Bad Back – How To Repair It

Do you suffer from a bad back?  Is your bad back in need of repair?

There has been a recent discovery in the way auto shops remove dents in cars today. It is called “paintless dent repair.” Auto body shops have found that applying heat, with a gentle tension, a dent will revert to its original formation before the accident. Also, this adjustment is so benign that even the paint will become as it once was. Quite an a amazing process.

How does this relate to a bad back?

How does this affect the muscles and bones that form the structure that underlay our posture and our appearance?

The connection is very simple. The structure of our bones, muscles, and nerves combine to become strong, like the composite metals of a car body. Auto engineers “blend” the integrity of metal to give the car body a strong and a pleasing appearance. So too our own bodies are designed through evolution and time so that when we were born, we were given the correct structure, the correct muscles, bones, and metabolism to grow to “become” a wonderful human figure. We have all the components to look and function smoothly, like a great running Cadillac. If over time our bodies, and all things leading to poor posture, have suffered, we can focus on those body parts so they can be improved and “run smoother.”

Let’s talk about the repair of our body structure. These are the “car dents” of our human form, our bad back. An accident, whether prolonged or immediate, has occurred so that the metal of the car, I mean composite of our skeleton, our muscles, nervous system, and appearance, has become crumpled.  Many people put it simply and say that they have a bad back but it is more than just that. What do we do to repair our bad back and malformed bodies?

The answer is: we “focus.”

Like a paintless car repair technician, we focus our attention to these unwanted distortions of our body. However, instead of actual heat being applied to these areas, we create a subtle, different type of “heat.” This heat is our “focus” to retrain our body’s imperfections. This “heat” or focus creates the molecules in our nervous system, in our muscles and ligaments, to agitate, adjust and stretch. Our lengthened muscles, ligaments, and tendons, adjust our skeletal system so our bodies look and act as near to perfection as possible. Our focused “heat” tells our bodies to stretch out, so that the joints are at their apex. We hear the pops and cracking noise that accompany these adjustments to our afflicted part of our bodies, just as we would hear the metal of a dented car expanding, seeming to magically repair itself under the care of an artful technician. This so that our bodies do what they were intended to do from the time we were were born. Even our bones, comprised of 25% water, will change for the better. Our whole body, our skin, our muscles, ligaments, and our attitude, improve to a more pure and normal state. We have “straightened out our joints, ligaments and yes, our bad back.” We are running on all eight cylinders, like a Rolls Royce luxury automobile. No longer suffering with our bad back, we have a wonderful appearance and a certain grace as we move about. We walk and talk with the self confidence of royalty.

Please review and use the Alexander Technique. You will find helpful ways to relieve the pain of a bad back. He states that it is with our “supreme inheritance” that we move about with grace and poise. He asks us to lengthen the spine, free the neck, balance the head above the shoulders to repair one’s bad back. His technique engages our own thoughts to correct our posture. There will be no need for surgery on your bad back. Instead we use a mental method, a type of “paintless dent removal” to fix our bad back. There is no cutting, no surgery affecting of our priceless body components. We lengthen our spine, free our neck, balance our head a top our shoulders. In doing so, we begin to fix our bad back. We accomplish something that is beyond the norm and as F.M. Alexander says, we inherit a certain supremacy. God speed.


Better Posture by Widening Shoulders and Your Back

To widen the back is one of F.M. Alexander’s key methods to achieve better posture.
Although his technique does enhance our body and mind beyond positively affecting posture, I like the technique for how it results in better posture. Lengthening the spine, freeing the neck, and balancing the head a top the shoulders is my credo and it has proven beneficial. I now have better posture and feel physically more normal than I ever have in my life. I have a certain grace and poise as I move about. I interact with others without feeling inhibited or self conscious. What a wonderful technique. My body is becoming more accustomed to my changes. I am loosening up now since my spine is more lengthened, as that is what I have been focusing on for the last decade. It seems that I come to a pleasing plateau at certain times of applying the technique. I perform the AT on various parts of my body at various times as the necessary body adjustments reveal themselves. I initially had to lengthen my body, not only just to breath more easily, but to permit my core, or chest and stomach area to more readily accept the changes to my shoulders when I widen my back. This had to take place later for me as it was a big enough job just to lengthen my spine and core area. It took several months and even years for this adjustment to become more natural. I realized later that my chest was not as high as I desired. My pectoralis are needed to fill in, with more fat, muscle, and ligament, but mainly fat. For this fattening to take place my shoulders had to widen.

