Introduction of human organism

The most basic unit of the human organism is a cell. Cells are made up of clusters of atoms and elementary substances such as; proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals. A bundle of cells come together to form tissues and the next level created from these tissues are known as organs. When the organs work together we call these systems. The brain and the spinal cord are the regulatory authorities in humans and control the systems for proper functioning.

Cells have different lifespans depending upon which type of cell it is. There are red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, skin cells, intestinal cells, tongue, bone and nerve cells. When homeostasis exists (healthy cells) we experience comfort and are free from disease. By lengthening the lifespan to its maximum potential we can experience harmony in the working order of all our systems. This will help us function to our maximum potential.

Nervous System

Two Structural Divisions:

–          Central Nervous System

o   Brain and Spinal Cord

–          Peripheral Nervous System

o   Essentially everything else i.e. nerves, ganglia etc.

Two Functional Divisions of Nervous System

–          Somatic

o   What we have control over i.e. voluntary muscles

–          Autonomic

o   What we have less control over (mostly involuntary responses)

o   Sympathetic and Parasympathetic

  • Sympathetic = Fight or flight response i.e. how the body copes with stress physiologically. Main characteristics are pupil dilation, vasoconstriction, heart rate/blood pressure/breath rate increase, muscles tighten
  • Parasympathetic = Rest or digest response i.e. relaxation. Main characteristics include digestion of food, blood pressure/heart rate/breath rate decrease, vasodilation, muscles release

 

The endocrine system

(Controls hormone secretions which regulate body responses and/or changes in homeostasis)

Growth, mood, reproduction, sleep patterns and circadian rhythm are all controlled by the endocrine system. A major section of the brain, known as the “hypothalamus”, gives instruction to the rest of the endocrine system for effects on the above long term processes. The hypothalamus can send specific hormones to either relax or excite our nervous system. Glands are tissues that secrete chemical substances (hormones) to elicit a response. When we respond to emotional or sensory input our endocrine system can change the homeostatic nature of the body causing a sympathetic or parasympathetic reaction. This changes our heart rate, breath rate, and rate of circulation (blood, lymph) and the levels of cells that go to different areas of the body.

Musculoskeletal System

Types of muscles:

–          Skeletal

o   Major component of muscle tissues, connected to bones (voluntary)

–          Smooth

o   Lines internal organs (involuntary)

–          Cardiac

o   Involuntary and involved in conduction of nerve impulses, ONLY found in the heart

 

Planes

–          Frontal

o   If you cut the body in half, the front of the body would be anterior, the back of the body is posterior

o   Examples of asana in a frontal plane

  • Trikonasana – i.e. triangle pose
  • Veerbhadrasana ll – Warrior 2

–          Sagittal

o   If you cut the body in half at the center line it divides the body into right and left halves, the areas closest to the midline (spine) are medial while the furthest away are lateral

o   Examples of asana in a sagittal plane

  • Veerbhadrasana l – Warrior 1
  • Veerbhadrasana lll – Warrior 3

–          Horizontal

o   If you cut the body in half at the waist, the upper half of the body is superior and the bottom half is inferior

Directions or Major Movements

–          Flexion and Extension

o   Examples

  • Flexion: Bending the hand to the shoulder = elbow flexion
  • Extension = Straightening the leg from a bent knee = knee flexion

–          Abduction and Adduction

o   Examples

  • Abduction: Bring arms out to the side (like in Warrior 2) from resting = abduction of the arms
  • Adduction: Bringing arms back beside the body from warrior 2 = abduction of arms

–          Circumduction

o   Examples

  • Circling the arm = shoulder circumduction

–          Rotation

o   Examples

  • Internal: Turning the leg inward (so the heels are out and toes point in) = internal hip rotation
  • External: Turning the leg outward (so the toes point out, heels are in) = external hip rotation

–          Plantar Flexion and Dorsiflexion

o   Examples

  • Plantar Flexion: Pointing the sole of the foot
  • Dorsiflexion: Flexing the foot (from pointed toe to flexing towards the shin)

–          Supination and Pronation

o   Examples

  • Supination: arms at shoulder level, with palms facing up
  • Pronation: arms at shoulder level, palms facing down

Major Muscles of the Body

–          Shoulder Girdle

o   Trapezius

  • Actions: scapular elevation and retraction, upward rotation of scapula
  • Examples of Movement: Reaching for an item on a shelf that’s high up

o   Levator Scapulae

  • Actions: scapula elevation, lateral flexion and extension of cervical spine (independent of each side)
  • Examples of Movement: shrugging the shoulders

o   Rhomboids

  • Actions: scapula retraction (pressing shoulder blades together on back), rotation of scapula downwards
  • Examples of Movement: Pulling on a door handle

o   Pectoralis Minor

  • Actions: scapular retraction, rotation of scapula downwards
  • Examples of Movement: Pushing a door open

o   Serratus Anterior

  • Actions: Scapular retraction, rotation of scapula upwards
  • Examples of Movement: Reaching up to a high window

o   Sternocleidomastoid

  • Actions: Single side contraction = lateral bend of the neck to that side, contraction of both simultaneously = flexing of the neck
  • Examples of Movement: looking down at the feet, looking over the shoulder, holding a phone between your ear and shoulder

