Turn back the clock 12 months ago and I was in state of chaos… I had a very painful shoulder that was proving very challenging for me to continue my love of fitness and endurance racing.
When I have an injury, it’s in my nature that I go into overdrive to do whatever I can to help it improve. In effect and from what I now know, was probably my undoing.
I was introduced to a way of training and injury rehabilitation/prevention that turned all my beliefs inside out. To have a degenerative shoulder condition that no longer is a cause for concern is simply amazing plus I approach and see the world with a much clearer and defined sense.
To explain to others that I have removed 30 minutes of stretching each day or hours and money attending therapy to help bring relief is difficult. So I thought a post was in order to explain why I no longer stretch, receive massages or rely on physios, osteopaths and trigger therapy.
I asked Stewart Cheffirs, Neurotricianist at Neurophysics Robina a to explain it clearer…
How I Remain Injury Free Without The Need For Stretching
What’s the science behind foam rollers, pre/post workout stretching, massages etc?
Foam rolling and in effect, massages are merely a Band-Aid solution. It’s a short-term fix or patch (as enjoyable as it is) to get by. The market for foam rolling and trigger point tools has boomed with a belief being created that we should be doing this each day to reduce injury, when in fact it is doing more harm than good.
When there are errors in the brain they show up in the body, so in order to correct these errors you need to target the whole system not just the symptoms.
For example an injured calf muscle or hamstring does not have a brain, so it does not have the ability to fix itself. The injury stems from chaotic neural pathways leading to the brain.
Your system (mind and body) can only process a certain amount of information at any point in time. When you’re being massaged (non-sensual) or using foam rollers it is actually impeding information into the system and distracting from what’s really going on – diverting the dysfunction so to speak. You will feel relief for a little while but the error remains in the system and very quickly the symptoms return (don’t we know it!).
Static Stretching (SS) means while you are stretching you are releasing energy/information from the system. Once you let go of this information, the system has to find that energy/information again to regain its integrity. All of this information is never regained with some of it lost, so we are constantly losing integrity of the system. The muscles will find more of that energy somewhere else in the system but the ligaments and tendons don’t recover and this slowly compromises their intelligence, making them weaker, decreasing strength and ultimately performance.
Visualise what happens to a rubber band when you keep stretching it. It also releases energy and information and needs to regain integrity before it can return to its original state. If you continue to stretch the band, it starts losing its ability to return and becomes flimsy. The same applies to the human body.
In biology to every action there is a reaction so if you stretch a muscle it will pull back tighter to inhibit the process next time.
If you’ve performed a big training session and put a lot of information into the system (workload) then you want the body to process that information and adapt, so that your system can upgrade itself increasing intelligence of the system. If you then, at the end of a hard training session, go and stretch then you are releasing that information that your body needs to adapt and upgrade. This will certainly slow your progress down.
Studies have shown static stretching can decrease performance by as much as 15% and weaken ligament and tendons. (L.Simic, N.Sarabon, G.Markovic – Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports)
At Neurophysics we are using the muscles at their full length while adding information/weight into the system. This enhances the complexity and creativity through full open lines of communication throughout the system. The benefit comes by being able to perform at a higher level while you maintain a relaxed and composed state.
Injury occurs from imbalances between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, creating a positive feedback loop which amplify pain signals.
Pain is simply a blockage of energy/ information in the pathways (like a traffic jam) so in effect each one of us is a traffic cop for our own body, and our job is to get the traffic flowing again.
It is common that when we are in a state of chaos we look elsewhere for help ie. chiros, physios.
How does Neurophysics help remove this reliance?
The same applies with physios and chiropractors or any therapy that requires body manipulation. It is very spot specific and not viewing the connection between mind and body.
Imagine your car has a wheel alignment issue. You continue to drive it but then a tyre blows. You can simply change the tyre and keep driving but the process will repeat itself. A wheel alignment is what the car needs in order for it to perform efficiently and this is how we best describe Neurophysics. It re-tunes the system so it performs more efficiently, effectively and more economically.
