IT’S A HAND-FULL OF SCIENCE
Interdisciplinary know-how from many different scientific and research areas was necessary to turn the development of the LAUFMAUS® from the idea to reality.
(Graduate sports scientist and member of the LAUFMAUS®-development team)
Die (r)evolution on two feet
What the waddle-like silhouette of some runners has to do with our ancestors, the apes…
Our ancestors, the apes, are quadrupeds. With their long forearms and fingers, they are skilled crawlers and climbers. Because of their narrow pelvis, feet in a flat V-shape and the lack of ability to stretch their legs, monkeys can only perform a kind of “waddling gait”. This makes them neither particularly fast nor particularly agile on the ground.
The human being, on the other hand, developed a completely different physique and centre of gravity in the course of evolution towards an upright gait: completely extensible legs, significantly longer lower legs, shorter arms, a wide pelvis and feet with transverse and longitudinal arches. This made long and fast walking easier.
Despite these differences between apes and human beings, two similarities are particularly striking: Both species use their front extremities to control the body in a directional way. The direction in which the hands and head move is the direction in which the body moves. Head rotation and the position of the front upper extremities are enormously important for the directional stability of all movement patterns.
However, human beings have an essential advantage due to the anatomy of their hands, which only evolved through walking upright. Their hands are free and versatile. They are a true multi-tool and are not only used for grasping, holding, catching and defending, but they are also a determining factor for the position of the shoulder-arm-complex and for a functioning body tension.
Humans’ hands initiate direction control when walking and stabilize the gait.
Movement is the best medicine
Why you hold the function and health of your cardiovascular system in your own hands …
Modern medicine is convinced that movement like running and weekly training keeps the body fit and well into old age. A strong cardiovascular system is proven to be the best guarantee for a long life. Strong muscles and well-trained joints ensure an optimal posture.
However, the desired positive effects can only occur if the running is done in an optimal way. That means, the body’s centre of gravity must be optimal. This is the only way to avoid overloading and excessive stress on the joints. From a medical point of view, the human body has several “adjusting screws” for this purpose. On the one hand – like an earthquake-proof skyscraper with a large pendulum built in – it stabilises itself comparably via the internal organs as a vibration damper, on the other hand via the skeleton, muscles, fascet joint, tendons and ligaments.
For maximum running stability, physiologically many things in the lower and upper body area have to physically work perfectly together: The perfect interplay between the upper and lower body is a prerequisite for good gait and running stability: innate stabilizers include the popliteus muscle on the back of the knee, the arch of the foot, the sacrum and coccyx, the cervical spine, the neck muscles and, last but not least, the diaphragm, which is responsible for the depth of breathing and the stability of the rib cage.
The complexity of the control elements illustrates how special and unique the body statics of the human being has become by walking upright. Construction-related weaknesses in the human body are relics of this upright posture, so-called anatomical constrictions. This refers to areas in the body where the weight of joints and organs follows the law of gravity and weighs on other areas, constricting them or, in the worst case, is pinching them.
The constrictions in the body are due to connective tissue, they are flexible and positionally caused by internal organs because of the upright walking. Their negative influences on the health and performance of people can be easily corrected. Relaxation of the constrictions through an optimized posture can work wonders.
With the LAUFMAUS® in your hands, these effects are created almost unconsciously. The body stretches and anatomical constrictions open up. With the hands turned outwards and the arms running parallel to the body, not only does the thorax gain more freedom of movement and enables deeper breathing, but the organs in the abdominal cavity also have considerably more room to function better during sporting activity. In addition, the cervical spine straightens up and the carotid arteries and all the vessels of the spine up to the spinal cord are relieved.
The brain is always running too
How the brain plays a decisive role when it comes to the correct posture while running …
It is not without reason that the brain is the most important human organ. Only the brain has the special ability of neuroplasticity. It is in a constant interior remodelling that is never completed.
From this point of view, the sensorimotor influence via the hands to the brain becomes even more important. Finger position, hand position, sensor technology and motor skills of the hands are represented spatially and disproportionately strongly in the proportion of the entire brain substance. Smallest stimuli to the hands have a big impact on the whole body. Countless messages are processed in the brain, which come from the perception sensors on the palms of the hands.
The LAUFMAUS® triggers exactly those zones of the hand that have connections to the unconscious nervous system. The signals are carried through the arms to the brain.
Emotions and images, which ensure our inner well-being, are also responsible for the fact that there are concrete physiological reactions such as a change in posture or increased body tension. The brain processes these messages from the hand-arm-shoulder complex and reacts permanently and flexibly according to these messages. There are several ways it does this: nerves, blood vessels, lymph channels and chemical messengers. All excitation lines run via redundant biological detection systems that regulate themselves.
Free and elastic mobility, manoeuvrability, well-being and an improvement in general motor skills ultimately result from the hand contact that creates brain contact.
Runners need strong nerves
Why for athletes not just sometimes but always, running gets on their nerves …
Neurologists have long known the significant influence of the palms of the hands on the human nervous system. It is the receptiveness of the skin and the connective tissue that have a maximum effect on the body. These specific reflex zones are also called maximum points or “points of entry”.
The LAUFMAUS® uses the median spinal nerve called “Nervus medianus”, which runs through the palm of the hand, thumb and forefinger, to send a message to a specific area of the brain that is responsible for not consciously controlled movements in the area of the shoulder, arm and neck.
Starting from the hand, the so-called insula cortex gets activated via the vegetative nervous system and via the transmission in the spinal cord. The insula cortex is one of the five cerebral lobes that is integrated into the vegetative nervous system. As a link and control system between the different brain areas, the crucial modules for runners are generated in the insula cortex: performance and joy.
When and only when these two senses are in perfect harmony with each other the flow experience, which is so fascinating and so often cited and coveted by runners can be experienced.
Small dots – big impact
Why acupuncture needles and impulses in the palms of the hand are natural whole-body doping for athletes …
In acupuncture, the palms of the hands and the wrists have an immense effect on the internal organs of humans. In Chinese medicine, these points are used for the activation and influencing of life as well as organ energies.
Over 17,000 antennas are connected to and are in the hands. They are able to absorb all possible stimuli – no matter whether it is vibrations or movements or even the slightest change in temperature. The construction of the LAUFMAUS® is aimed precisely at this. If you carry them in your hand, contact is made along the lifeline to the extraordinary meridian acupuncture points that located in this area. This sensory effect of acupressure leads to an improvement in vitality and performance.