In the hierarchy of movement basics, vision is top of the ranks. Some of it's main functions include gaze fixation, smooth pursuit of objects, light integration, focus, and many more.
But they play much more of an impact on the body than that. They have deep connections with the vestibular system, which is part of your auditory system of your body. It helps to track which direction you are going and which way is up.
The two work hand in hand to help avoid threats external to the body. They are constantly firing to ensure the safety of the body.
The two work hand in hand to create something called the Vestibule-ocular reflex. This helps to maintain your head in space while fixing on an object.
You might be thinking.... well this sounds a little too science-like, what does this have to do with my muscles and movement?
Well... it has everything to do with it.
Think about it for a second. If your body in space is trying to get a sense of which way is up, and where to focus, and then you add a complex movement on top of it, things could go awry. Your visual system is constantly looking for its relation externally. Your vestibular system is trying to map which way is up. Your muscles are trying to add a load to the body.
All three of these need to go hand in hand.
Eye placements and focus have muscular connections to Extensors of the body, as well as certain parts of the cerebellum that work on gait and posture. If these are misfiring, muscles may show up as weak or movements may be impaired.
If your vestibular system doesn't know which way is up, it can wreak havoc. Think about being on a rocky boat. your vestibular system is constantly firing to keep itself related to being upright. Not so fun when it starts to mismatch. Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, cognition issues, and a few more.
So how does this affect your lift, run, or favorite athletic sport? Tremendously. If you think small picture like we just did to larger picture, those eyes not relating or function well can impact the vestibular system as well. On top of that, if the eyes aren't functioning at peak performance, posture could be affected, muscles could be undermapped and not firing as efficiently, and balance and agility could be altered.
How to train this?
There are a few ways.
a) make sure you are medically cleared. If you had a recent concussion or traumatic brain injury, please please please connect with your doctor to have clearance.
b) search on youtube for Z- Health Performance Eye Drills. This company has helped me grow (Along with Applied Movement Neurology) on ways to make drastic impacts on the body and brain to help you moving at peak performance and function.
c) contact me for a session. We can start to see ways to improve your muscular function, range of motion, etc. all by looking at the eyes.
-Peak Body Integration
***Disclaimer- I do not claim to be a doctor or physician. I do not claim to diagnose, treat, or fix bodily functions. Please always check with your doctor ahead of time for clearance to perform neural drills as they can be quite impactful and taxing on the body.