Neat article on “Fox Walking”

I just found this interesting article about walking the “fox walk”.  I haven’t read it fully, but I thought I would link to it.  I don’t think bunions are caused by shoes necessarily, but by bad food mechanics (which aren’t really helped by shoes). I found the link via this article about barefoot running on Neatorama.

I personally love the Vibram FiveFingers shoes.  I’ve been wearing them for 3 years or since they first came out.  And I have gone running with them.  It is tricky to walk in a city environment with them though.  They don’t provide any padding, so walking on concrete can cause sore feet more quickly than when wearing shoes, even for people who have mobile, well-adapted feet.  But it does really allow you feel how you use your feel.

A good, mobile walk does involve a 3-D movement of the hips as well as twisting of the spine at several different depth levels (think of 3 varying length springs within one another).

If you have any shoe questions, send me an email or leave a comment.

Your Sinus Health

Well, it’s that time of year—cold and flu season.  So, today’s post will be about your sinus health.

Anatomy lesson of the day: you have way more sinus space than you think you do.   Most people just think that the sinuses are the space inside your nose.  That is true, but the bones also have air-filled spaces that are part of the sinus complex as well.   Basically, you have sinuses in all of the bones that make up the front of your face and even some deeper bones.  The frontal (forehead), maxilla (cheeks by the nose), ethmoid (upper portion of the nose), and the sphenoid (central bone of the skull) bones ALL have sinuses in them–on both sides of your face.   All of these sinuses drain into the nasal cavity at some point.  That congestion you feel could be coming from any of those points.

Rolfing also deals with sinuses a fair amount.  Because of the fascial connection, your sinuses are affected by the fascia and muscles in your nose, face, jaw, cranium, and neck.  Tightness in any of those places can end up causing some congestion.  As part of the 10-Series, those areas definitely get addressed.  However, work can also be done in the nasal cavity itself to help open up those passages and get things flowing again.

One self-care tip is to use a neti pot for some sinus irrigation.  If you haven’t heard of them, basically, it’s a little pot you put some lukewarm salt water in and pour it into one nostril….until it runs out of the other nostril.  Yep, you read that right.  It derives out of Ayurvedic medicine.  Basically, it helps to flush nasal irritants out and clean out those sinuses.

Tips for the wise–if you use a neti pot, make sure you use the recommended salt level.  Too much or too little salt can cause a burning sensation.  Also, you want to use lukewarm water.  If it is too hot, you can scald yourself and your sinus linings (not fun, I’m sure), and if it is too cold, it won’t be comfortable.

I just recently starting using a neti pot to work on some deep congestion issues I’ve been having.  It sort of feels like I’m drowning a bit, and feels a bit uncomfortable.  This is mainly because I hate breathing through my mouth.  But, I can definitely tell that it helps to clean out a lot of mucus from the nooks and crannies up there.

Basic Sitting

Do you sit? Chances are that if you’re an American (or any modern culture), sitting is an activity that people do more than they think. People use to squat a lot during work or other activities, but not much anymore. We live in an increasingly sedentary culture and sit for longer and longer periods of time.

How should we sit? That is a complicated question. Most people sit passively. Or in other words, they just plop into their chairs and stay however is comfortable. While it might feel good, it’s not the best for our structure. The easiest way to start sitting better without worry about mechanics is to sit actively–sense how your body feels and reacts as you sit and move around. Are you even moving around? Can you feel breath moving through your entire lungs and even through the rest of your body?

Most furniture isn’t designed for proper ergonomic sitting. It tends to encourage rounding of the back and rolling backwards off of our sit bones. This tends to make up sit on our tailbones. Have you ever seen an animal sit on their tail? Your seat should allow your hit joint to be at least slightly higher than your knee. If you can image a drop of water being able to roll down your thigh, you’ve found a good height. For non-adjustable chairs, you can think about sitting on a folded-up blanket or some other semi-firm material to get you higher. On stackable chairs, try stacking one atop the other to get a different height. If it is already too high, find something to place next to the chair so your feet are able to contact a firm surface.

Lumbar support if often counterproductive as well. Try putting some support behind your sacrum (the back part of the pelvis at the base of the spine), and see how that works for you. Chances are that it will help you feel more upright with less effort.

Finally, the sitz bones themselves are very important to place correctly. The sit bones (or ischial tuberosities) are the knobby bones you can feel where your legs merge with your butt. You should have one on each side. A good sitting position will have your pelvis rotated so that you are sitting just on the front edge of the sit bones, almost like you are sitting on top of the back of your thigh.

These are just a few tips on how to sit. Sitting can be a very involved activity, and there are a lot of places to focus on sitting to support your structure and prevent soreness and pain. Often, just trying different positions can help you narrow down what feels best for your own body. Remember, sitting should be active.