I’ve had clients tell me they gained inches in height after working with somatic explorations. Blows the whole “we shrink as we age” thing out of the water, I think! In addition to the explanation in this link below, there is also Thomas Hanna’s description of a “dark vise”. That is the imbalance between our natural green light and red light responses in the front and back of the body. Years of emotional stress can pull us forward, impeding our breath, depressing our shoulders and chests, rounding the spine forward. On the other side, we are constantly being called to action, moving forward, tightening our back in green light (or Landau) response. The body likes to be in balance against gravity, so if we are too pulled back or too far forward, the other side says “whoa whoa whoa!! I don’t want to fall over!”, and so contracts to pull the body back. This can cause significant pain from overuse in both sides of the body. If each side of the body, front and back, keeps arguing over which one needs to pull upright out of gravity, this can create compression of the spine, leading to shortening of the muscles between vertebrae, “shrinking” the body in height. Now, there are conditions that actually do deteriorate the connective tissue between the vertebrae, but I think we have ignored a very important piece by dismissing the muscles and function of the center of our body.
Continue reading Colm McDonnnell’s easy anatomical description here.