Human movement is a complex process involving an infinite variety of positional changes, which are controlled by a wide range of internal systems and external factors. A sequence of movement can be influenced by anatomic mechanics, physiologic conditions, psychologic factors, and sociologic and environmental interaction. This chapter focuses on the anatomic, biomechanical, and physiologic aspects of movement.
Most movements, including specific movements used in sports, have been previously learned and, after months or years of practice, have become reflexive and fluent. The neural processes that store, adapt, and are used in these learned movements are complex and integrate all the systems of the body to produce them. When people learn a new movement, action initially arises from a conscious decision, and active thought processes are needed to perform it. At the early stage of acquiring a new skill, considerable concentration is needed, and the movement may be clumsy. With practice, the motion is converted into a learned sequence of movements that will be stored in the different parts of the brain and can be reproduced with fluency and very little conscious thought.
The purpose of this chapter is to understand the mechanical character of movement; this understanding is essential in the use of dry needling acupuncture therapy to achieve the best integration of human movement (described in subsequent chapters).
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