Why movement is the best medicine and how it makes us smarter

Our senses operate through resonance, by allowing ourselves to be moved, we gain information, and may play wiht grace.

You will not find these ideas in books on neuroscience and psychology, rather than hard facts, my explanations better resemble metaphors.  They are my attempt to rearrange fragments of knowledge and allow a fresh picture to emerge. One that better matches biology and the possibility of greater bio-diversity.

Relax to receive – Information as movement

Emotions lend power and texture to communications. As discussed in depth in my previous post, although emotions come in many flavours, perhaps it is useful to see them as being either: based in physical contraction or expansion. Notice, that I chose to write expansion rather relaxation.

When cells, tissues, organs and bodies are relaxed they are able to resonate or be moved more freely they are receptive to in-comming signals. They gather, transmit and move with more information, expanding their inter-relationship.

Do our Intentions determine our intelligence?

Intelligence can be defined either as pure information, for example, to gather intelligence. Or the ability to recognise and store repeating patterns. To sense and make sense of what is happening.

In nature, which encompasses everything, all is interrelated, even chaos or the dissolving of order happens predictably. We tend to hang onto or memorise the repeating elements or pieces of this larger pattern that we see advantage in.

Those broken of pieces of the greater pattern become our intentions. How we store or memorise these fragments determines both what we are able to feel and how we feel.

There are ways to make sense of the data that allow us to move gracefully and effectively in the flow of what is happening. When we cling to patterns that seem to bring personal advantage, but do not flow with what  is happening we experience and perpetuate turbulence.  Lets explore this.

Synapses form loose connections like sea grass swaying in the currents, like Ram they are up-datable. Hard memories are stored elsewhere, like ROM these determine how we react to inputs with less flexible responses.

Virtual Reality of the Synapses – The Mind Field

Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the our nerve endings to make and break connections like trees waving together in the wind. As we have more  rich and engaging experiences we make more connections, we come to understand what is happening and how to move with it. These types of connections are flexible and update readily. They begin to form an inner map that resonates with our environment and circumstances.

Our instincts shuttle resources away from this part of the brain, away from healing, rejuvenation and protection of the DNA. Into our muscle memories for fast life saving actions. Our muscle memories are a collection of learned skills that provide moving experiences. But skill are not the only patterns stored in our bodies.

May the Force be without you for a while

We need to contract to transfer or generate force. Applying less force for less time not only saves energy, it allows us to return to greater sensitivity faster.

Grace, elegance and efficiency are measures of how effectively we apply force. All of these are determined by how well our cells move in relation to each other and how well our bodies move in relation to their surroundings.

Friction is a cost of moving things, (like Inertia) it is a force that must be overcome in order create movement. In our bodies, non useful stored tension wastes energy as it hinders our ability to move and be moved.

Sensitivity is the ability to resonate or be moved by incoming energy, be it, sound, light, heat, magnetism or another expression of force, (they are likely all one anyway).

So if Neuroplasticity is in fact, all wavy and tree-like, how dow we come to be so tense and why do we have the ability to not be moved?

How do we store these patterns that do not “resonate” or move nicely with the passing energy, like leaves in the wind and waves in the ocean?

So glad you asked 🙂

Tension is what we think, Sensation is what can not be thought.
Fascia is stores and releases energy. If not released tension becomes memory that we experience as emotion. Is this tension who we are, or who we think we are?

The Spring within – Fascia is the tissue of Connection or is it?

A cell, much like an amoeba, is an individual unit of life, as such it can move (contract/relax), produce energy from food, and sense its environment and reproduce. It senses its environment predominantly, through its membrane or surface.

To increase access to information from environment it can increase its surface area, if it gets too big it will become unstable and fragile. At some point it is just easier to “join forces” with adjacent cells to create a more complex organism.

