Why the Ball Works When your Back Hurts

Miracle Ball Method

Many years ago, there was a neurologist who came to me for a session. She described perfectly why the ball worked. She said it was a neurological tool for the brain. She, being a neurologist, had a completely different vantage point than I. But I sensed her clarity in how she understood the Method. She is an example of how information works. She understood the Method very accurately through the information she had from being a neurologist, but had yet to experience its full benefits by having a personal experience. When it comes to the body especially, information alone without experience doesn’t work.

In this world filled with information, I continue to make this distinction between information vs. a personal experience with your body because of how your nervous system works. Without a personal experience with your body, not what someone else told you to do, or how to move, you will miss the benefits that will come. You will miss the feedback your body can give you to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, sleep better, and move freely.

Why is this important?

I was working with someone who had lower back aches that were extremely difficult. They would get worse, then better, but he was always worried when they would come return and they could be debilitating. He was in fear of turning right or left. He was constantly in the chiropractor’s office and getting massage. He worked out regularly and yet he was always looking for that magic pill or exercise that would make it all better. But you see, the exercise can’t do it without the experience of understanding your body through feel. Its like you can’t know a great meal without tasting it. Someone else cannot tell you.

When you begin to understand this, you get intimately connected not with what you want to change, or what someone told you about your body, but how your body is right now in this moment. He learned that all the exercises he was doing, he never moved a key area of the body, his leg joint. He was constantly clenching those muscles and had no idea as a result he was clenching his lower back and holding his breath. Once he got a taste of what he was doing to prevent his body from self-correcting, he felt a huge weight off his back. He began to allow his body to “un” do years of habits that all the exercise just couldn’t change without this connection.

What you can do differently when you exercise:

Bodies work through a physical feeling. That physical feeling is not just muscles but a connection that goes back to your brain and your nervous system. The more articulate you can get with different parts, the more varieties of movement you can do free of pain, and the backaches will not return.

Finding the leg joint is a key area of the body, but there are several other key areas that I point out in the classes. Think of your body like that instrument that you are turning up. It’s not the song you play, or the kind of music, it’s the sound. Your instrument has a sound. Your body has a physical feeling. The more you feel different parts, you begin to realize your nervous system is an ally for you. It organizes these parts as it did when you were a youngster to create movement. You can learn from your body.

When that gentleman came to me, he showed me the exercises he was doing. He had a stretching routine. And yet in every exercise, the one part of the body that would give him relief he was not moving. Having worked in a hospital-based wellness center for 20 years, I saw this consistently. Many times, people were given great exercises and yet imitated them the best they could, but the relief was not there. They went in moving one way and came out moving the same parts. They didn’t have any experience with key areas of the body like the leg joints that would create a domino effect throughout their own body. They remained stuck and blamed their body.

But once he added an experience of knowing he was fighting the movement with old habits he had from a young age and incorporating some sense of creating circulation into the muscles, he began to not just “let go” but have options that his body was giving him.  Moving without pain, what a concept and your body knows where that is.

Whether you are doing yoga or Pilates, taking a walk, or playing tennis, it doesn’t matter. Your body is your Steinway grand piano. You can play it however you want. Don’t be stuck. Begin the Miracle Ball Method and let your body find ways of moving that won’t be information alone but inspiration.

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