A View of the Thoracic and Cervical Spine.
The thoracic, cervical spine and the shoulder girdle are used in our culture firstly for emotional expression and secondly for physical function. This is probably one reason lower backs complain from overuse. The general upper thoracic and cervical areas are as individual as a fingerprint and largely formed by and reflecting the personal history. It’s how we recognise family and friends at a distance, despite hair, makeup, clothes etc.
It’s such a revealing part of the body. It almost seems impolite to access so much information. It would appear a cultural habit has developed where blindness to the chest’s telling statements keep everyone comfortable and unchallenged; blindness to our own as much as others.
People’s ability to keep their unique shape (character/posture) throughout all activity is remarkable. People impose the same holding patterns on this expressive, telling part of their bodies regardless of what they do, from dancing — sex even bungie jumping, despite injury from such organisation which is often repeated and or chronic.
The many personalised takes on how the chest, shoulders and neck should be ranges anywhere from elegant to interesting to bizarre. These personalised patterns of organisation are relentless regardless of any neck, chest, shoulder area discomfort or pain (including many types of headaches). It seems more important to maintain our social statement through our chest, neck and shoulders than to use them well and breathe easily. It probably was important for acceptance for something once upon a time but now it’s time to organise yourself for yourself.
Social Straight Jacket
If it’s not elegant, it’s not worth much…
Doesn’t everyone want to freely be themselves, or put another way, deep down long for the personality able to express potent, unrestrained spontaneity when it’s expedient to do so? It seems all too common to see people afraid of letting go even if it’s absolutely appropriate. Fear of losing control or fear of losing face or fear of losing…something… unmentionable, or maybe just fear of losing. Overcoming this with will power usually looks bad and generally gets the opposite results.
Over time the physical patterns required for constraint become habitual and form the shape of character and posture, ultimately forming the shape of the frame. Having an impulse to behave contrary to these embodied patterns of constraint (social straightjackets) is the feeling of being trapped – is depressing due to missed experience and often leads to anxiety, freedom of choice and personal security are thus compromised.
Becoming aware of the more expressive parts of your body helps cure blindness of these patterns of constraint, which opens the way to interact with your ways of organizing your social straight jacket. To be able to differentiate between the emotional expression and efficient use from a biomechanical perspective in areas of the body on a physical plane is a very good place to start to untangle this situation and gain valuable self knowledge.
To disorganize self imposed physical patterns based on security issues — even if in the distant past, can sometimes reinvoke similar feelings that led to the self imposed physical patterns in the first place, as well as the relief from these incessant patterns.
Relief from our social straight jacket is relevant to today and our future. The patterns of constraint are only useful to the past and it’s good to leave them to the past. When it comes to past experience, break them down to keep what’s good and to hell with the rest! pb.