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PE 712 & ZHEALTH. Intro to the Nervous System For more info, check out a seminar from ZHealth ( . Z Performance Principles. Everyone is an athlete. Everything is a skill. The nervous system controls everything in the body. Change occurs at the speed of the nervous system.

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pe 712 zhealth

Intro to the Nervous System

For more info, check out a seminar from ZHealth (

z performance principles
Z Performance Principles

Everyone is an athlete.

Everything is a skill.

The nervous system controls everything in the body.

Change occurs at the speed of the nervous system.

what one system controls movement
What One System Controls Movement?

The Human Nervous System

”We can show that each of the 10 billion neurons in the human brain has the possibility of connections to 1 with 28 noughts after it – that’s – 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 connections! It means that the total combinations in the brain, if written out, would be 1 followed by 10.5 kilometers of noughts!”

-Prof Petr Anokhin, Moscow University

three reasons to focus on the nervous system
Three Reasons To Focus On The Nervous System

The Governing System

The Fastest System

The Most (Anatomically) Stable and (Functionally) Plastic System

specific adaptation to imposed demand said
Specific Adaptation To Imposed Demand (SAID)
  • This is the FUNDAMENTAL LAW of human physiology.
  • The classic definition: “The body adapts to whatever it does.”
  • The Z-Health definition: “The body ALWAYS adapts to EXACTLY what it does.”
  • The take home message here is that if you want a certain result, you must train with PRECISION.

What is Proprioception?

The body’s 3-D map of itself in space and time.

AKA our movement & awareness map.


The Proprioceptive System

  • The Brain
  • The Spinal Cord
  • Many Different Types of Nerve Endings
  • Remember That Proprioception LIVES In The Brain!

The Proprioceptive Nerve Endings

  • Nerve endings that provide many different types of information to the nervous system such as:
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Nociceptors
  • Chemoreceptors
  • Thermoreceptors
  • Baroreceptors

Proprioception = All The Body, All The Time

When you change one piece of the map, you change the whole map.


Two Most Critical Components of Proprioception

  • Mechanoreceptors (Fast)
  • Nociceptors (Slow)

The Fastest Route To Proprioceptive Enhancement

Increase mechanoreceptive activity

How do you stimulate the maximum number of mechanoreceptors?

Moving the parts of the body where the highest number of them are found.

Where is that? The joints!


The ABC’s of Movement

  • Basic mobility training MUST teach active mobility drills for each body part and joint complex in all available ranges of motion.
  • Most mobility approaches are TOO COMPLEX AND TOO INTEGRATED in the beginning stages of training.

Z-Health Pain Basics

  • Ultimately, the concept of the neuromatrix boils down to two basic concepts:
    • Signals, and
    • Interpretation

Dealing with pain and other movement problems is a matter of getting “unstuck.”


The Goal of Z-Health = Increased Efficiency

  • Efficiency is:
  • “Doing just the right thing at just the right time with just the right amount of energy.”
  • There are two types:
    • Effective (Healthy)
    • Ineffective (Unhealthy)

The Two Types Of Efficiency

Which is effective?

Which is ineffective?



The Four Elements of Efficiency

  • If you want to be as efficient as possible, you must have a plan. In Z-Health, the plan is called the 4 Elements of Efficiency:
  • Perfect Form
  • Dynamic Postural Alignment
  • Synchronized Respiration
  • Balanced Tension/Relaxation

The Path Of Efficiency

The Path Of Inefficiency


The Two Enemies of Efficiency

  • The Startle Reflex
  • Sensory-Motor Amnesia

What Is The Startle Reflex?

Our genetically hard-wired response to threat!

It is characterized by TWO primary muscular actions:

Flexion & Adduction


What Is Sensory-Motor Amnesia?

A term coined by Thomas Hanna, founder of Somatics.

It means that we cannot feel and cannot consciously move an area of the body. Much of R-Phase is about finding and correcting SMA.


A Simple Question

Is The Body More Oriented Toward Survival or Performance?


Why Move Joints First?

  • Remember Your ABC’s!
  • To stimulate as many mechanoreceptors as possible!
  • How should you move the joints? In all available ranges of motion, aka, the ABC’s of Movement.

The Arthrokinetic Reflex

  • A reflex based on joint movement and position.
  • One of the Missing Links in performance enhancement.
  • Remember this, “Jammed or immobile joints create weak muscles. Mobile joints create strength!”

The Training Rules

  • Never move into pain
  • If you have pain, slow down and decrease the range of motion
  • Long Spine/Long Body Position
  • Concentrate
  • Relax as much as possible
ground forces math
Ground Forces Math
  • During normal walking gait, we strike the ground with 2-3x our bodyweight. We take an average of 3000 steps/day if we are SEDENTARY. So, a 200 pound man who hits the ground with 3x bodyweight must deal with:
  • 200 x 3 = 600, 600 x 3000 = 1,800,000 pounds of force EVERY DAY. This adds up to 12,600,000 pounds per week and 655,200,000 pounds per year. Do you think a small joint issue could become a major problem?
  • Running increases the heel strike force to between 6-9x bodyweight.
  • Sprinting increases ground forces to 10-12x bodyweight.