the front of your neck and low back. and hold.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Gradually tighten the small of your back and hold the shape. ending with a relaxed belly. the same move with breathing. 3. Feel the front of your neck tighten. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 4. Tuck chin toward neck. Lift breastbone and hold.

Sense your back muscles and exhale until you first feel them tighten. 7. Your back tightens more. If a movement hurts. 8. use less effort. Relax all efforts and breathe freely. Regulate the effort for comfort. Feel the heels and balls of feet press equally. relax your belly and breathe freely. 9. NO EFFORT 70 . Always work within your zone of easy effort. Hold the shape. 6. Feel where your back muscles are tightest. Press your feet down. Slowly relax your back muscles and let your back flatten.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Never cause yourself to cringe 5.

⇒ 3rd level ⇒ Locate the place 12. 11. Exhale until you feel your belly tighten. NO EFFORT Repeat about three (3) times. If you can’t lift your head.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Keep the back of behind your nose as you lie back. your pelvis snug against the surface as you lie back. Lie back slowly enough to stay in snug contact. total. Breathe freely. imagine you are lifting your head. use less effort. Inhale. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe HEAD LIFT EXAGGERATED FOR VISIBILITY. 71 . and relax. 10. If a movement hurts. then look between your knees. lie back.

Tuck chin. and hold. Never cause yourself to cringe Now. Feel the place behind your nose. use less effort. 2. Tighten the muscles of the small of your back.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Equalize the efforts at your neck and back. you’re ready to combine the two movement combinations to involve your entire spinal musculature. Feel the hollow arch in the small of your back. If a movement hurts. Take some time to feel what’s working -. 72 . Lift breastbone and hold. push head down. and hold. 4. 3. 1. Always work within your zone of easy effort.where the effort is. feel your tailbone turn down into the surface.

⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Look up toward 7. Exhale until you feel your back muscles tighten further. Never cause yourself to cringe 5. Feel the connection between the place behind your nose and the muscles at the base of your head. If a movement hurts. 73 . use less effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Tip your chin up to the neutral position. 8. Notice where you feel it in your back. and hold. 6. Lift a bit of weight off your feet. Lower your feet and press down gently.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. your brow.

use less effort. Relax all other efforts. Slowly relax your back muscles. Let your back sag. 10. 11. 12. If a movement hurts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Relax your belly and breathe freely. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Equalize the downward pressure of your feet and head. Allow time for the sensation to “set in. NO EFFORT 74 .” You may feel muscles changing. You feel your back flatten. Never cause yourself to cringe 9. a bit.

use less effort. If you can’t lift your head. 13. Inhale. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe HEAD LIFT EXAGGERATED FOR VISIBILITY. If a movement hurts. then look between your knees. imagine you are lifting your head.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. ⇒ 3rd level ⇒ Locate the place 75 . 14. lie back and breathe freely. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Lie back slowly enough to keep the back of your pelvis snug against the surface as you lie back. Exhale until you feel your belly tighten. behind your nose as you lie back.

If a movement hurts. For best results. please follow the checklist (page 39). Relax all efforts and breathe freely. Never cause yourself to cringe 15.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. NO EFFORT Repeat the preceding movement about five (5) times or until you cease to get changes. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 76 .

MODULE 1B Lazy “8”s 77 .

) Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 78 .(This page deliberately blank.

felt as weakness or inability to regulate our strength. Any movement. Good muscular control is essential for easy balance. A common result is the feeling of coolness and spaciousness in the sacral area. we are unaware of gravity. Knowing this. are smooth and steady -. it tells us when we are out of balance and out of control and gives us a sense of support when we are functioning well. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 79 . Subsequent repetitions produce cumulative improvements. produces sensations that. we simply slow our actions down until we can sense the bodily position at which our movement becomes unsteady. In that sense. Lazy “8”s. Gravity is a universal force affecting all of our actions. Control and balance are essential to our ability to relax unnecessary muscular tensions. What we are aware of are our sense of balance or imbalance and our sense of strength or weakness. gravity is our friend. to smooth our movement out. like gravity.unless our movement itself is unsteady. Most of the time. we can apply our will. Its pull is constant and steady. An immediate. in which case gravity gives us instant feedback in the form of inconstant and unsteady sensations of movement. To do so is simple. itself. such as those in your back.On Gravity and Sensation The next coordination pattern makes use of gravity to create sensation in the muscles of your legs and low back. if not easy. the area below our waistline and above our buttocks -. Once we have found it. in subsequent repetitions of the movement. improves muscular control of the muscles of our legs and low back. That’s the position in which we have some loss of muscular control. we can use gravity to improve our muscular control.the lowest part of the low back. to restore comfort to your low back. The following coordination pattern. if gradual improvement of muscular control results. and thus the steadiness of our movements. When doing these coordination patterns. such as standing up.

Notice where you feel it. You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • To repeat. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 80 . • Follow the instructions. Feel there continuously through the movement. • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort.. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. • Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. • Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing.

leaning neither in.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 1. Always work within your zone of easy effort. bent 90 degrees at elbows IF NECESSARY FOR COMFORT. then come back to this coordination pattern. use a pillow under your arms or head. minimize wobbling. use less effort. If a movement hurts. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 81 . Lazy “8”s STARTING POSITION: • legs: knees up. use less effort. If you still tend to cringe involuntarily. Never cause yourself to cringe. If your condition makes you want to cringe in this movement. feet spaced so legs balance vertically. By pushing down on one foot. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Take a bit of weight off the opposite foot. go to Module 2A (page 101). cause its hip to lift. Support your weight evenly on the whole sole of one foot as you lower the opposite hip. nor out • arms back by head.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Press down with the opposite foot. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 82 . Always work within your zone of easy effort. 2. If a movement hurts. Repeat for the opposite side. Rehearse that movement a few times until it’s easier to lift the hip. use less effort. Slowly lower the lifted hip.

and hold. Always work within your zone of easy effort. a bit. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 83 . slightly. Rehearse that movement until it’s easier to feel your chest lift. Slowly relax. If a movement hurts. Feel your shoulder come back and chest lift. Press down on one arm and shoulder.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 1. Repeat for the opposite side. and eyes toward the same side. Feel your chest sink. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Turn your face ⇒ 3rd level ⇒ Lift the opposite 2. elbow. Never cause yourself to cringe. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Simultaneously return your face to front and center. use less effort.

1. 2.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. cause its hip to lift. Repeat for the opposite side. feet flat on the surface. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 84 . Feel the sensation at the groin of the squeezing leg. use less effort. 4. Squeeze the knee of the other leg toward the lifted side. Slowly relax all efforts. Never cause yourself to cringe. Keep the legs upright. Slowly lower the lifted hip. Rehearse that movement a few times until it’s easier to keep the legs from wobbling. Always work within your zone of easy effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Take a bit of weight off the opposite foot. 3. If a movement hurts. Avoid wobbling. By pushing down on one foot. and hold.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Feel how that helps the overall movement. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Lift the opposite elbow. 1. Never cause yourself to cringe. Press down with the same-side shoulder and hold. Lift one hip and hold. Squeeze the opposite leg in and hold. 2. Feel the sensation at the groin of the squeezing leg. If a movement hurts. Feel how pressing down with the shoulder helps the hip lift. 3. slightly. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 85 . use less effort.

use less effort. Equalize all efforts -groin and shoulder(s). 4. Rehearse that movement five (5) times. If a movement hurts. continuing to keep the efforts equal.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. total. at decreasing levels of effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. When you have equalized the feelings. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 86 . Your hip comes down. 5. Repeat for the opposite side. Always work within your zone of easy effort. you’ll feel certain tensions in your back shift. Slowly relax all efforts.

1. Feel at the groin and behind the pressing-down shoulder. Press down the sameside shoulder. and hold. Never cause yourself to cringe. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Feel the place behind your nose. Feel the twist of your pelvis.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. Keep the twist as you lift the other hip and hold. 3. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 87 . If a movement hurts. Press down with both feet. squeeze the opposite knee in. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 2. Lift one hip and hold.

⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Let your back sag.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 88 . 5. Equalize that shoulder and the opposite foot. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Slowly lower the higher hip part way. use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. 4. If a movement hurts. Shift all of the weight to the foot of the hip just lifted. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Brace against (push down) the same side shoulder as your higher hip.

⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Brace against (push down) the same side shoulder as your higher hip. Repeat. relax and let it pass. Equalize that shoulder and the opposite foot. The sensation is harmless. Shift the weight to that foot. You may experience of rush of sensation to your neck and head. If a movement hurts. It is your brain readjusting muscular tensions and blood pressure. starting with the other side. For best results. use less effort. Slowly lower the higher hip part way. Then. Do 3 . 7.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Stand. please follow the checklist (page 39).5 sets on each side. Stand tall. Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 89 . Alternate lowering sides until both are down. take a few steps forward and a few steps backward. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. 6.

(This page deliberately blank.) Module 1B: Lazy “8”s 90 .

MODULE 1C The Folding Seesaw The Kite 91 .

(This page deliberately blank.) Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 92 .

it is appropriate to end a coordination pattern module in a centered position. the key for the following coordination pattern is to keep the weight on your feet balanced and equal. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 93 . You may find your spine elongating.Centering Since our ideal resting position is one in which we are moving neither one way nor another. When done properly. one of the results of the following coordination pattern is a relaxation of the upper back muscles. For that reason. as you come to rest.

• Follow the instructions. • To repeat. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. Feel there continuously through the movement.• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. • Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing. You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 94 . • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. Notice where you feel it. be sure to relax completely between repetitions.

use less effort. then come back to this coordination pattern. use less effort. If a movement hurts. If your condition makes you want to cringe in this movement. feet spaced so legs balance vertically.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. bent 90 degrees at elbows IF NECESSARY FOR COMFORT. Feel behind your nose when indicated by . The Folding Seesaw STARTING POSITION: • legs: knees up. leaning neither in. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 95 . If you still tend to cringe involuntarily. Always work within your zone of easy effort. go to Module 2B (page 129). Never cause yourself to cringe. use a pillow under your head or elbows Keep the weight on your feet equal. with pressure on both the “ball” of your foot (the pad behind your toes) and your heel. nor out • arms back by head.

Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 96 . By pressing down with your feet. If a movement hurts. Exhale until you feel your belly tighten. 1. use less effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 4. lift your hips high. Exhale until you feel a pull on your chest. Never cause yourself to cringe. Feel how looking between your knees changes your alignment.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Take a full breath in that position. 2. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Look at the space between your knees. 3.

use less effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Imagine that you are lifting it. You feel your throat constrict. 5. If a movement hurts. Lift some weight slightly off your scalp. NOTE: If it hurts to lift your head.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. ⇒ 3rd level ⇒ Feel the place behind your nose. If it doesn’t constrict. a bit. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Keep your chin tucked near your neck. Never cause yourself to cringe. use less effort or don’t lift it. make it constrict by tucking your chin towards your adam’s apple. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 97 .

Inhale and slowly let your hips come down.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Let your head sink down. Relax the rest of your body and breathe freely. please follow the checklist (page 39). Never cause yourself to cringe. use the summary on the next page to remind you how to do it. total). at decreasing levels of effort. For best results. 7. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts. Feel your neck relax. 6. NO EFFORT Repeat twice more (3 times. Once you are familiar with this coordination pattern. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 98 . use less effort. 8.

If a movement hurts. leaning neither in. attached to the cross strut at its center. The cross strut corresponds to the line that connects your elbows. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 99 . the vertical strut corresponds to your spine. Never cause yourself to cringe. held curved by the tension of the string attached to its ends. The Kite If you’ve seen a diamond-shaped kite. the vertical strut. Always work within your zone of easy effort. feet spaced so legs balance vertically. STARTING POSITION: • on your back • legs: knees up. Gently equalize the effort used to contract the muscles along your spine and those between your shoulders until you feel the tension in your back move. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Likewise. you may have observed that the cross strut is much like an archer’s bow. is also bowed. nor out • hands: fingers interlaced at the base of your head • head: resting in the cups of your palms • elbows: flat on the floor Place cushions under your elbows if needed for comfort. Be leisurely.

Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Slowly relax.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. Repeat a number of times until you can sense the moment at which effort begins and the place where it begins. Press the back of your head against your hands. CHIN UP NO EFFORT 2. If a movement hurts. CHIN UP 1. Notice the first sensation of effort as you gently press . Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 100 .

Repeat a number of times until you can sense the moment at which effort begins and the place where it begins. gently pull your shoulders back into the surface on which you are lying. 2. By pulling your shoulder blades together in back. 1. Never cause yourself to cringe. If a movement hurts. 3. Bring your attention to your arms and shoulders. just notice it. Do not force. use less effort. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 101 . You may notice that your chest lifts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. NO EFFORT Slowly relax.

Bring your attention back to your head. increase. and the pressure against the back of your pelvis. 2.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. we combine the two movements: 1. Never cause yourself to cringe. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 102 . CHIN UP. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Press your head down against your hands and hold. Now. If a movement hurts. use less effort. You may feel your low back tighten a bit.

3. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 103 . If a movement hurts.” (+). Feel the pressure of your head and shoulders as a triangle. Never cause yourself to cringe. Feel yourself resting on “the head and shoulder tripod.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.” ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Notice how your THE TENSION IN YOUR SHOULDERS AND BACK IS SHAPED LIKE A “PLUS” low back feels as you hold the “head and shoulder tripod. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Use effort equal to the effort of pressing your head down. Pull your shoulders back and hold. TIP: Alternate your attention between your neck and your shoulders to make the efforts equal. use less effort.

You may want to stretch the area out. Slowly relax the rest of your efforts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Slowly relax your low back muscles. The tension moves to your ribs. in back. now that it has some slack. If a movement hurts. Feel your upper back relax between the shoulder blades. use less effort. take a deep breath and look straight up at the ceiling. 5. When the tension is equalized. 6. Always work within your zone of easy effort. You feel your lower back flatten. For best results. 4. Module 1C: The Folding Seesaw & The Kite 104 . Repeat the movement a few times at lower levels of effort. please follow the checklist (page 39). Never cause yourself to cringe.

MODULE 2A The Wiggling Jig NO EFFORT 105 .

) Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 106 .(This page deliberately blank.

there are coordination patterns presented here that involve areas other than your back. you’re tightening them! It’s afterward that you experience relaxation. To relax. The coordination patterns presented in this book systematically address various aspects of the whole body as an integrated movement system. This process of tension/relaxation can be applied systematically to the whole body. coordination patterns that affect how your back muscles operate by affecting the whole-body balancing process. notice what’s happening. we must be reminded of the difference between tension and relaxation. Yawning does that. This is an important clue. Any movement requires adjustments of the entire musculature for balance to be maintained. They involve very much the same slow quality of tension and relaxation as yawning does − and they produce a similar result: relaxation.but it’s not an attempt to relax. The various positions reach different muscle groups that together are involved in a muscular reflex pattern Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 107 . greater freedom of movement. Consider: where moving at balance is concerned. The changes in muscular responsiveness occur during the relaxation phase of these movements. Next time you yawn. The effects of these exercises are cumulative. You are experiencing a basic way we operate. which concentrate only on the area where symptoms appear. For that reason. and recovery of our energy from wasteful habitual tension.Explanation: The Whole Body Yawn Yawning is relaxing -. We move as a whole body. Doing movements in slow motion for the feeling they produce is the key to somatic developmental coordination patterns. We must feel the difference. This concept is a significant departure from other exercise programs. Now. The movement maneuvers given in this program do exactly that. You’re not relaxing the muscles of your mouth and neck. which is another reason to do them slowly. the whole body is involved. this matter of “the whole body” yawn is relevant to the way this program of coordination patterns operates.

Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 108 . each of which decreases your store of held muscular tension. You’ll feel yourself getting better control of the involved muscles. you activate these muscle groups together in coordinated movements. This reflex pattern involves the muscles of the back of the body. Immediately after you do this session’s sequence. Do this regimen for one week or more before you move forward in the program. First. then. you improve your control of the involved muscle groups individually. follow it with a few repetitions of Spine Waves.associated with stress. and you’ll feel yourself relaxing.

(This page deliberately blank.) Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 109 .

You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. Feel there continuously through the movement. • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • Follow the instructions. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. Notice where you feel it. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 110 .• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing. • To repeat.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. If you still tend to cringe involuntarily. go to Module 3A (page 157). Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 111 . If your condition makes you want to cringe in this movement. then come back to this coordination pattern. place a pillow under your knee. If a movement hurts. If necessary for comfort in your groin.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. then tense them together and equalize their tensions. The Wiggling Jig Part 1 STARTING POSITION: • lying on your back • face turned to the side with your ear in the palm of your hand • the knee of the same side bent and turned out to the side. use less effort. Tense your muscles in sequence. Never cause yourself to cringe.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. Bring your attention to your bent arm. ( ) 2. ( ) Slowly press the side of your upper arm into the surface. If a movement hurts. use less effort. Do it by pulling your shoulder against the surface. 1. Feel the muscles of your shoulder blade contract as you press your arm down and back into the surface. which lifts your chest. Don’t roll onto your side.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. just move your arm and shoulder. Can you feel your shoulder blade pull toward your spine? Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 112 . Never cause yourself to cringe.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. NO EFFORT Repeat this pressing and releasing action until you can feel where the movement comes from and can do it slowly and with confidence. If a movement hurts. Notice if you feel new muscles working with each repetition. Feel how your shoulder blade tucks under. Relax completely between repetitions.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. so your chest sinks down. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 113 . Let your breath go. relax that effort. Feel where you relax last. 3. ( ) ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Inhale as you press your arm down. use less effort. As slowly as you can. You may feel your back arch slightly on that side. Never cause yourself to cringe.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. Bring your attention to your bent arm and shoulder. If a movement hurts. use less effort. 1. 2. and hold. You may feel tension at your shoulder blade and in your low back on the opposite side. Feel the muscles at the back of your shoulder blade (behind your shoulder) tighten. gently tug your elbow toward the hip of the same side. Still pressing down. Never cause yourself to cringe. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 114 . Press down into the surface.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. and hold. ( ) 3.

Never cause yourself to cringe. Equalize the efforts at your shoulder blade and opposite side low back. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 115 . until you feel a shift of muscular tension. Slowly relax all efforts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. NO EFFORT Repeat this movement about five (5) times. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts. 4. 5. at decreasing levels of effort.

Bring your attention to your bent arm and shoulder. ( ) Push your hand toward the back of your ear. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Tip your chin away from your throat (head back). Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 116 . and hold. Press down into the surface. If a movement hurts. 2. ( ) 3.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Feel the muscles at the back of your shoulder blade tighten. use less effort. and hold. 1. Never cause yourself to cringe. Feel the muscles contract that run from the top of your shoulder to the back of your neck.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

4.

Equalize the efforts of pushing down with your shoulder and pushing your ear, and hold.
⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Equalize the
effort of tipping your head back with the other efforts.

5.

Slowly relax all efforts.

NO EFFORT

Repeat five (5) times, total, at decreasing levels of effort. Now, stand and feel the difference between your two sides. You may feel a rush of sensation go to your head. This is a harmless sensation, though perhaps unnerving if it is new to you. Your brain is readjusting your blood pressure and muscular tensions. Stand relaxed, feel your weight on your feet, and wait for the rush of sensation to pass. Now, take a few steps forward and a few steps backward. Now, do your other side.

Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig

117

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

The Wiggling Jig, part 2

1.

Bring your attention to your bent arm and shoulder.

2.

Shorten your neck by shrugging your shoulder toward the side of your neck.
place in your neck you feel contract. Tighten toward there.

⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Notice the first

Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig

118

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

⇒ 3rd level ⇒

At the same time, sense the place behind your nose. Feel how feeling that place changes the direction of pull of your shoulder.

If you are particularly sensitive, you may feel the shoulder pulling more toward the back of the nostril of the same-side.

NO EFFORT

3.

Slowly relax.

Repeat the movement until you can more easily feel the first place that contracts.

Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig

119

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

1.

Reach with the straight leg to tighten the waist muscles on the same side as your bent-arm shoulder, and hold.
You may feel your back arch a bit. Muscles may tighten between your shoulder blade and your waist on that side. Notice how your ear presses against your hand.

⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Notice the first
place in your waist that contracts.

⇒ 3rd level ⇒ Turn the knee
of the straight leg toward the other leg.

Feel how turning the knee toward the other leg helps you to lengthen the straight side.

Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig

120

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

2.

Slowly relax all efforts.

NO EFFORT

Repeat the movement until you feel it get stronger, then at decreasing levels of effort -- about five (5) times.

Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig

121

Slightly lift the bent knee to feel its weight. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 3. 1. Never cause yourself to cringe. 2.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Feel the contraction of your front hip joint muscles. Bring your attention to the bent knee. If a movement hurts. and hold. use less effort. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 122 . Slowly relax.

4. By reaching with the straight leg. Equalize the efforts at waist and groin muscles. Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Lift your bent knee enough to feel the weight of your leg. If a movement hurts. 2. Relax your waist muscles. tighten the muscles at your waist (opposite side) and hold. use less effort. 1. and hold. Your knee stays lifted. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 123 . 3.

5. For best results. Lower the bent knee. NO EFFORT Repeat the sequence until you feel your back flatten more. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 124 . If a movement hurts. at decreasing levels of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. 6. Come to complete rest.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Repeat five (5) times. please follow the checklist. Never cause yourself to cringe.

3. Never cause yourself to cringe. Shorten your neck by shrugging toward that tight place. Slowly relax. 4. Slowly shorten your neck by shrugging the bent-elbow shoulder. and hold. Slowly relax. If a movement hurts. 2. 1. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 125 . at first.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. tighten more and hold until you can feel muscles warm up. Repeat the action until you can feel the place that tightens more clearly. Feel the first place where you tighten in your neck. use less effort. If you can’t feel it.

and hold. Feel where you tighten in your neck. Shorten your neck by shrugging the bentelbow shoulder. 1. Always work within your zone of easy effort. tighten the muscles at your waist. 3. If a movement hurts. Equalize the efforts at your waist and neck. 2. Decrease or increase effort as needed to get the two places equal. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 126 . By reaching with the straight leg.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Feel where you tighten at your waist. Never cause yourself to cringe. and hold. use less effort.

Feel the tension behind your shoulder blade. Never cause yourself to cringe. and hold.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 6. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 127 . ( ) 5. Lift your bent knee enough to feel the weight of your leg. Press your bent-elbow shoulder down. Equalize the efforts at your shoulder and hip joint. If a movement hurts. 4. Decrease or increase effort to get the two places equal. use less effort. and hold.

Then stand. neck. shoulder. do your other side. until you feel your back flatten more. Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Slowly relax all efforts and come to complete rest. groin. 7. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 128 . You’re now tight and equalized at waist. take a few steps forward and a few steps backward. Feel the differences between your two sides. Then. Allow any rush of sensation to your neck and head to pass.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. You’ll probably breathe a spontaneous sigh of relief! NO EFFORT Do the sequence five (5) times or more. Now. If a movement hurts. You’ll probably feel a difference in balance. use less effort.

Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 129 .Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. hand as a fist • face turned • other hand above your head • Bend your leg as shown. Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If necessary for comfort. If a movement hurts. Your hand now fits into a hollow where your leg and hip meet. The Wiggling Jig. part 3 TO GET INTO THE NEXT POSITION: • on your back • both legs straight • one arm straight along one side. place a pillow under your knee. use less effort. where a pocket might be. your elbow also bends.

Press your elbow against the surface. c. 1.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. directly behind your shoulder. instead. if you feel a restriction to movement. Gently contract and slowly relax until you can do it comfortably and with confidence. Go slowly enough to feel where the movement comes from. Continue until you get as loose as you’re going to get. Recontract the muscles that pull your elbow against the surface (the ones that are too tight). then very slowly relax. Relax any tension you find. Never cause yourself to cringe. Scan the whole body for tension. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. and very slowly relax again. a. If a movement hurts. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 130 . d. Don’t force past any restrictions to full relaxation. Pause in place. in back. b. Feel the tension at your shoulder blade.

