Yes, you read that correctly. My face is now different.
I was chosen (although in truth I somewhat volunteered myself before the seminar began) because I am a perfect example of what Postural Restoration Institute labels a Right Torsion patient. The seminar I was attending was about the cervical spine (neck) and neuro-muscular patterns that influence it.
It’s too complicated to explain the situation, but the vast majority of people are not Right Torsion types, nor do you want to be. I guess I’m one of the lucky few who has been living like this, and feeling its repercussions, for years.
In this picture, my weight is on the left leg, I’m consciously “feeling” the ground. I’m also getting my left abs into the game by moving my left arm lower on each exhalation, and my neck and head are positioned in a specific way that is too complicated to explain.
What can’t be seen is that I’m wearing a mouth-guard so that my teeth on the right can’t touch. You see, I have a cross-bite on the right side of my mouth and it causes some of my teeth to touch in a way that my brain apparently obsesses over.
This dental issue (and perhaps others) has caused my neck to “lock up”, meaning that I lost range of motion in neck rotation and side bending. To be a non-compensating human, neck rotation and side bending is kind of important. I’ve been a compensating human for years–I’ve been finding range of motion in places that I shouldn’t, and it has caused me much misery.
In the picture above I am being instructed by Ron Hruska (who is off to the side), the director of PRI, on how to position myself to neurologically teach myself to move correctly. I’m using my own brain to unlock my neck by activating certain muscles, and turning off others, in a certain position.
This fact never ceases to amaze me: I’m using my brain to give my brain a new neuromuscular pattern, essentially, to over-ride what my own brain has done to me.
My brain is treating my brain. I’m treating myself!
No one had to touch, manipulate, or adjust me. I wasn’t treated in the traditional way. I was simply put into a particular position that would restore proper movement to my neck, thorax, and pelvis.
In a way, Mr. Hruska was coaching me. He was putting me into a position in which I could succeed.
And succeed I did.
All my upper body and neck tests went from positive to negative. In PRI, that’s a good thing. I had regained neutrality.
I regained range of motion in my neck. I could use my diaphragms to breathe and pull air into my chest wall.
That’s why PRI is so powerful. Almost three years ago, through pelvic repositionining, I was liberated from all-too-frequent bouts of debilitating back pain. If you suffer from back pain, you now how big a deal that is.
I’ve also used PRI principles with clients to the same effect in the context of personal training. Expensive treatments and trips to PT or a chiro aren’t always necessary. Often, PRI principles have cleared up pain where traditional treatments have failed miserably. But that’s a story for another day.
This is what resulted from my most recent re-positioning:
1. My voice sounds different. Probably due to my airways being opened up or my vocal cords being put into a better position. In my old Right Torsion position, my neck and head had permanently shifted their orientation.
2. I can feel my left butt cheek while sitting. Most people sit with more weight on their right butt cheek. It’s part of being a human and the fact that we are physically constructed to have a right dominant body and neurologically driven by the left side of our brain to do so as well. The left side of our brain, which controls the right side of our body, acts like an overbearing mother-in-law, it has a tendency to manipulate and control everything, and doesn’t let the right side of our brain do its work.
A primary physical driver of our insatiable love for the right side of our body is the right diaphragm’s pull on our spine towards the right. The left diaphragm just can’t compete.
3. I can feel my right arch and big toe while walking without trying. Most people stand with their weight on their right foot. This pushes our center of gravity over to the right and our weight often ends up on the outside of our right foot. As we walk, we don’t feel the inside of our foot, nor our big toe. After the re-positioning, I felt my inside arch and big toe without even trying, whereas previously I had to consciously try to feel the ground with my inside arch and big toe.
4. My chin now points straight. It used to point to the right, due to the Right Torsion. So my face probably looks more symmetrical, and hopefully a bit handsomer, right now.
5. I experienced heightened sensory perception. Visually, things were just different. I was in NYC for the seminar, Amsterdam and 74th, and when the seminar was over I decided to walk all the way down to 28th street where my car was parked (I took the subway up. Parking on the Upper West Side is hell). As I walked, I noticed the buildings seemed a little taller, images seemed sharper, like I had applied a different instagram filter to my eyes. I was more aware of my surroundings.
6. My eyesight improved. I’m not positive of the exact mechanisms involved, but my eyesight has improved. I can now read normal sized print without my reading glasses. It sounds too crazy to be true, but I assure you it is.
I wouldn’t say my farsightedness is gone completely, because super small print is still a challenge, but I was able to read a menu at my favorite Mexican restaurant without my glasses. I can see newspaper articles with just a slight squint. And I am able to read my own notes without glasses. I think my reading glasses were at 1.25 or 1.5 previously. I’m sure I could go lower than that at this point.