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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Sarge
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Thanks! I wish Jdin would check in more often and update us on his progress. I really like his basic health promoting agenda.
"I think we often spend too much time focusing on max fitness and not nearly enough on maintaining our minimums. it seems we need to think sustainable rather than obtainable. Meaning whatever we do today, we can do it again tomorrow. Never taking so much from ourselves that we can't." (Dan Martin)
Hope training is going well for the both of you.
Quote:
Why Kettlebell training is good for your back (By Pavel)
1. Kettlebell exercises strengthen the glutes.
The late Vladimir Janda, MD, from the Czech Republic observed that people with low back dysfunction
often exhibit “gluteal amnesia.” And if not overcome with proper recruitment pattern practice, it is likely to
lead to more back problems, since the back has to take over the lifting task of the powerful glutes. The
glutes are strongly emphasized in kettlebell training.
2. Kettlebell exercises stretch the hip flexors.
In Janda’s research, weak glutes were associated with tight hip flexors. The RKC system is second to none
in promoting hip flexor flexibility.
3. Kettlebells develop back extensor endurance.
Professor Stuart McGill, PhD, the number-one spine biomechanist in the world, concluded that while
lower-back strength surprisingly does not appear to reduce the odds of back problems, muscular
endurance does (Luoto et. al, 1995). I dare you to find a better developer of the back extensors’
endurance than the high-repetition kettlebell swing or snatch.
4. “Bracing” is superior to “hollowing” for spinal stability.
Misinterpreted research has lead to the currently popular recommendation to “pull your navel in toward
your spine” to protect your back. Dr. McGill has demonstrated that “bracing” the abdominal wall is the
superior technique. For more on this, get your copy of his breakthrough book, Ultimate Back Fitness and
Performance, from backfitpro.com. The RKC system of kettlebell training teaches many innovative techniques
to improve your bracing skill.
5. Sensible ballistic loading appears to reduce the odds of arthritis.
Repetitive ballistic loading of kettlebell swings and other quick lifts appears to be highly beneficial to your
joints—provided you do not overdo it. In Supertraining, Drs. Yuri Verkhoshansky and Mel Siff state: “Joints
subjected to heavy impact are relatively free of osteoarthritis in old age and those subjected to much
lower loading experience a greater incidence of osteoarthritis and cartilage fibrillation . . . as one progresses
up the lower extremity, from the ankle, to the knee, the hip and finally to the lumbar spine, so the
extent of fibrillation increases at any given age. It appears that the cartilage of joints subjected to regular
impulsive loading with relatively high contact stresses is mechanically much stiffer and better adapted to
withstand the exceptional loading of running and jumping than the softer cartilage associated with low
loading. Thus, joint cartilage subjected to regular repetitive loading remains healthy and copes very well
with impulsive loads, whereas cartilage that is heavily loaded infrequently softens . . . the collagen network
All of the above (except 4) gets covered with the swing. Not bad.

Currently Program:
2x/week dynamic circuit (5 reps each for 7 rounds):
- One armed DB swings (25 kg)
- Cossack squats
- Hindu Pushups

5x/week static postures:
- One legged straight legged deadlift (Warrior 3 pose)
- Static kneeling hip flexor stretch
- Static cossack stretch
- Static down dog to less-than-static up dog

Notes:
- I've added another round to the circuit for at total of 7 rounds
- I'm doing cossack squats without the lunge transition. It is easier to focus on proper squatting posture for me this way just going side-to-side, and my knees seem to dislike the lunge transition. Maybe because I get sloppy when fatigue sets in... It is easier to get into a good rhythm and pace like this so I think it is for the better.
- Time to give this log a title with a little more Ka-pow!


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 Post subject: Meditation etc.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Emptiness everyday,
keeps fragmentation away.

Quote:
When psychological help does not clear up emotional problems, we need to look at the four brain chemicals—neurotransmitters—that create our moods. They are:

1. dopamine/norepinephrine, our natural energizer and mental focuser;
• In one recent study, meditation was reported to increase release of dopamine.

2. GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), our natural sedative;
• One’s GABA levels indicate whether a person is experiencing stress or calmness. A high level of GABA points to a relaxed, calmed body whereas a low level of GABA means that the body undergoes anxiety, tension or stress. Some physical activities allow the mind and body to enter into calmed and relaxed state. Doing yoga exercises increases your GABA, because of the relaxing effect it gives when you practice it.

