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Pain Reduction

Performance Enhancement

Training Based on Neuroscience

The nervous system is the master control system of the body.

 

 For the most part, we only think about the nervous system when people have specific neurological conditions. But strength, stiffness, flexibility, pain, and performance - they all live in the brain. Your muscles can only do what the nervous system tells them to do. The brain uses multiple sensory systems to coordinate movement.

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Vision

Vision is a trainable skill that lives in the brain, not just in the eyes. It has a huge impact on how you move. Some issues with chronic pain can be traced to the visual system, and great sports performance requires a high degree of visual integration.

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Balance

The Vestibular System is a like motion sensor in your inner ear.  It talks to your eyes and spine to coordinate movement and stability. If it doesn't function well, we often encounter pain, dizziness, balance issues, or movement problems.

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 Mobility

Mobility is a skill. Many movement systems are too general to teach us how to mobilize all the areas that are locked up or poorly mapped. Precise mobility and motor control exercises are valuable tools.

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Strength

Weak muscles aren't always easy to activate. Precise cues and sensory feedback can help speed up the process. We can modify strength training to target different parts of the brain, which can create very different results.

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Breathing

You take more than 20,000 breaths per day, and oxygen is a main fuel supply for your brain. Breathing inefficiencies will affect multiple systems, and the way you breathe impacts every aspect of your life.

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Habits 

There is a science to habit change, and most of our behaviour is habitual. Understanding how to build and break habit loops is a huge part of getting where we want to go. The best training program is one that you'll actually do. 

Many training systems and therapeutic approaches pay occasional lip service to the role of the brain in movement. Yet most focus exclusively on biomechanics, neglecting the control system of all pain and movementIn both rehabilitation and athletic performance, a brain-based approach can be the missing link. 

We can create dramatic changes by identifying and training areas where the nervous system is under performing. When the nervous system doesn't trust the incoming information, it puts on the brakes.

"The goal of any rehabilitation intervention is to re-engage those neural systems rendered dysfunctional from injury and disuse."

- Jeffrey Kleim, PhD

Coaching / Training Process: What to Expect

The process starts with a taking good history. There is an online history form to fill out. It helps me plan for our first session, and I spend a lot of time reviewing it.

Initial sessions are 2 hours. This allows time to ask follow up history questions, talk about some key concepts, perform various assessments, teach exercises based on my assessments, and then see how your body responds to them.

The goal is to identify exercises that improve your issues. It won't feel like your typical training session, in the sense that you won't be doing a vigorous work out. That said, some of the exercises can be more mentally fatiguing that you might expect.

 

Throughout the session, I am constantly re-assessing your movement. After each exercise, I'll watch you walk, retest range of motion, ask about pain levels, etc. We are looking at how your body responds to the things we are trying, and building a daily training program based on the exercises you respond well to. We take videos at the end of the session so you can easily remember the exercises.

Brains are neuroplastic (they re-wire themselves all the time), and successful interventions require repetition to drive change in the brain. This basically means that in order to solve persistent issues, we need to find the right exercises, and do them consistently. If the consistency part is a challenge, there is a lot we can work on in terms of habit change strategies. Developing a strong skillset around habits / behavior change is really valuable. 

If we don't have specific problems to solve, I like to teach skills for new sports and activities that people are interested in. Having fun with training is the best way to build a lifelong habit.

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