Kinesthetic Sense and Symmetry: “Use the Force Luke”

Jedi training

Ahhhh…the classic movie (and one of my faves), “Star Wars,” features a scene in which a blindfolded young Luke Skywalker attempts to use a lightsaber to deflect energy bolts from a floating drone. This scene is a Jedi training exercise supervised by the wise Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan calmly instructs Luke to “trust the Force.” Luke attempts to feel the energy bolts before they strike, but Luke gets zapped frequently in his lesson.

As Obi-Wan repeatedly presses Luke to “…trust the Force,” Luke eventually manages to successfully deflect a few of the energy blasts. THIS is an important step for Luke: In order for a Jedi to exercise their powers, they must be able to feel the Force and trust it. If they can’t trust the Force, all their tricks collapse like a cheap special effect.

In my previous blog entry, I gave a similar example using Klay Thompson’s video appearance on John Brenkus’ show, Sports Science. This episode featured how our brain and nervous system is involved in every body movement we make. He made 8 out of 10 3 point shots in the dark.  Relying only on his Kinesthetic Sense.  That’s exactly what “kinesthetic sense” is. It’s our brain’s ability to sense movement , sense of tension and sense of muscle effort.

OK, so what’s the big deal about “Symmetry” then?  Well, with the return to Symmetry (or proper body alignment) our kinesthetic sense improves and increases. Tadah!!!!

When clients start therapy sessions with me (especially if they haven’t done anything like performance therapy before), their kinesthetic sense is often blunted or gone slightly numb. They don’t know where their weight is when they stand. They can’t see or feel that one shoulder or hip is higher than the other. They can’t tell what muscles they are using to do what. Their bodies may have even become desensitized globs down there below their heads. Kind of reminds you of this scene from “A Christmas Story” (yes, another of my faves!). You can’t really “feel” your body through the layers.

Christmas Story Coat scene.png

And just because you play sports or exercise doesn’t necessarily me you are immune from this. Most of us don’t want to hear this, but many people put their bodies through their paces without being totally conscience of them. As I said in a previous blog…training on a Bosu ball for stability when your muscle are unstable, only results in more instability.

Part of improving your kinesthetic sense is recognizing the process. So rather than blaming anything you can’t do on an inherent deficiency or getting older, simply tell yourself that certain muscles are weak, certain areas are tight and that when you correct these things, you will be able to do it.

The truth is that there are NO quick fixes or short cuts to improving performance and symmetry (or to anything else worthwhile, for that matter). It’s human nature to look for the quickest, easiest way to get what we want. We tend to look for the one size fits all solution to our problems that will “Fix Us” and make everything all right in one shot.

If we recognize THAT, maybe you’d save a lot of time, reduce pain, prevent injuries and save money in the long run.

Use the Force Luke

No, it’s not easy and you won’t experience the immediate feedback of being able to block blaster bolts while blindfolded. Far too many people give up tho, dooming their bodies to under performance. If you can succeed, though, the performance of your body and your quality of body movement will increase dramatically!

Cheers and May the Force be with you,

drock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Athletic Performance Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

Does Movement Quality Really Matter?

As a follow-up to my last blog…YES! Quality movement matters and is being weighed heavily on by experts in professional sports to help predict injury risks and to help prevent injuries in athletes. Being able to identify movement dysfunctions as it relates to player biomechanical screenings in the draft process was also big topic at this year’s NBSCA Educational Conference in Chicago.

Last year, in the NBA alone, player injuries cost teams $400 million dollars. This was $400 million in salaries paid to players during time they were unable to play basketball. It doesn’t even begin to cover other losses a team might incur when an athlete is unable to play due to injuries. Can you imagine the revenues deficit the Cavs experienced after their loss in the 2015 Championship? It goes way beyond player’s salaries…Loss in profits from apparel/merchandise sales, tickets sales, advertising and sponsorships, etc.

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 5.34.29 PM.png

This year’s conference focus was on strategies for optimizing movement quality and injury prevention.  So, how can these “injury risks” be identified in athletes? Through player biomechanical screenings and you can bet every player being drafted by an NBA team this year will go through one. The Single Leg Squat (SLS) is a movement used to identify dysfunctional movement patterns and asymmetries.

