As a health and nutrition educator I work with people who are attempting to achieve optimal health and wellness. I often present the components of health and wellness using the three legged stool model. A wooden three legged stool balances well on all three legs. If one of the legs is shorter or longer than the others, the stool lacks stability and “wobbles.” If one of the legs breaks, the instability becomes a crisis.
I recognize the importance of the mind and the spirit. However, I cannot adequately discuss every aspect of health and wellness in one post and the focus of this discussion is the body. More specifically, I describe my introduction to the work of Katy Bowman. Bowman’s views have me reimagining the “three legged stool” models that I use in my workshops. (Clearly, I need help from someone with better design skills.)
Many of the people that I know are working to improve the health of their bodies through increased exercise. They will find Bowman’s focus on movement to have immediate practical applications. I have not, as yet, been successful in breaking her work down into easily understood bytes for them. They need to confront Bowman’s work for themselves and I strongly recommend that they do so.
I was introduced to the work of Katy Bowman through a video tour of her home.Watch “Tour of Katy’s House” on YouTube
I am reading and thinking about two of her books. The books are quite popular and well written reviews are easy find.
I visit her Nutritious Movement Website. I read her blogs. I listen to her podcast. I am using her full body mechanics programs to increase my strength and mobility.
Perhaps the most important thing that Bowman says is the simplest. Exercise is only one form of much larger movement options.
I found this idea enticing because, while I enjoy movement, I have less appreciation for counting “sets and reps.”
My attempts to explain even Bowman’s simplest ideas come out sounding like nonsense because I have fallen into the deep end of the pool. For years I have been studying how food creates biochemical cascades that alter physiological states. I have never paid as much attention to how movement also creates biochemical cascades that alter physiological states. Bowman pushed me to change that with her definition and explanation.
MECHANOTRANSDUCTION The process by which cells sense and then translate mechanical signals (compression, tension, fluid shear) created by their physical environment into biochemical signals, allowing cells to adjust their structure and function accordingly.
I immediately wanted to learn more and attempted to audit advanced courses in biophysics. The professors quickly sent me back to the “kiddie pool” of introductory human physiology. I have been here before. However, I know that I will benefit from the review, the integration of newly discovered knowledge, and approaching the course from a new perspective.
The learning goal of the course that I am taking has been set by the professors.
At the end of this course, learners will be able to recognize how the basic organ systems of the body work and apply the basic concepts that govern integrated body function as an intact organism in the body’s nine organ systems.
The learning goal does not indicate the minutia of the detail involved in this study. I plan to enjoy spending time studying human physiology while thinking about mechanotransduction. In other words, when I go for my morning walk and when I do Bowman’s programs, I am going to think about, talk about, and write about them from a physiological perspective. I am compelled to explore the idea of nutrious movement. This is definitely my lane.
I have not given up on nutritious food. I am still working on autoimmune protocol meal plans that do not exceed 1200 calories per day. I am thinking about how a person with extreme oral allergies can design nutritious meals for themselves.
I have not forgotten about the importance of sleep, or the mind, or the spirit. But those discussions will have to wait until I finish this. I think my current workload is more than sufficient.
TALK TO ME ABOUT BOWMAN’S WORK! TALK TO ME ABOUT HOW MOVEMENT IS ALTERING YOUR PHYSIOLOGICAL STATE.