Friday, May 2, 2008

Slumping is Good?

My clients continue to teach me. 

Yesterday, a client with back pain, and an abusive boss, did role playing with me. She pretended to be her boss, I was her. She yelled at me while I stiffened my back (like she does). Her words were sharp, cutting - it's what naturally came out of her mouth. Then I softened my posture, relaxed my chest, slightly slumping. Her words became softer, kinder, in a natural way. 

She said "Oh, now I see why my boss yells at me like that, I need to stop stiffening."

Something hypnotic can happen when talking to a person with a stiff chest. Something human can happen when talking to a person with a softer posture - maybe even a slump?

For years I have been showing clients how stiffening the spine to sit up straight causes tight back muscles and other physical trouble, and that the solution is not slumping, or endless searching for the "right" chair,  but getting smarter about a whole lot of things relating to sitting and good posture. It's called The Feldenkrais Method and it can involve a lifetime of joyful exploration, insight and discovery. Most people would rather take the shortcut, and just stiffen the back to sit up straight, but the price is high. This aspect was a new insight for me. 

Sitting up stiff is what we do when we are afraid of someone, or something. Physically we are not over our center and can easily fall over backwards. We tense the muscles around our heart, making people unconsciously prone to yelling at us, abusing us, because we are not open. It's apparently body language for servility, and if we posture like slaves, tyrants are drawn to that. 

1 comment:

:: bogna :: said...

That's pretty funny.