Leverage means using something to its maximum advantage. Synonyms of this word are lift, influence, power, support and clout to name a few. We do this all the time. People use connections to make advancements in business, they use levers to build solid structures for us to exist in, they leverage assets to invest in something for greater future gain, and even with the body, if we use it correctly, we leverage the earth’s energy to give us the advantages and passions we are born to share.
In the last blog we discussed Grounding, also known as Earthing. This is a practice that electrically reconnects you with the earth. An example of this practice is walking barefoot on the grass. This approach is designed to send energy into the body. As with all circuits, if there is a block to that flow, the energy will get stuck and cause issues. In a body, some of these issues may be experienced as pain, tension and anxiety.
The knees are the levers of the body. It is our job to keep the knees in position to ensure optimal flow. The challenge is that most people aren’t conscious of proper alignment of the knees and legs in general, and the result is fascia that has wandered away from alignment, pulling cells far from their natural resting place. This creates compression and tension in the tissue, generating blockages to that flow of earth’s energy.
If you notice how most people stand, they hyperextend or lock the knees. When this happens, you create a dam to the natural flow of energy, as well as a torquing of the legs. This presents a few issues. One of the main reasons I see that this happens is because we are dominant on one side. Due to overuse, the dominant side develops a different alignment than the opposite side, causing instability. The fascia, which is here to support and protect cell alignment, migrates to stop the body from tipping over. The dominant leg acts like a flat tire, pulling everything into its system, while the other leg splints itself to attempt to stop the body from collapsing.
This may be an obvious and beneficial action of the fascia temporarily, but if this becomes a chronic stance, then the fascia grips and adheres to bone with a magnetic force that is incredibly destructive to the body long-term, as everything up the chain will be pulled into this descent. It is through consciously aligning the legs and feet, and largely through keeping the knees bent in their neutral alignment, that we allow optimal flow of energy from the feet up to the top of the head. This does require conscious attention, but like anything, if it is worthwhile, attention should be paid.
For the legs to be positioned correctly, the feet should be close together, pointing straight ahead. The knees should be slightly bent with the kneecaps aligned over the second toe. As soon as the knees hyperextend, one leg migrates one way and the other leg moves in a different direction. It is this unconscious response that creates a stop gap to flow.
The locked knee position is in direct relation to the freeze response we feel when fear is present. The natural response to fear is to hold the breath. When this happens, we contract in the core, causing the body to tip forward. In a moment of danger, this creates an opportunity to fight or flee, as you have been jolted off -balance and the body is ready to act. This shift in core alignment also causes the adrenal glands to release hormones necessary to support you in the face of danger. Challenges to our health arise when this state isn’t temporary, but a chronic long-term scenario.
When we habitually stop the diaphragmatic breath due to chronic stress and resort to breathing through the muscles of the upper chest, the body is constantly tipping forward. The unconscious action to keep us upright is to hyperextend the knees. The entire body, over time, adopts this fascia pattern, causing compression and tension which are gravity’s grips to age us. As the body ages, the base of support moves further away from the center, the fascia reacting to the forces of life by reaching for anything to create stability. These grips are the blocks to blood flow that cause pain, aging and disease.
To take control of the levers and be conscious of how you position your body changes the dynamic of the breath and creates a relaxation to the nervous system as it is no longer on alert for danger. This supportive alignment allows the diaphragm to move freely in order to feed and clean the cells, keeping the systems open and fluid for ease of operations.
To add, I often refer to the “Lock and Talk”. When people begin to talk, they lose connection to their conscious posture and lock the knees. I catch myself doing it all the time. Being aware of conscious alignment is a lifestyle, something that needs to be checked in on a regular basis. Pain is a great signal that you are not aligned, as are any other discomforts or symptoms that may arise.
Making conscious posture a habit will only benefit you as you go through time. When we “fall in” due to lack of awareness, we compress and block flow. When we support our cells from the foundation up, we energize the cells and live in a state of effortless effort.
Everything important requires effort, but like prevention, a little effort everyday saves future time, money, pain and frustration. So, whenever you are standing, notice if you are locked in the knees, or if you are consciously supporting your weight with the muscles that are designed for this task.
Breathe and Believe
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1 thought on “Leverage”
Hi Deanna, When I take a walk with my husband, I find it frustrating to keep breathing from the diaphragm while talking and walking at the same time. I realize it will take practice but still a challenge for me.