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Bill the knee pain guru, and welcome to the pain education podcast, brought to you by The comella Foundation. Today we have a special guest, Brian Schwager. Correct me, is it was a close… You were right on, right on Schwager. Okay, and Brian, him and I got into a conversation the other day about structure and pain, and I was like, Brian, we gotta have you on the show, we gotta talk about your approach to addressing pain. So Brian, thank you very much for being here. It’s.
My pleasure and thanks for having me on.
Absolutely. So the title of the title of today’s show is called the structural approach for pain relief. Would you share your history, your background, what brought you to this point? Well.
Basically, I’ve always liked to exercise, I grew up around it, my dad and my uncle were serious weightlifters and strength people growing up, so we’re always in the basement, pump and I are, so I grew up around all that picking up weights at five years old, pretending I was my uncle or my dad, that layer on morphed into me getting self-educated, not listening to my parents or my uncle on how to wait, train with a bunch of buddies in my basement or their basement, and that grew into some pretty serious training… Do I gotta say that the two original inspirations besides my father, my uncle, were the manages brothers, some serious basement weight lifting guys, and then that later on, I got interested in martial arts thanks to watching a lot of Bruce Lee, and then that morphed into me joining a martial arts dojo, where my master and stricter was also very heavy and resistance training. So we had a portion of the dojo as a weight lifting area, so what years go by, I’m still working out in the basement with my friends, I’m going to the Dojo, and before I know it, I’m designing my own exercise programs.
Really at age 15, I started writing and designing exercise programs for me, at age 21, I started writing a few of them for the karate students, and by age 24, I was designing strength training programs for a professional kick boxer, and that those opportunities then turned into me thinking maybe I should take this on as a career, it… With that being said, that meant I don’t wanna go too far back into my background as far as education, but I will say I never finished high school. That way your listeners have an idea that when I looked at going to school, I had to start with a diploma, then I had to earn my right of passage into the university. So by time I got to the university, I was already in my late 20s, I was already training for professional athletes, working at a clinic, I had 70, 70 clients based on various locations, I was very motivated in a go-getter, and then school jumped into the equation exercise science was my undergrad, and from there, that morphed into me working at more facilities, growing my business, and then going into business for myself in 1994 with the mind-body connection, and I don’t know how much more you wanna go forward, but it started way back when I was about 15 writing my first exercise program.
Got it. And I know we’ve chatted offline and you have extensive extensive training in a lot of different areas, could you give an overview, you’ve mentioned Paul, check, other experts that you have studied with, trained under… Studied their programs. Could you kinda share a little bit of that as well?
Sure think when it would be about 1990, I got the chance to work next to some of the… Well, to work next to the physical therapist, I took care of the Olympic speed skaters, the athletic trainer at this strength coach, so that was a good amount of information and education by moving forward, 2003. I moved to Ashville, North Carolina, and I want her to go back to school to further my education, because the industry was changing as we were talking about… And in 2003, I got a great opportunity to work with a functional neurologist. I was looking at going to the check Institute, he was on board with that. So I enrolled in the check Institute, I also enrolled and studied under Gray Cook, Kylie and a number of others through the Functional Movement System, and from there, there were probably at least a half dozen other workshops and professionals that I would do my continuing education through thanks to the doctor that I worked for, he was really big on continuing ed, not that I wasn’t, but he was really big on it, sometimes it would be six, seven times a year that I would go to these courses, and some of those…
Because I worked for him as a corrective exercise specialist, most of those workshops were only open to physical therapists in those with those types of degrees or doctorates, but he got me in the door, and that was a blessing because being amongst those types of peers and learning my education was fast-tracked, not to say that the eight years with the functional neurologist, that was like mentoring to me, that wasn’t a job, that was like on-the job learning and expanding my knowledge before I went out on my own 2009.
Could you speak to what functional movement is for someone who’s not familiar with it at all? Yeah.
It’s a pretty broad term. I guess the way I look at it is we have to be able to function in life in a three-dimensional environment, so we have to be able to… Or as I was taught, there are seven basic primal movement patterns that we need to survive, and those are gonna be bending, twisting, squatting, pushing, pulling, and variances of gate. So what do we got? We got squatting, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and lunging, and then gate in life, when we function, the getting out of a car to move a box or just for everyday function, we need to have the functional capacity to move through life freely without restriction. So that’s the way I look at function, I look at the individual. I first look at every individual needs to seven basic, fundamental movement patterns, and then I go beyond that and get a little bit more in detail, depending on their long-term dream or their goals as an example, functional for my 71-year-old client. She just wants to be able to walk and enjoy life without restriction or pain, so I’m gonna restore her function for that functionality versus when I trained and helped a young man get prepared for Navy SEAL training, that was a different outcome for function.
So I had to go to the extreme to prepare his body for the ultimate amount of functional capacity that he would need for his work, for his work in that case. So function for those that are listening, if you look at what your dream is, or people call it your goal, whatever you want to accomplish, whether you wanna throw a baseball, work in the garden or just move through life, that function you need to have at its highest level of capacity, so that you can reduce your chances of injury, the more dysfunction you have in a movement, the more increase you have for injury.
