Self Assessment

Man Working at the Computer
Notice how this gentleman is twisting his body in order to complete a simple task. If he were sitting up, he would need to crook his neck in order to see the monitor, which is placed too low for his height. A few adjustments to the workplace could resolve a number of issues for this fellow!

Look below and see if any of these situations sound familiar to you:

  1. You’re driving in your car, the cell phone rings, you have to twist around behind your seat to get your bag to get the phone. As you talk, cradling the headset in the crook of your neck, you start to notice a headache coming on. You’re gripping the steering wheel very tightly. You arrive at your destination stressed to the max and feeling unwell.
  2. You’re peeling potatoes at the sink. You hold the peeler tightly, doing rapid down-strokes. The potato is also held in a tight grasp. You reach for a new potato, bending at the middle back. Your lower back starts to feel strained.
  3. You’ve just gotten off a long flight, and your bags haven’t yet arrived at the carousel. You’re anxious, tapping your toe, checking tags on bags that look familiar. Your bag arrives, you lunge for it, grab it, yank it, and throw your back out.

Solutions:

  1. In an Alexander and Ergonomics lesson with Dory, the car/cell phone scenario is an ideal place to look at your habits of driving. She might ask you to pay attention to how tightly you are gripping the steering wheel. She might suggest that before every trip, you check to see if the cell phone is in a convenient location. You might want to invest in an earbud so you don’t have to cradle the phone, compromising your head-neck-back relationship. As you drive, remember not to focus on the destination, but to pay attention to the journey.
  2. Performing tasks at the sink is a common source of complaints for Alexander students. In a lesson with Dory, you will learn where your bending joints are and how to use them so that you feel good standing at the sink, cooking, waiting at the bank, etc. End-gaining, or focusing on the end of the task rather than the process of the task, can lead to a lot of discomfort. With Alexander work, you will learn how to stay in the moment with whatever you are doing. There are many ways to peel a potato!
  3. Airplanes are not very well designed from an Ergonomic perspective. A long flight can compromise your posture. Add to this the stress of retrieving your luggage, and you have a recipe for back pain. Alexander work can help you to feel more comfortable while on the airplane, and teach you ways to retrieve your luggage that feel good. If you are not in an advantageous position to retrieve the bag on it’s first pass, you can let it go. You will learn to give yourself the time you need to perform tasks in ways that are beneficial. You might ask yourself why you feel you need the bag the moment you see it. The answer might surprise you.

Comments are closed.