Q: For those who do sport at the competitive level, do you know of any systems designed to improve sports performance that are different from conventional training techniques?
A: There are a good number of possibilities. The traditional methods normally neglect, or use just by chance, certain principles basic to the functioning of the body. The mechanical repetition of a sports movement, as for example a shot at goal, is aimed at developing a certain reflex, so that the body will “learn” it in depth. But if you know exactly what the reflex involved is, then you can work with it in a still more direct manner by making the body perform, actively or passively, the movement that calls forth that reflex in the clearest way. If the shot at goal involves a contralateral reflex, this can be perfected by working on the body according to the pattern of cross-shaped reflexes that govern contralateral movements (by which is meant those that connect the movement of an arm to the leg on the other side), without even touching the ball. Then when the player tries the shot again, he will find in his body a suppleness and a coordination he didn’t have before.
This is because each individual, even when he repeats a movement a thousand times in order to perfect it, in actual fact tends to reproduce only the patterns he already possesses – with all their limitations. To succeed in creating a more sophisticated, more effective reflex by working on the body slowly and in depth outside the sports context, means enabling him afterwards to use it in the sports context far more efficiently.
Q: If in both cases it’s the reflexes that produce efficiency in movement, what difference is there between repetition in training and the bodywork exercises you use to teach the body a more effective movement?
A: The possibility of working with great precision on the deep reflexes of the nervous system, which in training and in competitons are spuriously evoked, is an area that offers extremely wide margins for improvement. It is the degree of accessibility to certain reflexes that produces a champion.
Qualities like the involvement of the whole body or the ‘presence’ in every movement are connected to the fact that certain champions, like Roberto Baggio, George Weah or Michael Jordan, gain access to reflexes that are more evolved in comparison with those of their fellows. In champions of this calibre this usually happens spontaneously but, given that there exists no human resource that cannot be reproduced – as neurolinguistics postulates – if you know what the reflex is to which the champion has access you can teach it or induce it in whatever athlete has need of it. You can teach anyone to recognise it as a reflex, to access it when necessary, to use it, cultivate it, render it ever more precise and efficient.
Q: But how in concrete terms does one intervene to evoke these reflexes with precision?
A: Let’s first clarify what it means to move about inside a reflex. If for example, seated on a chair, we bend our head backwards and take note of where our gaze arrives on the ceiling, then we try to shorten and lengthen as much as possible the sole of our foot, even of just one foot, for a certain number of times, then finally return to the initial movement, we will observe that the extension of the head has acquired greater amplitude, suppleness and lightness (in this case in the movement on the sagittal plane). To evoke a certain reflex – of bending, say – the attitude of the whole body changes to move on that plane because the body never ‘thinks’ in a fragmented way. What a small experiment like this demonstrates is that by executing a movement that evokes the most functional reflex in order to look upwards, we have also evoked the program of the nervous system which the body uses to exercise that particular function. Taking this logic to its extreme we may think of the nervous system as a company computer that contains a series of programmes. Some are more suitable than others for performing certain functions, but we all know that they could perform many others, albeit less efficiently. If you direct a movement with a nervous system program that is not the most suitable for that function, effectively you have the same waste of energy and efficiency that you would have if you worked out your company’s budget with a program in longhand. It can be done, it is a miracle you see every day, but if you know the most suitable reflex for a particular movement, then you have innumerable ways in which to evoke it. The movement of the neck and the instep mentioned earlier, for instance, belong to the same ‘program’ (I stretch, shrink, bend, relax, go towards, retreat…). And so, by recalling this program through one movement (that of the foot) afterwards I make the other movement (that of the neck) easier. It is thus that the body reasons and so coordinates everything within this functional program, which never envisages a neck moving on its own, but always within a totality of movements coordinated by the same program of the nervous system.
Using different parts of the brain
Q: I have a bit of difficulty understanding what reflexes you are speaking about, and how evoking them turns out to be to the sportsman’s benefit.
A: In order to understand, you need to bear in mind that the nervous system works through layers, the deepest and most ancient of which are the reptilian brain and the mammalian, whereas the cerebral cortex, which is the natural seat of abstract thought and consciousness, is to be found on the surface level. Given that the natural seats of movement are precisely the most ancient structures of our nervous system, the deeper the level coordinating the movement, the more integrated and efficient the result. On the other hand, the more superficial the level from which it is produced, the more the movement will tend to be ‘studied’ and therefore uncoordinated, mechanical, fragmented. This is because if the movement is entrusted to rationality, namely guided by more recent nervous structures, the neurons involved are legion, and are not integrated with one another in so efficient a manner.
