"You need work," my physical therapist said while assessing the tension in my neck muscles.
Duh. Why else would I be there?
Last year it was a lack of engagement with my transversus abdominis and gluteal muscles. This year? Well, this year I'm a mess because I breathe wrong. Yeah, you read that right.
I breathe wrong.
What? How? Seriously?
The sad thing is that it isn't that far fetched or all that uncommon. For desk workers like myself, we sit all day with crummy posture and learn to take shallow little breaths that don't engage the diaphragm fully which can cause a chain reaction of muscle imbalances. And since the average adult human takes anywhere from 21,600 to 24,000 breaths a day, doing it wrong can compound problems rapidly. Total that up over a few years and I think you can see where I'm going with this.
Soooo...how do you fix a crappy breathing pattern? It's not easy. It takes lots of work, lots of mental awareness and dedication to forming good habits that replace the bad ones. I've been diligently performing my prescribed exercises for the last three weeks, but I definitely have a few more weeks to go before I can be (re)released into the wild. I can feel my body shifting as the weeks pass, and I'm developing a keen sense of postural awareness. It's odd to me because it basically feels like I'm a little kid learning how to use my body for the first time.
Since the pain that I've had for months is slowly progressing backwards in the same pattern that it came on, so I feel like a walk-run is in order for this evening. I think I finally see some light at the end of this tunnel.