Category Archives: Functional Fitness

Softainability

From the blog @ http://www.transcendbodywork.com/Blog… A quick tip on the Body Economy of sustainable comfort + tribute to the person I feel most greatly influenced my awareness of economy of motion: Bruce Lee. Thanks Bruce for teaching to be water.

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Punk Rock Permaculture e-zine

About Punk Rock Permaculture e-zine

via http://punkrockpermaculture.com/about/

escape mental slavery

…the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens.

If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone.

Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”  – – Bill Mollison

Hey all you permies in the blogosphere my name is Evan Schoepke (@gaiapunk) , I’m 25, I live in wonderful Olympia WA, and I’m the lead editor of punk rock permaculture e-zine.

I have a passionate love for permaculture, street art, guerrilla gardening, cooking veggie food, folk punk, harmonica wailin’, and riding bikes with friends.  In the Spring of 09′ before I graduated from Evergreen State College I received my permaculture design certification under the instruction of the lovable Scott Pittman of U.S. Permaculture Institute.  During the spring and summer of 2010 I did a 3 month Advanced Permaculture Design Internship with Ethan Roland of Appleseed Permaculture and Gaia University.  Currently, I’m the US correspondent with Permaculture Magazine and a affiliate producer with Permaculture.tv . Gaia Punk Designs is a full service permaculture design co-op I’m working on with some close friends in Olympia.

In Olympia I also work locally with Terra Commons, Ecocity Olympia, the Cascadia Guerrilla Gardening Brigade, and the Raccoon arts collective on community projects.

My intention for this e-zine is that it will act as link between the personal and communal showcasing examples of all the beneficial work  being done for the earth around the world.  This is a e-zine about a regenerative culture full of resistance and  inspiring creativity.  Anyone is welcome to become a syndicated submitter and add relevant posts, articles, art, stories, and multi media to this blog just email thejulianeffect@gmail.com with the subject:

“Punk Rock Permaculture”

Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain

via http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a884.full

Back pain is a common condition managed in primary care and one of the commonest causes of disability in Western societies.1 2 As yet few interventions have been proved to substantially help patients with chronic back pain in the longer term.

Supervised exercise classes—mainly strengthening and stabilising exercises—probably have moderate benefit for chronic pain.3 4 5 6 7 A trial of advice from a doctor to take aerobic exercise showed short term benefit for acute pain,8 but the evidence of longer term benefit for chronic or recurrent pain and for exercise “prescriptions” is lacking.9

Lessons in the Alexander technique offer an individualised approach designed to develop lifelong skills for self care that help people recognise, understand, and avoid poor habits affecting postural tone and neuromuscular coordination. Lessons involve continuous personalised assessment of the individual patterns of habitual musculoskeletal use when stationary and in movement; paying particular attention to release of unwanted head, neck, and spinal muscle tension, guided by verbal instruction and hand contact, allowing decompression of the spine; help and feedback from hand contact and verbal instruction to improve musculoskeletal use when stationary and in movement; and spending time between lessons practising and applying the technique (also see appendix on bmj.com).

The Alexander technique is thus distinct from manipulation,10 back schools,11 and conventional physiotherapy.12 The practice and theory of the technique, in conjunction with preliminary findings of changes in postural tone and its dynamic adaptability to changes in load and position,13 14 15 support the hypothesis that the technique could potentially reduce back pain by limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving coordination and flexibility, and decompressing the spine. A small trial, not fully reported, showed promising short term results for back pain.16 We are not aware of a trial reporting long term results.

Systematic reviews and a recent trial highlighted the importance of research to assess the effectiveness of holistic therapeutic massage17 18 19; we particularly wanted to assess massage as it provides no long term educational element, in contrast with lessons in the Alexander technique.

We determined the effectiveness of six or 24 lessons in the Alexander technique, massage therapy, and advice from a doctor to take exercise (using an exercise prescription) with nurse delivered behavioural counselling for patients with chronic or recurrent back pain.

Read More . . .

Running is ready for a barefoot revolution

By Ted McDonald / April 19, 2010

via http://www.csmonitor.com/layout/set/print/content/view/print/295440

Seattle

In the weeks leading up to today’s Boston Marathon, ads near the finish line boasted of the latest high-tech – and expensive – running shoes, promising to help marathoners run better.

But what if the way to run better, feel better, and even live better is to run with no shoes at all?

Our ancestors moved over the earth, and found their way into nearly every nook and cranny of the planet, with their bare or minimally clad feet. The foot has been the primary vehicle of our success as a species, allowing us to fulfill our desire to explore, discover, achieve, and eat.

Yet, most people these days have come to see their feet as broken appendages, unfit for the real world, sickly and weak, prone to injury, in need of support and padding, doomed to suffer.

Why?