Let’s put a case: if at the deepest level of the nervous system only a few neurons of the ‘reptilian’ brain are sufficient to coodinate a movement, the same movement, elaborated at the cortical level, requires the engagement of thousands of millions of cells. Now we can certainly rely on the more ancient neurons which have refined this function over millions of years. In the primitive centres there is a coordinating intelligence which always knows what ought to happen in the course of a certain movement (for example: when and how much to contract and when and how much to relax) far better than what anyone could consciously know. When you evoke a reflex instead of producing a conscious gesture, you activate extremely primitive nervous centres in which each movement, which has a meaning or a specific use, already has its integrated description of the maximum efficiency possible.
Q: You’re saying that the nervous system, in its deepest parts, knows better than the cortical part of the brain what the most efficient way of executing a certain movement is?
A: Exactly. The difference lies in the fact that whereas the cerebral cortex tends to ‘isolate’ the various movements, (exactly as is done in conventional training), the nervous system knows precisely the concurrent position of every part of the body capable of guaranteeing the maximum efficiency as regards realising an objective. This is the reason why so many creatures (consider, for instance, the snake, which is like a naked spinal column) naturally achieve a coordination, efficiency and elegance of movement unimaginable in the majority of human beings.
Q: You were saying earlier that the characteristic of a champion is his capacity to reach this state naturally?
A: More precisely, I think that the instinctive champion is one who least interferes with the natural state I have described.
Q: But then a ‘natural champion’ doesn’t have to be particularly intelligent?
A: On the contrary. I know it sounds like a paradox, but since these persons manage all movement at the level of the oldest nerve centres, at the upper levels they have at their disposition an enormous number of neurons that are free and therefore accessible to the intelligence, to perception, to orientation, to the sense of context. And so the moment they enter the penalty area, for example, they can assess far more calmly than others the situation on the field, as if everything were unfolding in slow motion. In short, delegating movement to the natural reflexes by no means hinders but rather helps the simultaneous access to the higher centres for other objectives.
Q: In what way, then, does intelligence, or consciousness, interfere with the access to a spontaneous reflex?
A: There isn’t anybody or anything like the body that knows exactly what must be done to produce a truly efficient movement. There are movements that an animal or human being in good health would never do spontaneously – as, for example, lying on your back and raising your extended legs to develop your stomach muscles. Rationally it is a movement we can devise, but from an evolutionary point of view our body has not been programmed to perform movements that are useless from the functional point of view – like that one.
For this reason it would be important in the light of our knowledge of the deep reflexes of the body to test every movement that is carried out in training, to see whether it is based on existing reflexes or whether it is going to destroy them, if it is causing interference.
The human body is not programmed for useless movements
Q: I’d like to go further into a statement you made just now about the fact that the human body is not programmed to perform useless movements.
A: Exactly so. The human being can ‘think up’ a vast quantity of movements, but when these do not correspond to existing reflexes at the level of the nervous system, instead of helping the working of the body they only hinder it. Stretched limbs are a typical example of ‘alien’ movement. Perhaps he would be out of place in a choreographic context, but a monkey will never move with two legs stretched at the same time, and I don’t see who could deny that his movement is infinitely more efficient than that of the best classical dancer. Many martial arts bear facts like this in mind, as also do certain techniques of body awareness like Taiji quan (Tai chi chuan) or the Feldenkrais method – extremely useful to whoever wants to improve his sports performance.
Q: What has a sportsman’s movement to do with that of an animal?
A: The movement of an animal, like that of the human body as well, never takes place on a single axis but is always spiral, namely on all three axes at once (vertical, horizontal and sagittal). If you look at a monkey jumping from one branch to another, you immediately notice how his movement is never solely sagittal, but how all the movements of his body, down to the smallest, describe spirals. In the conventional techniques of sports training there exists almost no movement that provides for this spiral, so deeply inscribed in our pattern of movement. All the exercises are carried out on a single plane, for example the vertical for all the lateral bending, the horizontal for rotation, the sagittal for flexions and bending forwards and backwards.
