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EVOLUTION OF HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY IN GRAVITY
Life emerged on earth weightless, experiencing neutral buoyancy within aquatic habitats. In these habitats, animals are free to test novel ways to move about unencumbered by the complexity of concurrently managing their weight. It wasn’t until vertebrates had attained a level of sophistication approximating Shark physiology that they began the arduous process of adapting to push and pull their weight over dry earth. Here, in addition to mastering forward movement (the line dimension), they were immediately confronted with the issue of gravity. Initially, they dealt with their mass by sliding it over the ground. However, our antecedents rather quickly figured out how to get their weight under their feet, greatly enhancing their speed and forward mobility.
Mammals significantly extended the solutions vertebrates had deployed to manage body mass, enabling fluid and flexible movements across the horizontal plane. The section on Undulation explores this subject. One strategy they cultivated was shock absorption, where the energy when landing in a stride returns to the next step. BioTensegrity is a mechanical model which elegantly describes this fascinating capacity observed in mammalian gait (think of a Kangaroo). Improving one’s biomechanics is greatly assisted by the study of tensegrity principles. From the perspective of Tensegrity, gravity is a compressional force that we oppose in tension. Without gravity, the tensional qualities of our bodies are unable to engage1. Our body’s ability to tension against compression provides a structural reference for both growth and regeneration, as well as the shock absorption and energy storage abilities intrinsic to our mammalian physiology.
Bipedal Primates are the ultimate masters of movement in gravity. Stacking the body over the hips liberated the forelegs to explore the potential of three-dimensional space. Playing with, or continuing to develop the skill of how one’s body responds to the influence of gravity can be quite beneficial both for health and vigor. The material on the Locomotive Core expands on optimal function for these structures.
1 The health effects of the absence of this tensioning against a compressional force are an ongoing area of research for NASA (TWINS STUDY). The Twins Study found pernicious degradation of both structural and functional systems most likely due to long term exposure to the absence of the compressional effect of gravity.
GRAVITY LINE AND CENTER OF GRAVITY
The Locomotive Core comprises the structural and functional attributes which we use to deal with gravity, both in standing and moving. Gravity is an intrinsic element of our structure. It is impossible to understand how the structural attributes of how we stand and move function without gravity. However, the “static” gravity load line in our structure, and the loading mechanisms of locomotion, are different, as they serve different functions.
OUR BODIES AND EVERYTHING AROUND US ARE
ACCELERATING TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE EARTH’S MASS
IN THE DIMENSION OF TIME
A body with mass has a center of gravity. Our structure also has loading vectors that are the anatomically optimal organization for maximizing the efficiency with which we move and stand. Optimally aligning our center of gravity with our gravity-vector accomplishes this, thereby expending minimal energy for standing and walking. The Lateral View shows both the center of gravity and the load vector aligned. The front view shows only the center of gravity. The load vectors in the section on Stance explore the dynamics of actively managing mass in a moving system.
DISCUSSION OF THE NATURE OF GRAVITY
The nature of gravity only became apparent to us with Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity (1905). It has been somewhat helpful to this writer in the task of moving his mass around to come to a better understanding of the action of this force, particularly as this mystery and the mystery of the nature of time are deeply intertwined. This paper presents a short overview of this profoundly complex subject as well as some other thoughts comments related to living within the “field” of gravity:
BODY READING AND STANCE ANALYSIS
Body Reading is a skill used for assessing how well the body is managing postural dynamics. There is a paper here discussing the outlines of this skill. Body Reading can be assisted by the use of scales to measure relative loading through the body into the feet. A more advanced version of this is a tool that not only measures weight variances between the left and right sides of the body but also individually front/back for each foot. It then presents the information not as weight, but rather as percentages of the total.
STANCE ANALYSIS TOOL
There is a paper here on stance focused on the stance dynamics expressed in our feet:
STANDING AND TOOL USE
Overview of the Locomotive Core mechanisms of Stance:
Overview of discussions on our Locomotive Core:
Overview of discussions on our core neurophysiology:
THE FOUR CORES
Overview of the models presented on the Website: