Barefoot Science

Beyond Biomechanics | Addressing Foot Pain with Sensory Stimulation

I want you to picture a human foot.   Now picture a person standing barefoot, and then walking barefoot.   Do you see the foot striking the ground and flexing under impact, only to re-stabilize and push off just a few milliseconds later?

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Often times when we think of human movement we can’t help but to be drawn to the thought of joints moving and muscles contracting.   Or in the case of foot function we are quick to consider the mechanics of flat feet, high arches, pronation and supination.   However when we delve deeper into the science of human movement there is more than meets the eye.

The Two Sides of Foot Function   

 When I teach on behalf of EBFA Global or speak to my patients I always emphasize that there are two sides to foot function (and dysfunction) – biomechanical and neuromuscular.    Now both play and important role in foot function which means that both must be appreciated – however to solely treat foot pain with just one belief system in mind is inherently flawed.

In most Podiatric Medical Schools we are taught foot function and foot pathology solely pronfrom a biomechanical perspective.   This means that every patient is tested for foot mobility and told to stand statically to determine arch height and foot type.   Based on this foot-focused biomechanical assessment and foot classification system the patient cause of injury and treatment protocol is determined.   Some of the favorite treatment recommendations include motion-controlled footwear and custom-posted orthotic both of which are prescribed with the hopes of controlling foot-focused biomechanics and thereby reducing their foot pain.

Beyond Biomechanics

The other side of foot function is one that is driven from a neuromuscular perspective and integrates the science of sensory stimulation and fascial systems.   In the case of neuromuscular function every patient would be assessed for sensitivity of plantar mechanoceptors as well as co-activation patterns between the foot and the core.  The role of minimal footwear, myofascial releasing, breathing patterns and compensation patterns more proximal would all be considered.

So which is more appropriate?  Well it depends.   In certain cases there will be a stronger argument towards a more biomechanical influence and in others it is more sensory.  This means it really is a marriage between the two approaches that provides the greatest patient outcome.

Sensory Stimulation in Foot Pain

My practice and Podiatry career is built around bringing an awareness to the important role sensory stimulation has on foot function and foot pain.

With every step we take impact forces are entering the foot as vibration.  This vibrational noise stimulates unique mechanoceptors on the bottom of the foot and is used to coordinate the loading of impact forces through coordinated contractions of the intrinsic (small) muscles of the bottom of the foot.   This co-contraction leads to a stiffening or strengthening response of the foot.

Researchers such as Nigg et al. and Robbins et al. have demonstrated a direct relationship between sensory stimulation of the plantar foot and intrinsic muscle strength concluding that one is necessary for the other.   This means that if our footwear or orthotics disconnect us from sensory stimulation – as in the case of cushioned footwear – this can actually weaken our foot making us susceptible to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis and stress fractures.

Beyond Vibration Stimulation

feet-mechanoreceptorsVibration stimulation is an extremely important sensory stimulation that enters our foot however it isn’t the only stimulation.   Another important stimulation is the ability for our foot to determine texture and if a surface is rough or smooth.   This information is used to help maintain dynamic balance (think walking on ice).

Enter the merkel disk mechanoceptors.   These superficial sensory nerves are used to determine what’s called 2 point discrimination which is translated to roughness or the texture of a surface.  Surface texture and insole texture is one of the most studied aspects of foot stimulation and posture or gait.  From decreased medial lateral sway in patients with Parkinson’s or MS to reduced prefrontal cortical activity in atheltes post-concusion the applications are promising!

One area that hasn’t been focused on for sensory stimulation and foot function is foot pain.  I am here to change the awareness around this concept and share the powerful application of sensory stimulation and foot pain.

As we mentioned earlier sensory stimulation of the foot leads to a contraction of the intrinsic muscles of the foot.   Intrinsic muscle contraction is not only is a criticial step in the damping of impact forces but has also been shown to increase the medial arch and build co-activation contractions in the core.

 The Evolution of Textured Insoles

In October 2017 Naboso Technology launched the first-ever commercially available OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtextured insole!   Naboso Technology essentially brought the science of touch and years of textured insole research to the market place giving new hope to people with foot pain.

Available in two strengths – Naboso 1.0 (1mm texture) and Naboso 1.5 (1.5mm texture) Naboso Insoles are designed to be worn without socks (or at the most very thin socks).  They fit into all footwear, are freely movable in all planes of motion and are only 3mm thick.

Learn more about the power of texture!    

http://www.nabosostechnology.com

#lifeissensory

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Barefoot Science, Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Feet, Fascia & Functional Movement Summit | London

Get ready for the first-ever Feet, Fascia and Functional Movement Summit coming to London on Sunday January 21, 2018!

