What makes up the whole core?

September 12, 2013

The popular concept of core stability brings forth the image a network of muscles in the abdomen and how they contract to create movement while keeping your belly flat.

But what is it that actually stabilizes us so that muscles are able to move and contract in a coordinated way acquiring core integrity? Further, what actually is the body’s core?

Traditional schools of thought believe deep muscles close to the spine are the stabilizing muscles. This is true but the concept is actually incomplete. What we are now more able to define is the neurofascial system of the body that supports, protects, and stabilizes the gut and spine. This system has its own network of cells and receptors that respond to anticipate movement - so the proper motor programs are chosen to execute an efficient, coordinated action by the brain.

There’s something happening at a much deeper level of efficiency than our conscious mind can even perceive. Although exercising muscles for shape and tone is possible, can you actually exercise the neurological elements of the core?

Because this system is so complex, it has taken longer to define both its form and its neurological functionality. The greatest question now should be, if it’s deep stabilizing muscles and connective tissue coupled with neurological reflexes and mechanisms that keeps our core stable, can we exercise those things anyway? Do crunches or “core exercises” actually improve the true function of the core?

I’d like to say they do but sadly, it’s not necessarily true. You can crunch yourself to death and still have poor posture, balance, and even a paunch in your lower belly. The all-encompassing stability network that supports and connects all other systems in the body can’t be improved through traditional core exercises. I call the true “core” of the body the NeuroCore System because it dictates how, neurologically it operates to both monitor and react or respond to stress and has a central system that works in an unconscious, involuntary, autonomic way.

I call this system the NeuroCore.

It enables us to maintain whole-body balance while ensuring our organs are protected. The neurocore system is equally governed by the efficiency and functions of the autonomic nervous system, and the connective tissue. These two components of the neurocore comprise the primary network that envelops the organs and grounds us from head to toe. This covers a dynamic, interconnected, interrelated network of muscles, nerves, connective tissue, organs, and most importantly, the diaphragm.

At the very heart of the body’s dynamic stabilizing system is the breath. How the diaphragm moves and rests is a critical element in achieving an integrated breath.

The Neurocore is central to my work. It’s the common thread I see in my hands-on practice that is faulty or functioning inefficiently when dysfunction, pain, or imbalance is present.

When I work with one-on-one clients, I frequently notice that the diaphragm isn’t functioning in a way where its movement and the vibration it sends through the body is transferring its rhythm in a vibrant way. Much like the cranial rhythm, I believe diaphragmatic motion is a critical epicenter of whole-body balance. Regardless of a person’s symptom I always check for neurocore balance, beginning with an assessment and self-treatment of the primary domes and arches of the body. Again, the most central is the diaphragm.

In every MELT Intro Event any of our MELT Instructors do, there is one sequence that remains static and is a foundation of rebalancing the Neurocore called the Rebalance Sequence.  This simple sequence of the MELT self-treatment will immediately improve your body sense, and connection with your diaphragm and your ability to help your autopilot system function more efficiently. It consists of simple MELT Moves that feel great when you do them and make profound lasting changes you can feel as you do the sequence. You can perform this quick treatment everyday and should only take 5-10 minutes. Check the FIND MELT section of our site and see if there is an instructor near you teaching a MELT Intro Event in the upcoming months!

Once you try it, please feel free to comment on this blog and tell me how this one very simple technique is helping you!