Got it. And this is in my own work with clients in pain, there’s a disconnect, a lot of times you ask them what they want and they just wanna be out of pain, so their focus is very tunnel vision and just to be out of pain, where I hear you with the Functional Movement, you’re looking at the outcome they want on the other side of the pain, the bill, in this case, the SEAL training or the woman who’s able to work in the garden or whatever that situation is, how… ’cause this gets into… And it always fascinates me how pain changes the psychology of a person, how they think, how they feel, and it cuts this short in terms of the goals that they want or have in life, because everything they’ve been told or everything they tried to this point hasn’t worked, can you speak to picking that apart, ’cause it kinda seems like a big massive ball of where to begin, like how does a person begin… They come to you in pain, how are you picking that thing apart when they’re going… Well, I just wanna be out of pain. Right.
So yes, people will come in and one triage, they wanna get out of pain immediately, and that makes sense. And I try to get to their why… Like you were saying, what is the Why? So like you said, I had a client come to me once and she said, I just want… I have knee pain, I need to get a knee pain, and I said, Well, what is your reason or my doctor said that If I lose some weight, that’ll be easier on my knee, and I say, Okay, that’s good, but there’s something else missing here, and believe me the conversations a little bit more elaborate. But what she ended up saying was, I wanna be able to hike with my husband without them, and I said, There’s your why once we have their wine, why do you wanna get out of pain? That’s the anchor, because that’s the long-term dream, she wants to be able to hype with her husband, she comes into my office, she’s at 100% pain. So along that journey, there are gonna be times where she’s gonna have good days and bad days, and I always tell my clients and very transparent, they’re gonna be days, you’re gonna wanna do this, there’s gonna be days you don’t, there’s gonna be days you’re gonna be frustrated, etcetera.
But I said The difference is with the right coaching and helping you to anchor to your why, you won’t give up as long as the plan is laid out accordingly, and we are getting to the source of the problem. In my previous work, we patched up people on a regular basis, and there’s a time and place for that… Don’t get me wrong, if you gotta get back to work, you gotta get back to the field, we wanna get to their book as possible and as safe as possible, but I guarantee you until you get to the cause, there’s gonna be a repetitive problems over months, months and years, I got a little frustrated with that approach ’cause I would see clients or patients come back periodically, and that’s when I started to look in another direction about 1998, but going back to your question, people… I get it, I’ve been there, so I wanna get out of pain so that I can do X, Y and Z, but in order to maintain that course of dedication, ’cause we have the desire pains… Pain is a great doctor. It’s a great motivator. In fact, Paul check refers to it as the pain doctor is your guide, and I always tell people, Your pain is an opportunity because your body, your body is telling you that something is majorly wrong, now we wanna get to them before pain, but that…
We’ll talk about that in a bit. So the pain becomes the doctor, we find out what the Y is, we anchor them in the why, and then they start the journey. Believe me, I’ve been doing this a long time. It is a journey, and what I ended up creating was four principles so that I can understand and help them on that journey so that they can eventually learn how to fish, and I don’t just give them a fish and feed for a day.
Excellent, no, that’s great. And I think too many people are just into the triage, they’re into the drug to shot the surgery, the physical therapy, and then they get on the hamster wheel where they don’t get off of it, they’re stuck there, and as they get older, they get more frustrated, they feel more helpless and hopeless because the more effort they’re putting into it, they’re getting less results and from my perspective, it’s like, we need a strategy, we need to have a bigger picture, we need to have that guidance and support, so you aren’t… You’re avoiding the land mines in the pitfalls along the way, and I hear you are doing that exactly. You just spoke about four principles… Yeah, Toad.
Again, I gotta give a lot of thanks to Paul check, because he had a system and the system was… Its impeccable. So from that system I created, eventually when I created was to four principles to wellness in movement, what are the four basic things that we need for you to feel and move well, ’cause remember, the majority of the time when somebody comes in… It’s a little different now in 2021, but let’s say back in 2009, when I first opened my facility here in Nashville, people came in with a physical problem… Alright, I have a physical problem, and what I began to share with them is that the physical challenge that you have is a representation to other systems in the body that are out of balance, your whole body is out of balance. Your life is out of balance. So whether it’s inflammatory or a traumatic tissue-related injury, now, we’ll go off into some tangent here in a minute, there are three keys to how the body… How the body moves up you… Well, I’m not gonna… Let me rephrase that. There are three principles that help the body move well, and the three principles are, number one is your emotional health, so the emotions are the way we perceive life, and in the brain, it depends on how we process the information, with your brain being a processor and your body, muscles, joints, etcetera, being the software, depending how we’re using the hard drive will depend on how the software functions, so number one, it’s emotional health, that is in every case that I had between 1994 and 2003, I decided that it was the emotional capacity of that injury or what led up to the injury that is not really being addressed now, once that emotional system has been over-innervated, so high stress, when people think of stress, you have to understand, ladies and gentlemen, that there are various types of stress that we encounter, there’s physical stress there’s emotional stress, there’s biochemical stress, maybe you drank the wrong liquid or at the wrong food, which ties in with nutritional stress, there’s electromagnetic stress, there’s temperature, which increases stress on the body, people at work in high heat environments, etcetera, but what we’re talking about is emotional stress, and its effect on the physical body, when the body is under a high amount of emotional stress, it can change the hormonal system in a heartbeat, the two most important systems in the body are the nervous system and the hormonal system, your muscles and bones are absolutely stupid.
