24 October 2013

Moving like a caveman

I'm being almost consumed by something. Something I find really, really (times 20 like my children sometimes say) interesting that I think is going to change the way I do things for the rest of my life.

I wasn't going to blog about it until it was less of a jumble of "WOW!s" in my mind, but it is spilling out and I can't help it.

It's a blog by a woman called Katy Bowman who talks about things like this:
- proper body aligment
- chairs and throne toilets are a disaster for our bodies
- we should all be able to squat with our feet flat on the ground and all our weight in our heels
- we are meant to be barefoot. Shoes are also disasters.
- standing and squatting workstations
- and so much more...

The lower workstation. The standing one is yet to come.
Katy also has two books that I'll be reading. She has a BSc in maths and physics and an MSc in biomechanics. She loves science.

Usually before I part with money for food, supplements, surgery or anything else 'health enhancing' I want the evidence. That's me putting lots of hits on the pubmed website. But I don't need to for this. It is so obviously true.

It really hit me in 1996 when I entered a toilet in a camping ground in the south of France. The throne was missing and in its place was a porcelain ring in the floor. My first squat toilet. I lowered my bum and tipped forwards. I could not squat comfortably because my heels came off the ground. Now I am 40, and they still do.

It struck me then that the vast majority of the people who have ever lived on this planet have had no throne toilets, so had/have to squat several times a day, no matter how old they are. And I, who prided myself on being in fairly good nick physically, could not do it. What did this mean for my hips, back, legs etc?

Although I am still in reasonable shape, the truth is I don't consider myself in good physical nick because I get frequent migraines. Which is why I've been talking to an osteopath, chiropractor and Hellerwork person (the latter who is a friend). And why my forward head posture keeps being mentioned by these people (I was sure I didn't have it - what a blow!) - and the fact that the arteries supplying the brain go through the same place the skull meets the neck. I know these arteries do bad things when it comes to migraines, like dilate, contract and cause pain, because I feel the effects.

So here it is - surprise and wonderment that I have lived many of these 40 years interested in 'natural' ways of living, and have never thought about natural movement. Goodbye to much of my chair sitting, shoes, pillow, walking style (my feet need to go straight ahead, not outwards) and toilet sitting (yes I will keep you updated). Goodbye to sitting and reading or chatting while my children swing around on the playground and in trees - from now on, I'll be joining them. It is exciting stuff. I love the frequent stretching and moving I'm doing (I WILL squat - I know I can, I know I can) and hopefully the migraines will ease also. With the prospect of having years of them ahead of me if things don't change, I really can't afford not to do this. Plus I love it, and my back has stopped hurting already!

The blog I have to stop visiting so often: http://www.katysays.com/

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