Cells become tissues, different tissues join to become organs, organ systems, organisms and eventually organisations of organisms. Yet binding this all is the tissue of connection – the fascia. Yes even our societies are bound by fascia.

is freedom proportional to acceptance?
We are hard wired for validation, the more threatened we feel, the more alone we feel, the more seek attention and validation. Is leadership the art of relaxing people or creating tension?

Fascia becomes the tissue that determines if there is an issue.

Fascia forms a moving, sliding, gliding three dimensional web that binds us to together. It is elastic and stretchy, combined with muscle and nerve fibres it both receives and transmits force. Fascia takes on the role of the membrane in that simple amoeba model, it is all about inter-action.

Due to the elastic nature of fascia, it can store and release tension like a rubber band.  Imagine a cheetah running, as its foot absorbs the weight of its body returning to Earth, that force is stored, as it springs of the ground, that stored energy is released. Together with powerful muscle contractions the combined force is enormously effective.

For this to work, the fascia must release all non relevant tension, (friction) and get out of the way. The cheetah’s nervous system must coordinate muscle contractions and relaxations in perfect timing to the changing circumstances. Total and perfect sensitivity to environment though the senses is required.

Sensitivity is a function of softness, of suppleness of the membrane of the fascia of the organism to “allow” what is to be.

Threatened with extinction

When we perceive a threat, the emergency part of our brain selects a spontaneous instinctive response. Enormous resources are sent to move us out of danger. If there is in fact no real and present danger those resources remain unspent.

Precious bio-chemicals, electrolytes, endorphins, neurotransmitters, hormones, ATP remain in the system, we get a rush.  The fascia gets wound up ready to spring.

We experience these minor and major tensions as the emotions of contraction. If not released, the spring remains wound up, that stored tension becomes a kind of body memory. The corresponding emotion is un-pleasent, unbearable in fact, as it keeps us blind un-easy, threatened and vulnerable. It makes us feel alone.

When we repeat this many times, fail to move and feed our bodies poorly, the fascia gets stuck in the prepared state and we loose both agility and sensitivity. We embody the fear response and as we become increasingly deadened, we get scared more easily. This turns us back to the tribe for comfort, re-assurance and validation. Attention seeking.

Stories Kill the possibility of life.
Can we work together without controlling each other, with out squeezing the life out of the biosphere? Yes – but first we must accept our fears and sense what is real. We must let go of our stories.

Swell times ahead – inflammation vs information

In the animal kingdom, animals that move poorly become lunch, their molecules are recycled early. In the world of Sapiens, we have learned how to re-direct the forces of nature, we can create swelling in the environment and harvest from it, saving our energy.

We no longer need to be graceful and sensitive, so long as we are up-stream of the swelling we can harvest easily. We are taught how to behave and what is valuable. We play the game of squeezing nature and competing for a place up-stream. Those downstream in the land of lack, are obviously un-educated or lazy.

These stories that maintain the status quo and are not fluid and wavy at all, they are all about fear, contraction, swelling and control. Perhaps we can not store these kind of memories in our synapses, maybe they are stored in the fascia, in the skin within. They are transmitted and re-enforced via stories empowered by tone of voice and body language, via the emotions of contraction.

When action arises out of understanding, there is beauty and grace. The possibility of Abundance returns. Fear is the opposite, can we move beyond fear? what is the alternative?

Movement as Medicine

Movement brings awareness to both tension and relaxation, to where we are stuck and swollen and to where we are fluid, alive and sensitive. All movement happens in relation to the energy or forces that are present in our environment.

To free ourselves from the stories that are anchored in our fascia with emotion we need to return our focus to sensitivity. This is the most difficult task their is and very few succeed totally.

Most of us have fleeting experiences of the alive connected, timelessness and selflessness of these “states”. We call them altered states, but I wonder if they are our birthright and it is our collective culture that alters us?

The purpose of these writings and illustrations is to explore letting go of non-relevant tension. Allow our synapses to build better models, to understand the flowing biology that coats this planet. To return to Information, accept our vulnerabilities and release inflammation.

