When describing the phases of your Home Exercise Program, we like to make an analogy to manufacturing and maintaining a high performance vehicle — what does it take to build and maintain a high performance vehicle? You need the highest quality component parts. Those component parts are assembled into systems: braking, transmission, steering, etc. The systems are then assembled to make your high performance vehicle.
In phase one, we focus on individual structures in your body (or your high performance vehicle component parts). For example, in order to propel yourself forward off the right foot (something you need to do every step you take), you need to be able to: move the right big toe joint, sideband your pelvis right, rotate your ribcage left, swing your right arm forward, etc. So we start by manufacturing the best components parts — getting stuck joints moving in all three dimensions.
In phase two, the parts are then assembled into systems (e.g. transmission, braking, steering). This corresponds to regions in your body. For example in your lower extremity, your hip joint needs to work well with your knee joint and foot. In your trunk, your pelvis and ribcage need to coordinate.
In phase three, the systems are assembled to make your high performance vehicle. In your Home Exercise Program this corresponds to a full body integration of your “systems.” Now that your left foot can pronate, and your pelvis can rotate right while your ribcage simultaneously rotates left, etc., let’s assemble those systems (lower extremity, upper extremity, trunk) into a functional full body movement. That is the high performance vehicle we’ve been working toward since phase one. NOTE: when working with us, nearly 100% of the time, this full body integration exercise is one we learned from Gary Ward/Anatomy in Motion (AiM).
Good question! Much like a car, often it is not. Using the car analogy, if you notice uneven wear on your tires, would you simply replace the tires? You could, but if you didn’t address your suspension system (wheel alignment), you’d probably be replacing your tires all too often because you haven’t addressed the underlying issue. There are similar intricate relationships within your body structures. Perhaps your pelvis doesn’t sideband left in an attempt to slow down a right foot that pronates too much too fast. Yes, this happens! If we just restore the ability of your pelvis to sideband left without addressing why that right foot pronates too much too fast, well…it’ll be just like replacing your tires without fixing the wheel alignment.
How quickly you move through your phases depends on how many parts and systems we need to manufacture or repair. Sometimes clients come to see us and there is one lynchpin movement their body is missing. Simply re-introducing and integrating that missing movement achieves resolution — their car is back on the road. Sometimes clients come in and we find multiple parts and systems that could use some work. This will be influenced by several factors:
Typically, we know we are done when your issue(s) is resolved. However, much like a high performance vehicle, your body needs regular maintenance. When working with us, we are developing an owner’s manual, including a maintenance schedule and trouble shooting skills that ultimately you will own. We have done our job when you know how to perform preventive maintenance and trouble shoot issues in your own moving body.
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