The Story behind Bridging®
Her quest was to help women thrive through strength and balance. The journey took Bridging® Technique founder Cara Lindell to so much more!
Her power systems engineering expertise applied to human function revealed an entirely new perspective on movement, development, regulation and well-being. Most amazingly this physics-based perspective quickly resets the body to its natural movements and developmental patterns enabling a realm of changes—changes never before thought possible.
More details to the story…
Cara is the oldest of six siblings, and was 32 when her mother passed away from an autoimmune condition. Health and exercise has always been part of her thinking since she grew up as the smart, but sick and uncoordinated one of the bunch. Health became more important as she neared 40. The corporate lifestyle didn’t do much to support health; Cara increasingly followed emergent research about the relationship between exercise and health.
Cara got the professional reboot opportunity in 2001 (otherwise known as down-sized) and decided it was the time to try something on her own—something she was passionate about which was strength training for older women. Huge health benefits, but women at that time were afraid of working out with weights.
The New Journey Begins
Fully Fit Lifestyles launched in 2002 and Cara became certified as a personal trainer. She worked with older adults with a focus on function which began to include balance. Her personal interest was in the area of exercise to help osteoporosis. Research showed that fall prevention has the greatest benefit. Balance was key, so Cara began to focus on balance assessment and the use of exercise to improve balance.
In 2002, life threw her another curve; her six-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia. This would later play a key role in the development of the Bridging® Technique. For now it made her slow down, providing time to explore and learn without business growth goals.
The work related to balance training led Cara to consult with pediatric professionals to learn how children develop balance, which led to requests from these professionals to see children. The work with children was so successful a separate branch of the company was created to differentiate from the older adult exercise programs.
In 2006 Kinetic Konnections was born
Primarily exercised based, her work with children was yielding great results for focus and behavior in school, which was unanticipated but opened up new avenues of research. As time went by Cara studied additional techniques and frameworks to better serve children challenged with coordination and motor skill delays. Most notable were Gary Gray’s 3D functional matrix work, and Greg Roskopf’s Muscle Activation Technique- JumpStart series.
The catalyst for a new solution came when the Muscle Activation Jumpstart work didn’t work on her son, nor any of the children seen in the office. Cara kept trying variations realizing that function was changing in consistent yet unexpected ways. Consistent positive cognitive changes were being reported from parents in addition to improvements in movement. Something really different was happening—from her engineering perspective, she found that when the body’s stability improved, the brain function seemed to improve also.
Who else was doing this work?
Cara looked high and low to find someone else working with stability to validate and build on her discoveries. She learned of Prof. Pawel Kowar from Prague who taught Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) and attended his workshop. DNS wasn’t the same–much more complicated, more repetitive and more restricted in application than what Cara was doing. However, the other part of the course was demonstrating child reflexes and locomotion development stages. He also evaluated chronological versus developmental age milestones. Cara re-sequenced the movements she worked with to follow the child development progression and results sky-rocketed!
What do we call this?
By now it was clear this work needed a name. After close to two years of contemplation and research, the term Kinetic Bridging® was settled upon. From an engineering perspective, a bridge connects two separate parts to function as one—so fitting!
Adding Fetal Development
As soon as developmental movement was considered to be a key factor, it became clear that some of the movement relationships consistently observed must occur before birth. In 2014, Cara was exposed to the work of Dr Hans Prechtl and Dr Christa Einspeiler from Austria. They had pioneered the study of fetal movement and described a set of basic observable movement characteristics present at birth.
It’s the Physics!
Working with these fetal movements revealed a hierarchy of phases. Each movement phase coincided with developing a body’s structural complexity, allowing different physics relationships to function. It became clear that these prenatal foundational movements and associated regulation were necessary at all ages for a body to function properly. Even more amazing was that the Bridging technique supported and repaired these relationships–quickly, permanently and for any age!
Back to her Son
Over time the challenges mounted for Cara’s son following completion of 3½ years of chemotherapy.
His cognitive and behavioral concerns appeared to be similar to those of the children Cara saw in the office who had not had chemotherapy. She began working with him occasionally. In 2012 a major breakthrough occurred; the Bridging® technique was able to reset the relationship between his core and his head and legs. Immediately his behavior moderated, his academics went through the roof and he began transitioning from special education to mainstream. Five years later he cognitively caught up and is flourishing in school.
Personal Insights Too!
Along the way as Bridging® evolved, Cara had “AHA” moments of her own. Things that she assumed were just her own physical limitations disappeared.
Aches and Pains-Working with a sore shoulder cleared up chronic sinus issues of 20 years. Knees that creaked and ached began to function correctly. Feet, which constantly hurt in the morning, now felt fine.
Running-She discovered she could run! Over time and more work, she has been able to run further and breathe well. Her lung function and breathing mechanics had been trashed from pneumonia 5 times by age 5. In 2017, she finished a 13.1 mile race, a major moment.
Her vision, WOW! Cara was born with Strabismus and has no depth perception. This condition is commonly known as a turned-in eye. Over the years her visual stress and misalignment has moderated and realigned as a result of her own use of Bridging®!
Continuing to Learn and Refine
Each week brings new client experiences and learning opportunities. Coupled with emergent neuroscience research to provide insight to observations with clients, the application of Bridging® is constantly being refined.
These are the major milestones in the journey of developing the Bridging® technique, by our founder Cara Lindell. There is so much more to this story; the long version may be coming to your e-reader one day soon!