Hi, Phillip Beach here with a first attempt to blog. This one will introduce my approach to understanding human movement.

It’s complex. Biology just is that way. 500+ million years to tinker with how to construct life that is robust and reproducible is a recipe for complexity. Below is a schematic from a mentor, Professor Brian Goodwin’s book ‘Signs of Life’ of an anchovy interacting with its marine environment. Everything depends on the living matrix that surrounds it.  A species in isolation is a dying or dead species (the human condition?).

Likewise, for example, a muscle, isolated, is a contractile element that is out of ‘tune’ with its matrix. Gym machines that reduce complexity and attempt to isolate muscles are not biologically sustainable. They lack the complexity that is a hallmark of living systems. In the long run, if you want to achieve your movement dreams into your latter life and age gracefully, go for movement complexity. Barefoot walk, run, dance.

My aim at the moment is to be as fast around my local kid’s playground overhead frames as a six-year-old.

This article has 4 comments

  1. ams Reply

    Thank you! You’ve put words to how my body appreciates moving and doing and being and where and how I find my rhythm and flow.

  2. Katie Poulter Reply

    That’s brilliant Phillip! Reminds me of the poem from AA Milne “When We Are Six” :-

    When I was One
    I had just begun
    When I was Two
    I was nearly new
    When I was Three
    I was hardly me
    When I was Four
    I was not much more
    When I was Five
    I was just alive
    But Now I am Six
    I’m as clever as clever
    So I think I’ll be Six now for ever and ever!

    Love the movement complexity, ease and confidence of mobility in the six year old. Channeling from the feet up! Have just been teaching the importance of reflexive conditioning and recognition of muscle integration in my Nia classes, a playful and powerful medium which definitely instigates youthful movement and joy/fun whilst providing essential strengthening and stability. I feel extremely honoured to witness change/growth and high spirit in my students via barefoot body/mind/spirit education. Received your book “Muscles and Meridians” from The Big Man In Red this Christmas so am going to dive in! Please keep me informed of any workshops you are holding in the U.K./Europe, hope you are well and happy, have a wonderful 2019 with many a swing in the park! Keep Forever Six! Love Katie xx

  3. Pat Claffey Reply

    Keep up the blogging. The best advise I got on blogging is dont worry if nobody reads your blogs – just blog anyway, its worth it. I have recently started to blog also – see patclaffey.com. Reading your book Muscles and Meridians at the moment. Had a lot of fun with Chapter 11 -trying the sitting poses. Interesting google search results when you think erectorcise is spelt erectorsize,

    You recommended Lowly origins – I have just ordered this book.

    I work in software systems – so this is where I experience complexity every day. At a professional level the science of software and it complexity fascinates me. At a personal level my body is my lab for complexity. I somethings think we know more about the dark side of the moon than our own bodies. Thanks to you for your great insights and helping me learn more about my amazing and human body. Its a tiny bit less baffling now,

  4. Amit Reply

    Hi Philip,

    ‘Everybody depends on the living matrix that surrounds their body’ …is profound.

    Thank you.

    Walking, running, dancing barefoot is a great takeaway.

    festivals will make this more social

    Go barefoot on grass, moist soil, sand… says the Tribune / Post article

    and when there is doubt of sanitation…

    to put a towel between your skin and the ground…


    Wishing you lots of fun at the playground : )

    Looking forward to learn more!

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