As part of the EBFA Global Mentorship this one-day event features the global leaders in fascial fitness and functional movement including:

Dr Robert Schleip (via teleconference) of Fascial Fitness

Gary Ward of Anatomy in Motion

–  James Earls of Born to Walk

Dr Emily Splichal of EBFA Global

Experience lectures on the unique perspectives of these four educators and how each applies the concept of fascial integration into functional movement and human locomotion.

Let’s say hello to our Presenters!

 

Don’t miss out on this invaluable training!

Sunday January 21, 2018  | 8am – 6pm

GRANGE HOLBORN HOTEL
50-60 Southhampton Row
London, UK

Registration Fee: $300 USD

REGISTER NOW!!

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Barefoot Science

The Evolution of Touch, Emotion and Barefoot Science

“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

This is one of my favorite quotes.  In fact I love any quote that has to do with learning, expanding oneself and seeking self-improvement.  I have always held the belief that our ability to learn never stops, and would go so far as to say it is our responsibility to continue to learn and challenge our knowledge base.  This is especially true for professionals in health and wellness as our understanding of the human body, physiology and pathology is always expanding.

This is why EBFA’s education has continuously grown and expanded from simply foot biomechanics and short foot exercise to brain, breath, emotion and the neuroplasticity of barefoot science.

As I prepare for the re-brand of EBFA for January 2018 I want to share some exciting insight into the power of barefoot science and how our ability to discriminate surfaces, textures and touch is linked to emotional stability ind children and adults.

From Survival to Sophisticated

tumblr_ljt7kglHlv1qep95ho1_1280Touch is a powerful input system that 1.  allows us to navigate and manipulate our environment (i.e. feeling the sharpness of rocks under our feet cues us to walk slower) and 2. allows others to navigate and manipulate our environment (i.e. feeling someone grabbing you strongly warns you of a possible attack).

Now when it comes to evolution – touch is no different.   The art of touch has gone from simply survival (is this a threat or not) to more finite and discriminative.  This higher processing of touch refers to both the hands and feet – allows us to coordinate complex tasks such as micro-dissection surgery to the ability to read braille.

In present day man both the protective and discriminative aspects of touch still exist through a relationship that researchers call a dualism.   This dualism of touch requires balanced interpretation of touch.   Any deviation towards protective > discriminative and the individual has a heightened emotional “fight or flight” response to touch.

Enter the Tactility Defensive Child

The best example of this touch imbalance or altered relationship with touch can be observed is in a tactility sensitive or defensive child.   Have you ever seen or experienced a child who doesn’t like the texture of certain fabrics on their skin or doesn’t eat certain foods because of the texture?    Have you seen or experienced a child that doesn’t like to be hugged by other children or gets anxious and hostile when in close proximity to other people?

These are just a few of many examples of touch triggering a sympathetic / survival / fight or flight response in a child.

maxresdefaultResearch has shown that when these children are touched or touch a texture that they are defensive to, they will get a spike in cortisol levels which is indicative of a stress response.

It is well understood and accepted that elevated cortisol – even in children – can negatively effect the immune system (think auto-immune conditions and allergies), fat deposition (increase in childhood obesity) and learning / memory (ADHD, Autism, depression).

This is why I always say sensory before cognitive.   In order to allow the optimal cognitive development of children (learning, memory, attention) we need to ensure the foundation of sensory stimulation – and to their relationship to sensory stimulation is healthy.

(To learn more on this topic please check research Sensory Integration by A.J. Ayres)

Using Barefoot Science to Re-Balance Touch & Emotion

When it comes to Sensory Integration there are three main areas that need to be optimized during childhood development – vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile.

What’s interesting is these are the main somatosensory input systems to allow human locomotion – with human locomotion being linked to higher level cognitive functioning and emotional awareness.

The bare foot is a powerful tactile (touch) and proprioceptive-rich area of the body that in upright stance is the only contact point between the body and the ground.

Increased and earlier footwear use in children coupled with less foot sensory stimulation and exploration has paralleled the rise in ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorders, emotional disconnection and aggression in children.

Could there be a link?    I would say so!

But it is not too late.   We can use the understanding of barefoot science to help children and adults with sensory processing disorders as well as anyone along this spectrum.

