Numbering over 200, joints provide our bodies with mobility. They allow us to change direction, express, grasp and release. The body’s mobility is reduced when there is excessive muscle tension in the joints. Conversely, insufficient muscle tension reduces stability. With a high percentage of jobs that demand our bodies to remain sedentary, It is key to exercise and utilize our joints in a nurturing way. In doing so we insure greater mobility and stability as we age.
The three main groupings of joints are fibrous, cartilagenous and synovial. Fibrous joints are held together by only a ligament. Examples are where the teeth are held to their bony sockets. Cartilagenous joints occur where the connection between the articulating bones is made up of cartilage – as between vertebrae in the spine. Synovial joints are by far the most common classification of joint within the human body. They are highly moveable and all have a synovial capsule (collagenous structure) surrounding the entire joint, a synovial membrane (the inner layer of the capsule) which secretes synovial fluid (a lubricating liquid) and cartilage known as hyaline cartilage which pads the ends of the articulating bones. There are 6 types of synovial joints which are classified by the shape of the joint and the movement available. They are: hinge, pivot, ball and socket, saddle, condyloid and gliding.
While high impact work-outs such as running and aerobics help release the tension built within static positions, they wreak unnecessary havoc on the joints. In Nia, we strive to create a balance within the body through steps and stances and a blend of nine movement forms including martial arts. The non-impact kicks, strikes, chops and blocks of tae kwon do during class release tension, while the methodical movements of t’ai chi gently explore the range of motion of the body’s joints. The non-impact approach of Nia makes is fun, adjustable and safe for all ages and abilities.
Since practicing Nia over the past three years, I’ve noticed my previous knee pain is non-existent and experienced improved agility, mobility and stability as well as reduced stiffness and body pain. This technique is a gift that can help our body’s condition improve over time rather than decline. To locate Atlanta area Nia classes, click on the following link: http://www.albright-creative.com/movement-nia.html To learn more about mobility and stability check out the video below: