Patterns are everywhere

Can you figure out how these pictures – the smile and the deadlift are similar?

In both pictures, there are a number of movements, a sequence if you will that have allowed the action of smiling and the exercise within the photo (deadlifting) to occur. This is what we refer to as a pattern. Both actions shown above require areas of the body to activate to complete the task.

Patterns exist all around us in every day life. From how you get up in the morning, to how you brush your teeth, to how you walk, to how you butter your toast and so on.

Patterns can allow us to tap into a pre-ordained path in our body, one where we can essentially switch off from our brain and go to a state of auto-pilot. How many times have you found yourself driving somewhere before you realise you weren’t even paying attention? Driving has become a pattern for you, this allows you to concentrate else where.

Patterns can be good and bad.

Let’s use the example of studying for a test.

We may have a pattern that makes us successful in exams, this may look like consistently studying, revising the course content, testing yourself through prompting questions. These behaviours have created a pattern to allow you to study and give you a good chance of being successful in the upcoming test.

In contrast we may have someone who tells themselves they do not like studying or need to study. They may avoid engaging with the course content, ‘Wing it’ and just see what happens when they head into the exam.

Come exam time who do you think will be successful?

As I said our patterns can be good and bad.

So how does this relate to movement?

Sequencing of events is a massive area to make or break our movement. If we are walking, we want to land and move through the gait (walking) cycle in a sequential action to allow smooth motion.

This would look like first landing with your heel, following onto the centre of your foot before pushing off of your toes and completing the same task on the opposing limb. This creates the walking pattern. Each human should walk this way based on our anatomical make up.

Now, If our movement patterns were to break down, what might be the consequences for you?

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Compensation from surrounding Muscles / Tendons / Bones
  • Mood changes
  • Stress

Now can you think of a movement you struggle with? You may get pain walking upstairs, you might not be able to touch your toes, you may struggle to reach the top cupboard in your house with your arms. Each of these examples illustrate a breakdown in our movement patterns.

The good news is we can restore this!

Through assessing our limitations, giving targeted exercise and being conscious of our everyday postures such as how we stand, sit, walk e.t.c we can alter our movement, learn and even unlearn patterns and enhance the quality of our movement!

This means you can

  • Mitigate or erase your pain
  • Improve your flexibility
  • Improve your mood and energy levels
  • Engage with the tasks that are most important to you!

Change your patterns, Move Right, Live Right.

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