3. endorphin, our natural painkiller;
• cardiovascular exercise can produce endorphins otherwise known as a "runner's high". Endorphins are released during long, continuous workouts, when the level of intensity is between moderate and high. Previous research on the role of endorphins in producing runner's high questioned the mechanisms at work, their data possibly demonstrated that the "high" comes from completing a challenge rather than as a result of exertion.
• Relaxation: In 2003, clinical researchers reported that profound relaxation in a float tank triggers the production of endorphins.[20] This explains the pain relief experienced during float sessions.[21]

4. serotonin, our natural mood stabilizer and sleep promoter.
• there are two mechanisms by which physical activity increases brain serotonin. First, motor activity increases the rate and frequency at which serotonin is "fired" within the brain, resulting in an increase in both the release and synthesis of it. Secondly, regular exercise increases the level of tryptophan in the brain (an amino acid used to manufacture serotonin). The exact mechanism is not clearly understood; however, it is clear that aerobic exercise improves mood through increasing brain serotonin levels.
Yoga, Pilates, weight training and stretching are fantastic exercises for strength, flexibility and stress management. However, aerobic exercise, including walking, running, biking, swimming (among others) seem to be the most effective at increasing serotonin synthesis in the brain.
• Meditation has been shown to increase serotonin production. Meditation has also been associated with increased melatonin availability. Melatonin is also an important neurotransmitter and neuropeptide that influences mood and behavior. It is derived from serotonin. One study found that advanced meditators have higher melatonin levels than non-meditators, but that melatonin decreases during long meditation.

If we have enough of all four, our emotions are stable. When they are depleted, or out of balance, what we call “pseudo-emotions” can result. These false moods can be every bit as distressing as those triggered by abuse, loss or trauma.
Quote:
VARIOUS NAN HUAIJIN QUOTES RELATED TO ANAPANA MEDITATION

Among the ten forms of mindfulness, the mindfulness of anapana is the most important.
~ Working Toward Enlightenment, 131

There are many people whose emotions are not good and whose physical bodies are not good: in reality, the reason is always that their breathing is not good.
~ Working Toward Enlightenment, 124

If you are able to do quiet sitting “to be aware of all the movements of your breath in and out,” the result produced will be that your powers of memory will be very good and your brain will be especially alert.
~ Working Toward Enlightenment, 125

In our present efforts we do not have enough time to still be fooling around with our legs! There is not enough time! What is most important is correcting our minds. Any posture will do: when your meditation work succeeds, your legs will become supple, and you will naturally be able to sit cross-legged steadily. All you need is for the ch'i to circulate freely in those legs of yours, and your life span will be extended accordingly.
~ Working Toward Enlightenment, 128

Refining the breath is very important because by refining the breath you can cut off desires and achieve the stage where you do not let the elixir leak away. By refining the breath, old people can make their yang energy come back again. Sick people can use this method to get rid of their ailments, restore their health, and extend their lives. In sum, all the wonders of the hundreds of thousands of Dharma Gates are all right here in this method.
~ Working Toward Enlightenment, 161

So, when you are practicing just be aware of the length of the in-and-out breathing. Do not pay attention to the thoughts in your mind. It’s like observing a child running around in the room. You are aware where the child is but you don’t go and help him. Also, it’s like watching a fish swimming in the water. You are aware where the fish is but you don’t touch it. You continue to watch the long-and-short, in-and-out of the breathing until it gradually becomes longer and deeper and finally stops, reaching cessation.
~ Nan Huaijin and Peter Senge, 23

Don’t hang on to any thought when it arises. You only need to remain loosely aware of the flow of the breath. This is the practice of Anapana. When the mind is completely free from any noises of thoughts, is completely pure and empty, the Qi will slowly fill up and breathing will come to a stop on its own.
~ Nan Huaijin and Peter Senge, 58

The real secret practice common to all Buddhist schools, be that Zen or Tantric, is the practice of Anapana.
~ Nan Huaijin and Peter Senge, 95

Go on practicing like this very, very slowly. When you really reach the point that for a moment mind and breath are truly joined as one, this is what the cultivation method of the Esoteric School calls “mind and wind joining.” “When mind and wind join as one, then you attain the freedom of spiritual powers.” At this point, it goes without saying that you can rid yourself of sickness and prolong your lifespan and become rejuvenated.
When you feel mind and breath are synchronized, slowly over time, it will seem that the breathing has stopped, and that thoughts have been emptied out. Then, even though there are a few floating gossamer strands of miscellaneous thoughts, they won't interfere with anything. This is the easiest method for attaining samadhi and the easiest method for realizing the fruit of enlightenment.
~ NAN HUAIJIN TEACHES ANAPANA MEDITATION (FROM TO REALIZE ENLIGHTENMENT, 6-7)
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 Post subject: On pain and posture
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:12 pm 
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Sarge
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Hope to peep in a bit more often again.
Quote:
“Structuralism” is the excessive focus in the physical therapies on postural and biomechanical factors in pain problems. The basic problem with structuralism is that biomechanical factors correlate poorly with pain problems.

Most doctors and therapists have a love affair with “structural” explanations for practically everything that hurts. It pervades musculoskeletal health care like a bad smell. A structural explanation for injury and chronic pain blames the problem essentially on being crooked or deformed or dysfunctional in some way: a short leg, a tight ITB, a crooked kneecap, or any one of a hundred other popular biomechanical bogeymen.

