Did you recover full range of motion, strength, flexibility, and function back after an injury? Are you completely pain-free? Do you move as well as or better than before your injury?
If your answer is NO to any of the above, then read on….
When I injured my shoulder I was told to strengthen the muscles around it, stretch, and don’t do activities that might irritate or re-injure it. It seemed a heavy limitation that I must stop doing so many different activities, constantly stretch and strengthen, and still not have full functionality or strength. There had to be a better way.
My search led to an approach that helped me recover fully from my shoulder injury to function better than ever. The approach is now supported by science. In the last 10 years, with MRI technology, science shows all information that enters the brain is through the senses – what we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch. The senses are activated by movement, therefore movement is the source of how we learn. Science has also shown that the quality of our movements affects the quality of how we think.
I have spent the last 20 plus years refining and improving the approach to enhance the quality of how we move. The result is that today I can do any activity I like comfortably and with greater ease. I no longer need to do strengthening or stretching exercises because my body has become naturally flexible and strong, and my shoulder and arm functions better today than before it was injured.
Over the years I have helped hundreds of individuals that were in pain with limited function regain full functionality and go back to doing activities such as running, biking, hiking, skiing, tennis, golf, and more. And they are doing them better than ever! The secret is in the approach. Try the following to get an idea of how different the approach to movement is compared to what you do today:
- Sit forward in a chair with your legs hip distance apart and your feet at a 90-degree angle to your knees. Drop your knees in toward one another, ideally letting them touch. If they don’t touch don’t force it. Turn to look over your shoulder. Notice what mostly turns. Is it your neck, does anything below your shoulders turn. Is your pelvis involved? Does your entire torso turn together in one piece? Do you look down or lean to one side? Do your belly muscles contract? Repeat a few times so that you can feel what you do. Pause and notice if you feel bones on the chair. Do you feel your sit bones or do you just feel flesh? Is your posture slumped or arched?
- This time lengthen the back of the neck by tucking your chin slightly down toward your collar bone. Try to align the neck spine with the rest of the spine. Slowly start to turn your head to look to the left, keeping the chin down. As you turn do not let the legs fall left or right. Do not lift the chest. Each time turn just your head and feel what muscles to release in your neck and shoulders.
- This time turn just your head and pause a moment. Release muscles you feel and continue turning the head. Can you feel the neck starting to turn as your head reaches the limits of its axis? As you continue slowly turning with the chin tucked feel what to release in the belly, legs, chest, shoulders and arms. Imagine a pole down the middle of your torso from the head that you must twist around. Repeat many times releasing what you feel.
- As you turn the head and neck notice if your chin runs into the shoulder. Allow the shoulder to turn to move with the chin. You may feel where the neck starts to engage the rest of the spine as you continue turning left to look around yourself. Make sure you do not lean into your right sit bone. You should feel at some point the involvement of your spine as you rotate. Keep the legs centered and do not allow them to drop left or right. Keep imagining a pole is down the center of your torso and you are constrained to turn around it. Turn your head only as far as your upper torso allows. Release whatever muscles you feel as you repeat the rotation many times.
Many older clients are grateful to learn how to turn easier as they become safer drivers for it! For athletes and performers, injuries and pain often end their careers. Over 80% of injuries ought to be fully recoverable, so why aren’t they? For most adults, it is hard to recapture the functionality we had before an injury because we don’t consciously know how we learned to move in the first place.
By the time we are adults most of us do not move using the essential underlying elements that are the foundation of how we learn.
Every normal baby naturally, non-consciously learns new skills using the underlying elements, which is why most people that excel in a skill learn at a young age. If an injury or neurological event cause some part or all of a movement skill to be lost, we rarely relearn it as well or better than before.
Is it possible to recapture the incredible ease and effortless ability to learn you had as a young child? A new book called Getting Smarter – It’s Not What You Think is a how-to guide of practices that are the foundation of how your mind and body function as a seamless whole to learn, re-learn, or refine any skill. The book does not address specific skills because you learn how to integrate the elements into every skill or movement you do. The book helps you transition to learn and refine skills the way your brain evolved.
The book will help you improve or enhance skills, get out of pain, and fully recover from injury. You can choose to go far beyond your physical recovery into a much deeper exploration of the mind-body connection. Refinement of the quality of how you move leads to your body and mind converging to function in seamless synchronicity. In that state is your greatest potential to excel in any endeavor.