“Movement is the physical acceptance of change.” –Dr. Ida Rolf
Everything is moving! From the cosmic whirling of galaxies to the microscopic shape-shifting of electrons transforming from waves to particles: our world is in flux! Even if we hold our breath and appear to be motionless, our heart continues to beat, our cells are endlessly dying and being reborn in infinite chemical exchanges, and let’s face it: every second we’re alive we move closer to death. As our bodies vibrate 570 trillion times per second and we experience fluctuations of blood, breath, thoughts, and infinite alterations, we continually readapt to our shifting internal and external worlds.
In Perfect Health, Dr. Deepak Chopra illuminates the science behind our body’s endless reincarnations, stating that 98% of our atoms are replaced annually. Our stomach lining recreates itself every 5 days, our skin is refashioned every month, and our liver cells are resurrected every 6 weeks. Even though the body appears fixed, it is constantly changing and recreating itself. Our bodies are designed to move, let go, and recreate!
Humans are not hardwired to be sedentary, but societal and technological changes have exponentially limited our movements. As technology becomes more compact and readily available, our culture is developing digital-device pains like, “Computer Hunch” (clinically known as Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis) and “Mouse Shoulder” (clinically known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
“Sitting is the new smoking.” Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative
Depending on which study you reference, Americans sit between 7-15 hours a day. There are some serious consequences to sitting, particularly when sitting more hours a day than some of us sleep. Due in large part to the rampant increase in sitting, obesity is on the rise, life spans are actually shortening, and postures are degraded in ways that cause people more pain every day.
Ah, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. As discussed earlier, all our cells our constantly breaking down and rebuilding. Not only does the body change, but pain is malleable, too. Pain is a signal for change. One way out of pain is to change or move differently, outside your regular pattern. Sometimes all it takes is one shift, one move, to change our mind and change our body.
Interrupt the pattern of sitting: Get up and move! Happy news bodyworkers… because our profession demands we get up and move, we are already 50% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than our sitting cohorts. Sitting less and moving more improves more than our heart by lowering the chances of developing Cancer, Diabetes, and Musculoskeletal disorders. Moving is good for the body and good for the mind enhancing cognitive function. Our brains light up as movement encourages new brain cell growth (“neurogensis”), increases BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor, AKA fertilizer for the brain), strengthens secondary dendritic branching, thus enhancing memory retrieval, and improves our mood by balancing endorphins, dopamine, cortisol, and serotonin neurotransmitters.
Consciously interrupting your normal routine and habits can liberate your energy. Life can feel more vital and even appear more crisp when we consciously choose to experience something brand new. And, every moment is brand new. In Zen, it’s called “Beginner’s Mind.” Looking at the world with childlike amazement. Putting lotion on your hands as you begin your session acting as though you’ve never done this before. And, in fact, you haven’t…you truly have never given this session before at this time, or in this way.
Pattern interruptions unhinge unconscious or habitual choices and align you with the present moment. Pattern interruptions can be used as a daily practice of shifting away from “what I don’t want to feel”, into “feeling more of what I do want to feel”. It’s been said it takes 40 days to create a new habit, so why not make a new choice: pattern interrupt! Just like the bodies trillions of cells, we can shed habits that promote pain and we can create new habits that steer us into ease and flow.
We invite you to change one thing you do today. Change where you begin your massage session. Change the route you take home. Change where you eat dinner. Change how long you sit. Change how you sit. Consciously interrupt your everyday habits, and notice yourself becoming more creative, present, and perhaps, happier every day of your life!
“Changing one thing, changes everything.” – Nelson Mandela