Improving Balance and Preventing Injury



Do you have any idea how you keep your balance and why you re-injure yourself?

Are you aware, when you go off balance, why you go off balance? You’re not alone.

For most people, improving balance seems to be a matter of effort: You have to do something to keep your balance.

The more this is true, the more off-balance you are.

Test my words. Stand up and slowly bend forward. If you sway as you bend, you’re not adjusting well to changes of position. Something in you is holding tight, preventing the adjustments of position that maintain balance — something that you may not have known was there. You’ll notice that you have to do something (tense up) to maintain balance. That’s the definition of awkwardness: a tense moment.

Easy balance has to do with the free responsiveness of your entire muscular system to changes of position. Even the slightest change of position involves minute changes of tension throughout the body. As long as you are free from tension, those changes occur automatically and you have easy balance even in odd positions.

“Stiffness” (Inflexibility) Isn’t Stiff Muscles; It’s Stiff Joints from Tight Muscles.

It’s likely that those places where you hold tight are places where you experience pain. The pain comes from the fatigue of muscles held tight all the time. The tension comes from conditioning — either the conditioning of long-term stress, which creates nervous tension in the muscles, or the conditioning of past injury, which involves a cringe response that has outlasted the healing of damaged skin, muscle, ligament or bone. That kind of tightness also compresses joints (leading to arthritis) or nerves (i.e., pinched nerves or nerve impingement).

Because that kind of tension interferes with balance, it makes you more vulnerable to further injury. That’s why elderly people are prone to falls and athletes are prone to re-injury.

People can’t stretch or strengthen away such conditioning; you may have noticed. They can train it away by relearning how to relax where they have been too tight and by learning to move better. The result: better balance, better agility, better strength. Better balance, healthier movement, less likelihood of injury.

People who have failed the good balance test, on first try, find that they can pass it by practicing some somatic education exercises. Entire postural shifts in the direction of better balance occur without having to mind good posture. They’re both well balanced and loose.

Somatic education exercises get their results in a way different from active, isolated stretching. They use a kind of “regulated power stretching” completely different from what you might expect. Here’s how:

 

People who have more severe injuries and pain can have their comfort restored by clinical somatic education sessions. It’s faster than therapy and something you can do by yourself.

Do you have an injury? Learn about your condition here.

LEARN MORE:
An Entirely New Class of Therapeutic Exercises
Explanation of Clinical Somatic Education

 

 

 

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