And I have seen that structuralism infects both alternative and mainstream health care: surgeons and injury rehabilitation specialists are just as obsessed with structural explanations as chiropractors. Perhaps they are even more so, doing countless x-rays and MRIs and exhaustive physical exams in the quest to diagnose your deformity or dysfunction, and endless surgeries and therapeutic exercises to correct or compensate for your deficiencies. They also do thousands of scientific studies in the effort to validate all of this, and apparently just ignore their own results, which almost invariably show the same disappointing fact:

Structural problems correlate poorly with symptoms.

it clinically matters little what structural factors may be present in a given joint if tissue homeostasis is safely achieved and maintained. I believe the evidence shows that most bio-“mechanical” problems are much less important than is routinely imagined. To understand injuries and pain problems and to recover from them more effectively, both patients and professionals need to stop trying to think of the body as a machine that breaks down, and start thinking more in terms of squishy, messy physiology, especially neurology and biochemistry.
Many times I’ve listened to patients, almost literally brainwashed by structuralists, seriously saying that their severe pain is the consequence of an “alignment” problem so subtle that you’d be hard pressed to detect the deviation with a microscope. Nobody older than thirty would be able to walk if such trivial defects could really wreak that kind of havoc. People who have terrible body pain problems often have excellent posture, good ergonomics, and healthy joints — bodies that are basically in great condition. Meanwhile, people with perfectly obvious biomechanical problems — everything from significant scoliosis to obesity — are doing just fine.

- My favourite direct evidence — not the best, but my favourite — has always been the simple leg length study published way back in 1984, in the venerable British medical journal Lancet. That paper that showed that leg length differences were unrelated to back pain — no correlation even, let alone a causal relationship.

- The fear of an excessive curve in the low back, AKA the pelvic tilt myth, has spawned countless back pain “cures” based on stretching and strengthening to try to flatten it out a little, with the (coincidental I’m sure) bonus of flattening bellies at the same time. This is a well-studied question, and a 2008 systematic review of more than 50 studies found no association between measurements of spinal curves and pain. If there is any connection, it’s a weak one.

- Surely narrowing of the spinal canal is always painful? Perhaps not. Cranking up the counter-intuitiveness another notch, scientists found in 2006 that a structural problem that everyone previously assumed to always be painful — even I thought so! — turns out not to be. Spinal stenosis has always been regarded as an inevitable cause of back pain, but the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation has showed clearly that it often does not cause pain after all.

Indeed, the foot bone really is connected to the leg bone, and so on. That these kinds of more complex biomechanical relationships exist is not in question — they do. The trouble is that they are hopelessly complex, effectively impossible to interpret reliably, extremely difficult to treat … and, above all, simply not all that important.
Recall that we have already demonstrated that even simple biomechanical relationships do not correlate well with pain. A narrow spinal canal does not predict stenotic back pain. Many people with ITB syndrome do not have a tight ITB. And so on. Even the most direct relationships tend to defy common sense. The relationships exist, yes, but it turns out that they are fiendishly hard to understand.
Every time you add another link in the chain of reasoning between a symptom and its proposed cause, you increase the complexity and the chance of error exponentially. Considering that therapists often cannot even agree on the existence or clinical significance of a single biomechanical factor, what are the odds that they are going to agree on the causal relationships between three or more of them?

Of course, biomechanical factors are relevant to some injuries and pain problems. Ask anyone who has had a ruptured tendon. Structuralism is, by the definition I’ve given it, an excessive preoccupation with biomechanical factors. Biomechanics do matter sometimes. Some biomechanical bogeymen truly are scary, and there are times for a structural diagnosis, and a structural solution. Some problems are clearly more “mechanical” in nature than others. Yet there is no doubt in my mind that the evidence leads us away from getting our knickers in a collective knot over most of the popular structuralist theories.

If not structure, then what? Neurology and homeostasis. The body is assuredly not just a complicated machine. Similarly, therapists must get past mechanics. Joints may be like hinges in a superficial way, but they are not hinges, work nothing like hinges, and fail nothing like hinges.
In general, it has become clear that the “behaviour” and condition of individual muscles is mostly trivial compared to the potent role of the central nervous system as the dictator of almost everything about both function and sensation. In short, it’s not “muscle imbalance” that makes people slump and hurt — it’s a brain thing, and poor posture is an effect instead of a cause

Posture is only one of many hypothetical factors that contribute to pain problems, and in many cases it probably isn’t contributing at all. This is obvious from a simple observation: there are a lot of people with perfectly good posture who are in terrible pain, and also many people with terrible posture but no pain. janky biomechanics just generally don’t match up very well with chronic pain.
I’m skeptical about posture as the direct cause of anything. The range of asymmetry that people can tolerate is probably quite wide, highly variable, and generally narrower with age, but the average healthy person can probably easily tolerate “poor posture” with no problem. And if poor posture can’t really hurt a healthy person, it’s not much of a demon, is it?
On the other hand, more vulnerable people, people who get pain from trivial postural strain do not have a posture problem so much as they have a pain problem. A vulnerability. The greater the vulnerability, the more it’s about the vulnerability and not the posture — awkward postures are just another thing that triggers pain (even if we are quite careful). It doesn’t really seem like posture is what needs troubleshooting there.

