You are as young as your spine is flexible
In daily life, we don’t tend to take our spine through its full range of movements. As a result the spine gets stiff and loses its fluidity.
A stiff or misaligned spine also has an effect on areas way beyond the spine. The health of the spine could very well have an effect on the health of our organs since there are nerve endings or fascia that connect everything together.
There are 5 main movements the spine makes:
- Flexion, rounds the spine forward – forward folds (bending down pick something off the ground
- Extension, rounds the spine back – backbends (to grab something from behind). Important to decompress the spinal vertebra and strengthen the muscles of the lower back while lengthening the muscles on the front side of the body.
- Rotation, twists the spine and helps lubricate and keep a healthy range of motion
- Side bending/Lateral flexion – side bending contracts one side of the body while stretching the other side. It helps to open up the body, strengthen obliques and contract the rib cage helping us to breathe deeply
- Axial extension, decompresses and vertically elongates the spine – lengthens the spine creating more space in the vertebra and allows greater expansion to breathing.
If you would seek health, look first to the spine.” ~Socrates
How many directions of spinal movement do you do consistently in your daily life?
A simple way to promote spinal health is to start your day with a few good stretches. As you get out of bed repeat the below several times to iron out the kinks :
- Stretch up – head & arms lifted
- Bend down – touch your toes (knees can bend, belly button in)
- Banana bend – one up while the other down the side
- Twist – arms in cactus
- Backbend – hands on hips, thumbs on lower back – lift chin & pelvic floor – lean back