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Anti-pain gymnastics. Relaxation position

By Editorial Team (2)
January 30, 2022
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Posture has special meaning in ANTI-PAIN GYMNASTICS and in order for you to get the greatest benefit from the exercises, you’ll need to pay attention to it. Don’t worry. This isn’t a lecture to remind you of your childhood. It’s just basic anatomy so you’ll understand why the exercises are done a certain way.

Remember that the human spine has curves. If you touch your back in the lumbar or lower back area when you’re standing up, you can feel an indentation there: a curve of the low back inward to the front. This is called lordosis. Although monkeys are claimed to be relatives of man, they don’t have this curve. That’s because lordosis is associated with walking upright, in a vertical position. Sometimes monkeys who are forced to constantly stand and perform circus tricks have this curve. The smooth curves of the spine help cope with all the shocks and vibrations caused by walking and running.

If you lie on your back on a flat surface, the curves will gradually decrease. The phenomenon that occurs overnight, making us 1-2 centimeters taller in the morning than we were when we went to bed in the evening, is partially related to this. A totally straightened spine is in an unnatural position. A painful, unnatural condition! This explains why sleeping on a very hard surface, like on the floor or on boards, is harmful and uncomfortable. And can cause a very rough night!

To enhance physiological spinal relaxation, its natural curves – lumbar lordosis, which we just mentioned, and cervical lordosis – the curve of the neck to the front, need to be maintained. The thoracic spine, on the contrary, is normally slightly curved toward the back (thoracic kyphosis).  All of these curves together create an “S”-shaped spine.

Every person is different. We differ in height, eye color, the pattern of our iris, fingerprints, and the degree of our spinal curvatures. These curves also depend on hereditary reasons and on the habits we accumulate over our lifetime.  A stocky, short man will have a very different curvature of the spine in his neck than a lanky, skinny man.

The position of our head and our neck, which we use to hold our head, should be maintained during relaxation. So let’s measure cervical and, no less important, lumbar curving. To do this, turn your back toward a wall and start slowly backing up toward it taking slow, small steps. As soon as you touch the wall with your shoulder blades and buttocks, stop moving. Now relax and look straight ahead and slightly down. This is your habitual posture with your own natural spinal curvatures. Now, you or your assistant should measure the distance from the wall to the nape of your neck, and from the wall to the small of your lower back, in the deepest spot of the lumbar curve. Measure this. You can do it with your fingers. Remember how many fingers occupy these spaces. This is the thickness of the supports you will make for your head, neck, and low back during the exercises.

You can use a pile of books or newspapers under your head. Its height will correspond to the width of your fingers when you measured the distance from the nape of your neck to the wall. As for what to put under your lower back, the easiest thing to do is to make a tight roll of towels. The thickness of your towel roll be the same as the measured depth of the depression in the small of your back (the area of the lumbar lordosis).

The thickness of the pile of books or newspapers and towel roll is very different for different people. There are people whose back is almost “flat.”  These people need a very small cushion under their lower back. An old man who has developed a real “hump” during his life and who is used to sleeping on a thick pillow, will of course need different sized points of support.

So now you have learned how to identify your own curves. You have everything you need to help support the natural horizontal curves of your spine. Let’s try to take the necessary starting position for the exercises. To start, simply lie down on the floor. In a few seconds, you will start to feel discomfort and pain in your back because your curves will start to vanish. This may make you wonder if you’re doing everything right, or if the doctor who told you to do this is crazy!  

Now put your pre-measured pile of books under the nape of your neck, and your towel roll under the small of your back. Your legs can be bent at the knees. Put your hands on your stomach. Now you can feel your spine is completely different: it is relaxed. You don’t feel it anymore (and you know your doctor is not insane for asking you to do this!) Pleasant relaxation is achieved instantly, despite the fact that you are lying on the floor with your head on a pile of books!

Summary

  • For the muscles and ligaments of the spine to be completely relaxed in a horizontal position, its natural curves must be maintained.
  • Every person has their own, unique spinal curves.
  • Providing support for the cervical and lumbar curves allows for complete relaxation of the spine.

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