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Additional recommended knowledge
The creator of this method is Pete Egoscue who has spent over twenty years studying the human body as an exercise therapist. He believes that the cause of musculoskeletal dysfunction, and subsequent pain, is the lack of motion that humans require to live and thrive without technology. This means the majority of the modern human lifestyle which includes specific routine movements, driving a car and sitting at home watching TV with segments of walking and standing in between just is not enough to compare with the natural(technology free) life of running after prey, jumping over streams, climbing trees, throwing spears and a lot of walking. These are both narrow generalizations of both lifestyles but the main point is that the more humans design machines to do something for them, the more they are limiting their own physical motion.
Without the more physically active lifestyle humans had prior to technology, the body does not get the same full range of motion to strengthen the entire musculuoskeletal system. As a result, the body starts to slump forward or to the side and then one or more load-bearing joints become misaligned. At this point a part of the musculoskeletal system is no longer supported by the part below and is fighting gravity more than it should be. That causes the body to improvise and contract any muscle it can to keep the person from completely collapsing. The E-cises are designed to compensate for the lack of natural motion. Once they have returned the musculoskeletal system back to a functional state the individual is then encouraged to lead a more balanced lifestyle, focusing on getting more physical exercise/motion. There is also a program of overall conditioning E-cises that can be used as a daily exercise routine to keep the person from falling back into dysfunction.
The Bilateral Body
The eight load-bearing joints, in standing form, are meant to be stacked in a straight line one on top of the other. At the same time each partner, the right and left shoulder for example, should be directly across from the other making sure that one is not behind or above its counterpart. In motion these joints can and should take on many positions but it is important, and one of the Egoscue Methods goals, for the person to understand what the neutral(standing) position is.
Every human has muscle memory which means that the more a person's musculoskeletal system falls and stays out of bilateral alignment the more their proprioceptors see that as normal. The proprioceptive muscle spindles are in a constant state of communication with the central nervous system and cerebellum. This dynamic anatomical conversation is and should be intense, when the musculoskeletal system is out of alignment, to catch the person's attention so that they can adjust their posture. Over time this same internal conversation becomes somewhat ignored and the person just remains slumped over or dysfunctional in another way. After an extended period of remaining dysfunctional gravity and friction start wearing on muscles and joints, resulting in pain. E-cises are meant to bring the internal conversation back to the person's attention by reminding them what a functional body feels like. Once bilaterally functional again, it is up to the individual to keep listening to their body and to give it what it needs to remain functional.
Examples of Dysfunction
If a person was to hold a ten pound weight(about the same weight as the human head) straight above them, arm locked, it should not be that physically taxing. Now if that person kept their arm locked but brought the weight down to a 45 or 90 degree angle that person is going to have a much harder time keeping it there. In this analogy the ten pound weight represents the head and the arm represents the spine. The more a person slumps forward the more their spine takes on the form of a C rather than the natural S shape. As the cervical segment of the spine(the neck) falls forward there is now a ten pound weight known as the head pulling on it, as opposed to resting on top of it properly.
No scientific assessments regarding the efficacy of the Egoscue Method have been performed.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Egoscue_Method". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.