Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Protect Your Peripheral Nerves | Top 5 Supplements for Optimal Foot Function

We all know that keeping our feet strong is key to proper posture, optimal movement patterns and staying pain-free as we age.   In my workshops I’m a huge advocate of Barefoot BabyBoomers and keeping barefoot stimulation a key part of our lifestyle.   However to truly stay #barefootstrong as we age we need to do a little more than simply train sans footwear.

Biohacking Your Barefeet 

With changing nutritional values, toxins in our food and combating everyday stress we no longer can rely on diet and exercise to ensure our youngest, healthiest selves.   This is where I advise my patients to turn to vitamin supplementation and simple ways to #biohackthebody.

Below are some of my favorite supplements that are all designed to enhance nerve function, reduce inflammation and combat free radicals before they damage our peripheral nerves and fascial network.

Supplement #1 – Wild Blueberry Extract 

IMG_4214You may have heard that blueberries are brain food.    What makes blueberries so beneficial is that they are packed with polyphenols or compounds unique to plants.   Polyphenols which can also be found in coffee, dark chocolate and spices carry some of the strongest anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2004 study by Youdim et al. found that wild blueberry supplementation enhanced neurogenesis in the aging brain with their flavonoids being able to cross the blood brain barrier.  Now you may have been told that we do not grow new brain cells or our peripheral nerves cannot regenerate – this is not true!   The research in the field of  neurogenesis is a super exciting area of medicine and is showing some exciting advances in aging, neuropathy and neurodegenerative diseases.

To maximize the benefits of blueberry polyphenols I recommend taking wild blueberry extract daily to avoid the excess sugars of eating so many blueberries daily.   Also make sure the blueberries are *wild* as these contain the highest levels of polyphenols!

Recommended Life Extension Wild Blueberry Extract

Supplement #2 – Krill Oil 

krillThis is one of my newest fav supplements for my patients.   Krill oil is similar to fish oil supplements in that they are packed with beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA).  However unlike fish oils, krill oil phospholipids have a special carotenoid called astaxanthin attached to it.   Astaxanthin is an extremely powerful antioxidant that – get this – can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB)!   This makes Krill Oil so powerful to maintaining nerve function.

In addition to crossing the BBB omega 3’s have such a powerful anti-inflammatory benefit that they make a great replacement or alternative to traditional NSAIDs such as Advil, Aspirin or Aleve.    These anti-inflammatory benefits have shown to reduce arthritis pain, nerve inflammation and connective tissue pain.

Recommended Dr Mercola Antartica Krill Oil 

Supplement #3 – R-Lipoic Acid

This was one of my favorite supplements when I was going through medical school and was a big forerunner when it came to anti-aging supplements.   It’s great to see that it is still one of the strongest anti-oxidants on the market – and has actually been formulated to be even more powerful when taken in its sodium-R-lipoate form!

Neuropathy has a oxidative stress theory which means that to keep the nerves of the feet (and hands) healthy we need to keep our oxidative stress low!   Super R-Lipoic Acid is more bioavailable, stable, and potent, achieving 10–30 times higher peak blood levels than pure R-lipoic acid.

I also recommend taking R-lipoic acid with the next supplement and nerve-protective powerhouse ALC!

Recommended Life Extension Super R-Lipoic Acid 

Supplement # 4 – Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) 

ALC is another favorite supplement when I was going through medical school and doing research in diabetic peripheral neuropathy.    Again super excited to see it’s still one of the best nerve-protective supplements on the market.

ALC like all of the above supplements has the unique ability to cross the BBB which means it’s crucial to nervous system health.   Studies have shown that ALC may have potential in exerting unique neuroprotective, neuromodulatory and neurotrophic properties that are not limited to just the central nervous system.   Study after study has shown great effects of ALC on peripheral neuropathy patients.

Recommended Life Extension Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Supplement #5 – L-Cittruline (Watermelon) 

aterWatermelon is one of my favorite pre-workout drinks due to its effect on vasodilation and circulation!  The vasodilation effect of watermelon is found in the amino acid L-Citruline which is a precursor to nitric oxide (think Viagra!).