They only follow the directions given by the nervous system and by the hormonal system, so actually those systems need to be calm down in order to get out of pain. Pain is showing me that you’re hot, you’re in a high heat environment, and if your listeners know anything about him and yang, think of in as cool, think of Jan gang is hot thickens building. Think of Yang as breaking down. So they have all this heat, I need to cool that system down in various ways and to re-regulate the hormonal and the nervous system, now, the hormonal system can also affect our sleep, which is principle number two. So let’s go back when simple number one is emotional health, principle number two is biochemical health, and.
This is… These are the four principles to wellness and movement, or these are direct different. Okay.
So I moved from one to two because the second most… I should say the second highest rating in my wellness movement subjective questionnaire was a lack of sleep, so first, they have too much emotional stress, and then I ask them about their sleep and they say, Well, I have a hard time getting to sleep. And then when I wake up to go to the bathroom, I can’t get back to sleep, or I just wake up at two or three in the morning. Now, we have to understand, ladies and gentlemen, that between 10 PM and 2 AM, that’s when your body goes into physical repair, so if that systems being interrupted, then we’re not getting tissue repair the way we should, between 2 am and 60 AM is when your body goes into neurological repair. So your neurotransmitters, everything that helps you to think blankets systems are augmented by their neurological system and it needs time for repair, so if my clients aren’t sleeping and they’re coming to me for exercise of any sort, whether I’m working with an athlete or just the everyday person, if they’re not getting recovery, then why are they paying me because exercise…
Now, we can look at these two different ways. Exercise can break down. That’s the process. If you wanna build… Mosely have to break things down. Before your body rebuilds it. When somebody’s in pain, we can’t use certain types of exercises because it over-stimulates the nervous system, but what I’m saying is, if I’m helping them to, let’s say heal their back, restore their back from a back injury, so I give them exercises, go home and you practice these, but if they’re not sleeping between 10-20 AM, then it’s kind of a wash, they’re not getting the repair. So sleep, as a lot of your listeners will know, sleep is vitally important, it is almost a chief operator next to emotion, that’s why I made a principal to principal three is nutritional health. What kind of raw materials? Are you feeding your body? We wanna build tissue, especially for those who are in pain, everybody wants to build good lean muscle tissue contact, lean muscle tissue is more metabolically active, in fact, it takes more energy to maintain lean muscle tissue than it does fast, however, like building a house or building something from scratch, the better your raw materials, the better you’re gonna have on restoration for the tissues.
So I look at everything they put in their lips and they put in their mouth, so that I can start to help them slowly, this is a very, very step-by-step process, ’cause as you can already hear by me examining what they’re reading, you’d be surprised to how many people don’t wanna write it down and give it to me… Well, you don’t wanna know what I ate for breakfast. I got, yes, I do. Because if you’re gonna hire me, I’m gonna help to change that so that now I can we get you out of pain, but that we can help your health in general, ’cause remember it goes beyond the pain. We’re looking at wellness. So once the knee is better, we wanna make sure that your whole body is better, so principal one is emotion, principle to is biochemical or how we sleep, principle is nutrition, and not only what we eat… You’ve heard this before, I bet you. It’s what you digest. So if we’re not breaking it down, I remember when I had my digestion, first really analyzed, I was 35, I’m now 59. And my naturopathic doctor said, You’re not digesting protein factor of cargo hybrids.
I said, What do you mean? I’m not digesting this, I’m eating organic. He was Aviture. Not breaking them down. So we have to make sure that we put the right raw materials in for their metabolic type, and then we have to make sure their digestive system is functioning, because their digestive system or your stomach is your second brain. In fact, some scientists are now referring to it as the first brain, in fact, serotonin, which helps you to sleep through the night, it has other benefits to serotonin 9, but 95% of it is produced in the gut. So when my clients have pain, they have an over-stimulation of cortisone inflammatory hormones, I look at their gut, their digestion is not well, such why they have half or good inflammation they have, and then I look at their sleep, and I relate that to the questionnaire on digestion, and I start, I start with the four principles, I start understanding the last principle, which is physical health, remember they walked in, let’s say with knee pain, and the first thing I tell them is, You don’t have knee pain, you don’t have any problem, you have a body problem, right? We know that the need is just a section of the body that operates along with the ankle, the hip, and everything else that’s sub-connected to that, that part of the structure, the knee bone, netted bone and all that kind of stuff.
Sure, however, when that person says I have a need problem, I end up finding out that they have digestive issues, there may be some emotional stress that’s creating inflammatory responses, they may have had muscle… I won’t even say maybe, I know that before that client got to me with knee pain, ’cause he’ll say, God, I really wish I would have met you six years ago, and I said, Well, six years ago, did you have pain? They go now, but I wish I would have learned to exercise from you, right. I wish I wanna learn to exercise from you, so what I ended up telling him is this, is that my job, besides working with people that have pain, and I don’t do this a lot, and I have a team, is… I would like to help people see their dysfunction before it turns into pain. An analogy I use a lot of times at a presentation or a seminar is I’ll look out of my audience and I’ll say, What if you knew you were gonna be in an accident today before you left the house… Well, if you knew that you would need car insurance because you’d be avoiding it, well, if I watched you move and I’ve looked at your seven basic movement patterns, and I looked at your posture and a couple of other things, I can detect things that may happen in the future, wouldn’t that be cool? And that’s what we use, that’s what I started doing between a starting in about 2004, was evaluating and looking at movement, seeing the dysfunction, the client may say, Well, I got a little bit of tightness when I did that, but I said, But you didn’t get any pain right to go.