 

Is your Education keeping you out of Flow state?

Super Conductor of Flow
To be a super conductor of flow, release that which does not match reality. Where could such be stored?

Emotions anchor memory, but at what cost?

How do we store experiences that we have not had?

Do certain types of emotion trick our biology into remembering concepts as though they were actual events?

Stories create emotion through empathy, this identification gives rise to emotion, creating memories that will effect future perception and action.

Lacking real experience,we use emotions to store abstract ideas. The type of emotions used are contractive rather than expansive and as they do not gel with reality they end up triggering the emotions we used to store them.

I also suspect that we store these ideas in our muscle memory. Specifically in our fascia, constantly triggering these programs, and releasing stress hormones without any real threat leads to calcification in the fascia, loss of posture and loss of focus. Making it harder to achieve flow states.

This may turn out to be inaccurate, but my reasoning is as follows:

Life is Movement

From single cell organisms to mammals with complex multi organ systems, timely information about environment is critical to function. When organisms can not sense accurately, they can not respond or allocate resources effectively to maintain internal order.

Relax or Contract

Limbs wings and fins are obvious examples of groups of cells working together to contact or relax, to provide motion.
To pump gasses and liquids, digest, hunt and harvest, to fight or flee, learn, signal and reproduce, cells must move.
The complexity and diversity of movement possible in the biosphere appears unlimited but it all arises from cells contracting and relaxing in unison.

Binary states

Among the ways cells sense and signal is via proteins on their membrane surfaces, these proteins are like locks waiting for the right keys. When cells are in contraction most of these key holes are full and the cells are blind to fresh stimuli until they relax again. ( This is a massive over-simplification but as a metaphor it may be useful).

Emotion is language

Sensitive nervous systems managing trillions of cells provide highly nuanced details of these states of contraction and relaxation. Language and Complex social interactions further broaden ‌cellular signal movements to include gestures sounds and smells.

Homo sapiens emerged about 70,000 years ago and our ability to use language to cooperate and share information vastly increased different possible emotions. Beneath all that, I see these emotions falling into two categories, contraction and relaxation.

Inappropriate tension is inappropriate memory
Contractive Emotions can correct poor behaviour, they are useful and unavoidable. Inappropriate tension is often anchored with emotion to release it, we need to let go of the story bounding it into our body’s.

Contract or Relax – Move or Feel

The language of contraction is dominated by instincts that correlate with defense, flight and fight, acquiring, consuming and mating. It’s all about survival, applying force and controlling risk. Contraction is action. Contraction without action can be seen as blocked energy or trauma.

The returning of relaxation defines the language of sensitivity. Allowing the possibilities of interaction, coordination, cooperation and even creativity. It’s all about using the incoming data for making fresh connections and expanding opportunities. About playfulness, coordination and learning. Relaxed tissues allow resonance.

Instincts and opinions

There are times when instincts save us and movement programs such as breathing, beating our hearts, digestion and even walking are essential. Patterns of movement become skills, when we add significant focus, those skills become extraordinary. When threatened, defence programs run automatically. They bypass my reason centers and take me straight into action.

Our biology can not distinguish between a real event and an imagined event. How I perceive or feel alters the chemical signals between my cells. My body responds to emotions, yet emotions that arise from thinking may be unrelated to the ‌movement around me.

Bad memories

When I experience danger or a threat, my body releases the emergency hormones of flight and fight. These hormones free resources and narrow my focus in preparation for instant and massive action.

When I have a false alert this energy remains unused. Energy normally allocated to immune response, metabolism, accurate protein synthesis and higher level thinking, is now available for action. What happens to this unused potential?