When you don’t evoke a spiral movement, what takes place at the level of the nervous system is a fragmentation of the reflexes. It is like pulling the rug from under your feet, and in the long run this causes damage. This spiral movement of the whole body is patently evident and spontaneous in the tiny child who passes from crawling to sitting. The child would never dream of raising himself up by way of a sagittal axis. It is a real pity that in so many types of gym, sports training, military drilling, all the movements are isolated, never making good use of the dynamic integration of the three planes on which action naturally takes place, and ending up by establishing the predominance of one axis over the other two, even in spontaneous movement.
However, with specific work on the body it is always possible to restore the ability to move in an efficient way – something which, among other things, immediately puts one back into contact with the pleasure of movement.
Q: Are there sports disciplines that consider these aspects?
A: Generally speaking the discipline itself does not count so much as the way it is put into practice. If in sport you use movements that fragment (for example the use of only one part of the body without involving the others, or the rigid use of only one plane) the result is the destruction of the natural resources of the body. The result is almost always a pain, a pulled muscle, a slipped disc. The athlete who moves badly, the more he trains and competes the more damage he does his body: he wears it out. Vice versa, the more he uses the spontaneous reflexes and natural, whole movements, the more he is rejuvenated and integrated_and feels better also at the end of a competition.
Edwin Moses, for instance, the athlete who for almost a decade dominated the scene in the 400m hurdles, not only did not wear himself out but gradually improved his performance because he worked actively on his reflexes and bore them in mind. It was not by chance that he worked a lot with the Feldenkrais method under my American colleague… But there is no doubt that he was an athlete that reached this type of fluidity naturally, and in fact it was a pleasure to see him run
Q: What can interrupt this type of fluidity in an athlete who reaches it naturally?
A: The lack of inner listening. The ‘natural’ champion relies on the internal sensation which he gets from movement, on the ‘sensuality’ which can exist even in sports moves, and on his physical pleasure. It is this that confirms for him that he is moving within a spontaneous reflex. Every sensation of effort, of tiredness, of pain tells him instead that he is going in the opposite direction. Not paying attention to yourself means playing against yourself.
Anyway, at bottom the question remains: what type of result do you want to obtain? I myself in my sporting life met a trainer, recently deceased, who despite his use of methods which left many of us appalled, brought many athletes to the highest national levels.
Caldana of Atletica Riccardi, for example, made us do very short work-outs at the beginning because he was firmly convinced that, in the long run, it was more beneficial to do two laps of the track easily than ten under strain. And in fact the most striking characteristics of his athletes were lightness, suppleness and the absence of accidents.
Link between training strategies and accidents
Q: Is there a link, then, between training strategies and the number of accidents in competition-level sports?
A: An accident is the sign that the movement is no longer plastically integrated, that there is an interruption in the distribution of effort throughout the organism, a distribution brought about thanks to the fascia, which is the tissue which envelops and connects the various parts of the body one to another, from the bowels to the muscles to the bones. An accident indicates that the functional integration of the organism determined by the fascia, the only system that extends to every corner of the body, is broken at that point. A slipped disc tells us precisely where the breakage point, or point of maximum effort, is.
The non-integrated organism, or the athlete who sets no store by inner listening, continues until it/he snaps.
The integrated organism distributes the effort as much as possible, makes every movement with the whole body until it perceives signs of saturation. Then it knows it must stop. The more the effort increases, the more the body tends to isolate the movement. And a disconnected tendon, a fracture in an integrated organism, signals rejection in the face of further stress. Let’s take, for example, an endurance run: at the beginning, when there is little tiredness, the body continues to do other things besides running: it thinks, digests, looks around… all the things which, as gradually the effort becomes more exacting, you can no longer permit yourself to do. A typical characteristic of competitive situations is an altered state of awareness in which thought vanishes, because it would represent an interference. Also the mind frees itself for what at that moment requires energy and attention. The athlete who runs to the limit is as if he were only his circulatory system. The digestive apparatus, the nervous system and all the rest – it’s as if they had vanished. All the systems requested by the action participate, while the others recede into the background to support what is happening.
Q: I should like to know more about how the fascia distributes the effort throughout the body.