Below are a few guidelines I recommend for integrating barefoot stimulation with these individuals:

  • Start with small doses and increase duration
    • Those with tactile defensiveness can reach sensory fatigue very quickly so start slow and gradually increased based on their response.  Also allow them to control the amount of stimulation.
  • Ensure the feeling of safety is re-enforced throughout their barefoot stimulation and combat any anxiety that may arise
    • Discuss the concern of anxiety and have them mentally prepared for the barefoot / sensory stimulation that will be happening throughout the session.  Talk about how it is a positive association and describe the texture or sensations they are feeling under their feet.
  • Avoid sharp / defined textures in the beginning but rather shutterstock63299443start with morestrong / broad stimulation
    • Progress from flat stones to smaller stones progressively based on their acclimation to textures
  • Re-inforce how barefoot stimulation is linked to safety and integrate foot stimulation into any vagal tone training, diaphragmatic breathing or cranial sacral therapy programming

To learn more about how practitioners are using the Naboso Proprioceptive Mat and tactile stimulation for the sensation of “safety” please look at Lois Laynee’s Restorative Breathing Program (www.restoringbreathing.com)

 

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Barefoot Science, Great Toe Mobility

How To Help Your Bunion Booty With Bunion Bootie

It’s Saturday morning and you are on your way to your favorite instructor “Toning Tony”‘s killer body conditioning class.   Famous for his squat series at the end of class you continue to endure this weekly punishment as you are committed to get the “glutes of your 20s” back.

toningYou are in the middle of the squat series trying to keep up with Toning Tony’s cues when suddenly Toning Tony comes up to you and enthusiastically asks “do you feel the burn in your glutes”?

You take a moment and soon realize – no.    No, you don’t feel “the burn”.

If fact you aren’t feeling much of anything happening in the glutes when squatting!

How is this possible?!

Perplexed that aren’t feeling anything in the glutes when doing squats you quickly kiss goodbye the glutes of your 20s.

But wait…..don’t give up just yet.   I may have a solution for you.

Having taught fitness for the last 16 years, competed in fitness competitions and being a practicing Functional Podiatrist, I have a keen eye for the integrated function of the human foot with the glutes.

First off, did you know that women in general have a harder time engaging their glutes Squats Workoutsthen men?    So not fair!

If you are a woman reading this blog and continuously feel squats in your quads and not in your glutes – you are not alone!

I just need the ladies to pay special attention to the below information and soon you’ll be feeling “the burn” in your glutes.

Secondly, did you know that there is a direct relationship between the stability of the foot and the stability of the pelvis?   We’ll go into this relationship much more in future blogs but for now just trust me on this association.

The impact of this foot / pelvis relationship means that if the foot is not stable – as in the case of flat feet and / or bunions! – the hip and pelvis unlock – making it difficult for the glutes to contract!

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What I am about to describe is what I call a “Bunion Booty”

A Bunion Booty is a lazy butt.   A Bunion Booty has difficulty engaging and building the strength to climb stairs without stressing the knees.

A Bunion Booty has difficulty stabilizing the SI joint during walking or running, causing pain when moving.   And a Bunion Booty definitely likes to bunt its work to the hamstrings making them work harder than they need should be, and increasing the risk of hamstring strains.

Do you have a Bunion Booty?     Take our quick quiz below!

  1.  Do you notice a bunion or deviation of the big toe in one or both of your feet?
  2. Do you have flat feet or notice that your arches have fallen?
  3. Do your feet easily fatigue and / or you get arch pain after standing short periods?
  4.  Do you have knee pain when doing squats or going up or down stairs?
  5. Have you been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis?
  6. Do you have SI joint pain or low back pain?
  7. Do you notice your glutes don’t have the shape of your younger years?
  8. Do you feel a sense of “laziness” in your glutes when walking, climbing, squatting?

If you answered yes to 4 or more of the above questions – you, my friend, may have a Bunion Booty!

So how exactly does a bunion make the glutes weak?

There is a deep connection between the muscles that stabilize the big toe (namely the abductor hallucis) and the deep muscles of the core.

If you look at the picture to the right take note of the abductor hallucis muscle Abductor-hallucis-e1380568713548running the length of the medial arch.    This muscle not only acts as an important stabilizer of the medial arch but also helps maintain alignment of the big toe joint.

Now in the case of flat feet, weak feet or feet that have spent years in tight shoes, this muscle can weaken.   As the abductor hallucis muscle starts to weaken a bunion begins to form.

As the bunion progresses the tendon of the abductor hallucis starts to shift into a position that makes the foot even weaker.   It actually shifts from the side of the big toe to under the big toe!   (We’ll discuss this in more detail in a future blog)

Essentially the bigger the bunion, the more the abductor hallucis tendon shifts and the weaker the foot.   The weaker the foot, the weaker the glutes.

