Your Health in Your Hands!

The Pisa Pelvic Exercise

Episode Summary

Here's a tip you might like to keep your pelvis in good alignment with just thirty seconds of exercise each day. After thirty-five years in practice, I asked myself why most patients present with the same pelvic twist, forward on the right, back on the left. Here is the answer I came up with.

Episode Notes

Here's a tip you might like to keep your pelvis in good alignment with just thirty seconds of exercise each day. After thirty-five years in practice it struck me that I didn’t know why the vast majority of my patients presented with the same structural problem, a pelvis with a torsion anterior right & posterior left.

**It was then that I thought about Pisa’s leaning tower. **
If the builder had notice the first signs of leaning soon after the construction he could have advised the mayor of Pisa to send out a bunch of strong citizens every day with long poles to push it back, in which case there might never have been a tourist attraction three hundred years on! In fact my wife and I were among the last tourists to be allowed to go up the tower because it had become too dangerous. The good news is that a decade or two ago, engineers started to fix it, not with poles but with giant hydraulic rams!
(I have recently been told the builder built it with a lean, to make it unique! He didn't reckon with gravity though!)
So maybe it was gravity that was causing this torsion?
But why was it always the same way? Was it because of the asymmetry of a heavy liver compared with lighter organs on the left? I thought I had the reason, but then couldn’t understand why most people in under-developed countries had good posture and not much work for an osteopath, yet they had the same internal organs! There must be a better reason!

I had to find another explanation.
We humans are upright and most would agree that is what is special about humans, we are “homo erectus” but maybe not so “homo sapiens”!
There are two forces acting on us all that achieve this; “gravity” that is heavy, dark, grave and pulls us down, and an opposing force, shall we call it “levity”, that is light, uplifting, and happy that lifts us upwards. Some would call the latter spirit or positive emotions. If gravity is stronger than levity we are bowed down, if levity is stronger than gravity we are no longer grounded and have our heads in the clouds, but when balanced we are upright and balanced. It also struck me that in poorer countries we invariably see smiling faces despite their poverty and hard lives, these people may not be rich but they have a strong inner strength and a happy spirit.

To finish the concept let’s assume gravity is an anti-clockwise torsional force
and the levity a clockwise torsional force.
Thus in the West the gravity being stronger than our levity (because of stress of finance, work, environment, consumerism, etc.) we develop the anterior torsion of the pelvis, and once started gravity takes over just like the Pisa Tower. In less developed societies levity is stronger and maintains their good posture.

Could I find anything to substantiate this hypothesis?
To try to put an observation to this concept I noticed that everyone has a clockwise hair growth, could this be due to the torsional levity force?

How could we increase our levity force in the West?
This could be a tough challenge for most practitioners but maybe teaching patients to breathe better would reduce the effects of stress and make a difference. We can’t be stressed if we breathe calmly. So that maybe one way of keeping away from your physical therapist!

If patients are not interested in sorting out their stress, how else could we help?
From the Pisa problem I hit on an exercise to help eliminate them developing a pelvic torsion.
I decided to try to help them with a very simple thirty second exercise, despite the fact I find exercises are boring and rarely recommend them except in a very small percentage of patients. I guessed a thirty-second exercise couldn’t be too boring!

The Thirty Second Pisa Pelvic Exercise

The exercise involves lying on your back, taking hold of your right knee and pulling with both hands towards your chest sufficient to stretch the posterior ligaments on your pelvis for just thirty seconds then release. End of exercise!
I began by trying this on myself and have maintained a level pelvis this way for over a year now, which is good for me, as before I used to need a treatment and a pelvic adjustment every few months.. No adverse side effects, except it might affect your osteopath’s business adversely as you will be able to go longer between treatments! Simple to do in bed or lying in your bath, so why not try it yourself and even tell your friends about it, I do?
Remember this is intentionally an asymmetric exercise, just on the right side.
Who knows, perhaps from an osteopathic standpoint if we can keep our pelvis from torsioning mechanically; as “structure governs function”, it should even help us increase our levity!!