Falling off the balance beam

The most important thing one can do to counteract physical imbalance is to maintain a good level of physical activity.

by Dr. Tom Stempel — 

We often hear people say, “I feel out of balance.” Usually they are referring to spiritual or emotional feelings, but if you observe them closely, you can often see that the emotional or spiritual imbalance also causes them to be out of balance physically.

Tight neck or shoulder muscles may cause stiffness or restricted motion. Tight back muscles or back pain may be causing a pelvic tilt or restricted spine movement. Physical imbalance in the body means we are fighting gravity, which often exacerbates the pain.

Everything in our world seeks balance. As children, our bodies were in balance and moved freely. As we matured, we developed poor posture, poor health habits and life stresses, which caused us to lose our balance. Consider the fluidity of a child’s motion versus the difficulty of an older person’s movements. The child, in balance like a top, moves freely. An older person, like a top that is wobbling, is being pulled further off balance by gravity.

The most important thing one can do to counteract physical imbalance is to maintain a good level of physical activity. For some, this could mean playing a sport, running or walking. Yoga, tai chi and other Eastern practices also aid in maintaining balance and flexibility. Balanced and flexible joints and extremities are less prone to injury and pain. The improved breathing helps keep the lungs healthy and improve oxygenation. Increased circulation aids digestion and keeps the organs healthy.

Movement is often difficult and painful for someone who is injured, or who has been inactive for a long time. To regain what has been lost, it is often necessary to work through the pain. Modalities like acupuncture, Eastern energy work, cranialSacral, polarity therapy, hypnotherapy and massage are helpful for relieving pain and restoring balance. By starting small, you can accomplish major changes that will keep you “on the beam.”


Tom Stempel, M.D., is the former chief of surgery at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center. He now practices acupuncture and hypnotherapy at Dynamic Pathways Wellness Center, 333 E. Virginia Ave., Phoenix 85004. 602-254-0071 or www.energeticpathways.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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