Advanced Integration: Day 2 (Triplanar Activity)

For day 2 we discuss more and more the areas that help support ZOA establishment. Read on comrades. For day 1, click here Neutral Neutral can be described as a position in which certain muscles are disengaged; those that make up chains in the human system (i.e. left AIC, Right BC, right TMCC). It is neutrality that allows us to function out of an unbiased non-lateralized position. We will never be fully symmetrical because we are neither built as such nor function cortically as such. But being able to be as symmetrical as possible may allow our bodies to function favorably. Achieving neutrality is only step one in the process. It allows for someone to accept triplanar movement. Once one can reach neutral, then you may teach them how to move with the left and right sides of the body. Is it possible to be too neutral? The answer is it depends. Mike Cantrell, one of PRI’s instructors, discussed a sprinter he was treating. Mike was able to get him neutral, but once this occurred his times worsened. This result goes back to part 1’s discussion regarding variability. In this case, being neutral, being too parasympathetic, made him slower. We could akin this to almost parasympathetic overtraining. The crazy thing? This sprinter’s sister had died earlier in a week he was scheduled to see Mike. The guy came in as neutral as could be. His nervous system shifted him towards this state as a way to disengage, thus leading him

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Course Notes: Advanced Integration Day 1 (Synchronous Breathing)

Mind Blown My mind is still racing from PRI’s annual Advanced Integration course. It is over these four days that we linked all the chains learned in the basic courses into one interdependent system. As I have not taken all the PRI courses yet, I was very fortunate to have Bill Hartman, Doug Kechijian, and Young Matt to help me through the rough patches. Courses are so much more enriching when taken with friends. There was way too much material covered over the four days to write in one post. So here is the first of a four part series on this excellent class. Read on.  Autonomics and the ZOA The first day’s primary objective was establishing a zone of apposition (ZOA), the diaphragm’s cylindrical aspect that lies along the chest wall. Establishing this zone is of utmost importance, as it allows for favorable respiration. Respiration influences movement by allowing better change of direction and variability. If I establish and maintain a ZOA, then I can effortlessly maximize movement in all three planes.  When I cannot perform in this way, then I have less triplanar activity when I move. When one does not establish a ZOA, one must greater rely on the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Depending on what your goal is, this shift can be well and good. Take an example I got from Bill and my friend Eric Oetter. A sprinter or powerlifter who moves in one direction would not like much variability in how they move, thus

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Chapter 5: Interaction of Psychological and Emotional Effects with Breathing Dysfunction

This is a chapter 5 summary of “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders” by Leon Chaitow. The second edition will be coming out this December, and you can preorder it by clicking on the link or the photo below. Intro This chapter is dedicated to showing the connection between the body and consciousness; how our psyche is influenced by breathing and vice versa. This chapter was easily my favorite out of the entire book. Breathing Strategies Optimal breathing involves moderate abdominal expansion, some intercostal involvement, and minimal involvement of accessory muscles. Conversely, chest breathing is dominated by accessory muscle use. These two breathing styles are merely end points on a continuum rather than discrete categories. In terms of which strategy is used, chest breathing is often the preferred route for consciously mediated intentional breathing; whereas abdominal breathing is the main route for relaxed, automatic breathing. One reason you would want to override automatic breathing is to prepare for sudden action. At the onset of exercise, ventilation immediately jumps.  This change occurs via three phases, with the first phase occurring independent of exercise load. This phase is a conscious exercise preparatory action. The other increases occur as exercise demands increase. When we are in an emergency situation, these breathing phases change. Prior to the initial pre-action deep breath comes a breath holding phase, which helps increase sensory organ stability. These preparatory breathing changes are great for imminent danger or action, but problematic when threats are non-physical and in the future.  While

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Course Notes: PRI Impingement and Instability

Soooooooooo Dense It has been a long, busy, and great few weeks for me. After attending a cluster of courses, playing around with some new jobs, moving, and working, I got some time to settle down and review PRI’s I&I material. I traveled to Phoenix to take this course. My man James Anderson taught and several good friends attended. James did not disappoint. I&I was easily one of, if not the best course I have ever taken. You did it again PRI! The only real disappointment was leaving Arizona. The temperature was in the 80’s and the sun was shining. Now here I am in the Midwest with the temp in the mid-20’s. Why did I stay here again? 🙂 This course combined and fleshed out the concepts of respiration and myokin, and added so many more layers onto what we previously learned. I&I was what DNS C should have been. I left the course with many answers, but double the questions. You truly cannot appreciate how complex the nervous system is, and how the total body responds to perceived threat until you delve into this material. I am so excited to learn more. This course had so much information regarding the entire body that there is no way I could post all the relevant info and do it justice. It really was a 4 day course done in 2. So here are a few of the gems I got from this weekend. The PRI Basis The course started off

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Chapter 4: Biomechanical Influences on Breathing