You may feel the muscles of your neck and upper back contract and your waist lift up. Equalize the efforts at your shoulder and waist. Done correctly. use less effort. a bit. Tighten your waist on that side by stretching the opposite leg. you feel the muscles of your back contract on that side. 2. Press your elbow down and hold. slightly. your back may arch. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 131 . 4. 3. If a movement hurts. Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Turn your eyes to the side and look over your shoulder by turning your head a bit more.

Never cause yourself to cringe. you feel gravity as a very steady. Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. a few steps backward. relax. Now. follow with a few repetitions of the last movement of Spine Waves. then take a few steps forward. As slowly as you can. If you pay special attention. do your other side. Always work within your zone of easy effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. continuous pull. If a movement hurts. Allow any rush of sensation to pass. Then stand. please follow the checklist (page 39). For best results. 5. use less effort. NO EFFORT Repeat this movement slowly until you can feel where the movement comes from and can do it slowly and confidently (about five times). Immediately after you do both sides and stand. Module 2A: The Wiggling Jig 132 .

MODULE 2B The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha 133 .

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with no stiff places in-between.flexibility with stability. At the same time. The pull on the sides of your ribs has decreased and your sense of “the sides of your sides” has been clarified. Better balance allows us to relax more. you can now become more long-waisted. Again. What this does is reduce some of the tendency to “swayback. In particular. Our spine curves and lengthens as a whole. Named after a famous sculpture. it means that your back is released from muscular pulls that interfere with your low back flexibility. this doesn’t mean that your back is held flatter. Module 2B: The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha 135 . so we can curve sideways uniformly from the base of our head to our waistline. The Reclining Buddha.” Posturally.Lengthening Your Sides Having freed yourself of a degree of tension in the muscles of your sides. The feeling is of being taller and better balanced. this decreased tendency to “swayback” further allows your back to flatten. the following coordination pattern suggests what the Buddha may have been doing when nobody was looking! It particularly frees our whole spine for sidebending. it now becomes possible to obtain even more length of your spine. the increased muscular control gives you greater stability -. when standing and walking.

Notice where you feel it. • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. • To repeat. • Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing. • Follow the instructions. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 2B: The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha 136 .. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. Feel there continuously through the movement. You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. • Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing.

use less effort. use less effort. If a movement hurts. Inhale and hold. If you still tend to cringe involuntarily. centered above your ear. The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha STARTING POSITION: • sidelying • propped up on one elbow • underside knee bent. 1. go to Module 3A (page 157). Always work within your zone of easy effort. gentle tension in your neck as you bend. Place the heel of your topside hand weightlessly against your head. If your condition makes you want to cringe in this movement. then come back to this pattern. Never cause yourself to cringe. This is a good movement to do in bed. Your fingers wrap over the top of your head. 2.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Module 2B: The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha 137 . foot near the topside knee • topside leg straight Maintain constant.

”) With your hand against your head. so your underside ear approaches your underside shoulder. Always work within your zone of easy effort. using shoulder muscles. Feel the side of your neck tighten and shorten. 4. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Feel the place behind your nose. Gently press your head against your hand. If a movement hurts. return the pressure with equal force. Never cause yourself to cringe. and hold (“Set the tension. Bend your neck sideways (head down). The pressure between your hand and head remains Module 2B: The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha 138 . use less effort. with your head in the neutral position. 3.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

6.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 5. The heel of your hand rests on the crown of your head. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Cause your topside leg to reach. Exhale and hold the tiny bit of breath that remains. Breathe when you need to. If a movement hurts. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 2B: The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha 139 . use less effort. constant as you bend. You feel tension in the underside of your waist. Never cause yourself to cringe. Hand switches. Your head is in the neutral position facing forwardly. ⇒ 3rd level ⇒ Feel the place behind your nose as you curve. Move your hand so the fingertips grasp your head above the other ear.

Slowly bend your neck sideways (head upright). Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. using the muscles of your side. With your grasping hand. 8. Module 2B: The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha 140 . 7. resist with equal force. If a movement hurts. use less effort. The pressure between your hand and head remains constant as you bend. Set the tension in the underside of your neck by pressing your head against your fingertips. so your topside ear approaches your topside shoulder. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Feel the place behind your nose. and hold. Breathe when you need to.

9. You feel tension in the top side of your waist. If a movement hurts. and repeat. Inhale. turn over and do your other side. move your hand to the other side of your head. Now. as your topside leg draws short.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Please follow the checklist for best results (page 39). use less effort. Your underside shoulder moves toward or against your neck. Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 2B: The Yoga of the Reclining Buddha 141 . Repeat at decreasing levels of effort until you get better at curving your neck and spine sideways as a single. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Cause your underside ribs to sag. continuous curve.

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MODULE 2C The Twist that Untwists 143 .

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Most muscles or muscle groups of the body operate in pairs. the taut bowstring. This postural change gives the appearance of weak abdominal muscles.” That’s the usual origin of chronic back pain. muscle fatigue and soreness decrease. a heightened state of “burn. its opposing partner relaxes to the same degree. In the case of back pain. These muscles perform reciprocal (opposite and complementary) actions. The term physical therapists use for this brain-controlled muscular behavior is “reciprocal inhibition. That’s why abdominal exercises produce temporary relief of back discomfort. For example. Their tension levels vary accordingly: when one muscle contracts. when one muscle contracts. let’s consider the muscles of your abdomen and low back. Relaxation of the opposing muscle permits its partner more easily to contract and cause movement. As your back muscles relax. the muscle does not relax freely. the biceps muscle of the front of your upper arm bends your arm at the elbow. it may relax only partially and interfere with its partner’s efforts at movement.” Ideally. Your brain causes this relaxation-response. The rationale is that “strong abdominal muscles strengthen the low back. they burn less fuel and oxygen. Now. the other muscle relaxes.” A clearer understanding is possible.Security for Your Low Back It is common for people to do abdominal exercises to relieve back pain. When your abdominal muscles contract. When your brain is conditioned to keep a muscle contracted at all times. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 145 . the triceps muscle at the back of your upper arm straightens your arm at the elbow. This tension-relaxation pairing is controlled by your brain. The result of back muscle contraction is a forcing forward of your low back. the muscles of the back exist at a heightened state of tension. your back muscles relax to some degree. Let me explain. This may not always happen. as the “burn” decreases. as if your spine were an archer’s bow and the muscular tension. each member of which does the opposite action of its partner.

harmonious cooperation gives the feeling of security.) Do the following coordination pattern sequence and feel what I mean. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 146 . you gained some control over your back muscles. They feel more under your control. They both must feel both free and strong. we must change how both muscle groups cooperate. cooperative relationship. Your back feels more secure -. you need to feel that the muscles at both the back and front of your trunk are working in closely matched coordination. you increased both your ability to relax and to contract muscles.Contracting your abdominal muscles has not strengthened your back. We want the two muscle groups to work freely in cooperative coordination. In the previous set of coordination patterns. Relaxed muscles are much less likely to go into spasm. Because the muscles of the back and front of your torso are related to each other. The added security you feel comes from their close. (Close. But to feel really secure. But you cannot keep your abdomen tight and breathe freely at the same time.but only as long as you keep your abdomen tight. to change how one muscle group operates. it has (to some degree) relaxed your back muscles. The following coordination pattern sequence integrates the muscles of your back with the muscles in the front of your torso. A tight abdomen interferes with free breathing.

) Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 147 .(This page deliberately blank.

• Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. • Follow the instructions. • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. Notice where you feel it. • To repeat. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions.• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. Feel there continuously through the movement. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 148 .

hand under your ear • legs straight Relax your back muscles before you relax your front. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 149 . so your chest lifts a bit. 1. If your condition makes you want to cringe in this movement. If you still tend to cringe involuntarily. If a movement hurts. use less effort. Press your arm and shoulder into the surface. and hold. not near the top of your chest. go to Module 3B (page 185). use less effort. then come back to this coordination pattern.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. You lift the ribs near your belly. Always work within your zone of easy effort. The Twist that Untwists STARTING POSITION: • face turned.

shoulder against the surface.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. to your shoulder blade. 4. so the base of your head pulls against your shoulder. Never cause yourself to cringe. If a movement hurts. relax. and hold. Equalize the efforts. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 150 . You feel a tight muscle running from behind your ear. as you press. Press your ear against your hand. Always work within your zone of easy effort. ARCH head far back. NO EFFORT Slowly. 2. Feel how the two moves combine into one. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Tip your 3. You feel your back arch a bit. use less effort. Repeat this combination movement at decreasing levels of effort until you feel the two movements combine into one. Ear against your hand.

You feel pressure on the backcenter of your heel.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. so your hip lifts.” Take a look. If a movement hurts. of the same side. You may be surprised to see that your toes are pointing straight upwardly. You feel a bit of pressure on the back of your calf and heel. So go for that feeling. use less effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Turn your leg so your toes point straight up. 1. slightly. You may feel that you have turned your toes inward and are “pigeon toed. 2. Tighten your buttock (same side). 3. Bring your attention to the leg opposite your bent elbow. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 151 . Never cause yourself to cringe.

Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 152 . If a movement hurts. with your toes pointed upward. 4. Never cause yourself to cringe. NO EFFORT Repeat this movement until you get a bit more strength in the buttock. Slowly relax all efforts. Always work within your zone of easy effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort.

Press your head and bent-elbow shoulder down.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 2. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 153 . use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. Turn the opposite foot toes-upward. and hold. 3. If a movement hurts. Tighten the toesupward buttock and hold. 1. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Breathe in to help your chest lift as your shoulder goes back. Always work within your zone of easy effort.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. buttock. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 154 .Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. shoulder. If a movement hurts. 5. 4. NO EFFORT Sense shoulder and buttock. Equalize head. then slowly relax. Repeat until your shoulder comes a bit looser from your ribs and your chest lifts a bit more. Never cause yourself to cringe.

Feel the muscles of your groin. 2. 4. If a movement hurts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 3. Repeat until both sensations (shoulder and groin) get clearer. Turn the same-side leg toes-in and hold. use less effort. Equalize the two efforts. Never cause yourself to cringe. Slowly relax. 1. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 155 . Feel the muscles that connect your shoulder blade to your spine. Press your straightarm shoulder down and hold.

This is a kind of wiggling movement. 1. Repeat five (5) times at decreasing levels of effort. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 156 . Press your bent-elbow shoulder down.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. 2. Switch shoulders and press down. Hold and let the sensation set in before switching. If a movement hurts. use less effort. 3. Alternate shoulders.

Turn the toes of the straight-arm-side in and hold. 1. Never cause yourself to cringe. Module 2C: The Twist that Untwists 157 .Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Switch shoulders and hold. knee straight. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Hold and feel. 4. Turn the toes of the bent-elbow side straight up. Press your bent-elbow shoulder down. use less effort. 2. Press down on that foot. If a movement hurts. and hold. 3.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

5.

Switch shoulders and hold.
Shoulder and opposite foot press down.

6.

Lift the straight arm slightly and hold.

7.

Take a bit of weight off the opposite foot.
The knee slightly lifts straight up.

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Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

8.

Equalize the lifted arm and lifted leg and hold.
You may feel a sensation from your groin deep into your pelvis.

9.

Using your belly muscles, flatten your low back down to the surface and hold.

10. Slowly lower your lifted arm and foot.

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Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

11.

Come to complete relaxation.

Repeat five times or more, at decreasing levels of effort, until your coordination improves. Now stand and feel your weight on your feet. Allow any rush of sensation to pass. Take a few steps forward, a few steps backward. Notice any difference between your two sides. Now, do your other side. For best results, please follow the checklist (page 39).

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MODULE 3A

In-Bed No-Stretch Stretches

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162

As you will see. To make any kind of change in a relationship.Relation and Mutuality Whenever we’re talking about things functioning. particularly when both parties have a stake in the same situation. The coordination patterns in this section locate positions in which different actions of both your upper body and lower body affect the same place in your back. it takes the collaboration of at least two involved parties to make it effective. we’re talking about relationships -. Otherwise. the situation is excessive back tension. and the parties involved are your upper body and lower body. In the case of excessive muscular tension. It’s a twoagainst-one type of arrangement. the combination is both easy and potent. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 163 . the change initiated by one will be countered or limited by the other.mutual interaction.