No, I said, Well, that’s good. The tightness is sort of like… Well, I don’t know. A lot of times, they’ll use the analogy of an automobile, so you have your little indicator light that let you know you have to do an oil change if she engine light goes on. Which is the most mysterious thing. Right. Well, that’s good because the car is at… You know that there’s something going wrong. I just wish it was a step before the light went on along the body, there are… So when my clients come in with no pain and I do a movement assessment, I do a lifestyle assessment, I can see things in their body’s movement that is gonna separates injury. So let’s say I watch him squat and their hips move to the right as a squat down… Well, they don’t have any pain, but they really didn’t know that that was happening, ’cause I video tape it, show it back to him, and I said, If you keep doing that, you’re gonna end up with a back problem and heat problem in a shoulder problem and possibly a neck problem. Really? But I don’t have any pain.
Now, I go, Good. All we have is dysfunction without pain, is the four principles on you get to the forest principle, we’re looking at how you move, and we’re not looking at it just statically, it’s a regional interdependence of the body’s movement ability. So in other words, again, going back to that person that has a knee problem, I’m looking at the whole kinetic chain from the foot up to the occupant, maybe even up to the TMJ, to help me to understand why that knee pain is there, and that’s where people kinda go, What? Why are you looking at my job, why are you looking at my range of motion of my neck when I have a problem at my need, and I said, because your knee is connected to your thigh, your femur, your femur hooks up into your hip and your hip, basically talks to your cervical spine… Sure, so if your neck as out, your hips are out, your knee out, you won’t know that until you got knee pain, you got a meniscus problem, an ACL problem, or ligament, this problem, and all of was caused because up to kinetic chain, we had imbalances that nobody was looking at because there was no reason.
Right, ’cause people will come to us because they’re in pain now they got a reason. Right. And I try to educate personal trainers, I said When a person hires you, of course they’re not in pain ’cause you’re not qualified to work with him, then I said, You must assess them. So as Paul check says, If you’re not assessing, then you’re guessing what the problem is, and I worked in clinics in the 90s, we did the best job we could… I gotta say that the clinics that I work with up there, they were a lot more open-minded, they did look at the whole body, the point is, if we’re not thoroughly assessing lifestyle and the body, then we’re missing the point, and that’s where the word holistic comes in ’cause people will say, I wanna go to a holistic doctor, I wanna go to somebody holistic that will treat my knee, so… Holistic, treating the whole body. Right, that doesn’t mean just the knee or the tire that… Yeah, and then the last part is integrated, so by four principles, they all talk to one another, so they’re an integrated system of systems, which is what your body is, it’s a…
It’s a cybernetic organism. Your body is like a very, very fancy computer inside of an organism, so you… How many systems in the body? 10 systems, we have a nervous system, Hentai system, cardiovascular, and I won’t name them all, but you get the idea, and all of those systems muscular, they all talk to one another, and that’s where we have to move our paradigm when we look at pain, it’s like a research study that I read, it was called The Ghost in the Machine written by Paul check and Dr. Walden out of the UK. And what that tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that goes behind the machine is, Okay, here’s your need, then I’m gonna go and peel back the layers, because The mystery is in your health history somewhere something was missed because that knee keeps coming back with the same problem. You can look at a 15-way sideways mechanically, and I’m sure we’re gonna find more problems, but we have to look outside and muscular system, we gotta start looking at organs, we gotta start looking at deftly. The nervous system, etcetera, etcetera. So that’s the four principles…
Yeah, and what I think you’re really bringing up and what many people miss, especially when they’re searching on the internet for Relief from pain is they’re only looking at one dimensional, my knee hurts, what exercises do I need to do? So my knee will get better and just with… If there’s 10 systems in the body and they’re all interconnected and they’re all affecting each other, and you just look at the muscular system with that, as it relates to the skeletal system, as it relates to the cardiovascular system, you have all of these things every time you add on another system, you increase the number of dynamics that are going on and the inner relationship exponentially, so it’s like I’m just… It’s fascinating to me, and that’s what makes the body so incredibly interesting when I work with clients, or I’m sure when you work with clients as well, so here’s what’s coming to mind, and I see you have the structure, and this is something we talked about offline as well, you have very much the structure, and then you’re coming to relieve pain, I’m coming from specifically to relieve pain, and then I don’t necessarily get into all of the structure components that you’re bringing to the table, I’m curious if someone does come to you with a knee issue, how soon is that pain addressed in the process, because I understand you’re putting them on a journey, it starts, they get on the path and you’re looking at the emotional health, the biochemical component to nutritional health, the physical health that’s going on in your four principles.
