Friday, July 12, 2013

Hidden Epidemics

I do not watch the news, read the newspaper or look at news website; but I used to, and even without doing this, you still hear about current events and trends.  One thing that you hear fairly often is about some 'hidden epidemic' - with the usual candidates being: Obesity and Heart disease.

Neither of these strikes me as being particularly 'hidden'. Firstly, the obesity epidemic is hardly 'hidden' as it is plainly obvious to all with sight that there are many people over a weight that is healthy for them. And Heart disease is pretty common knowledge, and common place (sadly).

But I don't really want to talk about either of these, though.  I think there are a number of 'even more hidden epidemics'; being that they are so hidden that hardly anybody talks about them; but they are there, if you look.  

The Hidden Epidemic of Lack of Body-awareness (lack of sensory awareness and kinesthetic sense [KQ]).  I've written a little bit about kinesthetic education (or lack of it and need for it). We, in the West, are a kinesthetically malnourished culture, and it is so far below the public radar that is does not even register.  We are very dis-embodied as a people. Sit on a bench (coffee optional, but suggested) and watch people go by (I have done this many times).  Is it a co-incidence that zombie movies are popular again? 

The Hidden Epidemic of Lack of Palintonic Harmony in the Body.  

"Palintonic" is derived from the Greek word "palintonos" meaning "unity in opposition" (literally, "stretched back and forth"). Palintonic harmony describes the spatial, somatic geometry of order which becomes apparent as a body approaches integration. It expresses the unity of opposition that arises among all structures, spaces, volumes, and planes of an integrated soma as it moves through space." Jeffrey Maitland (

Ok, this one is a bit unfair.  I don't have palintonic harmony in my own body, it's more of an ideal to work towards.  The point is one of dysfunctional tension patterns.  Almost everyone has them, in weird and wonderful (or not) ways.  The epidemic is one of un-balanced tension to the point where injury and dysfunction is almost assured (or already extant) - and that is a lot of people.

I can count on two hands the number of runners I have seen this year who I couldn't see something glaringly 'out' with their gait - and I'm nowhere near a gait specialist.  Not that there is anything wrong with running - just that there is a lot wrong with how a large percentage of people run.  Same goes for walking; standing; sitting.  These should be skills that a taught (properly) during school.  After English, Feldenkrais class - lunch, then Stretch Therapy/Yoga. 

The Hidden Epidemic of Un-fulfilled Potential//Un-happiness/Mediocrity.  
I have already written about this in the Resist Mediocrity post - there are a lot of people 'working jobs they hate to buy shit they don't need'.  A fair number will protest and offer lots of reasons why they ain't, but..  beyond this many people are in a state of 'meh'; having various existential crises, and generally being un-happy.  This is not that hidden, I guess; as there are many books/articles/courses about happiness floating around at the moment.  I even saw a story on the cover of Times magazine this week, when I passed a magazine vendor.

This is a big topic, and related to the epidemics of Heart disease and Obesity too, I suggest.   I will write something larger and better researched on this at some stage, but again - just do the coffee and bench drill.  This time watch peoples faces.  How many smiles?  How many genuine smiles - not the sugar-eating-high-smile of someone scheming something that will get them personal gain, but might take away from someone else.  A smile of the wonderment of existence.  How many? 

I think all of these hidden epidemics are related - and re-embodiment is a large part of the process of healing this.  Just my personal opinion (it is a blog after all). 


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