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! A decade or two ago engineers started doing just that; not with poles but hydraulic rams!
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!
I had to find another explanation.
We humans are upright and most would agree that is what is special about humans.
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.
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.
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 ten months, which is good for me. No adverse side effects, except it might affect your business adversely as patients are 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 patients 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!!
Michael Lingard BSc. DO. BBEC. Cert WPN. M.DOC Orthopath