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sample excerpt from Nine Interpreted Lessons

Lesson No. 2 - Arm Rotations
 
Aspects parallel to the topic:
 Movement:
- Changes in the body positions with one limb fixated in space.
- Movement sequence: from standing, through hanging down, sitting and crouching until lying down, while holding one arm in the direction of the ceiling; performing it back and forth.
- Rotations in the shoulder joint on different movement planes with a straight arm.
 
 Limb-movement relations:
- Internal rotation of the arm leads to protraction of the shoulder blade and further on to flexion and rotation of the torso in the opposite direction of the moving arm. External rotation of the arm retracts the shoulder blade, leading to an inverted rotation in the torso, in the direction of the moving arm. The tendency to continue straightening the torso is avoided on purpose.
 
 Therapeutic:
- Treating the shoulder joints.
- Straightening a kyphosis: flattening the length of the chest , while softening the vertebral column, flattening the width of the chest by extending the pectoralis from shoulder to shoulder.
- Rendering the lumbal and cervical lordoses more flexible and flattening them.
- Treating the scoliosis.

Awareness:
- Acknowledging the shoulder blade as an important element in facilitating the arm movement. Clarifying the sensations while positioning the arm in the various directions, without the help of the eyes. Learning the reference between the arm and shoulder movements and the positions of the chest, vertebral column and neck.
- Becoming acquainted with the big movement, which consists of a sequence of small movements and improving its quality by working on the correct timing. Accomplishing aesthetics by improving the movement organization and performance quality.

Enlightenments:
Mutual relations exist between the shoulder blades and the chest: the shoulder blades are placed on the chest dome, consisting of ribs, and their location is influenced by the chest position. When the chest is kyphotic, the shoulder blades are protracted. However, the effect is reciprocal, bi-directional. The shoulder blades can also affect the chest position, since most of the muscles which move them originate in the vertebral column or the ribs.

The shoulder blades are an organ connecting the arms to the torso, the order of the bone connection being: arm – shoulder blade – collarbone – sternum – ribs – vertebral column. This is a long, zigzagged and multi-joint way. Being pushed or supported by the arms which activate a stabilizing component force at the shoulder joint, or carrying weight by the arms, which activates a dislocating component force at the shoulder joint, impact all the points on the way, including the vertebral column. Indeed, it is not customary to classify the shoulder blades-ribs relation as a joint. However, in view of the above, it is clear that a correct movement range of the shoulder blades on the ribs is greatly important both for moving the arm and for moving the torso.

Attention should be paid to this movement range because in many people it is limited.
Being creatures who move the arms almost incessantly, it is obvious that we must understand the significance of this relation, know to use its components correctly, both from the vertebral column position and from its numerous and meaningful effects on the neck and the lumbar area. All these are connected - both as an affecting and affected factor – to the neck and the lumbar area, following the contact of the chest with them, continuity of the muscles from one area to another and the movement functions in which they cooperate.

The movement sequences in the lesson are not arbitrarily determined. They are grounded on the order in which the limbs are connected, as specified above. Comprehension of anatomy and biomechanics help teachers to present the correct movement path to their students, while enhancing attention to the body, its structure and needs.
 

The Lesson: 

Standing Position (Exercises 1-13)

Standing. Paying attention to the location of the shoulder blades, to the kyphosis. Can it be eliminated, achieving a sensation of flattening the area? Will someone watching the students from the side notice it?
 
 
1. Maintaining the shoulders without any movement, bowing the head forwards and relaxing the nape. After a slight pause, continue flexing additional thoracal vertebrae. The arms are relaxed and their weight is protracting the shoulder blades which are sliding forwards. Pause. From that point, straightening the hip joints forwards while flexing the knees and pushing the lumbar area backwards. On the way back, lifting the torso in a wave-like movement until an upright position. Paying attention that the arms return to their place, hanging, and the shoulder blades to their place on the ribs.
 

2. Upright standing position. Protracting the right shoulder blade and then retracting it, performing the exercise several times. The arm is relaxed all the time and the vertebral column is not involved in the movement.
Perform to the other side.
 
3. Adding to the protraction of the right should blade an internal rotation of the arm and to its retraction – an external rotation of the arm. The vertebral column remains stable. The abdominal muscles are held in order to affect the lumbar area and, thus, prevent a lordosis.
Perform to the other side.
 
4. The above movements should be executed simultaneously to both sides and in opposite directions: on the right side protracting the shoulder blade and making an internal rotation of the arm and on the left side, retracting the shoulder blade and making an external rotation of the arm. Meticulous attention should be paid to coordination and timing, impacting a fluent movement. Keeping the vertebral column uninvolved in the movement.
 
Perform the movement alternately from side to side.
 
