How We Deal with One of the Most Common Bad Stretch Reflexes
The most common type of muscle spasm or bad stretch reflex experience can happen in the middle of the night. When you get rudely awakened by a calf cramp.
Or you were running or even pointing your foot. And ouch goes a spasm.
Generally we tend to stand on it. Or move our foot/ankle in a way to stretch it out.
That can sort of work.
What I mean by that is this.
You can pull the muscle in the opposite direction to create a stretch since the calf is cramping.
But… this does not change the program at the level of the brain where it can change.
(More on that in a minute.)
Stretch Reflex - 1936
In 1936, Mabel Todd was working with athletes. They were in contracted or high tension level states.
So naturally she attempted to stretch things out.
Here’s what happened: the athletes got tighter. Their motion was restricted.
Thus, the negative side of the stretch reflex came into being.
See, stretching it out like this...
is “a waste of time” by today's standards.
But, that’s what most of us have learned, been told to do or it seemed to be the appropriate short term measure.
Heck, in offices all across America. People are being subjected to it.
If it’s short, stretch it out.
Even though some of us know that this violates the stretch reflex principle.
Why This Continues to Be Practiced?
If we look at the human being from the outside. Then it makes sense to stretch or find a way to push the muscles longer.
However, if we go at this from the inside. The way we feel and how certain feedback loops actually work. We have a pretty good chance to reverse it by regaining cortical control.
(More on this in a minute...)
So What is Really Going On?
In spite of what you believe about not having enough water in your system. Which could be true?
Or that you wasted or used up or needed electrolytes which is why you got into a cramp.
High tension gets to the point. Where the signal from spinal cord, really gets your attention by taking you out.
It may not matter how much pickle juice (one of the many attempts to solve the riddle) you drank.
You've tripped the alarm switch on to save and maybe hurt you too. Bummer, I know.
See, we all can learn to live with varying degrees of tension. Or ongoing muscular contraction levels and stiffness. In fact, we can get used to it.
We all figure out a way to move the best we can.
Until the negative switch really gets our attention.