Balance and coordination, control over the muscles of the body is an often overlooked aspect of health and longevity.
Some people have this idea that getting older means becoming more fragile and they end up moving less in an effort to prevent injuries. This is exactly the opposite of what should happen. Being healthy and strong into your 70s and 80s, heck even your 90s, is achievable.
Of course if you buy into the common family story of “well my father was like this and his father was like this, so I’m next” then your future is set.
However, balance, strength and coordination is something that we can work on our whole lives, investing in a better future for ourselves.
Children sometimes display temporary lack of coordination and balance when growing. It can also be a sign of developmental delay and brain imbalance.
Being accident prone is usually due to an aberrant but not obvious neurological glitch usually due to the brain not “seeing” certain parts of the body.
In the Neuro-Structural Examination that we perform with patients, we measure before (pre) and after (post) and we screen for obvious and subtle deficiencies in balance, strength and coordination. Some we address directly through the Neuro-Structural Entrainment visits and some we need to supplement with exercises that stimulate both the brain, nerves and muscles. When we’re done the Initial phase of care with patients, we want them to not only be feeling better, but to be on their way to being stronger, more agile and better balanced.
We’re not wanting to train people to become Cirque du Soleil performers:) but much of what supposedly happens in old age – less balance, less coordination and strength – starts much earlier and can be avoided completely if worked on.
What’s even more interesting is the multiple mind-body connections we can affect through working on balance, strength and coordination. For example, one of the main centres in the brain that controls balance and coordination, the cerebellum, has been found to have many connections with the limbic system (the emotional parts of the brain). By improving how well the cerebellum works, you’re not only affecting information processing but emotional sense making as well.
With more and more discoveries about the brain and neurology in general seemingly happening almost every day, we are finding more evidence to support the idea that up until the day we die, we can be improving how our brain works and how the body works.
Improving our balance, strength and coordination is not just something that we can brag about to our friends. It can have a big impact on the quality of our lives.