While everything in fitness is marketed as new, revolutionary, and cutting edge, we often overlook a plethora of knowledge that already exists on neuromuscular function that can (and should) be applied to our training in the gym. I think we sometimes forget that muscles are simply the hardware, while neurological control of muscular movement (which can be extremely complex) is the software. The hardware’s performance (and our performance) is dependent upon proper control by appropriate software. Trainees and trainers who fail to understand this relationship will be never be able to fully understand neuromuscular function and its significance to movement and performance. While neuromuscular laws like Reciprocal Inhibition will never make the cover of Shape magazine, using them with basic tool like the kettlebell can make your training highly efficient and highly effective.

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Shoulder Mobility Move

September 8th, 2010

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Rolfing Improves Performance

September 1st, 2010

Working with clients who are aware of their bodies, and appreciate improved performance, is really fun. I enjoy working with elite athletes, and people who just like to track their improvement. I’m very aware of how much improved alignment and structure can improve a person’s performance.

Two key factors bring an athlete to Rolfing: recovery from injury and performance enhancement. Most athletes, from beginners to professionals, try a new therapy because other treatments aren’t meeting their needs. Most acute conditions have their roots in a chronic condition. Sometimes these chronic problems are well-known, and other times they are “sub-clinical” or not yet producing symptoms.

The key to shifting or alleviating either an acute problem or chronic condition is to look beyond the areas where the pain is manifesting in the body. Rarely is the real cause of a problem located where the problem is manifesting. This doesn’t mean the symptom area is trouble free; it just isn’t the main cause.

Understanding that the whole body adjusts or compensates for misalignment, injuries, uneven use and asymmetrical activities is crucial to understanding how permanent change is possible. Just as a good contractor will not keep patching a cracking wall—he would shore up the foundation—so must a Rolfer shore up the imbalances of an athlete’s body.

Chronic knee injury, the type often experienced by runners, is a common example of how a reoccurring problem can be treated through Rolfing. Ask most runners with this problem if they had experienced a traumatic injury to the knee, and they would probably say, “No, the pain just showed up and continued to get worse.”

If you looked closely at how these runners walk or run, you would see that their knees aren’t tracking straight. It doesn’t matter which direction the knees point; the cause is in the upper legs and pelvis. Rarely is the real cause of a problem located where the problem is manifesting.

Because of an unbalanced strain pattern above the knees, the lower and upper legs will not travel in the same direction. When a knee points in, the lower leg will usually turn out. The knee is caught in the middle and takes all the strain. It is only a matter of time before the knee wears out.

Typically, the pain will start laterally on the outside of the knee and travel up the iliotibial band of the thigh. Over time, the pain will worsen to surround more of the knee and then travel inward to the meniscus (cartilage of the knee).

This instance of repetitive motion injury must be treated as a part of a large pattern. Simply alleviating the pain in the knee won’t work. The misalignment must be corrected, as well as the movement pattern that caused it. Once the leg’s soft tissue is organized and the leg is aligned, the knee can begin to heal.

After the leg is straightened to heal the knee, a higher level of order is created in the entire leg. This improved order is immediately translated into improved performance! The bones, muscles and connective tissue of the leg can now move in the intended manner.

The local and global increase in organization allows the body to achieve levels of performance that were never before realized.

About Rolfing

About Rolfing

Rolfing® is a system of bodywork based on structural integration, developed by Ida Rolf...

About Brad

About Brad

Based in Bellingham, Rolfing practitioner Brad Jones has an office conveniently located in downtown Bellingham ...

Success

Success

"Brad Jones is a healer! He goes above and beyond to help his clients achieve their health and performance goals.”