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View Full Version : I've grown an inch!


carolad
19th May 2008, 04:34 PM
Now here's an interesting thing....I've been 5ft 3in (and have even measured at 5ft 2 1/2in) all my adult life and didn't think at the age of 38 I was likely to grow any more ;-)

BUT I had my fitness assessment in the gym I've just joined at the weekend...and what do you know, I am now 5ft 4in tall!

I can only put this down to the Alexander Technique lessons I've been having over the past few months. It obviously hasn't changed the structure of my spine, but it has helped me to relax muscles so I can lenghten my back and neck and stand more upright. I have noticed a definite change in my head/neck posture because of it - I had a very pronounced 'forward head posture' before I started with AT lessons. I still do have this to a certain extent, but its not as pronounced as previously - I reckon this in itself is enough to give me that extra inch!

GillyG
19th May 2008, 08:22 PM
Wow, that's excellent news :spin: I really must look into the Alexander Technique myself, see if I can improve my posture at all.

Keep up the good work, you might be a 6-footer in disguise :hammer:

jfkimberly
20th May 2008, 06:53 AM
Originally posted by GillyG@May 19 2008, 01:22 PM
Keep up the good work, you might be a 6-footer in disguise :hammer:
*giggle*

Actually, I've been wondering if some kind of posture training might help me with my lower back. I don't know if I have the kind of will power that toning would take, though. The very thought of holding myself the way I want my spine to be makes me breathless.

mark
20th May 2008, 08:56 AM
Great news i'm pleased its working for you

Mark

carolad
20th May 2008, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by GillyG@May 19 2008, 07:22 PM

Keep up the good work, you might be a 6-footer in disguise :hammer:


Now theres a thought Gilly!! :D

Thanks Mark - it is great to have found something that helps.

I'm a huge fan of the Alexander Technique - I have been going to lessons every 2 weeks since the end of January, and I really feel it has helped me a lot, psychologically as well as physically. Unlike other alternative therapies/treatments, it doesn't claim to cure you or change the structure of your spine, but it will help you put less strain on your back. It helps psychologically because it helps you feel in control of your body again. And certainly in my case, that made me feel more in control of my life in general.

JFKimberly - I would definitely recommend you give it a go. Its hard to explain exactly how it works, but AT is all to do with 'not doing' things - so its the very opposite of 'holding' yourself in the right position.

The theory is that without you even realising it, your muscles are pulling you out of alignment all the time so AT teaches you to listen to your body and be aware of where the muscles are tightening. The next step is learning how to 'let go' of those muscles, and by doing that, you will automatically come into a better alignment. Obviously us crooked folk will never be completely balanced, but it definitely helps make the best of what we have!

Its not a quick process though because you have to unlearn ingrained habits and your body always wants to go back to what it thinks is 'normal'! What I found very difficult was getting out of the habit of 'trying' to stand up straight - my tendency is to want to push my hips forward, pull my shoulders back and lift up my ribcage - this has the appearance of being 'straight' but it actually means I am bending my spine backwards slightly - which of course will not help my back pain. Standing the AT way (with pelvis level, shoulders relaxed and ribcage down) means that I am standing as upright as I can but with everything relaxed rather than forcing myself into that position.

I'm sure I haven't explained that very well - you really need a good AT teacher to show you! But it really is fantastic - can't recommend it highly enough :D

GillyG
20th May 2008, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by carolad@May 20 2008, 08:34 AM
my tendency is to want to push my hips forward, pull my shoulders back and lift up my ribcage - this has the appearance of being 'straight' but it actually means I am bending my spine backwards slightly - which of course will not help my back pain.
Hmm ... that's exactly what I *try* to do, but of course my lack of lordosis doesn't let me bend my spine backwards and I just end up all achey ...

tonibunny
21st May 2008, 02:12 PM
Right, I am definitely going to try this! I just need to work out where to do it, as I'm travelling between London and Oswestry so frequently.

I think I have been leaning back, lifting up my ribcage and pushing my pelvis out for years - 12 years ago my boyfriend said that I "walked like I am sticking my t*ts out" :oops: I know now that some of the leaning back is to do with a degree of sagittal imbalance/flatback, and I can't stand as you suggest or I'd fall over, but I wonder if I could help myself somewhat with AT.

It's interesting that you have got taller; I've always suspected that any physical therapy that involves stretching will elongate tight muscles and make someone taller. In the case we recently saw of someone who went to the Clear Institute, I couldn't see any change to their spine whatsoever and indeed their curve wasn't big enough to give them a 2cm increase in height when straightened anyway, so I believe that this height would have been down to muscular changes and posture training.

It's a shame that there are expensive therapies out there that will claim that such increases in height is down to the spine being straightened :-(

Toni xx