But where in that does the person start experiencing relief or you’re addressing what’s going on with their pain…
The first place we gotta start is calming down the nervous system, ’cause when they’re in pain, they’re in high inflammation, their sensory system is highly acute, so they have knee pain, they may have it when they go downstairs upstairs or just standing. So the first thing we gotta do is we have to remove their nerve interference, so it’s very complicated to answer this question, ’cause it depends on the injury, every injury, it’s a little bit different, but basically I start with creating an alkaline environment by teaching them how to breathe, I teach them to bring their sympathetic nervous system down in their parasympathetic system up, I’ll take them off of certain foods because there are foods that enhance the inflammatory process, so sugar grains. I work with a physical therapist once long distance, ’cause he was working with a client of mine in California, and his motto was, if I’m gonna work with your client, Bryan, if they have pain, they have to get off grain, because grain converts the sugar and sugar creates an inflammatory response. So again, that person’s like, Well, Bryan, I know, Okay, I’m into it, I just had a client tell me this morning, I wanna do the journey, I wanna get on the path.
What’s the next step? The next step is to come in and start learning how to apply the four principles to your lifestyle so we can bring down the inflammatory markers, that person is frustrated, right, they’re in pain, they’re anxious and I… Other sleep is off, right? So that’s telling me that their nervous system is on an overload, now I’m on… Or medication, yes. I want them to increase their water… Yes, they can take natural anti-inflammatories. Now, I would recommend that they don’t take a pain medication unless it’s absolutely necessary, ’cause sometimes it’s necessary temporarily to be put on a medication… I’m not anti-medication. I’m anti-misusing medication, this like exercise for knee pain, exercise is great, but wrongly prescribed it can have a side effect, like a drug camp… Exercises like a drug, ladies and gentlemen. But again, I wanna get out of pain, Brian, what do I need to do first? Well, the first thing we’re gonna do is teach how to breathe and relax, next thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna start changing what you’re putting in your body that’s causing the inflammation because the erratic anxious thinking and then the eating of the stress is pushing their inflammatory system higher.
And you can already see… I could probably already tell, I could see this usually in an audience of people, this is where I start to lose them ’cause they’re like, Oh, I’m not gonna go through all that and you probably won’t… You can go on anti-inflammatories, do your ultrasound, get your electrical stimulation, and you’ll get better… I guarantee, I’ve worked on that, I use those principles. But in the long run, it won’t stay better, so that person that walked in my office with knee pain, they have probably had that knee pain on and off for more than five years. The client that was here yesterday, she’s had her ankle and knee pain, which eventually had to be replaced, but she had an ankle, knee hip and low back pain on and off for seven years. And the list of people that she saw were good, but there was no structure, there was a Govan beyond that, my structure is actually a system, so there’s that client sitting there, Oh my God, I gotta get out of pain, what are you gonna have me do? I say, Well, because you’re doing a wellness movement questionnaire, ’cause that’s how I rate everything.
I develop a preliminary system for you to follow, you follow the system and the system will correct the rest, but the hard part about following the system is disciplined, and that’s where the coaching comes in, because I need to teach my client… Again, I’ve been in pain, I know. You don’t even think, right. ’cause we rotate ’cause in a dam pain, what I want them to know is that we have to calm you down, which is yourself, so that you can employ more self-discipline, I’m following the systems or the recommendations that I make in your lifestyle along with the exercises, ’cause you have to put together an exercise system, but it’s what you think, it’s how you sleep, it’s what you digest, drink and eat, that’ll help your body move well and then you have to move correctly, and that’s another misnomer about… Correct. Of exercise. What does that mean? But again, going back to the pain, what do I do right now? Start drinking alkali structured water, cut out any simple sugars in your eating plan and any foods that are inflammatory, a plant, red peppers, belper, these are all pro-inflammatory foods, you can just Google online, ladies and gentlemen, look at pro-inflammatory foods and just start working off that list, and what you’re doing is you’re augmenting the chemistry, it’s almost like we’re taking water and we’re pouring it on the fire, so they need more in…
Remember, Yin is cooling, restorative, and we need to control the yang, which is catabolic and inflammatory. So it’s a union yang approach. Everything I do is based off the two forces of life, which is Nadya living in balance, which is the hardest part, once we shift them to that little center line that’s in that eminent symbol, then it’s up to them to be able to have a little bit of Yang, but the match that with Yin, so if I have a lot of stress in my day, I plant little in practices throughout the day to rebalance my nervous system, and I always start and end my day with yen because my day is fully angry because I’m running a business working out and do what I love to do, but if that scale goes out to balance what’s gonna happen to bridewell happen, what is what happened in 1996? Is I burned out? ’cause I just had too much. Not it.
Too much. So Brian, share with us what pain did you experience, like what did you do that caused discomfort, pain, what have you dealt with in your life?
Well, most of my pain was emotional, but then the physical part, I had three shoulder injuries on my left shoulder, one on my right, I had a bulging disc in my back from… In 1987, I had multiple knee problems on the left, I never had surgery, I’ve always opted not to have surgery, but my left shoulder was pretty bad off from a wrestling incident, and those were all things that happened between ages 15 and about 30. I have plenty of head injuries ’cause I was a kick boxer, so I would tell people that growing up, I never broke a broker bone growing up, I was blessed, but I had stitches all the time, even before kickboxing, I’d always have my head busted open. I remember my parents saying, if we think it is a hospital one more time this year, they’re gonna think I were beaten. So I had to walk through the valley of pain, and then I always tell people this too about my work, because they come here and they go through this comprehensive consultation and assessment. I tell them I’ve through all of it. If I didn’t do it on my body, how could I teach it? That’s a pre-requisite for the Paul check Institute.
