Resistance & Meridians

How Adding Resistance Increases The Mind-Body Connection

Infinity’s training exercises are distinctive in that they are not “static.” The key is pandiculation or, more simply put, exercising with resistance. The element of resistance in the exercises activates your brain and elicits a safer, deeper, long-lasting effect.

The goal of the Meridian Archetypes series is to help you identify which meridians are causing you physical issues. But first, you have to understand the science behind using resistance and how it can be used to enhance an exercise. 

In static exercises, signals are sent from your muscles to the reflex centers. By using resistance in an exercise you send signals that pass through your reflex centers and end in the motor cortex of your brain. Your muscles begin to receive and respond to messages from the motor cortex and start to correct for overworked or underworked dysfunctional muscle patterns.

Think about the computer. When the server cannot connect to a program it can try to circumvent it by activating other systems and programs. But without your IT guy, you may not even notice that the computer is essentially skipping over the error to try and accomplish what you have asked it to do. The same is true for your muscles. If one muscle has become overworked it may be compensating for another group of muscles that have “turned off.” By engaging the brain while working the muscles you can reestablish the lost connection and address the real problem. 

Resistance Image drawn by Emma Matthies
Red arrows demonstrate the direction of resistance in this pose.

Through years of experience and work with professional athletes, ballroom dancers, cyclists, and other people from many walks of life, Janet Matthies of Infinity Bodywork has found an effective system to unlock the motor center of the brain’s communication with the muscles. 

These include-

  • Doing small sets of exercises on balancing muscle groups that help the motor center in the brain remember how to work again in harmony. (Balancing muscle groups being muscles from the meridians on opposite sides of the body, i.e hamstrings, and quads.) 
  • Working on exercises in an optimal sequence that starts with the presenting problem and reveals the true cause of the injury or imbalance
  • Continuing education in TCM and anatomy which helps her create solutions that work via interpreting the connections with our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies
  • An open mind to combat the changes that happen in the body every day

Essentially, by engaging your mind in an exercise you can protect yourself from overstretching and injury. Our bodies can only do so much on instinct and for the rest, we have our minds.

Janet Matthies is an integrative wellness bodyworker located in Natick, MA. Read more about her experience here!