“Normal” probably isn’t balanced

I’ve had this nagging pain in my neck and shoulder for months, so for the first time ever I went to see an osteopath.

This was his diagnosis: compressed vertebrae in my neck, tendinitis in my shoulder and a slight hip imbalance. He showed me how, when relaxed, one of my shoulders sat about an inch above the other and one of my legs extended beyond the other. Sounds bad, but I’m told that these are actually fairly common complaints. Whilst they may not cause big problems in the short term, over time, the affects could become more serious if left unchecked. In my case, the most likely causes are the high impact and sudden forces involved with kite surfing, and the more subtle, incremental forces of things like working at a computer.

It was quite a surprise to find how far from normal my perception of normal was. And strange how unnatural my body felt being pushed into a more balanced position. I suppose anybody who has a preference between their right and left sides must suffer to some degree and will appreciate how odd it feels to lead with the opposite side. I also found out that whilst I’m right handed, I’m in a minority of less than 20% of people with left eye dominance. [Here’s how to test for yourself]

I wonder how many “normal” things in life are in fact destructively imbalanced either as a result of major shocks or incremental effects over time. Whether it’s your body, relationships, the economy or the environment, I guess the good news is that there are always early warning signals offering opportunities to redress the balance. Perhaps the important challenge is to spot those signals and actively set about getting back into equilibrium.

Is there anything that you’ve thought doesn’t feel quite right but you’ve not got round to fixing?

Here’s a profound and beautiful video featuring someone who’s given this a lot of thought.

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