Well, arguably, we are the first generation of runners who have worked with the hypothesis that more cushioning and support equals safer running and reduced impact. We have concluded that modern surfaces, hard and unforgiving, require ever-thickening sole padding to help counter the shocks of landing, but is that true?

It is counter-intuitive, but the truth is – and studies back this up – that the more you block out the feeling of impact in your feet, the more impact you are likely to put into your body, at the wrong time in your stride, by moving and landing differently than you would if you actually felt what you were doing.

Have you ever wondered why you have so much feeling on the bottom of your feet, so much information sensing capacity? Well, one of its purposes is to feel impact and make changes in your stride to reduce it through form and technique.

Like race-car tires, the soles of your feet are supposed to feel the road. But putting an inch or two of foam, air, or gel between your skin and the surface of the earth dulls sensation. And this dulling seems to set in motion a series of unfortunate events that ultimately leads to inefficient movement and injury.

By taking off your shoes, you give your body a chance to reuse some amazingly useful, built-in systems that help you move in a way that need not be jarring nor pounding – regardless of the hardness of the terrain.

It’s a way of movement that more effectively captures and releases stored energy through elasticity in our bodies: the splaying of our forefoot, the arch in our foot, tendons in the lower legs, calves and quads, and form, all positioned ideally to absorb and recoil the energy of movement, smoothly and efficiently.

With barefoot running, your feet and mind are synced-up, communicating in real-time, by tapping into a kind of primordial physical intelligence, which is our birthright. This built in recoil system puts to shame the claims of the marshmallow soft, spring-loaded shoes that capture the imagination of so many.

So, why did we give up our state-of-the-art – and totally free – feet for expensive sneakers? What went wrong?

My hunch is that we got unplugged – detached – from our own bodies, from our own feet. That disconnect has led to gait patterns and running styles that are unique to a generation of runners. We are the first cohort in the history of the world to run distance with cushioned, high-heeled shoes. Such shoes have encouraged us to run the wrong way!

Watch barefoot youngsters run: They know how to do it. Small, quick, light steps, landing on the forefoot, all while keeping good posture. Now watch how some adults run these days wearing $150 sneakers: big, slow, heavy steps, landing on the heel, all while slightly hunched. Ouch. It is even painful to watch.

Our padded sneakers represent a case of the cure becoming worse than the ailment, the ailment being hard surfaces and tired bodies, trying to continue moving when the safe form of moving has exhausted itself and the feet and legs would normally protest about continuing.

Does it have to be this way?

Nope. Learning how to master the fundamental human capacity of running, sans shoes, is a lot easier than you think and does not require a purchase.

Simply take off your shoes and start listening to your feet, listening to your body, moving without internal hard edges, with flow. Focus on incrementally redeveloping your feet and lower legs, one step at a time, giving them a chance to feel the world and grow from interacting with it, learning from it. And become a student of your own body and of movement, share your experiences, learn, and be inspired by others.

Crack the nut of joyful movement in your own body, your own unique vehicle. There are lots of resources online to re-learn the art of running. Check out my web site, Barefoot Ted’s Adventures, along with links to my popular Google Group on Minimalist Running. Watch for a book coming out this week called “Barefoot Running” by Michael Sandler, with a special greeting by me. Read “Born to Run,” by Christopher McDougall.

The paradigm shift away from the over-engineered shoe is connected with other shifts in thinking about our bodies and being human. In your bare feet, you are more connected to your body, better balanced, more aware, mindful, present. Those characteristics are good qualities to mimic in your mental life.

The logic behind giving up your cushioned shoes is likely to travel to other parts of your life, getting you to give up other bad or less-than-the-best habits. You’ll see.

In this past generation, running has been primarily defined by performance and weight loss, driven by the desire to become healthy and happy, yet it often missed the mark with overly ridged training schedules and pushing through the pain.

Through barefoot running, you begin to find movement patterns that chime with your mind’s and body’s needs because you are listening to your body, tuned in. Running becomes more joyful, more meditative, healthier.

Becoming healthy in mind and body is an incredibly effective way to experience authentic happiness. And it can begin by simply slipping off your sneakers and moving freely.

Ted McDonald, aka “Barefoot Ted,” is an independent athlete, speaker, and barefoot running coach.

http://www.barefootted.com/

http://groups.google.com/group/huaraches

RUNNING AS AN EXERCISE – 1895 report

via Barefoot Ted’s Adventures

https://i2.wp.com/barefootted.com/uploaded_images/Robinson_Cruose_1719_1st_edition-785278.jpg

There is wonderful comfort in a bare foot, as everyone knows. Contact with the earth is healthful. And in summer, after a rain, or in the dewy morning, how refreshing a running foot-bath through wet grass! Even in winter a short run, barefooted, through the loose snow may be made perfectly safe for those who have taken the right training, producing a warmth and glow in the feet which will last for hours.

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