Nitric oxide is integral to relaxing blood vessels which is necessary for healthy blood flow to the heart, muscles, nerves and throughout the entire body.  Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels maintain their flexibility so that blood flow is unrestricted – even to the smallest vessels to the peripheral nerves.

To get enough L-Citrulline for optimal circulation you’d need to eat 6 cups of watermelon or you can cut out the sugar and take a supplement.    Amino acids are always recommended to take on an empty stomach for maximum absorption.

Recommended Source Naturals L-Citrulline 

To learn more about how to protect your nervous system from inflammation and oxidation and how to #biohackyourbody please visit http://www.dremilysplichal.com

Stay #barefootstrong !

Dr Emily Splichal

 

 

 

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

From Primal to Bipedal | Why we need to get off the ground and walk more!

Before you start throwing stones at me assuming that I’m bashing or discrediting any of the primal movement programs out there – please hear me out.    Anything I’m about to say does not mean I do not value the role primal movements and ground work has on restoring optimal movement patterns.   However, where these programs fall short is that ultimately we need to GET UP and being able to navigate the world of ground and gravity.   We need to be able to optimize the coordination required to load and unload impact forces, stabilize on a single leg and get from point A to point B.

When we look at the evolution of the human neuromuscular system, fascial lines and the skeleton we can see that the primary purpose behind human movement is WALKING.

From the medial rotation of the ilium creating the lateral fascial line and allowing single leg stance to the abduction of the foot’s 1st ray creating the spiral fascial line and lateral fascial line allowing the stability for a rigid lever – everything – I repeat everything favors locomotion – and we need to train the body as such.

When was the last time you walked?    I mean REALLY walked?  

walkingI’ve been blessed with the opportunity to evaluate the gait of thousands of people from all over the world and there are a few key compensations that I see in too many people.    So many people have lost the rotational element of gait.   I’m talking locked up t-spines, restricted triplanar motion of the pelvis, tight ankles and even tighter subtalar joints.

Rotational loading and unloading of the fascial system is how we transfer impact forces and the potential energy of gait.   If we lose this rotational element of gait the entire movement efficiency pattern breaks down and restrictions, compensations and connective tissue fatigue results.

So what’s causing this restriction in rotation?

Sitting, a sedentary lifestyle, driving, injury, compensation – there’s a lot of things that cause a restriction in rotation.   However there is a KEY one that is missed so often and cannot be addressed through rolling, crawling and being on the ground.

This driver of restricted rotation is so important that it is what leads me to say GET OFF OF THE GROUND AND JUST WALK!   What is it?   Short strides!

The impact of shortened stride length!

Think of the type of walking you, your clients, your family does in a typical day.    You walk around your home.   You walk around the office.   You walk around the store.    This type of walking is not the walking EVOLUTION intended.

These small stacotic steps are insufficient to optimally 1) hydrate your fascia  2) load rotational forces in the body  3) stimulate the neuromuscular system.

To maintain an optimal gait you need to STIMULATE your gait.   You need to tap into all the fascial systems with each step you take – a process that can only be achieved and a long enough stride length.

The Optimal Stride for Fascial Fitness

walk

To better understand this let’s take a look at the point in gait in which the optimal stride is happening.

One foot is initiated heel contact with the ankle dorsiflexed, hip flexed, pelvis medially rotated and posteriorly tilted.   With the foot, leg and pelvis in this position the posterior fascial line is tightened, locking the SI joint and preparing for ground contact.

Meanwhile the opposite leg is in 1st MPJ dorsiflexion ankle plantarflexion, hip extension, pelvis lateral rotation and anteriorly tilted.   With the foot, leg and pelvis in this position the psoas, plantar fascia and functional fascial lines are primed to release elastic energy upon swing phase.

Now the SHORTER the stride you take you tighten your rotations of the t-spine, pelvis and foot eventually leading to fascial tightness and compensations.

Since walking is THE most functional movement we do every day with the average adult taking 5,000 – 8,000 steps per day – improper stride length is what’s f’ing up your body.

