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A free course to introduce the anatomy and physiology necessary to understand the Afferent Input Paradigm.

Section 1Overview
Lecture 1Overview of Afferent InputFree Preview

An Overview of Afferent Input

Unique, obvious, effective and virtually unknown.


Charles Sherrington

Charles Sherrington published “The Integrative Action of the Nervous System” in 1906. The reflexes he discovered have been included in every modern textbook of neurology but the clinical consequences of those reflexes have been virtually ignored in modern medical practice and research.

The Afferent Input paradigm analyses human function from a reflexogenic perspective, bringing new tools and a fresh set of eyes to the way we examine and think about our patients and their health.

This introduction is to remind health practitioners of the anatomy and physiology essential to the clinical application of Afferent Input.

We will cover

AFFERENT INPUT refers to the TOTALITY of nerve impulses travelling towards the brain and spinal cord. Produced in sensory nerve endings, afferent input is sent to the CNS where it is then transmitted over the eighty-six billion neurons that make up our central nervous system. Each neuron connects to an average of 7000 other neurons. Together, they convey nerve impulses along infinitely complex pathways and synaptic connections to control and coordinate movement.

The ability for us to move at all, let alone perform somersaults, catch a ball, go to the toilet or climb stairs depends on the seamless integration of input and output. That integration is known as a reflex. Reflexes are survival mechanisms that operate ahead of conscious control. They are initiated and controlled by Afferent Input.

Afferent Input is the engine of the nervous system, the battery supplying the raw ingredients for the function of the Central Nervous System (CNS) which uses that input to control muscles, organs and glands. Afferent Input creates all brain and central nervous system activity.

The Afferent Input Diagnosis and Treatment is a sensitive diagnostic system based on evidence, anatomy, physiology, natural wisdom and neurology. It explains why some healthcare works when it does, and why it fails.

Afferent input allows practitioners of all disciplines to explain and predict the inconsistent outcomes we all experience with patients as well as allowing innovative solutions to the most difficult problems.

We assess each patient against parameters known to be associated with increased health and longevity, we take the gambling and guesswork out of patient care.

Finally, we can solve the one-size-fits-all fallacy that plagues the randomised controlled trial, the nonsensical notion that the average result from a population can or should be applied to an individual or every individual.

We will see how the Afferent Input paradigm challenges the notion that the brain controls the body, how the brain is a processing centre that connects the mass of incoming signals in a way that creates the totality of output we recognise as function and how our every thought and action starts life as an incoming nerve signal.

We will discover that our nervous system is controlled from the outside-in.

Lecture 2Redefining HealthFree Preview

Redefining Health

Health is the term we use to describe the ability to withstand our non-stop battle to resist and overcome external forces.

After we get out of bed external forces are continually trying to do us harm. Illness and injury result from an inability to respond effectively to those forces.

Whether it is the ability to run 200 metres, swim against a current, lift and carry a load, jump off a 6-foot fence, cope with divorce, manage stress at work or digest a fatty meal – external forces are always testing our state of health.

An inability to respond appropriately to external forces is the cause of all known injury and illness.
Defending ourselves against external forces relies on our ability to detect them (sensory input) and our response to them (motor output). Our best chance at optimal health comes from having an optimised ability to withstand external forces.NOTHING is more important to your patient’s health and wellbeing than their ability to withstand external forces – and yet it is unusual for this to ever be directly tested.Measuring health has always been a problem in medicine but increasingly there is one measurement that accurately predicts both longevity and resistance to disease.
A major study published in the British Medical Journal in July 2008 measured muscle strength relative to muscle mass and found that weaker men tended to die earlier than stronger men, even after allowing for activity level and cardiovascular fitness.


The researchers measured the maximum strength of over 8000 men and followed them for an average of 19 years. They found the highest death rates from all causes, including heart disease and cancer in men with the lowest strength relative to their muscle mass.

The researchers in this study measured one-rep maximums in the bench press and squat and adjusted for muscle mass. One-rep maximum does not just measure strength, but also the ability to control and reverse an eccentric contraction. The effect was still present in those who did no exercise at all, meaning that exercise was NOT the major factor in determining strength.

Perhaps one day – doctors will spray their patient with flu virus to see whether or not they get sick and how quickly they recover. Perhaps the psychologist will yell at their patient for half an hour to see how they respond to stress and the chiropractor will measure how much you can lift without hurting your back. Somehow, I doubt it this will ever be mainstream. The custom of regarding those at the periphery of the “bell” curve as “abnormal” and everyone else as normal is deeply entrenched.

As health professionals, we take pride in collecting and recording objective measurements to record our patients’ progress – blood pressure, range of motion, hematocrit, FCV, TSH, cholesterol, bone density, size, shape, mass – everything, in fact, except the two things that really matter, HEALTH and PAIN.

We prefer objective measurements to monitor and validate our treatment efficacy, we therefore need a quick, convenient and reliable way to measure our patients` ability to resist external force.

This is the basis for using reliable manual muscle testing to measure inhibition and overall health. We are testing the ability of the patient to resist an external force by testing whether they can control and then reverse an unpredictable external force.
Later in this course, we will cover the theoretical mechanisms for how muscle tone might also influence chemical and emotional health.

Section 2Essential Anatomy
Lecture 3Muscle Spindle Cells
Lecture 4BONUS CONTENT - Testing muscles for strength
Lecture 5Anterior Motor Neurons
Section 3Laws of Physiology
Lecture 6The Myotatic Reflex
Lecture 7BONUS CONTENT - Assessing Muscle Tone
Lecture 8The Withdrawal Reflex
Lecture 9The Law of Reciprocal Inhibition
Lecture 10BONUS CONTENT - Stretch and Full Contraction
Lecture 11Muscle Control
Lecture 12[ADVANCED] Feed-back muscle control
Lecture 13References

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