Gaga Over Heels

A great article for sandal wearing weather. Check out this experiment about what heels do to our bodies…..

Gaga Over Heels:  Myoskeletal Alignment for Postural Problems

by Erik Dalton, Ph.D.

Article as seen in Massage Magazine September 2011

Creating a new dynamic equilibrium

The biomechanical effect of heels, in everything from running shoes to stilettos, has puzzled researchers and fired controversy for almost a century. In a highly functioning body, the neuro-myoskeletal system hangs in dynamic equilibrium, each part balancing the other. But when a woman wears high heels, a new dynamic equilibrium occurs. If one body part becomes fixed, the whole system must compensate with altered movement patterns, resulting in kinetic “chain” kinks.

Here is an interesting experiment that will help you get a feel for the biomechanical adjustments high-heel wearers deal with every day:

Stand barefoot with the back against a wall. Observe how your upright body column forms a perpendicular line, or 90-degree angle, with the floor (Fig. 1a). Slide a 2-inch wedge of some kind, such as a phone book, under both heels. Notice by keeping your body column rigid, you’re forced to tilt forward from90 to about 70 degrees (Fig. 1b).
Now replace the wedge with a 3-inch wedge and straighten up so you’re touching the wall again. Feel the dramatic myoskeletal adaptations that take place. Can you feel your ankles shift from dorsi- to plantar-flexion? In this standing posture, the knees buckle, hips flex, low back sways and shoulder girdle retracts (Fig. 1c).

The brain, guided by foot, ankle and visual proprioceptors, must instantaneously make a whole series of myofascial and joint adjustments to the ankle, knee, hip, spine and head to regain and retain erect stance and equilibrium.

But high-heeled, posturo-functional faults are not confined to the external milieu; they may also inflict compressional damage on the internal viscera, particularly the pelvic bowl contents. According to research conducted by Canadian physiotherapist Diane Lee, which she described in the article, “Biomechanical Effects of Wearing High Heel Shoes,” published in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, excessive lumbar lordosis causes the pelvic bowl to dip anteriorly, which raises the body’s center of gravity and leads to reduced proprioceptive stability. So not only are we more unstable on our feet when wearing heels, but the increased anterior pelvic tilt squashes our poor organs.

click here for the full article:

Chakra Balancing Workshop with Katie Bohn

Presented by Katie Bohn, the Chakra Balancing Workshop will introduce the chakra system and how it is related to yoga.

This workshop is designed to to start your self exploration journey through the Chakra energy system. The word Chakra is Sanskrit for “wheel”. It is traditionally believed there are 7 energy “wheels” or vortex’s located along the spine of the body. Each Chakra is associated with particular physical, emotional or spiritual functions within the body. When Chakras become imbalanced they can affect our interactions with the world.

This two-hour workshop will cover the basic characteristics and functions of each chakra and which Asanas (physical yoga postures) pertain to stimulating and opening each energy center. There will be a combination of physical asana practice and meditation. Participants are encouraged to bring a small journal for reflective writing.