Lately I’ve received many questions about balance and equilibrium, specifically from clients who notice they are losing balance over time.
This article expounds my opinion on how to have more equilibrium as the years pass and support bone and soft tissue health from a movement perspective:
WHAT YOUR STRENGTH WORKOUT ISN’T TELLING YOU: EQUILIBRIUM, BONES AND SOFT TISSUE
As a culture, we interpret physical health through examining the exterior. We judge health by looking at muscular tone. If a person has a muscular façade, we believe they are “strong” and “fit.” Adults may achieve physical feats like running marathons, doing intensity workouts, or sweating it out in hot yoga class. But this so called “strength” they are gaining does not prevent the process of aging that we typically see later in life. Loss of balance, loss of bone density, the stiffening of joints, and body pain seem to be common even among the physically strong; and in some cases occur earlier in life!
Fitness culture obsesses over being “in shape.”
Culturally our definition of “in shape” is all about the exterior muscles holding a certain tone, thus maintaining a shape. When soft tissues and muscles hold shape around the bones, the soft tissues themselves become denser, drier, and immobile around the bones. Essentially can they become hard like the bones themselves and usurp the bone’s role as structural support, leading to the bone’s degeneration and muscular pain. This is like when too many of the same plant species try to grow in the same soil; they cannot all survive because they are not diversified. And if you keep using your soft tissues as bones, your bones will not get the stimulation in motion and gravity that they need to fulfill their function, and they too may deteriorate.
Over time, this mode of “strength” can also impair balance and equilibrium. When the soft tissues are too conditioned to being held in place and taught on the bones, the soft tissues are not free to adapt and respond to changes occurring in the regulatory sensation of proprioception. (Proprioception is the body’s way of sensing itself in relationship to gravity and sensing all parts of the whole.) Meaning that the soft tissues have less possibility to respond to changing situations and less potential to effectively balance and maintain balance in precarious situations. The soft tissues are also condensed around the bones, which creates compression around the bones and restricts the bone’s ability to suspend and float within the tissues. Balance is also achieved through the skeletal system’s ability to reorganize the whole and waiver within gravity’s field. This creates movements that curve and spiral, following the body’s natural design. When soft tissues are too dry and held, movement becomes linear, rigid, and less resembles the body’s natural design of spiral.
Unwinding the soft tissues is vital to the health of muscle, bone, and movement. Whether conditioned or accumulated through the motions of life, we all have tissues that are overly rigid and impede our skeletal system’s ability to organize, balance, and support us. We must unwind our tissues and update a tired model of fitness from “dense strength” to “supple strength.” Training and moving in ways that generate supple strength rather than bone-dry strength will allow you to have freedom, coordination, and adaptive function that matches the make-up of your body.
Take Action Now!
How to Unwind Dense Tissue & Create Supple Strength
DO AT LEAST ONE OF THESE RIGHT NOW!
1. MELT: MELT Method® (MELT) is a self-treatment technique that transforms dry, immobile tissue to fluid and adaptive tissue. By learning how to MELT, you can learn to actively partake in decreasing stuck stress in your living tissues so it doesn't accumulate and cause symptoms that zap your vitality and energy.
2. THE BEING POSE: Constructive Rest Position unwinds excessive muscular effort that is held in a resting state. Tension around the bones drains away as you practice, and you become aware of how to move with less tension and effort in the muscles and tune into the skeletal support of the body.
3. NOURISH PULSE SESSIONS: Reclaim balance, replenish your tissues, and discover the magnificence within your body.
The information presented in this article is in no way intended to substitute for receiving professional medical care. The design and purpose of this article is to provide information and to simply educate. Emily is not a medical professional, the information provided is simply her opinion. Please seek medical care for any condition you may have.