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Restoring Cohesive Movement

cohesive movement

Yu a’t ake a wrd nr snenc wiot ll te ltrs 

The above says, “You can’t make a word or a sentence without all the letters.” 

Just like you need every letter to form a word to make a cohesive sentence, every physical action involves smaller component movements.

For instance, when we reach for something, movement occurs in the shoulder joint, the shoulder blade, the ribs, the spine, and even in the pelvis and legs. The timing and contribution of each part are precisely coordinated and synchronized. (and not under our conscious control)

However, if restriction in any of the above joints occurs, the surrounding tissues are subject to wear. 

The restriction may be structural, but it’s more likely functional. In other words, the habitual pattern of the movement doesn’t include the synchronization of one or more of the bones and joints involved in the optimal movement. Another possibility is that the timing is disrupted and/or the contribution of one of the muscles is excessive. 

It’s all in the approach 

The key to restoring coordinated movement lies in the approach to moving. That approach requires us to bring our attention to the sensation and subtleties of movement. To do so, we need to move at a pace where we can maintain awareness. 

You need to go slow to go fast. 

It’s also necessary to grade the effort you are using. Excessive force won’t allow for the proper distribution of movement through the body. As you restore the pattern of movement, strength improves. 

The Feldenkrais Method 

The Feldenkrais method was developed as a way to optimize freedom of movement and increase strength and performance. 

You can check out this website for free Awareness Through Movement (Feldenkrais) lessons. 

Currently, I am involved in the Kelowna Feldenkrais training program. I decided to embark on this training because I felt something was missing in traditional exercise methods. The emphasis is usually on strengthening specific muscles and stretching others. 

In my experience, extreme effort often goes into both stretching and strengthening, which serves to increase tension in the body (something most of us don’t need). Not only is it potentially harmful to increase tension (an added stress on the body), but movement can often be further restricted and distorted by muscular bracing. Likewise, vigorous stretching often forces movement through isolated areas (joints), potentially causing injury to tissues and decreasing the balance (congruence) of a joint. Muscles aren’t tight inherently but rather because their habitual use is faulty.

Permanent change through the neuromuscular system occurs when the emphasis is placed on awareness of movement and allowing (not forcing) different parts of ourselves to participate in a movement pattern. When this happens, efficiency improves. In other words, less force is required to do the same amount of work. This permanent change or reprogramming is what the Feldenkrais lesson is all about. 

I plan to take these Feldenkrais lessons and combine them with my background in Physiotherapy and Pilates. As a result, I provide a multidisciplinary approach to movement training to allow you to participate in the activity of your choice with freedom and vitality, avoiding pain and injury.

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