This Somatic Movement Flow® is called Foot Sliders. Many people find it surprising how quickly and easily they are able to release stress and tension in the neck, shoulders and upper back with this short sequence. The video below shows you this practice. After the video, read on to learn how it works!
How does this work?
In the next several paragraphs, I’m going to discuss why isolating and engaging muscle groups in the feet, there is a brain-to-muscle repatterning that affects the muscles of the neck and shoulder area.
First, did you know that our entire body is encased in fibrous tissue that functions as the biological fabric that keeps our muscles, organs, and joints all together? This is called the fascia. When your body is inactive or experiences stress ongoingly, the fascia can become stiff and sticky. As a result, this causes the body to become less flexible and mobile.
Also there are fascial lines throughout the body. According to Tom Meyers, author of Anatomy Trains there are 12 specific fascial lines mapped throughout the body.
These lines wrap around specific muscles, separate muscle fibers, and muscles from bones, as well as connect them. They are involved in all movements the human body is capable of performing.
The fascial line that is repatterned (lengthened) in the Foot Sliders runs from near the bottom of the foot (heal), up the back of the calves, legs, and back, and then goes up the back of the skull, over the top of the head and attaches near the forehead.
As a result of performing this this Somatic Movement Flow the connective tissue (mainly the fascia and muscles) are lengthened, thereby unlocking tension and stiffness in the back of the neck and upper back.
Secondly, for those of you not familiar with anatomy and physiology perhaps you’ve heard of Reflexology? Reflexology is a manual therapy (often included in a massage) utilizing the application of pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, and ears to relieve stress and promote overall health. (See the map of the foot that highlights areas of the body that are affected by pressing on these points)
The area of the big toes is important for reflexologists because that is where the head, brain, pituitary and pineal glands, and upper cervical spine (neck) reflexes are located. When these reflex points are stimulated, through mindful touch and movement, it can effectively release tight muscles of the neck and upper back.
Through consciously bending the big toes as in the Foot Sliders, specifically the area where a crease connects the toe and the ball of the foot, the muscles of the back of the neck restore to a more optimal length in a resting position. This is the reason why most people experience such a dramatic increase with their range of motion during the post-check part of this Flow.
In conclusion it is noteworthy to mention that with consistent practice with this, and every Somatic Movement Flow, the positive effects are cumulative and long lasting.
See our Tips and Guidelines to enhance your success.
If you find it difficult to sit comfortably on the floor, then you can explore this Somatic Movement while sitting in a chair. This is especially helpful if you are a desk worker and want quick relief from looking down at your computer monitor. In either case, just kick off your shoes and practice up to five repetitions with each foot. Remember to check-in before and after exploring the movement with each foot. When we do this, it causes the brain to register the reward of increased flexibility it anchors in the repatterning for long-lasting positive results.
Give it a try and see for yourself! This flow is just one example of movements that I will be teaching and guiding you through in my new workshop series.
I’m excited to announce the newest edition to the Gentle Somatic Family of offerings:
This one is near and dear to my heart as I have not been able to travel (like all of us!) and offer workshops like I have in the past.
I am offering a once a month workshop that will be livestreamed on YouTube. The cost is a sliding scale of $5, $10, $15 or $20 for a one hour workshop with me plus an optional 1/2 hour Q&A where you get the chance to talk with me directly and ask questions about the method, your body, and also suggestions for tips and modifications.
I wanted to make this affordable and accessible to as many people as possible.
The first one will be held on December 19th at 10am PST for USA and Europe and 1pm PST for New Zealand and Australia. Those times work for anyone in the US and Europe as well if you want a later time, don’t hesitate to choose either one to join me.
Please click the button below to learn more about these workshops or to register. If this date does not work for you, you’ll have the option to choose our January or February dates as well.
The LiveStream replay will be available for 30 days from December 19th for those who register!
I’m looking forward to getting back into teaching and hope you’ll join me!
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