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Deconstruction of "Z-Health Performance Solutions"

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  • A long post that tells us quite nothing.
    Saying that Feldenkrais, Somatics or Tai-Chi aren't covering the three aspects of the Z technique is just telling us that you haven't understood these three ones.
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
    If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    bernard

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    • Old thread, but one early question remained unanswered throughout: what does the "Z" stand for?

      Years ago, Dr. Eric Cobb studied under Scott Sonnon, who was teaching "Zdorovye" an exercise system based on Slavic practices that he learned while studying in Russia. The Zdorovye system included a vast array of breathing, joint mobility, balance, and other drills designed to achieve various performance improvements.

      At some point, Cobb decided to branch out on his own, and started teaching what he called "ZHealth" - apparently incorporating other concepts drawn from his own experiences. Since that time, Cobb and Sonnon's work have diverged greatly, though many core practices appear similar.
      Novice Woo Shoo Kung Foo practitioner. Experienced critic of Truthiness.
      "It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all...Truthiness is 'What I say is right, and [nothing] anyone else says could possibly be true.' " - Stephen Colbert

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      • Originally posted by Keats Snideman View Post
        It gets a little more dicey when he puts forth the idea that there are corresponing joints in the body. For instance, Cobb states that a right ankle problem is correlated with a left wrist problem. A right knee problem is related to dysfunction in the left elbow; right hip with left shoulder, etc... I guess he bases this theory on the human gait cycle. It kind of makes sense but sounds a little too simplistic. And what of the nervous system? He talks about it a ton but never actually teaches his "students" any neural anatomy or histology.
        That's non-sense. It's a concept taken from some form of acupuncture I cannot remember the name of ... Google ... ah ... "cross channel acupuncture".
        Ooops, old thread.
        Last edited by oljoha; 19-04-2008, 11:08 PM. Reason: didn't notice it was an old thread
        Ole Reidar Johansen, Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist
        "And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Nietzsche

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        • It's been a while since anyone posted in this thread but I wanted to see what the SomaSimplers thought of this latest Youtube video I found on the "Z-health athrokinetic reflex test."

          I've yet to get any real answers from the Z-health joint mobility folks except the same old answers that were given here on this old thread. Please watch the short video and then post your comments. I look forward to hearing what you all have to say.

          I can see a lot of problems with the explanations given on why the subject gets weaker when her ankle joint is "jammed," but wanted to get some insight from this forum group.
          Keats Snideman CSCS, LMT
          "Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out."

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          • Keats, I found this bizarre.
            Firstly, he didn't say how he 'jammed ' the joint. It all sounded rather chiropractic in its philosophy of 'weak nerves'; and he is suggesting that mobilising the ankle would remove that threat to the nervous system. Doesn't make sense to me, but I had some difficulty 'translating' his strong USA accent.

            Nari

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            • Keats,

              That's ideomotor activity at play.

              Blind both of them and I guarantee you'd see a different result.
              Luke Rickards
              Osteopath

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              • This type of video is the worst way of demonstration of a technique.
                First, he tells the subject (while talking to us) what is going to happen, the sequence of events. Bad. Pre-knowledge of his expectations, while being video-taped is already a likely factor in any of the "effects".

                Then he "jams" a joint - his hands look like they exert quite a bit of pressure on the so sensisitive tarsal tunnel - and then we are supposed to be surprised that the body inhibits muscle function? Ummm, pain, anyone?

                And of course: manual muscle testing is one of the most accurate ways of testing - the before and after force he uses is exactly the same; not at all influenced by his need for the muscle to be weaker to prove his point.... BS.

                Just total BS.
                We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are - Anais Nin

                I suppose it's easier to believe something than it is to understand it.
                Cmdr. Chris Hadfield on rise of poor / pseudo science

                Pain is a conscious correlate of the implicit perception of threat to body tissue - Lorimer Moseley

                We don't need a body to feel a body. Ronald Melzack

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                • I found an abstract from 1956 describing an arthrokinetic reflex.

                  Aside from that, I agree with Luke and Bas.
                  "I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing"--Bob Morris

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                  • There is just NO WAY this kind of "muscle testing" isn't completely bogus.
                    He looked like he was overpowering her "glut med" the second time to prove his point, after he had fiddled around with her ankle for two seconds. Yeah, 2 seconds - that's going to be enough time for neuroplasticity to set in in a predictable (by him) way. Sure.

