Friday, January 22, 2010

Do Your Own "Plastic" Surgery

What makes the human body "plastic," or changeable, are the muscles of the human body -- which are actually most numerous, in the parts of the body people do not normally think of muscles being, but are actually the most expressive and variable of the human body -- at the head (face), hands and feet. Those are the areas a person keenly tuned to determining the fitness of a person, will normally look to ascertain and assess -- first because they are the most visible, and people seldom think to alter this condition to influence the judgment of another.

Thus, most people are poor judges of human character, because they don't think to read a person's face, hands, feet -- but are merely mesmerized by the words -- and thus they are easily deceived by those who simply use the rudiments of appearances. And others, not seeing anything else -- especially in their teachers and university professors, who are renowned for their limited range, grow up thinking nothing else is possible.

Meanwhile, one cannot read a popular publication now, without seeing ads for cosmetic surgeries, as well as the even more accessible "makeovers" -- which are usually just a skilled person knowing that such alterations are possible and could be done by anyone, who simply was disposed to thinking that way, and once seeing that possibility actualized, can easily maintain it. Some become even more inspired to go further in their experimentations.

The most common procedures, because they are done by both men and women, are the eyebrow lift, the eyelid lift, and the neck lift -- which is usually tightening the skin because the muscles under them, have atrophied to the point that they no longer fill that volume -- as they do in more robust (younger) people. Another alternative is to fill that volume with Botox and other such fillers -- including transplanted fat from one's own body.

Probably the best solution though, would be developing the muscles so they maintain the condition and shape conveying one's vitality -- which is not surprisingly, doing the eyebrow lift, eyelid lift, and neck lift -- with the muscles that produce that action. The neck lift, is also what most would consider the very robust "smiling" movement that lifts the face towards the cheeks -- causing that jowly look to momentarily disappear, along with the sag at the neck. Those take the usual 50 repetitions of alternating full contraction and full relaxation -- that can be done concurrently with the more usual movements for the development of the larger muscles of the body, and doing so, rather than the scowl often seen in every effort, makes the experience enjoyable by releasing the chemicals associated with those muscular exertions -- called endorphins -- which provide pleasant sensations while reducing pain and unpleasantness.

Usually, it is very difficult to remain depressed and angry, if one has a smile on their face -- and for that reason alone, one should develop this capacity and facility -- rather than maintaining that perpetual grump to ward off the friendly overtures of others. Many in fact, spend much time alone and therefore, do not feel the need to exercise these expressions (muscles), thinking it is not worth doing, if nobody is around to be influenced by them. But the person who stands to benefit most from their own good "vibes," are they themselves.

That is a monumental oversight in the conditioning of people to do things only for the approbation and influence (manipulation) of others, rather than for their own sense of well-being, that they can give to themselves.

Probably the greatest disservice of promoting exercise as something that one does for the largest muscles of the body, is that these more numerous, but smaller muscles at the extremities of the human body, are neglected and ignored -- when they are by far, the most useful and powerful, in ensuring the health and well-being of the human individual and personality. But fortunately, because of millions of years of evolution, activating the full range of these muscles at the extremity, require the support and engagement of the larger muscles, including the heart, to effect.

This connection has been observed and promoted by such disciplines (practices) as reflexology, accupressure and massage. Some say they can tell a lot (everything) from just a handshake and the energy exchanged in that touch.

While people may undergo cosmetic surgeries for their face, equally telling and expressive, are the muscles of the hand, and the feet -- which in arthritics, is usually disfigured by the absence of muscular development that holds the bones, ligaments and tendons in the proper balance. When that atrophy (lack of development) occurs in the feet, besides disfiguring the feet, they lack the proper balance to stay on their feet reliably, and are usually on their way to acquiring a wheelchair to maintain their mobility.

Much of this can be averted by maintaining the musculature of the head (face), hands, and feet as a priority -- that requires the support of the larger structures exercised otherwise exclusively. I've never seen a person with optimal circulation to the extremities, who wasn't in optimal condition throughout. And then all it takes is very little time, attention and effort -- because it is the great difference between a little, and none. That is the greatest difference one can make in virtually everything, and much greater than the difference between a little and "more."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lifting Up, Pushing Down (Pumping Up)

If one wanted to make a movement more difficult, they would create some apparatus to do so, and usually in that process, make the proper movement actually impossible, and so one is no longer performing the proper stimulative movement, but is back again, doing unproductive movements, and then wondering why, even though they are doing more, and struggling harder, they get very little of the effect they desired to achieve.

