Feeling Good ≠ Good Health = Healthy Function
Check out this article that Dr. Owen put together for Crossfit Lacombe!
For most people, we rely solely on how we feel regarding health and wellness. This strategy works, until it doesn’t. Have you ever been feeling great, strong, fit, and on top of the world only to tweak a muscle or worse? I know that I have. It’s easy to get complacent with extra mobility, accessory work, spinal health and solid nutrition when you’re just feeling good.
The human body is a great adapter. Every day it is adapting to stressors, known and unknown, to our conscious mind. With this adaptation comes a flaw. We will always find a way to compensate for any missing function that we may have. This is most obvious when a simple harmless movement causes pain and injury. The form we have in each of the movements in the gym can only be as good as our function allows.
So, what should take priority? Form, Function or Feeling? The answer: Function. Our body will only move as well as our underlying bio mechanics, structure and neurology will allow it to. Improving this takes time, dedication, repetition, and consistency. The reward with an increase in function is an increase in form and an exponential growth in fitness levels across all domains – strength, endurance, power and speed. Lastly, comes feeling. How you feel, for the most part, needs to be taken with a grain of salt. If you build a house on poor foundation it will eventually lead to uneven floors, sagging walls and disrepair; building your body on a foundation of poor function and compensations will lead to injury, frustration and lost gains. And nobody wants to lose them gains!
Many of us “get it” regarding function when it comes to the gym; yet the above truth applies to every aspect of life and well-being. Simply start by looking at what wellness and health mean. Wellness is defined as “the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal” and health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of symptoms, disease or impairment.”
Feeling vs function illustrates the relationship that our body has with our nervous system. Our nervous system can be broken down into three main parts: Autonomic, Motor, and Sensory. Each of these plays a very distinct and important role in how our bodies holistically work.
Autonomic – Controls blood vessels, organs, and glands.
Problems include the following:
Motor – Controls the muscles.
Problems include the following:
Sensory – This is where you feel. Communicates pain, position, and temperature.
You will feel the following:
Hot or cold
Issues related to posture
The sensory section of our nervous system only accounts for a very small percentage of the entire system, estimated at around 20%. This means that you can have issues with the motor or autonomic portions that are causing dysfunction in your body, but you may not actually be feeling them as the sensory nerves are not involved.
We experience life through our nervous system and how we function is a more accurate indicator if we are doing it right than how we are feeling; a point that the founder of Crossfit, Greg Glassman, has been trying to hammer home for over 17 years and some of the same principles the chiropractic profession was founded on back in 1895.
My objective with chiropractic care is to identify the underlying cause of symptoms and reduce the pressure that is present on the nervous system to bring about optimal health. A common misconception is that chiropractic care is only useful for treating back or neck pain or for helping to improve your posture. While chiropractic care is a great option for these problems and studies have continued to show this, scientific, neurology-based chiropractic care is an effective method of treating many conditions that can trace their roots back to the nervous system.
Remember, live life like it matters, and it will! Have a better than great day!
Haneline, M. T., & Cooperstein, R. (2009). Chiropractic care for patients with acute neck pain: results of a pragmatic practice-based feasibility study. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 8(4), 143–155. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2009.08.003
Immediate hypoalgesic and motor effects after a single cervical spine manipulation in subjects with lateral epicondylalgia. Fernández-Carnero J, Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Cleland JA.
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2008 Nov-Dec;31(9):675-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.10.005.