These small steps we take to our cars, around the office or at home are killing our fascial system.    It is a cycle that can only be temporarily alleviated by rolling and crawling on the ground.

Imagine this.    You take your client through all the rolling patterns, dynamic bodyweight movements, foam rolling – all which are so great for the body – and then they leave the session and go back to waking small steps and in insufficient stride length.    They just REVERSED all the work you did.

The solution?

Walk.    And I mean really walk.   Put on your favorite shoes, grab your earbuds and walk.   Do not go on the treadmill, I need you to walk outside.   Find the pace that feeds into a momentous state.   You will feel when your body has switched and is now flowing in your fascial.   It is an effortless gait that is working WITH the ground and impact forces, not against it.

And then just walk.

Want to learn more about human locomotion, the evolution of gait and how to optimize rotations through walking.   Become a Barefoot Training Specialist with EBFA!    We are the Leaders in Barefoot Education and #fromthegroundup programming.

http://www.ebfafitness.com

Say #barefootstrong

Dr Emily Splichal

 

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Emotion Meet Motion at the 3rd Annual Barefoot Training Summit

For those who follow EBFA you know that recently I’ve been speaking a lot about INTEROCEPTION and the emotional side of movement and fitness.    When it comes to movement and mental health, they are so deeply connected that we as an industry need to start focusing on this connection.

We need to say goodbye to the days of categorizing programming as “mind body” vs. general group fitness.    We need to start to appreciate how ALL movement influences the emotional state of our clients and members, and then USE this information to better create programming that respects the body mind connection.

I’m excited to announce that the 3rd Annual Barefoot Training Summit we will be dedicated to how we can use MOTION to control our EMOTION.    From fascial fitness programming to breathing and flow-based programming you will leave this event feeling empowered and equipped with a deeper understanding of how to positively influence emotional states.

Presenter Line-Up

Jenny Burrell Headshot

     Jenny Burrell, United Kingdom 

Jenny Burrell is the head of Burrell Education one of the UK’s leading-edge educators in the field of modern Pregnancy, Post Baby, 3rd Age (Peri-to Post-Menopause) and Female Fitness, Wellness, Massage + Bodywork Therapies.

Burrell Education the UK’s only Endorsed, Accredited and Licensed Education Provider solely dedicated to education for these very special populations.

Learn more about Jenny & Burrell Education 

Chris Flores, New Jersey  

Chris Flores has over 17 years of experience in the fitness industry, and is the Head Athletic Trainer at Westfield High School, in NJ.  He is an Adjunct Professor at Kean University and a Clinical Instructor in Athletic Training for Kean, Montclair State and Seton Hall Universities.  He is a founding member of Next Generation Fitness Pros, a group dedicated to educating and networking for the fitness professional. As the owner / operator of FLO FITNESS, a people first gym, Chris’ passion is in helping high school athletes reach their goals.  Most recently, Chris achieved Master Instructor status in the Animal Flow® program, and travels globally giving courses.

Learn more about Chris Flo & Rooted Rehab

Chris Flo Headshot

Summer Headshot

 

Summer Huntington, Washington 

Summer has woven her understanding of anatomy, kinesiology and human movement & performance into practical workshops for the public. She has taught educational seminars in Clubbell Yoga worldwide since she founded it in 2012, and serves as a Head Coach for RMAX International, a company leading the functional fitness revolution for the last 18 years.

Her teaching approach is to make learning easily accessible to people from all walks of life and help them apply this knowledge to their own bodies right away, regardless of level of athleticism. Her personal training clients stay with her for years, and make drastic changes not only in physique but in body intelligence and awareness.

Learn more about Summer Huntingon & Clubbell Yoga

Lois Laynee Headshot

 

Lois Laynee, Arizona 

Lois is a dynamic, disciplined professional who has developed a wellness paradigm based upon the essential component of oxygen.

She is passionate about educating all communities of the significance of the oxygen content in their brains as well as the rest of the body.  Most importantly, she focuses on developing each person’s ability to impact their own physiology for themselves.  In essence, her goal is to design airways for breathing.

