It’s kind of like having the worst hangover ever… forever :(

Posted by on Apr 29, 2018 in Personal Training | 0 comments

Happy Monday

In last weeks newsletter I shared with you the most important exercise of them all…

Breathing.

In this weeks newsletter I thought I would share the second most important exercise. The reason it is the second most important exercise is simply because without breathing, well your dead.

But this exercise which creates a whole system can be a mess but you wouldn’t necessarily die from it. Life would just suck...alot!

What I am talking about is without a doubt one of the most overlooked exercises and systems within the sphere of health.

Any guesses?

..

It’s the vestibular system

The vestibular system is mastered through head control and is essential for balance, coordination, posture, and spatial orientation

The science bit

The vestibular system lives in your head, behind your ears. It’s a sensory system consisting of the three top tier systems

  • utricle and saccule which detect gravity (information in a vertical orientation) and linear movement.

  • semicircular canal system which detects rotational movements and are located at right angles to each other and are filled with a fluid called endolymph. When the head rotates in the direction sensed by a particular canal, the endolymphatic fluid within it lags behind because of inertia, and exerts pressure against the canal’s sensory receptor. The receptor then sends messages to the brain about movement from the specific canal that is stimulated. When the vestibular organs on both sides of the head are functioning as they are designed to, they send symmetrical impulses to the brain.

Taking it for granted

A healthy vestibular system is what makes us strong, it gives us the ability to stand and stops us from falling down - all the time. It gives us the ability to hold our heads up and maintain our position on the horizon. It’s a feedback mechanism for everything that we experience.

I would argue that the human body is pretty adaptive, meaning that if you lose a toe, your body will adapt and you will be fine. If you lose your eyes other sensory inputs become more fine tuned and you get by.

  BUT if you have an issue with your vestibular system think vertigo, constant dizziness etc then your body just can’t adapt.

It’s kind of like having the worst hangover ever… forever 🙁 you feel sick, the room is spinning, you don’t feel like you could hold anything down. The only thing you can do is bury your head in the pillow.

The Reason

All the systems in the body are built or routed through the vestibular system. It’s essentially the foundational system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for all the wonderful stuff that happens without you even thinking about it. Things such as breathing, heart rate, digestion etc are all tied into your vestibular system. All those wonderful muscles in your body that get you from A-B are all connected to the vestibular system.

The vestibular system - ‘’ im kind of a big deal ‘’                  

 

The vestibular system is the first sensory organ that begins to develop in the fetus, inside the mother's womb. It begins around 21 days after conception and is developed by 5 months after conception.
So 4 months before Junior is born he has a proper functioning vestibular system. What’s cool is that Junior creates his V-system from his mothers movements. As mum gets off the sofa to make her third mayonnaise and cucumber sandwich, Junior sucks up all that movement information and begins to lock in the development of the brain and nervous system. 


After Junior is born his vestibular system is hit with a whole new challenge… 

Gravity !! 

Juniors first major movement (if you take out the reflexes - sucking, swallowing, gagging) is head turns. 


Head Movements 

Head movements are really the way we solidify our vestibular system. I believe this is the reason that babies are born with such big heads. A baby's head weighs around 30% of its total bodyweight, slap some gravity into the mix and we have our first resistance session. 

    Here is a pic of Bear doing resistance training and locking in his vestibular system. 

To give you an idea of how strong this little man is and you once were, take 30% of your weight and now imagine it to be a kettlebell 

For me it’s a 28kg kettlebell hanging from my neck. That would be pretty hard to just lift off the floor let alone keep it up for minutes at a time. 

Training the Vestibular System

Most people train their V. system without even knowing it. Essentially every time you move your head up and down, left and right. 

That said sometimes you might need a little more training

Here is a cool little drill for the V. system

 

The Infinity Walk

 

How to...


1: Your eyes always stay fixated on your visual target.
2: Your hips always stay facing in the direction that you are travelling.

Variation 1 

For variation #1 of the infinity walk you’re going to begin by standing between your cones with your back facing your visual target. Once you're in starting position you're going to rotate around until you can see your visual target. What you are going to be doing is walking a figure 8 pattern around your cones, keeping your eyes on the target while staying relaxed and maintaining good alignment.

Variation 2

To find your starting position you’re going to begin between your cones again but this time you’re actually facing your visual target. You're going to begin walking around one of your cones, and eventually if you were to keep going your eyes would come off your target so at this point you have to create a pivot. You are going to use a 3-step sequence to do it. 1, 2, 3. Your head is on a swivel, your body has rotated, and your hips are still pointing in the direction that you are facing. Now you can come through the centre


So there you have it. Go get vestibular training 

Paul ‘’holding a 28kg kb around my head" and Krystie "would you please take it off" Miller    

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