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Does size matter? Well, I don’t know about measuring external body parts, but I do know that size matters inside the body. What do I mean by that? Well, many years ago I was in a physical therapy course. The professor said something that changed my life forever. He said, “That the difference between pain and no pain, is one millimeter.” One millimeter. It’s a pencil point. Teeny, teeny, tiny space. Wow.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience where somebody says something, and you just feel the truth inside your body. Well that’s what happened to me. I felt the truth inside my body. I thought, “This guy’s onto something. I’m going to pay attention to this.” As I started to pay attention to it, realizing that if the difference between pain and no pain is this tiny little space, then two things are true. One, is that what’s responsible for pain is often compression. Fascinating. That means that the recouping of space in someone’s body is going to be paramount to what I’m paying attention to. Instead of chasing symptoms, now I had some way of actually gauging whether I was going to be effective at what I was doing or not.
That quote I call that one of my catalytic quotes. That changed the way I saw everything in terms of the work that I was doing in people’s bodies, and pretty much life itself. The more space we have, the better we feel. Whether it’s inside of our bodies, or outside of our bodies. What can you do if you have pain? Well, some kind of generic kinds of things that you can do are to breathe. Why? Breathing creates expansion. When you inhale, you actually increase the space in your body. Breathing helps to kind of create more space.
Imagine your spine lengthening. When you can experience that lengthening, you’re creating more space. They often talk about this in yoga. Imagine that you’re sitting, and you can actually feel your spine growing. That relieves some of the compression that you might have in some of your spinal segments. The third thing that I want to recommend is that you actually relax. Relaxation creates more space. Why? When we’re tense, we’re creating more compression. Now, the more space you have in your body, the more breath, the more length, and the less contraction.
I also recommend that you stretch. Stretching creates more space. When you stretch, you actually ask for the lengthening of your muscles. Not just your muscles, but also your connective tissue. Which is one of the big problems in the compression, is actually the connective tissue. Yoga is really fabulous for all those things because they increase your breath. Especially when you can combine breath with stretching, as well as lengthening the spine and relaxing. Now we’re talking about a system that actually helps you do all of those things.
Think about little kids. If you watch a family walking down the street and there are little kids, they’re just bopping around, they’ve got all this space in their bodies, right? There’s a lot of spring, a lot of movement, a lot of joy. The adults behind them, not so much, right? Not as much space, not as much springiness, not as much joy. I’m doing a little bit of research on the correlation between space in the body, and the amount of joy. I have a hunch there’s a big connection there. Stay tuned to find out.
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