At which point, their coach or trainer would explain that they need to make the movement even more difficult to achieve -- in the reverse thinking in their opposite world, that if one desires a certain objective, one should do exactly the opposite to produce the hoped for reaction. Obviously, this is a primitive non-understanding in a random and chaotic world -- in which one might as well do anything, and not just the right thing, to obtain one's objectives -- because nothing really matters anyway. One is just killing time, until one gets "lucky."

But hopefully, many more are transitioning into a world in which there are clearly understandable reasons why things happen, and one can resort directly to them, instead of all the random activity hoping for a very specific result. Unfortunately, one of the last bastions of pre-scientific thinking, is the world of athletics -- in which brute force is thought to be the miracle ingredient over a clear understanding of cause and effect. It is even thought, that if one applies enough force, the clearly demonstrated pattern of cause and effect, can be overruled, and therefore ignored.

This is the main reason people don't believe in the effectiveness of conditioning programs: they don't make sense. One is just mesmerized by the voice of authority -- as though believing in that authority is again enough to overrule all the laws of physics and physiology.

Think about it: for just about everyone, "standing" on their toes as ballet dancers do, is quite easy to simulate lying in bed with no weight to support. One can thus achieve the position only a few in this world can support their entire bodyweight. This is probably the clearest example -- but if one thinks about other movement events, one notices it is easier to achieve proper body positioning when there is no resistance at all. In gymnastics for instance, one can extend the range of motion quite a bit farther, if one doesn't have to lift one's own bodyweight off of the parallel bars, and most will not push through beyond the minimal position that allows them to rest -- in a bone on bone lockout, rather than continuing to press oneself upwards until further movement, is absolutely not possible, and in that position, the muscles cannot contract further.

In that position of movement, all the muscles of the torso are contracted so maximally, that one is virtually impervious to any blow to the torso. That position should have some survival value in knowing and being able to effect at will, and as a conditioned response one is well-disposed towards. Essentially what one needs to do, is to press down with the upper half of the musculature, against the midsection and supporting structures -- forcing all the air out of the body with that torso compression/contraction. This "movement" produces the "washboard" appearance of the abdominal muscles -- which if practiced daily, becomes an actually easy appearance to effect.

Even if one has tremendous muscular development in the abdominal area (midsection), if one does not specifically practice that particular movement, one will not be able to achieve that impressive display (appearance) of those muscle structures. So unless one actually performs that movement, one doesn't know what the ultimate condition (shape) of those muscles actually are.

A lot of people can be very muscular, but lack the ability to exhibit that fact, because they never move into that position for doing so. On the other hand, those who know the position for a maximal display of that development, will surpass those who don't think that display important, and may regard it as even vain, or socially disapproved -- just as most people feel self-conscious, if not embarrassed, to do the very familiar stereotype of the double biceps pose/display. And most people are quite right in realizing they look awkward and self-conscious in those poses -- except the few that manage to look great at it. But that is because they practice many hours to achieve that effect -- in addition to long hours in the gym to pump their muscles beforehand, for even more spectacular dramatic effect.

But are those poses necessarily the best at displaying the musculature -- or achieving that development? Might there be more meaningful and aestethic poses than those that have been traditionally used for those competitions? -- which would create a very different looking development. People have very different ideas of what they think is the ultimate development of the human body, but usually, the most impressive and striking, is the ability to produce the greatest change in appearance -- as an indication of at least that great ability to do so.

But even the most impressive bodybuilding champions seem not to appreciate that aestethic as well as practical effect -- that the most impressive and striking, is the ability to change the most -- momentarily, and at will. Instead, many assume the appearance of moving statues -- rather than the dynamic transformation -- of muscles exploding into view, and out. as well. Most people are not as impressed, with a muscle that is always contracted, and expresses that unrelenting effort and constant tension.

