Don’t be a sea squirt. I’ll tell you why in a little bit.
A sea squirt is about as primitive as it gets. It gets a lot of attention due to the similarity of their nervous system to ours. It is actually theorized by evolutionary biologists that a sea squirt is one of our oldest relatives. In its childhood and adolescence, a sea squirt is moved about by its primitive brain/spinal cord as it responds reflexively to its environment. This allows the sea squirt to move away from danger and toward nutrients. As the sea squirt moves into adulthood, unfortunately it becomes lazy and attaches itself to some sort of moving object. Often times this is just the hull of a boat. In the book “Play,” by Stuart Brown, he refers to this creature as the couch potato of the sea. A perfect comparison. With no longer needing to explore it’s environment the sea squirt makes an energy saving move. It actually eats it’s own brain. Why? Its has no use for it. The sea squirt’s life has become completely passive. There is no need for an organ that takes up energy and has no purpose. The ultimate “use it or lose it.”
Like I said before… Don’t be a sea squirt.
We all know this instinctively and have been told constantly, but how many of us actually understand and take this to heart. The example of the sea squirt is an extreme case, but there are countless studies that show learning new tasks decrease the likelihood of. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s disease has been found to be mainly attributed to environment, not crappy genes. The human system can be trained. From our brain to ligaments in the ankle. We can intelligently stress our system and appreciate change. The Homo Sapien, especially has evolved and thrives while playing and learning new tasks. This has been proven to occur late into our last days.
Movement especially has the ability to jump start the process. Movement is as primitive as it gets. We move before we can procure a conscious thought. When we move, it involves all parts of our senses and links parts of our brain that were at one time not connected. Side note… this has been theorized as a way to increase creativity. It makes sense… if you’re stuck on a difficult problem at work or at home, what is the best thing to do? Get your mind off it and go move. All of a sudden the answer magically comes. Of course this isn’t magic and can be explained with modern neuroscience. By moving, we are connecting dots that aren’t apparent when sitting behind a desk. Without a doubt, movement has been overlooked by all health professionals as a way to help what ails you.
That said, it is not as simple as just moving. There are many commercial models that promise crazy results. Unfortunately these models don’t respect intention and fundamentals. Day one the individual is lifting a bar overhead and then performing momentum pull ups. Suffice it to say, a few steps were skipped. Without true understanding of fundamentals there will always be a huge cost. Most importantly, moving in this hurried non intentional manner, you can’t but lose the love and healthy respect for movement. Harness it correctly, and movement can be used as a vehicle to increase quality in all aspects of life.
Come to our facility and learn the most fundamental movement principles. Learning these will allow you to have the most carry over in all aspects of your life.
And not eat your own brain.
Michael Kay graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Upon graduating he worked in various outpatient clinical settings and became extremely dissatisfied with standard outpatient orthopedic practice. Repeated clamshells, “bandy” exercises, all along with the pressure to slam more patients into an hour than was humanly possible made Dr. Mike sad. This made him to look outside of the standard PT practice and run far away from the insurance model never to return again.
Dr. Mike believes in a serious training approach along with appropriate manual therapy. He works all along the performance spectrum from early rehab to the highest levels of performance. He practices and trains clients at Premier Fitness Systems in Scottsdale, AZ. He is available for online coaching and custom program development.