Pain is all about your brain’s assessment of safety. Unsafe things hurt. If your brain thinks you’re safe, pain goes down. A confident and happy brain amplifies pain signals less than an anxious, miserable brain. As science advances and mind-body perspectives on health and healing become more sophisticated and practical, we understand that pain problems are powerfully mediated by stress, self-limiting behaviours, and “emotional constipation.”
If your brain thinks you’re safe, pain goes down — and pleasure feels safe. So be “nice” to your CNS in every way that you can think of. Make your life — or a joint — feel safer, gentler, more pleasant. Do it in general ways (soak the whole system in a hot tub), but also more specifically: pleasantly stroke a sore knee, give a screaming shoulder the “comfort” of a sling for a while, or cautiously but thoroughly move a troubled joint to demonstrate to your brain that it’s okay.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Quote:
Mobilizations are rhythmical movements that gradually expand your comfortable range of motion, providing your tissues with a variety of stimuli and stresses. - “Massaging with movement.”
Mobilizations are more “neurologically interesting” than stretching and stimulate more metabolic activity in the tissue while remaining gentle. They are more practical and efficient than stretching in many ways, especially because they can affect more tissues more quickly, and because they constitute both a better warm up and a better warm down for more intense activity that also cultivates coordination and relaxation.

Mobilizations are an easy, cheap, safe, efficient way of stimulating tissue — and stimulating tissue has many benefits.
The most efficient exercise method for helping muscles and joints heal is to “massage them with movement,” providing just enough stimulation to facilitate healing, but not so much to aggravate. Mobilizing as soon as possible is proven to reduce recovery time from injury and surgery, and these benefits probably extend into recovering from chronic pain problems as well, especially those that involve muscle knots (which is most of them).

I prescribe mobilization exercises extensively to treat just about all kinds of pain problems, even in cases of pain where there is no reason to expect any significant relief by any method
Find the “edge” of your range. Approach your limits, feel the edge, and retreat. You don’t have to test it hard. Achieve results with repetition, not intensity. The real power of mobilizations is in the repetitions. Every repetition of a movement is like a message to the body, asking it to function, to do its job, to learn how to move like that and be okay with it. The message is mild-mannered, but persistent. Repeat it enough, and the body will start to respond. Most pain and stiffness will yield sooner or later if you just … keep … asking.
To do it, simply move rhythmically, shortening and lengthening muscles — basically, stretch one way and then the other, neither fast nor slow, pushing hard enough to be interesting but not hard enough to make anything worse. This is very much like squirming when stiff, only more repetitive and optimistic.

To create a mobilization exercise, you need the following elements:
• the full range of movement of a joint, or multiple joints
• muscles lengthening and shortening
• easy and almost painless motion
• lots of repetition: 20–50 repetitions per side, or per direction for each exercise

Watch for how you tend to squirm, and use it as the basis for a mobilization. If nothing else, your favourite stretches are a good source of inspiration: any stretch can be converted into a mobilization simply by entering and leaving the stretch rhythmically. And, of course, static stretching may have some value as well. It’s a bit dubious, but holding a stretch often feels so good that I recommend including it in your mobilizations. Simply pause the mobilization in a stretched position for as long as you like, and then resume moving when you are ready.
Like stretching, mobilizing just feels good, and mobilizing regularly is an ideal way to maintain musculoskeletal health as well as restore it. A set of your favourite mobilizations can easily be the meat of a pleasing daily regimen — like a little yoga ritual, but more dynamic and less about stretching, or like taijiquan but without all the tradition and demanding technique.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:05 pm 
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Quote:
The mission is to keep the mission, the mission.
The goal is to keep the goal, the goal.


If you are over 18 and not making a living in sport, well, wel¬come to this simple reality: You are in a lifesaving war against the loss of lean body mass and mobility.
As you age, besides not getting into a serious traumatic accident, there are two things to focus on—increasing lean body mass and maintaining joint mobility.

With mobility and strength training, enough is enough.

1. Learn to fall…and recover!
- If I understand the numbers correctly, 28,000 Americans die each year in fall-related injuries.
If you wear your seatbelt and don’t smoke, falling is the demon lurking around the corner waiting to take you down.

