"The slow creeping death of our wonderment."

Something different for a Sunday morning.

"The slow creeping death of our wonderment."

Today, kinda random thoughts, but not entirely. It is about our kids and their possible progressive loss of wonderment from all of this technology around them. Which, I guess, is also germane to us adults as well. It is about climbing trees, sitting in silence, about letting ideas flow, about thought experiments, where many great things percolate from deep inside our minds. It is about taking chances, free thinking, stepping to the edge, and being alright with being wrong.

I wrote this back in 2017 on my personal website (shawnallen.net). Seemed valuable to share today after a soft attack on fresh ideas.

On the topic of "wonderment" . . . .

I have to admit, some of my greatest clinical insights as a student of human movement have come from long periods of wonderment. What intrigues me is when logically proposed wonderment is attacked. What I am referring to is the rare, yet often enough, occurrence on my clinical blog (thegaitguys.com) where a fresh idea or theory, a thought perhaps admittedly without a solid research base is attacked as unsubstantiated. Sometimes, I am left rolling my eyes when some purist in the comments section might write, "show me the research and data on this idea, otherwise it's crap". Questioning something unsubstantiated is just fine with me, but attacking is not. When did fresh ideas become crap, unworthy of consideration? Research does not necessarily set up our rules and guidelines to follow, it is perhaps more so there to foster our present knowledge on a topic, to afford us with information to base choices and thoughts upon. If someone thinks that the up to date research on a topic is the template, then they will be stuck in time. Growth will evade them. I feel sorry for those people, I feel sorry that their biases were not confirmed, that their belief system has felt questioned and rattled. I fear for these folks, they will never develop their own thoughts, never their own moments of Einsteinian genius. They will merely be followers of other's research and work, never free thinkers, and certainly never become those researchers who had just the same sort of questions and wonderment and yet sought out to prove or disprove their wonderment. The world has proven over and over again that the free thinkers, the wonderers, are often the leaders, the risk takers, the inventors, the forgers of human progress. And, they are handsomely rewarded for their time, their risks of looking like a fool. I feel blessed when I can steal a mere shot glass of insight from the deep wells of these types of people. All great ideas first started with a thought, a hypothesis, a wonderment. Just because no one has written a paper on a topic does not mean the ideas are invalid or not worthy of consideration. This is how we all grow, these wonderments, it is where all good research paper hypotheses begin, it is where we can leap to deeper insights and learn from each other. Without wonderment we remain stagnant, never to move farther ahead. The key is to not get trapped too firmly in our own biases, always looking for confirmation of said biases. This is a dark place where we all can fail to grow, and at times, I am guilty as charged, I admit it." -Shawn Allen

There is more in the link below. Click if you wish.

https://www.shawnallen.net/dailyblog/2017/9/24/the-slow-creeping-death-of-our-wonderment

Shawn Allen, the other gait guy
#gait, #wonderment, #thoughtexperiment, #learning, #gaitproblems, #gaitanalysis, #research, #personalgrowth

a happy cerebellum = better learning

We are not sure how many of these (little) guys you treat, but this article is germane.

4 hours per day, 5 days per week. It takes time to recannalize (or re create) new (or rejuvenate old) neurological pathways.

"After only two weeks, the children in the experimental group demonstrated a significant increase in locomotor and object control skills and in gross quotient (a composite measure of both skills categories). Participants’ locomotor improvements plateaued between weeks four and eight, and object control skills improved during the first two weeks but demonstrated nonsignificant changes between weeks two and four, four and six, and six and eight. A significant gain in locomotor skills also occurred between weeks four and eight."

...and don't forget about the "neurological windows" we are always talking about. Aggressive, early intervention is indicated

"Early childhood is a sensitive time in development, and motor researchers have an opportunity to improve motor skills very early—even as young as 2 years, said Ketcheson. Early intervention may give children with ASD the ability to play and interact in age-appropriate ways with their peers entering kindergarten. Early intense motor skills instruction within a CPRT framework can be a valuable addition to practitioners’ intervention strategies aimed at improving social success for children with ASD, she said."

