Movement is Nurturing, But it Also Needs to be Nurtured

nurtureŸ transitive verb 1. foster the development of; encourage. 2. bring up to maturity. 3. feed, nourish.

The word “nurture”—from the French, nour(e)ture(nourish)—is a fundamental concept tied to movement. In some ways, it’s almost a “chicken-and-egg” relationship: Movement itself is nurturing, in the sense of helping to further training and education or as support in development. But movement also needs to be nurtured; that’s to say, it takes effort to further develop and sustain movement.
For years, as I’ve worked with patients from all walks of life and in all stages of development and movement, I’ve been fascinated by movement and its ability to allow us to lead independent lives. But what you may not realize is that movement plays a crucial role in who you become on a functional and anatomical level. Additionally, few understand the dependent nature of our movement; it needs to be fostered and cared for in order for it to be optimally maintained. Maintaining good movement is crucial for a full and satisfying lifestyle. Yet, with each generation and across the whole globe, humans continue to move less and less, to the point where physical inactivity is becoming the new norm. In our history, there has never been a greater need for drastic action to improve our physicality, by encouraging an increased level of healthy movement in our lives.

Blog Thesis

The goal of this blog is to offer a forum for discussing how movement is nurturing but also how it needs to be nurtured.

The initial series of articles will introduce and discuss the concept of “nurturing” and how it applies to movement. The first two articles focus on the relationship between movement and nurturing from a developmental perspective (i.e., in babies).
  • Part One briefly covers the role of the Central Nervous System in the development of purposeful movement (i.e., reaching, grasping) and describes how a movement practice plays an important part in becoming proficient in any basic, learned motor skills but is also imperative for the development of more complex skills later in life.
  • Then, Part Two examines the importance of movement during the development period in helping to shape our muscles, joints and bones.
It’s important to grasp both concepts in order to fully understand the crucial role that movement plays beyond the developmental stage—and especially how it relates to preventing and recovering from injury. (Click here to skip to the first article) Then, in the two articles that follow, we’ll focus on movement in the body beyond the developmental stages. Following normal development, ideal movement needs to be nurtured along three dimensions—with adequate variety, quality and quantity of activities—in order to counteract the adaptations that take place in our bodies, most of which are related to our modern lifestyles and often lead to strain or worse, injury.
  • The first article highlights the general reasons that lead most of us away from maintaining a movement practice that can nurture healthy and functional body structures.
  • The second article underlines the constantly adapting nature of our bodies, and how some of the most common postures and movements that we take day in and day out can actually cause problems over time.
As a species, we’ve evolved into extremely efficient movers. Our development naturally provides us with the tools to reach our movement potential. But unless this potential is nurtured, we lose it. And the repercussions on our quality of life can be staggering.

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