Respiration and movement
Within the Sotai-system it is assumed that all movements stand in connection with the body center. If the movement of the body ends – hands, feet or head – do not correspond any more with those of the pelvis belt, pain symptoms appear in the movement organ. We observe frequently that affected persons with back or knee pain do not shift their body weight any more over the foot bale, but only over the outer side of the foot or even over the heel.
Usually the track is narrow, but in such a case it becomes more wide and the walk becomes unstable. The point of gravity is not held any more in the middle of the track, but is shifted abruptly by support leg to support leg. Thereby it can come to acute pain conditions or to chronical neck complaints or back pain.
In all of these cases the respiration of the affected person is disturbed. With it connected is a tension dysbalance of the deep muscle structures, as for example of the m. transversus abdominis, which plays an important role with the adjustment of the fascial chains in the trunk.
Therefore, the respiration within the Sotaiho takes a quite central role. During the techniques the patient is asked for exhaling.
With the exhalation the coccyx turns inwards and the tension of the abdominal muscles increases. The force can be centred in the lower abdomen girdle (Hayashi, in 1999).
At the end of the exhalation phase the patient should rest for a moment. I suppose that in this breathing space the amount cerebrospinale liquor increases up to a maximum value.
Then the central membranes stand under tension, so that vibrations, e.g. induced by a sudden relaxation, could be better transferred at this moment. I suppose that these vibrations promote the perviousness of the cerebrospinal system and dissolve stagnations in its flow.
The role of the pelvis ground
In Japanese martial arts – the Budo – there is an important knowledge: If the defender inhales at the moment of the attack, his basis is weakened and he is to be hurt more easily. If he breathes out at this moment, however, his spinal column is protected and cannot be hurt that easily.
Illustr. from: Bewegingsleer, deel III: de romp; Kapandji; BSL; Houten; 1995. With kind permission of Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum – www.bsl.nl
In the picture you see the pelvis. In the llustration one sees how the high border of the sacrum glides by the weight of the body forwards.
Anatomically the pelvis ground looks like a lying Eight, like two circles which surround the orifices and which to themselves alternately move up and down.
It is the tension in the pelvis ground which works against the weight of the body which rests on the washbasin. He(it) is like a shock absorber which cares for the fact that the sacrum lying between the washbasin shovels is not wedged, but elastic it remains hung up.
The respiration is more than only an exchange of gases. As we have seen (see above) the respiration in itself is already a movement. The tension of the pelvis ground is adjusted by it. It is the key for the development of a strong body center.
However, it is not meant the superficial breathing! Above all the exhalation should be really terminated, because then there appears inhaling by itself.
Between the separate breath phases there are breaks. In yoga these moments are named Kumbhaka. The exhalation was already discussed at the top. During the inhalation the amount of the Liquors decreases, the central membranes lose to tension. Now the spinal column is vulnerable. However, in the break phase (Kumbhaka) afterwards the peritoneum increases in tension. Now the visceral membranes come to stand under tension and the trunk is protected again.