2015 Summer Newsletter
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Happy (almost) Summer!
Your Well-Being

Summer Newsletter
                           Paul Ciske, Ph.D.   

The season of summer is almost here and the cool Bay area fog makes it seem even more so. This will be a shorter newsletter because I have decided to wait until the Fall to offer my next series of classes. However I am offering a workshop in a couple weeks on Vision at the Club at the Claremont which is open to everyone (See below). I will also be doing one on Balance and the Vestibular system at the Claremont in September with the date yet to be determined. Also check out the Summer Special below for NeuroFlow Assessments.

Blessings, Paul
Summer Workshops: 
(registration required)

Beyond Eyesight: How other visual attributes affect performance in life, work, and sport. Vision is the work of the BRAIN - eyesight is work of the eyes. In this workshop you will experience how the different attributes of vision affect performance in life, work, and sport; and how vision skills are trainable. This vision training experience based on the Z-Health "Vision Gym" will teach you that as you strengthen the functionality of your vision you will also be increasing the strength and functionality of your entire body.

Saturday, June 20th, 3-5pm.
Location: The Club at the
Cost: $35
Registration: through the 
HEREOr call 510-549-8512

If you have further general questions you can call me at   510-832-5725

Balance: The Inner Ear Vestibular SystemThe vestibular system is second in the hierarchy of sensory input to the brain and is what controls our ability to stay balanced in an upright posture. Learn how this system works and how to train it for better balance using drills from the Z-Health Balance Gym.

September 2015. Exact date
and time is yet to be

Location: The Club at the
Open to members and non-

NeuroFlow Assessment for brain activation imbalances, cranial nerves function, sensory imbalances, reflexes, and more. All for $50. Call 510-832-5725 for your appointment. 

BONUS - Peripheral Vision Walking Drill

Peripheral vision is one of the key attributes of vision. It feeds information, mostly unconsciously, to the brain about the environment so the brain has better predictive capacity,
and plays a major role in balance. 

Start by standing still and opening your vision/awareness to take in as many things as possible at one time using your peripheral vision. Once you feel comfortable standing still using your peripheral vision, progress to walking and maintaining this wide open awareness. See if you can maintain this for 5 minutes, and if not, progressively increase the time through practice. You can eventually lengthen out your peripheral walking for even longer periods of time. If you find standing peripheral vision disorienting, you may want to practice sitting down initially and then progress to standing and eventually walking.

This drill often has a calming effect on the nervous system. One way to evaluate the effect on the nervous system for yourself is to do an assessment/re-assessment before and after doing the drill. You can use range of motion (e.g., forward bend or full body twist) or a strength exercise (e.g., push-up) and rate perceived exertion or doing a balance challenge. If you get better the your nervous system had a positive response. If you got worse it may have been too much of a challenge for the nervous system and you need to find a way to decrease the intensity of the drill.
In this Newsletter:

Summer Workshops
Article: Basics of the nervous system
BONUS: Peripheral vision walking exercise

Call 510-832-5725 for your Body Tune-up

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others."

     Jonathan Swift

In this article I thought I would go over some elemental basics about how the nervous system works since the two main bodies of tools I use, Muscle Activation Techniques and Z-Health, both work with the nervous system to improve performance. In a very simplified view there are 3 basic things the nervous system does:

1. Takes in information from the body and the environment ("Input"); 2. Integrates, interprets, makes decisions, and creates an output solution plan based on the input;
3. Transmits the output solution to the muscles and organs that carry out the plan so we can impact the world based on the decisions made. 

You can see it is a loop system. What this means is that the quality of the output, the quality of what one is able to manifest in the world, is very dependent upon the quality of the inputs received and how those are interpreted.

What are the different ways we receive input? We can get it through our eyes, our inner ears, and other sense organs. It also comes through the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin and all our body sensors for temperature, pressure, vibration, etc. However, if this input is of poor quality or quantity it will interfere with the quality of the interpretation and decision-making. Garbage in = Garbage out. The capacity to make predictions by the brain of what is going to happen is diminished and in return the output and performance is also diminished. Alternatively, the brain can generate pain to keep the body from exerting too much.
Another glitch that can occur is at the integration/interpretation step of the loop. If an area of the brain has been under stimulated, that real estate in the brain starts to shrink. This process is part of neuroplasticity or adaptability of the brain. This is why it is so important to stimulate the various sensory inputs in a variety of ways to “feed” the brain with activation. The workshop I am doing on June 20th addresses this very need for our 'top of the hierarchy' of sensory inputs, Vision.
The last part of the loop is output. If the output is movement, which is how we mainly impact the world, the structures (muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones) have to have the capacity to perform what is being required of them. This is where Muscle Activation Techniques and physical training come into play to make sure the muscles have the ability to contract on demand and the tissues have the integrity to tolerate the forces. Part of the sensory input to the brain is the current status of these structures. If deficiencies are detected the brain will limit the output/performance or may even generate pain to limit output.

To summarize, input, interpretation and decision-making, and output are the most basic functions of our nervous system. Each of these components needs to be attended to in order to get the optimal performance from the body and are often a key to alleviating pain.
GRATITUDE: I am continually grateful to all of my clients that support my work. I am also grateful for your generosity in paying in accordance to a relative value for healing based on your means which allows me to offer my services to a wide range of people with a diverse array of socio-economic status. Thank you! 
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