Finding your Body Balance
Almost all of us have a dominant side which is preferred in daily activities, ranging from simple chores to athletic pursuits. Much of this preference happens even without our cognition. The body continues to move through a range of motions of varying intensity and challenge, instinctively favouring one side over the other. As a result, one set of muscles starts becoming dominant by virtue of preferred use while the opposing (balancing) set starts becoming comparatively lax and weaker. Moreover, joints of the dominant side may experience more stress because of the preferred loading along that axis. And what do we have? Overuse/underuse patterns, and reinforced imbalances. This offshoot of the broad concept of ‘Principle of Least Effort’ forms the crux of chronic pain and discomfort experienced by us.
How do we fix this imbalance?
Any pain intervention protocol will only yield temporary results until the underlying root cause – Body Balance in this case – is adequately addressed. The First Step towards achieving a long-term solution is awareness about one’s dominant side – in static holds as well as dynamic movements. The Next Step is practicing a combination of focused strengthening (especially of the weaker side) and active release of the overworked muscles and joints. The Third is consciously realigning and restructuring movement patterns to overcome the body’s resistance to change and adopt new neural and structural pathways to restore balance.
Balance exercises are a must for all training and rehab efforts, designed for general as well as individual challenges.