Human Movement Potential

I first looked at Ideokinesis about 10 years ago as a result of following some threads from the work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. I read Mabel Todd’s book, ‘The Thinking Body’ and followed this up with Sweigard’s book.  Eric Franklin continues on this tradition and has written 5 excellent books on the subject.  I would like to share some of the ideas about imagery with you today, while also adding some experiential insights on how the body wants to organise itself from inside.
Alignment
•Postural alignment is the basis of movement patterns, therefore optimal movement is difficult if alignment is faulty.  Thus ideal alignment facilitates optimal movement.

Wolff’s Law
•Bones adopt the shape of the forces that are imposed on them.  The tissues controlling the alignment and stability of the joints are also influenced by the forces placed on them.  These forces are generated internally in relation to our stabilising strategy (osteitis pubis would be an example of a non-preferred strategy) and from external forces such as acceleration, deceleration, landings and collisions.

Internal Functioning
The capacity of the skeleton for the internal mechanics of movement resides in its structure and alignment.  If the functional balance of its alignment is good, the chance for efficiency – good movement with minimal muscle work is increased.
•The amount of work a muscle can do is a function of the ‘gain’ of the spindle system and the quality of its contractile mechanism.  This mechanism must be responsive and elastic; if it is not, it may actually inhibit movement, in the same way that a car with faulty shock-absorbers will inhibits its performance in ride, cornering and braking.
•Movement is the action of a physiological system that produces motion of the whole body or of its component parts.  These components are the skeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular and metabolic systems and includes the role of Autonomic Nervous System.
•The CNS coordinates all movement.  Our voluntary influence on movement is limited to our intention.  We can and do set the goal for movement, but this is where voluntary control ends.
•The choice of muscles to perform the work and the pathways over which the messages travel, resides in the CNS.

Tradition
Historically, much of our concern with teaching of movement has dealt with tradition.  Military programs pre-date all other forms of physical training, and the postures assumed have dealt with an ideal rather than function.  The emphasis of the programs has been to perform muscular work, in order to challenge mental capacity, or to create automatic behaviours under adversity, such as in combat.
•The human structure has been trained to move using an excess of muscular work (to create a sense of body armour).  You can do it; but for how long it will move, with the inefficiency established in the neuromuscular patterns comes down to will-power.
•The stabilising strategy controlling alignment and movement performance are completely interdependent.

Intention
The CNS responds to your intention in regard to the movement and /or alignment, not to your intention in regard to what muscles to use.
•The question should be; What is the movement? so as to be clear in the performance of the task.  Knowing your intention, allows you to pay attention to the inner organisation, so that imagery can used to create ease in the performance of the task.
•Inefficiency of movement means that an unnecessary amount of energy is continually being used to hold and move the structure-the skeleton.  Most of the deviations from balance in the body are the result of improper habits of movement developed during our formative years. This is the reason our emphasis needs to be; “the best possible movement patterns.”
•The ability to keep the body organised around the central axis of rotation is down to functional centration as well as a clear understanding of the task.  The position of the joints is controlled by coordination of antagonists. Well balanced activity of antagonists ensures well-centrated joints and this depends on the accuracy of the body-view in the cortical map.  This is developed through efficient habits of neuromuscular coordination by learning to check in with function in tasks of daily living.

  • Do you have questions around moving, breathing, training, injury or performance?
  • Would you like to train utilising the embodied intelligence of the body-mind?
  • Have you considered the power of images or ‘ideokinesis’ to make moving well a pleasant and satisfying experience?
  • Would you like to learn tennis from this perspective?

Consider booking a consultation so we can begin to work on the above understanding.  This consultation would include;

  • Assessment of movement presentation.
  • Bodywork.
  • Stability exercises to increase feedback from spine and deep system.
  • Functional and Sports Performance based exercises.
  • Yoga Postures for injury prevention and proprioceptive adaptation.

I also run weekly movement classes and breathing re-training courses with Tim Altman using capno-trainer biofeedback.

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