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Deconstruction of "Z-Health Performance Solutions"

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  • Bas Asselbergs
    replied
    Hi Mike. Thanks for coming here to help us understand the ideas/claims of Z-Health.

    I have to admit, unless there are some good answers to the following questions, all we seem to have here, is a concept built on anecdotal results, with meager scientific theoretical support. In fact, only theoretical support, by the looks of it.

    Simple questions:
    How do you know that "The muscles that control eye movements can actually become imbalanced" ? And how does nystagmus and other eye-muscle dysfunction fit in this?

    Second: How do you know this "(...)if these imbalances/weaknesses exist, they affect how the body moves and what happens on the myofascial level." ? How is the effect on the "myofascia" measured? How is the body movement evaluated? And since people are so inconsiderate to be fiercely independent in their (own habitual) movement patterns, how do you establish "normal" in order to assess "abnormal"?


    Third: And how do you know this?: "This means your eyes can set you up for structural imbalances and injuries without you even knowing it." How has this been measured?

    I assume that the above quotes (thanks Keats) are representative of the whole Z-Health concept.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon Newman
    replied
    I won't nitpick the marketing as it would be boring but I think it's deceptive if not overtly wrong but that is a common occurrence in marketing.

    I found no substantial discussion of theory. Do they provide something in the course work that you can share with us?

    Leave a comment:


  • bernard
    replied
    You're welcome Mike.
    Sorry if I'm a bit provocative but I found the same advices and techniques in my old books for less than 20$.

    And more, since they explain why it works...

    Moshe FELDENKRAIS; Awareness Through Movement

    Thomas HANNA; Somatics

    Leave a comment:


  • Crazy Pole
    replied
    Hi Mike and welcome to Soma Simple.

    Being in White Bear Lake, I know you aren't too terribly far from 35W (I attended the U). I hope you and your family are safe.

    Thank you for sharing your personal anecdotes. You mentioned the successes that you have had as a patient/subject in the system. I am wondering what sort of symptoms you had, if any?

    Also, being a trainer, I also wonder what your caseload is like in terms of primary complaints/goals. Are they mostly pain patients, or athletes hoping to gain a competitive edge?

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to your contributions,
    Wes

    Leave a comment:


  • nari
    replied
    Interesting about the eye movement bit.
    I have known quite a few PTs who incorporated eye movements (this was years ago, in the 1980s) with ROM movements, particularly with the cervical spine.
    They didn't know why, but it improved pain and range which lasted after co-ordinated eye movement ceased. Previously the ROM movments had not improved without eye movements.
    ?

    Nari

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike T Nelson
    replied
    In regards to marketing tactics I don't have a whole lot to say since I am not a marketer (although I try my best). I do think that every thing they say in the marketing is true. The first time I heard it, my first response (and my response for quite awhile) was that it was bull crap. It sounded too good to be true and there was no way it would work.

    I knew some guys that started doing it and they kept reporting PRs (personal records) in the gym and stated that they never felt better.

    so I plunked down the cash and bought the R Phase DVD/manual. Even doing most of the movements with out precision (wrong), I got a fair amount of benefit from it.

    Dr Cobb was here last June for some 1:1 sessions and I signed up myself, my sister and one client that I was working with at the time. He got my left hamstring to fire (based on a manual muscle test--yes I know there are people that cheat on those all the time, but I have since reproduced it many times on others) by having me do elbow circles. Sounds nuts, but then you realize that the elbow is related to the opposite hamstring due to the gait pattern. It was amazing and I stayed and watched gait assessments the next day and was blown away by the changes in only 1 hour in the people that came in; so I drank the Kool Aid and was off to training that Fall. I spent tons of time trying to poke holes in the R Phase theory (level 1) and what I found was that it all seemed to work like he said about 80% of the time. It was not the same response each time, but going through the system I was able to help about 80% of the people I saw. By "help" I mean better gait, increased ROM, increased muscle strength (via the arthrokinetic reflex) and decreased pain.

    Mike N

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  • Mike T Nelson
    replied
    In relations to the second comment, the theory is that the neuro-postural control system is arranged in the hierarchy (most of the time)


    1) visual system
    2) vestibular system
    3) proprioceptive system

    This is a conceptual paradigm and explains that posture is controlled and regulated by several systems.
    In regards to the visual, the I Phase testing (level 2) is testing the eye muscles themselves and the coresponding reflex, so it is not directly related to vision (there are more vision test in level 3).


    The movement of the body should follow the eye position. So as you move your eyes up (for example) you increase extensor activity (this is very slight in most people). As you move your eyes down, you increase flexor activity.

    Try a movement of your choice (arm back circles done slowly maybe) and then snap your eyes into different positions. In some different eye positions, for most (not all) people the movement difficulty will increase in certain positions. The movement is the same but the only difference is eye position.

    Vestibular is based on similar ideas.

    For example, in my case I tested positive on the eye test (down position) and on the vestibular test (head tilted right). I had a gait assessment done at the start, then the tests, and then I tried a Z Health drill (ironically the same one I had done many times before) this time with my eyes down and my head tilted to the right. My gait immediately cleaned up (gained full arm extension on my left side and my head aligned straight also as my thoracic lengthen quite a bit, although it felt like there was much LESS tension). Movement felt much better and my gait speed increased . Now I now this is all anecdotal, and does not fly with the scientific method, but it was still amazing to me. This was the third time I had been tested and each time just added a head and/or eye position made an amazing difference.

    One study quoted below and I was only able to get the abstract so far.

    Let me know what questions you have. It is a little harder to start with the system at the second level, but post any questions you have. I don't believe there is tons of literature for every aspect of the system (maybe there is, but I am finding new stuff all the time); but the theory seems to be (you be the judge) quite sound.

