shake the flexion pom poms
It becomes apparent,
That if the body is in constant extension,
The trunk cannot rotate,
Which sets off a cascade of other restrictions in movement,
Including reducing the ability to reach out with the arms,
Or moving the head,
To look to either side of yourself.
Isaac rarely has rotation,
Except for when he’s leaning forward,
Because he is then in flexion.
So in order to teach Isaac rotation,
He must first develop flexion.
His dominant bias is extension,
Which was identified from a very early age,
Flexion not coming naturally to him,
And therefore a battle we’ve continued to face,
To this day.
And while we’re back on the carousel,
I’m able to focus more on the benefits,
Of what each element learned,
Will lead to,
And how it works within the bigger picture of function,
Rather than the motion sickness of now,
I feel as we go round and round,
And while extension is required,
It can’t be the only option,
We all need to be able to move in and out of it,
Going between flexion and extension,
In order to move effectively.
So for now we must bombard his system with flexion,
So it understands how to do it,
What it’s used for,
And what it means for his improved function.
And as yet,
It just hasn’t stuck.
Our practitioner shows him how to sit up from lying on his back,
How to transition forward,
By starting with tucking the head,
Coming forward to one side,
Curling the chest,
And pushing off an elbow now available to him once he’s rounded in the trunk,
And landing onto one hip,
Before shifting his weight,
Up to sitting on his bottom evenly,
Legs dangling freely over the edge of the table.
And of course,
Then doing it in reverse.
And alternating sides.
And for the first time I can see,
That this is an action,
He could truly utilise,
A movement that gives him great,
And obvious reward,
For his work,
And that will be the key to making flexion spontaneous,
And readily available.
Not only does flexion make available rotation,
But it shows how it benefits,
Right down to the reduced tightness in his hamstrings and calves,
Which are visibly softer,
As his heels rest to a flat foot beautifully,
That which the Feldenkrais method has been arguing for decades,
That it’s not simply about muscle “length”,
But rather a relationship to the rest of the body,
And is neurological.
And so now is our chance,
To shake the flexion pom poms,
At Isaac’s system,
Cheering all the while,
As he softens and curls,
In hope of truly making gains,
And breaking for good,
The habit to only extend.