But they become mesmerized by a body that is mostly fully relaxed, punctuated by an occasional glimpse of something infinitely greater -- which for an opposing player, keeps them guessing at what ultimate range of movement and abilities they are contending against.

If I were to create an apparatus to simulate this essential movement and development, it would be an oversized bicycle hand pump with a valve at the end of the hose to adjust the pressure (resistance) of the escaping air, while the range would enable the foot wide handle to be lifted up to the top of one's head before plunging downward to just above one's knees. That range would allow for the full range of movement at the wrists rotating palmward as the handle is raised as high as possible, and then flipping over to rotate in a knuckleward position as the handle was pushed as low as possible while retaining an upright posture. That lifting up and pushing down, is probably one of the most effective development movements -- but NOT requiring any apparatus to make even better. The movement itself, one will recognize, takes one through most of the range required to perform every other movement with great power and effectiveness.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Do You Want To See That Again?

Thinking that one needs to go to the gym, or use any specific, highly-specialized equipment, under the constant and personal supervision of a duly-certified authoritarian, is like persisting in the belief that one can only "learn," from a duly-certified and accredited institution for that purpose -- and nothing else is permitted, allowed, and may be even hazardous to your well-being to even contemplate such an heresy -- against the benevolent, selfless persons, who carry sufficient liability insurance, for demanding that one do what one does not feel comfortable doing, against one's own better judgment.

That used to be the prevailing mentality and culture of an era famous for its dysfunctions and dysfunctional personalities -- the notion that any good thing a person did, had to be forced and imposed by some higher authority -- rather than today's mode that people know themselves best, what is best for themselves -- if they only would listen and observe themselves. That is the timeless advice, to know oneself, as the highest learning and wisdom, any individual can achieve, because in that condition, one is capable of learning anything from everything, because one is the totality of reality, and not just an ego apart from it.

That is the whole concept of "ego" -- that which separates and distinguishes us from everybody else, and everything else, whereas the strength, is being able to draw on everything else, as though it is wholly oneself. Thus the mind that is constantly dividing, compartmentalizing, comparing, every thing to every other thing, is creating the separations that become the conflict and struggle with everything else. And so rather than regarding the environment as oneself, one always perceives of themselves as the alien invader of that garden of eden -- whose task then may be, to cut down all the trees so they can build a supermarket to provide the fruits and abundance that is now gone.

One of the early great thinkers of civilization was Aristotle, who believed that everything ought to be categorized, and in doing that, lay all that could be known -- and was worth knowing. So this tendency to break up reality into countless fragments of confusion unrelated to each other, is not a exclusively modern phenomenon, but a tendency that arises from time to time -- as well as its solution, the desire for greater wholeness, harmony, integration and the connectedness of all things.

In addition to thinking that gyms and health clubs is where one must go to maintain and assure their fitness, and schools and universities are the only acceptable places for learning, there actually was in the recent past, entire buildings dedicated to processing all the information, and everyone and department that wanted such a service, had to properly queue up, while the world came to a standstill, until the "results" could be obtained. It was like going to the temple gods for the truth -- and permission.

That time was actually not so long ago; such information was sacrosanct -- coming out of the building as lengthy computer printouts -- on which all that could be known, supposedly was known, or had to be at least suspected, in order to be verified. Changing anything afterwards, was a tedious and messy process, that tended to discourage the flow of thinking we now take for granted as real time information processing now available to the least of us who can simply ask the relevant questions.

And that would be, not "which gym should I go to," but whether one needs to go to a gym at all, for that purpose -- because obviously, that is the greatest reason why people are not fit -- because they think they have to go a gym to do the few, simple, brief movements that can be accomplished anytime, anywhere -- they have a minute, or even a second.

Because obviously, a second is already plenty of time to produce a great change. How much actual time does it take to throw a punch or a baseball, or hit a ball, or drive a weight overhead. The actual time of such an attempt, is almost always much less than a second, and in fact, the shortest time possible, is usually a measure of that power -- because it is the reduction in the time interval required in measuring change. Masters of their discipline and practice, are those who can compress an hour of effort it takes from everybody else, into a fraction of a second, until many may not even be aware of that effort -- but everything has already changed.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What is the Meaningful Interval of Effort?

