One of my clients who recently had a cataract surgery told me that one thing that she noticed immediately after the surgery was that her hearing improved dramatically. She didn’t really realize that her hearing was affected by her vision until she had the surgery. Her story reminded me of how much we rely on our vision to interpret verbal contexts. I can relate this to my own experience as a foreigner. I’ve been in the States for 18 years and speak English fluently, but even now I sometimes have difficult time with phone conversations because I can’t see their body language or facial expression. My grandmother was excellent at communicating with the body language. She couldn't speak English at all, but she always made friends and seemed to have very good conversations without speaking at all. From neuroscience, I understand the parts of the brain communicate with each other. This story is one example. This makes me wonder how smart phone/computer is influencing our non-verbal communication skills and the brain's functions and development. Texting is becoming a very common communication method today. It's convenient and can save us a lot of time, but it can easily deliver wrong message.
Have you ever wondered why some muscles get tight or weak? Many people are probably told by health care professionals that their muscles are tight so they need to stretch or their muscles are weak so they need to strengthen. But how did muscles become tight or weak? In case of acute tissue trauma, some muscles guard and some muscles become inhibited. Structural changes (acute trauma) cause functional changes. Except for traumatic tissue injuries, muscles don’t suddenly become tight or weak. Muscles and other tissues (ligaments, tendons, fascia, etc.) adapt to imposed demands. Over time tissue structures change based on functional demands placed on them. Structures follow functions.
Habitual patterns of movement place high demand on some tissues and very little demand on others. Does it make sense to stretch tight muscles or strengthen weak muscles while you’re moving the same way and reinforcing your habitual movement patterns that led to the tightness and weakness?? I think it would make more sense to recognize your habitual movement patterns and train out of those patterns. Most importantly new movement patterns that will lengthen tight muscles and strengthen weak muscles need to be integrated into daily activities. When you start to train movement patterns, you’re no longer separating stretching from strengthening. You’re just working on improving functions, which will lead to improvements in strength and flexibility. Over time, structures will follow functions.
© Taro Iwamoto 2015. Please do not reproduce without the express written consent of Taro Iwamoto.