2. Keep your joints healthy and mobile.
- My tools of assessment are pretty simple. For basic mobility, stability and flexibility, I am a huge fan of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). I insist on two of the FMS basics for everyone I work with, the Active Straight Leg Raise (ASLR) and the Shoulder Mobility (SM) screens. The reason I use the ASLR and SM screens is that I get an instant insight into what Dr. Mark Cheng calls the four knots. The shoulders and hips.

3. Strength training for lean body mass
- Even if your goal is “prepare for anything,” trust me on this: If you get stronger, almost universally, you’ll find the path to your goals is easier. So, get stronger first
- Fundamental human movements are fundamental.
- For the older trainee, the one-arm press works all the muscles Vladimir Janda taught us will weaken with age. In other words, if a 50-plus man asked me ‘that question’—If you could only do one lift, what would it be?— I’d answer, “One-arm presses.” I suggest most men strive for a half-bodyweight one-arm overhead press and, logically enough, to be able to do it with both hands.
- If I had to pick one move that will burn fat, loosen the hips and legs, and raise the buttocks to an eye-pleasing height, it would be the swing. If you do swings correctly, it is your one-stop shop for general training. Done correctly, swings are the ticket to fat loss, as well as sore glutes and hammies.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:24 am 
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nice selection of quotes. I agree with his recommendation of OAP and swing as two foundational movements for everyday middle-aged fitness & health. Jdin obviously did too. In my own training this year, I hit a really good groove just doing a short kettlebell workout based around those on a near daily basis. Hyperbole aside, this is the real gold of kb's imo. Though an adjustable DB may even have the edge slightly.

How's meditation going?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:00 pm 
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Thanks for popping in Odin. Pressing and swings are probably alle you need to stay fit - it's also interesting that virtually all Pavel's programs "program minimums" hint to the simple but potent 2-exercise cocktail or variations thereof (pttp, ETK, RKC, NW). Your own training seem to be going well.

I'm still sitting 45 min. daily. The goal is still to work up to an hour and reasses where I want it to go from there. Until then I'm also not pouring any energy into real training. Just some daily mobility focused on aiding meditation and removing tension hot-spots in the body.

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 Post subject: Sonnon 1/2 - Theory
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:15 pm 
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I've been reading a lot of Sonnon's works, and have tried to make sense of it all and distill his core points re health. This bag of quotes are from his Free to Move, Prasara and Primal Stress books + RMAX forum posts. This is part 1 of 2.
Quote:
I am going to give the stress-induced collection of reflexes a sum label: Sympathetically Aroused Primal Structure (SAPS). SAPS tightens the muscles along the front line, pulling you forward. This "slumping reflex" presents with rounded shoulders, depressed chest and the head thrust forward.
It is a protective reflex found in all vertebrate animals that manifests from fear, anxiety, prolonged distress or negativity.

The adaptation to SAPS happens in four steps. This is conditioning, and is as reversible as any other conditioning:

1. Residual Tension: Residual muscular tension relates to the presence of an unconsciously held partial contraction of muscles following prolonged periods a specific movement or excessive stress eliciting SAPS. Residual muscular tension is the bane of every athletic training program. Residual tension leak power as pre-tense tissue lacks the same contractibility as relaxed tissues. it interferes with rest, recovery, relaxation, and subsequent performance by disintegrating proper performance-related neurological coordination and function. It aches, limits movement capability.

From a purely muscular perspective [as per Janda], whenever excessive stress elicit SAPS:
- Phasic (compensated tissues) tissuess deactivate (weaken)
- Tonic (compensating) tissues immobilize (tighten)

2. Myofascial Density: When you neglect to discharge residual tension, the tissue cross-links collagenous fibers to make it easier to maintain the structure, substituting collagen to avoid continued neuromuscular activation. The fascial bag increases its thickness and density, laysingdown thick, leathery straps to hold itself in place in order to not require as much effort to hold the tension. This diminishes mobility in all movement.
- Superficial Fascia (attached to the underside of your skin.).
- The Dural Tube (surrounds and protects the cranial sacral system). The excessive compression SAPS imposes upon the spine suffocates the pearl-string mobility of your most highly
articulated joint system.
- Sub Serous Fascia (loose tissue that covers internal organs). SAPS tightening the bag holding your individual organs, squeezing out the ability to deliver nutrients and blood.
- Deep Fascia (separates large compartments of the body like organs in huge sheets to protect them and shape them). it can fix like concrete and be strangled into a noose around your organs.
- Ground Substance (maintains distance between tissue fibers.) can change from liquid to gel to solid form - hardening and losing elasticity and becoming like a glue or cement poured into fascial gaps that tightens myofascia (adhesions).

The Phasic-Tonic cannot offer a total picture. Excessive stress eliciting SAPS in the myofascia impacts the entire matrix, particularly along long chains [Anatomy Trains] (four major myofascial chains: Back Line, Front Line, Lateral Line, Spiral Line + Arm line, Deep Front/core Line)

The stronger the density, the longer it remains, the more the tissue forgets how to move in its original ranges, progressing to Sensory Motor Amnesia.

