Holistic Biomechanics are the mechanics of all of the systems of the body working together as a whole. Prior to learning new motor patterns, it is necessary to first create an optimal brain environment that allows for learning. Because all actions of the body originate in the brain via the nervous system, Holistic Biomechanics training addresses this issue first and foremost. Once the brain is capable of learning, efficient and reproducible new motor patterning can occur in both skeletal and valve biomechanics. A variety of equipment is used to provide sensory feedback to assist the mapping and learning process, i.e. Pilates, stools, weight cables, balls, and foam rollers.
Joint arthrokinematics is the term used to describe the motor patterning at a joint. Motor patterning includes neural recruitment, muscular recruitment and range of motion at the joint. When the autonomic nervous system is operating in the parasympathetic branch, joint arthrokinematics are optimal thus eliminating compression and degradation in the joint. In the parasympathetic the afferent nerves provide the brain with input and the efferent nerves create a new motor pattern specific to address this information. When the autonomic nervous system is operating in the sympathetic branch, joint arthrokinematics are restricted in order to transfer fuel and blood to vital organs as well as limit sensory input reaching the brain. The afferent nerves do not provide the brain with input and thus the efferent system recruits a motor pattern that it has used sometime before. This does not create an optimal motor pattern for the situation at hand. Over time if the sympathetic motor patterns become the dominantly recruited motor patterns joint compression and degradation occurs.
In order to address disfunctional joint arthrokinematics one must first bring the autonomic nervous system into a parasympathetic state. In this state the brain can re-pattern movement and develop strength. Neural adaptation must precede muscular adaptations in order to override existing movement patterns. True muscular strength is the ability of a muscle to synergistically contract concentrically and eccentrically around a joint. This can only be achieved with correct joint arthrokinematics. Functional muscular force, energetic input and output, can then be gradiated in relationship to the proprioceptive information received by the nervous system. Afferent and efferent systems are organized to produce an appropriate motor response based on sensory motor integration.
Movement education addressing a single joint is the means to returning the body to ideal joint arthrokinematics. Gradually motor patterns between multiple joint complexes in the kinetic chain are retrained and finally the new patterns are incorporated into functional movements. The sympathetic nervous system causes the articulating surfaces of a joint to mobilize incorrectly in relationship to one other leading to compensatory motor patterning. It does this by altering structural alignment, soft tissue extensibility around the joint, and creating deviation in weight bearing and load, and inappropriate muscular recruitment. A joint can achieve “standard or above average” range of motion often times at its own expense due to compensatory joint arthrokinematics. This can cause deterioration and pain at the joint. As one joint develops compensatory movement patterns, other joints and bodily systems are adversely affected. When a joint mobilizes correctly its structural integrity is strengthened and it lends support to the kinetic chain.
The kinetic chain is an interconnected system comprised of the skeletal, nervous and muscular systems, designed to absorb, distribute and produce forces. To produce movement, all components of the chain work simultaneously. When a link in the system is not working correctly, the entire chain compensates. An injury can occur at any place along the chain regardless of which link is dysfunctional. Often, the site of an injury is not the cause of the injury, but rather a culmination of a series of other compensations throughout the kinetic chain.
Appropriate joint arthrokinematics are a necessary component to developing functional muscular strength. Muscles on all sides of the joint must work at an appropriate level, thus obtaining equilibrium of stability and mobility around a joint. When a joint operates with correct arthrokinematics, correct neurorecruitment and muscular recruitment surrounding the joint is successful, thus reducing any extraneous forces and impingement acting on the joint. When the skeletal system is not functioning with the correct arthokinematics it may adversely affect other systems in the body such as the nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system and or digestive system.
The conscious act of gathering sensory information by triangulation, measuring, tracing, outlining, visualization of energetic or motion pathways, etc. that allows the brain to renew its various maps and update their accuracy. It is through body mapping that our personal body image and body schema can be clarified. Clarity of the body schema plays a vital role in the ANS' appropriate selection of the parasympathetic or sympathetic branch.
Compression and pressure calm the central nervous system due to the stimulation of multiple afferent receptors. As the skin and muscle tissue are compressed it is stimulated to expand and upon doing so increases the flow of bodily fluids to the area. This activates the valve system of the body establishing homeostatic internal pressure. It also increases muscle elasticity and responsiveness. Benefits include: stimulus of the valve system which is responsible for respiration, circulation and digestion; allows for appropriate muscular functioning; increase immune system function; allows the brain to improve its overall body map based on the stimulation of multiple afferent (sensory) receptors; calms the central nervous system creating a stop to "fight or flight" bodily processes.