Falling, to help others fall

by / Wednesday, 02 December 2015 / Published in Movement Health, Somatic Futures

One of the biggest fears that many people develop as they age is the fear of falling. And there’s much to be feared, broken bones, visits to the hospital and loss of independence by ending up in a nursing home.

Unfortunately, the fear of falling can make it more likely that you’ll fall. Fear makes us less able, stiffer and causes stress, which increases fear. It can be a downward spiral.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this conundrum: get comfortable with falling, as this gentleman shows in this short video clip. Click here for video link.

There are many good Feldenkrais Method, Awareness Through Movement lessons that can support the process of learning to fall better. As the man says in the video, “Seniors are likely to fall, so why not do it well?”

Just the process of getting down on the floor and up again can be very beneficial. When you get down, you practice distributing your weight onto your hands and arms and eventually rest your body on the floor. Getting back up again takes mobility, coordination and some strength so you’ll learn to move better just by doing this simple thing.

Falling with Grace

Falling with Grace

As you begin to get more fluid and comfortable, you can try different variations.

  • Do you put one hand down before the other? Then try switching hands.
  • Do you come straight down or rotate to one side? Try the other side and/or coming down straight.

A few other things that you can notice are:

  • Do you stop your breath in order to brace yourself? If so, go slowly and let the air out as you move.
  • Do you tighten your jaw or frown? Notice what happens when you loosen your jaw a bit.
  • Are your legs straight or do you bend your knees to bring your pelvis closer to the floor?

You can experiment with different amounts of bending, foot and hand positions so that if need be, you can fall with grace rather than from grace.

Thanks for reading and, “May the floor be with you!”

 

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