SLS test

Fundamentally, the SLS motion measures stability and control during different movement phases (triple flexion and triple extension). Movement predominently takes place in the sagittal plane. However, coronal and transverse planar movement in this motion can be used to identify movement dysfunction. The control and stability of the movement provides useful information. For example, measuring the frequency and amplitude of COM osilations over the duration of a squat can provide information about the subtle fluctuations in stability throughout the movement. Both higher frequency and higher amplitude of oscilations could indicate compromised control under load. Thus, the athlete might be limited in stabilizing and attenuating ground reaction forces demanding maneuvers in sports (changing directions, landing and pivoting).

Quality movement requires efficient gathering and processing of sensory information by mechanoreceptors in the body to the brain. If you read any of my previous blog entries, then you know how important the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems are in movement. Here’s a very cool explanation why they are all important in athletic performance. John Brenkus and Sports Science ROCKS!

Check out this episode on Klay Thompson:

Klay Thompson

Nuf said…Cheers,

Drock

Player Health: How Injuries Affect the Team

In 2015, without a doubt player injuries were an influencing factor in the NBA playoffs and a lot of Cavs fans were left wondering “what if’’s?” What if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were injury free? Would the Cavs have been the NBA champions? The answer is that we will never know.

As I take a look at today’s NBA injury report, it remains to be seen if J.R. Smiths injury will have an impact on his team for the remainder of the Cavs/Pacers series. Right now, Golden State appears to be the team with the most player injuries in their series with Portland. The fact is…there are 12 of the 16 NBA teams in the playoffs who have injured players. Many of which, are listed as “Day to Day” for their status.

canstockphoto3657311

In sports, injury prevention is paramount to both player and a team’s success. More and more professional sports teams are utilizing biomechanical screening assessment tools in their training facilities to assist them in efforts to achieve this goal. The results gathered from movement capture screenings allow teams identify risk factors in a proficient way. The objective of testing is to identify potential injury risks early and to resolve issues before a player can become injured.

I just got back from working the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT) where I was the tournament’s sports therapist. My job? Help keep players’ bodies together so they can perform their best in the event. You can imagine just HOW busy and popular “Miss Dianne” quickly became at PIT.

2 Game

Imagine finishing a tough college season, and then having to play against the best seniors in the country in an All-Star tournament. To make competition more intense, 5 players from this tournament will be sent to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. Considering that this year’s NBA draft combine is not scheduled to have any college seniors in it, PIT is a last chance for some of these guys to have a shot at the NBA. (No pressure there!)

During PIT, I had the pleasure of working along side a biomechanical screening assessment company called Kitman Labs. I was thrilled to see the amazing “Before” and “After” results of my players right after they got off my table! The guys at Kitman Labs are processing reports now for the NBA teams and will be sending me my data results as well. I’ll share my results on a blog entry soon!PIT CollageNow that I’m back in Texas…I’m looking forward to seeing many of my players again for a “tune-up” in my office in San Antonio during their NBA team visits!

Cheers and Good Luck Guys,

“Miss Dianne”

Pain….the “Fifth Vital Sign”

Leg pain

All of you who like getting injured, please raise your hands.

Right. No one does.

If you’re an athlete, then you’re always on the edge of getting hurt. Life beats us up and because you play sports it comes with the territory. So unless you have a big “S” on your blue undershirt right now, then you need to read this blog entry.

So why do most people wait so long before doing something about their discomfort and pain? I suspect it’s because most people think of pain as “bad” or “abnormal”. I’ve had clients tell me that they expect to never hurt; that they should be able to do whatever they want and never have an ache or pain.

Our conversation usually goes something like this…

Client: “All I was doing was tossing my laptop case into the back seat of my car the other day and –wham! – I guess that did something to my back and now, my back won’t stop hurting”

Me: “I see. And when did all this happen? When did you toss your bag?”

Client: “Well, I guess it happened about 3 or 4 months ago…it’s used to only bother me a little bit, but now the pain is all the time. Who would have thought that something so simple as tossing a laptop case could throw your back out, huh?”

