Ortho-Bionomy Self-Care for Scoliosis
Scoliosis is always a hot topic in Self Care classes. Medicine doesn’t understand it’s origins and often suggests surgery and insertion of rods in an attempt to maintain alignment.
With Self Care I like to start with the body’s natural responsiveness and see if there is a possibility that the body can respond differently than the patterned way. I like to invite the person to come into their experience of being in the body.
For instance: As you are sitting, do you notice the contact that your sit bones are making with the chair. Without moving see if you can notice if you seem to have more weight on one side than the other. Don’t do anything about it, just notice.
Now with both feet flat on the floor, slowly move one knee forward and then move that knee back, noticing what happens at your sit bones as you move the knee. Does it feel more familiar, easy, or natural to move one of your knees compared to the other?
Now let’s play with the familiar knee movement a bit. Move the knee that feels more comfortable forward and leave it there. Place your hand on the thigh above that knee. Now, without doing anything, I want you to think about bringing your knee back, but don’t move it, just think about moving it back. Think about it for a few seconds, and then let the knee move back.
Now move the opposite knee forward, does it move more easily than it did at first?
Okay, why are we playing with this imaginary isometric? To test the body’s ability to respond and the reflexes of self-correction. And to notice how just thinking about it can stimulate the self-corrective reflex.
With Scoliosis there can be a rotational component in the spine and sometimes that rotation starts with a spiraling movement at the base of the spine. With the imagination isometric, we are introducing another option to that habitual pattern at the base of the spine, to begin to re-educate the body.
Next, let’s return to the sit bones (ischium) and connect our awareness to another movement --- the movement of the hipbones. Sitting with your feet on the floor, place a hand on the top of each ilium (hip bone). The space between your thumb and your index finger will be resting on the top of each ilium (hipbone). Do they feel the same? Does one hip feel higher or more forward than the other? Take a moment to really sense what you are feeling.
Those hipbones that you are touching are connected to those sit bones you are sitting on, and they also form a slightly movable joint with the sacrum at the end of your spine. Now imagine that your hip bones are like tricycle wheels. Allow your hips to rock forward so that your tummy moves forward and your pubic bone moves back, and your lower back may gently curve forward.
Now allow them to rock back again, and let your lower back curve out, your tummy will curve in, and your pubic bone will come forward. Slowly move the hipbones back and forth a few times getting a sense of the movement. Notice what happens at your sit bones as you move. Also notice if you seem to be using your muscles evenly on both sides to make the movement. If not, slow the movement down so that both hips can move evenly and coherently.
As you do this notice what is happening in your low back. This movement exercise helps to re-establish healthy motion in the lumbar spine and restore the natural curve to low back.
The spine has natural curves to facilitate movement. Restoring proper motion, and the natural curves to the lower back and the upper spine helps to re-establish better spinal alignment for those with scoliosis.
To restore the natural posterior curve of the upper back, sit with feet on the floor and head bent forward with chin near the chest. Sensing the vertebrae in the upper spine, slowly and gently begin rocking forward sensing a slight “bounce” at the level of each vertebra as you move forward.
Just by introducing these gentle movements into the spine, the spinal curves can begin to return to a more functional alignment.