3. Sensory Motor Amnesia: Sensory motor amnesia (SMA) is a phrase coined by renowned therapist Thomas Hanna, the inventor of Somatics, in the book Somatics: Reawakening the Mind's Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health. When tissue isn’t moved through a particular degree of freedom, the fascial “web” adapts to use it less often by phasing down its innervations. You can’t sense or control them. It is a condition in which the sensory motor neurons of the voluntary cortex have lost some portion of their ability to control all or some of the muscles of the body. it occurs as a functional deficit whereby the ability to contract a muscle group has been surrendered to sub~cortical reflexes. This creates a brainbody disconnect where you will no longer be able to “tell” the body to move in its original range of motion, and mobility becomes “lost.”

Sensory motor amnesia can progress to fear-reactivity through the avoidance syndrome. If it hurts to move in a certain way, then we consciously or unconsciously tend to avert from the pain. If the movement remains dormant long enough, it develops protective mechanisms to prevent injury in an “unknown” range of motion.

4. Fear-Reactivity: If sensory motor amnesia isn’t reawakened (or when a movement similar to a prior injurious motion happens), then the fascial web develops defensive measures to protect itself from moving into an unknown, dormant capacity. Until you awaken them, they will brace, shake, clench and quake for fear of injury since the movement has been neuromuscularly forgotten. It results in disintegration of our breathing, movement, and structural alignment. This reactivity most often results in micro and sometimes catastrophic tissue ruptures, such as tweaks, stingers, and spasms, if not full-blown ruptures and herniations.
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 Post subject: Sonnon 2/2
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:52 pm 
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Quote:
To get out of the way of our natural, abundant body flow, we need to do one thing: diminish and eliminate fear-reactivity. Take your body through all the subtle little movements you have unconsciously avoided for years. shaving off the tension one layer at a time, like an onion, with patience and compassion. Through this you shake out tension, reopen the density and restore fluid flow, function, and connections with the sensory motor system.

Simple joint rotation lubricates the joints, washes them with nutrition and smoothes bony profiles.
However, when it comes to Residual Muscular Tension and patterns of Sensory Motor Amnesia, increased sophistication is required.

Using incrementally sophisticated (combining different actions together such as flexion with rotation, or the multiple actions of one joint with that of another joint) joint mobility exercises we can observe and experience hidden restrictions in certain planes that aren't necessarily observed or experienced in conventional planes of movement. Sophistication increases as follows:

- Recovery of natural abilities and basic ranges of motion (cardinal ranges and circles)
- Coordination and greater sophistication in mobility (infinities and diagonal infinities)
- Refinement of motor development in highly sophisticated movement (clovers and waves)

Because of the Sophisticated Training nature of Warrior Wellness/into-flow/etc., several characteristics exist:
- Joint Mobility (Joint Nutrition and Lubrication): When you don't mobilize each joint daily your connective tissue is literally starving
- Coordination Training (improving the flow of biomechanical efficiency): Each immobilized area leaks force because it cannot contribute to the summation of forces. Imagine a kink in a whip. The kink not only remains immobile, but it prevents the entire whip from generating any crack.
- Mechanoreceptive Enhancement (increasing the clarity and granularity of the Kinesthetic, Position and Force/Tension senses)
Proprioception is how we determine our place in the world because it directly assesses our muscular tensions (including our movements and respiratory control), postural
equilibrium, and joint stability. It is our proprioception that suffers when we become injured, anxious, or traumatized, leading to a host of compensations (inappropriate tension chains and density) that in turn create the downward spiral of degeneration .
Proprioception involves the sense organs throughout our soft tissue, which instantly inform us of changes in movement, force/tension, and position. The mechanical ear of proprioception is mechanoreception (reception that responds to mechanical stimuli such as tension and pressure). The three aspects of mechanoreception is
> movement - or kinesthetic sense. Movement sense, also known as "kinesthetic sense," detects all of the changes in velocity, direction, and angle of all of your movement. Moving in new and different positions increases kinestetic awareness
> position sense. (also known as "joint sense") detects the position of all of your joints in three-dimensional space, including postural equilibrium, joint stability.
> force/tension sense. Detects all of the levels, changes, and rates of tension in your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, as well as pressure and vibration.