Get them up, get them moving!

Neuro Hack of the Week

Neuro Hack of the Week.

Did you see our Facebook post on Monday of this week about children with autism spectrum disorder, physical exercise and rehabilitation, and improved learning scores? If so, this short piece while have much more meaning. If not, if you take time to go back and read it now, this will have more meaning. 

Try this at home

Sit down in a comfortable place and take a book off of the shelf which has a moderate amount of complexity to it. Open the book to any page and start a recorder (on your phone or with a dictaphone/tape recorder if your are old school). Begin reading and record your voice for approximately 1 minute.

Now standup on 1 leg in a place where you won't fall down. Open the book to a different page, start the recorder, and read for approximately 1 minute.

Go back and listen to both recordings. What did you hear? Pay attention to things like the flow of words left (called prosody), enunciation, pronunciation, and comprehension. How much do you remember for the first versus the second reading?

We have just witnessed the power of the cerebellum and it is implications in learning. If learning has a proprioceptive component, you will generally have a better understanding, better comprehension, and better pronunciation.  This is why few years ago when they did that study and schools and replaced kids desks with bicycles fitted with a desk attached to it, their test scores soared. (see here https://www.fastcoexist.com/3036607/this-school-has-bikes-instead-of-desks-and-it-turns-out-thats-a-better-way-to-learn)

When you need to learn something, stand up, walk around, balance on 1 leg, use a bosu ball, rocker board etc. Do the same with your patients. He will get much more of it, it will take last time, and your outcomes will improve.

Just a little neuro hack from The Gait Guys

Learning and being humbled.

There is a quote out there by someone that suggests that in the moments of talking and teaching one will learn nothing, for one is merely spouting off the limits of what one already knows, some of which is likely outdated or incorrect. One cannot teach that which one has not previously heard, experienced and mastered.
*Learning is about listening, and evaluating our prior beliefs against the current wisdom. It is about unlearning the false and relearning the latest truths that have come to light. Learning is not about talking.

Dear Gait brethren: Ivo and I do not have all the answers, but we seek and share what we know daily in this realm of The Gait Guys. Through challenging old and current theories, principles and research, one’s insight and wisdom can only grow. We will get things wrong, and we will admit when we do, and thank those who teach us the present truths. We have no single guru we follow, nor should you. No one person or method has all the answers to all of your client’s woes. The day you only trust one guru and one theory and the day you stop seeking, learning, unlearning, and being humbled to the mistakes one has made and been taught, is the day one begins a journey to being left behind and possibly insignificant in time. Thanks to all of you who correct us, teach us, humble us and trust us. It has been a great year here on TGG, thanks for hanging out with us ! 
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” ~Alvin Toffler.
Enjoy the funny cartoon, it is sort of related to the words above. It is a huge comment on communication, communication in relationships and possibly stuff that gets communicated in seminars. Things get lost in translation everyday, sadly. But perhaps that is a good thing, perhaps that is why theories and principles morph into greater wisdom. Not all change is bad.

A small boy was walking along a beach at low tide, where countless thousands of small sea creatures, having been washed up, were stranded and doomed to perish. A man watched as the boy picked up individual creatures and took them back into the water.  
  “I can see you’re being very kind,” said the watching man, “But there must be a million of them; it can’t possibly make any difference.”  
  Returning from the water’s edge, the boy said, “It will for that one.”  
  We seek to make a difference, no matter how small.  
       
  The Gait Guys

A small boy was walking along a beach at low tide, where countless thousands of small sea creatures, having been washed up, were stranded and doomed to perish. A man watched as the boy picked up individual creatures and took them back into the water.

“I can see you’re being very kind,” said the watching man, “But there must be a million of them; it can’t possibly make any difference.”

Returning from the water’s edge, the boy said, “It will for that one.”

We seek to make a difference, no matter how small.