Fascia, the skin within and its role in memory

Our fascia or connective tissue is the white skin that coats our bones, it surrounds individual and groups of muscle fibers, nerves and blood vessels. Fascia forms an interconnected three dimensional web throughout our bodies, storing and releasing energy like a system of springs. I think of fascia as an extension of our nervous system, but like many of these ideas, that may not be strictly accurate.

The programmability of fascia plays a role in how we create and store muscle memories. Fascia/neurone memories are “chunks” of information, which we combine instinctively to perform simple and complex tasks from walking to windsurfing.

In its dormant or relaxed state, the fascia is flexible and its fibres glide easily across each other. When threatened, parts of the body contract to defend itself. With trauma, we create patterns of tension inappropriately, ‌and it can become permanent restriction that interferes with our posture.

Shaking Free

When a wild animal escapes a near death experience it will shake uncontrollably to reset all its signals back to the open and receptive state again. Similarly, we see dogs run in crazy circles to burn of the hormones of excess excitement. Crying also helps to shed excess hormones.

As we age, “toughen up” and stop being silly, we don’t disperse these action potentials, and things that continually upset us build patterns of tension that become locked into our fascia.

Blocked Energy

This stored contraction holds both the shape and the feeling that triggered it. Besides inviting disease, it becomes a body memory that will inhibit both skilled movement and how we sense our environment. It keeps us partially blind and more reliant on memories and programs.

Healers call this blocked or stuck energy. Releasing it physically may help, but usually we must also release the perception or story that carries the emotional charge.

Pure experience provided by our senses, can never provide the evidence to support stories of a seperate anything. As all is in relation and effects everything else, valuations and comparisons are human assumptions.

When we latch onto ideas or stories for the purpose of increasing our feeling of power, control, worthiness or advantage, or when we latch onto knowledge to defend, enhance or protect our “selves”, we must use emotion to anchor these “facts”.  Emotion provides a texture of tension that tricks our biology into feeling it is having a real world experience.

This accumulated tension creates an identity of self as seperate and keeps us moving in reactive semi-blind circles. The “seperate self” is in constant need of validation from other tribe members, to feel worthy, safe and connected. Much of our energy is spent in attention seeking, acquiring, improving or distracting the vague feeling of un-easiness created by this illusory seperate self.

Over thinking over

Our biology is not stupid, it says ” hey big fella, check out this feeling thats interrupting our cells – POW”. When that emotion arises we may accept it, suppress it, distract ourselves from it or react to it.

Reacting to it usually involves our minds inventing a version of events where we get to hang onto our belief and blame the bad feelings on something external. This replaying saps our focus, suppression saps our ability to feel that part of ourselves and both, keep us insensitive.

Loosing Sensation, feels like Separation

Being insensitive, reactive and walled off, destroys our ability to have healthy relationships. Leaving us unable to feel, even when people do accept and validate us. We mistake losing accurate sensation as the loss of connection and ironically may try even harder to seek attention, respect and validation.

Addictive behaviour traces back to the pain of feeling seperate. We are never ‌seperate until the decay process removes the order in our biology. We need to feel connection directly, the same way we need to learn things directly. Both are hindered by remaining in contraction.

Flow is
To go with our flow, we have to let go, trust unifies, it is the acceptance of death within the organism in order to maintain the flow of biology. This allows the possibility of graceful action and diversity of the life experience.

To grow with the Flow, I have to let go

I try not to get attached to concepts that I will not able to experience and test directly. Holding onto ideas that do not match the evidence of my senses creates conflict and emotional reactivity.

This stored emotional tension ruins my posture making sensitivity, graceful interaction, and fresh skill acquisition difficult.

Flow states and focused movement help us to release stuck signals, and more fully inhabit our bodies and relationships. Each of us is tuned to feel our world uniquely, by placing our attention into rich activities that fully engage our senses rebuilds our ability to focus and is another on-ramp into flow, into health and into freedom.

As usual this is deep and difficult to grasp, I hope you find it helpful. I suspect we live about 70 years because the journey of self understanding takes time to un-wind.