Kinaesthetic Awareness Through Slow Movement Practice

October 3, 2014

NEED TO KNOW

The vast majority of people do not begin the quest for a healthier life with a full understanding of how their body (muscle-bone-tissue) and mind (nervous system) can work together in order to produce the best results.

 

Adults in technological cultures often behave according to social expectations, distancing themselves from their bodily responses.  Paying attention to the body it could seem like directing a spotlight on areas of pain.  While it wouldn’t commonly be seen as a great idea to focus on pain, it could be proven a tool of great assistance because attention helps to direct the body's own healing resources to the affected areas. 

With the practice of attention regulation, addressed in slow movement practices, the body's readiness to direct its resources towards healing is enhanced and guides us to a greater body sense.  This can be done by slowing down and paying attention while stress and tension are being reduced.

 

The common idea is that speed benefits a workout and is mostly based on the assumption that tempo enhances cardio-vascular health and/or makes up for the stagnation of an inactive lifestyle. What we often don't realize is that during fast repetitive movement a numbing disconnection occurs. Speed actually diminishes sensation, therefore our senses are no longer mobilised to keep muscles and nerves attuned to subtler changes of balance and harmony.  We, so often, forget that elevating speed and pushing through are modes designed for survival and single focused efficiency. Although we need those responses in an emergency, most of us have plenty of stress and speed in our daily lives.

 

Since our autonomic nervous system is regulated by the way we ingest breath. In a regulated system the sympathetic and the parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system are balanced. When our speed outpace the ability of our nervous system to handle the input, we immediately switch from nose breathing to mouth breathing. Using the mouth for breathing triggers an escalation in our sympathetic nervous system's responses; called the "fight or flight" response. The breathing pace increases which causes a shift in the body's physiology and triggers a cascade of internal events. The blood is diverted to the muscles and away from the organs, while the mind becomes highly alert. Digestion slows and the blood thickens to increase clotting ability and to reduce bleeding in case of injury. Airways widen to let in more air and sweating increases to cool the body down. The liver releases sugar to provide instant energy and muscles tense in readiness for action. Our immune response decreases to allow massive preparation for immediate threat.

 

While these responses are part of the normal activity of the body for dealing with a short term situation, a long term activation of the sympathetic nervous system will cause it to become overworked leading to adrenal fatigue and a break down of the systems involved in preparing for the threat. Constantly tight muscles will begin to show wear and tear not only within themselves but on the bones and joints that support them and unrelieved tension can lead to chronic fatigue. The bio-chemistry produced by speed and stress is, evidently, not beneficial for our health. And after the continuous misuse of our body and its capacities, we gradually become less active and more rigid, blaming aging.

 

 

Slow movement training methods increase the parasympathetic relaxation response which in turn reduces the stress response, promotes immune function that inhibits inflammation and stimulates healing. By moving slowly the links between parasympathetic and immune system are amplified and strengthened. Once our sensory motor system improves, our musculoskeletal structure and overall health improve as well. 

 

 

SomAnatomics is a slow movement training method that assist in the increase of the nervous system relaxation response which in turn reduces the stress response, promotes immune function and stimulates healing. Aiming at the reduction of movement deficiencies, improvement of muscle imbalances, and maximize results by creating safe, individualized training programs by identifying dysfunctions, developing a plan of action, and implementing corrective exercise solutions.

Movement leads to a better orientation in relation to our own body. We do not learn very much about it until we start utilising and exploring its capabilities. The knowledge of our bodies is to a great extend dependent upon our actions. And our actions are dependent to our senses. A better understanding of our body comes from our impetus to explore its abilities.

 

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