Monday, October 12, 2009

Overlooking the Obvious

When the human body breaks down, it happens most obviously at the extremities of the head, hands and feet, which are those areas most impacted by poor circulation -- yet the tendency is to think that poor circulation is due to some impairment of the heart, rather than the lack of functioning at the extremities, at which most people are surprised they have the range of movement I demonstrate to them.

In performing those movements of rotation at the wrists, ankles, and neck, even 85 year old women who have never "made a muscle" before in their lives, are surprised to see the appearance and movement of muscle that they've never witnessed before -- simply because they've never thought to make such movements. Yet these are the very movements that are required, if one wants to exhibit such development -- and it is this articulation of these movements that maximize the circulatory effectiveness, if that contraction is alternated by a relaxation phase.

That is usually the problem of hypertense people, as well as bodybuilders, of whom the observant person will usually remark, that they never seem to relax but maintain a constantly contracted muscles -- which not incidentally, often causes the constriction of blood flow to the brain by which many seem to pass out or become light-headed and not functioning well otherwise.

What to me seems to be the distinguishing feature of those with diminished brain functioning, is this lack of head movement, just as those with grotesquely swollen ankles and feet, have no movement that properly done in the full range of possibility, would push the fluid back to the heart and organs of filtration, thereby eliminating the waste products that ordinarily accumulate if not evacuated effectively by these muscle contractions, which are compressive in action.

That is why these people with obviously painful swollen extremities frequently have them wrapped in compressive bandages -- to reduce the swelling, in the absence of this muscular action. For most people, these muscle actions are possible, but simply done, because they have never been witnessed before, or brought to their attention -- except when a home run king or basketball player claims that it is all done with the wrist, and what others, describe as a follow-through, as though it is incidental to the action, rather than its primary focus and intent.

Instead, it is usually thought that the objective of such movements, is to move the major muscles, when in fact, useful work is not expressed except through the fine motor action at the extremities of the body designed as the highest expression of the human body -- whether it is athletics, art, or writing. Those neuro-muscular connections must be kept at the highest level of responsiveness, or they wither from disuse and become disfunctional. But in an inactive or otherwise gross motor life, one doesn't notice such deterioration except to comment that one's memory isn't as good as it used to be, no longer smiles as they used to, can no longer thread a needle as well as one could, or has trouble maintaining one's balance on one's feet.

But it usually never occurs to such people making these comments, that there is something directly they can do about it -- to maintain optimal functioning in those organs. Instead, they are misdirected to the lack of proper functioning at the heart, which is more than likely to be operating well -- if it is operating at all. That's usually not the problem; the problem is that which is not operating at all -- except as the immovable stumps people come to regard the extremities of their bodies because they do not articulate the full range of movement possible at the wrist, ankles and neck -- that are usually not given attention at all, in most conventional and traditional conditioning and exercise programs heretofore, and it is this lack, which I point out, is the direct cause of deterioration beginning at these sensitive and vulnerable parts, that given even minimal attention, produces the greatest transformation in the performance, appearance and functioning of the body! -- so much so as to seem miraculous by what we have commonly experienced in this arena.

This is most obviously seen in the many elderly seen "walking" invariably with walkers, and shuffling their feet while articulating no real foot movement in relationship to its supporting structure of the lower leg. For all practical purposes, the foot is regarded as a pad for moving the body around, instead of regarding that the range of movement of the foot, the hand, and the head, are really what characterizes and distinguishes distinctly vital human behaviors and functioning -- unlike the heart which is pretty similar in all species of animated living, because it has to unfailingly fully contract or fully relax as its only function and purpose.

The human hand is like no other, and in its absence, some have been able to master those tasks with the human foot even to the point of painting and writing with no discernible difference in quality. And the human head, face, houses the largest brain in proportion to bodyweight, and contains the senses of speech, sight, smell, taste and hearing that is vital to maintain, of which the most important function, is the maintenance of the circulation to those areas -- that are largely determined by the same muscular contractions that increase and direct the flow to everywhere else in the body -- and not just by "mental exercises," that do not provide the actuality of this function.

And so I've long maintained, that if one assures the best circulatory performance to these areas, the rest of the body is well-maintained because that is their proper role as supporting structures to the vital tasks performed only at the hands, feet and head. All other movements, have no real meaning otherwise -- yet that is usually the entirety of the focus of conditioning programs of little value and interest for most, and will be abandoned as soon as possible because it is purely arbitrary -- rather than the necessary mastery of the vital skills necessary to maintain all one's life for maximum performance, enjoyment and meaning in life.

What could be more obvious than that?


At October 12, 2009 1:01 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The movement I suggest to people who tell me that walking is their best exercise for maintaining their health yet shuffling along with no discernible articulation at the foot, is to simply balance themselves with their walker or counter, and while rhythmically shifting their weight from one foot to the other, articulate the full range of foot movement, with variation raising the toes, and a second raising the heels, while the foot maintains contact with the floor but bears can exhibit this rull range of movement -- because it is not required to bear any weight.

