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How the Nervous System Unlocks Performance
The gateway to change in the body is the sensory system.
The balance of excitatory and inhibitory signals coming from our body's sensory system influences the level of performance of the human body. And this balance of stimuli is always under the control of the brain/central nervous system (CNS).
Be it a chiropractic adjustment, massage or manual therapy, or exercise, the rich stimulation of sensory system is what drives changes in our nervous system that create responses such as:
✅ reduced pain
✅ increased body awareness
✅ improved neuromuscular control
✅ reduced muscular tension/tightness
✅ improved joint range of motion
How the Nervous System Unlocks PerformanceThe tissues and joints of the body are richly innervated with sensors that constantly monitor the conditions our body is exposed to. The external stimuli our body encounters will generate excitatory or inhibitory signals which will ultimately improved or shut down performance.
For example, our tendons are home to sensory receptors known as Golgi Tendon Organs (GTOs). GTO are responsible for sensing tension as it builds up in our tendons. If the load (resistance) our body encounters is too heavy, thus placing potentially damaging stresses on our muscles and tendons, the GTOs will shut down our muscles ability to contract as a protective mechanism. This inhibitory signaling is directed by the nervous system to protect our body from injury.
Conversely, our body can be elevated to higher levels of performance by the nervous system by means of excitatory signals perceived by our muscle spindles within our muscles. Muscle spindles are sensors that are sensitive to stretch. For those that are familiar with the myotatic or stretch reflex, muscle spindles enable our muscles to function like a "rubber band".
The balance of signals coming from our muscle spindles and GTOs is being monitored by our nervous system to either enhance or shut down performance. This occurs through what is known as the Stretch-Shortening Cycle (SSC).
Enter PlyometricsThe SSC is a normal function of all human motion, be it walking, jogging, running, throwing, etc. The training of the SSC occurs through what is known as "plyometrics".
Plyometrics are often mistaken for ballistic training. Plyometrics may be the most misunderstood and undervalued form of training as they specifically train the SSC function of our muscular system. More specifically they are undervalued and underutilized in rehabilitation and return-to-play procedures for athletes.
If the function of the SSC is not normalized, this is potentially why many patient's "fail" rehab and athletes are unable to return to play or are soon after sidelined with a relapse.
Experience the DifferenceAt Gallagher Performance, we place a priority of normalizing the function of the entire body. We follow criteria-based progressions which address complete neuromuscular function, including addressing strength deficits and normalizing the SSC function.
Below are same exercises we use regularly to improve the function of the nervous system and unlock the performance abilities - be it for rehabilitation or athletics.
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