Thursday, July 14, 2011

John F. Kennedy’s Bad Back

Luke Ford writes:

The new miniseries “The Kennedys” (available on instant streaming at Netflix) shows President John F. Kennedy struggling with a bad back.

In episode four (10:36 in), he does a classic Alexander Technique exercise — semi supine aka active rest. He lies on the ground with a pillow supporting his head and he rests his feet on a chair.

Here’s more info on this practice: The one Alexander Technique exercise — semi-supine. Part two.

I noticed the president sat up from this exercise with great pain and difficulty. While lying down with his head supported and his feet on a chair undoubtedly freed up his back, by coming straight up, he had to tighten his neck and his torso, undoing most of the unlocking benefit he’d just received. It would’ve been much better if he had rolled to his side and pushed himself up, as Alexander Technique teachers instruct.

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