This is a chapter 4 summary of “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders” by Leon Chaitow. The second edition will be coming out this December, and you can preorder it by clicking on the link or the photo below. Loose-Tight Chaitow likes to use the loose-tight concept as a way of visualizing the body’s three-dimensionality while assessing.  He likes to look at comparing structures as tight or loose relative to one another. Those areas which are loose are often prone to injury and more likely to be nociceptive. If we try to see which muscles have a tendency towards tightness or looseness, stabilizers tend towards laxity and mobilizers to increased tone.  Obviously, all muscles function in both capacities, and some even stay more towards the middle (scalenes). But the tendency depends on which function is more dominant. Posture and Respiration (Not PRI, Peepz) Taking the previous concepts, Janda’s crossed syndromes can have a role in ones breathing function. With an upper crossed posture, the slumped upper body position negatively influences breathing function. Lower crossed syndrome will put the diaphragm in an anterior facing position, thus affecting diaphragm length-tension and breathing function. Facilitation Facilitation is an osteopathic term for a process involved in neural sensitivity.  There are at least two forms of facilitation: spinal (segmental) and local (trigger points). Once facilitation occurs, any additional stress the individual undergoes can increase neural activity in the segment. There are several ways to observe facilitated segments. You can observe these via palpation: Goose flesh

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Course Notes: DNS C

It was a Long Week After an incredibly long 5 days, I finally got the chance to assimilate what I learned from the Prague folks at the C level DNS course. Despite coming out with a few good exercise tweaks, I left disappointed. I will need some extreme convincing to continue on with their course work. A man I respect a lot, Charlie Weingroff, likes asking a question regarding interventions: “Can your treatments beat my tests?” With that in mind, I looked at DNS’s capability to beat my tests, which are predominately making changes to PRI objective measures. The answer: Mostly no. I felt a lot of activity with many of the exercises, but if we cannot make measurable changes, then the intervention is not effective. And with the DNS “objective” measures, positive change is attributed visually only. I don’t care how good your eyes are, you can never know if a joint achieves maximal bony congruency by just watching movement. Granted, I did get a few things that I will use regularly. But to get 4 or 5 takeaways for a $1000 price-tag, I feel there are better ways to spend money. Like on shawarma and stuff. Here are my likes and dislikes. Days 1 & 2 aka DNS A & B The first two days were predominately review of the A and B courses; looking over developmental positions and reflex locomotion. It was nice to review old concepts, but does it really have to take two days to

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Course Notes: DNS Summit

Why? In my short time out I have gotten heavily into the influence that breathing has on the nervous system. Obviously PRI has been my favorite explanation thus far, but the DNS approach had me intrigued. The summit is the first of two DNS courses that I took this past week. This summit was the first of its kind, and was an amalgamation of many different speakers. Unfortunately, this summit was mostly review and wrought with little innovation. Here are some of the big points I got from a few of the speakers. “Developmental Kinesiology: Three Levels of Motor Control in Assessment and Treatment of the Motor System” by Dr. Alena Kobesova There are three levels of development: spinal, subcortical, and cortical Spinal level of motor control is primitive reflexes; subcortical motor control is core stability; cortical motor control includes individual patterns. DNS suggests inhibiting primitive reflexes instead of facilitating them for function. Core stabilization occurs first at 4.5 months development, then locomotion follows. All movement patterns are either ipsilateral or contralateral. The former develops in supine, and the latter in prone. “DNS Among Elite Athletes – MLB” by PJ Mainville Didn’t get much out of this one except PJ dancing around PRI 🙂 Recommended using theratube around the wrist so you can perform hand movements with PNF patterns as such.  “DNS in Gynecological and Obstetrics Disorders” by Martina Jezkova When in quadruped, the pelvic floor does not create a base for the trunk and had no postural function. The

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Chapter 3: Biochemical Aspects of Breathing

This is a chapter 3 summary of “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders” by Leon Chaitow. The second edition will be coming out this December, and you can preorder it by clicking on the link or the photo below. The Focus When talking about breathing biochemically, the focus will be shifted toward oxygen delivery to the tissues and carbon dioxide removal. Maintaining these gases is a complex body task due to their constant fluctuations. Looking at pH is a great way to get a glimpse of the the entire body.  We know the pH scale runs from 1 to 14, with the physiological normal being between 7.35 and 7.45. If we have a value at 7.5 or above, our body goes into alkalosis. An example of this would be in the case of hyperventilation. If our pH drops to 7.3, we go into acidosis. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) CO2 determines blood acidity, and comes primarily from the mitochondria. It is the biological equivalent of smoke and ash. CO2 levels can vary with exercise, as more is produced when we are training. However, pH stays balanced because oxygen demand increases.  The opposite occurs when we are not exerting ourselves because CO2 is not produced as much. Another example of changing CO2 levels is during breath holding. More is not necessarily produced, but CO2 levels rise because we are not exhaling it away. This rise is what we feel when we hold our breath. Metabolic Alkalosis and Acidosis Aberrant breathing can cause respiratory