5. Repeating once, slowly, Exercise 1, for the purpose of relaxation.
 
In order to read and perform the remaining 31 movement exercises of  Lesson no. 2 - Arm Rotations,
in standing up, sitting and lying down positions, refer to the book "Nine Interpreted Lessons"
 
 Analysis of the Lesson:
Standing Position (Exercises 1-13)
The control stage: presents the lesson topic and calls for a comparison with the condition at the end of the lesson.
 
Exercise 1:
The movement performed at a slow pace teaches the students how to relax the nape, the arms, through the movement of the shoulder blades, the upper torso and, further on, also the lumbar area. The return to the original position using a wave-like movement, with flexed knees and with the work of the abdominal muscles, teaches the students the correct pattern of going back from a hanging down position. This is the correct pattern to be implemented in every movement of getting up from a bending position also in everyday life.

Exercises 2-7:
Teach the students gradually that an internal rotation of the arm entails protraction of the shoulder blade and, further on, a rotation of the torso to the opposite side of the active arm. Reversing the directions and the reactions thereof is a result of an external rotation of the arm. This allows a simultaneous contrasting rotation in both arms as well as an appropriate reaction of the torso.

Since the movements are performed in a standing position, it is essential to keep emphasizing the need to hold the lumbar area backwards. For example, rotating the right arm internally while rotating the torso to the left, it is recommended bending the knees a little and activating the abdominal muscles in order to flatten the lumbar area and somewhat relax the nape muscles so that the head is a bit bowed forwards. Throughout the exercises, rest is occasionally required for the purpose of relaxing the working muscles. Exercise 1 can
serve for that purpose.
 
 
These have been a few sample paragraphs discussing the exercises, for clarification and easy comprehension.
  The following is the sub-chapter with the added value of exposing what can be learnt from this lesson.
These 3 divisions are an integral part of each of nine diverse lessons in this book.

What Can Be Learnt From the Lesson?
 
The gradual introduction of a new element into the movement chain, allows the collection of information about the body, in details and nuances, while learning the ability to isolate one movement component from another. With the development of the lesson, come the big movements, based on the knowledge and ability acquired while executing the small movements of which the big movements are built. Thus, it is ascertained that students are aware of every movement component and the inter-relations thereof. This cannot be attained while practicing big movements, if beforehand they are not broken down into their various elements.

Throughout the lesson no direct instructions to straighten the kyphosis were given; yet, the area received an effective treatment in this respect. Many times one can improve the posture or alleviate the pain by deviating the focus of the treatment. That is, directing the instructions or the movements not to the treated area, but rather to its surroundings, based on the understanding of the inter-relations between the surroundings
and the focus of treatment.
 
The Pectoralis Major and the soft tissues in the anterior part of the shoulders and chest were lengthened. Thus, their resistance to the back muscles was decreased and leaving the shoulder blades in the correct place without a tendency to protract them has been enabled.
 
Moreover, the muscles in the upper posterior part of the torso – the Rhomboids and the Trapezius - were lengthened and softened. Many times these muscles have a high tonus, cause inconvenience in the area and render difficult free movements in the arm and shoulder blade. Consequently, it is important to soften them and learn to connect their condition to the ability of the arm to move.
 
 
The lesson includes many exercises designed for the shoulder joint – rotations at various height positions of the arm and all the abduction ranges. Important characteristics of the shoulder joint were studied and treated as well as the correct relations between the arm and shoulder movement planes and the chest positions.
 
The chest and all its joints was softened and made very flexible as a result of the movements. Thus, flattening the back without kyphosis, did not require extensive force.
 
Furthermore, the back muscles also worked, facilitating the arm movements and improving their ability to straighten the torso in general and the kyphotic area in particular.
 
The lumbal area was protected throughout the lesson by the abdominal muscles. It was lengthened in the back and so did the cervical area. Moreover, lengthening these two lordoses, combined with the softening of the chest and the work of the back, helped to straighten the thoracal area.
 
 
Following prolonged work with the arms, students know better now how to relax them in a standing position while, simultaneously, hold the shoulder blades in their place through a correct supervision of the muscles. It is not easy to maintain a position whereby the muscles located in adjacent areas are in a contrasting position: on the one hand the arms are hanging passively (out of the shoulder blades) and on the other the shoulder blades are fixated in their place and serve as an appropriate anchor for the arms. Relaxing the arms and isolating their movements from the shoulder blades lead to a maximum relaxation of the upper fibers of the Upper Trapezium, which constantly suffers unnecessary pains due to its constant work.
 
Exercise 1, which is repeated several times in the course of the lesson, illustrates how to relieve daily stress accumulated in various areas of the back.
Thus, at the end of the lesson students are able to stand more erect with less effort – this is the sensation of the final achievement, although, as mentioned, the achievements are numerous and varied, both in the awareness and in the practice necessary for the body parts.