MUSCLE ACTIVATION (BE ACTIVATED)
Muscles can on occasion 'switch off' when put under too much demand. This can happen as a result of over training (doing too much too soon) or when under stimulated such as long periods being seated. It can also happen during prime growth periods during adolescence, post injury/surgery and also due to excessive stress.
Think of it like a fuse that blows to protect the circuit. The ‘brain’ switches off the relevant muscles (the nerve impulse through the muscle tissue becomes inhibited) to protect it from injury. In effect it wants us to stop using that muscle of group of muscles. What happens is that other muscles then start to compensate which causes a chain reaction of muscles ‘switching off’ (not working effectively) and then throwing your body out of ‘balance’ or efficiency.
Initial symptoms that you may experience are -
Limbs feeling heavy or unresponsive
Slow reaction time
Tight muscles that don't respond to stretching practices
Feeling clumsy and reduced co-ordination
A series of muscle tests we perform checks for these imbalances. One of our prime movers is the Psoas muscle (hip flexor) and it's main job is to lift the leg forward and outwards before the quadriceps muscle takes over. When this is 'deactivated' our body cleverly gets other muscles to do its job for it. Unfortunately this causes unforeseen stresses, which will in turn trigger other muscles to have to compensate like a dominoes effect. This over a period of time may lead to an injury without you even realising it. Once tested and imbalances have been found then specific hands on and immediate techniques are used to reactivate the muscle. We can then design exercises specific to your needs to maintain the new and optimum pattern.
In ancient medicine physicians were paid to keep patients healthy and as soon as their patients became injured they stopped getting paid until the patient was healthy again. We endorse a philosophy of ‘prevention over cure’ whereby we screen your body and fix imbalances before they become a serious problem. These are for the most part imbalances you do not know you have, but, by fixing them preventatively you will avoid potentially injuring yourself which will leave you incapacitated from work, sport, caring for a young family or simply from being able to move and enjoy your day to day life. This is not an issue isolated to athletes it is relevant to everyone.
In a world where we regularly screen our cars for problems and pay significant bills for servicing and MOT’s, it is important that you realise you can buy a new car, but your body has to see you all the way through. We seem to have learnt to ignore it until it is crying out for help through pain signals from the nervous system.
If there is one thing you can do to help improve your movement and function, avoid injuries and maximise performance efficiency then that is to get your body screened, activated and re-balanced. This is as important for the Olympian as it is to the office worker, grandparent or young child.