Learn more about Lois Laynee & Restorative Breathing

Splichal headshot professional

 

 

Dr Emily Splichal, New York City  

Dr Emily Splichal, Podiatrist and Human Movement Specialist, is the Founder of the Evidence Based Fitness Academy, Creator of the Barefoot Training Specialist®, BarefootRx® and BARE® Workout Certifications and Inventor of Naboso Technology.

With over 16 years in the fitness industry, Dr Splichal has dedicated her medical career towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science and foot to core sequencing.

Learn more about Dr Emily & Naboso Technology
Stick Mobility Team

Stick Mobility Team, California 

Take your health and performance training to the next level with Stick Mobility. From CrossFit to the Weekend Warrior, Strength Training to Post Rehab, Desk Jockey to Longevity, Stick Mobility is a force multiplier to get to you to the next level of movement and performance.

This revolutionary new training system benefits everyone through a progressive approach to fitness, mobility, and muscle activation, regardless of age or level of performance.  Simple, fun and effective.  Stick Mobility will unlock the inhibited movements that prevent optimal function and health.

Learn more about Stick Mobility 

_________________________________________________

Learn more about the Barefoot Training Summit

September 23 – 24, 2017  |  New York City 

Registration Fee:  $399 USD 

Barefoot Strong Training Summits 2017 Flyer

http://www.barefootstrongsummit.com

 

 

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Flow Your Way to Happiness

Flow.     Animal Flow?    FlowFit?    Vinyasa Flow?

Everyone in the fitness industry is “flowing” but is a movement flow state the same as a  mental flow or a superfluidity state?    Does flowing through a series of yoga poses do the same to the brain as when a base jumper jumps off a cliff or when a surfer rides a 100 foot wave?

Achieving a true flow state of mind is not simply a movement meditation.

Flow state of mind is a higher state of consciousness that is lies between the anxiety caused by a challenge being too difficult, and the boredom caused by the challenge being to easy.    The mental state of flow is marked by peak creativity and a timelessness that is driven by risk, deep focus and balance between challenge & skill.   And then most importantly flow is associated with a deep feeling of happiness.

“Happiness comes from within oneself” – Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

Beyond Moving Meditation 

I first had a fascination with the concept of flow – or being “in the zone” – when I was a Par8148538-kwLG-U110471073117TIG-620x349@Gazzetta-Web_articolocompetitive gymnast in high school.  I craved the indescribable clarity and timelessness that I experienced when I was about to perform a tumbling pass or execute a skill on the uneven bars.

After leaving gymnastics and entering general fitness (running, cycling, lifting weights), I had a deep emotional struggle with the greater purpose behind working out.   None of it was satisfying this craving I had for deep focus or flow.   Sure I would experience the classic “runner’s high” or the endorphin rush of cycling but it just wasn’t the same.

None of these movements gave me the indescribable focus of when I was a gymnast in flow staring down the runway to the vault.

In 2010, I remember sitting in the on-call room with one of my co-residents who was a jui jitsu fighter and we were talking about being “in the zone” and how we craved this deeper state of focus – almost like we were craving a drug.

Several years later a good friend of mine Dan Edwardes of Parkour Generations introduced me to the book The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler and my fascination in the topic of flow was re-ignited.  I began to understand the difference between flow, superfluidity, meditation and the classic runner’s high.

Risk as a Feature of Flow

There are 17 triggers to enter a flow state however according to Kotler the three biggest triggers to flow are:

  1. Risk of consequence or to see a challenge in the activity
  2. Deep focus
  3. Balance between challenge : skill ratio

When there is a risk of injury or challenge this requires full immersion of the person in the activity, therefore allowing them to enter flow.   This deep presence is associated with a loss of self-consciousness and a sense of timelessness.

This makes sense when it comes to my association of flow with gymnastics.   It was the perfect balance between challenge, risk, skill and deep focus.    But how can I carry this concept of flow to my present life as I am no longer a competitive gymnast?

We will explore this shortly.

The Brain in Flow

brain-waves-chartAs the brain enters a flow state, brain waves shift from beta to the alpha: theta border which is the only level in which gamma waves can exist.

Gamma brain waves bind together far reaching ideas in our brain allowing faster creative processing and strategies.