The human body is not made to be crunched back into place, especially regarding the spinal cord as it is the most sensitive region of the human anatomy. When something intrudes into this region the system goes straight into survival mode to protect itself from harm. This produces endorphin’s and stress hormones to get you to safety as if you were under attack, so you feel really good for a while until these endorphin’s wear off.
Nothing happens below the neck unless it has been given permission by the brain. So in effect the error remains. Our physical/ emotional restraints are due to the why we perceive and respond to our environment. Suppressed emotions our beliefs and any bias we have all create restraints in our system.
NPT allows us to adjust perception, express our emotion, adjust our belief systems and let go of all personal agenda – freeing the system of its harmful physical/emotional restraints and adopting much healthier patterns of behaviour.
Emotion – is Latin for ‘energy in motion’ or that which sets energy in motion – we think we feel – we act. The idea is to have control over this energy, if we are not in control, it’s controlling us…
Posture is the key to maintain our physical/ emotional integrity and maintain executive function and control from the pre-frontal cortex.
This allows optimal flow of energy and information throughout the entire system. This involves the left and right hemispheres of the brain using the same amount of energy. When the left and right hemispheres are working together and our posture is correctly gated then that allows us to process more information about the environment. This is what is giving us a more correct perception and in turn a more accurate response.
We saw athletes at the Olympics commenting on their performances and how they performed under their expectations with emotions ‘draining them’. What does this mean in the role of sport psychology?
It costs a lot of energy to suppress emotions. Our emotions are supposed to be expressed not suppressed, so when we suppress them they manifest inside of us and create massive restraints in the system.
The system has to use a lot of energy to suppress emotions and when a person is in a highly anticipated, emotionally enriched environment like the Olympic games a person can become drained very quickly. This is especially true if they are not using the executive regions of the brain to stay centred and focussed on the task at hand.
NPT allows us to practice using these executive regions of the brain and practice being centred and evenly dispersing stress throughout the body so that you don’t become a victim of your own emotions. Becoming victim to our own emotions allows them to govern your behaviour and waste energy that is needed to perform at the highest level, restraint free.
When the brain is centered, the body is balanced and as an athlete to perform at the highest level possible you need your whole system to be working together with an even flow of energy and information (or be in a state of flow).
The left and right hemispheres of the brain perceive the world completely different. It is like having two different people in your head (literally) so if you are one hemisphere dominant then you’re not going to get all the information you need from the environment to make an accurate perception of it. That creates a bias and becomes a restraint in the system as it is not evenly dispersing the energy and information so performances in effect, diminish.
When both hemispheres are working together you are better able to process more information about the environment so your system can make more accurate responses and adapt when performing and maintaining flow.
Remember that our body/mind is a whole system, so you touch one part of the body you touch it all. So if your brain is balanced then psychologically, biologically, physiologically and neurologically together they are functioning in harmony. To an athlete that equates to maximum performance as you begin to stay relaxed and allow the flow to happen. Tense up and you inhibit the system.
In an emotionally enriched environment it is absolutely crucial to be able to control your arousal and executive control to be able to perform at your highest level possible. NPT teaches you this skill so you can practice and become very robust in these domains.
NPT is not only a tool to survive, but thrive in the bigger, stronger, faster world we live today and the best thing is we teach you how to do this, anywhere and anytime, so you have this amazing skill set for the rest of your life.
Want to know more? Join me for a revolutionary information session which explains more….
Join Stewart Cheffirs, Neurotricianist at Neurophysics Robina and myself on Tuesday 11th October, 5.30pm for an information session that will blow your mind.
Science is shunning old ways of training and how the body deals with stress so here is your chance to catch up on the latest information.
+ Why weight training needs to be with a true connection
+ How to control emotions in stressful situations
+ How to create a strong core without specific abdominal exercises
+ Stretching specifics and how lactic acid is an emotional response.
+ How to live in a state of flow that is evenly dispersed through the system.
+ Nutrition and fuelling your body for best results
Phone Manjula to reserve your spot Neurophysics Functional Movement Centre on 5593 0688