A lot of people who have never thought about it, think that the minimal meaningful amount of effort to obtain beneficial results, is twenty minutes of sustained activity -- without considering for a moment, that any significant activity, takes place in a second or less -- including the heartbeat. The average heartbeat ranges from 50-100 a minute, and each individual heartbeat therefore takes less than a second.

Most athletic effort, also takes place in less than a second. A punch that takes longer than that, is not very effective as a punch. A weightlifter, has to move a weight from his shoulder to an overhead lockout, in less than a second, or he can't move much weight. The shotput takes place in less than a minute, as well as the longjump, pole vault, javelin, etc. It is the movement of all the muscles in synchronicity from fullest relaxation to fullest contraction in the shortest time interval that produces maximum power -- which is what their event hopes to measure. It's also the same with throwing a football or baseball; the moment of release is a microsecond.

That is the significant interval of effort -- moving from fullest relaxation to fullest contraction, in the shortest time, which will be significantly less than a second. This is true for every event and activity -- while a steady sustained effort for 20 minutes, is unknown in the world of reality. If one will take 20 minutes to effect a movement, such a movement would be of little value, to effect a real world difference. The meaningful interval of time, will be around one second. But a lot can happen in that one second -- and that is really the objective of every effort a person makes -- to pack as much energy into as brief amount of time as possible, to produce a maximal effect.

Thus, one second, is all that is necessary to demonstrate, manifest, and imply everything that individual is capable of -- while 20 minutes of low level effort, will hardly be a blip, because it is releasing the maximum amount of energy in as brief a time as possible, is what every athletic event and effort is about. That is the basic building block of all effort. If one does not achieve that, then nothing else matters because the energy never develops the critical mass to be transformative and produce change. Change requires intense energy to overcome the inertia of continuation -- to produce a movement in a different direction.

When one can release that energy in the briefest time interval, one becomes capable of making great changes in the world, and not just sustaining the status quo of inertia.

This unawareness of this concept, is why many think that conditioning exercises are ineffective -- because they don't understand the true nature of change, and what it takes. It is not how much energy one expends over 20 minutes that is productive and meaningful, but how much energy one can release in the shortest interval of time, that will permit them to make the changes they desire in the world. That is power -- for any purpose.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Of Course You Have a Minute (Welcome to the New Millennium)

A major contributor to the decreasing participation in simple, health-maintaining activities, are the requirements by poorly educated and insensitive people, in designing programs people would love to do -- instead of paying them to force us to do them, which of course, should be a no-brainer, except to the most moronic -- which is the reason most are actually well-conditioned to avoid such regimens.

It shouldn't come as startling revelation, that everyone desires to be in their best health and condition -- except when the price placed on it, is onerous -- and they rightfully decide, they won't bow to that coercion and obedience. That's what any intelligent person would do -- calculate the reward to cost, benefit to risk, good to the bad, and not just buy a lifetime of misery for one's own good -- as determined by "others."

That used to be the world we lived in -- but that's not our only "choice" anymore. If something doesn't work for YOU then you are free to find something that does -- and not just have an authoritarian voice tell you ever louder, that you have to get with THEIR program -- or else...

That really is the reality of the world we live in today, although there will still be those voices of the past, demanding that we all have to return to the past of their exclusive control and monopolies. Those are also the current struggles and conflicts we presently read about in the news, as one group of organized individuals demanding that no other group has a right to organize to oppose them, and anything but THEIR status quo of increasing and incessant demands, is treason, illegal, against what any educated and enlightened person would consider as the "political correctness" that their group alone should decide for everybody else.

That kind of conditioning, pervades all other more subtle influences we live with daily that if we are not aware and attentive, others decide for us -- as though we thought of them ourselves. That is the destructive conditioning of our "education" in our early years that many do not grow beyond -- and particularly the "educators" themselves, and those who propagate and defend their ideas that don't work for everybody else, but seem to benefit them alone as a trade association or union.

It's time for a level playing field -- so that we can all enjoy playing the game we are each best suited for and enjoy -- and not continue to be exploited on the school yard playgrounds of life, as the toll we have to pay to own our own lives.

Welcome to the new millennium!