Monthly Archives: May 2009

Shoot Hoops With Your Grandpa TODAY

mink Summer is creeping up. It’s the kind of weather where the breeze gently brushes your skin and the warm sun keeps you from getting goose bumps. And what’s better…not too many bugs just yet.

So beautiful you wish you weren’t inside. And I was. Working with an elderly client on his balance and reflexes by tossing a ball. It made me a little sad for both of us. Remembering he is a very proud grandfather and a former collegiate basketball player, without much thought I asked, ” Do you have any grandchildren nearby?” You should be out playing with them instead of in here doing this with me.” He was hesitant about asking his grandchildren to play, fearing perhaps coordination embarrassment. Once he conceded and did in fact go out to shoot some hoops with his family, he had a blast. Such a great bonding time was had, they resolved to do it regularly.

It’s a no brainer!  Grandpa, Grandma, elderly neighbor, Mom or Dad….whomever. Basketball, kickball, hopscotch, four square, …whatever. It’s all about fresh air, quality time with family and/or loved ones, and exercises that stimulate balance, reflexes, focus. Best return on this experiment are the smiles and a little laughter. We all need to feel like a kid again once in awhile.

There’s not a lot to this blog today, but common sense advise. I’d rather see your Grandfather outside playing hoops with you, than inside a therapy studio tossing a ball with me. So what are you waiting for….

You can watch the NBA Playoffs together afterwards…

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The physics of you – A postural perspective

newton3Used for various poetic and theoretical metaphors, it’s the common simplified version of Sir Issac Newton’s third law of Motion:

for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

In other words: forces come in pairs.

In some ways, not too dissimilar, metaphysically speaking, Athanasius Kircher, the Jesuit Polymath and  a 17th Century contemporary to Newton, was on the same track. Kircher argued that magnetism was the principal force organizing and controlling nature. Propelling and repelling. Pushing and pulling. Lengthening and Contracting.

The human body can fall under both Newton’s 3rd law and Kircher’s theories as well…at least in my metaphorical analogy. Our muscles stretch and contract. Whether we recognize it or not, we are constantly doing both. And as linear as these principles sound, they are constantly acting upon us in various levels and dimensions. Ohhh. deep. But true.

Look at this guy.

slouch

He’s slumping. The Back muscles are stretching. The back top of the neck is contracting. The front of the shoulders are contracting. The front of the neck is stretching.

Reverse all that. Contract the mid back. Stretch the back of the neck. Stretch the front of the shoulders. Contract the front of the neck. You might get something like this:

uprightIf upright posture were that easy, why don’t we just do that all the time? Lots of reasons. One is that our eyeballs are in the front of heads. If they were on top, it would be a different story. Not to mention most of our senses are geared forward.

Secondly, gravity gets us down. Our center of gravity gives into force exerted on our bodies and senses over time.

Collapsing into gravity from the center of the body, causes the shoulder to go up, the spine to compress, the hip flexors to contract, and the neck to strain. It’s like you have two opposing magnets, one on your head and one at your feet, smushing you in the center.

Human Corkscrew 1b

Try lengthening from the inside out. Stretching your center of gravity outward in all directions. Imagine you have 2 attracting magnets, one on your head and one at your feet, pulling you long in both directions, and stretching your vertebral discs apart. As your spine stretches long, you will find you shoulders will drop down and you hips will release.

Human Corkscrew Shoulders Downaimages-1

It’s your personal orientation to gravity. Why not use “the force” to your advantage. Playing the laws of gravity and motion to your advantage can create a more an upright posture, which is not only physically beneficial, but mentally as well. “Huh?” You say… Standing tall exudes confidence and creates an overall sense of well being. You also breathe deeper, creating a more relaxed and calm mind.  It’s very hard to slump and be in a good mood at the same time. Cheer yourself up and use the pull of the earth for good posture and new muscular strength.

Remember, it’s all in your perspective…or your relative perspective to the gravity of your situation.

The World is Bound in Secret Knots

The World is Bound in Secret Knots

(For more information on Athanasius Kircher, check out the most wonder-filled museum in the United States: The Museum of Jurassic Technology)