Slim, graceful, gentle notes to you about being, breathing, moving. These notes will come from teaching experience or from first-generation writings once vetted through the publishing world – actual books.
Enfolding and exposing – through the upper extremity.
“Clearly, the balance between a hyperextending upper spine with arms reaching into the space behind and a flexing upper spine with arms pulled in to the front had to be a dynamic one. Somehow movement through all directions n s[ace had to be taking place simultaneously for there to be a balance that doesn’t hurt or dull.” …. “Since the potential range of motion of the upper extremity is tremendous, no one culture encourages the use of all this range in ‘normal’ daily activity. Therefore, the final step involves performing movements one may have never thought of before. Performing activities that are ‘abnormal’ may bring subtle censure from one’s own internal, and perhaps uncompromising, moral judge. The censure may be in the form of feeling awkward or just uncomfortable with the unusual movements, or even a little sad or irritated.” by Irene Dowd in “Taking Root to Fly”.
By yourself in a quiet place- lift your chest UP; throw your head back; make your throat vulnerable; spread your arms wide and back; arch your back. Breathe. What is the feeling? Fear? Anger? Sadness? Wanting more? or Less? Power?
II Column: “Hyperventilation is repeatedly causally implicated in stress syndromes, and in most mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, panic, and phobias. Its symptoms span …. anxiety, dizziness, faintness, apprehension, a feeling of unreality, vertigo, and often the fear of going crazy, or of dying. ” “Good breathing is an essential part of good health and many books have been written about the healing aspects of breathing exercises . . . Proper diaphragmatic breathing promotes efficient gas exchange in the lungs and so rehabilitates oxygen deficiency disorders, balances the autonomic nervous system, reduces physiologic correlates of anxiety . . . and pumps the lymphatic system. I have come to believe that I would choose correct diaphragmatic breathing if we had to share only one tool or technique for maximally improving physical health. (p. 60) ”
The physiologic processes of respiration, and the critical role that breathing has in maintaining the body’s metabolic processes, are covered comprehensively in “The Hyperventilation Syndrome: Research and Clinical Treatment” by Robert Fried. See also “The Psychology and Physiology of Breathing, In Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Psychology, and Psychiatry.”
Action: Inhale into your lower back. Fully exhale – Exhaling is the part of the respiratory cycle associated with the parasympathetic nervous system, to slow down the body’s systems, to find homeostasis, to avoid the acidosis associated with hyperventilating and resulting in autoimmune, and other physical and mental disorders. NOTE! If you have kidney disease, heart disease, or diabetes, your hyperventilation may be a critical survival skill to maintaining the ph balance in your blood and thusly your brain. Discuss with your medical provider how to incorporate the systematic recovery provided by correct breathing into the rest of your health care plan.
III Column: Your skull consists of 22 bones that are fused together by generally immovable fibrous joints called sutures. It is likely that these bones move a bit, not in the way you see your arms and legs move but in the glacial drift of the tectonic plates of the planet. The skull’s face bones hold 4 of your senses: tasting hearing, seeing, smelling. The ‘cranium’ is the brain case. Relieving muscle, fascial and nerve tension around your skull may improve sensory awareness, reduce headache pain and improve posture.
Action: Pull your head back, not your face up.