For that reason, walking is not an ideal exercise because it REQUIRES on to bear weight on one's foot so that such extreme (full)range movement is not possible, and probably extremely dangerous otherwise.

But once this person can access this full range of movement, the foot and leg structures will be at their healthiest to enable and empower such movement.

Likewise in full range hand and foot movement. This ensures its highest functional level on an obviously, verifiable and observed physiological reality -- that is unmistakably communicated and interpreted by another, as its primary and intended function.

When people lose this functioning and ability to communicate such responsiveness, they are diagnosed as being in a condition of dementia and decreased mental acuity. It is obviously and functionally so. I've never seen it otherwise. How could it be?

One is interacting and integrating with reality -- fully. What more could one ask? That is the standard of health.

At October 12, 2009 1:52 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

For many years in the conditioning discussions, it has been thought that weight, or resistance is necessary to produce muscle contraction -- rather than it is the extreme range that produces its own resistance and muscle contraction, and that any mechanical resistance actually makes the fullest range impossible to achieve -- because it is bearing weight as its primary responsibility.

But the weight, or resistance, is not important. It is the range of movement articulated at those extremities of the body that are overlooked and taken for granted as just being there, doing its thing of holding a weight or absorbing shock, which is probably the least important thing a hand or foot does, not to mention the greater importance of functioning at/with the head and its organs .

And if it is holding a weight, then it can never fully relax, and so range of contractile states available is very narrow -- considerably less than the desired full contraction alternated by the full relaxation.

It is only when that alternation of full contraction with full relaxation, is maximum circulatory effect achieved -- just like with the heart.

Obviously if one is bench pressing a 250 barbell, at least 249 lbs of pressure has to be maintained rather than going to zero, and full relaxation. The force required to lift that barbell, may be as little as 251 lbs, rather than the desired 250 to 0 and back, or even 10 to 0 and back again, which is the greater difference achieved using no weight and resistance, but the natural resistance obtained in achieving the furthest range of movement.

Thus it is considerably safer at all times and positions, while producing a much greater difference, that is the effectiveness because one can go to virtual zero, and the natural resistance of the body to its range of voluntary, natural movement -- which can only be achieved and effected without force, or resistance.

Once force is applied, then relaxation is not possible -- which is the range people think is extended in hyperstretching. That rather, causes a reflexive contraction to protect against such endangerment -- otherwise, an injury must occur.

If one were to build a machine to obtain maximal contraction alternated by maximal relaxation, as the Nautilus machines thought to do in employing a cam, the weight would have to vary even more than it did -- and the great challenge is in moving the weight to zero, rather than increasing the weight and resistance in the other direction -- which was not even necessary because the range of movement, would provide that ultimate resistance.

So while it seemed desirable to build a machine providing the necessary variable resistance throughout the purported full range of movement, it could not achieve the much greater effect when the fullest range is articulated -- with no resistance to prevent relaxation.

And in fact, this error was compounded in the last principle of increasing and accentuating the positive -- in exerting even more effort against relaxation, which undermined all advantages of his valid observations.

Yes, the body would indeed fail faster, but in no practical event or case, would it ever be advantageous to do so -- except for its own sake and design.

So the Nautilus system promised the most effective manner and means to achieve "failure," it does not necessarily produce any advantage or beneficial effect -- other than to achieve that failure.

One desires to succeed, and continue succeeding for as long as possible -- in real life.

At October 12, 2009 2:08 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...


In the 4th paragraph to last:

"And in fact, this error was compounded in the last principle of increasing and accentuating the positive -- in exerting even more effort against relaxation, which undermined all advantages of his valid observations."

should be corrected to read "accentuating the negative" -- because the negative of a movement implied the muscle was moving to relaxation, and so to defeat that process, was self-defeating. The value of muscles is not just their ability to contract (shorten) but also its ability to relax, and thus to counter that ability and process by resisting that capability, is self-defeating, and assures failure -- which is not desired in any event or task.

It is a self-contradiction of intents and purposes. It has no reality except in an erroneous understanding of reality and actuality.

At October 12, 2009 2:24 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The most important function of all the voluntary muscles, is to train it to optimize its circulatory effect -- much more so than running, jumping, throwing, lifting -- because in doing this, it enhances and ensures the functioning health of the body in all its functions.

But unless one recognizes this and deliberately produces this effect, "exercise" is pretty random activity without those specific results.

But once this design and process is well understood, the effort is only incidental and the natural process of this "right understanding." "Right understanding," produces "right action."

But "wrong understanding," is the well known travail of misery and suffering.

And so I called this, "Understanding Conditioning," as the only thing that made sense.


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