Written by Dr. Daniel Kimbley
When is the last time you hopped on a bicycle and went for a ride around the block?
What was your experience? Did you need someone to “boost” you, like it was your first-time riding without training wheels?
Or did you get right on, maybe a bit wobbly at first, and then within a few seconds, you felt just as comfortable as you did when you were a child?
I’m guessing you didn’t need a “boost” or training wheels to remember how you rode that bike.
This is the magic of what many would call “muscle memory”.
My question then, is this: where in our muscles do they remember how to ride the bike? How to balance? How to steer and how to pedal?
I’m going to have you consider that your muscles cannot remember anything. Your nervous system has the memory, NOT your muscles. So what does that mean?
It means that muscle memory isn’t actually muscle memory at all. The muscles cannot remember anything, they are simply told what to do by the master control system of your body. It’s actually your central nervous system, your brain and spinal cord, that hold the memories and control the actions of your muscles.
Remembering how to ride a bike, regardless of age, happens because there is a deep pattern ingrained in our nervous systems that allows us to stay balanced on two wheels.
Think about professional tennis players. They have an average serve speed of over 124 miles per hour. How does the player on the receiving end of that serve have the speed and coordination to respond and return the serve? The answer lies, not in their muscles, but how quickly the nervous system can communicate and respond to those muscles to tell them to take action.
Even more interesting than sports performance is how we perform in everyday situations based on the memories ingrained in our nervous systems.
I have a bad habit of giving into the cravings of bad food when I get overly stressed out. I have literally wired my brain this way and made it into a habit where it becomes more likely I’ll do it the next time. This is the body’s ingenious way of making it easier to make decisions.
Anytime we do something over and over and over again we start to wire our nervous system to do it faster, more efficiently, and with less conscious thought the next time.
This means that every decision we make is moving our nervous systems towards a better habit or towards a worse one.
And if you’ve had habits for 10, 20 or even 30 years or longer, there’s hope that you can break these and build new ones through what we call “neuroplasticity”.
Neuroplasticity simply means that we can constantly create new changes and connections in the brain in response to behavior and learning.
The more research that is done, the clearer it is becoming that regular chiropractic care, via specific spinal adjustments, changes the way the brain is stimulated and helps create new connections leading to increased muscle strength, increased reaction times, and even up to 20% increase in brain processing ability (Haavik).
It is increasingly clear, through the hundreds of clients that we have seen in our office that when we adjust the spine, they actually create new patterns and habits leading to more presence, more productivity, increased immune function, and higher levels of performance on all levels.
Schedule a complimentary consultation with us to discover how we can help you achieve everything you’re seeking in life. After all, if you don’t address the nervous system, your results will never be what they could be.