Blog, Proprioception

Reflex Reactions

If our sense of the outside world comes from our senses, our reactions to the outside world are controlled by our reflexes.

When we think of reflexes we typically think of an unexpected reaction to an outside stimulus. We might duck in response to a loud sound, dodge if we see something coming towards us, retract if we touch something hot or pull away if we stand on something sharp.

All of these “reflex” reactions occur when muscles contract in response to an external stimulus.

The reality is that outside forces are stimulating our muscles every time we move, run, jump, walk, throw, catch, get out of bed or hold our head up and our reflexes are governing our reaction to those forces. Reflexes are ultimately responsible for the action of our muscles and so govern the way we move. Continue reading

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Why Proprioceptive Medicine is Essential for Your Health

Proprioceptive Medicine is a diagnostic technique system for Chiropractors and Osteopaths based on known anatomy, neurology and physiology applied in novel and clinically relevant ways. Proprioceptive Muscle Testing allows fully qualified health practitioners to examine and challenge their patients’ primary defence mechanism, the nervous system, and identify any and all weaknesses which make them vulnerable to illness or injury. This analysis quickly uncovers the best solution for that patient at that time.


Proprioceptive medicine is always constructive. It builds strong and robust patients who can overcome any health challenge, be it physical, chemical, biological or emotional – responding to any stress appropriately and repairing damage quickly and efficiently. Although it is an effective treatment method, it’s primary advantage is in restoring optimal function to prevent future injury and illness.

We run seminars and workshops worldwide for health practitioners as well as providing online seminars. Whatever your experience in healthcare, we invite you to investigate the science, logic and practice of proprioceptive medicine so that you can improve the outcomes for every one of your patients.


Blog, Featured, Proprioception

Is Our Brain Really In Control of our Body?

Using Muscles

What really controls muscles?

Proprioception is defined as body position sense – the ability to know where our body is at all times.

It refers to our uncanny ability to know almost exactly where our arm, leg or finger is, without looking at it. With proprioception, you can estimate the angle of your elbow, the position of your hand and the spread of your fingers. If you had to touch your nose, you could do so, even with your eyes closed. As impressive as this ability is, it is only part of the proprioception story.
Continue reading

Blog, Proprioception

Reciprocal Inhibition

The Law of Reciprocal Inhibition says that when one muscle is facilitated, it’s opposite is inhibited (relatively inhibited). So if we find a hypertonic muscle, it follows that there must be an inhibition of the antagonist – but I never found it – until recently. Turns out it was there all along, we were just not using the right tests. Watch these two new videos and find out how to confirm hypertonicity. Just one of the extraordinary shortcuts I will be teaching in the NEW Masterclasses starting January 2014.

pec major test



To book for the Masterclass

PS I know, I know, I’ve done more final tours than the Rolling Stones. I am having to come back to the UK to sell my Berkhamsted practice so if you are looking to live in the fantastic part of the country, and get a great practice that pays all of your expenses from day 1, talk to me.

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Creative Testing for Knee Pain

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The Gastrocnemius Test

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Raving Fans

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The Diagnostic Power of Alarm Points

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Unnecessary pain and injury

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How to measure muscle strength

In July 2008, the British Medical Journal published a landmark study which established an association between muscle strength and mortality unrelated to fitness or exercise levels. You can see the study here:

As I was setting up a new practice a year later, I decided to replicate their protocols to measure muscle strength.

What they did to measure muscle strength was to measure muscle mass and then get people to do a one rep maximum lift with bench press and leg press. By adding the two lifts together and dividing my muscle mass, they could compare the maximum lift capacity of men of different sizes and weights.

So that is exactly what I did, using a Bioscan 916 from Maltron, I can measure muscle mass accurately, and then I measure a one rep maximum bench press.  I found, however that the leg press was difficult because so much depended on the angle of the knee at the start of the test, so I used a deadlift instead. I figure with those two tests, I am using most of the body’s muscle mass.

Here is how it works:

Measuring muscle strength

The results have been fascinating

For men I get a range of between 1 and 6. To be competitive, athletes need to be above 5. Anyone below 3.3 is in the lowest quarter of my population and is usually well below par healthwise.

For women the lowest quarter is below 2.

I am pleased that every patient in the lowest quarter I have been able to lift out of the danger zone. The average increase in strength for those in the lowest quarter is 64%.

The average increase for those in the middle range is 17% and the average for the top range is 10%.  These increases are an average for everyone who I have re-tested, which is not a majority but neither are they selected.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

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How Reflexology Really Works

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Muscle Receptors

An excellent summary of the structure and function of muscle spindles:

Chapter 11 – Muscle Receptors.

Blog, Featured, Proprioception

The Myotatic Reflex

The Myotatic Reflex (sometimes myotactic reflex) is probably our body’s most unrecognised and unappreciated defence mechanism. Forget about the immune system. When it comes to making it safely through the day, nothing comes close to the myotatic reflex.

Imagine that a muscle is able to constantly monitor its own length and tension no matter what its length, and is able to respond the instant its length or tension changes. Without the myotatic reflex, controlled movement would be impossible. Continue reading

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The withdrawal reflex

In the last blog I showed how the myotatic reflex works to prevent our body being damaged by an outside force.

The withdrawal reflex (also known as the flexor withdrawal reflex) also exists to keep us safe.

Whenever our skin is stimulated, our muscles respond appropriately to remove us from harm’s way. Continue reading

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