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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 movement. In 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, neuro - oriented history form to fill out prior to booking our first session, which I actually spend a lot of time reviewing (usually about 2 hours of work for me).
Initial sessions are1.5 - 2 hours. This allows time to ask follow up history questions, talk about some key concepts, perform various assessments, and see you how respond to different exercises.
The goal is to identify and teach exercises that improve your issues. Throughout the session, I am constantly 're-assessing.' We do some assessments, then we do an exercise, and then we re-do the assessments to look for changes in movement & pain. The nervous system responds really quickly to things, and the goal is to find exercises where we clearly see some immediate, positive changes.
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 then you need to 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 are trying to solve a specific problem, then we build a training program based on whatever creates the best results. We take videos at the end of the session so you can easily remember the exercises.
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. It's my job to fix pain issues first, and then help people fall in love with movement.