Body Sense

SPRING | 2016

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Page 6 of 15—your resource for all things bodywork 7 This is where other types of bodywork come into play: namely, movement therapies. These modalities can be the secret weapons in your body's holistic arsenal. PATTERNS EXIST FOR A REASON Let's talk about compensation patterns. To compensate means "to offset or counterbalance." Any time you experience a weakness in the tissues of your body, other tissues step up their game to offer a helping hand for the weak tissues. Sounds friendly and helpful, right? Well, it is helpful if it's only short term. However, your brain is wired for efficiency, so if the compensation is "working," the body will keep on compensating. The problem with this pattern is that after a while, those friendly and helpful tissues that lent a hand become tired. In most cases, they are performing a secondary role rather than their primary role, so they must work even harder to move in the ways you are demanding they move. The result: weak tissues get weaker and the compensating tissues become hardened and painful. Essentially, those helpful tissues start complaining. Here's an example: I severely broke my ankle eight years ago. Because the experience of walking normally was painful, I developed a pattern (unconsciously) where I would roll around the painful spot as I walked. Over time, the result involved walking more on the outside of my foot than evenly across my foot. Like most joints, the ankle is structured in such a way that it is supported by muscles and connective tissues designed specifically to perform unique tasks.

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