Notice where you feel it.• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. • To repeat. • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 164 . You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. • Follow the instructions. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. Feel there continuously through the movement. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

In-Bed No-stretch Stretches
STARTING POSITION:

• lying on your back • face turned to the side with your ear in the palm of your hand • the knee of the same side bent and turned out to the side. If necessary for comfort, place a pillow under your knee, elbow, or head.

Look over the shoulder of the bent arm.

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Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

1.

Bring your attention to your neck and head. Press your underside ear down onto your palm.
Feel the side of your neck shorten and the back of your shoulder area tighten.

2.

3.

Slowly relax.

Repeat this action until you can feel the tension increase and decrease, then continue at decreasing levels of effort.

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Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

1.

Press your arm and shoulder down and hold.
Feel your shoulder blade tighten, in back.

2.

Press your ear down against your palm and hold.
Feel the tension in your neck and shoulder area.

shoulder, toward the surface on which you are lying.

⇒ 1st level ⇒ Look over your

Feel how looking there affects your ability to turn.

3.

Help your low back on that side arch, a bit.

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Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

4.

Equalize the efforts at shoulder blade and low back.

5.

Slowly relax all efforts.

NO EFFORT

Repeat this movement about five (5) times -- until you can feel the tension increase and decrease, then at decreasing levels of effort. Now, stand and feel the difference between your two sides. Allow any rush of sensation to pass. Walk foward, then backward. Now, do your other side.
Immediately after you do this sequence, follow it with a few repetitions of the last movement of Spine Waves.

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Feel there continuously through the movement. Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 170 . • Go slowly enough to feel tension increase or decrease. • Follow the instructions. • Learn the parts (elements) of multi-part movements. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. then put them together.• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. • To repeat. Notice where you feel it.

and not to the side. knee up. Press the back of your head down and hold. The In-Bed Precision No-stretch Stretch STARTING POSITION: • face forward • one hand with your fingertips behind your ear • one leg bent. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 1. If a movement hurts. foot near your buttock • toes of straight leg facing straight forwardly Visually check to see that your toes point straight upwardly. Never cause yourself to cringe. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Find the amount to reach with your straight leg and to turn your head to tighten the same place in your back. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 171 .

Equalize the two efforts. If a movement hurts. 4. and hold. head and buttock. Never cause yourself to cringe. Tighten the buttock of your straight leg. 2. NO EFFORT Repeat this action until you feel some place in your back contract and relax. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 172 . 3.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Slowly relax both efforts together. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Feel the place behind your nose with your head in the neutral position.

Toes point straight-forwardly.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 173 . Always work within your zone of easy effort. 1. Press your head down. use less effort. and hold. and hold. not turned out. 2. Never cause yourself to cringe. If a movement hurts. Tighten the buttock of your straight leg.

and hold. Never cause yourself to cringe. use less effort. 4. Lift your breastbone. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 174 . Always work within your zone of easy effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Help that place in your back contract. 3. Reach and relax with your straight leg just enough to feel the tight place contract more. slightly. If a movement hurts. Slowly turn your face toward your bent elbow to locate a position that reveals any (probably mild) discomfort in your back. 5.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

Equalize the leg effort with that of your head. If a movement hurts. and hold. Press the back of your straight leg down. completely. 8. Slowly relax all efforts. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. You’ll probably feel your back flatten and something near your solar plexus relax. NO EFFORT Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 175 . 6. Tighten and slowly relax in the same position at decreasing levels of effort until the discomfort fades or ceases to fade further. Never cause yourself to cringe. 7.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

and hold. Always work within your zone of easy effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Reach with the straight leg enough to help feel the discomfort more. Press your head down. and hold. 4. Tighten your straight-leg buttock. 1. and hold. use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 176 . Slowly turn your head a bit more to the side to locate another position that reveals mild discomfort in your back. If a movement hurts. 2. 3. Help your back tighten.

7. Never cause yourself to cringe. Slowly relax. In this way.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Press the back of your straight leg down. If a movement hurts. NO EFFORT 177 . Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. 6. 5. Equalize the efforts of head and leg. continue to locate and release the discomfort in a number of positions until your head is fully turned.

Press your shoulder down and hold. Never cause yourself to cringe. You may feel your hip lift up. Always work within your zone of easy effort. in reverse . 2. . a bit. and hold. If a movement hurts. use less effort. 1. Tighten the buttock of your straight leg and hold. Turn your leg so your knee and toes point upward. . 3. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 178 . Now.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

6. Press your head down. If a movement hurts. 4. a bit more. Always work within your zone of easy effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. You may feel your hip lift up. Stay there. use less effort. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 179 . Experiment with more and less pressure on that foot to find the best amount of pressure to feel the tight place. Slowly. turn your face forward to locate a position that reveals some tightness or discomfort in your back. Press your bent-knee foot down enough to tighten the tight place more. Never cause yourself to cringe. 5. and hold.

If a movement hurts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. Equalize the head and foot pressures. NO EFFORT Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 180 . In a similar manner. Slowly relax in that position. use less effort. 8. 7. locate and release soreness in various positions until you are facing forward.

This effect is your brain resetting tensions and blood pressure throughout your body. use less effort. Now. do a few repetitions of Spine Waves. Compare your: • shoulders • back • buttocks • legs Stand. Allow any rush of sensation to your neck and head to pass. After you’ve done your other side. Always work within your zone of easy effort. lie flat and compare how your two sides feel. go back to the beginning of this sequence and do your other side.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Now. If a movement hurts. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 181 . Never cause yourself to cringe.

• Follow the instructions. • Go slowly enough to feel tension increase or decrease. Feel there continuously through the movement. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • To repeat. Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. • Learn the parts (elements) of multi-part movements. then put them together.• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 182 . Notice where you feel it.

Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. “Pull” means to draw your shoulder behind you. Your chest lifts. Spreading Butter NEXT POSITION: • palm of your hand on the front of your hip bone • same-side knee turned out • face turned toward bent side Cause the same place to tighten by reaching with your leg as by pressing down your hand. toward your spine. Pull your shoulder snugly against the surface and hold. 1. help it lift. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 183 . use less effort. slightly. If it doesn’t lift. under your back. If a movement hurts.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Slowly relax all efforts. If a movement hurts. Equalize the pressures of shoulder. 5. 3. and hand. 4. Never cause yourself to cringe. 2. NO EFFORT Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 184 . elbow. You may now feel tension in your back by your shoulder blade. and hold. You now feel your upper arm press against the surface. use less effort. Press your hand against your hip bone and hold. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Press your elbow against the surface.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. 8. If a movement hurts. Press your hand against your hip bone and hold. slowly slide your hand from hip bone to chest. Pull your shoulder snugly against the surface and hold. use less effort. As you move. Never cause yourself to cringe. As you pull your shoulder back. 6. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 185 . As you press. notice where in your back you feel muscles working. increasing the hollow at the small of your back. 7.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. you may feel your ribs lift up.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. Replace your hand on your hip bone. 9. 12. If a movement hurts. Slowly relax. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 186 . as you press and slide. use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. This time. stop at any position where you feel some tension or mild discomfort in your back or shoulder. NO EFFORT 10. 11.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Reach with your straight leg to increase the sensation.

Equalize the leg-reach and hand pressure. Use this addition each time. Feel the added effect in your shoulder. 14. Again. Repeat in place. Contract the straightleg buttock. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 187 . 13. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. stop at any position in which you become aware of mild discomfort in your back. If a movement hurts. and hold. 17. Now. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 15. press and slide your hand more toward your chest. Slowly relax. 16. Never cause yourself to cringe.

Now. Module 3A: In-Bed No-stretch Stretches 188 . Continue in that manner until you have located and relaxed all areas of discomfort. do the process in reverse. 18. If a movement hurts. moving your hand from your collar bone down to your hip bone. Stand. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Slowly relax. Allow the wave of sensation to your neck and head to pass. 19. do your other side. Your hand ends up at your collar bone. Reach with the straight leg and equalize. Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. Then.

MODULE 3B The Rising Sphinx 189 .

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Module 3B: The Dog Stretch

190

Introduction: Claiming Your Full Flexibility
Now that you have released tension from your back, you have a bit of slack in those muscles. This next movement distributes that slack along the length of your spine. Note that in this movement, you are putting as much attention on contracting and relaxing the muscles of your back as you are on contracting and relaxing the muscles of your front . Move slowly to give time for sensations to surface. You are using this coordination pattern to increase your awareness and control of the tension you maintain in the active muscle groups. You are decreasing the tension you maintain, at rest. The flexibility you gain does not come from stretching; it comes from letting go of muscles you habitually hold tight. You discover these muscles by moving slowly and gently enough to feel where your effort is. As with all the developmental coordination patterns found in this program, your ability to get the result from this session depends upon your getting sufficient improvement from the previous sessions.

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191

.

• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. • Follow the instructions, but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. Notice where you feel it. Feel there continuously through the movement. • Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing, each time at a decreasing level of effort. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • To repeat, be sure to relax completely between repetitions.

THE “FEEL” ICON

THE “EQUALIZE” ICON

Module 3B: The Dog Stretch

192

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

The Rising Sphinx
STARTING POSITION:

a.

• on all-fours - go from a. to b. • ankles and knees together • shoulders directly above your hands • head hanging freely b. • small cushion under (and over) your ankles, if needed for comfort

Sense the gradual curving movements go along your spine.
Coordinating your spine and legs

1.

Slowly lift your head until you feel gentle tension in the back of your neck.
Notice how your back sags, slightly.

Module 3B: The Dog Stretch

193

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts, use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.

2.

Slowly let your head hang down.
Feel where you relax last. Notice how your back arches, slightly.

3.

Place your attention in your low back. Lift your head and hold.
Notice how lifting your head tenses your low back.

4.

5.

Equalize the efforts at the back of your neck and low back. Slowly relax.
Repeat until you can get the sensations of tension more nearly equal.

6.

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194

Never cause yourself to cringe. 3. Lift your head (gently) and hold. 2. Rest on your elbows. 4. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. If a movement hurts. Slowly sit back toward your heels. Equalize the tensions at low back and back of neck. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 195 . Feel the curve of your back reverse itself from your waist toward your neck. The Muscles of Your Front 1. Feel a gentle pressure at the base of your head.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

Feel how the action tightens your upper abdomen. and neck. Squeeze your knees together. Feel where you relax last. Equalize the efforts at groin. use less effort. 7. let your head hang. 5. Gently and steadily pull your elbows toward your groin. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 196 . Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort. and hold.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. abdomen. and hold. 6. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Draw your abdomen in by arching your back. If a movement hurts. 8. Slowly.

Never cause yourself to cringe. If a movement hurts. 11. 10. Slowly relax. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Lift your head until you feel gentle pressure at the base of your head. Come back up onto all-fours. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Repeat this movement at decreasing levels of effort. Feel the curve of your spine change. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 197 . 9.

Feel a gentle pressure at the base of your head. Feel how your mid-back tenses. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 198 . 1.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. 2. Lift your head (gently). If a movement hurts. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Grip with your fingertips and tug toward your knees. and hold. and hold. Never cause yourself to cringe. Equalize the sensations at the back of your neck and mid-back. 3.

Equalize the sensations at the fronts of your thighs. Slowly relax and let your head hang down. Push down with your feet. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 5. Never cause yourself to cringe. and neck. Feel the tension at the fronts of your thighs. 7. If a movement hurts. and hold. 6. Repeat until you get better at equalizing the tensions. use less effort. 4. Feel the tension in your abdomen and front of your neck. abdomen. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 199 . Look at your belly.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

Slowly sit back toward your heels. 1. Lift your head and hold. Notice how lifting your head tenses your low back. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts. 3.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 2. use less effort. Feel the curve of your back reverse itself from your waist toward your neck. Rest on your elbows. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 200 . Never cause yourself to cringe.

use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 5. and hold. Feel how the tension moves to your lower abdomen. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 201 . Never cause yourself to cringe. Squeeze your knees together. If a movement hurts. 4. Press your wrists and hands down. and hold (within your comfort zone). Always work within your zone of easy effort.

