In the same way, we tend to divide ourselves up into details and look at knee pain as the result of a knee problem, lower back pain as the result of a lower back problem, wrist pain as the result of a wrist problem, breathing trouble as a result of a breathing problem. These types of issues often arise from wear and tear on the body based on a general coordination problem, a problem with how a person is using their body in every activity that they do. Using your body in ways that create compression or excess tension results in strain. People are often told that they have poor posture, but they may not realize that their poor posture is really a problem in their total coordination pattern that results in lower back pain, knee pain, shallow breathing, or any of a variety of strain-related issues. Focusing only on specific areas of the body often masks a more general postural coordination issue, just like focusing on only specific nutrients in food masks more general trends in diet, such as the types of foods we choose to eat.
Think about the following: If you thrust your neck forward and pull your head back (this may feel like sticking your chin out), you are pressing your head back and down into your spine. If you look in a mirror or watch someone else do it, you'll see what I mean. Now let your head drop down as if you've fallen asleep on a bus. Your head is heavy, isn't it? So, if you are pulling your head back and down into your spine, you are pressing the weight of your head (about 10 pounds) down through your back and legs. This posture creates compression and distortion all the way down to your feet. So, releasing your neck up instead of tensing it and pulling your head back will relieve a lot of pressure on your back and even as far down as your knees and ankles. Most people pull their heads back and down into their spines without even knowing it and take this posture with them into any activity they engage in. When humans were hunter-gatherers, we probably did this when we suspected there was a predator around the corner. It's a startle-response and most people are stuck in it unknowingly, creating pressure in their backs and legs, yet trying to address the back and leg troubles by exercising or having surgery on those areas. Why not address the source of the problem and stop tensing your neck? The Alexander Technique helps people to address strain issues at the source and really solve the root of the problem. Like Campbell's findings on nutrition in The China Study, looking at the big picture and at how everything works together will give a person more useful information that addressing fine details out of context.