How Safe is Safe Enough? (Shall I Compare You to a Driverless Car?)
“There’s a number that is all the buzz these days in the world of autonomous vehicles: 94 percent. That’s the percentage of car crashes caused by driver error.”
You have a friend who crashed his car into a tree. Bad luck, you say, I bet that won’t happen again. Two months later it happens again. Bad luck again, you may say, though you’ll be having doubts. Two months later and there’s another bonnet in another tree. So you give your friend a voucher for some driving lessons - it’s time to stop the regular visits to the panel beater and start learning to drive well.
Sound familiar? Surely not. But there is a similarity, I believe, with our physical health. Just as with a car, when we first start ‘driving’ our bodies around we give them a lot of attention, as an afternoon with a toddler will show you. And as with a car, once we get the hang of it our attention moves elsewhere. Of course, if the road conditions are suddenly hazardous we’ll bring our awareness back to our driving. But for the most part we let our habits do the driving for us.
What to do for body repairs
Most of us don’t crash our bodies into trees, but we may notice the occasional ache or pain which periodically returns - a ‘niggly’ shoulder perhaps, or a dodgy back, or a stiff neck. Treatment may help in the short term, but when it continues to return then perhaps it’s time to consider your driving.
Do you really know what your legs do when you bend, or is that something you sorted out when you were two and haven’t considered since? What about your arm when picking up a cup? Or your neck right now? Your personal driving habits may be causing you damage, one unaware moment after another, and you won’t be any the wiser until there’s a crisis.
Time to Learn Some New Moves?
Alexander Technique teachers show people how to use their bodies efficiently - how to drive themselves sensibly and safely, instead of habitually and hopefully. It takes time, as it does to learn to drive a car, but it becomes easier as it goes on. And of course, you get much better at avoiding the trees, just like the self driving cars.
So how safe are you at the moment? And how safe is safe enough?
Bradley Newman teaches the Alexander Technique in Sydney. For more information see firstname.lastname@example.org .or email Bradley on