The Approach

How does your Approach work?
When it comes to rehabilitating someone from back pain, its more about rebooting the brain than building muscle.
Paul Hodges

Lengthening left external oblique, hip and low back

In a succinct summary of my work I use different amounts of feedback in postures and exercises to challenge deep system awareness.  The deep system is the proprioceptive deep structures of the body, which are horizontally aligned to the vertical of ‘up’.   The vertical of up is the fact that our bodies are tuned to gravity, therefore gravitational vertical is our primary frame of reference for posture and function.

The literature describes three major sensory inputs to posture, stability and orientation;
1.    Vestibular (balance-based)
2.    Visual (contextual information)
3.    Proprio-sensory (body-based)

Therefore the on-going adaptation required for people to remain injury free, and to maintain freedom of movement is to; integrate  sensory information to transform perceptual awareness.

How do we learn to pay attention to the organisation of movement and stability?
Over a lifetime of movement experience, the Brain and Central Nervous System (CNS), builds up an internal model that includes information from the body and how it is affected by internal and external forces.  This view is referred to as the ‘internal model of body dynamics.’

In the coaching process, I will give guidance in the set-up of different postures to inform breathing, spinal length and integration of inputs.

The intrinsic stabilising system is the proprioceptive deep structures of the body which are aligned horizontally to the vertical of ‘up.’  Anatomically these are the feet, the external rotators of the hip and pelvic girdle, the diaphragm and shoulder girdle, the head and neck including the vestibular apparatus, occiput and the extra-ocular muscles of the eyes.

My approach involves being able to utilise feedback from support surfaces such as the floor and wall so that you understand the role of lengthening the spine in the field of gravity to optimise stability in movement.

The next level of difficulty is to lengthen the spine while performing closed chain exercises using attention to breathing, the feet, and the recruitment pattern for organising the movement.

From closed chain exercises we use standing and balancing postures to challenge integration of sensory inputs with less and less feedback from support surfaces.  This level of practice includes the use of training tools such as rockerboards, mini-tramp, power clubs, swiss balls and other tools.

The ever present challenge in human movement is to stand on one leg, while maintaining alignment with gravitational vertical.  Single leg stance is the dominant feature of human walking, but we don’t tend to notice the difficulty of gravitational vertical because of automatic habitual motion and momentum.  In a sense, when walking is understood, everything is understood, from a whole functioning perspective.

Our challenge as students of the work is to attend to the information coming from breathing and the horizontal structures that have evolved to inform vertical awareness.

The basis of the approach is that lengthening in stature from an axial (mid-line spinal) perspective is a strategy to optimize proprioceptive input to specify the body’s living relationship to gravitational vertical.

Modern sedentary living means we have a less structured cortical map and less proprioceptive tuning experiences.  This reduces our ability to challenge intersegmental coordination by moving in different ways, linked with integrating the inputs arising from vestibular, visual and body-based systems.

In a succinct summary of my work I use different amounts of feedback in postures and exercises to challenge deep system awareness.  The deep system is the proprioceptive deep structures of the body, which are horizontally aligned to the vertical of ‘up’.   The vertical of up is the fact that our bodies are tuned to gravity, therefore gravitational vertical is our primary frame of reference for posture and function.

P. Kolar. DNS Course B. Image on the left is ideal with horizontal diaphragm and pelvic floor. Image on the right shows poor postural alignment and stability

Axial extension and subsequent horizontalisation of the diaphragm, affects all movement because of its influence on stabilising strategy, the organisation of recruitment patterns and the ability to influence pelvic and shoulder girdles communication via informational push.