*The diaphragm often gets stuck acting as a postural muscle instead of a respiratory muscle when things are out of whack/position. Position needs to be restored and diaphragm needs to restore its respiratory function.
*Right hemidiaphragm pushes air into the left lung and left into the right lung. Since we favor our right hip and have our liver on the right, we have an easier time getting air into the front of our left chest wall and a harder time getting it into our right anterolateral chest wall (mentioned this in part one). We need to get air into our left posterior mediastinum (posterior thorax) and right chest wall better. An important component of making this happen is developing our left abs (obliques) to help balance out the stronger right diaphragm.
*We often need to hypoinflate left ribs and hyperinflate right ribs; maximize exhalation on left and inhalation on the right and alternate.
*Neutrality is found when the diaphragm is contracting without the expense of extension and there are smooth transitions between left and right during gait. (Someone with an anterior tilted pelvis and hyperlordosis in the low back will tend to extend excessively to breathe, leading to unwanted back stress).
*Underneath every symmetrical movement is an asymmetrical challenge. I.e even if you are doing barbell squats bilaterally, there is still a war going on between left and right underneath that double leg squat. This supports my belief that bilateral and unilateral training should have a good balance in a program to keep things in check as doing only bilateral work will ultimately lead to an overpowering side (can you guess which one).
*Positions proceed patterns. To change a pattern, we need to reposition first. For example, if a muscle is not firing correctly or a muscle is inhibiting another muscle, we need to check position first because without proper positioning, neuromuscular patterning/firing will be off. If we restore position and THEN there is a neuromuscular problem, we can deal with it. Same story with movement in general. Until we get control of our pelvis and ribs, movement won't be ideal.
*The sphenoid, sacrum and sternum are the base points that all positioning branches off of.
*Modern day ergonomics lock us into the patterns mentioned earlier. We need to get out of them.
*Since the left brain has more responsibilities for speech and language and controls the opposite side of the body, the right upper extremity becomes dominant with communication, development and growth. This pattern needs to be balanced with neurologic and muscular activity on the left.
*The normal imbalances mentioned need to be regulated by reciprocal function with walking, breathing and turning. When they are not, weakness, instability and musculoskeletal pain often results. “Balancing muscle activity around the sacrum (pelvis), the sternum (thorax) and the sphenoid (middle of the head) through a PRI approach best positions multiple systems of the human body for appropriate integrated asymmetrical function.” This quote is taken from the PRI manual and sums up a real good point. It is a matter of being positioned well enough to work effectively in our normal asymmetrical state. This is what neutral means. Many people (including myself at first) get confused when they talk about neutral. Neutral does not mean symmetrical. It means being able to control and function optimally with the normal asymmetries that our body has and is supposed to have while avoiding overcompensations, pain and performance detriments.
*Being out of position can often stem from neurological reasons. For example, if you experience some kind of trauma whether it be an injury, an event such as a car accident or abuse, your body will generally go into sympathetic fight or flight mode. When you go sympathetic, your body has a good chance of falling deeper into these positional patterns mentioned earlier. So, you might be out of position (i.e. left AIC pattern or PEC pattern) as a result of your fight or flight response. I actually have a client who was doing well improving her left AIC/right BC pattern (shifted right, pelvis rotated left side forward, poor apical expansion on the right, left rib flare, etc.) and getting rid of pain nicely. She then got into a car accident and she went backwards, getting back into her old habits again. This was most likely a sympathetic response from the accident. A month after the accident doing the appropriate exercises and drills, she is better than ever. It is a very fascinating phenomena.
*Everything from vision to in uterine position can influence asymmetrical habits and patterns. Take someone who has had Lasik eye surgery and you will probably see some changes in muscle tone in their back, balance and certain patterns since their brain now has a changed sensory input with the improved vision and depth perception.
*A flat thoracic spine will result in an unstable scapula. Until flexion is restored, many scap exercises will not be as effective. In my experience and past learning, its usually been about improving thoracic extension. Many people actually do need better thoracic flexion.
*We need to get serratus anterior, low trap and tricep functioning optimally so that we can reach without excessive spinal/trunk rotation and maintain a stable position of our ribs and spine
*After digging into this stuff, I am amazed at how many people I see out in public standing on their right hips, with their left legs crossed into external rotation and/or right legs crossed into adduction/internal rotation, right shoulders lower and so forth. These patterns start to emerge right in front of your eyes. The assessments I have been doing (didn't cover this specifically in this article) continue to follow suit with much that the base courses cover as well.
In conclusion, it was a great course and on top of the things mentioned here, I picked up some great manual techniques and exercises to help facilitate better breathing function in people. I look forward to exploring the rest of their courses and deepening my understanding of the complex and asymmetrical body that we as humans live with. There is always so much to learn.
If you'd like to dig deeper, I'd highly recommend looking up stuff by Bill Hartman, Zac Cupples, Patrick Ward and Eric Oetter to name a few. They all have some brilliant insight with this material and have been studying it longer than I. Of course, you can also go to the source at posturalrestoration.com Thanks for reading.