I just came across a very interesting article linked by Diane Jacobs on Facebook titled All Tip No Iceberg: A New Way to Think about Mental Illness. Diane said that this might also be a good way to think about pain. I agree! Here's a brief summary of some of the ideas in the article.
I have been a bit negligent in updating this blog recently but I have an excuse - I'm hard at work on a new book that I hope to complete by this fall: Playing with Movement: Simple Solutions for a Complex Body.
Like the first book (A Guide to Better Movement), the general goal is to help people move better and feel better through application of practical science on pain and motor learning. But the subject matter in this book is far more expansive and ambitious.
According to very smart guy Dan Dennett, we use very different kinds of thinking tools to predict the behavior of different systems, depending in part on the system’s complexity. In this post I'll describe three levels of analysis described by Dennett that we can use to understand the body: the physical stance, the design stance and the intentional stance.
What’s the difference between a guru and an expert? The dictionary assigns the two words the same basic meaning: someone with a high level of knowledge in a particular field. But the term guru definitely has an unwholesome connotation. People respect experts, but worship gurus, imagining they have totally unrealistic levels of knowledge and power. In the context of science, that's a problem.
Predictive coding is a hip new model for perception that I have been studying lately. In some ways it is very common sense and intuitive, and in others it is very challenging and mind expanding. I see it as a useful bridge between conventional ways of thinking about perception and something completely new and different. Here’s a post describing what I’ve learned that I find interesting and practical
I recently finished the above-titled book by Frans Bosch. It's one of those books where you do a lot of underlining. It's also one of the best books on movement I’ve read in a while so I decided to write a review and (rather lengthy) summary of the some of the ideas I found interesting.
There are various models used to understand pain. I often see debate as to the relative merit of these models, which is a good thing. But what I think is not such a good thing is when people argue that because a model has a certain flaw or limitation, it is fatally deficient.
Pain and movement are pretty complicated right? In a sense yes. But in another sense no. Pain and movement are not complicated, they are complex, which is a different animal.
Imagine you are Elon Musk trying to send a rocket ship to the moon. What sort of thinking process, analysis, modeling, research, predictions, and methods of control would help solve this problem? How would that process be different from solving the problem of say, raising a child?
A baseball player walks into the batter’s box. He shifts weight from front foot to back while circling the bat. Rotates his right heel into the ground. Orients his gaze to the pitcher while pointing his bat to center field. Slowly swings his bat three or four times to an imagined contact point with the ball. What’s the point of all this seemingly useless motion?
I recently watched a short talk by Andy Clark, a philosopher of mind who studies how humans perceive their bodies, control their bodies, and interact with the environment in a meaningful way. (Short summary of Clark’s ideas - these three seemingly different functions are basically just One function.)
Mice make a cute pucker expression when they are tasting something bitter. Scientists recently found they could make a mouse pucker by stimulating a part of its brain involved in the perception of bitterness. Here are several other interesting facts (and some factoids!) about taste that inform my understanding of what causes pain and how to change it.
Why exactly does someone feel better after massage? Or acupuncture? Or foam rolling? Or a chiropractic adjustment, or wearing K-tape, or doing mobility drills, or a hamstring stretch? There are some good answers to these questions, and the interesting thing I’d like to point out in this post is that quite often, the therapist doesn’t know them. Or even care about them!
Why do muscles feel tight? Does that mean they are short? That they can't relax? And what can you do about it?
Here are some of my thoughts about why muscles feel tight and what to do about it.
This very cool study provides an amazing example of the stunning complexity and sophistication of the motor control system in coordinating a seemingly simple activity like running.