In Kotler’s book Rise of Superman he gives examples of survival strategies by those in death defying situations and how time almost slowed down allowing them to see clearer strategies for survival.  Strategies they probably wouldn’t have thought of in a non-flow state.

It’s almost like in flow the brain gets out of it’s own way! 

Author of The Athlete’s Way, Christopher Bergland references this “brain getting out of it’s own way” as a decrease in prefrontal cortex activity.    The more subconscious we become in our movements there is an associated shift in brain waves that unlocks fluidity of thought and action.

We speak about this a lot in EBFA Education stating that excessive prefrontal activity or over-cognition actually slows our reaction time and decreases the automaticity of movement.   Entering flow or understanding flow is another way to enhance the automaticity of movement in our athletes, seniors and all clients.

The Father of Flow 

We mentioned that flow is often associated with risk and challenge but what are other characteristics to finding flow?

And how is flow associated with happiness?    As that is the point of this blog after all!

To answer this question we need to go to the Father of Flow – Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly.   Csikszentmihaly dedicated his career to studying flow, happiness and what’s referred to as positive psychology.

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

What Csikszentmihaly found is that people who frequently experienced the flow state were happier and had a higher perceived state of contentment.   They were less materialistic and were driven by what’s referred to as intrinsic motivations, or simply performing an act for the simple joy of the act itself.

Intrinsic Motivation is the Secret to Happiness – and Flow! 

It seems like everyone is on the eternal hunt for happiness.    We know our emotional state is in a constant shift based on the perceived homeostasis of our autonomic nervous system which is fed through interoception.

As stated above by Csikszentmihaly those who find flow are happier – those who are led by intrinsic motivation are happier.

I think it’s time we look at what motivates us to do what we do?

Do you play a sport to get recognition from others?   Do you take yoga or barre class because it’s trendy or you want others to acknowledge your physique?  Do you work hard at our job for the incentive of a bonus?

Or….do you do what you do simply for the love of that action?

The latter is referred to intrinsic motivation.    Doing something simply for the joy of the action in itself – also known as being autotelic – is linked to happiness.   The reward to a chosen action is simply to fully experience that action.

Finding Flow in Movement 

We already mentioned two characteristics that help you find flow – risk & intrinsic motivation.   But what are other ways to begin to find flow?

How can you increase the element of challenge, focus and intrinsic motivation in your own life?    Only you an answer that.

My Happiness Journey | Freedom through Flow

To further validate the theory of flow and it’s association with happiness I want to share my own personal journey to hopefully inspire others who may find themselves seeking the meaning to happiness or inspire others to find the power of movement and flow.

Back in the Summer of 2014 I was involved in a series of domestic violence altercations with my then fiance’ eventually leading to my hospitalization and his arrest.   Due to the severity of the situation it triggered a massive primitive sympathetic stress response to my nervous system – putting me into a constant state of panic attacks and PTSD.

Everyday for 1 year my life was a living hell, filled with the conscious re-assessment of my bodies homeostasis to see if I was going to get thrown into another panic attack.  Any shift of my body that elevated my heart rate would cause me to consciously think I was going to fall into a panic attack.   After several ER visits I knew I had to do something about my emotional state and total sympathetic overdrive.

Instead of turning to psychotherapy I turned to movement therapy.

Almost 3 years ago to the date I took  my first aerial silks class.   I don’t remember exactly emily silkswhat drew me to aerials or how I knew to seek out this art form.    But what I do remember is that it has forever changed my life.

The risk and challenge of climbing, dropping and “flying” 20 feet in the air forced me to be present in the moment and enter deep focus.   There was a continuos balance between challenge and skill which continued to drive me further into flow.

For the first time in years I can now say that I have experienced true happiness fed directly by flow and intrinsic motivation.   I now carry this concept of intrinsic motivation and the state of flow into everything I do – from writing, to presenting at a conference, to teaching my BARE class and of course to aerials silks.

To date, I longer experience anxiety, have panic attacks or PTSD.   I am in full control of my emotional awareness and interoceptive perception and feel so free.

