Hip Joints Will Help the Back: The Feldenkrais Method
When you lift something heavy, do you bend your knees? You know that you should. And, probably, you do. But when you lift something not quite heavy, do you bend your knees? You know that you should. And, possibly, you do not.
The man in the drawing is definitely bending his knees. It contributes to the impression that the object he is lifting is heavy.
Besides bending in his knees, he is also bending in his hip joints. To use somewhat coarse language, he is bending his knees and sticking his butt out. In some circumstances one may feel shy, especially as a woman, about doing this, but it is a critical element.
The Feldenkrais Method® offers trained professionals, called Feldenkrais practitioners, who, through movement, can help you, or someone you care about, feel better. It is a teaching system. A fundamental theme is that “Every action is an action of the whole.” There are no purely local actions.
Since in a healthy movement pattern, every part contributes to the action, the contrast is that in an unhealthy pattern, some parts do not participate. When that happens, and it is common, the other parts have to compensate. These end up being overworked and, sooner or later, cry out in pain.
Young children bend in the hip joints easily – and automatically. So do people in cultures where one routinely sits on the floor. But in countries where one always sits on chairs, and whenever there has been injury, and as the person gets older, the movement in the hip joints often, gradually and imperceptibly, diminishes.
The failure to consistently bend in the hip joints is one of the predictable causes of back injury.
And now the good news: restoring healthy movement in the hip joints can go a long way toward healing the back. And, since all the parts are connected, restoring movement in the hip joints can help reduce pain everywhere.
Good exercises while upright include squats and lunges. A good exercise lying down is the pelvic clock. A Feldenkrais practitioner can guide you through these and other patterns.
Another important place to hang out is with the anatomy book. It helps to understand better how the hip joint functions. Everybody likes to be understood. Your body, too, will function better when you understand what makes it tick.