Todd Hargrove is a Rolfer, Feldenkrais Practiotioner and the Author of A Guide to Better Movement: The Science and Practice of Moving with More Skill and Less Pain. He talks about about pain science, what good movement is, why it’s important to have it, some myths about pain, why perfect biomechanics doesn’t guarantee pain-free movement, the benefits of mindful movement, and movement variability.
- How he went from handling lawsuits to bodywork as a Rolfer and Feldenkrais practitioner
- The nervous system has a lot more control over physical qualities that we want to improve such as strength, endurance, flexibility, pain
- When people stretch they think that they are releasing the tissue or deforming it into a different length. But the reason we increase ROM isn’t because we changed the tissue, it’s because we’ve increased the nervous system’s tolerance for moving into a greater range of motion
- What movement quality is and Why it’s important to move well
- Biomechanics is essential for performance but doesn’t guarantee being pain free
- Damage doesn’t always correlate with pain. You can have a lot of tissue damage and no pain or a lot of pain and no tissue damage
- Why flexibility is overrated
- How the body and the brain communicate pain
- Pain is a conscious experience – it’s an output of the brain. It’s not a damaged condition of the body
- What nociception is
- What “good pain” is
- How simply learning about pain science helps to manage pain
- Mindfulness can be a mechanism for pain relief
- People with chronic pain tend to have blurred cortical maps
- The importance of movement variability
Body Teaser: Cat/Cow with Different Hand and Knee Positions
[The body teasers play off of the idea of brain teasers. The goal is to get us thinking about how we move and ultimately to improve how we move.]
Todd talks about this at the end of the interview: Change the hand and knee positions while flexing and extending the spine in Cat and Cow pose. Bring the hands together, turn the fingers out, turn them in, take the hands wide, take the hands in front of you. Bring the knees together, apart, forward, back, play with the rotation of the hip. Experiment! This provides some variation to the pose so you get some movement variability. Your ability to vary your movement in many different ways might be more important than moving in one particular way perfectly.
Share your own ideas for movement variability in the comments below!