Everything in the “universe” is comprised of moving “particles” of some form or another – The relationships between them being dependant on how they move – What frequency/wavelength, what direction, what speed and so on. And so it is that you are comprised of tiny particles moving around too – you are a part of all of that which “is”. This sounds obvious when you hear it, however, we seem to have forgotten when it comes to it’s application in our every day lives.
Be it “matter”, be it “energy”, be it something in between – Everything you are – and everything you “do”, is movement of one form or another. When we talk about movement, most people instinctively think of “gross” movements like walking, running, swimming, dancing etc etc – On a less obvious level we have, lets say, talking – and listening, things that we don’t necessarily associate with “movement” – and yet involved in these “activities” are a large number of bodily parts moving – In talking alone, a staggering array of muscles/fascia and other body parts to make even a simple sound – And with listening, so many “working parts” of the ear/inner ear moving, as well as the tiny movements of the musculature of head and face as we react to what is being said with facial expressions – Neurons “firing” across the brain in response to the information entering the system via your “senses”.
All of this is movement of tiny particles in different patterns. The flow of blood, lymphatic and cerebro-spinal fluid, messages travelling through the nervous system and so on – Even “chemicals” combining in different ways and changing from one form into another due to heat or some other energy source being introduced – Again, all movement of tiny particles – All that you “are” is moving and changing and so is everything around you.
The role of the brain:
Every decision you make is about whether to move and if so, how and where to. Your brain (the one in your head that is, not the so called “gut brain”) is, if a little simplistic a description, a “processor” and “decision maker” – It takes information in through the senses, “scans” the physical matter of your body (which plays the role of acting as your “hard drive”, storing all of the beliefs/stories/fears/trauma that are part of your “story”) and then projecting your “reality”. Based on this “reality”, decisions are made regarding whether to move and if so, what move to make next – What to say – Whether to run, whether to fight, or, whether to “freeze” and hope the danger goes away. Basically, the brain takes in information, scans the hard drive and then decides whether to and how to move – That is it’s job, simple as that (Neuro scientist Daniel Wolperts TED talk from a few years ago is a fun introduction to this).
Once a decision to move is made, another is made immediately about how to (and whether to) continue moving – Moving with confidence or moving with fear, every nanosecond another decision – another movement – or not – made based on the information coming in through the senses and being “combined”/cross referenced with the information already stored within the “system”. Whether moving with fear across that mountain ridge or not speaking our truth to someone for fear of how they may react – All are restricted movement.
It can help to look at it this way – When a decision is made not to move – or to move with “fear”/caution/trepidation etc, those tiny particles we discussed above pull (tightly) together (a mini “freeze” response) in an effort to protect you from a perceived fear. In the same way that you curl up into a ball when the “freeze” response is activated, this happens on a smaller scale too. After each cell in the body is, in many ways, a miniature representation of the larger body/brain. When in fear, the system stops movement – This is what your system (you) does – If you want to avoid danger – don’t move.
This happens at both a gross and (extremely) fine level. Imagine if you will, a football sized space with 100 particles in it and 50 pull closely together in a “freeze response” to restrict movement – a miniature freeze response which can (and does) happen all over the body, wherever fears/beliefs/”trauma” exist – We can literally see (and often feel) these clusters in muscles and fascia. I won’t get into how most seem clustered in certain locations (especially the psoas) for now as that is an essay of it’s own, looking at “muscle” types/function and why the system “chooses” to store many of these restrictions in certain places so as to keep us as optimal as possible for as long as possible. Anyway, let’s get back to those clustered particles in the football sized space – Those that are very close together don’t move in the way they would in a “healthy” (almost) “fearless” system – There is excessive “friction” between them. You could imagine this as too many people crammed into a small space. Not a major problem for a brief period but not so good over time, with anger building and friction increasing as they jostle for space, “rubbing each other up” the “wrong” way. At the same time, while there are too many in one space, there is a “void” nearby, where these same particles can’t communicate properly, being too far apart, causing you to lose feeling in that area. You could use the same analogy with people again, only this time they can’t communicate clearly due to excessive distance – they can’t hear each other. Too tightly pulled together, too much feeling, too “loosley” distributed, not enough feeling.
The areas we are talking about may be small (in many cases) to the human eye but the principle is still the same – the distribution of the particles that make up who you are is off – and it’s affecting your chemistry/blood flow etc.
These restrictions of movement require energy to maintain – energy that is no longer being sent in optimal amounts to other places – Places it is required to both fix, maintain and optimise your system. This (obviously) also affects blood flow, the nervous system, the lymphatic system, the endocrine system etc etc – Other things that require (“are”) movement – It’s all part of the same system so when one part os not performing optimally, it must affect other areas, even if not hugely noticeable at first. A very simple example is that when there is discomfort or pain somewhere, this causes certain muscles on the face to tighten and express certain chemicals – This is what we do, we “pull faces” to send a message to the system about how we feel – which in turn makes you feel differently through altered chemistry, which affects where blood flows, your breathing, how your auto-immune system performs etc etc – “The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone” and so on.
Wherever you find restricted movement, you will find what we often refer to as “tension” (and inflammation), which is a change in the composition/frequency of your physical matter in such a way as to make it perform/move sub-optimally – With you eventually becoming unwell or “feeling poorly” which is exactly what it says on the tin – Not being able to feel something well. And when you can’t feel something, you can’t control it – there is no stability upon which everything else can be built. As already stated above – Too tightly pulled together, too much feeling, too “loosely” distributed, not enough feeling.
The chemistry that is created by this restricted movement (Whether that be “tight” facial muscles feeding a certain message to the pituitary/pineal glands via the facial/trigeminal nerves – or the expression of other chemicals due to tight/restricted muscles/fascia anywhere else on the body – myokines, cytokines etc etc) results in even more restricted movement as “fear” increases due to how you feel – Which is “driven” largely by your chemical “state” – and more energy is given to that fear – more energy diverted to restricting movement with the aim of keeping you “safe”. A “downward spiral” of sorts.
It is widely believed by many experts that the psoas is the “seat of the soul” – where much of the information (fears/beliefs etc) stored within the system is “held”- This makes a lot of sense, not least because the psoas is the location where movement in spine based organisms (of which we are one) originates once the brain has made a decision to move. It is also a logical place to store such information, near where movement originates once a decision to move (or not) has been made. I won’t go into how that message travels from brain to psoas right now, just know that it does (obviously the vestibular system has an important role in movement too but for this particular discussion here we can let it sit on the sidelines so to speak).
So, everything is movement. And we can change the way things are by changing our movement patterns. Simply seeing them as movement patterns changes the game as the very structure of our being changes with changed patterns of movement – In the same way that the structure of muscles (fascia/ligament/tendon/bone) changes with repetitive use in a particular way, the movement of neurons changes with various practices and “habits”.
So whether it’s the way we “think” or the way we “move”, movement patterns become just that – Patterns, habits. At the end of the day, they are both movement. How best to optimise this (in my opinion) is for another day (although it’s fairy obvious, start moving in lots of varied ways!) but once you truly grasp the reality of everything being “particles” moving and that you can influence that – in many different ways – then things start to look very different.
Thanks for reading, see you next time.