Avoid these 3 Mistakes and Improve your Back

Here are 3 mistakes to watch out for as you explore moving better and feeling better with your back.

Mistake #1 Tight Abs
Tight abs are sexy… for a moment. Admire those washboard abs, then let them go. If your habit is to suck in your gut continuously, you may be exacerbating your back pain. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight limits mobility all around, in your hip joints, back and chest. You want those abdominal muscles for lifting, climbing, getting out of bed, and many other actions. But, to keep them tight limits their use, hurts your back and can keep you from finding relief from your back pain. As you move through your day, find moments to ask yourself, ‘Can I relax my belly?’

Mistake #2 Ignoring discomfort
This small, but substantial consideration is worth more than you could imagine. If you move through your day, too busy or focused to make an adjustment when your neck hurts, or your back hurts, begin to ask yourself, ‘Am I comfortable?’ when you can. Sitting at the computer, brushing your teeth, washing dishes, digging in the garden… Begin to notice the small discomforts, a little twinge here, tightness there, and make the small adjustments to be more comfortable. It may not seem like much. But, those small adjustments can make tremendous changes in your back pain.

Mistake #3 Letting your head lead the way
Do you remember walking around with a book on your head as a kid? I do! That may not be the best way to move long term, keeping your neck rigid and stiff. But, the essential is there. Let the big bowl of your pelvis, carry the little bowl, your head. Think of a plumb line, finding the perfect vertical in a relaxed, dynamic way. The next time you are walking down the street, or even around your house, ask yourself, ‘Can my neck relax? Can my head be carried right over my hips? ‘ You will find that the more awareness you bring to your head being carried over your hips, the more comfort you will find in your back.

And, as always, there is tremendous value in exploring these ideas with compassion, gentleness and patience.

Blessings along your moving path,


Susan Hammond
Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner
Back pain relief and injury recovery
707 333-0055

Susan Hammond HeadshotSusan Hammond is a lifelong healing professional. As a certified Feldenkrais® practitioner, she has helped people find ease in their movement and relief from their back pain. She has helped hundreds of people move, walk and sit more comfortably. She is also certified as a Japanese massage therapist (Amma), and has ten years of medical assisting and management in clinics and medical offices. Her varied background draws from over 25 years of aikido training at Two Rock Aikido Dojo, where she currently teaches and trains and holds the rank of Sandan, 3rd degree black belt. She assists Lance Giroux of Allied Ronin in professional Leadership Training programs in the US and China, has assisted at the School of Embodied Leadership with the Strozzi Institute and developed and has lead self defense classes for women and girls.

Using her background in healing and leadership, she is passionate about helping people move with ease and comfort. She guides people to improve their sitting and walking, feel more relaxed, flexible and strong in their bodies and in interactions with others. Her current efforts focus clients on eliminating back pain, increasing flexibility and coordination, and finding efficient, fluid movement.

She lives in Sonoma County with her husband and her 15 year old daughter. She has parented 3 stepchildren who are now adults and has an adorable 3 year old grandson. She maintains a private practice in Sonoma County, California, teaching Awareness Through Movement® group classes in Sebastopol and Cotati and seeing individuals for private Functional Integration® sessions at her office in Sebastopol. Contact: susan@songbirdcenter.org, 707-333-0055. www.easeintoawareness.com