What does it mean to have a balanced body? To help you understand, we’ll consider two metaphors. The first is when a door is loose on its hinge. Maybe it’s just barely off center. It swings a bit awkwardly and doesn’t always close on track. At this point, the solution is simple because the problem is relatively small. Over time, this loose hinge can become a serious problem requiring new hardware.
Now consider the wheels on a car. Poorly aligned wheels cause unnecessary wear and tear. This healthy owner is on it and gets the tires rotated and balanced ASAP. Too often, though, people tolerate a minor discomfort without realizing how the body compensates, putting ‘unnecessary wear and tear’ on the body.
How We Get Imbalanced
When we focus on building strength in the large muscles, they tend to overwhelm the smaller muscles. When micro muscles aren’t engaged, they slowly shrink and atrophy from disuse. If this occurs, the stabilizing muscles are no longer strong enough to do the job of protecting the joints which leads to joint damage.
If we sit all day, this repetitive stress imbalances our muscles, bones, and connective tissue. As we sit, barely moving – which is the result of intense focus – our hip muscles weaken while our backs and shoulders droop forward. Over time, the connective tissue congeals giving our posture a rounded back. It takes a long time for this to happen. Just about every point on the trajectory is a good place to start.
How We Get Balanced
A balance body is a powerful one, full of energy, ease and grace. It is something anyone, at any age, can achieve with a dedicated exercise program. To rebalance the body, we need to bring it back into alignment by moving the whole musculoskeletal system. Dance, yoga, tai chi and Essentrics are fun and enjoyable ways to do this. Pick something you want to do, that your body craves each morning.
Rebalancing years of misuse takes time. Each of the many layers of tissue, from fascia to muscle, awakens to movement differently. Be patient and gentle with yourself. It will happen. You will have long and lean flexible muscles that offer strength, mobility and increased range of motion. And, by simultaneously engaging your macro and micro muscles you’ll be using them more efficiently which will provide you with more energy and vitality.