I decided to raise my shoulders, lift them off of my chest because it has been suppressed enough. I found that my shoulder girdle, one of the most flexible parts of the body, is also one of the easiest to become misaligned. Over the years, it can become a mix of bones and muscles, all moved, relocated to ungainly positions. The scapulas can improperly fit over the upper ribcage. Before becoming aligned or readjusted by way of my body and spine lengthening, the upper chest provided a poor base for the overlaying scapulas and shoulder girdle. So it has been a two step process.

The scapulas in particular need to move away from my central back, to the edge of my shoulder girdle. This is a change from what I used my scapulas for in the previous years. Initially I allowed my scapulas to be lifted away from my ribcage using the neck muscles to pull up the scapulas and shoulder girdle. This permitted my ribcage to rise, allow for better breathing, and then to allow the whole body to lengthen and straighten. Now, this second step of my applying the Alexander technique, I want my shoulders to widen. So the scapulas must relax and release themselves outward. This can only be done if the whole shoulder girdle is lifted off of the ribcage first, as I have done, and then has become adjusted to having some space between it and the thorax, or ribcage. I know that we all want an overall change to happen on one easy adjustment but for some of us, the process has to be broken down into several stages. When the scapulas release themselves away from the spine, they must take with them the clavicles, the upper arms and the surrounding fat, the ligament and the muscles. The later two are the ones that want to stay where they are. They have liked where they are for years and don’t want to go to new positions, so you must stretch them as you release them outward. This brings about some pain and some popping, sort of like bursitus, but your are self inducing this so it is not bursitus. It is up to each of us how far we want to allow for this pain and adjustment, but as they say, no pain, no gain. Seriously, this stretching and subsequent pain is not forever. The stretched shoulder builds and becomes acclimated over time, and your released shoulder girdle adjusts to its more widen state. Better said, you become more adjusted to your widened shoulders.

In this final movement you must consider the point where your shoulder girdle attaches to your skeleton. That is at your sternum and particularly the upper part of the sternum, the manubrium. At the upper part of the manubrium are notches where the clavicles connect. The only place where your shoulder bones connect to other bones of the skeleton. This point of connection brings about a great meaning for we humans. Such a subtle, almost tenuous connection of where our shoulders meet our skeleton. but a connection that is similar to other mammals and birds. Consider for a moment that you are a bird. Your arms are your wings and the shoulders are where the bird gets its power to lift off and fly. In the same way your arms, being very mobile, are doing much work for you throughout the day. The shoulders and arms are connected by bone to the chest and the rest of the body at the manubrium and sternum. The pectoralis muscles do a lot to provide power for arm and shoulder movement. Even the whole upper body and perhaps our pelvis gives and receives a lot of energy when we move our arms, because if nothing else, our bodies shift to keep balance when our arms move. Maintaining the proper position of our head, our shoulders, our torso requires muscles movement. This balance and poise is exactly what we want to keep and we move our arms and shoulders, as we move our whole selves about in this wonderful world.

So releasing the shoulder girdle is surprisingly a major adjustment. We must become like a bird unfurling its wings and allow our arms to release so our shoulders can release. Our arms are like bird wings that must engage our sternum and whole chest. This engagement pulls our sternum and manubrium to a higher and more robust position. The chest has to be pulled outward, at its apex, simply to allow your shoulder girdle to widen, and visa versa. One result of this is that you are now opening your chest to receive more air. Further your pectoralis muscles and those associated ligaments and muscles are stretched outward, to your sides, and away from your sternum. Over time these muscles allow for the deltoid muscles of lengthen and then some fat to accumulate, so the shoulders become more full. A nice definition of the upper chest and shoulders are a result.

Let’s review the first step, using the Alexander Technique to lengthen the spine. Some may say that raised shoulders makes one appear nervous. I think the opposite. As long as the shoulders are not held up too high, up around the ears, I think they look nice held higher and squared. Think of Frank Sinatra, who had better posture than many singers of his time. Shoulders, when held higher, one’s appearance improves greatly. They are more level, and held within two inches of the chin, your posture looks great. Actually, with the lungs able to take in more air, one becomes less nervous and less stressful. This allowed my chest to rise as well. This shoulder position also removes the gangly appearance of my neck and head. The too forward position of both my head and neck were alleviated by the following. I achieve better posture by positioning my shoulders higher. I align my neck with my lengthened spine. I position head more rearward and balance my head on the top of my more vertical, lengthened spine. Breathe through the nose. Loosen and jut out the chin just a bit and you have a great posture. This sounds “busy” but once you practice this adjustment to your back, neck, and head, you’ll find that it is rather simple, and pleasing.

It is true that when one raises their shoulders, they actually narrow a bit. For me though, lung capacity increases. I instantly felt a weight off of my chest. And I was acquiring better posture naturally. However widening the back and the shoulders had to come later. That time has now come for me!

