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A Shoeless Geek

A Shoeless Geek

    I don’t like shoes.

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    I think they look silly and I think our society gives them too much power. Their main purpose is to provide protection for our soles when we are walking outside on rough terrain but why can’t it end there?

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    Why do business men and women feel the need to have to wear these silly things all day long? They’re not comfortable.

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    I spent most of my life as a child not wearing shoes and it’s continued that way into my adulthood. Sure sometimes I get strange looks in the gym but it’s actually been a pretty fun conversation starter. It also allows me the opportunity to teach people a thing or two about their own body.

    Why I don’t wear shoes when I workout.

    Shoes are designed with the best intentions, protecting our ankles and feet. Unfortunately they put a lot of limitations on our ankle mobility. When our bodies move we create force from the ground up. Our body movements rely on a delicate chain of actions from our ankles, to our knees, to our hips and so on and so forth. If you throw restrictions into the bottom link of that chain, that ground force energy then travels a different path then the rest of the body intended for. Of course you won’t notice this. It happens on a microscopic level. But over time that small energy leak in the system will eventually show itself. It could be in the form of sore knees, tight hips, back pain etc. The average gym goer will pass this off as being from old age, or just some regular wear and tear that we have to deal with when it comes to working out hard.

    Sure, I still have a lot of my clients train in shoes. Usually they’re more comfortable that way. A lot of them are also athletes and the wearing of shoes can’t be avoided. If they’re going to play the sport in their shoes then I’m definitely going to train them in their shoes. It all really comes down to what your goals are in the gym. Sports aside, for general health purposes and definitely for rehabilitation I suggest people start working out in their socks and ditch the Nike high tops.

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    Last Updated on June 20, 2019

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

    More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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    Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

    You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

    During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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    Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

    Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

    The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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    This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

    Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

    The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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    This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

    This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

    Conclusion

    While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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    Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

    Reference

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