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Your Most Important Machine

Your Most Important Machine

by Teri K. Novak, D.C.

from her 1995 GAL Convention workshop

Originally published in American Lutherie #46, 1996

How many of you have back or neck pain at work or after your work day? In this workshop we will cover: 1) body mechanics, 2) the two main rules you should follow to avoid pain, and 3) how to apply the rules in your shop.

Rule #1: All structures of your spine are under the least amount of stress when you maintain the normal curves. This means twenty-four hours a day no matter what you are doing! Fig. 1 shows what the normal curves are from the side. From the back, your spine should be maintained in a straight line.

Let’s look at how your body is built to see why this rule is true. To have any body movement, (except the movement from gravity) or to change position, a muscle must contract, that is, get shorter.

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