The Gait Guys

If you can understand this type of complex footwork gait then running foot strike is going to be child’s play. 

“It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”-Limb

Gait and Biomechanics and Love Potion #9 !

The topic today is the brain and human movement and music. We would like you to enjoy this video we chose today of Slavik and Anna a little differently that you would normally watch a video. We ask that you cover up the top half of the video with your hand or a thick piece of paper so that you can ONLY see their legs and feet. Trust us, the hands, arms and their youthful attractiveness will distract you from the amazing stuff going on down in the legs and feet. Go ahead now and watch the video and see the amazing skill and precision of complicated foot work. There will be times that the feet are a blur, you will think the video has been sped up. It has not. If you can understand this type of complex footwork gait then running foot strike is going to be child’s play. It is why we study this stuff, because everything after this is easy. These are two of the very best dancers of all time and they show it here. This video is a classic example of complex motor tasks combined to music. Music makes everything better. Weddings, parties, even elevators (usually) are better when there is music. Today we will discuss how the brain can use music to help us learn. If you know this next song, you may find yourself immediately humming it in your head …

A B C

Easy as 1 2 3

Or simple as Do Re Mi

ABC, 123, Do Re Mi, baby you and me

There you have it. The chorus to The Jackson 5’s song “ABC”.

Kids have always learned well and fast (such as the alphabet) when music is integrated into a concept. Music provides timing. Music taps into fundamental systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat. And when you are learning a task, timing can access part of the brain to either make it easier, easier to remember, or engrain the learned behavior deeper. When you add music to anything you are exercising other parts of your brain with that task. It is nothing new in the world of music and brain research when it comes to proving that music expands areas of learning and development in the brain. As Dr. Charles Limb, associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University states “It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”

Several weeks ago we asked you as an athlete, and this pertains to runners and even those walking, to add music to your training. If you are walking, vary the songs in your ipod to express variations in tempo. Use those tempo changes to change your cadence. If you are a runner, once in awhile add ipod training to your workouts and do the same. Your next fartlek (a system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are varied to enhance conditioning) might be a new experience. Perhaps an enjoyable one. Trust us, we have done it. Here at The Gait Guys, with our backgrounds in neurology and biomechanics amongst other things, we are always looking for new ways to learn and to incorporate other areas of brain challenge to our clients. To build a better athlete you have to use training ideas that are often outside the box.

Today’s video of Slavik and Anna is a classic example of complex motor tasks combined to music. It is much about timing. Dancers call it musicality. Asking anyone to learn these movements without music would not be impossible, it would take some time, but without a focus on perfect technique or music timing to the movements someone might be able to learn them crudely in a day or two. BUT, add the timing and musicality and accentuations to that music, such as Slavik and Anna show here, and this becomes a task of many many years study and practice. A task they make appear simple, elegant and fun to do or watch. Can you imagine the foot skill and core abilities of these two ? It is mind boggling the number of complex motor tasks that occur here every second.

So, go grab your iPod and go for a run or a walk. Mix up your songs. Hear the beat, feel the rhythm and change your next workout into “feeling” the change of the music’s embedded metronome. Use those advanced areas of your brain to integrate music and timing into your rehab, your run, your walk, your workout. Don’t just “listen” to the music. Rather, feel it, move your body to it, so your brain can integrate it and embed it and make your task more engrained. Remember what Dr. Charles Limb said,

“It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”

Shawn and Ivo……helping you push the edges of human performance, through science, music and medicine.

(And here is a thank you “shout out” to my dance instructors (Godiva, Brittni, Max, Jake, Vance, Ellie, Caleb and Michael) for helping me to understand, struggle, and learn about these complex foot, limb, core motions and how music changes the brain’s learning curve. It has taken my understanding of human movement, functional anatomy and biomechanics to a level that I never knew existed. Thank you !)

Attached here is an article from CNN and Dr. Limb that inspired today’s blog post.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/26/health/mental-health/music-brain-science/index.html