All in assessment

There is a lot of much needed skepticism on the internets these days in regard to the idea that we can diagnose movement “dysfunction” and prescribe movement “correction.” A lot of this debate centers on the FMS and other systemic approaches to improving quality of movement. I think a lot of this discussion is useful and productive. I also think that the level of skepticism sometimes goes too far, veering into what I call “movement relativism” - the idea that one movement will work just as well as another for a given purpose, or that we don’t have the slightest idea how to tell whether one way of moving is better than another.

I really enjoy studying biomechanics. I find it totally fascinating to learn, for example, that a certain muscle is very well suited to stabilize a joint, but not to move it through a large range of motion; or that it is active in one movement but not another; or that it becomes atrophied in people with chronic pain. I think this kind of detective work is very cool and I always look forward to applying it to help one of my clients. But that is where things get frustrating, because with biomechanics, as with so many other subjects, the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know as much as you would like to know. And sometimes you don't know enough for your treatment protocols to make any sense.

Moshe Feldenkrais said that to "correct is incorrect." He was referring to efforts to correct someone's movement patterns. Which is kind of a strange thing to say for a guy whose method was largely about making people's movement more efficient. What did he mean and what does this say about efforts to correct movement? I think his message is that it is preferable to show clients different options or choices for how to move, than to tell them their current movements are wrong and require correction.