A: The human body is coordinated by the nervous system through this highly particular tissue which presents itself as a ‘continuous’ system. Each movement can be rendered more beneficial or more efficient precisely by acting on this tissue, which connects each part of the body and which can be stimulated in such a way as to render the movement as extended as possible (as might be useful, for example, to a basketball player) or as sagittal as possible (as in the case of a fencer or a swimmer) or best organised to work at maximum speed.
If we think of the fascia as a length of cloth pulled on all sides by many people, it is immediately apparent how the entire expansion depends not simply on the person who at a given moment is pulling the most but also on how all the others are collaborating. The correct program for the nervous system is the one that knows the best movement of all those that are pulling on the tissue so that the form of the fascia is the most efficient possible at that moment.
Q: And in practical terms, how does this happen?
A: When, for instance, a basketball player extends an arm, what happens in the fascia of the trunk, the neck, the shoulders, the arm itself, but also of the internal organs, the heart, the bowels, one lung compared to the other, is that by everything moving appropriately the arm is provided with a ‘presence’, a strength and a sensitivity which would be unimaginable if instead the arm moved in a manner unconnected to the rest of the body or to the organs within – so frequently neglected in athletic practice. Stories, like that of the mother who succeeded in lifting a car all by herself to save her child trapped underneath, are possible because in exceptional cases the nervous system sets about recovering all the inner resources available, temporarily reorganising the whole body on its deepest reflexes and therefore extending them well beyond the limits of the person’s daily capacities.
This quality, this expansion of the optimum coordination between nervous system and fascia, is present in the training of many oriental disciplines. The master of Taiji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan) who with his arm stretched out in front manages to hold two pupils suspended is a crystal clear portrayal of a living system which is so organised as to render, at that moment, the arm as its strong point. With appropriate bodywork techniques this quality can obviously be developed and technically cultivated even outside a spiritual practice like Zen, or an emergency like a child in mortal danger.
Q: We have already spoken of the advantages of spontaneous over ‘studied’ movements. However, today there is much talk of different techniques, from simple training so as to improve sports performance to meditation and biofeedback. What’s your opinion?
A: Everything can be useful as long as it’s going in the aforementioned direction. But the thing that I personally find most exciting, as well as beneficial, is focussing the practice of meditation on what is being done. I’ll explain: if what interests me is running, then rather than meditate on something unrelated I’d be much better off meditating (that is, stopping thinking and focussing attention on one single thing) on the movement of my pelvis while I run, therefore entering into the detail of every tiny shifting of the bones. This type of meditation adds two important advantages to the simple meditative attitude, already useful in itself. First and foremost an increase in the capacity to feel what is happening in the body, which in turn produces an increase in the overall quality and efficency of the performance, followed by the optimization of the specific movement deriving from this particular type of attention.
Feeling will improve movement.
Q: In what way will feeling a part of the body improve the quality of your movement?
A: Let me propose a very simple experiment. Try to feel carefully one half of your pelvis, following its outlines attentively with your fingers. Then try to walk. Not only will you feel a substantial difference between the two halves of the pelvis, but also between the two halves of the body. Almost always the leg on the ‘non-treated’ side seems cramped and numb, but the differences become evident also in the support of the foot, in the shoulders, in the two parts of the thorax. How does one explain this fact?
In an interesting biological study, the Chilean researchers Marturana and Varela demonstrated that in a single or complex cell organism, but also in the human nervous system, feeling and moving are never separate functions but only two aspects of the same function or, better, of the same bodily event.
Q: Could you clarify that?
A: Take a dog or a cat that hears a noise. The way in which their whole body arranges itself so as to listen shows that hearing/feeling and moving are not separate activities. The cat moves to listen and listens to move, as in a circuit. In the same way in order to feel, to touch the pelvis you must perform a whole series of movements (like the spread of a shoulder or a turn of the spine) that reorganise the body in a different way and simultaneously reorganise the sensitive areas. The more I feel my body, deepening my sensations of the body and creating a variety of further ones, the more I develop the quality of my way of moving and expand the range of movements at my disposal.
Q: Could you add something to this subject of variety?
A: Let’s take, for instance, a person who chooses to enlarge his capacity for feeling the circulatory system. By learning to feel it he will enjoy greater potential than, say, a runner who feels only the activity of his muscles. Thinking solely of the muscles and thereby producing an activity of the circulatory system is very different from empathising with one’s own circulatory system and thereby having a greater sprinkling of the muscles. This is a basic principle in Experiential Anatomy. The fact of ‘becoming’ one system rather than another leads to two totally different states of body and awareness.
