Power of Balance

Balance Training

         Human balance system resides in the inner ear. Although small in size, the organ has profound influence on our physical, emotional, and mental state. In addition to the functions of balance, the inner ear also functions as the center hub for all sensory input. Moreover, the inner ear is pre-processing center for the nervous system.

         As you know the nervous system plays an important role all areas of our physical and emotional lives. Positive changes can be established with exercising/training the different systems of the inner ear to work better. Balance training is one of such activities.

         Balance training is very task-specific. Having good balance in one task does not mean you also become the master of another balance task. For example, knowing how to ride a bicycle does not make one ready to ice skate, or roller blade, or walk the tightrope.

         Tightrope walking is a very intense and difficult balance activity to master mainly because it physically places left side of our body on the left side of the rope and our right side of the body on the right of the rope. The diameter of the rope, its width, is that tiny area where balance can be established.

         Balance training that simulate tightrope walking also does another thing that under normal conditions cannot be accomplished. It MAKES the left and right brain hemispheres communicate with each other without overpowering one another. As you know the left brain is in control of the right side of the body, while the right brain controls the left side of the body. One reason we have two halves of one brain is because of sheer incompatibility of traits. Just because the two brain halves live in one head, does not mean they want the same thing, or that they coordinate their desires through a third party. There is no third party. The two brain halves do not see eye to eye and often compete for dominance. That’s why balance on a tightrope is so hard to maintain.

         But what can this balance do for us? For example, we all know people who are very artistic, free-going, free-flowing, free spirits. They probably are good at various arts, playing musical instruments, singing, dancing, or painting, etc. This set of skills shows pronounced dominance of the right brain.

         People with pronounced left brain dominance, like control, structure, discipline, rules, and logic. They probably read many books, like things spelled out to them, figuratively and literally. They get upset when something is out of order, when someone doesn’t do what they should do. They want the world to be made of nice, even, entirely symmetrical squares that can easily be manipulated, but only to a certain degree.

         If you give them a different shape, they will not know what to do with it. But they are masters of their own shape. They are probably not emotionally savvy, because emotions reside in the right brain, while logic, language, and thoughts, reside in the left brain.

         Balancing that simulates tightrope, takes that hemisphere incompatibility and the desire to be dominant and puts them on a short leash. Using our physical body, we place specific demands on the brain, and the brain learns. Slowly, but it learns. When you train with the system that simulates tightrope, you teach the two halves of the brain to collaborate. You train them not to compete for dominance.

         You make the more powerful side a little less dominant, while you make the less powerful side a bit more powerful. All this is accomplished through specific demands that you place on your body, like trying to maintain balance while one foot is in front of another on a very narrow, oval, walking surface.

         All this is nice to know, but how does this knowledge benefit me? Is that what you’re thinking? The dominance of one brain hemisphere over another leads to a life that is very rich in one area, but is also very poor in the other. A person with a dominant left brain, will probably be an intellectual, who reads a lot, who follows rules and schedules. But chances are this person is bankrupt when it comes to matters of emotions, compassion, artistic skills, ability to relax or dream.

         On the other hand, a person with the dominant right brain will probably be very artistic, emotionally savvy and in touch with his or her emotions, can help others with emotional problems. This person can probably dance, or sing, or play a musical instrument, but don’t expect much when it comes to keeping commitments, schedules, maintaining logic and coherence in what they do or say things.

         I don’t have scientific proof for this, and I don’t know if current technology can offer such proof, but here is something I’d like you to consider and use your own common sense. We all know that ADD and ADHD are due to the brain not working fast enough. For this, people take medication, artificial stimulants. My question to you is, if there are a lot of very talented, even gifted individuals with ADD, how is it that their brain is not working fast enough?

         I think the better question is which hemisphere is not working fast enough? When a person, young or not, cannot read for more than five minutes, when they cannot keep their focus on the teacher during class, when they want to leave the class before the bell rings or are frequently late to classes. What brain hemisphere is slacking off? Do you see my point? And they get pills that stimulate the entire brain, both the left and the right hemispheres just so only the left hemisphere would pick up the speed.

