Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Moving Without Resistance

As many gifted athletes experience for the first time beginning at around the age of 30, they don't seem to be a quick as they used to be, and that is shortly and usually compounded by the experience of having injuries they've never encountered before, which they never seem to fully recover from, and therefore, there is no chance of regaining that peak performance they were previously noted for.

Usually, those injuries come in the form of muscle tears -- particularly at the hamstring (leg bicep), or more definitively, at the Achilles tendon -- which is a signal to stop in no uncertain terms. Very few people make a full recovery from an Achilles tendon tear, but much more common and persistent, are the lingering hamstring injuries -- or adjoining back spasms, almost always caused not during the contraction or power producing phase of muscle function, but when the muscles are actually moving into the relaxation phase -- but continues to hold on in a contraction, that therefore causes a tear.

Most people don't think about it -- when it occurred to them that they were injured, in the movement towards contraction, or the movement towards relaxation. Those movements are caused by muscle filaments sliding over one another, lubricated by the mucus, which throughout one's youth, remains very viscous, or optimally liquid, but with age, tends to solidify throughout the body -- making such smooth and fluid movements, less so over time.

As I've pointed out in previous discussions of this this aging phenomenon, there seems to be certain nutrients that one can consume that seems to forestall this thickening of the mucus that is characteristic of pain, disease and malfunctioning -- usually treated just as a "symptom" rather than the cause of the disfunctioning of the cells, tissues and organs -- that seems most notably maintained by the popular cough medicine ingredient guaifenesin, which quite a number of people in many different arenas of activity and study, have noticed varying positive effects -- such as eliminating body pain, associated with movement -- particularly as a treatment for fibromyalgia.

Then when these pains become so bad, they largely restrict, prohibit, or preclude movement -- as even a consideration, which accelerates the negative impacts of poor circulation, which is another form of movement within the body.

Traditionally, we have thought of resistance as something outside of the body -- that we exert force against, to produce a favorable assessment of fitness, strength or prodigality -- and seldom, if never before, what are the internal resistances against movement. And while one can recognize the negative aspects of such resistance in our example of letting go of the contraction rather than producing a muscle tear or rupture, the most highly developed disciplines of movement, express this in the ancient notions of tai-chi and chi-gong, which advocate slow movements that seem hydraulic in the manner in which they simply ride the fluidity of the muscles moving in and out of contraction -- without moving into the extremes of fullest relaxation, or fullest contraction.

Their movements are entirely mid-range movements deliberately advocated to avoid the extreme positions that produce maximal contraction particularly. And despite these practices being thousands of years old, this is the area I sensed needed improvement and articulation -- even more than the mid-range, which one achieves and sees in most activity.

But what one seldom, or never sees, are movements to the extremes -- at the extremities, and particularly, initiated at the extremes -- and bringing that contraction back towards the origin of the entire muscular system at the point coincident to the heart. Effecting that movement particularly, has a very powerful healthful effect on the body -- because it compresses all the fluids back towards the center of the body, where they can be purified and revitalized by those centrally located essential organs of the body.

Understanding the essential fluid composition and nature of the body, is really the profound realization of healthful conditioning, movement and practices -- and not the much less meaningful consumption of energy with no directed purpose. This is where fitness activities take on a spiritual and integrating meaning beyond doing anything without any purpose and meaning -- thinking that it will result in some kind of attainment or perfection other than randomness.

This is a qualitative effect and not just a quantitative one -- those who have very little understanding or insight into anything but knowing the jargon, don't pass muster. That is how one distinguishes those with a mastery in any field -- from those who know very little about what they are talking about -- and what masters of any field, look for in determining masters of any other.


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