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Episode 96: Neurology 101

Video Highlights

- The "simplified" neurology behind Z-Health
- How you do something matters, do it well.
- Struggling with a pain or performance issue? The solution is here.

Hi everybody. Dr. Cobb back with you.

I get tons of questions about why we do all the crazy stuff that we do in Z-Health. We get asked all the time about eyes. “Hey, why do you guys do vision training? Why do you do vestibular training? Inner ear stuff.”

What I wanted to do today, teach you a very quick course, in four minutes or less, on neurology 101. Get out a piece of paper. Let’s go through some stuff.

You have a brain. Let’s draw a brain up here. You can’t see that. That’s actually a test of your visual system. We’re going to try a different color, all right? There we go. A brain kind of looks like that.

A brain basically has three primary tasks. This is what you want to write down. First of all, it has to receive input. It has to receive input. Basically what I mean by that, I have eyes. My eyes are sending input. I have feet. Maybe your foot looks like that. Your foot’s sending input. Your whole body is sending input to the brain. Job number one is to receive input.

The quality of that input is incredibly important. Just like we would think about with the computer. If you’re trying to type a novel, and you’re not paying any attention to the keys that you’re pressing, you’re giving a lot of input, but it won’t give you the end result that you’re looking for.

We’ve got to have good input. There’s a lot of it that has to be sorted out. So, number two then, second task of the brain, is to receive that input and interpret it. The brain has to interpret and decide. Task number two is to take that information in and go all right, what is it, first of all. The signal I’m getting from my eyes, is that the color blue? Is it the color red? That’s the interpretation. And does that matter? Oh, a stop sign. Yeah, it actually matters. The decision part is very important.

Then, we go to the third thing that your brain or body, nervous system, however you want to think about it, has to do which is create, a guess what, an output. An output is all about muscles and reflexes, and visceral responses, and heart function, and blood pressure.

If I’m here, and I’m driving along, and I see a red sign in front of me. I can interpret that it’s red. My brain can go “Ah, it’s red. It says stop.” That’s the decision. It then has to send an output down to your foot so that you can do what? Press the brakes.

Now, as goofy as that may sound, that’s it in a nutshell. That’s neurology in a nutshell. You have input. You have interpretation and decision, and then you have outputs. If you understand this, it’s a loop system, which means that the quality of the output, the quality of what I’m able to generate in the world, is incredibly dependent upon the quality of the inputs that I receive.

Am I getting good ones? Am I getting enough of them? Does my brain understand what they are? Can it interpret it? Can it decide what to do with them intelligently? Then, ultimately, can I then send good signals out to the rest of the body to say, “Hey, this is what I want you to enact in the world.”

That’s neurology 101, guys.

As simple as I make that sound, hopefully, this stars to explain why we do what we do. If I look at the human body I go, “Okay, what are the different ways that I can receive input?” I can get it through my eyes. I can get it through my inner ear. I can get it through my muscles, my tendons, my ligaments, my skin. I can sense vibration and pressure, and all of those different things.

If I’m working with you, or a Z-Health trainer is working with you, we’re interested in “Hey, if I have you close your eyes, and I touch your index finger, and your ring finger, can you tell the difference?”

Because if you have lousy input, that’s a big deal, because it makes it hard for your brain to interpret. It makes it really hard to decide. Ultimately, like I said, we’re going to look at the output. Meaning if I said do a figure eight with your shoulder, can you actually do that? Can you coordinate it? Can you tell the muscles to turn on and off appropriately, as necessary? That also tells us a lot about your brain.

Whenever you start thinking about Z-Health, and you read or hear about all the stuff that we do in a training environment, because this is again where people go “Why are trainers talking about the eyes?” Because it makes a difference in sports performance. Because it makes a difference in the gym. Because it makes a difference in pain. It makes a difference in rehabilitation. Everything that we do is based off of this basic concept of input, interpretation and decision, output.

What’s the next step, or what does this really mean for you? It’s very important to me that you hear this part. Number one, if you have stuff that you’ve been struggling with, meaning you’ve got a bad shoulder, bad knee, bad back, I guarantee you this is the answer somewhere.

You’ve got an input problem, an interpretation problem, or an output problem.

You need to be working with people that understand this, and can help you delineate or figure out what that problem is. My recommendations are this, if you’ve been dealing with any kind of chronic issue, number one, make sure that you don’t have anything bad that will kill you. That means go to your doctor. Go to your healthcare professional, and get cleared for exercise. That’s super important.

But then, if you’re looking to work on these things, find someone that’s maybe done some training with us. Or at least someone that can have this kind of conversation with you that’s very clear, that says “Listen, I need to look at all the different sensory input that you can get. I need to look at how your brain’s taking that information in. Then we need to do some test to see are your muscles working? Are your ligaments working? Are all those joints, etc., working like their supposed to.

Somewhere in that chain is the answer to your problem.

That’s Z-Health in a nutshell. Neurology in a nutshell. I probably went over four minutes, but hey, it’s neurology.

Have a great week guys. Let me know if you have any questions.

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