Press your forehead gently toward the ground and hold (within your comfort zone). 6.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Exhale and cause your belly to draw up by rounding your back. Notice the tension in the front of your neck and abdomen. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ 7. Equalize all the efforts so they become unified. 8. Inhale and slowly relax all efforts. Never cause yourself to cringe. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 202 . ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ “Pump” the action a few times. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. If a movement hurts.

Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 203 . 1. Slowly move forward onto all-fours. 2. If you feel discomfort in your spine or ribs. Never cause yourself to cringe. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Hold. Feel your back curve increase from your neck down to your waist. use less effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Inhale as you increase effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. If a movement hurts. Adjust your efforts to make the left and right sides of each effort feel equal. Slowly lift your head until you feel tension in the back of your neck. back up to the first point where you felt it. Pause in place and relax any extra tensions before continuing.

⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Inhale as you come forward. 4. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 204 . use less effort. Contract between your shoulder blades to draw them close together. Equalize the right and left sides of your shoulder blades. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts. and vice-versa. 3. 5. and hold.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. If your right side feels tigher. Slowly relax and let your head hang partway. Never cause yourself to cringe. sway your hips and head to the left. in back. and hold.

Repeat until your head hangs freely. use less effort. Then. 6. repeat the entire process three or more times. If a movement hurts. Never cause yourself to cringe. 7. Let your head come down a little farther.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Re-contract your shoulder blades and equalize. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 205 .

sit toward your heels. Take time to feel the unifying action on the efforts of the front of your body.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. round your back upward (by tightening your front). If a movement hurts. Never cause yourself to cringe. Exhale all the way. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. and squeeze your knees together. Look at your navel. Feel your spine curve as you sit. 8. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 206 . While squeezing. 9.

Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 207 . or so. Inhale and apply a very constant outward pressure with your knees. Feel how the action pulls your knees in toward your chest. If a movement hurts. Feel how the action unifies the efforts in the back of your body. 12.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 11. Feel the effort in your buttocks. and hold. 10. Always work within your zone of easy effort. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Release and squeeze a few times. Repeat five (5) times. Come forward onto all-fours. use less effort. Squeeze your knees and push your elbows into the surface. Never cause yourself to cringe. at deceasing levels of effort.

Feel gentle pressure at the base of your head. use less effort. If a movement hurts. Never cause yourself to cringe. 1. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 208 . Lift your head. ⇒ 3rd level ⇒ Actively inhale. sitting erectly.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. as before. Exhale and begin to sit toward your heels. ENDING THE MOVEMENT: Sit back onto your heels. Feel your spinal curve reverse from your waist toward your neck. Relax in place with your hands on your hips. Always work within your zone of easy effort. at the neck. 2. Your head comes down last. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Look at the space between your knees. ⇒ 2nd level ⇒ Look upward at your brow.

If a movement hurts. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. Module 3B: The Dog Stretch 209 .

Never cause yourself to cringe.. use less effort.. Do Always work within your zone of easy effort.. 210 .Intend . If a movement hurts.. Allow .

MODULE 3C The Mortar & Pestle 211 ..

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That means it’s easiest when your brain functions best. Maybe that partially expains the moods often found in the office or workplace. per day -.and more if they live in a hot or dry climate. Anything dissolved in water slows its absorption and decreases its ability to carry the body’s nutrients and metabolic wastes. In other words. But to be clear. then. wastes get more concentrated in bodily fluids than they should. Dehydration makes the fatigue and soreness of tight back muscles worse. Nerve endings get more irritable. before. It’s a good idea. Many people drink insufficient water to allow the body to eliminate metabolic waste as it should. trouble with basic math. With insufficient water. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. You’ve possibly heard that idea. that means water. juice. the chemistry of your brain requires adequate water to function. A person should be drinking six to eight glasses (that’s forty-eight to sixtyfour ounces) of water. Water. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory. This last point is pertinent to the session that follows. Toxicity is the result. the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. the tissues of your back may report soreness with movements that involve bending.The Role of Adequate Water Intake It has been written that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. The processes shown in this book are learningintensive. and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or reading material. A bit more on that point. Module 3C: The Mortar and Pestle 213 . tea or coffee. not soda. and that lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. Here are some more good reasons to drink water. that in 37% of Americans. to drink a glass of water before each session of the kind of brainintensive processes shown in this book. If you’ve often allowed yourself to get dehydrated.

It also teaches you how to maintain balance while bending. plus it can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 79%. Implication: Drinking water helps weight-loss.More interesting statistics: Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Module 3C: The Mortar and Pestle 214 . A new words on The Mortar and Pestle movement pattern. Over a lifetime of inadequate water intake. Here’s another reason: as bodily tissues are about 70% water. This movement frees your spine for bending in all directions. intervertebral disks (the cushions between the bones of the spine) lose their plumpness. The result? Less lubrication of joints. an idea that is backed up by scientists’ understanding of fat metabolism. One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a U-Washington study. which involves water. dehydration leads to tissue shrinkage. Both benefits reduce the tendency to hold tension unnecessarily. which involves a process called hydrolysis. read the book. Batmangelidge. Even mild dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%. Work with it until the movement is smooth and your balance is steady. the vital organs of the body having priority over the mouth for water. This is one reason why people lose height as they get older. Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day? For an eye-opener on the widely underestimated role of water in health and disease. by Dr. Your Body’s Many Cries for Water.D. M. and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. It’s the last sign. And yet another reason: dehydration leads to a thickening of the slippery lubricant found in joints (synovial fluid). F. A final word: Dry mouth is not the first sign of dehydration. leading to spinal compression.

• Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • Contract your muscles in a leisurely way and slowly enough to feel the first sensation of effort. but breathe when you need to! • Begin with the least amount of effort needed to feel your effort. • Let the sensation “set in” before relaxing. Notice where you feel it. You may need to contract and relax a number of times to feel it. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON Module 3C: The Mortar and Pestle 215 . each time at a decreasing level of effort. • To repeat. • Follow the instructions.• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. Feel there continuously through the movement.

Shift your weight to your left buttock and hold.The Mortar & Pestle STARTING POSITION: • seated • hands on hips • feet and knees at shoulder width Feel the tension “orbit” your waistline as you move. Feel your waistline contract on the right side. as you keep the amount of weight on your two feet equal and constant. Module 3C: The Mortar and Pestle 216 . 1.

Feel the tension move from your right side toward the center of your spine. on the right. 3. use less effort. Arch your back (bring your chest up).Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Lift your left shoulder to match the effort at your right waist. and hold. Module 3C: The Mortar and Pestle 217 . and hold. 2. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Let your right hip and left shoulder come down. Never cause yourself to cringe. If a movement hurts. Feel the tension move to your back. Stay arched. 4.

7. 5. 6. Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Module 3C: The Mortar and Pestle 218 . 8. Lift your left hip and right shoulder. Center your weight on your buttocks. Always work within your zone of easy effort. so you sag. Equalize the efforts. use less effort. Slowly let your chest cave in. and hold. If a movement hurts. Feel the tension move toward your left waist. Feel the tension move from your left side toward the center of your belly. Feel the tension move to the center of your belly.

make slow. small turning movements. Then. as if to glance over your shoulder. Find the edge. If a movement hurts. reverse direction. If you find any position particularly painful. into and out of the pain. back and forth. Continue this cycle of shifting your weight in a circle and feel the tension “orbit” your belly. use less effort. retreat from that position to find the “edge” of the pain. Always work within your zone of easy effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Module 3C: The Mortar and Pestle 219 . Never cause yourself to cringe. Do five cycles or more at decreasing levels of effort Then. Relax into the movement so the pain disappears.

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QUICK REFERENCE Pictorial Summaries of Coordination Patterns 221 .

with each repetition. • To repeat. start with the least effort you can feel. be sure to relax completely between repetitions. • Be sure to relax completely between repetitions. THE “FEEL” ICON THE “EQUALIZE” ICON PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 222 .• Always regulate your effort to be within your comfort zone: the amount of sensation you can experience without fear or cringing. put them together.” • Learn the parts (elements) of multi-part movements. Work toward “gentle. • Begin with the amount of effort needed to feel your effort and. • Go slowly enough to feel tension increase or decrease.

1. 1. 3. Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. 3. NO EFFORT 1.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. If a movement hurts. 2. use less effort. SUMMARY 1A 2. PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 223 . 4. 2.

Always work within your zone of easy effort. Never cause yourself to cringe. SUMMARY 1B 1. 5. If a movement hurts. 2. 3. PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 224 .Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. 4.

Hips up. 3. 2. PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 225 .Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 1. Never cause yourself to cringe. 4. Head up. NO EFFORT 2. use less effort. 4. Always work within your zone of easy effort. SUMMARY 1C(a) 1. Hips down. If a movement hurts. 3. Head down.

3. 4. SUMMARY 1C(b) 1. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. If a movement hurts. HEAD DOWN NO EFFORT 2. Never cause yourself to cringe. PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 226 . CHIN UP. Always work within your zone of easy effort.

Never cause yourself to cringe. 6. TRIPOD 5. Always work within your zone of easy effort. NO EFFORT 7. 2. SUMMARY 1C .Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 1. BELLY UP+CHIN UP+HEAD DOWN NO EFFORT 3. 4. If a movement hurts. COMBINE THE TWO COORDINATION PATTERNS INTO A CYCLE. use less effort.COMPLETE NOW. PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 227 .

Never cause yourself to cringe. 3. PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 228 . 2. SUMMARY 2A(a) 1. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

Never cause yourself to cringe SUMMARY 2A(b) Shrug to shorten neck. 5. 3. Lift knee. use less effort. 1. 229 . Always work within your zone of easy effort. Press elbow & shoulder. If a movement hurts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 4. NO EFFORT 2. ( ) Reach.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. use less effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. If a movement hurts. Never cause yourself to cringe SUMMARY 2A(c) NO EFFORT 230 .

Set tension. Never cause yourself to cringe.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Hand switches. Hand switches. If a movement hurts. SUMMARY 2B Set tension. PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 231 . use less effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort.

PELVIS FLATTENED 4. ARM AND FOOT LIFTED 3. use less effort. SHOULDER DOWN 5. Never cause yourself to cringe. 1. If a movement hurts. Always work within your zone of easy effort. OTHER SHOULDER DOWN. FOOT TURNED IN PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 232 . SUMMARY 2C . AT REST ARCH 2.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort.

EQUALIZE PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 233 . HEAD AND SHOULDER 4. If a movement hurts.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. NO EFFORT 2. SUMMARY 3A(a) 1. Always work within your zone of easy effort. ARCH BACK 3. Never cause yourself to cringe. use less effort.

If a movement hurts. Never cause yourself to cringe. use less effort.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. SUMMARY 3A(b) CONTRACT BUTTOCK NO EFFORT NO EFFORT PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 234 . Always work within your zone of easy effort.

Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Always work within your zone of easy effort. use less effort. Never cause yourself to cringe SUMMARY 3A(c) 235 . If a movement hurts.

3.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. 1. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 4. use less effort. 2. 236 . 5. 6. If a movement hurts. Never cause yourself to cringe SUMMARY 3B 8. 7.

If a movement hurts. 3. 6. CAVE 237 . 5. use less effort. 2. Always work within your zone of easy effort. 4.Go slowly enough to notice the first sensation of effort. Never cause yourself to cringe SUMMARY 3C ARCH 1.

(This page deliberately blank.) PICTORIAL SUMMARIES 238 .

Appendix A Some Comments on Typical Terms Applied to Back Pain 239 .

