Functional Core Orthopedics

The human brain has evolved as the most efficient brain of any animal on the planet simply because we walk on two legs. When we walk on two legs, we use a cross-crawl pattern, meaning the right arm is moved by the brains left parietal motor cortex, and the left leg is moved by the brains right parietal motor cortex. This integrates the left and right hemispheres of the brain unlike any other animal on the planet.

About 3.5-4 million years ago the first bipedal primate evolved called a hominid. A hominid walks upright on two legs and has a short canine tooth. During the next 200,000-300,000 years the bipedal primate brain tripled in size likely due to the integration of the hemispheres of the brain stimulated by the upright cross crawl pattern of walking.

This integration of the brain’s hemispheres gives us a higher level of consciousness and self-awareness. It also allows us to be on the top of the food chain because this type of movement is very energy efficient.  We can literally outrun almost any animal on the planet over distances. We aren’t going to outrun a horse around a racetrack, but over a marathon we will. Why? Because when humans run in a cross-crawl fashion it is much more energy efficient than how a horse runs in a galloping fashion. The gallop will get the horse around a racetrack really fast, but they will also run out of energy fast. The energy efficient human cross-crawl pattern enables greater endurance over distances and is one main reason why we are on top of the food chain.

Moving from Core Gravity 1

When we’re about 6 months old, we learn to maneuver ourselves in gravity efficiently for the first time. When we’re laying on our stomach, we push ourselves up with our arms into the seated position and we’re like, ”Whoa, this is really cool,” but then we crash and fall over. As we practice, we begin to own this movement in gravity, in what is called Core Gravity 1. This is our thoracic spine, rib cage and supporting musculature.

Moving from Core Gravity 2

Then, at about one year old, we learn to stand and walk. “Wow, I can do this, too, this is fun!” Again, we may crash and fall over, but we now learned to maneuver ourselves in our second sense of gravity, which is called Core Gravity 2. This is essentially from our lumbar spine, pelvis and supporting musculature.

When we’re young, we live effortlessly in Core Gravity 1, the thoracic spine and rib cage. We’re running around the playground, playing, jumping, and skipping, and doing all kinds of activities in the lightness of Core Gravity 1. People who continue to live in Core Gravity 1 are the ballerinas, gymnasts, figure skaters and Michael Jordans of the world.

As people age they commonly loose the sense of Core Gravity 1. They get stuck moving primarily from Core Gravity 2. You’ll watch people over time gradually going from walking light and upright to walking hunched over and with shuffling feet. They have lost the sense of Core Gravity 1 and are stuck down in Core Gravity 2.

This puts a lot of stress on the body, specifically the spine, hips, knees, and feet. It also slows down the brain function as the brain is not integrating as efficiently. At our clinic, we want to teach people to live in Core Gravity 1 because it just makes cross-crawl much more effective and much lighter. It also stimulates the integration of brain activity and brain growth. When people become sedentary, their brain will also start to deteriorate very fast. The good news is, is that all we need to do to turn that around is to start moving again in Core Gravity 1 as well as Core Gravity 2. This stimulates the thought process and consciousness. Thoughts will become clearer and brain function will become more efficient.

That is the reason teaching this to people is so important. We want you live your life moving efficiently  in order to have the best brain and the best life!

Dr. Daryl Cooper Dr. Cooper received his doctorate from Northwestern Health Sciences University. He received postgraduate education from Functional Medicine University and the Carrick Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation. He has postgraduate education in Functional Endocrinology, Functional Brain-Based Neurology, Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis, Nutrition, and Fitness. He is board certified in Peripheral Neuropathy through the American College of Physical Medicine.

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