Q: Could you give me another example?
A: To each bodily fluid very different states of awareness are connected. If I have developed the capacity clearly to identify myself with, and immerse myself into, one of these systems I can decide, for example, to transfer my attention to the arterial fluid. The physical quality and the state of awareness and movement thereby obtained will closely resemble those of a drawn-out aerobics session with a highly rhythmical music base. But if the activity I’m involved in is more fluid, more akin to a waltz (as for example in figure-skating), that other type of music and rhythm, extremely useful in improving a certain type of dynamic quality, in this case would become a hindrance. I need something less pulsating, with the more fluid, ebb-and-flow characteristics of the venous system, whose characteristic fluidity and harmony is in stark contrast to the arterial system with its rhythmical movement abounding in clean breaks.
In a situation in which I need both presence in gesture and clear space (as for instance in tennis) it would be more beneficial to transfer one’s close attention to the lymphatic system, characterised by a quality of thrust and spatial tension. On the other hand, in a situation where suppleness is useful, as in a flexibility course to recover after strain, I will focus by preference on the synovial fluid, which keeps articulation mobile.
In all the cases where I am engaged in a situation that requires concentration, spatio-temporal isolation and suspension – as in archery, target shooting and so on – I can best facilitate these qualities by sinking into a state of awareness similar to that which the system receives from the cerebro-spinal fluid, which is liquid but by its nature immobile and central to the organism.
Q: And in this case what kind of music can help put you in contact with that state of awareness?
A: Your sense of eternity can be evoked, for example, by the sound of a Tibetan gong.
Sport and states of awareness
Q: In short, every sports practice has its particular state of awareness?
A: Yes, but many training methods are based on a very limited repertoire of states of awareness, among which the muscular system usually predominates. Only rare champions explore on their own account other qualities. So, for example, the muscular quality can change, even significantly, when it is combined with a visceral state of awareness, which gives to movement a character of power, presence, participation, pleasure and deep-rootedness which infinitely improve its quality.
Q: So, by analysing the movement of an athlete it is possible to tell in what system he is moving, and so possibly change or broaden the repertoire?
A: Yes, exactly so.
Q: Could you give us some other practical example of useful systems for those who do sport?
A: Take an athlete who breaks up his movements a lot, who has very ‘dry’ gestures. He will certainly be accident prone. By making him learn, enabling him to experience a fascial quality of movement, he will succeed in moving more smoothly, in integrating his performance enormously. Vice versa, many athletes already possess an excessive fascial quality, a softness which sometimes hinders the athletic motion because of an excess of sinuosity which, although useful in certain situations (in dancing, for example), will be far less so in throwing the javelin, the 400 m hurdles or other disciplines.
Q: And if we take swimming?
A: An exceptionally muscular or bony state of awareness leads to heaviness of movement and consequently to a sensation of tiredness and strain. If the bone system does not withdraw into the background by itself, it results in a heaviness, useless for aquaticity, unknown for whom easily manages to get out of it. In the specific case, then, it will depend on the type of competition. If it concerns speed it would be best to identify with the circulatory system, or the muscular.
On the other hand a muscular athlete has for sure the advantage in short distances, in comparison with a more visceral swimmer who will, by contrast, have the upper hand in long distances, because the greater involvement of the organs reduces energy expenditure. And it supplies a coordination and fluidity otherwise unimaginable.
Q: Excuse me, but it seems to me that we are entering the realm of science fiction. How can you voluntarily evoke the visceral rather than the fluids system?
A: Well, when you have a good knowledge of the systems it becomes easy to access them. All you need to do is take out any piece whatever of it and immediately you evoke it. In the case of the visceral system for swimming, for example, let me propose a little experiment. When you come up to breathe try to do it thinking you have the same approach as a newborn baby who turns his head in search of the maternal breast, as if the mouth were nothing other than a prolungation of the stomach. Already this is sufficient to evoke the visceral dimension of the organism and radically modify the quality of the movement. Try it and see.
The involvement of the bowels in movement.
Q: Nevertheless I find it fairly odd, the involvement of the organs in sports training.