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Flexibility. to more severe disc bulge (herniation). The discs consist of two layers: a tough. Thomas L.D. The breakdown process can be stopped by restoring normal pliancy to the spinal muscles and normal space between the vertebrae. While defined as a disease. Over time.2 2. The breakdown comes from mechanical causes -. compressing the discs in between. Hanna. 241 . such as sciatica or tingling and numbness in the hands (including carpal tunnel syndrome). As discs lose water. the healing process can restore disc integrity.the fibrocartilage spacers between vertebrae. pages 81-82. Tight muscles of the back (the spinal extensors) pull neighboring vertebrae closer together. leading to the range of breakdown described above. and Health. Nerve entrapment.Some Comments on Typical Terms Applied to Back Pain Degenerative Disc Disease Refers to breakdown of the intervertebral discs -. 1988: Perseus Books. fibrous outer ring (annulus fibrosus) and a gummy core (nucleus pulposus) -. This phenomenon may occur anywhere in the spine.overcompression. may result. to rupture of the disc with extrusion of disc material. Ph. to conversion of the disc into bone (fusion).Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement. Added note: chronic dehydration due to insufficient water intake affects the discs adversely. including the neck. Then. Somatics -. the combination of overcompression and movement cause discs to break down. Disc breakdown may range from mild disc bulge. they lose plumpness and lose their ability to maintain space between neighboring vertebrae. Degenerative Disc Disease is no more a disease than a blowout of an overloaded tire is a disease of the tire.something like a Tootsie Roll Pop.

Such misalignments adversely affect posture. tend to be long-lasting and are needed less often. In persons with chronic muscular tension. leading persons to speculate that they have injured their back. Spinal injuries involve changes in bone structure or soft-tissue consistency: fractured vertebrae.Spinal Subluxations The term. muscle spasms may be confused with spinal (not “spinal cord”) injuries. Spasm People commonly confuse spinal injuries with muscle spasms. chiropractic adjustments. spinal misalignments tend to return.or may never heal. spinal alignment often normalizes spontaneously. As muscular functioning normalizes. if ever. if needed. Though symptoms of nerve impingement (tingling. Abnormal (habituated) tensions in the spinal muscles pull vertebrae out of alignment. movement. with normalization of muscular functioning. and organ function by affecting nerve signal transmission. 242 . Spinal injuries require substantial healing time -. shocks to the nervous system that prompt the muscular system to tighten up. nerve damage.painful muscular contractions -. Injury vs.though painful. these symptoms often disappear nearly instantly. once muscle spasms relax. loss of muscular control) may accompany muscle spasms. Muscle spasms can often be induced to relax through somatic methods relatively quickly. Muscle spasms -. degenerating discs. do not constitute an injury. Bones go where muscles pull them. originating in Chiropractic. For that reason. Muscle spasms often follow traumatic accidents. Without normalization of muscular functioning. muscle spasms may also occur when lifting heavy loads or even when bending forward. burning. numbness. such as falls or motor vehicle mishaps. refers to misalignments of neighboring vertebrae.

A pinch or entrapment of the sciatic nerve at the waist or buttock (often caused by muscular tension) creates a signal that the brain interprets as trouble in the back of the leg or in the foot. familiar to physical therapists.” Radiculopathy This is another term familiar to physical therapists. It refers to tingling and numbness in the extremities that result from nerve impingement (a pinched nerve). 243 . these bony projections on neighboring vertebrae don’t touch each other. Excessive tension of the muscles that control rib movement may also cause a kind of facet joint syndrome. Sciatica is an example of referred pain. the brain interprets the nerve signal that results as a sensation of the foot. The pain and inflammation that result are sometimes called “facet joint syndrome” and sometimes. Another type of face joint exists where ribs meet vertebrae. Generally. Facet Joint Syndrome The facet joints are bony projections on vertebrae. The sciatic nerve branches down the back of the leg to the foot. A nerve that reports on the state of the foot ends in a brain connection that corresponds to the foot. but muscular contractions along the spine pull neighboring vertebrae together and may cause those facet joints to meet with undue pressure and friction.Referred Pain This term. If the nerve to the foot gets pinched. It refers to pain at a location other than at the location where the nerve pinch exists. Sensory nerves end at brain connections corresponding to the body part they sense. has to do with pinched nerves (nerve impingement). “spinal arthritis. That nerve “refers” to the foot. The term implies damage to a nerve root where it exits the spinal column.

The symptoms of radiculopathy often disappears as soon as tensions of the spinal musculature normalize. 244 . no damage exists.Sometimes. a nerve impingement of muscular origin exists.

Appendix B AN EXPERIMENT IN PERCEPTION 245 .

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the muscular tension of typical back trouble. In normal seeing. If both your eyes are “awake”.An Experiment in Perception The following images show the typical posture of people with the pattern of muscular tension described earlier -. The benefit of getting a 3-D view is that it awakens and harmonizes both sides of the brain -. as we are doing in this program. The images shown here are slightly different from each other.helpful for developing body-awareness. While it is not necessary for your success in this program to get a threedimensional view from these images. + + As you gaze at these images. using these images. The two side-by-side images are designed to give you a three-dimensional view. 247 . it might be fun to try. Here’s how to get that three-dimensional view. you see four. depth perception (binocular vision) comes from your brain’s merging the slightly different images seen by your two eyes into one image. and instead of seeing two images. you will notice how the images drift apart. relax your eyes.

The image below shows a more normal posture characteristic of a person without back trouble. + + Now. and you have a three-dimensional image. Exactly the same figures were used for both sets of images.not so muscular looking. powerful -.the state of tension they portray.and relaxed. with no changes of muscular build. cross your eyes gently and see the images drift toward each other. but the first set of images corresponds more to the ideal of a masculine man -. 248 . The interesting thing is that the only difference between the two images is their posture -. Add a bit of effort to crossing your eyes. not so powerful looking -.and under strain. and you will see the innermost images overlay each other. This observation may reveal something about why back trouble is so prevalent in our culture. The second set of images corresponds to another kind of man -. Get them to merge.Now.muscular. it’s an interesting thing.

249 .Appendix C WE BECOME HOW WE LIVE.

) 250 .(This page deliberately blank.

“Use it or lose it. Reading. I encounter people whose improvement is temporary. Somatics1 . these reflexes lead to the formation of tension habits that create the pains and stiffness commonly attributed to aging. Somatics. these ways of operating have to do with how we handle beginnings. and the Trauma Reflex4. MA: Perseus Books. Hanna. their expectation becomes a reality. the Startle Reflex3. ibid. Ph. injury. and for whom their initial complaint reappears − or who just don’t respond as expected to the work. ibid. Thomas Hanna described three neuromuscular reflexes of stress: the Landau Reaction2. He described his view of how. middles. 1. ibid. In popular parlance.” My own practice has substantiated his views. This information might be of interest to you if you’re wondering what’s going on with you. Thomas Hanna also described the role of expectation in the aging process − how the expectation that aging leads to decrepitude leads to people limiting their lives so that they become unfit for life.An Expanded View of The Three Reflexes of Stress “We become how we live. The Enigma Most people respond well and decisively to Hanna Somatic Education as a way of eliminating chronic muscular or musculo-skeletal pain resulting from aging.” In his book. page 49 4. and endings of the events in our lives. Thomas.D. But from time to time. In general. 1988 2. page 79 251 . or stress. I have also seen that there are various attitudes and ways of operating in life that lead to a poor life experience and to formation of tension habits that lead to poor aging. page 61 3. when repeatedly triggered. particularly if you have chronic conditions that don’t respond well to the usual therapeutic options.

and endings in our lives) lead to the accumulation or release of tension. middles. or its failure to resolve. The ways we accept. perhaps the hardest one you will encounter in this paper. go!”) You might experience such a state of heightened tension as you work to understand what I’m getting at in this paper. the explanation is simple: they have returned to the same activities that provoked the problem to begin with. however. There have been others. without adding to their lives the regimen of somatic coordination patterns that dispels the effects of those activities. (“Ready. Every act of attention or any intention to act involves a rise of muscular tension. get set. Moving from a state of “not ready” (at rest) to a state of “readiness” (getting set) and into action all involve rising tension. That’s just an immediate example. The effort of understanding is both an act of attention (to these words) and an intention to make sense (of these words). for whom the return of the initial complaint. and participate in experience (or the ways in which we handle beginnings. Let’s begin with a premise and see if it is intuitively acceptable. was enigmatic.For some of these. reject. The Insight Expanded insight into the psycho-physical workings of human beings (ourselves) seems to provide an explanation that intuitively resounds with a striking ring of truth. Effort is tension. 252 . What this means is that paying attention and getting ready to act involve moving from a state of rest to a state of heightened muscular activity.

However. they are common among human beings and last throughout a lifetime. most infants start lifting their head to look around. let’s continue. etc. which involves both heightened alertness and activation of the erector muscles of the spine. determine for yourself whether those connections between behavior and tension hold good in your own case. as a somatic explorer in your own right. Then. and endings (or interruptions)” to help you tap into the type of intention that can change them for the better. This development is the key distinction of the Landau reaction. Its beginnings start in infancy.. goes largely unrecognized. That said.For those who are unfamiliar with the reflexes of stress named above. I begin with a brief description. the Landau reaction and Startle Reflex. THE LANDAU REACTION The Landau Reaction is the movement into beginnings and the mood of continuing or sustained action. They are developing a heightened state of alertness and awareness of their environment. standing. creeping. 253 . sitting up. walking. are outgrown after a certain stage of infancy. possible. crawling. middles (or continuations). the muscles that gather independent vertebrae into a functional unit that is recognizable as a spine − and makes lifting the head. At about three months of age. Perhaps this difference of opinion is only a matter of what we call these patterns of contraction. the muscular patterns of contraction described here fit the descriptions of those muscular tension patterns and persist throughout a lifetime. I frame each of those ways of operating in terms of “beginnings. though evident in people everywhere. I touch on attitudes and ways of operating so that you may consider them in your own case and. but whatever name we use. It is the swayback and tight shoulders of people under stress. The Neuromuscular Reflexes of Stress There is a general opinion among physical therapists and developmental physiologists that two of the reflex patterns described below. The posture of the Landau Reaction.

the Startle Reflex involves activation of the muscles of the front of the body. activates the gluteal muscles of the buttocks and the hamstrings (for leg movements) and the muscles that surround the shoulder blades (for arm movements). or when something moves quickly toward our face and we shut our eyes and contract our face. he or she is preparing to crawl. We may possibly have read about people curling into fetal position when under emotional stress. abdomen. Where the Landau Reaction is the impulse to explore and participate in our environment.When an infant turns upon his or her belly. the Startle Reflex is a drawing away and withdrawal from our environment. The Startle Reflex is the reflex of fear. the legs. Where the Landau Reaction involves activation of the muscles of the back of the body. a door slams or someone yells. as the knees are brought together and pulled toward the chest in a movement into collapse. So we have two distinctions for the Landau Reaction: • • coming to a heightened state of alertness (sensory awareness) activation of certain nerve pathways that control certain muscle groups in the back side of the body THE STARTLE REFLEX The Startle Reflex is the movement of withdrawal from total experience. then the arms and shoulders.g. The act of crawling. it is the withdrawal of attention from experiencing via the cringing response. and at last. The movements of the cringing response are familiar to all of us. “Duck!”) and we pull into a ducking position. itself. The reflex involves a cascade of responses in which the individual closes themselves off from the environment.. starting with the face. We see it when we hear a sudden noise (e. So we have two distinctions for the Startle Reflex: • withdrawal from sensory awareness of the environment 254 . then the neck and chest.

It is an act of self-preservation. Unlike the Startle Reflex. fixated. or habituated responses. So the effects of trauma reflex show up as asymmetrical postural distortions. 255 . usually from one side of the individual or the other. while still staying in participatory contact with our environment. There is a universal response to pain or injury: we contract away from the perceived source of the sensation. which is wholesale withdrawal from contact with the individual’s environment.• activation of certain nerve pathways that control certain muscle groups in the frontal aspect of the body THE TRAUMA REFLEX The Trauma Reflex is the limiting of movement (or participation in experience) in order to maintain safety while participating in experience. the trauma reflex is a selective withdrawal from an external event or stimulus. the trauma reflex involves patterns of movement unique to the situation. which has a consistent movement pattern. Each has its proper moment. The trauma reflex is another kind of “movement-away”. cognitive. Unlike the Startle Reflex. Problems occur when they persist beyond the moment as chronic. and sensory-motor realms. rarely do they come from a straight-forward direction. So we have two distinctions for the Trauma Reflex: • • withdrawal of sensory awareness from a painful or shocking sensation activation of certain nerve pathways that control muscle groups involved in physical withdrawal from the direction from which pain or shock seems to come Summary of the Neuromuscular Reflexes of Stress These descriptions show that there is a correlation of the emotional. They all involve a simultaneous involvement of the senses and of movement. In general. injuries come from a single direction.

and Hanna Somatic Education. 256 . in specific.Somatic education. is a way to get free of these responses when they have become habituated and chronic. in general. to return to a free state of functioning appropriately responsive to the moment.

