Loveland, CO (Postural Respiration) - A fantastic weekend in beautiful and majestic Colorado discussing the neurological effects of moving away from neutral into extension. Sacral extension, lumbar extension, diaphragm extension and the big one..., thoracic extension. Hyperinflation and limited rib mobility were discussed as contributors to an extended thoracic posture and a sympathetic functional state. The flat thoracic spine and also the overtrained lordotic mid to upper thoracic spine (that resembles a dog dish) can have a huge negative impact on this precious space called the Posterior Mediastinum. When the thoracic spine is flat in the back, the ribs are up in the front. When the inner scapular wall looks like the inside of Scooby-Doo's dog dish, you have a real problem.
In addition to all the stories I tend to tell, the best story of the weekend came from my lab assistant, Craig Depperschmidt, DPT, PRC. He taught us a powerful lesson in neurology and movement when he shared the real life true story of his recent wrestle with an alligator. He was naturally concerned about his own well being, including alligator tail whip (frontal plane) and alligator "death roll" (transverse plane) maneuvers. But he told the story with an aura of confidence that clearly stemmed from his PRI background (and of course the advice of his alligator wrestling coach). He was taught that he could dramatically limit motion in the frontal plane and in the transverse plane if he increased motion in, you guessed it...,the sagittal plane. He approached the alligator from the tail and after securing his jaw, he pulled that beast into hyperextension. Alas, Craig was safe from tri-planer alligator movement because he appreciated the neurological and biomechanical effects of our old friend extension. Loved the story Craig, and was really grateful for the many ways it taught us about how to improve our patterns of training human movement.
"A few weeks ago I had the fortunate experience to wrestle some alligators with a friend...for a purpose! There is an alligator preserve in southern Colorado that needs help inspecting the alligators for wounds (alligators fight each other a lot). So they get not-so-bright people like myself to pay money to wrestle the gators and inspect them for wounds. Supposedly the only place in the world you can do that! It was intense!
First rule in alligator wrestling: stay away from the pointy end! Alligators only have a frontal and transverse plane....they can whip to the side to get you and will perform a "death roll" once they lock on to your body with their jaws. The trick is to get on their back (they can't see you if you come from behind them) and pull them into extension. They are helpless once you do that. That is, once you extend them, they loose their frontal and transverse plane. Sounds a little like PRI, eh?"