Walk the Way You Play


Walk the way you playThe way I teach is to look for images or cues that clients and students can relate to. The more something resonates inside the more likely it is that change can happen. Walk the way you play is one of my favorite instructions.

I recently worked with a musician with chronic upper back pain that threatened to derail his career. He had been to many doctors and practitioners who had offered him little help or even understanding when it came to the pain he was experiencing. Pointedly he warned me in an email before our session that his posture while playing his instrument was excellent and many people had told him so.

This actually made my job much easier. When we met and he showed me the way he played I acknowlegded that he was posture for playing his instrument was very good. But as we talked about the way he played with good posture, he was standing as poorly as a human being can stand— tucked under, compressing the lower spine and pulling the upper spine backwards. His fix seemed relatively easy if not immediate. I told him to go through life the way he played his instrument. Put the same focus on mundane activities that he put into his professional life.

Rewind to a year or so ago and a session I had with a triathlete who was having back pain. He stood and walked terribly leaning backwards all the while so I asked him to show me how he ran and he immediately moved his body forward and landed beautifully through his whole foot. Another easy fix- I told him to walk the way he runs. He got it instantly and i haven’t seen him since.

I have endless anecdotes of a similar nature. Almost everyone is an expert on something. Become an expert on your body and the way it is design to work and you will have much less trouble ageing well. When most of us perform athletics or play music we have an idea of the form required to be good but we don’t always apply that to our lives. Walk the way you play is one way to incorporate good movement patterns into your daily life.

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1 Comment
  1. Very nice post! Way back when I was a ballet student, the term “pull up” was ubiquitous for correct ballet posture. Because of widespread misunderstanding of what that term was actually intended to mean, enlightened teachers don’t use it much anymore. But my teachers used to tell us: “You should be “pulling up” all day long, not just in ballet class”. Seems they had a point! But I think I like “Walk the way you dance” better!

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