Everything you learn at the beginning, you’re doing it on you, and then as you pass the courses, then you become qualified to do it on other people, and I gotta say that in your first part of my career, doing this for 40 years, 28 years clinical, so before I got into my serious practice, I gotta say, I wasn’t doing things the right way, I was doing things based on what I was taught, what the industry knew at the time, which was asked backwards, and when I decided to… There was a car action in 97 where I was pretty bad car accident I was in… I actually didn’t finally break a bone, it was the second smallest bone in your body down by my rest here, but it was the pain that I had, the accident that I had, and I shared this with my clients, that was an opportunity for change. And I began to look at my life, and I was re-evaluating my education for training, wellness, and that was the impetus for me to make the journey… The last journey I was gonna be taking on learning this and relocating to Asheville, going back to school and white not…
So my pain was my doctor, my emotional trauma became my friend and my opportunity, the other biochemical health problems, and I still have a… I guess that’s what they tell me, I guess I still have an auto-immune challenge, some doctors even said I wasn’t gonna be alive at this age, I almost died twice in my life, but I gotta tell you, it’s when I changed my thinking in 1996, that’s when everything else changed, and when I started to adapt the four principals in my own life, that’s when I had remarkable changes, and then I opened up my business and I based on these revelations that I had between 1996 and 2007. Okay.
Of course, it makes sense. We’ve talked about you being in kickboxing, I was in Judo, head injuries, head injuries. Gari, don’t know if people actually realize how much being hidden ahead can affect the physical body, and it ties right in with the emotional health, the capacity to be in a parasympathetic state or arrested in relax STEM for the body to begin recover. So that’s huge.
That’s the number one question I asked now, have you had a neck injury or a head injury… Let me just… Let me just share this with your listeners, everybody thinks in over the Chorus, the core muscles are the center part of the body, and you’re right, they are. But there’s more to it than that. But inside, deep in ciders, an inner core, and they operate and it operates on a different system, the autonomic nervous system, so with a head injury, this is what I’ve learned to last seven years, with concussions, it slows down the reflex potential of the muscles response… That’s a simple way of saying it. So imagine I took all those hits to the head and as a training… As training as a kickboxer, of course, I did thousands of crunches, we all did all that abort, or the exercise itself was very core demanding it, but a little bit I know and not till… It was not until 2006 that I know that I had a separate core inside deep that was never responded, and that’s the one that protects your spine and your joints, that’s the first responder, ladies and gentlemen. Now, your apps, your abs will provide you stability if you’re gonna throw a ball or lift an object or whatever, it does provide stability, but it’s a secondary support, head injuries create what is called lag.
Information has to travel down the spinal cord, and gentlemen, so it comes from the brain, the motor control system in the brain travels down the spinal cord and then goes out and does what it has to do, so if you’re gonna throw a ball, it’ll tell your arm to do what I… Like your inner core, when you’ve had a head injury or some sort of trauma to the brain, everything… You have two things that are happening either. It’s slowed down. That’s called proprioceptive leg. I know it’s a big term for your listeners, look it up, but the other one is called sensory motor amnesia. Now, everybody knows what amnesia means. I always forget the meeting of that definition, that’s a little pun. So amnesia means to forget, right. Gotcha, so your inner core forgets what it’s supposed to do. Now remember, your body is like a computer system, so my job, one of my jobs is to re-program the inner core to get it to talk to the brain again, to get that communication back on line, so when that person has to use their arms and use their legs, the inner core is supposed to respond before the outer core to provide intrinsic stability to the structure…
Let me repeat that, the inner core is supposed to respond before or contract before the outer core, so when I throw a ball, my inner core is supposed to reflex about 30 milliseconds before the outer core does, and if I’m gonna kick a ball, it’s about 110 milliseconds before the outer core, if that doesn’t happen, and I throw the ball or kick a ball, the forces that come up through the body that are supposed to dissipate into your stabilizers to protect your… Well, that didn’t happen. The forces are landing right on the joints at game, go back to… Back problems and knee problems. The neck problems, I look at a pair of x-rays and I see all these arthritic changes or all this stuff going on, and look at my client and say, Well, you’re in our core has been off a lot on time. What do you mean? I don’t even know, I have an Interpol. That’s the point. Okay, so head injuries are asking our clients if they’ve had those is I even teach that to my mentoring trainers, I go, even if you’re not qualified to work with that person and guaranteed this…
If you asked that client if they had a head injury or a neck injury, you need to refer them out and get that, we need to find out what… Make sure that that area is cleared for take off, again, it goes back to assessing, and again, that goes back to saying… We look at the history. Right. So I ask questions about their health history, I’ll just go write down, I’ll say, Have you had any head injuries, stitches over your eyes, and then how about your neck, any car accidents, whiplash hit from behind it from the side, and I go Write down shoulders on the back, lower back, and as I start collecting data, I’m beginning to map out the challenge again, even if they come in with a specific joint problem, will start at the foot, I got an ankle on Fort problem. Okay, so tell me about your head, what do you mean I… Have you had any head… Andrew, does that have to do with my formed injury snack and go all the way down joint by joint, so that I can begin to add up and look at the entire pattern that has been rendered dysfunctional, ’cause again, what our listeners where I would like to drive home is, you don’t have a body part problem, you have a whole body problem, and believe me, it doesn’t have to be as in-depth.