So what can be done?

This is where I turn to my go-to product for patients with bunions – the Bunion Bootie!

Introducing the Bunion Bootie.    A smart but simple product that is sleek in design and extremely functional.   The unique design of the Bunion Bootie allows you to wear it while walking, working out, barefoot or in shoes.

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When you slide the Bunion Bootie over the big toe and around the back of the foot you can see an immediate re-alignment of the big toe (see picture to the right).

The result?

The abductor hallucis gets pulled into the position it needs to be in order to engage, activate and connect back to your glutes.

Please note that results may vary based on size and severity of the bunion, however one thing that is for certain is that by begin to place the big toe in a more proper alignment you are making the foot more stable.

A stable foot over time can lead to a more stable pelvis.

Want to take this one step further, I encourage all of my patients with bunions to learn how to consciously engage the muscles of their feet to further stabilize their pelvis.

Through an exercise called Short Foot you can learn to re-strengthen the foot and connect it back to the core.   To learn more about Short Foot please see the video below.

You can learn more about my approach to patients with flat feet and bunions in my book Barefoot Strong, available on Amazon.

As you begin to integrate Bunion Bootie and foot strengthening into your routine I recommend gradually adjusting to both concepts.   Start by using the Bunion Bootie for 30 minutes a day, at night.   Begin to notice how you feel when walking around your home with the Bunion Bootie on.   Increase your time in the Bunion Bootie and supplement it with Short Foot exercise.

To learn more about Bunion Bootie or to purchase this product please go to:  www.bunionbootie.com 

To learn more about integrating barefoot exercise to rebuild your foot / core connection please go to : www.barefootstrong.com 

As always – stay barefoot strong!

Dr Emily Splichal, DPM , MS

 

 

 

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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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Barefoot Science

How “tuned in” is your nervous system? Advances in barefoot science.

Cell phones, billboards, TV ads, fit bits.     Now, more so than every before, our nervous system is continuously being over-stimulated with information.   This over-stimulation of  information actually has the opposite effect on the nervous system, leading to a shut down or “tuning out” of the external noise which we experience on a daily basis.

This concept of “tuning out” can also be applied to someone who lives in an urban setting and eventually doesn’t notice the constant honking and construction of the busy city streets.   Or a mother who is able to function with screaming children in the background.

 The Essential Noise of Human Movementimages

If we take this one step further, we can also apply this concept to human movement and
the demands of our nervous system to maintain dynamic balance and postural control during walking.

In the case of human movement the “noise” that enters the nervous system would be proprioceptive information such as vibration, joint capsule stretch, texture, tension etc.   This proprioceptive noise is essential for proper activation of muscle sequences and time to stabilization for efficient loading and unloading of impact forces.

The Foot is the Gateway to Essential Noise

feet-black-and-white-toes-close-upWith the foot as the only contact point between the body and the ground – much of this “noise” enters our nervous system through the feet.   If this foot “noise” is tuned out or unable to be sensed by the nervous system inaccurate movement patterns and delayed time to stabilization (i.e. injury) is the result.

One of the biggest causes or reasons for the inability to sense the essential noise of human movement is footwear.   Thick, cushioned, supportive footwear with smooth insoles completely “tunes out” the foot during dynamic movement.

The cushion in shoes absorbs the vibration noise during foot contact.   Smooth insoles and socks block the skin stretch and texture perception during locomotion.   And thick soles shift proprioceptive feedback away from the foot and into muscle tendon reflexes – which are large nerve, reactive, slower responses.

 Textured Insoles Tune the Foot to NoiseIMG_1918

This April 2017 Naboso Technology will be launching small nerve proprioceptive insoles
which are designed to continuously provide the essential noise of the foot during dynamic movement.  This better allows the nervous system to auto-adjust with each shift in center of gravity or with each foot contact with the ground.

A 2015 study by Lipsitz  et al. found that using low grade vibratory insoles providing sub sensory “noise” improved postural control and reduced gait variability in seniors.     Another study by David et al. further explored the role of textural “noise” of insoles and the role the had on ankle proprioception in male soccer players.   Interestingly, those subjects with textured insoles reported faster ankle joint position sense and higher force production.

“Tune In” with Barefoot Training Every Day

Another great way to keep the foot “tuned in” to stimulation is to integrate barefoot stimulation on a daily basis.  This means no socks.   No shoes.   No soft squishy mats.

Barefoot stimulation enhances the proprioceptors on the feet – keeping them sharp, responsive and functioning as an integrated part of your natural movement.

