Pregnancy may be the cause of significant changes in body posture and movement.
The center of body’s gravity shifts forward in the last months of pregnancy, causing an increased curve of the lower back (lumbar curve) and the pelvis to move forward. Furthermore, the tension in the back muscles increases, shoulders move back and the head forward due to the change in the center of gravity. This poor alignment of spine causes greater stress on lower part of the legs and feet as well.
Practicing AEQ exercises can significantly ease or even eliminate common pregnancy difficulties.
The change in the body’s center of gravity activates the green light reflex and the reflex syndrome remains even when a pregnant woman is standing, sitting or lying in bed. Somatic moves enable the control over the muscles of the back and abdomen; by relaxing these groups of muscles one can alleviate pressure on the spine and loosen up overstrained leg muscles, and so prevent the leg swelling and varicose veins. AEQ method helps preventing the loss of the body’s ability to relax the muscles. Body awareness and relaxation of the overstrained back and abdomen muscles make pregnancy and the childbirth notably easier as it increases the chances of baby settling in the right position before the delivery.
By practicing the AEQ exercises regularly a pregnant woman enables her muscles to stay relaxed during sleep and thus reduces the possibility of high-risk pregnancy, which is often times a result of too tight pelvic floor muscles.
Relaxation is as important as the Kegel exercises. Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the muscles of the abdomen and the pelvic floor, which may cause the sensory motor amnesia. The end result is a constant tension in the uterus area, possibly leading to a complicated childbirth (cervical dilation is obstructed, ’relaxation time’ between labor contractions is less evident). Better self-awareness and control over contractions and relaxation, both practiced during the pregnancy, make the childbirth easier and smoother and also reduce the risk of complications during the delivery.
The posture and body movement should be restored to the pre-birth condition after the delivery, namely postural adaptations and habits gained during the pregnancy usually remain and many new moms complain about the pain in the back, pelvis and feet. The body does in fact return to the normal state, however the sensory-motor part of the brain, which controls the body, does not. The posture is different than it was before the pregnancy – the back muscles are tense, shoulders pushed back, knees are bent and head tilted forward. New moms have lots of new responsibilities resulting in lack of time and diminished awareness of the movement; taking care of a newborn child usually deprives them of regular sleep hence increasing the tension and level of tiredness in the body. If we wish to avoid problems like hernia, scoliosis, sciatica… we’ll need to practice AEQ exercises on a regular basis in order to align the spine and reduce the side tilt caused by carrying the baby and to correct the movement patterns learned during a pregnancy.
Aleš Ernst, author of the AEQ method and AEQ breathing