My goal is to make everything simple.
Going into this article, please understand that your body is a collection of parts that work as a whole, not a series of rogue parts.
What I mean, is that there is a certain amount of predictability that comes along with what you can and cannot do when it comes to movement. For instance, your shoulders roll-in too far forward, it is difficult to lift them over your head. You can see for yourself. Roll your arms in and then try to lift them over your head. DONT CHEAT! Don’t lift your rib cage, just raise your arms. Now, pull your shoulders back and raise your arms. You should see and feel a big difference.
The thing that needs to be understood is that it wasn’t your shoulders that did the trick. It was chest being collapsed inward that prevented your arm from being lifted its highest. Most people that sit a lot have this problem, as do most that are overweight. My point should be clear. Most people by now understand that weight gain and sitting have ramifications. Inherently, most people understand that we should have control over this. As a result, most people therefore are going to draw the conclusion that we can manipulate our posture and well-being.
By now, you should know that there are many factors that control your posture. Your shoes, how much you drive, handedness, weight-gain, and exercise habits are just a few to name. How about vision?
I think that part of the mastery in the deign of the human body is “Fall-Prevention.” Whomever put us together or if our exsistance is immaculate is to be debated as long as we stand on two feet. What isn’t to be debated is that we have mechanism’s built in us that prevent us from dangering ourselves.
Homeostasis is term granted to our innate human response towards balance. What I mean is that our bodies will regulate our internal systems so that we can maintain living as easily as possible. This is why we sweat when we get too hot or why we will retain water when we are dehydrating. As survival method, the idea of homeostasis cant be replaced or forgotten.
Most people aren’t going to make the connection right away when it comes to homeostasis and how we move or where are joints are positioned. Take a second and think about what a stress related posture looks like. For me, it is easiest to think of a scared cat.
Sure, we see her hair stand up and eyeballs get wide, but take closer look. She is taking her body and guarding her genitals. Think about the time you were startled by someone or something. You put your arms up and pushed your hips back in a guard like position. If you are into sports at all, you can start to make a connection between a stress related position and a defensive positions. Knees are always bent, head is up and hips are back.
Without going into much more detail, this makes absolute sense from a mechanics point of view. Your back half gets loaded up and you able to react much quicker than if you were in a fully upright position.
So my whole point is that we can manipulate our position and it can change how we move.
What does this have to do with vision?
Your head obviously sits on top of your head. Arguably the most important of your movement success has to do with your ability to see.
Walk down your hallway with your eyes open. Now, close your eyes and walk down the hall. What changed? Did you bang into the wall? Did you stumble? Were you slower or did you lose your balance?
Sure, visual input makes a difference. Having an impairment is certainly going to change how we move. If we get eyewear we are the right track, but what if we don’t know that we need them or the doc says we are ok? What if we simply have one eye that is stronger than the other?
No part of your body has more of an impact on the whole of your body than your spine. Your spine is made of 33 vertebrae stacked on top of one another from your tailbone to your skull. It truly is the core of your body, in that wherever it goes, everything must follow. If your spine is bent forward or to one side or the other than there will be problems.
Most people will refer to a side bend of the spine as scoliosis. Yes, this is a condition that unfortunately some are born with, but little do most people realize is that “bending of the spine” is also something that most of us live with everyday. When we carry objects such as a heavy purse or toolbox repeatedly, our body will adapt by bending to that side. To make this bending possible the disc have to rotate. So rotation of discs, accompanies bending of the spine.
Remember that I brought up homeostasis. Your body doesn’t want to fall over. One of the ways that your body prevents falling is keeping your eyes level with the horizon to maintain good and accurate visual input.
People who have dominant eyes will adjust their head position by unknowingly put their stronger eye more in the center of their vision. This helps create better input for them, but also messes with their spinal position.
Turning your head, corkscrews your spine which in turn slightly bends your vertebral column. This isn’t good a idea when it comes to being an efficient mover.
Check to see if you have a dominant eye by lining up your finger in front of your nose with a straight object behind. Close one and then the other. Whichever eye closed resulted in your finger appearing to move is the less dominant.