Move­ment is medicine

With spring comes a re­newed de­sire to be more ac­tive again, so there is no bet­ter time than now to fine tune the way we move.

Good - - GOOD PROMOTION - with Gemma Monachino evolve­health.co.nz info@evolve­health.co.nz

Well­ness is more than just the ab­sence of dis­ease – it is an in­tri­cate com­bi­na­tion of phys­i­cal, men­tal, emo­tional, spir­i­tual and so­cial health fac­tors.

Gen­er­ally de­scribed as how we feel about our­selves, well­ness is di­rectly linked to hap­pi­ness and life. That’s why our mantra at Evolve is ‘health is the real wealth.’

Re­search shows us that there are many fac­tors en­hanc­ing well­ness, which are all in­ter­re­lated, and some fac­tors can make up for the lack of oth­ers. In­ter­est­ingly, stud­ies have found that the qual­ity of our re­la­tion­ships does in fact have the great­est im­pact on our sense of well­ness.

Take a minute to pon­der the last time you had an in­jury, headache, aches and pains or ill­ness. Each day at Evolve we see the im­pact in­juries and the like have on us. It takes a huge amount of en­ergy to heal, and the com­pen­satory move­ment pat­terns we de­velop to pro­tect an in­jured part are highly tax­ing on the body. Pain slows us down, wears us down, dis­tracts us and puts us in sur­vival mode.

Not all forms of ex­er­cise are suited for ev­ery­one. Through­out my ca­reer I have wit­nessed the con­se­quence of poor ex­er­cise choice and/or dosage on many oc­ca­sions, which is the main rea­son that we spe­cialise in the func­tional move­ment sys­tems. Assess­ing, screen­ing and test­ing al­lows us to find the ac­tual source of the prob­lem, de­liver ac­cu­rate and ap­pro­pri­ate treat­ment, and en­sures ex­er­cise pre­scrip­tion is truly in­di­vid­u­alised.

Tak­ing care of our phys­i­cal well­ness is cru­cial to feel­ing good. At Evolve we be­lieve it is the cat­a­lyst to over­all well­ness be­cause as hu­mans, we are an evolv­ing liv­ing ma­chine with an in­cred­i­ble di­choto­mous abil­ity to adapt. Pri­mal move­ments, yoga, and Pi­lates are all fan­tas­tic forms of move­ment that pro­vide ex­er­cises in po­si­tions that mir­ror the neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal path­way (NDP). The NDP pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity to tap into the in­her­ent mo­tor pat­tern op­er­at­ing sys­tems, which ul­ti­mately al­low us to im­prove the qual­ity of how we move and feel. For ex­am­ple, we ask our clients to get on the floor and roll over, which is one of the first ‘com­plex’ move­ments we learn as ba­bies. Poor lower-body rolling pat­terns are linked to dif­fi­cul­ties with chang­ing di­rec­tion such as in sports or day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties. Rolling re­quires mo­tor con­trol and there­fore is an ex­cel­lent ner­vous sys­tem re­set. Quadruped ex­er­cises such as bear crawls also re­quire co­or­di­na­tion of both shoul­ders and hips, which re­sults in our core to re­flex­ively switch on. When we move well, then move of­ten – we feel good, have more en­ergy and sleep bet­ter. Our abil­ity to per­form our day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties is sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased, our con­fi­dence im­proves and we feel ‘well’. Then there’s no stop­ping us! Gemma Monachino is the di­rec­tor of Evolve Health In­te­grated Health Spe­cial­ists pro­vid­ing phys­io­ther­apy, acupunc­ture, func­tional move­ment sys­tems, yoga and Pi­lates.

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