Archive for 2013

Anti fragile and your spine




I had the pleasure of hearing Nassim Nicholas Taleb speak at the hay festival over the weekend about his new book Anti fragile. He states there are 3 types of systems; fragile, robust and anti fragile.

He believes that the opposite of fragile is not robust but actually anti fragile, something that gets stronger when put under stress.

We can apply this principle to our spine in a straight forward manner.

Is your spine fragile? Does it break down and cause you symptoms when put under physical or emotional stress? Does your neck start to tighten up and give you headaches when you are put under some mental stress or do you develop some lower back pain after doing some DIY or gardening ?

Are you robust? You can handle physical and emotional stress but it does not make you stronger.

Are you anti fragile? When you experience a stressful situation physically and emotionally you come through it stronger.

If you are not exercising frequently and having your spine checked I would suggest you are likely to have a fragile spine and are the mercy of the next stressful event in your life whether it be physical, with a day in the garden or mental with the stresses that come with modern life

If you are robust you can handle the stresses of life but are never changing, although we must be mindful that our bodies are aging. You keep meeting the same challenges in life and in the short term are getting neither stronger nor weaker.

If you are exercising frequently having your spine checked and corrected when required you should be getting stronger from your life experiences. You feel stronger after a physical challenge such as a day in the garden or a week of stressful living. You likely have an anti fragile spine.

He does also state that after a stressful event a period of recovery is required to allow the body and mind to strengthen

Being proactive means taking care of your spine and health before you hit the mental or physical stressor.

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