Personal Trainer | Dynamic Wellness
Nope. Although acute trauma, like a fall or collision, can damage tissues and cause pain, most pain is actually from trigger points in muscles. This has been proven by studies at pain clinics, research at the NIH and in our own clinical experience. Trigger points are small areas of stagnation in muscle tissue that develop in response to chronic or acute stresses on muscles. Trigger points aren’t injuries, and they commonly send pain to other areas (pain referral) in a way that can very much feel like an injury. This fools everyone - doctors, PTs, most practitioners.
Nope. You can’t “strengthen” yourself out of pain. That’s why traditional physical therapy often fails or even makes pain worse.
There is a common misunderstanding of how and why a muscle becomes “weak”. Weakness is often the result of trigger points in muscle fibers. These fibers cannot contract on demand of the nervous system -- they are in a stuck contraction known as a contracture. Putting compromised muscles with trigger points under load, stretch or shortening often leads to a larger pain response from the nervous system, and more trigger point fiber development, exacerbating the problem.
In Coaching The Body® methods, the trigger point fibers are first reduced, and pain-free movement restored, before any strengthening work. Restoring the ability of muscle fibers to contract on demand brings them back “online” to the nervous system. The muscle regains strength immediately and then can be further conditioned with incremental strengthening exercises.
Nope. Although stretching can feel great after being immobile in front of computer or driving for too long, it can also light up pain issues. And for chronic, recurring pain, stretching is borderline useless, unless you understand where the pain is coming from in the first place (and it's usually not where you might think).
The issue comes down again to most medical and fitness professionals not understanding muscle trigger point physiology. When trigger point fibers are stretched without first being treated, the nociceptors in the muscle will send danger signals to the nervous system which will then engage the muscle and shut down the stretch to protect the body from perceived danger.
In Coaching The Body®, we use knowledge of pain referral and functional relationships to understand the true sources of pain. We then use muscle energy techniques and neurological distraction to resolve trigger points in muscles to gain strength, length and pain-free range of motion.
The result is fast, dramatic change--sometimes within minutes.
You’ve studied anatomy, know what muscles are being worked in any particular exercise, but if a client develops a pain issue, you can only suggest they foam roll the area and maybe stretch the muscle and hope that will make a difference, and it just doesn’t? Or it comes right back?
You’ve taken courses on anatomy, biomechanics and corrective exercise, and have accumulated a lot of exercise variations, but still can’t help clients with pain and don’t understand the true pain sources for specific movement impairments?
Your clients or students come back every session with the same problem, or keep “re-injuring” the same area?
You’re tired of wasting time and money on courses from “experts” that sound great, but offer no specific solutions to specific problems?
As a yoga teacher, you have students that struggle with pain or limitation in particular poses, but can only suggest modifications that take them off their barriers, and they struggle with poses for months or never improve?
You feel like you’re just imitating other instructors or trainers? Or like you are just throwing ideas and exercises at a wall to see if they stick? Or like you are on a hamster wheel, round and round, without going anywhere?
You lose clients when you have to refer them to other practitioners, and they don’t come back to work with you?
You have elite training clients that hit a plateau, and can’t seem to make further performance gains?
As a martial artist and serious yoga practitioner, I've always been fascinated by the power of movement--and I've had my share of pain and setbacks.
Most of us don’t understand pain (and neither did I), but we all experience it. The Western medical system sees pain as a sign of something broken that needs fixing, some manifestation of injury or disease—an inevitable consequence of damaged tissues. This pathology model of pain is both thoroughly inculcated into popular thinking and unfortunately wrong in a high percentage of cases.
Oddly enough, pain is a mystery to the medical profession. Our medical system is still in the middle ages in terms of understanding pain, which is why we have over 100,000 people a year dying of opiate overdose in the US. Many of those sad outcomes began with seemingly innocent prescription painkillers.
When I started out as a Thai bodyworker over 20 years ago, I quickly became frustrated at my inability to reliably help the many clients who came to me with pain. I was shocked at how many well regarded practitioners had failed them as well prior to seeing me.
Setting out on my journey with trigger point therapy in 2002 gave me hope that I could develop a repeatable system for treating pain. I discovered the reasons why this brilliantly conceived system had a spotty track record and had never gained mainstream acceptance. I spent years analyzing the functional anatomy behind common Thai and yoga poses, training and movement exercises and began recasting them in terms of updated trigger point principles.
I taught the first course in my new system, Coaching The Body®, in 2005 and I've spent the intervening years refining it--until we now can reliably address the vast majority of pain complaints with speed, permanence and efficiency. CTB combines trigger point knowledge, modern neuroscience and neuroplasticity research with a range of manual therapy and self care techniques. It works.
What Would Your Life Look Like if...
You understood the muscular sources of shoulder pain and could confidently guide your clients to health and movement freedom in a few sessions?
Every session with clients enhanced your reputation and referrals?
You understood the muscular sources of most lower body and hip/sciatic pain, and could confidently coach your clients to move again with ease and fluidity?
You could create unique exercise and yoga sequences based on Coaching The Body® principles that were immediately impactful for specific issues?
You never again would have to fall back on modifying or avoiding certain movements because that's all you had to offer?