Our dynamic spine has the capacity to move with a fluidity that only this 25 joint column can create. By design, it’s supposed to be both mobile and stable within its natural range of motion. Its natural range is one that allows the joints to maintain space so that cartilage is uniformly decompressed and the ligaments, muscle and fascia to maintain their optimal position for integrity. When injury and pain occur in the spine, there’s some combination of immobility and weakness that causes failure along its length.
A spine that is limited not only affects our movement through fascial restrictions, but it imposes limitation on our nervous system. All of our connective tissue has to be in a supple and strong position to enable a posture that supports pain free movement. And our nerves need to be in free flow from spinal cord to the tissues they activate to regulate tension and relaxation that also enables pain free movement. When we release bound connective tissue along our spine it can free up the nerves. And when we use techniques to balance the activation of the para sympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system, we can in turn regulate the behavior of our connective tissue.
If our autonomic nervous system is automatic, then why do we have to tend it at all? Because somewhere along the way, we unconsciously developed patterns of body and emotional behavior that now drive patterns that cause us to struggle. When in reality, we can enact behaviors that line us up with a body and mind that experience freedom and goodness. This can come potently by way of conscious awareness through our felt sense.
And how often do we move with a profound sense of feeling? From what I’ve seen over 20 years, not very often if at all. And it’s this attentiveness in the body that allows a momentary action to become a pattern of behavior that we adopt. So the process of releasing (mobilization) and strengthening (stabilization) is all encompassed by a presence through the felt sense. Since the spine is the central column from which we move, our awareness of its patterns are fundamental to health.