I think we can all agree that movement is an incredibly important component of health. I advocate the Z-Health Performance System’s style of training because it provides a simple path for improving athletic movement (and therefore health) and is designed around the way human’s learn most efficiently.
While this path is simple, it is occasionally confused. The wiring in our brains allows for an (almost) infinite number of connections between neurons; while this is idea of infinite possibilities is exciting, it may also lead to difficulty in practically applying some of Z-Health’s lessons.
I have experienced and witnessed many of these difficulties; I would like to share with you some of the reasons (in no particular order) why Z-Health doesn’t work:
Reason #2: Z-Health does not work if you do not “load” your new skills (into your unconscious movement patterns).
When you read my recent post about Freedom, it is likely you began thinking: “You know, there are an awful lot of movements I make during my day that happen automatically.”. You may have had a similar experience of getting in your car, starting it, and driving to work, basically on autopilot.
We have all had similar experiences. Most of what we do, we do on autopilot.
This is beneficial since it allows us to do more than one thing at once; our brains do not become occupied with things that we’ve done thousands of times.
You probably also recall the definition of Freedom – using the conscious mind to direct your unconscious activity; and you recall from Z-Health Does Not Work. Part 1, the suggestion of having a framework – a fully integrated movement pattern, on which “build” your practice.
Most of us can walk on autopilot; walking is the one fully integrated movement skill that all of us can do unconsciously. If our aim is freedom (freedom of movement, freedom from pain, freedom to reach our goals, etc.), and we achieve freedom by consciously directing out unconscious movements, the most effective unconscious movement pattern to use as a framework to gain freedom is walking.
This means, after you perform your Z-Health drills, it is a good idea to go for a walk – to “load” them (both metaphorically and literally – you transfer hundreds of pounds of force with each step).
I think in associations and analogies; in regard to loading, here is one I like:
When you want to put some new software into your computer, you go to the store and buy the software disk. Once you get home, you open the box and take out the disk, you open the CD ROM tray on the computer, put the disk in the tray, and close the tray. At this point, you have done a lot of the work, but you still do not have the software in your computer; you still have to download it – and it typically takes a few moments.
Doing the drill without walking after, is like doing all the work to get the software disk into your computer, and never hitting Ok and downloading the program.
You have to walk to “load” the program (There are other ways of loading – but since walking is typically the most utilized unconscious program, it is often most effective).
Examine your practice.
How are you consciously directing your unconscious activity?