- Neuroendocrine Re-absorption and Discharge ("Stress Release")
- Dynamic Relaxation (Residual Muscular Tension Release): when it comes to deep residual muscular tension and/or myofascial density, you can't 'choose' to relax (such as in the 'corpse' pose).
- Movement Re-education (Sensory Motor Amnesia Awakening)
- Increased Tissue elasticity: Elasticity is the ability to return to the original state following deformation. To increase the elasticity of a tissue, we must apply a positive stress (not strain) through a range of motion, then remove the load, after the initial stiffness ceases (discomfort, not pain) and before the tissue is permanently deformed so that the tissue returns to its original state. This stress increases the capacity for storage of elastic energy. Static stretching moves against the tension to deform the tissues.
Your joints need elasticity in order to protect themselves, to keep everything packed tightly. As you become healthier in lax joints, your joints will become tighter, and as a result safer, more reliable, and stronger. When you stretch you take a muscle and force it to lengthen until it changes shape and stays longer. Think of taking a rubber band, lengthening it, tacking it down, and, over time, watching how the rubber band loses its elasticity and adopts the new length. The longer you stretch, even with the same intensity, the more the tissue will start to permanently deform
As you grow older, you discover that it's not how far you can stretch that's important but how gracefully you can recover from any sudden changes. That gracefulness is also the essence of physical mastery in all sports.

- Time sensitive: multi-joint movements involve more total joints in greater ROM than simple movements, so the sum total volume increases with increased movement sophistication.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:46 pm 
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Sarge
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I've long been intereseted in the concept of "internal power" and the possibility of moving in a different (and better) way than what is the norm, and have found an internal martial arts teacher (primarily taiji) I think has genuine abillities and power - not just pretty and fluffy movements. I've had a private lesson with more to follow, and will probably start going to the more formal classes as well. I will try to log what I learn here.

------
Today's lesson (and my practice untill next time):

1) JM: Shoulder rolls, hip circles, slow forward bend for the entire spine, taiji wast twist thing
2) Standing:
- Keep weight balanced in a triangle between 3 points on the foot (heel, ball of foot, point on the outside of the foot)
- Lift from the crown and let the spine relax from this point being especially mindful of releasing the lower back and letting the sacrum drop.
- expand outwards from the collarbones (helps with a good and non-collapsed thoracal posture)
- No fixed time to stand. It should release tension, so stop if you begin to get increasingly tense and cant will the area to relax.

We went over 3 postures done in succession:
- Wuji (hands on the side of the thighs)
- Emrace (hands shoulder height with no more than shoulderwidth and no closer than 1 fist apart)
- Embrace (belly)

3) Qigong(ish) closing movements:
- ”Magnet”: move hands (facing eachother) in front of belly inwards and outwards with a feeling of them being pushed apart when moving inwards (exhale), and a feeling of them being sucked together when mowing outwards (inhale)
- Centering: Move hands up to shoulderheight and down to the center just below the navel. Inhale up, exhale down. Try to get a physical and condensed sensation of the center.
- Balls bounce: Arms semi-outstretched to the side. Bounce up and down with the body while making small bouncy movements with the hands as well (as if bouncing balls on the floor). Ideally the movement should be made from the center.
----------

Before this lesson I've made do with pumps and cossacks as my minimal daily JM "dont-fall-apart" program for the longest time, and they are IMO among the best bang-per-buck JM exercises.

But for now my daily practice will be:
1) Internal MA practice: about 15 min or so
2) Sitting meditation (full lotus, hands on knees): 50 min

The lotus knee issues seem to have gone for good, and my goal of 1 hour sitting is close at hand.
I will build up my MA practice slowly over time. Slow and steady wins the race.

Image

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Last edited by Xian on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:29 pm 
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Sarge
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:13 pm 
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Second private lesson:
- Bagua joint opening drill: Nothing near as fancy as it might sound like. A simple hand and spine drill to facilitate a sense of "opening" and seperating in the joints of the spine, shoulder, elbow and wrist. Physically, the hand moves in front of the body, over the head until the arm is straight and then down to the side. Done 6x total changing hand each repetition

- Soaring Crane Qigong: Just learned two movements of the first part of the form, and I am to practice it mechanically with breathing until next time. It was stressed I try and be aware of the shoulder/elbow/wrist joints "opening"/seperating here also. The two movements are roughly speaking the arms bending in front of the body, and then to the side of the body (3 times forwards and the times sideways) I'm really tight in what feels like nerve-tissue, and I feel surprisingly stiff in these movements. They seem to require a different kind of softness and mobility (or in different areas at least) than JM has provided me with... Later on different imagery and "intent" will be added to begin working on "the six directions".

- Standing: Same 3 positions as last time. The non-tense aspect of it was stressed again. Blood, lymph and whatever mumbo-jumpo chi there may or may not exist, should be allowed to flow like a river without any obstruction (areas of tension). Imagery of holding balloons in different places, imagening warm water in the area etc. is helpful.

Standing and qigong increase the understanding of eachother. Some of the keys to internal movement and power ("opening of the joints", "six directions" etc.), should ultimately be present and practiced in the standing, but practicing them via qigong speeds up the understanding and embodiment and vice versa.

- Taji-steps: Forward and backward stepping staying on the whole foot of each leg alle the time, basically.