    Thanks
    Mike N

    Head-body righting reflex from the supine position and preparatory eye movements

    Authors: Diana Troiani; Aldo Ferraresi; Ermanno Manni
    DOI: 10.1080/00016480510036448
    Publication Frequency: 12 issues per year
    Published in: Acta Oto-Laryngologica, Volume 125, Issue 5 May 2005 , pages 499 - 502
    Subject: Otorhinolaryngology;
    Number of References: 14
    Formats available: HTML (English) : PDF (English)
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    Abstract

    Conclusion Saccular and utricular maculae can provide information on the supine static position, considering that both have pronounced curved structures with hair cells having a variety of polarization vectors that enable them to sense an inverted position and thus direct the righting reflex.

    Objective The vestibular system is essential for the structuring of motor behaviour, senses linear and angular acceleration and has a strong influence on posture and balance at rest, during locomotion and in head-body righting reflexes.

    Material and methods Using guinea pigs in the supine position with a symmetrical head and trunk position, the ocular position was analysed to ascertain whether any ocular movement that occurred would adopt a spatial deviation indicative of the subsequent head and body righting. The characteristics of the righting reflex (direction, latency, duration and velocity) were analysed in guinea pigs from position signals obtained from search coils implanted in the eye, head and pelvis. The animals were kept in a supine position for a few seconds or even minutes with the eyes in a stable primary position and the head and body symmetrical and immobile.

    Results The righting reflex took place either immediately or after a slow deviation of the eyes. In both cases the righting sequence (eyes, head, body) was stereotyped and consistent. The direction of head and body righting was along the longitudinal axis of the animal and was either clockwise or anticlockwise and the direction of righting was related to the direction of the eye deviation. The ocular deviation and the direction of deviation that initiated and determined the direction of the righting reflex could be explained by possible otolithic activation.


    Keywords: Balance; body stabilization; gravito-inertial receptors; postural vertical

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon Newman
    replied
    Hi Mike,

    Keats has already posed some questions (concerns really.) For example, see post #2

    On a side note, what do you think about the marketing tactics?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike T Nelson
    replied
    Thanks! Glad to be here.

    Keats (and others) what holes do you believe are in the system and we will discus.

    Mike N

    Leave a comment:


  • Barrett Dorko
    replied
    Mike,

    Nice to see you take advantage of this so rapidly.

    I have the sense that there are some holes in the theory here. This may be because I have yet to carefully look at what Cobb's theory actually is. I know you and Keats will help with that.

    One more thing. I'm just Barrett, and not a "Dr." of any sort.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike T Nelson
    replied
    Hi there everyone! I am new here and just got back from Dr. Dorko's lecture here in MN--excellent stuff. I have read some information on this site, but just signed up to post. Dr. Dorko and I were discussing Z Health and he encouraged me to post here since I've completed Level 1 and Level 2 Z Health training.

    Nice to see ya here Keats! Sorry I missed you in AZ recently. I really do appreciate you looking out for myself and other trainers--I really do. h

    I can vouch for Keats and he does not practice Z and is not looking to plug it on the site. He is an exceptionally smart guy and has great insights.

    I am more than happy to answer any Z Health questions that you have. I did the level 1 about a year ago and work as a trainer in MN.

    i appreciate the level of skepticism that you have about a chiro promoting a system, since you have great reasons! I am not Dr. Cobb and can't speak for him, but my understanding is that one of the reasons he stopped doing chiro is that he was not happy with the results; and thus went on to develop his own system.

    Is the Z Health system entirely original? No, of course not and he does not claim that he came up with it by himself in a vacuum and fully admits that he stood on the shoulder of giants to get where he is today.

    From the outside, it only appears to be some joint mobility drills and nothing more. That could not be further from the truth. They are a key component of the system, but the system is designed based on the nervous system and you have to respect the nervous system since it is the governing system in the body (I know that is nothing new to the people here).

    I know where the other posts came from above also and can back up the integrity of the person saying them. I have been able to help people by using the Z Health system many times (currently I have done about 50 formal sessions). I have even tested it on people that knew nothing about the system or what was even supposed to happen. I am interested in getting a result that is not based off a placebo effect because that is the true test of a system.

    Just a recent example was yestereday! After yoga, one of the instructors was complaining of hamstring pain when she did a lunge position and reached towards the floor. I did 2 Z Health drills (one for the ankle and one for the opposite elbow), had her walk a little bit and her motion in that same position was virtually pain free. Now she will have to do those drills for about 2-4 weeks until her brain learns that motion; but I was able to offer her a solution that she could do herself in very little time.

    I don't know of any literature that is published on the Z Health system as a whole, but the principals of the system are grounded in neurophysiology.

    Let me know what questions I can answer for you.

    Thanks in advance for your time and I look forward to you trying to break my belief system.

    Mike N

    Leave a comment:


  • clarett
    replied
    he puts forth the idea that there are corresponing joints in the body
    This seems to have been taken from reflex therapy - definitely not original! How evidence-based it is I'm not sure - I don't have extensive knowledge of relex therapy

    Leave a comment:


  • luca m
    replied
    As I was saying my favourite line:

    "OK I'm ready! What products do I need to buy?"

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  • luca m
    replied
    Just visited the website. Doesn't look like anything new and improved but he doesn't get into it much.

    My favourite line though

    Leave a comment:


  • Diane
    replied
    have really become converts to this new rehab religion of sorts
    Exactly. Evey chirodigm is a cult, even the chirodigms that say they aren't chirodigms - it's usually another belief system based on next to nothing. Every chiro claims to have discovered the secret of the universe, and will be glad to share it for an exhorbitant amount of $, hooking in the converts deeper with every "level" of the training, much like scientology etc.
    Not worth the powder to shoot a rat.

    Leave a comment:

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