Grey Matter

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Is your brain getting in the way of the body you want? 

What is the most important factor in health? Exercise? Diet? Sleep? Recovery? How about mindset? Have you ever tried to do a workout when you’ve just had an argument with your significant other, or your boss has just shouted at you for the afternoon? Have you ever been caught doubting your path, decisions, and motivations and then tried to perform physically? I have done all those things and I can tell you there is a direct correlation between my performance and my mindset. If you doubt this, do a quick test for me: tell yourself over and over “yes I can” and really believe it. Then do a push-up. Flip that on its head and tell yourself over and over “no I cant” and really feel it. Then do another push-up and compare the 2.  

The brain, heart and gut work as a triumvirate, guiding the body through its daily actions. How these 3 are performing is literally reflected in how your body appears and performs.  If further evidence of this is needed think back to when you were a child and being told off by your parents. Head slung shoulders slouched you slumped off to the bedroom with a flee in your ear. Disappointed by your actions or upset that your parents were being unfair your body reflected this. Over time this mindset sets your posture. 

 Posture has a powerful effect on how your body operates too. Imbalances bring about musculoskeletal injuries. Lymphatic drainage, which is a subsystem that takes extracellular fluid away from tissue and back to the bloodstream is also down-regulated by poor posture along with the cerebral spinal fluid that helps protect the brain and also clears waste with the lymphatic system is restricted if you have poor spinal shoulder head posture.  If the spine is out of shape and compressing discs pushing the spinal column into awkward positions do you think the nervous system will be well regulated? Practically every system you can think of is affected and it can be boiled back to how you think and feel. That’s powerful knowledge to know.  

 Dr Joe Dispenza is a leading scientist in neural plasticity, the concept that you can rewire your thinking. Dr Dispenza is living proof having miraculously recovered from severe spine trauma after a bike accident using predominantly his mind to build his body back up. This stuff sounds wacky but lets me give you another example a football team play at an away stadium, the crowd naturally is behind the home team and more often than not the home side imbued by their support win. The away side didn’t suddenly become worse players but the mindset is different. Filled with negativity it is harder to perform.  

 How is this helpful? Start your workout by setting an intention. Spend 2-5 mins shutting out the world, breathing and concentrating on your intended target. It may be specific to the workout like a max deadlift you’ve been wanting. It may be more general, “I want to have a positive mindset” either way spend time visualising yourself being successful at this task and really own it. Your body will take its cue from your minds application. Go and ask Michael Jordan he used to do it before every game.  

Duncan McDaide

FUNctional Project

82 St Kilda Rd, VIC 3182

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