Movement is the most fundamental form of expression. It can be powerful, aggressive and even brutal in the world of contact sports, or it can be delicate, graceful and even exquisite in the world of performing arts. There is an immense world of possibilities when it comes to movement and the human body. How the brain coordinates all of those possibilities as well as the expressive nature of that coordination is what really fascinates me. When you really start to tune in and listen, movement can be viewed as a window into something much deeper, a window into the central nervous system.
The nervous system is like a symphony orchestra and when it plays a tune the melody of movement begins. This is the analogy I want to present today. A symphony orchestra is comprised of many individual musicians, and for every moment in time each one can vary what note they play, their tempo as well as their volume. They could sequence these variables into any arrangement they want when playing their instrument. The beauty of the orchestra is that even though every individual has near endless options, they all choose the right way, at exactly the right time, so that as a whole they produce a beautiful composition.
The nervous system is no different. To continue with the analogy, view each muscle as you would the individual musician. Just like the musician, each muscle has near endless ways of coordinating a contraction. It can vary tempo (speed of contraction), volume (firing frequency) and notes they play (motor units). The beauty of the nervous system is that even though every muscle has near endless ways of coordinating a contraction, they all choose the right way, at exactly the right time, so that as a whole they produce beautiful movement.