o   Deltoid

  • Anterior deltoid = Actions: Shoulder flexion and internal rotation
  • Posterior deltoid = Actions: Shoulder extension and external rotation
  • All fibers = shoulder abduction
  • Examples of Movement: Lifting the arms

o   Supraspinatus

  • Actions: abduction and stability of the humerus
  • Examples of Movement: holding bags out to the side of the body

o   Infraspinatus

  • Actions: Shoulder abduction and external rotation
  • Examples of Movement: Changing a light bulb

o   Teres Minor

  • Actions: External rotation and shoulder adduction
  • Examples of Movement: Changing a light bulb

o   Subscapularis

  • Actions: Internal rotation and adduction
  • Examples of Movement: Putting arms into reverse prayer (on back)

o   Latissimus Dorsi

  • Actions: Extension, internal rotation and adduction
  • Examples of Movement: Pushing on the arms of a chair to stand up

o   Pectoralis Major

  • Actions: Shoulder flexion, internal rotation, adduction
  • Examples of Movement: Placing objects on a shelf

o   Biceps Brachii

  • Actions: Elbow flexion, forearm supination
  • Examples of Movement: Picking up bags of groceries

o   Triceps Brachii

  • Actions: Extension of the elbow
  • Examples of Movement: Pushing a door closed

o   Supinator

  • Actions: Supination
  • Examples of Movement: Closing the gas-cap for a car

o   Pronator Teres

  • Actions: Pronation, elbow flexion
  • Examples of Movement: Closing the gas-cap for a  car

o   Flexor Carpi Radialis

  • Actions: Flexion of the wrist, radial deviation of wrist
  • Examples of Movement: Pulling rope towards you

o   Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

  • Actions: Flexion of the wrist, ulnar deviation (adduction of the wrist)
  • Examples of Movement: Pulling rope towards you

o   Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis

  • Actions: Extension of the wrist, radial deviation
  • Examples of Movement: Typing

o   Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

  • Actions: Extension of the wrist, ulnar deviation
  • Examples of Movement: Getting a motorbike to accelerate

o   Flexor Digitorum Superficialis

  • Actions: Flexion of the wrist and fingers
  • Examples of Movement: making a fist

o   Flexor Pollicis Longus

  • Actions: Extension of the wrist and thumb
  • Examples of Movement: Releasing your grip on an object

o   Extensor Pollicis Longus

  • Actions: Flexion of the thumb and wrist
  • Examples of Movement: Tightly gripping an object

o   Rectus Abdominus

  • Actions: Flexes lumbar spine
  • Examples of Movement: Moving from lying down to sitting

o   External Obliques

  • Actions: Contraction of one side laterally bends trunk in that direction, (can also rotate trunk to other side) compresses the abdomen and supports abdominal viscera
  • Examples of Movement: Starting a gas lawn mower with a pull-cord

o   Internal Obliques

  • Actions: Contraction of one side laterally bends trunk in that direction, (can also rotate trunk to other side) compresses the abdomen and supports abdominal viscera
  • Examples of Movement: Starting a gas lawn mower with a pull-cord

o   Transverse Abdominus

  • Actions: Compresses the abdomen and supports abdominal viscera
  • Examples of Movement: Maintaining a good standing posture

o   Quadratus Lumborum

  • Actions: Laterally flexes trunk
  • Examples of Movement: Bending sideways to reach for something (side stretching)

o   Erectus Spinae

  • Actions: Extension/lateral flexion/maintains correct curvature of spine
  • Examples of Movement: Maintaining a good standing posture

o   Splenius

  • Actions: Extension of head/neck, contraction of one side can laterally flex/rotate the neck to the same side
  • Examples of Movement: Looking up to the sky, Shoulder-checking while driving

o   Multifidus

  • Actions: Extension, lateral flexion and rotation of the spine
  • Examples of Movement: Maintaining good posture

o   Ilipsoas

  • Actions: Flexion of the hip, Lateral rotation of the hip, can flex torso if legs are stable
  • Examples of Movement: Walking up steps

o   Sartorius

  • Actions: Flexion of the hip/knee, abducts hip, external rotation of hip as it flexes
  • Examples of Movement: Sitting in sukahsana (easy pose)

o   Rectus Femoris

  • Actions: Flexion of the hip, extension of the knee
  • Examples of Movement: Kicking a ball

o   Tensor Fasciae Latae

  • Actions: Flexion of the hip, hip abduction
  • Examples of Movement: Walking with one foot in front of the other

o   Gluteus Medius

  • Actions: Hip abduction, posterior fibers externally rotate hip while anterior fibers provide internal rotation
  • Examples of Movement: Drawing large circles in the sand with your foot (using hip rotation)

o   Gluteus Minimus

  • Actions: Hip abduction, internal rotation of hip
  • Examples of Movement: Getting out of a car

o   Gluteus Maximus

  • Actions: Hip extension, external rotation of hip
  • Examples of Movement: When the leg extends to climb up a hill on a hike

o   Piriformis

  • Actions: External rotation of the hip and hip abduction
  • Examples of Movement: Stepping the 1st leg out of a car