***

To learn more about how motion evokes emotion, intrinsic motivation and autotelic personalities, flow and superfluidity –

Join us on our 3-Part Webinar Series: 

INTEROCEPTION | The Art of Controlling Emotion with Motion 

Thursday July 13, 20, 27

***If you missed any week you get the recordings!    

All are recorded and accessible indefinitely***

JOIN THIS WEBINAR NOW! 

 

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Interoception: The Emotional Side of the Human Myofascial System

As movement specialists we have grown to build a deep appreciation for the proprioceptive network in the human body.    From the perception of vibration and texture to the integrated tension along fascial lines, proprioception is truly the sixth sense in human movement.

As important as proprioception is, what if I told you there is an even more powerful side to this myofascial web?

What if I told you that the myofascial system actually plays a much larger role in emotion – rather than motion?

Introducing Interoception

interoceptionAccording to Dunn et al. interoception is a sense of the physiological condition of the oneself.   It is an ubiquitous information network used to represent one’s body from within.

It is the ability to detect subtle changes in bodily systems, including muscles, skin, joints, and viscera.  It includes a range of sensations including warmth, coolness, pain, tickle, hunger, thirst, sexual arousal, muscular activity, heartbeat, distension of bladder, distension of stomach and sensual touch (Schleip et al.)

So how does interoception compare to proprioception?

Interoception        vs.           Proprioception

        Free nerve endings                      Myelinated small nerves

     Activates insular cortex                  Somotosensory pathway

  ½ – 1 second delay                           30 -90 m/s

Body mind system                    Dance / Pilates

Reiki /Energy Worker             Dance / Pilates

If we look above we can see that there are quite a few differences between interoceptors and proprioceptors.   One of the biggest differences is that interoceptors are free nerve endings and transmit information with a delay, whereas proprioceptors quickly process information within milliseconds.  This supports the proprioceptive role in the accuracy of human movement.

According to a recent article by Schleip et al. our myofascial web actually has a much higher concentration of interceptors vs. proprioceptors.    80% of the peripheral nerves found in fascia are actually free nerve endings – with 90% of these being interoceptive!

This puts the fascial innervation at 1:7 ratio or proprioceptors to interoceptors.

The Power of Human Touch

QJg9ht3ITESymX-KcCtb35KNzs4Often referred to as the primitive skin, this interoceptive network is what drives our need for social touch and the release of oxytocin.    Many massage techniques especially those which are lighter in nature are thought to affect the interoceptive system.

The human viscera fascia is one of the most concentrated areas of the interoceptive network with shifts in the viscera often being confused for irritable bowel syndrome or indigestion when it is really an emotion such as stage fright or excitement of a upcoming exam.

In Schleip’s recent article he states that an ‘interoceptive moron’ is unable to differentiate visceral sensations from signs of an empty stomach, ‘butterflies’ or empathy driven ‘gut feelings’ about another person’s dilemma

Putting Interoception into Practice

The concept of interoception in general is a new topic but one that I believe is going to start showing up more and more in the movement industry.   As our appreciation for mind body connection and fascial fitness programs expands this is an inevitable side of our fascia that will continue to be explored.

Want to learn more about interoception please join Dr Emily for a FREE educational webinar on Thursday July 6 at 9pm EST

Register for this webinar HERE

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Now Available Naboso Barefoot Insoles : Advancing the Science of Proprioceptive Insoles

Imagine experiencing the same proprioceptive stimulation and neuromuscular control you do barefoot – but in your shoes!

VivoThe concept of enhanced neuromuscular control in footwear was first introduced by the advance in minimal footwear.   From Vibram FiveFingers to VivoBarefoot shoe companies and footwear are now allowing more and more natural foot function than ever before.

With minimal shoes featuring minimal cushion, no shank or midsole and no heel toe drop, this is one of the best categories of footwear for optimal foot function.

Unfortunately despite these great features, one thing that is still lacking in minimal footwear is the stimulation or utilization of all possible proprioceptive input!

The Power of Plantar Proprioceptors  

The skin on the bottom of the foot has very unique proprioceptors which are sensitive to different stimulation.   This stimulation includes vibration, light touch, deep pressure, texture and skin stretch.