It all depends on what your dream is, your long-term goal, and it all depends on how… Logan had it. Again, my client comes in and says, I’ve had this for seven years, I look at them and say, Well, do you wanna get to the cause of it this time or you just wanna get patched up, and of course, what they’re sitting here… They wanna get to the root of it, right? And it’s a one step at a time, because the journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step… That’s.
Right at first. So I have three takeaways. This is someone who’s listening to this, this would be like the cliff notes of the cliff notes of what you’ve shared, ’cause you’ve shared a tremendous amount today in terms of helping with their pain, the first one would be breathing, belly breathing specifically to begin to relax their nervous system, the second would be to begin drinking alkaline water, and then the third is do that Google search on pro-inflammatory foods, and I’ll put that in the show notes as well, and begin reducing those pro-inflammatory foods from their diet. And that’s going to help them tremendously in terms of getting the pressure off of the inflammation that is on the nerves in their knee or wherever else in their body, and begin to set up the conditions in their body that I’d be able to heal what’s going on.
Yeah, with those three things do, is it won’t relieve the pressure on the nerve, but it will start to calm the chemistry down, because we have two problems here, we have an inflammation, which is biochemical heat, and then we have a mechanical disposition, if I… Sometimes I’ll look at a knee problem, depending if it’s ACL, PCL or whatever it is, and I’ll look at the lumbar spine and see if there’s a rotation and there’s a… Let’s say the nerve on L3 is being slightly tampered with… ’cause it doesn’t take much pressure. That will change the function of that part of the leg… Your list is exactly right. What we’re doing is, what is the word buffer to act… To buffer the chemistry suites, and again, this isn’t gonna be overnight relief because a bit Benson how long we’ve had the pain on and off, and how long have we had the… How long have we’ve been eating the wrong foods, etcetera, etcetera, so I know people wanna quick fix and I get that, but I always have to slow my clients down when they walk in my door, and one more thing I’ll take away as your listeners are listening on the clients that come in and see me, or if they’ve already been vetted, so they’re not cold calls or not walking, you have to be ready for this type of an approach or if you work with a check practitioner, you gotta be ready to make a commitment.
And before that customer makes any commitment, I want that customer to feel comfortable with that practitioners approach, because it’s like picking a or buying a car or buying something that has investment value, you do your homework first so that you make the right purchase. I don’t want people spending money here because spending money means to use up, but if you invest your money, that definition is for future benefit and the journey that they go on, so that they can graduate. Follow their own system. Remember, it’s all about the difference between teaching them outfits versus giving them a fish, we have to start empowering people with the right information, be up and rotates with them in a kind and loving and compassionate way, and to develop a plan that’s individual to them. There’s no one-size-fits-all. If a knee pain client comes in, I don’t go into my file drawer and look up knee pains systems, I customize it based on them… That’s another thing where we went wrong, a one-size-fits-all approach, here you got an ACL, here’s an ACL protocol follower. Wow, okay. I guess that will work to an extent, I’ve used them, but I found gaps, I found things that were missing because time wasn’t being taken care of, and if people are in a hurry, you listeners out there, if you’re feeling like you’re in a hurry, maybe you want to buffer that system before you explore your options, because it’s the operator that gets in the way of the operation.
Yeah, I was just telling my daughter this the other day, Oh, really? Well, she was upset and she was wanting to make a decision right there and then, and I was like, Well, calm yourself down. Go take care of yourself. Do you need to go sit on your bed for a little while and you need to go for a walk, you need to go play… What do you need to do? Are you hungry, are you tired? Whatever it is, and then come back and make that decision.
Very good. So what did Albert Einstein says?
You can utsav a problem on the level that the problem was created, you have to come from a higher level in order to resolve it.
Right, so what you did for your daughters, you just helped her to change her mind by changing the environment, go set, go walk, or we… Or whatever it is. And the client yesterday that’s making a decision to work with me on what I do, and they sit here, I said, I don’t want you to make that decision here, ’cause they’re thinking you’re looking at the paper and saying, Oh, okay, do I need to sign and go No, you need to go home and sit and talk with this with your partner, you need to think about this because this is not… This is not a… I take it very seriously. When they’re going to invest in me. Sure, right. But what did I do? I slow them down, but What if they go home and they decide not to do it, well, that’s what was meant to be…
Yeah, that’s where they’re at. Bryan. Awesome, thank you so much, this was great. So I had a few more questions. We spoke about this before, you don’t work with clients online, is that correct?
