Many times, a patient will show indications of specific muscular weakness, TS line, postural sign, etc. However, on testing, the weakness is found on the opposite side of the body. This condition is termed switching.
This is possibly one of the most important topics we will cover here in this course. Most of the patients that you will see in your practice are switched. If a patient is not switched, then they are less likely to hurt themselves, others, or the environment intentionally. These things are not logical events and detrimental to life. Vithoulkas states, “As with all things, the human organism was originally designed to function harmoniously and compatible in the environment… Any imbalance inevitably leads to destruction, which diminishes both the human being and the universe in which he or she lives… Ideally, the human race should have enough consciousness and awareness to live within and contribute to the order of the universe, and therefore be freed to achieve the highest possibilities of evolution.”
Switching can occur when someone pushes themselves past their current limits. This can happen in athletics when someone is trying to decrease the time they run a distance. When pushing hard attempting to overcome their barrier, is when they will typically injure themselves. This phenomenon can also be seen when someone pushes themselves past their academic comfort zone. This is why it is so important as students to keep yourselves un-switched. Blaich, with the aid of a speed reading course, would have students read as fast as they could. Then un-switch them, have them read again, and they would be reading more quickly with higher retention.
Switching is not necessarily a bad thing. Creative states (composing, writing, poetry, painting, etc.) tend to be a specific form of switching pattern. The problem occurs when the patient is unable to pull themselves out of the switching habit.
Associated Reflexes for Treatment of Switching
Problems Associated with Switching
Ocular Lock (classic):
The eyes should be able to track together in any right to left, left to right, up or down, or an oblique direction. Failure to be able to perform this is another form of switching.
Testing is accomplished by either having the patient readout loud using the eyes in both the usual left to the right pattern and backward in the right to left pattern. While the patient is reading, a strong muscle is tested for weakening. An alternative test is to have the patient turn the head as far as possible to one side and rotate the eyes in the opposite direction and check for the weakening of a strong muscle. Occasionally, weakness will be demonstrated by looking in a particular direction. This may be screened for by having the patient follow the examiner’s finger first clockwise, then counterclockwise while testing for any irregularities in the smoothness of the circular pattern.
Ocular Lock* (Francis)
Cant wait to see you inside of this game we call practice!