Approximately one year ago, we began “Original Strength for the Veteran” program at the Rome VA. It has been a great experience for both veterans and myself. It was very gratifying for me to see veterans come to an OS training session and leave not only feeling better, but moving better. Best of all, the veteran did it by his or her own power.
During our training sessions I have witnessed time and time again the power of simplicity using OS (Original Strength). In just a single session, we were able to pass on to the vetetan, the ability to reset their nervous system. The result: improved joint mobility, strength, and stability. In other words, the participants we’re moving and feeling better.
What is (OS) Original Strength?
Co-founded by Tim Anderson and Geoff Neupert, Original Strength is a method of intelligent mobility that retraces the 5 developmental stages hardwired in our nervous system from birth. Also known as resets, these movements include diaphragmatic breathing, head control, rocking, rolling, and contra-lateral patterning (gait patterns such as crawling, marching, and walking). These are not necessarily high impact or intense movements, but the effect elicits a positive response regarding mobility, stability, and strength.
As I have said in past articles, “OS is easy to learn, easy to teach, and is simple and extremely effective”.
Why should I care?
I am fifty years old. I live a very manual lifestyle. Like many of you, my life revolves around being physically resilient. If I lose my ability to move well, I know my life will radically change. Not for the better. Moving well is critical to my longevity and happiness. To varying degrees, I believe this applies to everyone.
One thing is for sure…The earth will still rotate on its axis, gravity is going to continue to keep pulling us down, and life is going to keep on moving with or without us. To be able to enjoy it, we must move well!
Nothing in life is free. The fact is movement in today’s society requires some maintenance everyday. Use it or really lose it!
We live in a world of “convenience for sale”. The irony is if you are not being constantly challenged, or you are comfortable too often, your body systemically begins to shut down.
This is why OS refers to its restorative movements as “resets”.
The Bottom line is we need to not only reset our nervous system, but we need to engage in patterns necessary for living life on this planet daily!
What’s new for the VA and OS in 2020.
Working with the VA and veterans has been a great opportunity to create a sort of “laboratory of movement”. It has allowed me to observe, learn, and collaborate with vets as they begin their journey to regain their Original Strength. It also has identified areas where vets may want to focus their attention on as they begin to move better. Skills critical for health, longevity, and personal independence such as the ability to prevent falls, properly lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, and getting up as well as getting down with strength. The goal is to accomplish this safely and in the most direct manner possible.
This year Original Strength for Veterans will be broken down into two different “training levels”. The reason for this is to provide the veteran ample time to learn and perform the resets before moving onto “loading” and to make tasks easier to perform.
OS for Veterans/Level One: OS Basic
This is for any age, any ability. We will cover the Original Strength “Big 5” neurological resets. The training sessions will be 90 minutes in duration. This is the foundation of all human movement. You will rediscovery lost strength through simple developmental movements.
OS for Veterans/Level two: Task and Patterns for the Veteran
No useless exercises here. Just essential movements for real life. No fluff or dogma. In order to qualify for level two, the veteran must log 7 sessions of level one.
Level two consists of patterns (push, pull, carry, hinge, etc…), tasks, and “loading”. Each session will be 90 minutes and will consist of two specific tasks. This is where you will apply your OS “air miles”. This is also where we begin to apply the three pillars of movement learned in OS Basic and apply them to real world tasks.
Sample of tasks.
Get-ups and Get-downs- Applying the drill to self-rescue (with/without a cane assist).
Carries (farmer/unilateral/other variants).
Multiple push/pull scenarios.
Proper “loading”, to increase work capacity.
All the above will be provided via drills. The goal is to have fun safely, regain your original strength, and walk away with life-preserving skills.
Once again…All ages and abilities!
Remember, we are all different, but the tasks that need to be performed are the same for everyone. We just have to approach them differently! This is where both instructor and student get to be creative.
So… what are you waiting for?