It’s a kind of disoriented state of heightened tension. you felt relieved? Have you ever procrastinated for so long that now the matter you had put off constituted an emergency about which you felt some urgency? Would you say that urgency involves a state of heightened tension? That’s the Landau Reaction. we can’t (or won’t ) choose one side or the other. now. It’s a way of being stuck and wanting to get free. Isn’t this confusing? Confusion costs us peace. BROKEN COMMITMENTS AND OVERLOAD a disorder of continuation How about the person who is late but doesn’t care? Is it true that they really don’t care. or are they just resisting caring? Their promise to be on time was a commitment they made (for whatever reason). isn’t it? Now that they’re late. Would such a person be tense? Another instance of the Landau Reaction. they are denying their original commitment. always hurrying. What must the tension level be like in a person who habitually procrastinates? Always behind. So now they are opposing the thing with which they were at first sympathetic. they’re driven to be on time. LATENESS AND HURRYING a disorder of beginning and a beginning of disorder What about a person who is habitually late for appointments? Same thing. Consider the cumulative effects of habitual procrastination.How Our Way of Operating in Life Triggers the Neuromuscular Reflexes of Stress PROCRASTINATION AND URGENCY a disorder of beginning and a beginning of disorder Have you ever procrastinated? Have you noticed that resisting doing something you felt needed doing only added to your tension in life? That once you did it. 257 .

. To make a commitment is to enter a state of readiness to act. more Landau Reaction.. even. at times? SLOPPINESS a disorder of endings or completions “A Clean Desk is a Sign of a Sick Mind” − perhaps you have seen this saying on a coffee mug in some office. It triggers the Landau reaction until the commitment is fulfilled. but now oppose. You’re waiting for it to happen.What makes it more complicated is that another person is involved who stands for the thing with which we were originally sympathetic. in a state of suspense. The mess seems too much to clean up and so only gets worse with time. What of the person who habitually enters into agreements with a person who habitually breaks them? Might that not contribute to a persons stress level? Might they not go nuts. Sporadic attempts at clean-up lead to getting bogged down 258 . What amount of tension must they be accumulating? How must their attention be split among the various directions of their unfulfilled commitments? Might they feel overloaded and tense? . It’s a heightened state of tension. on the receiving end of Broken Commitments and Overload: UNFULFILLED EXPECTATION AND ANGER a disorder of continuation Suppose you’re the person disappointed by someone who’s made a commitment to you. More readiness. more tension. You’re in a state of readiness to fulfill what you both agreed to. and now it isn’t happening. This saying is a sign of a sick mind! Why? Like procrastination. sloppiness leads to a sense of urgency − a sense of “overwhelm” − chronic fatigue. So they seem to be our opponent − for asking us to do that for which we prepared (at least partially) to do by making a commitment. Consider the person who habitually makes and fails to keep commitments − or makes too many commitments.

the tension of the Startle Reflex. Ever worked in an office occupied by such a person? How do you feel. isn’t it? A sloppy desk is a sign of a sick mind. their minds are congested with clutter. They put things down and forget where they put them. They live under the Sword of Damocles. The cure? End things with a completion. they exist in a state of chronic arousal. and the consequences of their actions impending. SELF-DENIAL: UNMET NEEDS AND RESENTMENT a disorder of beginning Desire is the impulse to take action to get what we want or need − e. They have dual motivations: to get what they need (beginning/ Landau) and to avoid a “situation” (interrupting/Startle). Like the rooms they occupy. to go get something − some physical action. because consequences are impending. the tension of the Landau Reaction. Sloppy people have trouble ending things with a completion. too many things pending. The rooms they occupy become shrines to disorder and backlog. one wishes for a dump truck − but among the detritus are usually things one wants! So the mass preys upon ones attention. every square inch of surface area occupied with stuff.g. there? It’s something like a kind of mental constipation. Might they be a little tense? Might they be a bit prone to angry resentment at those who do ask for (and get) what they need? (“If I shouldn’t ask 259 . to go and talk to someone. Eventually.. they exist in a state of chronic anxiety.in details. Their attention goes off the situation before it is over. They make promises and forget they made them. Because so much is pending. They may be paralyzed by feelings of impending doom. Consider the “polite” person who doesn’t ask for what they need or accept it when it is offered because (in their mind) it would inconvenience someone else or be impolite.

) CHRONIC DISTRACTION: BEING DIVERTED (DIVERTING ONESELF) FROM ONES PRIORITIES a disorder of endings (or completions) A priority is a decided-upon intention. we have three “programs” or intentions to act going on at once: readiness.” of course. when we resist that reminder. When we get distracted. As a state of readiness-to-act. Since our priorities often involve other persons. People who commonly follow distractions get accustomed to heightened states of tension. but it is our own heightened tension. we call it “nagging”. that we are feeling and resisting. delay. and the “off-purpose” action.. in addition. In effect. Some people have a tendency to distraction. complete relaxation is unreadiness to act. Consider how wound up people get when delayed in traffic. neither should they. In effect. RESISTANCE TO CHANGE: REGRET AND MISSED OPPORTUNITIES disorder of failed beginnings. which is “the fault of others. consider.for it. ended before they began How many times have we agonized about missed opportunities − moments when we had the desire to act. but suppressed it? 260 . our first priority remains as a frustrated (or delayed) impulse.”) Might they be feeling both needy and angry − and isn’t that a good definition of resentment? And consider the person who acts that way as a matter of principle. our own readiness to act (Landau) on our first priority. the tension involved in handling the reactions of others affected by our distraction. it involves heightened tension.. they remind us of our own state of readiness to act on our first priority. Might they not accumulate the dual tensions of desiring to act to get what they want and opposing their desire? (. The sense of frustration is a combination of arousal or readiness to act coupled with restraint (the sense of being delayed) as we involve ourselves with something else.

PERPETRATIONS actions that we wish we had never begun A perpetration is any action about which we feel guilt. 261 . or any similar emotion. the Landau Reaction (readiness to act. When we knowingly violate taboos. regret. It is an action we wish we had not done. involving the muscles of the back of the body) and the Startle Reflex (withdrawal from action. It is a desire to begin meeting a belief in a premature end. VIOLATING TABOOS OR ONES OWN SENSE OF INTEGRITY a disorder of desiring to end what we are beginning A taboo is an injunction to refrain from certain types of actions. the suppression of action substitutes for relaxing and relinquishing the initial desire. we feel a combination of fear of the consequences and desire to do it anyway. for which we have not yet handled the consequences. or an act of omission. shame. Perpetrations involve both a memory of the action (maintained as a heightened state of tension in the musculature − a memory is a heightened readiness to experience something) and a desire to counteract the action (another heightened state of tension in the musculature − readiness to do the opposite action). The memory of the situation re-triggers the desire and intensifies the state of readiness to act (to begin: Landau) at a time when action is now impossible (so we believe).The desire to act stands as a state of readiness. Lies and secrets are included in this category. at the same time. which continues. The same reflexes are triggered any time we engage in actions that we feel are wrong or for which we feel unprepared. remorse. involving the muscles of the front of the body). This combination of feelings triggers.

it has been described as “the universal disease”. The opposite of procrastination. rather than one intention dissolving into the next. It may involve (and be intensified by) a chronic desire for a beginning coupled with a refusal to end what has come before. Consequently. SELF-DECEPTION: RESISTED ROLES disorders of denied beginnings and failed endings A role is a set of behaviors and feelings. STUBBORNNESS AND FRUSTRATION a disorder of prevented beginnings Frustration is no stranger to us. except for the addition of one more feature: denial. except when the end “justifies” the means (see “Violating Taboos” above). themselves. Tormented people are not relaxed.Since these states of readiness do not cancel or neutralize each other (since the emotion is persisting).or with conditions we have yet to handle. as well. it persists and conflicts with it. cruelty. One word for this state is torment. Consider actors in the theater. 262 . stupidity. social mores. setting the stage for fruitless conflict and tension. we are likely to go into conflict with ourselves. frustration involves a state of readiness that conflicts with our previous state of readiness to be some other way . when we have impulses (or habits) that embody those forbidden attributes. what we respond to is not they. you may have noticed. Our system of morals. When a great change is desired. Greed. This pattern is similar to that of perpetrations. selfishness. they add to each other. The “disowned” desire (for what has gone before) is then assumed to come from the environment or others. but the role they are playing. and taboos seeks to confine feelings and behaviors within a certain accepted range. and ignorance are (most of the time) taboo. I’m sure you can think of other attributes.

and disordered environments. Vol. XII. A moment’s consideration reveals how they also set the stage for injury. pg. and it is available only when we conduct our lives in such a way that our attention can move appropriately into beginnings and come to rest in appropriate endings. the effects of self-conflicted ways of living return as long as we continue to live as we have. held as a desire not to experience being the way we really want to be. Reprinted from Somatics -. It is a combination of Landau and Startle. More tension. They show how the way we live triggers the neuromuscular reflexes of stress. Another state of “readiness”.the Magazine-Journal of the Mind-Body Arts and Sciences. 4. People who resist playing a certain role also tend to emphasize its opposite. summer/fall 2000.We tend to deny that we embody those forbidden attributes and suffer torment at the idea that we do embody them. giving power to their denial that they are that way. inattention.) While clinical somatic education can do much to alleviate the effects of injury and stress. © 2000 Lawrence Gold. (Think of haste. no. No-contraction. no-problem is the natural condition of rest. 12 263 . We also tend to want to torment others who embody those attributes! Such is the origin of much righteous anger. We must change our lives or suffer our own reactions. Summary These are but a few examples of how people operate that lead to the heightened tensions of the three reflexes of stress.

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Appendix D A FUNCTIONAL LOOK AT BACK PAIN AND TREATMENT METHODS 265 .

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This essay presents a radical departure from the conventional viewpoint of clinical therapeutics. genetic (mis)endowment. revised 4/5/02 Two primary sources of chronic back pain are muscular hypertonicity (resulting in joint compression and possible nerve impingement) and lactic acid buildup in hypertonic muscles (creating nociceptor irritation).this apart from any tissue damage that may exist. In many cases. 267 . 1186. Certified Hanna Somatic Educator REPRINTED FROM THE TOWNSEND LETTER FOR DOCTORS AND PATIENTS. INTRODUCTION The conventional understanding of muscular back pain is that it results from traumatic injury. 1994. or from "insidious causes". In cases of traumatic injury. in some cases. sprain. might be augmented by soft-tissue manipulation. Lactic acid buildup and tissue irritation follow. pain reflects chronic muscular hypertonicity following injury or subsequent to longterm stress. a strain. or joint damage may in fact have occurred.A Functional Look at Back Pain and Treatment Methods Lawrence Gold. Both traditional and newer treatment methods are discussed. or facet joint damage. the benefits of which. pg. #136. heat or cold. Improper or insufficient movement and/or postural habits lead to (and result from) chronic muscular hypertonicity and soreness. old age. sprain. November. It states that to resolve back pain often requires neither strengthening nor stretching. neither muscle relaxants nor surgery. however. In many cases. poor posture. neither mechanical skeletal adjustment nor application of electrical stimulation. to resolve back pain requires nothing more than improving the link between kinesthetic awareness and motor control. Pain is often attributed to strain. such as whiplash or a lifting injury.

fascia is called. Disorganization of the Fascia The fascia is the fibrous matrix that gives shape and tensile strength to tissue. stiffness. When the extensors and flexors of the trunk co-contract.. often to crisis proportions. Whether muscular hypertonicity results from pain (i. the results are the same: reduced movement. to back pain: • • chronic muscular hypertonicity disorganization of the fascial network (connective tissue) Chronic Muscular Hypertonicity Chronic muscular hypertonicity may result from long-term performance of repetitive movement (e.e. at work). It often persists even during sleep. muscular tension begins as a momentary response and becomes chronic/automatic through habituation. Chronic co-contraction of extensors and flexors is one mechanism by which unresolved muscular tension persists. heightened tension). and soreness result.e.. and accumulation of lactic acid in the involved muscle tissue. fatigue. Habituated contraction can accumulate in "layers" (with multiple episodes of heightened tension). Habitually tight muscles interfere with movement and interfere with their muscular antagonists. from guarding against pain) or produces it. the result is the same: lactic acid build-up and joint compression. from long-term emotional distress (i. they shorten the spine and compress the intervertebral discs. decreased circulation. In soft tissue. fascia grows or shrinks 268 . In all cases. "myofascia".g. as often happens with back pain. or from trauma (reflexive retraction from pain upon injury that persists through healing). this is a common origin of disc degeneration and radiculopathy. in muscle.Two basic conditions contribute to lactic acid build-up in muscle and thus.. Whether muscular hypertonicity arises from physical or emotional origin.