Me: “Yes, but that’s not really the case here. Actually, tossing your bag is more like the straw that broke the camel’s back”

Client: “So, you’re saying that my tossing the bag had nothing to do with it? I never had this pain until I did that.”

Me: “Yes, let me explain.”

And at this point in the conversation, I explain how the paradigm has shifted – that some movement limitations and discomforts are not OK. More is not OK. Not doom and gloom. Just that we all need to be more proactive when it comes to taking care of our bodies and noticing when our “check engine” lights are flickering on the dashboard (my clients all know my auto comparisons well).

Pain is sometimes referred to as the fifth vital sign. Vital signs – blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature – are indicators of your body’s function. But, they have to be interpreted within a certain context and not ignored.

For example, if I take your heart rate and it’s 135 beats per minute (BPM), without knowing why your heart rate might be that high, I could arrive at a false conclusion. If you said that you had just run up three flights of stairs, then a heart rate of 135BPM seems reasonable. If however, you had just walked in to my office and your resting heart rate was 135 BPM, I would be much more concerned.

Pain requires the same kind of interpretation. And the general rule is this (and I’m speaking of musculoskeletal aches and pains): if the pain alters your ability to function, then you should stop the activity and monitor your symptoms closely for 48-72 hours. If the symptoms are still present and your function is still compromised, it’s time to get help.

Runner lacing

Let’s look at two scenarios…You go for a run and notice some pain in your knee afterward. It’s mild but something you’ve not had before. You can walk fine, get up and down from a chair, and climb stairs okay. But, you’re wondering if you should run or not; should you ice the area? Take Advil?

Instead of ice or Advil, you decide to wait and watch. The next day, you feel okay but choose not to run for a few more days. You go out after four days of not running, and complete your usual 3 mile run. To your surprise, you feel great. And this continues through the next day and the next day, you still feel fine every time you run. No more pain or discomfort when you run.

Contrast with a slightly different scenario…You go out for a run, notice knee pain afterward and just shrug it off as “over doing it”. You have a run scheduled with a friend the next day and are determined to do it. After all, you feel fine now walking around, going up and down stairs.

The next morning, you meet your friend and take off together for a 3 mile run. Then 10 minutes into the run, you notice that your knee hurts again. And by the end of the run, you notice it even hurts a little to walk. But, by the time you get home, walking is okay.

So, the next day you go out for a run and now you hurt almost as soon as you start running. And you have to stop. And walking hurts. And stairs hurt. Get my drift???

Two different outcomes from two different choices here.

So, in your enthusiasm to get healthy and fit this 2017, when you go full tilt and hurt some joint or muscle or tendon…think wisely before you choose to keep going anyway.  It’s at that moment in your choice to keep going and to “tough it out” that your problems will begin to escalate.

The truth is, at some point in your life, you going to experience pain.  Like I stated earlier….Life beats us daily.  When you play sports, then it comes with the territory. When you do have pain, look at it as a “check engine” light coming on in your car. Then ask yourself, should I REALLY be ignoring this?

Cheers, drock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance?            Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

 

Let’s Talk about ‘Tech’ Baby! (yes, I like Salt-N-Pepa)

200 years from now, people are going to look back and say; “Can you believe what people used to do when computers first came out? They’d sit hunched forward over their desks for 8-10 hours a day! Didn’t they realize what they were doing to their bodies?” They’ll probably even comment about how people used to text on their phones and iPads too.

Person at desk

Did you know that just fifteen minutes reading or typing when using the wrong positions exhausts the muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back? Often, poor posture develops because of accidents or falls. But bad posture can also develop from environmental factors or bad habits.

text stress

In fact, most people have no idea what they are doing to their bodies. We are the computer user “guinea pigs”. We are the first generation of people to use these types of technology. Research is showing an entirely new type of damage to muscles, tendons, and joints from prolonged micro-movements inherent in computer and electronic device use. These issues were unheard of 50 years ago.

What is even scarier is that it’s profound negative health effects are showing up in young children. I’m seeing younger and younger kids in my practice that have neck and back pain.  If you think I’m exagerating, just take a look around you next time you are at the mall, restaurant or picking your children up from school and you’ll see them anchored to their electronic devices.  Good posture is more important to health than most of us realize.

