Human beings are miraculous creatures, with the power to display amazing levels of physical coordination and mental ability, recover from trauma of many kinds, and live an entire lifetime filled with dynamic health and creative vitality. Unfortunately, many of our most deeply ingrained beliefs do not reflect this conviction in the power of the human being. When injured, for example, we are told to R.I.C.E. -- rest and ice, while keeping the affected area compressed and elevated. This is totally appropriate from the perspective of conventional wisdom, but the exact opposite of what one must conclude from the perspective of looking at the human as a miraculous creature.
Part of this miracle of human life is adaptation. We can adapt to a h...Read more
Posted on 10/16/2014 at 08:00:00 AM
Can you imagine beginning 4th grade without passing 1st? Or attending medical school without Chemistry 101? It seems ridiculous, right? Yet people consistently train without first mastering one of the most significant prerequisites: standing appropriately. Standing seems so simple and basic that few people give it much thought, yet there are still many people who cannot demonstrate appropriate standing.
In reality, this seemingly simple activity is actually quite complex. Your brain has a lot of work to do to balance your body and head within the field of gravity. It has to receive a continuous input of information from the rest of your body, interpret that information, and then coordinate your muscles to achieve position. The input to y...Read more
Posted on 02/05/2013 at 05:15:00 AM
After the Austin Marathon happened, I had several opportunities to talk to the participants about how they trained to prepare for it. The most popular answer is lots of running. Increasing the mileage, week by week, then usually tapering before Marathon Day. This is the accepted and most popular way to train, but is it necessarily the safest, most effective, and most efficient? Today we'll look at this training program from the viewpoint of efficacy and whether it can be improved.
Posted on 03/15/2012 at 10:15:00 AM
Have you been stuck at a 4.7 second 40 yard dash? Or unable to jump higher than 26 inches? If you're an athlete who isn't getting results in training, it's tempting to blame it on your genes. But just how much of athletic success is related to genetics? Well, according to Dr. Michael Yessis, Ph.D., the answer is 30%.1 He believes that 30% of athletic potential is genetic, while 70% depends on environmental factors like training and nutrition. This still seems like a lot, but we have to explore further.
Posted on 01/30/2012 at 02:45:00 PM
Sound harsh? Well, it's true. Breathing wrong can literally kill you. Of course you won't die of the incorrect breathing itself, instead it will be from the symptoms that accumulate from long periods of poor breathing. Over a lifetime, poor breathing impairs the function of all organs of the human body and can lead to things like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Here's the connection:
Posted on 10/17/2011 at 08:00:00 AM
As we learn more about neuroscience and the plasticity of the human brain, it becomes clear how our brains are constantly adapting to our experiences. The brain has limited real estate, and pathways that fire often are given priority. When pathways don't fire often, their space is actually given to others that do. How is this relevant to seniors? Well, the longer certain pathways are reinforced, the more ingrained they become.
Every part of the human body maps to a certain part of the brain. Like all other "brain maps," the real estate in this part of the brain is competitive. That means if part of the body doesn't get stimulation, the corresponding part of the brain will atrophy. During a lifetime of wearing shoes with thick, protec...Read more
Posted on 09/19/2011 at 09:30:00 AM
With the limited movement, postural distortion, and chronic pain that often accompany old age, it's easy to see why people put so much stock in the notion that aging itself is the cause of physical degeneration. In his book, Somatics, Thomas Hanna offers a contrary view. "As we grow older, our bodies - and our lives - should continue to improve, right up until the very end."
Posted on 08/01/2011 at 11:00:00 AM
The answer is a resounding, Yes! Efficient movement is a rhythmic dance between opposing muscles. As one muscle shortens to create movement at a joint, the muscle on the opposite side of that joint must lengthen to enable the movement to occur. In fact, the ability of muscles to lengthen is often the limiting factor in a person's range of motion, velocity, and ability to move without pain.
Posted on 06/13/2011 at 08:00:00 AM