A: In reality, even if generally speaking we think of movement as a situation in which the skeletal muscle system moves on its own while the internal organs are like a separate parcel enduring the movement produced by other parts of the body, in nature this division does not exist (simply observe a cheetah running, a monkey jumping among the branches or, more domestically, a cat passing through a gap). Rather, we have a body which participates in movement as an entire whole, shaping itself around what is being done. And all this is demonstrated by X-rays of animals in motion. One of the great problems of gymnastics arises out of the fact that it is not aware of this aspect, of this concurrence of the whole body in its totality in every movement. Even without arriving at the rigidity of ‘stomach in, chest out’, there is still scant knowledge of what the contribution of the organs to the movement of the whole organism is.
Q: Yes, but in practical terms?
A: Just walking is completely different depending on whether the kidneys are motionless or one goes down and the other goes up in harmony with the movements of the legs. If when the right leg advances the right kidney goes down and vice versa, I have a change in the quality of movement which is enormous at the level of fluidity, suppleness, presence, intensity, ground support. If I raise an arm and the lungs are motionless I am far more fastened into the movement than when my lungs slide upon each other. If by raising myself on tiptoe I hold the colon in check instead of letting it ‘go down’, I have less strength and stability. If while I raise my arm I let the heart go down, my movement will turn out far more integrated and light and powerful than if I detained it or raised it in its turn. Some do all this spontaneously; for others it can be useful to learn to feel their own body ‘from within’.
Q: Are there other ways an athlete’s performance can be successfully developed?
A: One area in which performance can be developed is working on the body scheme, which is endowed with great plasticity in the case of natural champions. This means that their body scheme adapts itself marvellously to situations, reaching out to objects or things that go beyond their physical limits. The skier who, for example, includes in his body scheme the skis or the ski sticks, so as to feel the points of the skis as if they were his toes, is at a far greater advantage in comparison with the person who fails to extend his body scheme beyond his physical limits. This is also the reason why the best drivers are those who began with go-karts. What a child does naturally and what happens when he drives a go-kart, which is scarcely bigger than the body of its driver, is exactly this inclusion of the car into the body scheme. Whoever begins to drive in a go-kart tends to maintain this extension of the body scheme to the means of transport even when the car becomes more complex.
It is very different being a person in a car from ‘being the car’ and touching the tarmac with one’s own body scheme. Being on the skis or being the skis – the whole organisation of the nervous system changes, and perhaps even the energy field.
In this sense one can do a whole job on making one’s own body scheme as good and as plastic as possible, depending on the athletic movement to be achieved. For example one can work with stilts to get a person used to extending his body via this third ‘bone’ located below the tibia. Once off the stilts the leg becomes not much longer than a metre but seems so much more present and so much more ‘yours’, giving you a balance and a ground support which you didn’t have before.
Q: And at the psychological level?
A: A further aspect of body work concerns the patterns of the nervous system as likened to the various phases in the evolution of mankind. It is different, for instance, to work with a runner whose nervous system is organised on the basis of the criterion ‘I push away’ the earth rather than ‘I go towards’, I go to reach something.
It seems a small thing, but the systems used, the reflexes, the parts of the nervous system that come into play, change utterly. Also this organisation can be optimised, because depending on the case one could turn out to be more beneficial than the other: if ‘I push away’ is more useful to a pole-vaulter, ‘I go towards’ benefits the runner. It is also interesting to note that these different organisations of the nervous system are often associated with particular psychological characteristics, which always influence one’s way of moving.
If we consider these two ways of psychological working, ‘away from’ and ‘go towards’, we notice also that with the first is associated a greater heaviness whereas with the second a greater lightness.
Q: But you who have a psychosomatic training as well, do you work more at the physical level or at the psychological?
A: I think that athletes are intelligent people and that my function is basically to make those who practise sports aware of the way they are working. I show the possible alternatives, then it’s up to them to decide how they want to work; I don’t do psychotherapy. It is the athlete who chooses whether and how he will go about modifying his way of working. If necessary I supply him with the information he needs, also at the psychological level.
Q: In your work, how do you act with regard to incidents, accidents?
A: First and foremost at the level of prevention, because the best way to protect oneself from accidents is to distribute the effort throughout the organism. Moreover, the more you move in this direction the more you avoid the migration of the problem (if it already exists) to other parts of the body. Working on the body with the techniques I have described obviously helps in the healing process too, but above all the performance is continually improved because the more efficient the movement the more the injured parts are protected from possible relapses. In any case, this way the optimum conditions are created for local recovery.