The Invisible Arts
Talk to an expert, and sooner or later you will notice the presence of an invisible art. It will be outlined in vanishing ink, It may be something they do that looks super simple to you. At the extreme edge of performance, you will experience quantum effects. It will look like magic.
We love to see pictures of people. It's an instinctive search function that we all share, and it explains the popularity of more than one successful app. However, few of us are in the habit of checking out the level of embedded tension in the sternoclydomastoid muscles of these Instagram personalities. And by not noticing that, we leave a ton of money on the table. Posture is one of the invisible arts.
The Mark of Muscle Tension
Starting at multiple sites on the clavicles and upper chest plate, the two sternoclydomastoid muscles run up the sides of the neck and attach in great sheets on either side of the base of the skull, behind the ears, around the jaws, and at the back of the head. Look at ballerinas on Instagram. The marks of poor posture are visible in the "default setting" of the sternoclydomastoid muscles. When they turn their heads to the side for a plie or arabesque, can you see the ropes that clamp their heads down tight like a cork in a bottle neck? They themselves do not feel obvious signs muscle tension, because the physiological mechanism of habituation: we notice a change in tightness much better than we do any default level, regardless of how absolutely high it may be. But the absolute level of muscle tension nonetheless impacts on performance. And worse: poor posture is an accumulating burden. As we age, muscles will continue to tighten in support of a body held in a fundamentally unbalanced position. The condition of poor posture is a degenerative one.
Once you become convinced of the importance of muscles tension, once you catch a glimpse of how it affects every detail of a person's life, health, and happiness, then not a moment to lose. The tension has to be undone. Unfortunately, the only drug that does this is dangerously addictive, and works for a limited time. Then you need a bigger dose, and then you're addicted, and possibly dead. A very small, measured, doctor-approved use of Heroin, probably gives a taste of life without muscle tension. For the rest of us, there is a better way.