7 Easy Tips on how you can improve posture at work …

  1. Sit Properly. When you do, it recreates the natural curve on your lower back.
  2. Bring arms back into alignment. Don’t’ reach forward!
  3. Set-up your work station properly. Drop your shoulders!
  4. Move Your Body and walk around every hour. If you don’t use it, you lose it!
  5. Give your your eyes a break. Focus on a distant object & don’t forget to blink,
  6. Hydrate. If you’re thirsty…guess what? You’re already dehydrated!
  7. Spend time outdoors. Minimum of 3 hours per week.

Our environments have changed, but we as human beings have not. Today’s office and home surroundings continuously “bath” us in un-natural energetic environments. Many people today spend most of their lives indoors, surrounded by electric and magnetic signals-barely setting foot on the earth. We still need nature to function optimally.

There is NO replacement for time spent outdoors. Almost everyone has a place where they can go to absorb nature’s energy. It’s might be a walk around the block or maybe you have to make an effort to get there. Either way, it’s worth it! Experience the earth, walk on the ground and feel the diverse terrain under your feet, breathe in the fresh air and hopefully feel the wind or sun on your face.

Muscles need “force” to stay healthy. Even NASA did a study on how our bodies adapt to the environment around us. Little over a year ago, NASA embarked on experiment and discovered that their astronauts lose on average 1.5 percent of their bone mass per month in space.  An identical twin (Scott Kelly) spent a year there and upon his return, Scott had to be carried off via a stretcher because his muscles could handle the weight of his body. Click here for the article:

Scott Kelly Space Twin

Which inspires me for another blog…Do you think NASA told Scott Kelly to Suck it up buttercup and go take lap around the building when he got back from space to get his muscles stronger? I doubt it.

…I think I’m getting up from my desk now and going to go outside and enjoy a little sunshine!

Cheers, D-Rock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

“Get a Leg Up” on Injury Prevention

get-a-lg-up

Many  injuries occur in our bodies because of muscle imbalances, weakness or instability in other areas of the body. For instance, if your glutes lack strength, then your knee is  more susceptible to collapsing inward, which in turn then puts stress on your ACL. If you lack ankle stability, then this lack of strength can cause instability and migrates up the chain as pain in your knee.

In short, there are two types of knee injuries can occur.   Contact and non-contact injuries. Contact injuries for the most part can’t be avoided. There’s nothing you can do if someone happens to roll into the side of your leg during a game. However, many knee injuries occur from simply landing from a jump, decelerating or changing direction. These types of injuries CAN be prevented.

I wrote a previous Blog Entry on our body’s healing cycles (if you haven’t read it, its worth scrolling back on my blog to read).  It helps you understand why some injuries can take up to 9 months to recover from because they need time to heal.  The reason this is so complex is that you need to restore mobility, stability, function, rebuild muscle tissue and restore coordination. Sometimes the process can be long and hard. Even worse, returning to play can take even longer mentally because you might not have confidence  in that joint that you did before the injury.

Its not all bad though. There are a lot of great injury prevention exercises you can do that don’t require a gym and can be done easily at home.  The following four great exercises are frequently used in rehab, but they can also be used post-rehab to continue improving your strength, stability and mobility. The key  to these is to do each exercise slowly, so that you really isolate the muscles and really make them work.  Speed capitalizes on the tendency of a weight in motion to stay in motion.

As anyone in  involved physical activity or sport  knows, you can’t expect your body to operate in tip-top shape without a little preparation. There are a lot of wonderful stretches and exercises to help you pre-hab before catastrophe happens. My advice?  Pick a few from each common injury group (back, hip, knee, foot, etc.) to help stay out of the doctor’s office and “get a leg up on” staying healthy, strong, fit…and injury free!

