Circles of Influence

Research across multiple fields highlights that there are multiple influences on how you move – your strategies for posture & movement – and how you feel – your symptoms and your experience of your body.

The ConnectTherapy Circles of Influence is a visual representation to illustrate this concept. The amount of linking and overlapping of the circles is dynamic and changes depending on how different influences affect you at different times and during different activities.

You (the patient) are at the centre, with your current experience of your body and your strategies for posture and movement – the dark blue “Strategies” circle. This refers to how you currently move – how efficient your movement strategies are, how you may be loading some areas of your body non-optimally, and perhaps how you may not be moving some areas enough. How you move, and how much you move, influences how you feel.

Then you see multiple different intersecting circles that can influence how you feel and how you move. There are the light blue “Systems” circles. You can see things like the Respiratory system, the Skeletal system (bones), the Cardiovascular system, and the Muscular system in these circles. Problems in any of these systems can affect how you move and how you feel, so they link into the central circles.

For example, a fractured rib (Skeletal system) will make you splint your ribcage with your muscles (Muscular system), making your thorax stiffer and less able to counter-rotate relative to your pelvis when you walk. Your strategy for walking will be less fluid and more rigid. You’ll also take less deep breaths due to the pain, which is less optimal for your Respiratory system. Your Nervous System (Neural) then learns a different way to breathe as a new habit. As you can see from this example, dysfunction in one system affects the function of other systems, and thus the light blue circles can overlap more to illustrate this.

The purple “Potential Barriers & Facilitators” includes potential influencers like stress, nutrition, the environment, emotions, and beliefs about your problem and your body. It is well established by science that all of these factors can either help you feel better and move better, or be a barrier for you to move optimally and feel well. Again, depending on the different events that happen in our lives, the amount of overlap this purple circle has on our experience of our body (the middle circle) and our ability to move well (strategies circle) changes over time and is dynamic.

Finally, the pink “Drivers” circle links all of the other circles. Drivers are areas in your body that are not functioning optimally to support your movement strategies, and are the “way in” to changing how your whole body moves and changing how you feel. These are the regions in your body that we do further assessment of in order to determine what treatment techniques to use and what exercises to prescribe.

Overall, the Circles of Influence illustrate the many different influences on how you feel and how you move. In order to design the most effective treatment program for you, we do a thorough, whole body assessment process to understand your goals and determine what the most important influences are for you, your body and your ability to do the things you love.

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