Making Sense of the Latest Movement Science

Making Sense of the Latest Movement Science

Making sense of the latest science with OPEX’s Programming: Movement course

From the concepts we coach, to the language we use, if you’re a gym owner or coach, you would probably agree that when your coaches aren’t on the same page, your business has no chance of running smoothly. Meanwhile, clients become confused by the disjointed information they receive.

OPEX Programming: Movement course creator Whitney Welsch-Reese, a physical therapist with doctoral degrees in both science and physical therapy, explains this is the number one goal of this course: To get coaches on the same page. Not just with each other, but also with various other health practitioners, like physical therapists and chiropractors.

Nobody is more qualified to do this than Welsch-Reese, a coach at OPEX Round Rock in Leander, Texas. On top of her coaching and physical therapy background, she also has her master’s degree in kinesiology, and various other relevant certifications. Check our full list of her academic credentials here.

Welsch-Reese’s passion for human movement goes without saying.

“I believe in an eclectic approach, meeting the individual where they are starting from and inspiring and empowering them to have lifelong quality movement. Although I have an extensive toolbox, I believe that each patient has their own journey and my role is to be on that journey with them, which means not all clients need every tool in the kit,” she said. 

When it came to designing the OPEX Programming: Movement course, a second major priority Welsch-Reese had was to make sure it included the latest research about human movement.

“Since about 1950, research for health and sport have caused a bit of confusion about what healthy and effective movement really is,” she said.

Four notable concepts that stem from recent research and developing theories about human movement that are built into the Programming Movement course include:

1. Education alone can improve movement and reduce pain

This theory comes from research done by Lorimer Moseley, a clinical scientist who specializes in human pain.

2. We have maps in our brains that are influenced by our environment

Essentially, there are “maps” in our brains—sensory maps, motor maps, immune system maps—all of which are adaptable and use a tagging system, which means the memory of a previous movement experience can influence a current experience. These maps are biologically and genetically coded; however, they are also influenced by the environment and can change very quickly, especially if we are immobile.

For example, when a body part is placed in a cast, or is immobilized somehow, the map in our brain changes within 15 to 30 minutes, which means the use it or lose it phrase is very true, to the point where we can eventually start to confuse something as simple as our left and right side of the body. In this sense, altered motor control might be as simple as a blurry map.

3. The pain we experience changes brain activity, which changes our movement. 

Again, this comes from research by Moseley and others. 

4. Emotions, thoughts, beliefs, cognitions, perceived threat, and past experiences can influence movement

The OPEX Programming Movement course helps you make sense of the above science in a practical way that can then be applied to your clients. 

The result: You will gain a better understanding of how your clients’ movements are affected by things you may have never thought about before—from their past experiences and injuries, to chronic pain, to the emotions they feel. With this ability, you will be able to help your clients move more effectively and pain-free.

Learn how you can incorporate the latest movement science with our course Programming: Movement.

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