Basic Neurology

Sensory Brainmaps

The formation in the brain of the sensory and motor brain maps (homunculi) is reliant on the frequency and type of stimulation that the related neocortex (new brain) receives from a particular body part. It changes and adapts during our entire lifetime (plasticity). The more stimulation, the clearer the picture, like a HD picture. The more varied the stimulation, the more detailed and larger the brain map. Further more a novelty experience will amplify general 'bran-chatting', thus will provide more neocortical participation and stimulation. With novelty experience we mean a sensory experience that is somewhat unexpected. For example stepping on a hard flat surface or a rigid orthotic lacks novelty, as it is essentially always the same. Neurologists often talk about proprioceptive noise, meaning sensory input or stimulation. A lot of (sensory) noise will keep the brain active.

If however our feet are becoming too (sensory) silent, the brain tends to go into a reflex pattern without significant neocortical involvement. In other words, it will start to ignore the feet and look for the bulk of its information elsewhere. On the other hand, walking on natural ground provides novelty, as it is subtly different every time. It is very (sensory) noisy. This requires a complex interaction of the neocortex with the cerebellum involving memory and emotional centers amongst other areas, to make accurate predictions and produce precise somatic responses.

A lot of (sensory) noise will keep the brain more active

Motor Brainmaps

The motor brain maps, whilst not exactly equivalent to the sensory brain maps are very much related to them. In simple terms as far as the soma is concerned, the more detailed the sensory maps the more detailed the motor maps therefore the more specific and varied the particular body movements. Example: a base guitarist who plays constantly with 2 fingers together (index & 3rd finger) may struggle eventually to use those two fingers separately. In the brain maps these two fingers will have become one.

In the case of the foot, detailed brain maps with triple arches are crucial for proper shock absorption, stability and balance. Especially balance can become an issue with age.

foot archesbrain maps

Novelty Experience

A foot exposed to constant flat hard surfaces, packaged into a shoe or placed on a reasonably hard orthotic lacks novelty experience (not to mention proper shock absorption >> neurological stress) and therefore could be termed a SILENT FOOT. The body aims to be efficient and will minimise its involvement by using more of a cerebellar reflex pattern for its organization. In addition a rigid orthotic will have debilitating long-term effects very much like wearing a back brace over a long period of time, as it doesn't challenge the natural support tissues. Here is the crux, for proper brain mapping tissues need to be functionally challenged not just statically positioned!

Here is the crux, for proper brain mapping tissues need to be functionally challenged not just statically positioned!

equilibras™ have a very novel and unique way of producing quality brain mapping by providing a detailed sensory experience with proper force dispersion and a repeated novelty experience similar to natural ground.

On first impression (visual and sensory) the sole is flat. However as soon as weight is applied different densities emerge of the underlying contour. This mimics natural ground such as grass. The contour is obviously designed to encourage the foot’s triple arch architecture and natural design. This experience is unique to our flat sole and cannot be copied by a soft visible contour.

equilibras™ have a very novel and unique way of producing quality brain mapping by providing a detailed sensory experience with proper force dispersion and a repeated novelty experience similar to natural ground.

Distortion Rates

On another, often-neglected point is, that proper foot pronation is not solely defined by the degree of pronation, but also by the rate and timing with which this happens. For instance when landing with a heel strike on a hard orthotic the foot will often skip over the lateral arch and translate faster into pronation due to subtle (unconscious) discomfort. This has to be considered a pathological movement if constantly repeated, as it will expose the foot, given enough time, to hyper-pronation.

Summary

equilibras™ provide a healthy foot with the required stimulation and support to maintain its structure and function. It also gives a dysfunctional foot (ie loss of arches) a sense of “normality” by stimulating the nervous system as if arches were present, without creating discomfort or forced positioning. In other words it gently coaches the foot with every step into a reasonably balanced and comfortable position.

This is made possible by the combination of the triple arch contour, rearfoot control, mid-foot locking, anti-fatigue matting paired with the flat-sole!!!