I smiled at him and contemplatively thought for a moment before I spoke. I wanted to choose just the right words to describe my relationship with my body. “George,” I said, “I cherish my structure. And…I pay a lot of attention to it. Let me show you something,” I said, “Take a look at this. Notice what my hips are doing.” I turned sideways so he could see the exaggerated forward tilt that I was doing with my hips to produce a pronounced swayback curve in the lumbar spine of my lower back. In the medical world, this posture is referred to as lordosis.
“When my hips are tilted forward like this with my butt sticking out,” I said, “I can’t distribute a line of force through my body back down to the earth. If I were lifting a heavy rock with a body structure that had a curve in my lower back like this, the pressure of lifting something heavy would get stuck right here in my lower back,” I said, as I pointed to the place in my lower back where the last lumbar vertebra meets the sacral bone at an area referred to as L5. This is the place in the body where many people have disc problems due to disorganization from heavy lifting/twisting injuries. “If my body segments are lined up properly over each other with the centers of gravity of each major segment over the other, lines of force can move through my body without getting stuck and causing problems.” I was referring to body structure where if a plumb line were dropped through the center sideline of the body, the ear would line up over the shoulder, the shoulder over the bony projection known as the trochanter, where the leg bone enters into the hip socket, the knee would line up under the trochanter, and the outer ankle bone would be directly under the knee.
“When the body segments are lined up properly,” I said, “and the physiological, mental, and emotional blocks are removed, gravity can flow through and actually be an energizing, beneficial force for a person. Heavy lifting can be done correctly without disorganizing oneself and getting in trouble. That’s what having a structurally integrated body is about. And yes, I can work for long periods of time without fatiguing significantly, and I pay a LOT of attention to my body mechanics and posture while I am doing any hard work. Otherwise, I could end up with pain in my body and that’s a drag when I’m used to feeling good.”