People with knee pain or injuries often are told to strengthen their knee to overcome their problem. While strengthening can be an important thing, there may be some strain or misaligned patterns that can slow healing or restrict function. Strengthening exercises without good alignment can actually create new problems or exacerbate old ones. Surgeries or knee replacements can be a godsend, and good aligned movement is important to prevent further injury or damage. I recommend Continue reading
Many people use stretching to help with stiff feet or inflexibility. From my experience, stretching may be helpful but can sometimes result in more inflammation. As an alternative to stretching, I recommend a short movement lesson using a tennis ball under the foot. This Feldenkrais lesson will help with ankle support and agility as well.
Stand near a wall and place the ball under the ankle so it is positioned right in front of the heel (calcareous) bone. Continue reading
People often ask me whether it is good for the body to stretch. I think it depends on the intensity of the stretch, but read on and decide for yourself.
In general, stretching commonly involves pulling against the nerves of a muscle (golgi tendon organ and muscle spindles) which tell you by tightening when to stop a movement. In other words, overstretching is often felt as forcing the body to lengthen against this resistance. This is a special kind of message to the nervous system where the mind commands the body to overcome the body’s boundary of protection. Imagine holding on to a teddy bear while somebody else is trying to pull it away. That’s an extreme example of feeling of resistance to force.