                    Next.
                    Diane
                    www.dermoneuromodulation.com
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                    "Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

                    “Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

                    “If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

                    "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

                    "Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

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                    • I think this guy should seek out a job working for Cross Country Seminars or Summit Professional Education. He's just what these continuing ed companies are looking for: direct, quick results, no ambiguity, seemingly rational "theory" that will never be challenged by the audience looking for "something that works quickly and can be immediately applied in the clinic" and he uses terms they think they understand.

                      He also dresses much like a lot of my colleagues, and I always wear a tie. What a nerd.
                      Barrett L. Dorko

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                      • Thanks for the replies everyone! I knew it was BS but wanted to see what you guys thought since I know most here couldn't possibly accept such a simple., black and white answer.

                        The video kind of reminded me of a recent incident I had with gentleman here in AZ who "muscle tested" me before and after I drank his special vitamin/mineral water for athletes. He clearly expected me to be stronger after I sipped his magic water; the Z-Health groupies are really using classical chiropractic snake-oil salesmanship at it's best!
                        Keats Snideman CSCS, LMT
                        "Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out."

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                        • Originally posted by Keats Snideman View Post
                          the Z-Health groupies are really using classical chiropractic snake-oil salesmanship at it's best!
                          And by the looks of it it´s working like a charm. They have managed to find quite a willing herd in the kettlebell comunity, giving all kind of outrageous statements and supporting it with "solid neuroscience". It´s quite remarakble they get away with it really. By the looks of it they managed to get Brett Jones on the bandwagon as well.

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                          • Originally posted by Strawfoot View Post
                            And by the looks of it it´s working like a charm. They have managed to find quite a willing herd in the kettlebell comunity, giving all kind of outrageous statements and supporting it with "solid neuroscience". It´s quite remarakble they get away with it really. By the looks of it they managed to get Brett Jones on the bandwagon as well.
                            Yes, the kettlebell community has embraced Z-Health big time. As I've said in the past on this thread, I don't have a problem with people trying Z-health or any other kind of movement exploration that might make one feel and function better. The problem I have with Z-Health is the amount pseudo-scientific claims made by it's proponents who can't back them up with any real science; they can only use scientific sounding words that sound good to the average fitness or health enthusiast. A tremendous "placebo-like" effect appears to be at work here with all the "priming" they do with their students/clients hleping them to expect a great benefit.

                            Clearly, movement of any kind can be beneficial if it is done with purpose, attention and awareness (a la Feldenkrais movements) and I indeed have taken a couple of Z-health moves to incorporate into my own daily movement/warm-up repitoire that I am constantly tweaking and changing as I learn and explore about my body. I also have used ideas from Pavel Tsatsoulline in his Super Joints book as well as the very Woo-oriented Scott Sonnon. No one person has a patent on human movement! Each can only have their own biased opinion and version of what they think human movement should be like.

                            I wish Mel Siff were still alive; I'd love to hear what he would say about all these cult-like followings that are gaining more and more numbers all the time!
                            Mel would be have much to say about these matters!

                            Since all of these people have certifications, and if one is charge exorbant amounts of money for certifications, I guess you have to make your stuff sound really sciency and official to encourage the participants to keep drinking the kool-aid!
                            Keats Snideman CSCS, LMT
                            "Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out."

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                            • I sure am glad I found this website. I am exactly as someone described in this very thread, smart enough to be dangerously ignorant! At least I am aware of it now, right?! Anyways, as a weekend athlete who lifts weights and plays recreation sports, what would be recommended for mobility and keeping healthy? Would Feldenkrais be something to look into in this regard? Like I said, I am smart enough to know I need to do something to keep my joints moving well, but dumb enough to nearly spend a lot of money to learn the "secrets"! Thanks for any help...

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                              • Hi Jim.
                                I think you'll find lots of good options that don't depend on a lack of understanding of the physiology of the human body. It might be helpful to start a new thread with your question - that sounds like a great topic!
                                Jason Silvernail DPT, DSc, FAAOMPT
                                Board-Certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
                                Fellowship-Trained in Orthopedic Manual Therapy

                                Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist


                                The views expressed in this entry are those of the author alone and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.

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