Cheers, Drock

glute-bridge

Glute Bridges

  • Start lying on your back with knees bent.
  • Lift on leg off the floor and go up into a shoulder bridge peeling one vertebrae at a time.
  • keeping the leg out straight and thigh in line with other the thigh, lower yourself on the ground and lift yourself back up, peeling one vertebrae at a time.Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 2 x / day 

clamshells

Clamshells (can be done with or without band)

  • Lie on your side with your knees bent.
  • Tie elastic around your knees.
  • Lift your upper knee without moving your pelvis.
  • Lower your knee and repeat.Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 2 x / day

one-leg-squats

One Leg Squats (can add a resistance band to this one)

  • Stand on one leg
  • Lower your body by bending the knee.
  • Gently squeeze / activate the muscles in your buttock to keep the knee cap aligned with the 2nd toe.
  • Only bend to a 1/3 range.
  • Return to starting position and repeat.
  • NOTE: Keep your knee stable (avoid any lateral movements) during the exercise.Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 2 x / day

dont-shoots-photo

Don’t Shoots (This one only looks easy!)

  • Stand with your back flat up against a smooth surface like a wall or door.
  • Place your hands and elbows flat against the wall start with arms perpendicular to the floor. (make sure that there is NO SPACE between you and your body and wall)
  • Gently and slowly slide your elbows and hands up and then down the wall.
    DO NOT LET THE ELBOWS OR HANDS LEAVE THE WALL SURFACE.  Remember to do comfortably without removing arms and elbows from the wall.

Sets: 3 Repetition: 10 Frequency: 3 x / day
(Burning in the upper back muscles is common at first.)

 

dianne-rockefeller
Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Then follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

Feeling Stressed? Then, Relax and Take a Deep Breath

breath-in-lungs

Seriously. Take a moment and humor me by doing this little exercise. Sit up straight, yet relaxed. Take a deep breath expanding your midsection (belly), pause, and then exhale slowly.   Do this again. Good.  Guess what?  You’ve just calmed your nervous system.

No kidding. When you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or in need of an energy boost this simple thing can do the trick. It’s easy to ignore how we are breathing in our lives with all life’s deadlines and demands on us. However, it can be a powerful tool to combat the stresses that break down your body tissue. And, you can do it anywhere, anyplace and don’t have to be in workout clothes to do it.

I have become more and more aware of my breathing since starting the app called “Headspace”. Most of us breathe in a way that leaves a lot of room for improvement. Some examples would be over-breathing, holding our breath and/or shallow breathing. These breathing patterns are very stressful for the body and lead to a shortage of oxygen and energy.

headspace-logo

Since my discovery of “Headspace,” I try to take 10 minutes in my mornings to meditate and get ready for my busy day. Taking this time has made me more aware of just how important breath is to overall health. I’m not the only one doing this either. When I was having lunch with a good friend of mine, Michael Brungardt (Former strength coach San Antonio Spurs 17 years. 4 Rings, 2011 NBA Strength Coach of the Year, USA Strength Coaches Hall of Fame), he mentioned how many professional sports teams are now discovering these benefits.

Bad breathing can give rise to a lot of unexpected negative effects on our health:

  • Loss of Energy: Less oxygen in, less oxygen to your body’s cells and your body has to work harder.
  • Breakdown of Tissue: With less oxygen to cells, your cells get stressed and tissue starts to breaks down. Then your brain begins to prioritize survival vs. development.
  • Blood Vessel Constriction: Which can lead to high blood pressure, and then turns into making your heart work harder.
  • Airways Get Tighter: Which makes it harder for you to get air into your lungs, and then you compensate by working harder and breath faster to get the same amount of work done.
  • Nervous System Imbalance: Breath is an key component in maintaining a balanced body. Each breath has an immediate effect on our nervous system. Imagine inhaling being the gas and exhaling the breaks. A dysfunctional breathing habit, like a short and forced one, results in a tense body and much higher levels of stress.

It’s kind of like having loose battery cables in your car (I know, ANOTHER car analogy!). Will your car start? Yes, you turn the key and it will start. Can you drive to the grocery store? Yes, my car can drive me from Point A to Point B.  However, over time if these cables are left loose you will eventually experience problems in your car.

Think about it for a moment…Each and every single one of the processes in our body is dependent on oxygen. Some of our most work intensive organs are our brains, heart and muscles. All of which are crucial.

Wow! That’s a ton of crappy aversive side effects you might think. And you’d be absolutely correct. Now, there are plenty more ways that bad breathing can negatively effect our bodies…like fatigue, headaches, muscle pains, craniofacial abnormalities…but I’ll stop here and let you get the gist of my blog.