Much of the work I speak during EBFA Education is about or references the importance of vibration and it’s importance during dynamic movement, such as walking.   The minimal footwear which was mentioned above is great for allowing optimal vibratory stimulation which is necessary for the auto-correction of initial contact and for enhancing movement accuracy.

But what about the other important stimuli that is necessary for the control of dynamic movement?

One such stimulation which we can take advantage of is sensed by haptic or touch receptors in the feet – this stimuli is texture.    Texture and the ability to sense rough vs. smooth is also used in the control of dynamic posture, shifts in center of gravity and joint position sense.

Are all textures created equal? 

IMG_1918Texture is one of the primary proprioceptive stimuli targeted through Naboso Technology and has been shown to have some impressive and immediate effects on the neuromuscular system.

The unique and patent-pending textural design of Naboso Technology is based on the latest surface science and texture research.   So to answer our question above – NO – not all texture is created equal.   There is a specific texture you need to create a neuromuscular response.

A couple examples of the power of texture includes: 

A 2016 study by Steinberg et al. found that textured insoles in ballet dance shoes enhanced the rate of ankle joint position sense.  This translated to enhanced movement accuracy and faster rates of stabilization in the dancers.   This research supports and opens up the opportunity for the application of Naboso Insoles in athletic performance and injury prevention during shod sports.

A 2014 study by Clark et al. found that textured insoles decreased prefrontal activity during gait which translated to enhanced automaticity of gait.   As we age the less subconscious our gait becomes which greatly contributes to fall risk.   This research unlocks the potential of Naboso Insoles in reducing falls and enhancing balance in seniors or those suffering from post-stroke, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis + more.

Your Naboso Insole Questions Answered

I get quite a few questions as it relates to Naboso Insoles with some of the most common questions including:

How are Naboso Insoles different from orthotics? 

Naboso Insole target proprioception while orthotics are designed to alter or control biomechanics of the foot.    As I always mention in my workshops – the foot is not just a biomechanical structure – but also a very powerful neuromuscular structure.

In many cases neuromuscular control and stimulation can trump biomechanical control of the foot and therefore both aspects of foot function need to be respected.

Naboso Insoles address optimal foot function from a neuromuscular perspective and do have an important role and function in the control of over-pronation, foot stabilization, reflexive foot stiffness and foot to core sequencing.

Can I wear socks with my Naboso Insoles? 

You can do whatever you want – however the science of proprioception and Naboso Insoles means that socks should not be worn.   Any barrier between the foot and the Naboso Insole will take away from the proprioceptive input.

In the near future we will be designing harder Naboso Insoles which will allow consumers to wear socks with the insoles and still gain optimal proprioceptive stimulation.

Can I wear my Naboso Insoles every day?   And in all shoes? 

Yes we actually encourage you to wear your Naboso Insoles every day and in all shoes.   At just 3mm in thickness the Naboso Insole will fit into almost all footwear.   The Naboso Insoles can also be cut to ensure proper fit in all your footwear.

If you find yourself feeling sensitive to the texture then we recommend gradually increasing your time to exposure with 30 minutes and increased incrementally each day.

Where can I buy Naboso Insoles?  

Naboso Insoles are AVAILABLE NOW! at our special pre-order rate of $30 USD (regular rate is $50 USD).    Simply click on the link below and you’ll be brought straight to our online store.

http://nabosotechnology.com/naboso-insoles/

We ship to all countries and allow 30 day return policy to all US-based orders.

Are you ready to experience barefoot stimulation in a shod environment?     Experience Naboso Barefoot Insoles today!

 

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Barefoot Science

Biohacking Your Body with Barefoot Science

We are all on the eternal hunt to looking good, moving well and feeling young – however as responsibilities (job, school, family, friends) increase the time allocated to health and fitness often decreases.   Surprisingly we expect the same results with less time in the gym but is this really even possible?

Perhaps it is.

Enter…..biohacking!

What is biohacking?  

Biohacking, as the name suggests, is “hacking” or finding a way to more efficiently manipulate human biology.  This can include areas of sleep, nutrition, mental health, strength, recovery.

If you are new the concept of biohacking – please think of this as a positive thing!   Don’t get wrapped up thinking it is a mad scientist in his garage implanting computer chips into his own body.

Think of biohacking as a empowering concept which allows one to enhance or improve the efficiency of different aspect of health.   It means taking ownership of your body and the aging system.

Can biohacking apply to fitness?

Absolutely!

In the case of fitness some examples of biohacking include drinking caffeine to give you energy during a workout.   Or taking branch chain amino acids after a workout to enhance muscle repair and hypertrophy.   Or using kinesiology tape to enhance proprioceptive stimulation and muscle activation.

Seems less mad scientist-y doesn’t it?

One area of biohacking that I am particularly a fan of is the application of barefoot science to improve your workout.    As I mentioned at the start of this blog the one thing we never have enough of is TIME.

By integrating barefoot training into your workout you will hack your way into a more efficient workout allowing you to achieve faster fitness goals.   Below are my top 4 biohacks integrating barefoot science.

Biohack #1 – Barefoot release to improve your balance  

Next time you hit the gym start your workout start with just 5 minutes of trigger point footrelease the bottom of the foot.      A 2015 study showed that 5 minutes of manual trigger point release was associated with an immediate improvement in single leg stability and postural control.

Since having someone do the trigger point release isn’t efficient we’ll instead use RAD Rounds by RAD Roller (www.radroller.com)    These small rounds of different sizes can be used to apply pressure to different intrinsic muscles of the foot.    I recommend 5 minutes in the morning, evening and before exercise.

To see a video on this please see below!

Biohack #2 – Barefoot whole body vibration to enhance micro-circulation and tendon strength

In the world of proprioception whole body vibration is one of the most efficient ways to stimulate the nervous system.   Since our foot is also the gateway to proprioceptive stimulation I recommend doing your WBV activation barefoot and using PowerPlate which is a multi-planar harmonic vibration platform.

A 2007 study by Lohman showed that just 3min of WBV at 30Hz enhanced skin, nerve and tendon micro-circulation resulting in enhanced tendon tensile strength and decreased arterial stiffness.   All of which is a very powerful response before any workout.

Learn more about WBV and PowerPlate at www.powerplate.com

To learn more on this topic you can view the following webinar below!

Biohack #3 – Improve your core strength with barefoot foot to core sequencing

The core.   The center of stability and the center of power.   When it comes to any dynamic movement or exercise – core strength and stability are critical to the way force is generated or transferred through the human body.

The foot.   The base of stability and only contact point between the body and the ground.   Studies have shown that it is more efficient to strengthen the core via the foot in what EBFA calls “foot to core sequencing”.   The access into foot to core sequencing is via an exercise called short foot.

To learn more about short foot and how to integrate it with exercises please see below!

Biohack #4 – Improve your balance with small nerve proprioception

Postural control and dynamic stability require the integration of four input systems – visual, vestibular, joint proprioceptors and plantar foot skin.   Of these four one of the most important but often overlooked systems is the skin on the bottom of the foot.

The skin on the bottom of the foot contains thousands of small nerve proprioceptors all of which are sensitive to different stimuli.   One of the most important stimuli coming into the foot is vibration (see WBV above).    We use vibration not only to know how hard our foot is striking the ground but also in the maintenance of dynamic balance.

As soon as we put on our shoes our nervous system inherently becomes slower.   This delayed neuro stimulation of the foot is small or micro which means it is hard to detect by the average client or patient – however it is happening.   Accumulatively this results in micro-trauma and micro-compensation.

To biohack your nervous system whenever you are barefoot training integrate small nerve plantar stimulation with Naboso Technology.   Whenever performing barefoot exercises such as short foot or any foot to core sequencing this is the perfect opportunity to pull out your Naboso Barefoot Training Mat.

If you want to bring this stimulation to your shoes, Naboso Technology also makes small nerve proprioceptive insoles which have been shown to improve postural control and stability (Coming Summer 2017)

To read more on Naboso Technology please click  – HERE

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