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Entries in proprioception (2)

Wednesday
Jul042012

Tummies & Posture

The pendulum keeps swinging back and forth between two camps. There are those who say that we should pull in our tummies to keep our abdominals strong and promote core strength and there are those who advocate for not pulling in our tummies, that we should maintain our lumbar curves. Right now we are in an era of 'let it all hang out'. Actually, the two camps are not entirely mutually exclusive, yet both are wrong.

We do want to activate our transvers abdominus throughout our day, while maintaining our lumbar curve and while allowing our tummies to move with our breath. This means pulling in our tummies slightly, about an inch, while not maintaining a rigidity to that hold. The transverse abdominus is a component of the core, which provides stabilization for functional movement and contributes to balance and proprioception. We do want to strengthen our core. But more importantly, we want to engage our core in concert with functional movement. In this way we educate our bodies in neuro-muscular coordination. A strong muscle without neuro-muscular coordination is a bully to its neighbors.

Sunday
Jul012012

Urology as a subspecialty of neurology, a case study

"It's all about neuro-muscular coordination."

If you've taken my Bladder & Pelvic Floor Health class (whether for patients or for practitioners) you've heard me say this umpteen times. It's one of the major take-aways from the class. You've also heard me joke that "Your bladder doesn't pee, your brain does."  While this is not completely accurate, it serves to underscore an important theme: Your bladder is part of a very complicated neurological system and it operates within that system, not as an adjunct.

I have a patient whose story is an excellent representation. She had an existing bladder issue from a previous trauma when she came to my Bladder & Pelvic Floor Health class. Over time, she was healing herself with the exercises that I taught. However, she recently had a fall that caused a moderate head trauma. She didn't drive for four weeks and she was off of work for seven weeks. She found that her body prioritized the new trauma; her bladder issue, with the new stressors her body was going through, worsened. The concussion left her balance and proprioception compromised. She experiences dizzy spells. These are common neurological symptoms with trauma, and especially with head trauma.

At my Pelvic Floor & Core Workout Series she has shared with us how, in doing the slow movements and really paying attention and feeling her body, it fatigues her mind and body. She's noticed that she gets emotional with the movement and with her impatience in feeling fatigued, and that the emotion and fatigue are both signals for her to take a rest. But she's seeing improvement with these slow, intentional movements that challenge the core, coordinate proprioception and improve balance. Remember, these all contribute to and mirror the condition of each other because they are all neurologically based.

It truly is all about neuro-muscular coordination.