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Pillow and alternate method

bencrvr's picture
Last seen:
10 years 2 months ago
05/29/2010 - 6:23pm
Pillow and alternate method

Hi there,
I've got something to share and a question.
I've had the Thermarest Zrest pad for years and found out it makes a great adjustable pillow and seat. It folds up like you were starting to make a paper fan so it's easy to create several different wedges out of it, especially with a jacket or something to provide a bit more flexibility. I've tried all sorts of expensive pillows and they all brought discomfort over time. It's been 4 months and my neck feels fine. I've got it set on a gentle incline heading down towards my feet. My question is on how to get into stretch lying. The whole butt to head progression has always felt awkward so I tried the opposite. Head on pillow, lift butt and roll my spine down. Stretch feels the same for me and it's way easier. Does that seem ok? I can feel the holding points are neck and sacrum so that seems like it should still stretch the entire spine. Other than improperly lifting at times of stress I never get low back pain, but I cultivated a wicked head/shoulder-forward posture in my insecure teen years to collapse around and protect my solar plexus, which has always been where I feel anxiety. That's mostly better thanks to reading 8 steps and joyfully obsessing over my posture and those around me for a year or so. Gotta say how great it is. Climbing trees/playing outside, Yoga, Tai Chi, Alexander technique, Hanna Somatics, Acupressure, Chiropractic, and going through massage school all taught me a lot but GM and daily breathing practice are way more fundamental and powerful. MovNat also looks excellent and I'd love to get a FMS (Functional Movement Screening) and redelve into Gray Cook's teachings. His book (Movement) was too advanced for me when I got it a couple years ago but appears to be the logical progression from GM if you have more athletic aspirations and with a screening under my belt it'll make more sense.
Peace, Ben

Sophie Rubin
Sophie Rubin's picture
Last seen:
7 years 4 months ago
05/03/2016 - 11:39am

Hi Ben! 

This from Esther, answering on another forum: "Working from up to down will almost certainly tuck or sway you (depending on how you do the pulling) except if you lie down and then work the hips downwards, one first, then the other, possibly for a few rounds. This gives you a chance of not swaying or tucking and legnthening your spine pretty effectively. If you are using your hands on the back and lengthening your back from up to down, you end up swaying. It's the act of thrusting directly downwards with your hands on your iliac crests that gives you a good direction of stretch."

When I stretchlie, I wouldn't say I "hold" with my neck. I plant my hips, then every touching point of the spine acts to hold the spine in traction. Furthermore, The neck is small and weak compared to the hips, and applying pressure downward at the neck is not nearly as safe or secure as using your pelvis to anchor. 

Hope that helps, 


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