Whole Body Training
FasciAgility is a program that addresses the body’s major movement systems: Fascia, Neuro, Muscle and Skeletal.
The body moves due to a coordination between these systems:
- Fascia—the organ of form, provides the packaging for these individual systems as well as support and communication.
- Nervous—the brain communicates and controls the movements of the muscles, through the peripheral nerves as well as the fascia. (the peripheral nerves travel in fascial channels that they share with the veins and arteries.)
- Muscles—the nerves orchestrate the movements of the muscles—firing and relaxing are the only two movements a muscle can make—to coordinate movement. Fascia both contains/defines the muscles as well as transmits the contractile force to the skeletal system.
- Skeletal—the skeletal system provides the spacers, compressional elements for the muscular system to act on. The articulations of the skeletal system both allow for and limit the motion—through the shape of the joints.
There is a hierarchy of control in these systems. Perhaps it’s obvious that the nervous system must be intact for any movement at all to occur. By intact we mean it must be able to communicate to the muscles and receive positioning information from the periphery. A severing of the system results in paralysis—this can occur through actual severing the nerve, damaging the brain (stroke) as well as nerve impingements. An impingement on the nerve is evidenced by degrees of movement aberration. An impingement in the system can cause a movement that is not optimally coordinated. This movement deviation from the optimal can and will cause issues with: muscle firing order setting and t, motor unit recruitment and proper joint movement.
The muscles, under control of the nervous system fire in an order to elicit the desired motion. The nervous system controls movements—movements are very complex orchestrations—not simply individual muscles. The control of the muscle is defined by a motor nerve and the individual muscle cells it innervates, a motor unit. When the motor nerve fires all of the cells in its unit turn on. If there is a requirement to recruit more muscle cells another motor unit is recruited. (It’s these later motor units that are recruited in a new exercise routine or intensity that get sore after the work is done—the ability to quickly recruit motor units is a major part of muscle tone and agility. If one performs the same movements over and over, we recruit the same motor pattern and motor units. This repetition leads to a hypertrophy, enlargement, of the surrounding of the muscle fibers as well as a lack of movement options.) A muscle cannot initiate movement; it is dependent on the nervous system to create the conditions for the contraction. Also, muscles can only contract or resist extension in a controlled manner.
The skeleton provides the support for: movement to occur, resisting gravity, and the articulation (joints) for the neuromuscular system to act on for complex movements. It is really quite passive, in that–like the muscular system–it does not initiate movement, but rather provides a lever for the muscle to act through. Without the skeleton the muscle would be pulling on itself, the skeleton creates the space and levers for the muscle to act on and allows directional movement. (Jelly fish contract their muscles but have very little control over directional movement.)
Movement is ultimately controlled by the nervous system, while being channeled by the shape of the joints. The communication of the nervous control signals travel through both the peripheral nerves and the fascia—there is recent research that shows that the fascia is actually the major communication path in the body.
When a movement aberration occurs it can be caused by a restriction in any of the systems. Unfortunately, the joints are the system that is most susceptible to damage from a movement aberration in the others. This is an important point; joint problems can be caused by a restriction in another system—not just the skeletal—only looking to the joint for a solution to a joint problem is not that smart.
FasciAgility addresses all of the body’s movement systems to effect a change. The gentle undulating body movements we use to re-hydrate the fascia helps to move the nerves through their fascial sheaths breaking up restrictions there. This is allows for optimum nervous control over movement. The toning movements we use enhance the connection between the nervous system and the muscles—recruiting more motor units—movements are more agile, cat like, and strong/definitive.