The Natural Spring: Fascial adaptation under dynamic change
The Natural Spring:
Fascial adaptation under dynamic change
By Dmitry Grinberg
«Most Pilates practitioners know that if they do their exercises correctly and diligently they will get the reward of a strong and pain-free body, able to perform well deep into old age. But the key to this success still requires commitment to regular practice. This begs the question: Can one recover from the injury and not need the exercises to maintain the achievement? If the exercises were not needed for normal functioning prior to injury, why are they still needed to maintain health after recovery?
My short answer to this question lies in understanding what is injured and what is recovered. Injury not only damages muscle fibers and tears fascia, it also disrupts a myriad of subtle details of neuromuscular synchronization, which not only involve wholeness of tissues, but also a very specific physical property — elastic deformation. Slight changes in length, weight, tissue thickness, or different layout and fiber distribution will drastically affect the natural frequency of a biomechanical unit and hence the coordination and timing needed to achieve harmonic resonance within a group of biomechanical units in movement.
The complexity of coordinating such movement is far beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say that by simply changing the tone of a muscle we change its natural frequency, further complicating the task of synchronizing forces within the body. Some of you may ask why would you possibly care to achieve such a high level of coordination, and is it even possible, and what does it have to do with recovering from injuries?
In order to answer this question I will need to bring you along with me on my nearly thirty year journey to understanding subtleties of biomechanical optimization and controlled tissue regeneration.
Let me share with you a puzzle. Twenty-two years ago I met a man with chronic pain and weakness in his neck. Despite numerous consultations and doctor visits, the medical community was stumped as to diagnosing or resolving his pain. The only suspected cause was a whiplash accident from long ago.
Attracted by this mystery, I was eager to explore his condition, body, and range of motion. When I met him, his neck was constrained by pain, and he had to use an enormous amount of conscious effort to hold up his head. While he was on my table, I detected a very peculiar quality in his neck: even though he had good control of relaxation and the muscles were well developed, I could feel an unnatural softness; the tissue seemed to be missing a kind of vibrancy…»
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