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Chapter 2: Patterns of Breathing Dysfunction in Hyperventilation Syndrome and Breathing Pattern Disorders

This is a chapter 2 summary of “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders” by Leon Chaitow. The second edition will be coming out this December, and you can preorder it by clicking on the link or the photo below   Intro This chapter’s goal is to cover both normal and abnormal breathing patterns. Often, breathing disorders can seem similar to serious disease when in reality the patient may not be getting an adequate breath. In fact, hyperventilation syndrome (HVS) and breathing pattern disorders (BPD) have the following incidence: 10% of general medicine practice patients have HVS/BPD as their primary diagnosis. Female:male is about 2:1 to 7:1; most commonly in the 15-55 year age group. Acute HVS only makes up about 1% of cases. Normal Breathing The normal resting breathing rates equate to around 10-14 breaths per minute, which moves around 3-5 liters of air per minute through the airways. Not so Normal Breathing HVS/BPD can be defined as a pattern of overbreathing where the depth and rate are greater than the body’s metabolic needs. In some cases, such as during exercise and organic disease, hyperventilation is an appropriate response. It is when these causes are not found that we attempt to affect these breathing patterns. There are a large number of symptoms that may coincide with HVS, but none are absolutely diagnostic. Oftentimes these symptoms are exaggerated when one has a hyperventilatory episode. I will break the signs and symptoms into the following categories: Neurological Headache Numbness and tingling Giddiness/dizziness

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Chapter 1: The Structure and Function of Breathing

This is a chapter 1 summary of “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders” by Leon Chaitow. The second edition will be coming out this December, and you can preorder it by clicking on the link or the photo below   Motivation Breathing has been something I have been interested in very much since I first learned about its power from Bill Hartman and through the Postural Restoration Institute, and this excellent book is a great way to get a full overview. The first chapter covers too much anatomy to go through every little detail in my short blog post. So study up.  Here are the highlights. Structure, Function, and You In order to have favorable respiration, structure makes all the difference. Adequate thoracic, ribcage, and breathing muscle mobility must be restored and maintained in order to uptake a quality breath. This can be achieved via re-education and training. Realize too that psychological distress can also play a huge role in how we breathe. Disorders such as anxiety and depression can have corresponding breathing dysfunctions.  It may be the way the body responds to ensure survival. Ergo, when attempting to change breathing patterns favorably, one must address both structural and psychological factors. Homeostasis Homeostasis is the body’s process to normalize itself. If too many homeostatic-disrupting tasks are occurring at one time however—such as nutritional deficiencies and toxin ingestion—homeostatic function can become overwhelmed.  This systematic stress can lead to breakdown and a switch to heterostasis, in which the body must be treated. We

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Course Notes: PRI Myokinematic Restoration

What a Class Wow. That’s all that really needs to be said.  I have had a great deal of exposure to PRI in the past, but I have only had one formal class under my belt. Needless to say, I was looking forward to learning more. James Anderson and the PRI folks did not disappoint. Myokinematic Restoration was easily the best class I have taken all year. It also helped having another like-minded group attending. You learn so much more when you are surrounded by friends. Here is the course low-down. Disclaimer for the Uninitiated I know there are a lot of misconceptions about PRI on the interwebz. Even though posture is in the name, PRI has little to do with posture in the traditional sense. We know posture does not cause pain, and PRI agrees with this notion. But it’s not like they can change the name of the organization now. What? Do you think Ron Hruska is Diddy or something? After discussions with James and his mentioning this aloud in class, the target of PRI is the autonomic nervous system. Not posture, not pain, not pathoanatomy, but the brain. Essentially, they have figured out a window into the autonomic nervous system via peripheral assessment. Moreover, PRI is not in the pain business, though many think this is the case. Hell, even in the home studies they mention pain quite a bit. But realize those were done in 2005. Would you like me to hold you to things you have

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Lessons from a Student: The Brain

Oh It’s On Believe it or not, I currently have someone interning with me for the next 12 weeks which is has led me to thinking about many things: 1)      People trust me with the youth of America? 2)      I have to justify what I am doing now? 3)      I hope I can teach her something. It has been a great and even nostalgic experience thus far. I remember just a couple years ago being in this young lady’s shoes having the same successes, failures, and questions she has now. I think working with me may have been quite a difference from the scholastic framework that she was accustomed to. This difference is because our common theme for the week was wait for it…………………………………….The Brain. Most schools, especially in the orthopedic realm, teach about developing physical therapy diagnoses and treating various pathologies. However, we had a couple different cases in which we didn’t necessarily nail down a pathology yet got fantastic results. Case 1 The first patient we saw was a lovely middle-aged woman who was classic for the biopsychoscial treatment model I espouse. She comes into seeing us with chronic low back pain over the past 3 years, has had several TIAs, been diagnosed with an eating disorder, and generally lives a stressful life.  Our comparable sign for the day was flexion which was at 50% range and painful (or DP for you functional movement folks out there). We discuss what we think is going on and the first

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