Watch your habits, for they become your posture.
Watch your posture, for it creates your boundaries.
Watch your boundaries, for they restrict your growth.
Watch your restrictions, for they create immobility.
Watch your immobility, for it becomes your illness.
~ Katy Bowman
That crummy doctor may have been on to something after all. Much of what ails us is the result of doing the same things over and over again. Repetitive use injuries are not limited to the workplace or the realm of elite athletes (though these provide magnified versions of what is happening to all of us every day). Most of our physical discomforts are a result of some habit - some repetitive motion - that we often don't recognize because it is so engrained in our muscle memory.
Have you ever seen someone from behind and known immediately who it was based on how they were walking or standing or gesturing. Their habits give them away. They move or stand the same way so frequently that it is part of their individual trademark.
Try crossing your arms in front of your chest. Now, try crossing them the other way (I have to look down and try to figure out how to make it happen). The awkwardness of that simple task is an indication that you (and I) always do it one way.
If you sit on the ground and cross your legs, do you always put your left in front of your right? Have you ever tried switching them up? Did it feel like you were in someone else's body when you did it? Did it just feel weird or did you end up with one leg way up in the air feeling way out of balance? If you felt out of balance, it's because you are!
You may not know what you're doing that is making you hurt; but, chances are that most of your physical ailments are a result of a lifetime of small habits that have added up to a big pain in the neck (or back, or knee, or hip).
Restorative Exercise™ can help you restore balance. It can help you identify your habits and your boundaries. By giving you the tools to move beyond those boundaries, RE can help you avoid immobility and illness.
You can start today. Do one thing differently. Stand with the outside edges of your feet straight (it may make you feel "pigeon toed"), or sit on the ground with your legs crossed "the other way." If you always sit when you work, try standing for a while. If you stand all of the time, try varying your position. Pay attention to how you lean when you are driving a car or doing the dishes. See if you can find some tiny habitual posture, and change it!