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body mechanics – The application of kinesiology to use of the body in daily life activities and to the prevention and correction of problems related to posture. Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
bod·y me·chan·ics – The study of the action of muscles in producing motion or posture of the body. Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
body mechanics n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) – The application of kinesiology to the use of proper body movement in daily activities, the prevention and correction of problems associated with posture, and the enhancement of coordination and endurance. The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton MifflinCompany. All rights reserved.
body mechanics Correct positioning of the body for a given task, such as lifting a heavy object or typing. McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Physical body movement demands coordinated neurological integration in muscle for action potentials inside neurons to communicate with the cells in your muscle fibers, to facilitate and create electric (energy) signals for them to move. Assuming your body’s internal blueprint is working as it should, one is able to move their body in space … which doesn’t mean they are doing so correctly, efficiently or safely. If one can voluntarily move their limbs, then the only skills necessary to achieve optimal body movement are all based on one’s relationship to gravity.
We are three-dimensional objects with mass. We take up space, we need things, and we interact with gravity all day – her weight, and pull, and pressure. When we pay attention to our relationship to gravity, we become more aware of what’s required of us to maintain a healthy and reciprocal relationship with it. These skills are foundational elements of body positioning: posture and alignment, balance, and coordinated movement.
The benefit of acquiring, studying, applying and working toward mastery of these skills is a healthier and happier vessel/body during our time on earth. Integrated, optimized and continuous body alignment brings body parts into position, promoting optimal balance and body function. We also benefit from more balanced sleep, waking hours and bowel movements. We experience less inflammation and pain, more energy, stamina and focus as cells become better oxygenated. When the whole body is aligned in an optimized way – whether lying, sitting or standing – the strain on any part of your body, from muscles to ligaments to tendons to joints, is minimized or eradicated. When aligned as we were meant to be, we are well-oiled machines that need very little from the external environment, not only to survive, but to massively thrive!
These abilities help one to develop the skill of proprioception, or awareness or perception of the position, alignment and movement of the body. Proprioception is like a sixth sense, mediated by mechanosensory neurons and proprioceptors within joints, tendons and muscles. Body mechanics training is powerful at any age or any stage in life. Its principles are tremendously valuable if you’ve had surgery or other physical trauma and need to retrain your brain and body to work together, or whether you’re 65 years old and want to learn how to move in your body and improve your time left to spend more time with the grandkids, or you’re close to mastering Ashtanga Yoga’s third series and need the tiniest of refinements to your practice so you can finally understand the thing you’re missing to master one or several asanas. These are powerful life skills rarely taught. You must seek the knowledge.
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