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Fundamental Joint Mobility

Joints are made to move.

Regularly exploring the movement possibilities in each joint is something I highly recommend that you do.

Joints are both fed and lubricated my movement. The bursa that release synovial fluid into the joint is activated by motion.

It's this fluid that "oils" the joint and it also feeds the tissues within.

If that's not a compelling enough reason to regularly engage in joint rotations, then I'd like to steal a phrase from Gary Ward, the creator of Anatomy in Motion (AiM) that we use for our assessment and injury management protocols.

Gary likens exploratory movement to "shining a light into dark corners"

Think of it like this..

Your brain has a "map" of the body.

Each region of the body, each area served by particular neurons or nerves has an area of the brain that is responsible for it.

Neuroscience research has shown that if you tape two fingers together, the neural activity changes in the brain in around 20 minutes to treat them as a single finger.

So when we move the joints through large ranges of motion, we are cleaning up that map, we are exploring that map, we're looking for "dark corners" to shine light into to dark corners that might not have been visited for a while.

You're hitting "refresh" on that map

The results of this can vary person to person, most feel freer in their movement, better coordinated and confident in their body.

This video takes you through a sequence that we've taught in Wild Geese for over a decade, movements we learned from our teachers and instructors in Martial Arts, Fitness and bodywork:

We like to teach this top down:

  1. Head and neck

  2. Shoulders

  3. Elbows

  4. Hands and wrists

  5. Hips

  6. Knees

  7. Hips again

  8. Spine

You could go ground up

You can go from extremities into the core (spine)

Just find a sequence and order that suits you and is logical.

You now have a systems check.

A checklist like you would have for any other maintenance task.

Regularly going through this checklist offers you immediate feedback to changes in your body.

It draws your attention to areas that are working better, or areas that require more careful attention.

Try it for 5-10 minutes each day for a month, and tell me how you feel


Dave Hedges

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