“All scientific ‘why?’ questions end with ‘I don’t know’ if you keep pushing far enough, because our scientific understanding of the universe is not complete”
This quote is by Professor Brian Cox from his book “Human Universe” that accompanied the BBC TV series he presented of the same name.
Cox is widely recognised as an expert in the field of physics and our understanding of the world around us.
This quote is particularly important to the area of sports and fitness because is reminds us that our scientific understanding of nature is not complete, yet for some coaches, scientific evidence has become the sole foundation on which they base their decisions and actions.
While having evidence to back up our choices can be important, this quote is a reminder that science is merely the study of what’s actually happening in nature, so using science as the ONLY basis for everything we do is a flawed approach.
We may be able to dissect human anatomy into ever smaller parts, and even figure out elements of what role this might play in the functioning of the whole being, but even neuroscientists still don’t know what information the brain is processing, how it passes it down from level to level and what impact this has on human behaviour (as suggested by neuroscientist Kevin Mitchell in the publication “The Biologist”).
Many of the fitness industry’s practices, that have become considered to be ‘standard’ over the years, are based on our limited understanding of these small parts, not the functioning of the human being as a whole, living, amazingly complex array of computations that a complete understanding of which, Cox believes, “may forever be beyond the natural sciences”.
So choosing a method of fitness, or indeed injury prevention, that is based only on releasing fascia, or the nervous system, or any other individual element of human anatomy is missing the point.
Firstly, we need to prioritise what’s happening in nature. Then we can layer on our scientific understanding, but most importantly of all, we need to put both of these things into the context of the individual human beings we are trying to help with their fitness goals.
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