Sunday, January 25, 2009

Effecting Change

As an instructor of exercise, I can teach over 600 different movements that will activate each different muscle in the body -- or I can teach one thing -- which is how each and every muscle can function in only one way, and that is to change from its fullest contraction from a state of relaxation. It is this change of state, that causes every action humans or any other active life form can make. Most notably, that is the simple way the only muscle that the body (brain) must be working at all times, must work unfailingly -- to provide the circulation that is the foundation for all life processes.

Curiously, and maybe quite deliberately, instructors throughout the history of such instruction, have chosen to teach the 600 or more movements the body can make -- rather than the one thing every muscle can make -- for their own job security, as well as proof of their own accomplishments. But in doing so, the very powerful basic and universal lesson for effecting change regardless of what one is doing and hopes to accomplish is lost in the multitude of extraneous -- each seeming to have no relationship with any other.

That is the first step the acute observer of exercise activities may note -- that each of the muscles of the body, must all act on one basic, universal principle -- of the change and difference from relaxation to contraction. The second great insight, is determining a way in which all the muscles might be effected simultaneously in a single movement. For this to occur, one must break from the traditional notions about movement typically seen, and consider simply what is possible -- as though creating beneficial movement from scratch -- and not as a by-product of running farther, faster, or doing more work in the traditional sense apparent to the outside observer -- because of the realization that the important work is what is going on inside the body, to build the body and ensure its health and optimal functioning.

This is a revolutionary departure from “exercise” as we have customarily thought about it and why it needs to be reprogrammed into the skills most learn to improve their chances for living a long and successful life -- which was never the clear and singular purpose of human activities. Instead, we quickly were caught up in the competitive nature of such activities as the valuable lesson -- in virtually everything we were taught, which is highly destructive and counterproductive to developing lifestyles in which we benefit from the totality of human effort and accomplishment, rather than expressing and celebrating only our limited own. Then life takes on a wholly new and different significance, in which we benefit from all human achievement, knowledge, and well-being, rather than fighting against it as the height of individual success and well-being.

This is a transformation in the whole way in which we regard life -- and how we get everything to work for us, rather than to determinedly struggle against everything else in life, as though overcoming it, was a wise thing to do. That is a very different kind of conditioning -- but makes much greater sense -- for everybody. Life is very difficult when the purpose of it all, is to struggle against everybody else, hoping to defeat them all, until one day, we are overrun by everybody else, and have no hope and diminished capabilities for reversing that disadvantage.


At January 26, 2009 11:33 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I hope it is clear to others that I'm not talking about the many ways one can devote an hour (or three or four) each day to attaining "fitness," but there are movements one can devise to obtain the health benefits directly without any of the attendant objections most people are conditioned to believe they have to undergo in order to achieve and maintain their health (highest level of functioning) instantaneously.

Most obvious is that most don't have three or four hours of idle time to devote to such diversions from their lives -- and increasingly, the energy, and so those interested in designing a public health program that ensures the participation of all, rather than the athletic (competitive) model of eliminating the participants so that there is only one "winner," and everybody else is standing on the sidelines or have long ago gone home to watch tv, we can ensure the health of everyone -- rather than only a few, if that.

Medical health care and insurance is not the answer -- but true health itself is what we hope to attain. That can be achieved with as little as a minute a day of the proper understanding, focus and practice.


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