Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Z-Health Thought of the Day: Startle Reflex

One of the enemies of efficiency is the "Startle Reflex." The other is Sensory Motor Amnesia where people literally forget how to move. Let's address Startle Reflex.
Startle Reflex is hard wired into our brains for the purpose of survival. In certain situations, covering up the face and vital organs is of critical importance for SURVIVAL!!! However, far too many people are chronically in some degree of startle regarding their posture which makes it impossible to move with optimal efficiency. Here are some of the effects of startle by body region:
Head: Moves forward to cover up cervical spine.
Face: Tense jaw and squint eyes to protect mouth and face.
Shoulders: Elevates to shield throat and cervical spine.
Chest: Rounds forward to protect throat, heart, lungs, and other vital organs.
Ribs: The space in-between gets smaller to protect the lungs.
Abdomen: Flexes forward to guard organs and load for a more stable base of support in case we need to run.
Glutes: Contracts to tip pelvis forward and helps put torso in flexion for running away.
Legs: Adduct towards midline to protect groin, calves load to increase stability and balance.
All these are critically important for survival and will work INSTANTLY without any cognitive thought when your life is threatened, but over extended periods of time it is not healthy to be in such a state with such extreme postural deviations. Look around today--you'll see people everywhere exhibiting these sorts of postures and signs of "startle" because they are in some degree of threat. When you think about how the body senses lack of movement as threat, and how most people SIT all day and hardly move, it's no wonder so many of us now have "threat" postures related to the Startle Reflex. In nature, an animal that never moves gets eaten. This is how our brains are wired for survival. MOVE OR DIE!!!
With Z-Health, we facilitate removing threat, removing chronic startle reflex, and ultimately removing pain as well. Do all that and life will improve along with your movement too!
In MOVEment, Coach RJ

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