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Deconstruction of "Z-Health Performance Solutions"

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  • Diane
    replied
    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.

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  • Jon Newman
    replied
    I found an abstract from 1956 describing an arthrokinetic reflex.

    Aside from that, I agree with Luke and Bas.

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  • Bas Asselbergs
    replied
    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.

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  • Luke Rickards
    replied
    Keats,

    That's ideomotor activity at play.

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

    Leave a comment:


  • nari
    replied
    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 Snideman
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • oljoha
    replied
    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

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  • JasonE
    replied
    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.

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  • bernard
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • BB
    replied
    Todd,

    I was speaking in terms of all of "these types" of threads that have occurred here. This one has been relatively less emotional. I'd like to comment on your post for the 3 contributions of this approach.

    Of course the feldenkrais, somatics, tai chi sorts of movements are great. I think the biggest point of contention at this point is going to be the joint mobility as a point of emphasis. I'd like to offer another option that I feel is better supported.

    If you think in terms of a novel input being necessary to decrease pain, would it make sense that a body part that uses less options for movement has more opportunity for novel movement? In other words, it has a limited repertoire of movements and therefore a larger potential for changes to be considered novel.

    So, joint mobility may not be the problem, but rather an indication of the tendencies in which this person moves. This might give an indication of places where novel movement can be introduced in numerous ways.

    The isolated to integrated approach sounds like graded exposure to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • christophb
    replied
    Yes, I remember you. It was nice to meet you. Hope everything is well. TFT is a bit of a joke... and like most I tell, usually only I understand them or laugh at them.

    Chris

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  • toddhargrove
    replied
    Chris,

    Whats TFT? I did an internet search and found the following: Thought Field Therapy, Thin Film Transistor, Task Force Tips and Texas Federation of Teachers.

    By the way, I don't know if you remember this, but we met a few months ago at your office. You helped my wife Jemila with some back issues. Thanks for that.

    Leave a comment:


  • christophb
    replied
    Sort of like applying TFT to members of soma?

    Leave a comment:


  • toddhargrove
    replied
    Jason,

    Sorry to revive this post but …

    On the issue of whether Z is unique. I think you misread my post in regard to the “three essential elements of Z.” I never said that no other therapy has ANY ONE of the three elements. The point is that no other therapy (at least that I am aware of) COMBINES all three elements. So yes, a great many programs emphasize motor control, and that is exactly what my post says. The point is that none of those programs also have the second and third elements as well. Your statement that the second element (extremely gentle subtle deliberate movement ala feldenkrais or tai chi) is “covered by any modern training regime or anyone who trains athletes for a living” is completely incorrect. Are you honestly saying that all modern training programs use movements that are as gentle and slow deliberate as feldenkrais, somatics or tai chi?

    Here’s a quick way to summarize what I’m trying to say with the three elements thing - Z is kind of like a standing isolated version of tai chi, somatics or feldenkrais. Can this really be as bad an idea as scientology?

    You also state that: “motor control theory suggests that the body moves in ways that are goal oriented, rather than joint oriented. That's a bit of a problem if we're going to try to break movements down into individual joint movements first and pretend that's a superior way to learn.”

    I think this raises an interesting issue. Are you referring to the finding in motor learning theory that learning is more effective when the client focuses on external instructions (e.g. reach for the wall), as opposed to internal instructions (e.g. activate this muscle, move this joint, etc.)? If so, I disagree that this is an impediment to teaching isolated mobility drills, because it would appear that this rule is really more about how you cue a movement rather than whether you should prescribe a movement that is isolated or integrated. For example, I could cue the isolated movement of a thoracic a/p glide with this rule in mind by asking the client to “move your sternum forward and back”, as opposed to “alternately contract the muscles in the back and then front to cause movement in your thoracic spine.”

    Maybe you are suggesting that one couldn’t improve an integrated movement such as an overhead squat by retraining the isolated components of that movement? If so, I disagree. I would expect overhead squat performance to improve after doing some isolated joint mobility drills to improve either ankle dorsiflexion, hip abduction, thoracic extension, or arm flexion. Motor learning theory suggests that new complex skills will be learned easier if the movement is composed of simpler skills that have already been mastered. That doesn’t mean that you should never perform an integrated exercise without first learning all the component parts, it just means that you can expect performance of integrated actions to get better when performance of all the component parts get better. Performing the drills in isolation makes it easier to assess which components parts need work.

    On Explaining Z results. Jason wrote – “surely you've got to be kidding when you say this has been done. It has neither been covered by you nor Courtney, and Randy's post that I believe you are referencing simply summarized the proposed mechanisms behind joint-focused movement and therapy systems of all kinds.”

    Well that was all I was trying to do, summarize the proposed mechanisms by which Z could offer pain relief. I never said these mechanisms were unique to Z or that other therapies would not use the same mechanisms. I’m honestly not sure what else you are looking for here. Just to make sure we are on the same page, would you dispute that joint mobility work could reduce pain perception by increasing proprioception? Is it possible that joint mobility work could improve motor patterns and/or reduce mechanical deformation of nerves? Is it possible that gentle pain free movement could reduce the threat value of movement? Is this in the realm of star trek or do these ideas rest on fairly solid ground?