After a year or two of one’s shoulders having raised and become “set,” and also the chest having risen, then you can begin the process of widening the shoulders. This is a simple adjustment to attain a wider chest and better posture. I am letting my scapulas, or shoulder blades, the big triangular shoulder bones in upper back, slip outwardly, while still keeping my shoulders raised.  Actually with my chest having risen and being “set, it does its part holding up my shoulders.  The chest’s deltoid muscles, the muscles attaching the outer shoulders to my chest, also release outward to pull up the chest. The upper arm bone or the femer bone moves away from the collar bones, or clavicles.  Widening the shoulder not only looks good, but the relaxed position of my back, shoulders, head, and neck feel good. Better posture is normal for me now. Now you are prepared to widen the shoulders and back.

The shoulders consist of a few bones floating amid these muscles and ligaments. The only place where the shoulder is connected to a bone is where the clavicles connect to the sternum. This is why they can be “dislocated.” The shoulders are very movable and for our benefit, can be adjusted. They can be adjusted and repositioned. They can be put back or relocated by oneself, and over time, widened. My shoulders are as wide as they’ve ever been. They will continue to widen now that I am simply allowing them, primarily the scapulas, to fall away from my neck region. Also, with my more open upper body, my chest rises further, my breathing easier, as my shoulders widen. I like the new feel of having a wider, better posture. I am more relaxed and pleased with who I am. I have much better posture and a more normal appearance. My chest is positioned higher and stable. With it being placed higher, my chest feels like it is holding up my shoulders as it is would normally do. There are many benefits to widening the shoulders.

This change is part of a process both physically and over time. Just as an untrained person cannot pick up a guitar and play show tunes, one must retrain your body’s appearance for better posture after years of misusing your body. When you focus on your body’s movements and appearance, read about the Alexander Technique, perhaps visit a teacher of this method, you will have better posture and change your appearance for the better.

This bears repeating. The first steps for better posture and self improvement are to lengthen the spine, free the neck, and position one’s head above the shoulders. Once you’ve made this initial adjustment, your neck muscles will pull up the clavicles, sternum and upper ribs. Then your shoulders are lifted. This creates room for the chest to rise.

Your body needs to make some initial adjustments in some parts of the body in order to change other parts later on. After your body has stabilized from a few months or about a year of lengthening the spine, it will accommodate other regions of your body. In this case, after the “mast” of your spine holds steady, the neck muscles do the lifting of the shoulders and chest. Like ropes, the muscles are attached at the back and base of the vertically aligned and balanced skull. These muscles, that are also attached to the clavicles and the upper ribs, are ready to pull upward the shoulder girdle and upper ribs. This is a subtle adjustment and quite a relief from other ways to align and raise the shoulders and chest, thus improving one’s posture. The lengthened spine also straightens the curve at the lower back, so one’s pelvic tilt is removed. The pelvis bones are aligned more vertically, and one’s gait becomes smoother. This is a delightful way to move about as we enjoy this newly acquired way to live. It’s like we’re given a second chance, one that many of us need.

It is impossible to talk about one bone, one muscle, or even one region of the body when trying to achieve better posture. The whole body interacts with the particular bone, muscle or body region one wishes to focus on. The shoulders are widened after these initial adjustments of lengthening and stabilizing the spine. After you have spent a good deal of time lengthening the back and raising the shoulders, you will have “set” your shoulders to a higher position. Begin to widen the shoulders by allowing them to adjust and “slip” away from your neck region. Remember to keep the shoulders at a higher level. This is important.

A tip: When walking with your shoulders widened, allow for a little rocking or “sway” at the tip of the shoulder to take place with each step. (The same shoulder as your leading foot). Think Frank Sinatra, or Marilyn Monroe. You want this to happen because it is a coordination motion. It’s a natural movement, a sensation, especially when you’re feeling good. But please, don’t make it too pronounced. Done improperly and you may appear awkward. This is a tip for the people who’ve adjusted to, and feel very comfortable with, their better posture.

If you’ve read most of my articles and my books, you’ll know that changing for the better, to attain better posture, is a process. It can be a lengthy process. With determination on your part, you can achieve a better posture and a better life.

Posture – The Important Things

Your posture makes “you” the most important person on the planet. Your pleasing posture, appearance, and great personality grace any occasion. Simply follow the suggestions in this video and you’ll start on the road to acquiring a wonderful personality and posture. You will find out ways to use passive exercises to lengthen your back and improve your posture. Your new and better appearance will open doors for you to social settings you’ve always wanted to experience. You’ll find new ways of acquiring and, most importantly, maintaining great posture and enjoying a wonderful life by keeping a great appearance. Enjoy!