Monday, June 19, 2006

"Hand to Mouth"

I think one of the most damaging aspects for lifelong conditioning is this very notion that one is competing against every other -- and that the only way to win is to make somebody else lose. In such games, losing is the only thing. And what most are competing for in an impersonal, mass world, is attention, to stand out in some way, to differentiate oneself from the crowd. Many know no other way to do it than to compare themselves with another (and every other), trying to steal their confidence and esteem -- rather than realizing one has to develop their own unique identity, that which makes them special, like no other, and for which there is no competition, no rivalry. You just are who you are. And that is the end-all and be-all of every existence.

So before we can embark on a simplified, purposeful, efficient and effective conditioning program, we need to understand our present conditioning -- and not deny who we truly are and only imagine who we wish to be. Understanding what is, is the most powerful understanding in the world -- and not what one wants to be, or what should be. That is the fragmentation that causes cognitive dissonance, of acting in a world that we only think to be or should be, rather than it actually is. Every present moment, is actually a choice -- between the familiar rut, and the road not traveled.

Most people’s poor condition is not because they aren’t doing anything -- but rather, what they are doing is causing their poor condition. They’re not overweight because they’re not dieting; they are overweight because they are putting food into their mouth far beyond the capacity of their needs -- for the foreseeable future.

So one of the essential movements is just bringing the hand up to the mouth -- making that a deliberate and conscious movement rather than an involuntary, reflexive one. That would be one of the five movements, in a five-minute workout -- which is the threshold most people will devote to exercise daily without thinking of it as a special intrusion upon their normal schedule of activities. Fortunately, that is enough time to ensure proper maintenance of the movements of the human body. But they are not the ones people usually think to do -- BECAUSE they don’t require special equipment and are EASIER movements to perform than those they normally perform -- easier even than walking.

Walking is not the easiest exercise (movement) invented -- and will be problematical for those with foot, knee and back pain -- which are the usual suspects of those needing to exercise. To therefore demand that they should take up a walking regimen of at least an hour every day to be fit is a torture worse than they can bear. Understandably, such programs will not be sustained. If they could walk for that duration, they wouldn’t need to. So for someone to give them that advice is less than useful; it is damaging, discouraging, truly disruptive to their very existence. But not surprisingly, many do offer their advice of wishful-thinking. “If you just run a marathon a day, you’ll be in excellent shape.” The reality is something else -- and even the original runner, collapsed and died upon completion.

So one of the essential five, would be to bring the wrist up to one’s mouth, and while doing so, rotating the fist in the direction of the knuckles -- for 25 repetitions with each hand. Obviously, this is one of the essential movements one has to become good at -- “hand to mouth.” By developing such precise and masterful control, one will also be able not to do it, when it is the appropriate action to take.


At June 19, 2006 8:34 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

To gym-exercisers, the hand-to-mouth is the practical version of what is called the bicep curl -- or bending the arm while maintaining a fixed upper arm hanging straight down -- which has no practical application other than in doing that movement. That is fairly typical in the design of many exercise movements -- that one becomes proficient at something that has no real world application.

Much of education is also done that way -- even disparaging that one should learn something for its practical uses -- as though it was less worthy than learning for learning's sake. Teachers scoff at teaching to the test -- because then students would know what they are being tested for, rather than a "blind" measurement which is truly "scientitific."

But really, what one really wants to measure is the understanding of each individual -- and not the educational theory.

At June 19, 2006 9:05 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

However, in allowing the upper arm to move upward so the movement could be completed in a meaningful action, which is feeding oneself, one notes that the biceps contracts fairly strongly -- as it won't do when the arm is maintained in a straight-down position. The addition of weights to the movement makes the upward movement of the arm problematical -- because it runs into the face (mouth) -- as it was intended to.

While many take such movements for granted, in the young and very old,simply feeding oneslef with the proper hand-to-mouth coordination is not cultivated as a skill by and of itself. One is distracted by the reward. There is a genius brought about by millions of years of adaptation and evolution -- to do those things that enhance survival.

Likewise, it eliminates movements and skills that have little or no survival value. The most important skill is increasing the efficiency of the brain -- which naturally regulates all other functioning in the body. So the number one primary of movement is to increase the functioning of the brain by exercising it in an obviously physical and physiological way -- and not just thinking divorced from action (movement). See the one-minute workout(posteed October 22, 2005).

Lots of people talk about the integration of mind and body but few know how to actualize this -- in a direct and simple way. They usually concoct all kinds of elaborate theories and rituals on the desirability of it. But in the very language they use to describe this possibility, they divide the mind from the body before attempting to put it back together again.

This is a mind that fragments the wholeness and completeness of reality into the ideal and the actuality. Then the what is and the should is something always different -- and so people are never in the shape they want to be in.


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