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Are You A Dragon Slayer?

Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?

I’m a nerd!  I read scientific journals, and I play role-playing-games (RPGs) on my x-box.  Where I find the time between being a husband, father, chiropractor, exercise, sports, tv, and music fanatic, I do not know.  (If you’re reading this blog then you probably already know this about me)  Today’s blog, much like my last blog, is inspired by my recent playing of my dragon-slaying video game (Dragon Age: Inquisition).  I wrote about this in a recent blog and spoke about the role of ‘leveling up’ your strength, mobility, skills, etc.

Today, I’m going to write about GUARD:

With respect to the video game, I don’t know if art is imitating life, or if life imitates art.  But, in this game I’m playing, there is a new feature called GUARD.  ‘Guard’ is a skill that the video game character uses when he/she is fighting an enemy.  Guard provides and extra layer of protection against incoming attacks.  It greatly increases the characters survivability in the game.  We, humans, in real life have ‘guard’ too.  However, it takes knowledge and hard work to build up your guard (much like the game).  Of course, I’m speaking about exercise.  But not just any exercise. I’m speaking about very specific exercises that build strength, joint mobility, and body control to make the overall human frame stronger, more mobile, and more resilient.  The better your guard, the better your resilience to incoming attacks – like stress at work, postural strain, and repetitive movements.

So, how do we build GUARD?

First, we have to know how the body works.  We need to know how the joints move, how the muscles fire to move the bones, and how we coordinate the parts of the body so they work synergistically to create healthy movement.  I know it’s silly to refer to a video game as inspiration for the real life human, but these games seem to have a really good idea what it takes to make the character better.  Sometimes in a video game battle, the character will rely on brute strength to resist incoming attacks and to chop down the enemy with their great sword (please don’t do this in real life).  But, often, the better approach is with agility, like the ability to roll out of the way of the fire-breathing dragon.  These are skills that give us guard.  If you haven’t rolled around on the floor recently, give it a try.  We aren’t kids anymore and we seem to think that these ‘skills’ are only for kids.  They’re not!  Strength, mobility, agility, are skills we need to have to avoid the injuries of typing on the keyboard, sitting at a desk, lifting our kids in the air, etc.

Functional Range Conditioning

Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) provides the foundation to developing and maintaining the skills your body needs to ward off repetitive strain injuries, stiff joints, weak muscles.  FRC builds mobility and strength.  It all adds up to real life GUARD.  I’m not talking about the big “show me” muscles; I’m talking about the little hard-workers behind the scenes that maintain guard of your spinal joints, hips, shoulders and the rest.  This week I worked with a patient that I had only just met in the last week of March.  She was having mid-back pain for quite some time.  Only a few visits later she was already significantly improved!  Success!!  The journey doesn’t end there though.  Once a stiff joint is mobilized, pain is reduced, inflammation eliminated, the next task is how to preserve this level of comfort.  The answer is FRC.  Building mobility in ways that regular life will not do for you requires this knowledge and effort.  But, once you have it, and stick to it, you have elevated your body’s GUARD significantly.

I doubt the video game makers are thinking about this the way I am, but I’m sure glad they’ve made a game that I enjoy playing that also serves to reinforce critical lessons about how to maximize the human frame’s ability to survive!

I know I’m a nerd!  All other comments welcome ;)

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