-----
So this week I'm practicing roughly 30 min of IMA:
- Bagua drill
- Soaring Crane Qigong (2 movements)
- standing (3 postures - with closing exercises)
- taiji steps (just a handful of steps)
- and qigong repeat

...then 50 min meditation (preceded by a deep lotus forward bend stretch, which I tried yesterday, and it seems to position the hips better so the sitting posture requires much less tension from the low back and hip flexores to hold. Will see if it's worth keeping in the coming days.)

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Last edited by Xian on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:14 pm 
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Sergeant Commanding
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Hey Xian,

I'm impressed with your meditation practice, 50 minutes daily is some serious dedication - let alone in full lotus!

I'm curious to read how your integration of internal martial arts and meditation goes for you. I know for myself that yoga and meditation has a beautiful marriage, even just in allowing for something like full lotus to take place.

You got me thinking, and that's important :happiness:

Bram

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Sgt. Major
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good to see you posting again. What meditation practice are you using these days?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:49 pm 
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Sarge
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Bram: Thanks! The Lotus has been a bitch several times in the past, but the dedication has finally payed off.
I also hope that there can be a beautiful merging of the two, but it's goint to take a while before I can really comment on that. Yoga is a tried and true goodie though.

Odin: Same old, same old - breath counting and awareness. How about you?

----
3. private lesson:
- some adjusting of the standing postures and the walking exercise. I hurt my heel stepping on something sharp the day before, so I wasn't very convincing in my execution...

- Standing is a way to practice and improve everything at once. Different qigongs works and improves with specific issues and principles. So standing is both the foundation and the pinnacle of IMA practice.

- in his later years, Yiquan founder Wang Xiangzhai thought that the "universal posture" with most benefits was the embrace posture held at about naval height, not shoulder height as in his younger years. Maybe reflecting his increasing focus on health instead of fighting.

new stuff
- practiced a Shili exercise and a very basic "issuing force" exercise.
- A new standing posture with the shoulders max internally rotated and elbows max pronated. It looks like standing in a dorway and pressing against the frames with the entire lower arm. It is quite strenous, so should only hold it for about 10 breaths imagining that I'm pushing against the imaginary doorframe expanding from the center of the body.

----
It's getting to be a bit overwhelming with all the different exercises both time and focus wise, so for the foreseeable future I think we'll focus on just practicing and improving the standing and qigong part.

Practice until next time:
- Qigong (2 movements)
- Standing (4 postures + ending movements)
- Qigong repeat

- 50 min. meditation. The lotus forward bend has made the physical posture less straining for the low back and hip flexors, so I'm keeping it in as a pre-stretch

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:00 pm 
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Sarge
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4. private lesson
mostly talking about practice, where I want to go with it and the role it has in regards to my sitting meditation practice.
We are going to focus on standing primarily.

Sitting still is the foundation mental health - it allows you to see and process all the garbage clutttered in there. And from there you can begin to take it with you in your moving day-to-day life.
Standing still is pretty much the physical equivalent - it allows tension and disconnectedness usually masked by movement to come forward and be resolved. And only from this foundation of true relaxation and connectedness realized in stillness, can a superior way of moving be recognized...

We also did a little standing. I need to keep my hands closer to my body when embracing at shoulder level in order to begin feeling expansion outwards and not just front/back.

---
Practice:
- Qigong (2 movements)
- Standing (3 postures + 2 Closing movements)

- 50 min meditation

relax, relax....Just keep on practicing and don't burn out and loose focus and interest. Better to stay hungry for more - do too little rater than too much.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:44 pm 
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Sarge
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5. privat lesson:
- was introduced to a breathing exercise that is supposed to help facilitate reverse breathing. Reverse breathing is important in regards to expressing power, but also has some importance in conditioning the tissues of the body.
- Was shown a standing position from Chen style taiji
- I am to begin practicing "six direction awareness" when standing and doing the two qigong movements. Six direction awareness and opening the joints go hand ind hand. It's very important not to tense when practicing these things. Soft, soft, soft...search for a rubberband feeling or a feeling of having a rubber suit when playing around with the six directions.
- "opening the joints" is related to clearing the blockages in the meridians. Once cleared, no disease is supposed to take root in the body.

------------
Practice:
- Qigong (2 movements)
- Standing (3 postures + 2 Closing movements)
- 45 min meditation

I'm cutting the meditation back to 45 daily min and will stay there for now. My focus is on qigong right now, and my meditation practice will go into maintenance mode for a while. Instead of sitting longer and longer, I'll begin to focus on the quality of each sitting.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Sarge
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I am in the process of moving some of these old posts to my new blog/website: https://indrestyrkeblog.wordpress.com/

This is also where I will post new posts, observations etc. in the future instead of here. So if you found any of this useful, that will be the place to follow me from now on.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:07 pm 
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All noted. Good blog!

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