         The medication stimulates both hemispheres and makes the overactive side even more hyper. So, how do you expect a person to keep the schedule, pay attention to the teacher, do homework for two, three hours straight when they are overfilled with emotions like joy, or sadness, or envy, or longing? How can they follow rules and be obedient when they hear music and drums and guitars in their heads that are playing so loud they feel like they are at a concert? I don’t know of any pill that can stimulate only a particular area in the brain. Pills stimulate the entire brain.

         Here is where tightrope style training is going to actually address the problem: calm down the overactive part of the brain, and stimulate the underactive part. Falling down on the ground is one of the biggest fears for humans. That’s why balancing on a tightrope style devise creates a boost of energy and processing speed from the brain to help it deal with the threat of falling down. Since we physically force our body to remain balanced on top of that tightrope, we MAKE the two brain hemispheres communicate with each other without overpowering one another. The extra energy and brain speed given to deal with the threat of losing balance and falling makes the two hemispheres work faster, but not just faster, equally faster.

         Such balance training is needed for those who suffer from PTSD and related problems, like rape. Those who have faced the ugliest of what a man can do, are overwhelmed with emotions and memories that wouldn’t go away. Persistent memories are hunting and haunting these people day and night.

         They take antidepressant drugs and medication for anxiety, and something for psychosis. The purpose of the medication is to stop the scary episodes, but what else are they also stopping? Everything else that is normal and good, that’s what else they are stopping. In order to reduce or remove the episodes, the flashbacks, the nightmares, the hallucinations, they turn a person into a living soulless zombie who cannot appreciate the blue sky, and the family around them. On medication they cannot feel as they used, they cannot have emotions as they used, they cannot interact with others as they used. They feel less, they care less, they enjoy less; they are less alive. They become indifferent to things, to people, to family, to life itself.

         Did their medication help? Yes, it stopped or reduced the scary episodes, but it also reduced these people into soulless creatures.

         Well that’s a side effect of the drugs, their doctors would say. Do you know why doctors keep treating these symptoms with medication that fixes one problem, but creates two new ones? Because it’s profitable. You have problems, you make a visit. They prescribe something. You try, then you go back to them because it doesn’t work. Now they prescribe something else. And again, you go back to them either for refills or because it doesn’t work. But you still go back to them. And each time you visit your doctor, the doctor gets paid for that visit.

         If the doctors would prescribe balance treatment, then physical therapy offices would get the business, not them. And when you realize that all you really need in that physical therapy office is a piece of two by four or a piece of steel water pipe, then you do your therapy at home and don’t even let the physical therapy office make any money off your problem.

         Of course, things could get worse, like four or six months of training will cure you of your nightmares, and of your hallucinations, and other scary episodes. Who is going to make money off of your problem know, the hardware store?

         When something isn’t being used, ask yourself to follow the money. Where will the money flow? Who will benefit from a cured you? Is that you? Your family? The economy? Yes.

         Will the doctor, with his $100,000 student loan benefit? Will his family? Doctors are not paid based on end result. You know that. They are paid for the services rendered. The more services they render, the more money they make. The successful resolution from those services does not give them a bonus. It gives them nothing.

         That’s why they will be telling you not to listen to this crap called balance training. How can they charge for balance training when patients can do it at home, without any supervision, without any monitoring, without any help from them? They can’t charge for that. So they will not prescribe it or endorse it. Count my words, you will not see doctors or hospitals, or pharmaceutical companies endorsing this idea. But that’s ok, I don’t answer to them. I answer to a higher authority.

         For now, this is all I have to say on the matter. I’ve given you the truth to the best of my knowledge and abilities. It is up to you now. Decide. May God help you with your decision.

 

Sincerely,

 

Alexander Nestoiter, author of:

 

Incredible Ah-ha Moments: Ideas you won’t stop talking about.

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