Yeah, I do, and I don’t begin our clients, I really can’t, because let’s say I get… I’ve been a lot of phone calls small over the US, and I try to consult with them a little bit over the phone, but what I end up having to do is find somebody that does what I do in their geographical area, so that we can do a comprehensive physical assessment. Consultation, I can do over the phone. Well, lifestyle stuff, but when it comes to teaching at the beginning, hands-on is absolutely necessary in order for them to feel what I’m doing and then I can feel what they’re doing, because Micro mistakes, that’s what builds bad memory.
Sure, sure. As well, it’s one of the things we’re working through the camel Foundation is creating a portal that people can come to the website and find someone that is in alignment with what they’re dealing with and then get help and support, and we’re working on adding another level of specificity for the support that they would get is, we’re gonna be interviewing… Her name is Jennie Anderson in the future… Actually, this week, we’re gonna be interviewing her, she does remote muscle testing, so she would actually be able to do a real quick five-minute, 10-minute consultation with a person who is in that space of that emotional… I need to do something right now, and they would be able to get on a call with genie who would be able to muscle test for the specific practitioner that the common foundation is associated with in alignment with, and then they can schedule a consultation time with that specific practitioner. So that’s something we have in the works, which is kind of cool, and thus asking you if you did the consultations or working with clients remotely, maybe not on the same capacity that you’re doing in person, but something that would be able to provide help and support for someone who would be a for the.
Wellness movement lifestyle questionnaire and consultation can be done anywhere. So let’s say they do it and then we zoom in, I go over the results with them, it’s the next step, like where I would need to see them, or I can refer them to somebody in their geographical area, which still works because… I always tell people this, if I can help you, I will find somebody that can. But I’ve had hundreds of calls, whether it was a consultation or not, and by the end of the phone call, they had more education, they had more optimism, and they had a contact or least an avenue to pursue the physical part, but physical exercise for the advance for my advanced clients, ’cause I do personalize videos for my clients that they do in between the times that they see me… That works. But they learned it in school. In other words, one of the big things I see lacking in the fitness industry, from a fitness professional standpoint, not working with clients so much, is a lack of hands-on training, and go to a workshop and you get lecture and hands-on, and you come home Monday morning, and where’s the rest of the hands-on…
You’re trying to apply something that you remembered as much as you can, but rather than coming back and having plenty of hands-on training, which is something, I add it to my mentoring program because that is what… In other words, you can have… Gonna have all the audio in some of the visual chewing, but the touch and the feeling that you get from some of the intricate exercises that I teach, Get lost without that touch and advanced client doesn’t need to do that no more because they’re beyond that point. Then I could be on, I’ve never done this, but let’s say I did a Zoom call with an advanced client, they had their phone out in the gym, I had it here in my gym, I could show my out deadlift and do all that stuff that way too. Because they got all the idiosyncrasies out of the way, but let’s say I’m watching them do a squat and their hips are going to one direction, rather than just saying, Keep your hips straight, I would have to be there to augment other facilitation to make sure that’s done. Correct, or… Suresh. Physical action or the exercise.
So the takeaway is, there’s nothing wrong with the videos or learning online and all that, I got nothing against that. But at the beginning, when you’re working with somebody who’s really got some issues going on, there’s nothing like being on that treatment shape, being on that exercise floor, your trainers got their hands around a certain part and they ask you to do something, your trainer goes, Yep. There you got it. Now, I’m feeling at your excellent job, Jane, now you’re getting it, you…
It was reinforced. Sure, you could feel the muscle engage, that’s supposed to engage at the time, it’s supposed to engage, so all of it is at that moment for the client as opposed to them fumbling through it themselves and getting a general idea from the verbal back and forth, so… Yeah, what I’m able to do an in-person session is infinitely more effective, and to the point that it is Walking a person through online.
I think health coaching is the next biggest frontier for our era of wellness, I think it’s a great idea, ’cause that you could do anywhere. And people just need that. They need support. That’s really what they need.
Awesome, Brian, great, I thank you so much for your time. I know the listeners are really gonna enjoy what you have to share, it’s been just awesome to have you here. I will have all of your contact information in the show notes for the call, so they can reach out to you and we’ll follow up with you as far as being able to do consultations with those people who are interested in reaching out to you. We’ll be sure to do that. Do you have anything, finally you’d like to share? Anything that’s out there that I didn’t cover.
Well, just to wrap it up, remember, we have a body problem, not a specific joint problem, and that 80-95% of the illnesses that we encounter in our life, our lifestyle related, so whether you seek me out, seek out somebody that will address your lifestyle along with adequately addressing your pain, and you’ll go a lot further with your approach… Yeah, remember, the pain doctor is there to wake you up to something that’s greater within you that needs to be here. I thank you for inviting me on and sharing my methodologies with you and your listeners, and I only hope the best, I will say this, if anybody contacts me through the pain guru, the knee pain guru.
This would be the comella foundation.
They will automatically qualify for 5% off off of any services and any initial consultation, I do a quick conversation on the phone, 30 minutes… That’s free anyway. Okay, I want them to feel like they got hope. Let’s keep hope alive. There is relief out there, take a deep breath, everybody down into the belly, exhale slowly and enjoy the rest of your day.
Great, well, thank you, Brian. On behalf of the comella foundation in the pain education podcast, I really appreciate you being here. I’m gonna wrap this up for today. This is Bill parravano, the knee pain guru. Thank you so much for being here. You have a wonderful day and I will see you on the next video.