Compensation Strategies

A basic premise of ASM® is that any biological system has tremendous intelligence and the desire for health and greater organization. One of the notable differences between biological and non-biological systems is entropy. A pile of rocks is a non-biological system. If the rocks fall down a hillside, they do not try to climb back up the hill. The rocks remain in place after their kinetic energy is spent. Biological systems are different: if a tree falls over and remains alive, it will try to continue growing vertically – even if it means growing a 90 degree turn! The tree as a biological system adopts a compensation strategy to organize itself as closely as possible to the way it originally was supposed to grow. But the compensation strategy is not as strong as the original plan for the whole tree to grow straight toward the sky.

​​The human body is a complex self-organizing biological system. After any injury, the body will try to reorganize itself back to its original design. This is what healing is all about. But sometimes an injury, trauma or other disturbance to the system is beyond the body’s ability to find its way back to its blueprint. When this happens, the person may be left with nagging problems such as weakness, poor balance, decreased reaction time, or chronic pain. These kinds of complaints are often signs of underlying biomechanical injury.

When this happens, the brain-body system constructs compensation strategies to get the job done: a weak muscle will be compensated for by another less injured muscle taking over the work load. These compensations usually involve less efficient motor programs, which require more energy for the body to run. Scoliosis is an example of a long-term biomechanical compensation strategy.

Untreated compensation strategies can accumulate over decades, increasing the stresses on the body, until at some point something in the system collapses. This can explain the complaint: “but I was only bending over to pick up a piece of paper and my back went out!”

Even after many years of injury, the body can still have an astonishing ability to heal. Given the right information in the right order, the body can often find its way back to the original design. This is the goal of Axial Stability Method® treatment, to give the right information to the body to enable it to self-organize in a new way. When this happens, complex patterns of compensation that were developed over decades can melt away!