To learn more about the Naboso Barefoot Insoles please visit www.nabosotechnology.com

To join our mailing list to be alerted of Pre-Order Options for Naboso Barefoot Insoles please email orders@nabosotechnology.com or follow us on social media!

Facebook and Instagram

Stay #barefootstrong!

Dr Emily

 

Bibliography

David et al.  ‘‘Essential noise’’ – enhancing variability of informational constraints benefits movement control:  Br J Sports Med 2004;38:601–605

Lipsitz et al.  A shoe insole delivering subsensory vibratory noise improves balance and gait in healthy elderly people.Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Mar;96(3):432-9

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Barefoot Science, Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Time To Stabilization & Athlete Injury Risk

dancerA majority of my podiatry practice is built around treating athletes and chronic athletic injuries.   From professional dancers to marathon runners all athletes – regardless of sport or art – require the same thing – rapid stabilization for optimal loading and energy transfer.  

Why is rapid stabilization so important? 

During dynamic movement such as walking, running or jumping the ability to rapidly load and unload impact forces requires a baseline of stabilization.   With a rate of impact forces coming in at < 50 ms during walking and < 20 ms during running it is no wonder the rate of stabilization must be fast!

To put this a little bit more in perspective.   Our fast twitch muscle fibers don’t reach their  peak contraction till about 50 – 70ms.   So if impact is coming in at rate < 20 ms during running and your hip / knee / ankle and foot are not already stable before you strike the ground – it is too late!     It physiologically is not possible to react to impact and stabilize fast enough.

A client or athlete who is reacting to impact forces will often present with ITB syndrome, runner’s knee, peroneal tendinitis, stress fractures, shin splints – and that’s just naming a few!

Considering Time to Stabilization (TTS)

In my workshops I often say that “we are only as strong as we are stable” or that “stabilityacle is the foundation through which strength, force and energy is generated or transferred”.

The precision, accuracy and anticipation of stabilization must be so well programmed into the nervous system that peak stability is happening before contact with the ground.   This is referred to pre-activation and is associated with a faster TTS.

The opposite of pre-activation stabilization is reactive stabilization and is how many – if not most – of my patients or people in general are moving.   When we think of the rate of neuromuscular coordination even a small delay (think milliseconds) will result in tonic (exaggerated) muscle contractions, micro-instability and inefficient loading responses eventually leading to neuromuscular and connective tissue fatigue and injury.

So how can you improve client and athlete TTS?

1. Pre-activate base to center stabilization pathways aka foot to core sequencing

This is THE basis to EBFA Certifications Barefoot Training Specialist and BarefootRx.   With our feet as our base the activation and engagement of our feet to the ground is key to center or core stabilization.    Fascially the feet and core are connected through the Deep Front Line and must be integrated and sequenced as part of a proper warm-up or movement prep.

To learn more about foot to core sequencing please view HERE

2. Consider surface science to optimize foot feedback

All surfaces are designed differently with certain surfaces actually blocking and damping IMG_1753the critical proprioceptive input between foot and ground.    When we think of softer surfaces and mats research has shown a direct correlation between softer surfaces and delayed / prolonged loading responses.

Harder surfaces.  Surfaces that allow the transmission of vibration.  And surfaces with textures allow more accurate and precise proprioceptive input.   Thus led to the innovation of Naboso Technology by EBFA Founder Dr Emily Splichal

Ideally if Step 1 – pre-activation of our stabilization pathway could be done on a Naboso surface this would be ideal.    More information can be found at www.nabosotechnology.com

3. Footwear to allows optimal feedback and foot function

If follow Step 1 & 2  and activate the neuromuscular system barefoot and from the ground up we then want to ensure this carries over as soon as we put on our shoes and begin our sport or activity.

Imagine if you activate the proper neuro pathways but then put your client into a thick cushioned shoe.  This essentially shuts off and defeats the purpose of Step 1 & 2.   We need IMG_1767to ensure a proper shoe is worn to allow this carry over into sport.    So think flexible, minimal cushioning. possible textured insoles (check out Naboso Insoles launching Spring 2017)

Additional ways to begin to train pre-activation training and shortening the TTS is covered in our EBFA Certifications.    From the ground up landing techniques, foot to core sequencing, single leg decelerations + more are critical to injury prevention and optimal performance.

To learn more about EBFAs Certifications and workshops coming up near you please visit www.ebfafitness.com     Our workshops can be found in over 30 countries and taught in over 12 languages.

Isn’t it time for your clients and athletes to become BAREFOOT STRONG!

 

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