o   Biceps Femoris

  • Actions: Hip extension, knee flexion, lateral rotation of the hip when knee is flexed
  • Examples of Movement: Bending the knee to step over something

o   Semitendinosus

  • Actions: Hip extension, knee flexion, internal rotation of hip when knee is flexed
  • Examples of Movement: Bending the knee to step over something

o   Semimembranosus

  • Actions: Hip extension, knee flexion, internal rotation of the hip when knee’s flexed
  • Examples of Movement: Bending the knee to step over something

o   Adductor Brevis

  • Actions: Hip adductor/flexion
  • Examples of Movement: Bringing your 2nd leg out of the car

o   Adductor Longus

  • Actions: Hip adduction, hip flexion
  • Examples of Movement: Bringing your 2nd leg out of the car

o   Adductor Magnus

  • Actions: Adductor head = adducts/flexes hip, hamstring head = extends hip
  • Examples of Movement: Bringing your 2nd leg out of the car

o   Vastus Lateralis

  • Actions: Knee extension
  • Examples of Movement: Kicking a ball

o   Vastus Intermedius

  • Actions: Knee extension
  • Examples of Movement: Kicking a ball

o   Vastus Medialis

  • Actions: Knee extension
  • Examples of Movement: Kicking a ball

o   Gastrocnemius

  • Actions: Plantar flexion
  • Examples of Movement: Standing on the balls of the foot (toes)

o   Soleus

  • Actions: Plantar flexion
  • Examples of Movement: Standing upright

o   Flexor Digitorum Longus

  • Actions: Plantarflexion, inversion, flexion of toes
  • Examples of Movement: Grabbing something using the toes

o   Flexor Hallucis Longus

  • Actions: Flexion of big toe, plantar flexion, inversion
  • Examples of Movement: Push-off phase in walking

o   Peroneus Longus

  • Actions: Eversion, plantar flexion
  • Examples of Movement: Walking on a rocky (unstable) surface

o   Peroneus Brevis

  • Actions: Eversion, plantar flexion
  • Examples of Movement: Walking on a rocky (unstable) surface

o   Tibialis Anterior

  • Actions: Inversion, dorsiflexion
  • Examples of Movement: Flex of foot after picking it up while walking

o   Extensor Digitorum Longus

  • Actions: Extends toes, dorsiflexion, eversion
  • Examples of Movement: Walking over something and making sure toes/foot clears the object

o   Extensor Hallucis Longus

  • Actions: Extension of big toe, dorsiflexion, inversion
  • Examples of Movement: Walking over something and making sure big toe/foot clears the object

The respiratory system

is made up of the nose, sinus, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi (right and left lung), bronchial tree, alveoli and diaphragm. Some medical norms that we should be aware of are: breath rate at 12 bpm (breaths per minute), tidal volume (02 inhaled=500ml and 02 exhaled=500ml), residual volume (2500ml kept inside the lungs as a reserve), total volume (6000ml as the max capacity of air we can hold). Cellular respiration is the air that moves through the tissues and the metabolism of gas exchange. There are 2 types known as, aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic is when 02 is present to breakdown glucose for use as energy. This type of respiration makes 38 ATP (energy) and is needed at rest. The other type, anaerobic, is when glucose is broken down without 02. This produces lactic acid and 2 ATP (energy). This respiration is used when we exert extra energy, as in exercise.

Holistic Health

Some people believe that health is merely the absence of disease, but taking a holistic approach addresses the “whole person” to maintain or improve well-being. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health is considered rather than focusing on a specific ailment. This philosophy seeks to achieve balance while focusing primarily on lifestyle and what the person is able to control.

So what does it mean to be healthy?

Physical

–          Physical health can be achieved by engaging in activities that respect your body and improve your well-being. Getting a reasonable amount of exercise and eating a proper balanced diet are ways to achieve this form of health.

Mental

–          Mental health involves maintaining a positive frame of mind. Although it can be difficult to achieve happiness all of the time, avoiding situations that can be stressful, disturbing or exhausting can help maintain a sense of well-being. This includes balancing work and life situations while leaving enough time for leisure.

Emotional

–          Being engaged in healthy and supportive relationships is key for emotional health. Maintaining supportive relationships satisfies the human need to be social and feel loved. Positive social connections allow for a person to thrive, rather than simply survive in isolation. Learning to express emotions in a positive way though social interactions and relationships can also provide emotional support.

 

Spiritual

–          Your spirit is the deepest part of you; the side that is reflective of who you are, and how you are connected to the world around you. Spiritual wellness can help you gain a sense of strength and hope while providing a sense of purpose in life. Many behaviors can help you gain spiritual health such as practicing yoga, meditation, volunteering, contributing to your community and practicing compassion towards one’s self.

Intellectual

–          Intellectual health can be achieved by involving yourself in activities that satiate a human’s need for knowledge and learning. The need to evolve, grow and adapt is a natural progression towards self-actualization. Critical thinking, problem solving and creativity in your life can make you feel productive and fulfilled. Ways to achieve intellectual health could include reading a book, taking an art class or participating in a yoga workshop.

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