Traditional teaching and learning paradigms, much like movements and exercise programs, have typically been structured in a way that isolates topics. For example, in formal (and many ‘unformal’) educational processes, we are typically taught anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, biochemistry, and behavior as individual topics. Yet rarely are they shown as an integrated whole telling a bigger picture.
Presumably this is done to allow for focus on one specific area with hopes of minimizing learner interference. While it can be a very effective strategy for both learning information as well as movements, if not integrated into a whole picture, the learner may never fully realize the power of the “whole picture“.
This can be seen in the concept of our “MIND” in movement. Traditionally, the mind and movement are not even seen as two inter-related concepts or influencers. Yet they are so intimately connected that they cannot truly be separated!
SIDE NOTE: Now many of you reading this will adamantly shake your head in agreement, and/or maybe even grin a bit, and proudly say to yourself , “I know that!”
However, if you are not one of these ‘agreers’, you may be shaking your head in disagreement, and/or scowling a bit with narrowing or raised eyebrows, and/or even smirking a bit… and that’s perfectly ok… because if you did any of these reactions (or many others that weren’t listed), you have proved the point.
What you think and feel will predict and dramatically influence your movements.
OK BACK TO THE MIND… so the MIND… what exactly is “the mind”? Most people will point to their head (BTW – an action based on their ‘mindset’) and say that the mind is the inner workings of the ‘brain’. Understandable. BUT which brain?
You see there are 3 known brains in the human body – cephalic (head), cardiac (heart), and enteric (gut). And yes, these are real brains, not some cool, esoteric mumbo-jumbo hype. Like the head brain, the heart and gut brains have their own set of neurons, ganglia, hormones / neurotransmitters, capable of storing memory, etc, etc., and operate independently of the head brain.
So back to the question, “what is the mind?“, if we say it is the inner workings of the brain, we must include all known brains. AND let’s take this one step further… what if there is another ‘brain’? What if the fascial-tissue matrix of the body is also “brain-like”?
After all, it does connect to and permeate every other tissue in the body and more:
- Organs (including the heart, gut, and head brains), bones, muscles, nerves, adipose, and skin (another organ)
- It is the largest sensory receptor in the body – has the most sensory receptors
- It is intimately part of the adipose tissue, which is an endocrine gland producing hormones,
- It has the ability to communicate
- It able to store memories
Now we (potentially) have 4 brains… and this is where it ties into movement.
The MIND has never really been defined much beyond some form of “the inner workings of the brain”. So let’s take what we now know and create a simple working definition for the mind:
The MIND is:
“The locale where all sensations are gathered and revealed”
Using this working definition of the mind, we can now relate it to movement. The mind can intimately influence our movement and vice versa because the mind is the summation of our sensations, or incoming stimuli.
Dr. Roy Sugarman stated:
“Incoming stimuli trigger the activation of automatic and non-conscious adaptive neurophysiological action tendencies.“
According to Dr. Sugarman, these ‘action tendencies‘ are known as emotions. Emotions are the response to sensations, and they trigger mental and physical responses.
TAKE AWAY: The MIND – the locale where all sensations are gathered and revealed – ‘gathers‘ input (sensations) from the fascia-tissue matrix, the gut, the heart, sight, sound, touch, smell, electromagnetic fields, etc., etc., and processes this information to produce a ‘mental and physical response‘. This response is ‘revealed‘ through the fascia-tissue matrix in a posture and/or movement both externally (what can be seen) and internally – breath rate, heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, etc.
Research Case and Points:
- Sad and depressed people have reduced gait speed & arm swing with increased lateral sway and slumped posture compared to a control group
- When people experience disappointment they have a significantly increased forward head and slumped posture
How we feel dictates how we MOVE
How we move dictates how we FEEL
How we move & feel dictates how we LIVE
SOMA is about getting people to MOVE better, FEEL better, LIVE better. If you want to learn more about SOMA click here
If you want to join us in a 3-day Immersion workshop to specifically designed to help learn how to connect the body-movement to the brain(s)-mind, contact us here
One thought on “Our MIND in Movement”
Great post by my brilliant colleague and co-founder of SOMA. Certainly gives us more to think and feel about!! OD