Thanks for reading this – you take my breath away.  😉

Cheers,  Drock

dianne-rockefeller

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results.  Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies”. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

Why is Posture so Important?

All machinery is designed to work with a specific alignment.  When a machine’s design parameters are compromised or it’s parts become mis-aligned, then things within the machine do not work as they should.  Parts begin to grind and accelerated wear and tear  occurs as the result.

walking-posture

The same goes for our human bodies.  Our spines and the major weight bearing joints are designed to work within a specific design and alignment too.  If your posture is compromised, then things within your body will not work they way they should.  This translates into muscle weakness/tightness, pain and loss of movement.

It’s a concept called “Tensegrity” and it is derived from the two words “tension” and “integrity”.  All structures are supported by a balance between tension and compression…including our bodies.  We carry on a constant battle with gravity .  As Ida Rolf so eloquently said,”When the human energy field and gravity are at war, needless to say gravity wins every time.”

tensegrity

According to Buckminster Fuller, who first introduced this concept, the skin, muscles, and connective tissues are the tensional elements which are separated by the hard elements of the body – bones.  The tensional elements serve as “spacers” that sustain proper tension within our body structure.  They also distribute stress throughout the entire body.  In the case of poor posture, this tensegrity turns into a compressional structure that causes uneven wear and tear in our body structure.

pokemon-neck

It’s not uncommon for me to observe 2″ of anterior forward head posture in new clients. Would you be surprised that your neck and shoulders hurt if you had a 20-pound watermelon hanging around your neck?

Although it may have annoyed you to hear your parents say “stand up straight,” it was very good advice. Good posture when sitting or standing puts your spine in alignment so that stress is properly distributed to the intended muscles and ligaments. With good posture, your muscles work properly causing less wear and tear in your body.

Think about that one next time you are texting or working at your computer.  I think it’s time for me to get up and take a short walk in my building now!

Desk posture

Cheers, Drock

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Additionally, Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies“. Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

 

dianne-rockefeller

Body Mobility “For Dummies”

You might understand that body movement is pretty complicated, almost a lucky accident happening beyond your control. Each of our movements is a brain and Central Nervous System (CNS) solution to a complex problem. The “rules” of the problem are called constraints. Typically, they fall into three categories:

1. Task           2. Environment           3. Organism

Task constraints involve exactly what you might imagine. Pick up an object of “X” pounds. Carry it “Y” distance. So, if the task at hand is picking up a bowling ball, then picking up a pebble doesn’t follow the same rules. Environmental constraints are equally intuitive. What sort of environment are you performing this task in? This involves varied textures and terrain, or social factors like peer pressure or support.

image-a

OK, now note how you can’t do a whole lot about those first two constraint types. This is where the organismic constraints come into play. These involve things like strength, mood, fatigue, and similar items. When you combine all these constraints, you get something like this happening (Image A) , and all of your movements emerge out of this complex Plinko board-like interaction that your brain and Central Nervous System controls.

Mobility plays a huge role here. Just think of mobility as “movement potential.” It’s a key constraint on what muscle options your brain has access to. Improve control and coordination of your muscles and you increase ranges of motion in joints. When this happens, you radically expand what you’re capable of in sport as well as in day to day life. Body mobility widens in your body “Plinko” box and your brain has access to more efficient options. More options make you a more resilient, adaptable, and decrease injuries.

Cardio doesn’t do that. Strength training doesn’t (always) do that. Mobility and stability is like compound interest in the body movement world. If you consistently put a little bit in, then you can expect improvement in all other areas across the board. Which means less wear and tear on body parts due to less compensation by your brain.

Here’s the thing: It takes a heck of a lot more than just stretching, foam rolling and exercise to improve your mobility and stability. Those might slightly improve your flexibility, but they don’t do much to teach your body how to put that range of motion to use or provide you with joint stability. They have nothing to do with improving coordination and muscle control either. Training on a Bosu ball for stability when muscles are already unstable just results in more instability or injury.

golf-tennis-strap

Constant training and exercise can’t control muscle contraction timing because the harder you train and push your body, the faster your body’s stress threshold is going to be reached.

