Friday, April 4, 2008

Z-Health I Phase: Joint Mobility with Athletic Movement Drills

Today I received in the mail my order of the Z-Health I Phase DVD and Manual and the Neural Warm up DVD and manual. I am intensely curious as to what the next step in the program looks like and even though I probably haven't spent enough time with the R Phase program I had to see what is next. When I undertook Rolfing sessions a couple years ago my my body often sensed and felt ready for the next stage and that is how I felt with the Z-Health program. It was time to move ahead.

The R-Phase teaches you the basic movement skills of joint mobility, but you are doing the motions in a basic standing position. The goal is to learn how to move each joint independently and and in every direction and pattern. Athleticism, however, involves movement and motion. The I-Phase takes the basic movements and integrates them into the movement patterns of life and sports. That is where my body, and I would think most bodies, let their owners down. We move, bend, rotate, and participate with stiffness and imbalances. To protect pains of the past and of the present our bodies have readjusted and do not work in optimal patterns. Sometimes we think a muscle need stretching when it may be that a joints mobility needs to be addressed and as well as the neural component. The brain needs to allow the joint to move in the way it was intended to move rather than allow it to protect some perceived problem.

I was going to take the day of from running. I had a very hard run the previous day and while things went well, my left hip was feeling very tight today and I figured that I didn't want to train on it without fixing it first. Then when I got home I noticed the arrival of the DVDs. I popped the R-Phase DVD in the player and gave it a look. The movements now included lunges and rotations as well as new angles of movements on the drills I had learned earlier in the R-Phase program. Started at the feet, and moving up the ankles I heard a light pop and release in the right ankle and shortly thereafter another little pop in the left knee region. Wow, the hip tightness was gone. It felt really good doing the mobility routines in different directions and patterns. I finished up with the drills to the thoracic region, slipped into my runner gear and hit the treadmill (rain today). I did a 40 minute run, had dinner, noticed a pulling feeling at the inside right hip (never had that before), sat down to read the R-Phase manual, and fell asleep. Whether I was tired from a hard week of teaching I am not sure. I remembered having another nice nap after doing the AGELESS MOBILITY: Pain-Free Wellness For Longevity DVD the first time too. Anyhow I woke up very refreshed but most of all I noticed how great my hips felt. The strange tightness was gone but so was a lot of the normal tension. I will continue to explore the R-Phase and mix it up with some of the new I-Phase movements (particularly from the hips on down). I do have to report that it is good stuff and while it is something that not many runners have heard about or consider, I believe it may be a good direction for many runners and athletes to pursue if their bodies aren't working as well as they expect it should.

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