Personal experience reduces the initially
unlimited number of possible combinations of nervous interconnections
to a few preferred and active patterns of moving and acting.
Once an adequate and socially acceptable level of motor functioning
is achieved, the process of exploratory learning and development patterns
grow so familiar through repeated use that they create a seemingly unalterable
body image (for example, a person's walk or manner of speaking
is as fixed as a signature). The body image, bound by motor habits and
perceptions, becomes the basis for an individual's sense of self. Infants
have a theoretically unlimited ability to change and reorganize the
way they perform familiar activities. Growing into adults, they progressively
restrict their repertoire of movements, using an ever-smaller part of
potential human functioning.
Inefficient movement habits overwork certain
muscles and joints while neglecting or ignoring the use of others, thus
leading to a limited range of movement and gross inefficiency. In the
long run these limitations in awareness and coordination can lead to
severe physical difficulties. Parts of articularions can fill with fibrous
tissues, especially berween vertebrae where there is little movement
in general. Ligaments shorten or become hyper-elastic; some muscle fibers
become too strong. Others in the same muscle group will atrophy. In the
long run deformation sets in.