In myofascial release techniques. pain. 269 . Long-term consequences may include crises of spasm and long-term joint degeneration.contraction and restricted movement. it also imprints stress and trauma upon the fascial system. soft-tissue manipulation frees adhesions and restriction in the myofascial system. whether of healthy function or of dysfunction. In somatic education. Summary of Introduction Two basic conditions. accelerated sensory-motor learning retrains the central nervous system (CNS) to alleviate muscular hypertonicity. present as patterns of disorganization -. The consequences of trauma -. The fascia is thus an organ of memory. heat. In chiropractic manipulation. METHODS OF TREATMENT We discuss four basic areas of praxis for the treatment of back pain: • • • • physical therapy modalities chiropractic manipulation somatic education myofascial release techniques In physical therapy. adjustments of vertebral placement shift patterns of compression communicated through the skeletal system. This logic of growth-by-demand creates a pattern of organization visible as the physical person. can account for many or most cases of chronic back pain. as well as of tissue integrity. electrical stimulation. and massage are the usual modalities used to treat back pain.may thus persist due to disorganization of the fascia.heightened muscular tension. and fatigue -. therapeutic exercise.according to functional demand. muscular hypertonicity and fascial disorganization.

These modalities are therefore palliative. Such exercises. upon which strength depends. they must be performed slowly. performed ballistically. through a rebound of circulation to restore warmth to an area. Heat. and Massage Therapeutic exercises may.Physical Therapy Modalities Therapeutic Exercise. hypertonicity tends to return. Electrical stimulation may produce temporary relaxation and mask pain. Chiropractic Manipulation Bone movement and position reflect muscular pulls and the lines of stress communicated through the fascial system. These three approaches are therefore effective ways to flush lactic acid from the soft tissues. Electrical Stimulation. Ice. 270 . by inducing increased awareness of the hypertonic muscles. which in turn controls muscular tensions associated with posture. a more precise understanding is that it improves coordination and control of muscles. it may also indirectly improve voluntary control over muscular tension. increases circulation and induces relaxation. result in removal of lactic acid. Application of ice can numb pain and. supervised. Although the rationale behind therapeutic exercises is usually to strengthen muscles. To produce the most benefit. applied to the affected area. and practiced by the patient. and with due respect for the patient's comfort level (to avoid guarding against pain by tightening further). improve sensory awareness and voluntary control over muscular tension. smoothly. and that is the primary benefit. Moist heat. through pumping action. Muscular activity and massage move fluids from the soft tissues into the bloodstream and lymphatic system. produce little benefit and may increase pain and spasticity. Sense receptors in joints communicate bone movement to the Central Nervous System (CNS). if properly taught.

habituated status). the spine is inherently a flexible structure whose curves 271 . relief is brief.Thus. movement and sensation form a feedback loop for the maintenance of postural alignment. here: • • • conventional postural training movement training assisted pandiculation Conventional Postural Training Conventional postural training teaches patients to establish a neutral spine position in movement and to maintain it in all activity.e. as muscular hypertonicity returns.. and patients tend to remain fearful about their injury.e. Patients thus limit their movement and tend to maintain protective holding patterns in the musculature ("guarding"). The same limitation applies to traction techniques. Muscular tensions of long duration (i. with attendant exacerbation of symptoms.. Four forms of somatic education will be discussed. Guarding leads to conditioning into chronic patterns of tension. may reassert themselves after skeletal adjustments. An alternative to this choice is to maintain "normal spinal curves". The fallacy of this approach is that there exist "normal spinal curves". nonhabituated) status. For bone displacement maintained by muscular tensions of recent (i. Somatic Education Somatic education addresses the sensory-motor aspect of the CNS to reduce muscular hypertonicity. In such cases. skeletal adjustments can be sufficient to interrupt postural reactions to injury and bring relief. It is indicated where residual tension persists after injured tissue has healed or where hypertonicity returns after treatment by conventional methods.

compensatory muscular responses are less necessary. Rolfing Movement. Where agonist overpowers antagonist (where reciprocal inhibition is interfered with by chronic hypertonicity). This fallacy extends to the use of "lumbar supports". and emotional tension. muscular tensions redistribute themselves and abate. forward. For example. position. The patterns of movement thus cultivated permit release of more habituated tensions. abductors and the external rotators of the thighs have overpowered the adductors and internal rotators. The pelvis is thrust forward. Examples of somatic education include Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF). Otherwise. The Alexander Technique. Success depends upon restoring or improving voluntary control of previously involuntarily muscular contractions. Movement training optimally uses balanced movements that "reprogram" control of agonist/antagonist muscle pairs. states of involuntary contraction interfere with the possibility of establishing new coordination patterns. postural aberrations result. All of these methods use the client/patient's capacity for learning to develop new patterns of sensory-motor integration (coordination). and others. Feldenkrais Somatic Integration. the rib cage falls back. The Trager Approach. and the head.change according to load. as a result. including those of injuryguarding and emotional distress. Hanna Somatic Education. 272 . Lactic acid concentration and pain decrease. Such a position accentuates the spinal curves and adds strain to the musculature of the neck and thoracic spine. As better-balanced movement patterns develop. Movement Training Movement education seeks to develop balanced agonist/antagonist muscular coordination throughout the body. in individuals who typically stand with knees locked and feet and legs splayed apart.

though some work more quickly than others. joint structure. Certain varieties concentrate on symptomatic relief and direct their processes accordingly.D.Assisted Pandiculation Pandiculation is an instinctual behavior found among all vertebrates that purges residual tension from the neuromuscular system.) Structural Integration works by guiding the fascia into a pattern of distribution that more nearly approximates their anatomical ideals. As of this writing. All of the methods named above cultivate relaxed or easy balance (grace) in movement and at rest. if necessary. stable reduction of habitual hypertonicity that can. Myofascial Release Techniques Myofascial release techniques free restrictions of the fascial network that have developed through injury or through growth under chronic muscular tension. Rolf. apart from consideration of symptoms. Ph. and the requirements for balance-inmovement. Assisted pandiculation systematically triggers the effects of pandiculation through a kind of "eccentric. somatic education must include the whole body (since the neuro-musculo-skeletal system operates as a whole to maintain balance in the gravitational field).resistive range of motion" maneuver. Assisted pandiculation produces a nearlytantaneous. as indicated by bony landmarks. To be most effective. there is only one system of movement education known which uses assisted pandiculation: Hanna Somatic Education. It may be the fastest method known for bringing involuntary (habituated) muscular hypertonicity under voluntary control. active. this maneuver produces sufficient sensory awareness of the involved areas to induce rapid sensory-motor learning. ("Structural Integration") addresses the body as a whole via a systematic. (Advanced work beyond the basic 10-session series is also done. be maintained with a few minutes of patterned movement a day. 273 . as dictated by the demands of the gravity field. The technique developed by Ida P. 10-session system that concentrates on improving overall physiological functioning.

As stated above. The torso connects the two girdles. For example. ensue. twists. In cases of chronic "poor posture. 274 . shear forces. when treating back problems.This process balances the agonist/antagonist pairs. e. and poor postural support. (3) having the patient/client move the part in a way approximating normal movement. including decreased mobility and unbalanced alignment. muscle weakness. Compensatory shifts of these girdles twist or distort the spine and rib cage. impaired coordination. The combination of movement and tissue-restraint repositions the myofascia to a better approximation of the norm." problems can usually be found in the myofascial system. Consequently. leading to irregularities of movement. where disordered. they counterbalance each other: As one hip moves forward. distributes tensional forces in the myofascia. hip and shoulder. the shoulder above it tends to move backward as a postural reflex. The combination of a twist. and so allows the core of the body to relax and open. Structural Integration differs from myofascial release. For that reason. chronic fatigue. The technique of Structural Integration involves (1). thickening. placing the displaced part near its position of optimal relationship with its neighboring parts.g. by its systematic approach to postural alignment and balance in movement. they move contralaterally. and simultaneously. In walking. etc. (2) manually restraining the local myofascia. and muscle tension adds stress to the whole torso. pain. at rest. agonist/antagonist muscle pulls are imprecisely matched and impaired. and in its recognition of the functional relationship of hard and soft tissues in relation to the gravitational field. Fascia in this state may be very tight and restrictive of movement. Neuromuscular compensations.. the establishment of a dynamically balanced and freely functional neutral spine position requires free movement and reciprocal coordination of the shoulder the hip girdles. per se. displacement from normal position. and postural breakdown accompany myofascial distortions. the shoulder and hip joints are related.

Somatics: Re-Awakening the Mind's Control of Movement. back pain has a common feature: build-up of lactic acid in muscle tissue and resulting irritation.D.through the disciplines of physical therapy. habitual poor posture. REFERENCE Hanna. repetitive movements. 1988 275 . Hypertonicity may result from injury (trauma reflex). facet joint irritation. somatic education. and Health. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I pay my respect to the late Thomas Hanna. Disorganization of the fascial network restricts movement and triggers postural responses to overcome those restrictions. persistent emotional responses. Reading. and myofascial release -have been discussed. Muscular hypertonicity and postural distortions create pain. Thomas L. whose writings and personal instruction provided a structure for my personal somatic explorations and for my work with others.. Flexibility. chiropractic. and radiculopathy. Ph. and/or prolonged immobilization.SUMMARY Though varying in etiology and degree of severity. MA: Perseus Books. Treatment modalities addressing those mechanisms -.

walking. Judith Aston (Aston Patterning) The New Seated Refreshment Exercises by Lawrence Gold. balance.air travelers. Clear and simple to follow. certified Hanna somatic educator video programs available in VHS. students. customer service team members. and functioning in a more comfortable and efficient body. certified Hanna somatic educator audio compact disc Working too hard? Chained to your desk? Here's a system of movements to refresh physical comfort and flexibility for those with limited mobility or who must stay seated for long periods -. PAL. etc. desk jockeys. I would recommend this video . applicable and appropriate for any audience: practitioners. and direction of movement. Spine and Joints 102w This program is based on movement patterns for the well-being of the spine. many hours in fruitful practice time.com) Biokinetics/Hanna Somatics Developmental Movement Education with Carol Welch.MORE SOMATICS available at Somatics on the Web (somatics. Consequently. and the small muscles joining the vertebrae. I liked this video very much. . the video had an excellent pace which allowed the viewer to participate simultaneously with the producers. the elderly. certified Hanna somatic educator 276 . Included are cyclic motions that serve to integrate the sense of weight. intention. They create a better condition for breathing. and on DVD Reflexes 101w The movement patterns worked with in this video address muscular contractions held involuntarily and unconsciously. or novices. It is accessible. the long muscles of the back. Calm & Energize: Somatic Breathing Training to Reduce Stress by Lawrence Gold. 76 minutes running time. Practice along with Carol. . It was well organized and aesthetically pleasing.

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