A New Perspective: The Body

We have the pleasure of having a fellow health and wellness enthusiast Dr. Mahmoud Zaerian (DC, CSCS, BA Kin) as a guest writer!  He will be doing a three part series on body mechanics.  Dr. Mahmoud Zaerian is a practising chiropractor in the city of Toronto and has been in the health field for 13 years working with the city's top amateur athletes, including the Canadian women's Olympic hockey team. He practises an integrative approach to the care of the individual including various manual techniques as well as the implementation of mind/body techniques to impact the body. Providing sound education and focused care, Dr. Z works with his patients to bring forth a whole new level of health and performance. 

A New Perspective

Over the last couple of decades there has been a lot of research done on the body, and the results have created a new view or a new perspective on the body and how to treat it.

For 300 years we have had a view that our body is much like a machine (a mechanistic view). In this view, our body has a skeleton made of bones, muscles, and skin over top.   If something hurts in one part of our body, say our knee, than we need to fix that aspect of the machine. A new view has emerged with the greater understanding of our nervous system (including our brain) and our connective tissue (our fascia).

This new view of the body holds within it that our body is one big interconnected tissue, one in which there exists one muscle with 600 pockets, as oppose to 600 muscles. This body is also a functioning integrated system, as oppose to several parts put together. 

How Does This Affect You?
Well, if you can think of your body like your shirt, when you pull at one end of the shirt at the shoulder, you will notice the whole shirt will change its appearance, and even have some wrinkling at another end. The tension that is in the shirt will change. Your shirt may not have the same feel on you, you may not be able to move one arm as well, or at least without some resistance, while the end that is being pulled will start to stretch and maybe eventually tear. 

This is similar to what is happening within our bodies!

We are constantly imposing certain forces on the body, and those forces alter your body’s state and functioning. Our body is designed to move, and we are repeatedly exposing it to repetitive movements leading to the development of certain patterns of tension in the body, much like pulling your shirt at one end that creates a new pattern for that shirt. These new tensions on the body or new patterns, lead to increased load on other parts of our body.  Consequently, this can lead to injuries such as muscle strains and tears, sprains, and even arthritic changes.

So, How Do we Iron Out the Creases?
Based on these findings there are new strategies to care for the body.   For example, when we shift our attention to where the pain is being felt (analogous to the wrinkle created when you pull at one end of your shirt) we can distinguish where the dys-function  is (analogous to where the pull is on your shirt). Discovering the dysfunctions in our body is the first step to restoring optimal functioning.  This can mean restoring normal activity in our nervous system, releasing tension in tissues, strengthening weakened muscles, or improving poor circulation

Stay Tuned: 
In the follow-up to this post, I will show you one of the most common side effects on the body from the epidemic we all deal with in this day and age…sitting!

Take care,
Dr. Z

You can learn more about Dr. Z here: FOCUS Integrative Therapy & Conditioning  or e-mail him here: drz@focusitc.ca


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