    On answering some of the other questions. Bas made the point that several questions went unanswered. I’ll admit that I didn’t answer all the questions posed, and this is for two reasons – one I didn’t have a good answer, or two, I just didn’t have time to write one. I can guarantee that my failure to answer was NOT caused by insufficient sarcasm in the question. So, here’s my attempt to answer some of the unanswered questions.

    Keats had the question regarding the scientific basis for the “corresponding joints” theory. This proposes that a problem in the right hip, for example, might be helped by mobilizing the left shoulder, or the right knee and left elbow and so on. Although I certainly do not know the specifics of the theory, I understand that it is based on research on interlimb neural coupling. If you look that up on the internet you’ll find some articles that are frankly over my head, but the gist is that central pattern generators related to gait will cocoordinate muscle activation patterns in upper and lower limbs. In other words, what’s going on in the forearm might affect what’s going on in the calf. So, this theory is used as one of the ways to assess what drills will have the highest payoff – e.g. if I have a problem in my left knee, you could try mobility drills on the left knee itself, left ankle, left hip, OR right elbow. Of course, it is also acknowledged that the body is enormously complex, and that pain really could be coming from a problem anywhere, so the assessment techniques including the corresponding joints theory are really just attempts to find the highest payoff areas to work, and they do not purport to be deterministic diagnostic techniques.

    There were several other questions related to the visual and vestibular work. I’m sorry, I haven’t attended a training on these issues and I really can’t answer at all. I can tell you this though. I have been practicing Z myself for almost two years on a daily basis, (have gotten great results, sorry about the anecdote), and have never done anything that involves visual or vestibular work, and have never really done any self assessment that involves the opposing joints theory. My point is that although these aspects of Z have generated a lot of debate and attention, they are, in my mind, only a small part of the whole, most of which rests on some pretty common sense and non controversial principles described above.

    Here’s one more observation which you can add to your internal debate on the personal attacks/hostile environment issue. I don’t want to start a fight here, I just thought these were some valid thoughts and they are offered in the spirit of debate. Take them for what their worth. I disagree that the Z crowd was the first to “litter” “emotion” into what was previously a completely scientific and logical exercise. Many of the posts by the soma crowd were primarily directed at expressing emotion (such as disgust, frustration, contempt, disappointment, annoyance) etc. and/or trying to provoke an emotional reaction in its targets (such as feeling foolish, incompetent, ignorant, etc.) I acknowledge that such expressions of emotion are natural human reactions and difficult to resist. But I don’t think they are necessary for the advancement of science or learning (and in fact I think they usually hinder it). Several of the posters admitted that they used sarcasm. Sarcasm is not a scientific technique, its a debating technique whose purpose is to make the other side look and feel foolish. Wikipedia defines sarcasm as : “sneering, jesting, or mocking a person … a type of verbal irony intended to insult or wound. The American Heritage dictionary defines sarcasm as: (1) a cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound; (2) A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.

    I’m not saying that a little sarcasm is a big crime, particularly when mild or offered in a familiar situation, and I’m sure you can find some example of it in what I’ve written here or elsewhere. I just think that sarcasm is essentially a form of mockery that is unnecessary for science, and can be expected to cause emotional injury and defensiveness on the other side. This usually slows or stops a good debate and the exchange of good information. Yes, you are right that sometimes people think there is a hostile or mocking tone, even when there isn’t, because of cognitive dissonance. But people also feel attacked when they are greeted with excessive sarcasm and mockery. I’m not advocating any new age relativism here, or trying to discourage vigorous debate, just pointing out some ways that a potentially good debate can go bad.

    I fear that by writing this I will generate more of the negative emotion and unproductive fighting that I just discussed above, but please understand that’s not my intent. Anyway, I’ve spent way too much time on this post and I appreciate the consideration of anyone who has bothered to read it.
    Last edited by toddhargrove; 17-04-2010, 10:25 PM.

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  • BB
    replied
    Bas,
    You make an interesting point. I too have noticed that your questions with lack in sarcasm have been most ignored. It brings to light that sarcasm may also be a way of actually getting a response. Don't get personal, but give them something to defend against so that they will defend at all. People do of course have the option of ignoring sarcasm.

    Randy,
    You make an interesting point as well. In my view we are here to teach, learn, and share. However, a perception of arrogance or condescension could be the result in a right off the bat, "let me hold your hand through this" approach. I know if I went to a forum thinking I was sharing good knowledge and that is how I was approached, condescension, arrogance, and mis-understanding of my point is how I'd feel. This brings us back to where we already are. As much as I wish an "ah shucks. Let's all be a team." were the way to make such things happen, that approach is part of the problem we inherit. A feeling of alienation is likely a part of cognitive dissonance. It is for me.

    I'm glad you've stuck around.

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