Put more simply: To increase your range of motion, you have to be able to train muscles through their FULL Range of Motion.  No foam rollers, tape, forearm strap or other toys necessary. 

.Cheers….DRock

Want to learn more about improving your functional movement and sports performance? Follow Dianne’s blog: https://dtasmblog.wordpress.com

Dianne Rockefeller is a Licensed Massage Therapist, National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Certified Myoskeletal Therapist, Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, Certified Cupping Therapist, and Muscle Activation Techniques Practioner (MAT). She has treated athletes of all levels, from youth to professional, from all sports. She brings a very unique perspective to manual therapy utilizing her experience with motion analysis and sport. Her blend of advanced integrated skills along with practical and rehabilitation experience deliver exceptional results. Additionally, Dianne is a self-proclaimed scholar of “Applied Performance Manual Therapies“.  Contact Dianne at drock@dtasm.com or 210-973-4848.

dianne-rockefeller

NORMAL AGING: What REALLY makes you look old?

As my clients know,  I am always striving to improve upon the therapy I provide them.  What I do now in a typical session is very different from what I was doing 6 months ago.  Mainly because I have advanced my techniques and body therapy I.Q.  I am constantly educating myself by keeping up on medical research, seeking out experts in their fields as well as taking classes from those same experts.

I refuse to accept that much of the loss of function as we age is “normal” aging.  What I have discovered is that although it might be common, it is NOT “normal” aging.  More importantly, it doesn’t have to be this way either.

So, what the heck is “normal aging” anyway?  I do not have the answer and I will tell you that I’m not sure anyone else does either. Yes, tissues in our body do lose water and become stiffer as we get older, but a big part of looking younger is based upon what we do and don’t do with and for our bodies.  Not what you inject in your face!

botox-shot

I can’t tell how many people I know (men and women) who will spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars every year on hair, skin products, facials, manicures, pedicures and appointments with their “cosmetic  dermatologist” on things like Botox, wrinkle fillers, and countless other procedures their doctors tell them will make them “look younger and feel better.”

For example, I took a call from someone complaining about their foot pain, how they now limped when they walked and how it’s been limiting their life for months.  The person went on to say how they had received my name from someone else who said I had helped them, “get back to tennis.”  Next thing I know, I sensed an attitude change on the phone when I told this person that I do not take insurance.  Seriously?  Are you kidding me here?  When was the last time your Botox or wrinkle filler was covered by your insurance???

pain-getting-up

Newsflash…Looking old (whatever age you pick for that) is in great part related to how we move or DO NOT move.  Ever think about what your face looks like when you are trying to reach under the table to pick up something that you’ve dropped?  What about what you look like when you get up from sitting?  All the Botox and filler in the world isn’t going to hide what you look like when you move.  Poor body movement can actually make you look OLDER than you are!

Your body is only as good as the movements it can control.  It will get from Point A to Point B using what it has available most efficiently with what it has to work with at that particular time.  In other words, an integrated system such as our bodies is only as good as its individual parts.

Constant exercise when you are restricted doesn’t make you better either.  If you’re training on a Bosu Ball when you are already unstable, then this results in more instability in your body or worse… injury.  When you are weak, tight and unstable then the harder you train or push yourself, the faster your body will break down.  If you want to move better, you gotta make your health a priority and make a commitment (whatever the cost).

Part of what we fear most about getting old is not being able not to do the things we used to do (restriction of movement).  Studies actually show that what people fear most is not dying, but being disabled.  Well, loss of function is a gradual form of disability.  Just remember that whatever musculoskeletal function you lose or give up now will remain lost — AND THEN you will lose more on top of that.  If your knee hurts and you give up running, there’s a real possibility that you will never take this up again.  The same goes for simple things in life.  If you have trouble getting on the floor, then that will become something you avoid or don’t do.  Soon, another layer of limitation will be added on top of that.  And it goes on and on… year after year…

will-rogers

My conclusion? Try taking this 2 minute quiz  (link below) and let me know how old you REALLY are. Be honest!

http://www.biological-age.com/index.html#