Getting Creative With Movement
If there is one thing I have learnt after nearly a decade in clinical chiropractic practice, it’s how important it is to look after your body. Watching someone walk into my office bent over and stuck in an antalgic posture in 10/10 pain or even worse the patients whose joints are so degenerated that the joints are virtually fusing themselves and staring down the barrel of invasive surgery is enough of a motivation for me to not take that path! There are two broad categories of these types of patients: one are the guys that just do nothing about their health. They live a pretty sedentary life, the only exercise they get is walking to their car to drive to work to then have to sit all day in an office at a computer.
The second are those who are on the other end of the spectrum and exercise routinely. They are up at 5am in the morning to get to their group HIIT classes for the intense 45 min session, or there are the religious gym folks who never miss a day, and if they do their whole world is going to collapse. These are the guys that love their weight training, love watching themselves in the mirror working their biceps, chest, etc., and perhaps throw in a token stretch or two at the end with a few rolls on the foam roller if they are lucky. I know the latter very well from personal experience!
I grew up very active in competitive sports, and when I made the decision to choose a career that had longevity versus sport, I needed some form of physical activity. So in my early 20’s my male ego spoke out, and I got immersed in weight training, the gym and building a solid male physique. And that I did… I was the young guy taking protein powders, pre/intra & post-workout magic potions, low fat, carb loading, oats and egg whites for breakfast, etc., whilst going to the gym daily.
I loved the way it made me feel to have a strong, lean, muscular body that projected an image of confidence. Unfortunately at the time, but in hindsight an absolute blessing, this came at a price. I spent the best part of 3 months in significant and quite disabling low back and leg pain with a lumbar disc injury. Not long after that, I was introduced to Paul Chek’s work and decided to do his Holistic Lifestyle Coaching Program, along with many other courses of his. All I can say is this changed my whole philosophy surrounding, not only movement/exercise, but diet, nutrition, and meditation. It largely shaped the way I developed my clinical practice with my patients and clients.
“Paul Chek is spot on when he says exercise is like a drug. It has to be prescribed in the right dose, frequency, tempo, etc. You over do it, and essentially you overdose. .”
Paul Chek is spot on when he says exercise is like a drug. It has to be prescribed in the right dose, frequency, tempo, etc. You over do it, and essentially you overdose. So I dropped all the artificial, highly processed, heavily marketed gym supplements and stuck to real, whole food, good quality water, adequate sleep and recovery.
I dropped the egotistical young male in me that just wanted a strong fit looking physique, and what followed was my a complete turnaround of my health. Not only with my injury, but my skin cleared up, energy improved, and I no longer woke up tight as a drum. Pretty much everything in my life improved.
Soon after I discovered someone who truly understood movement: Ido Portal. I took some of his courses, did some online training with Odelia Goldschmidt from his “tribe,” and realised I had struck gold. This movement philosophy challenged my inner voice and ego, as it’s not centered on aesthetics.
In fact, I do argues that focusing on aesthetics is actually reverse engineering. In my observation and experience this perspective of his is focused around unlocking the human movement potential, and gradually and strategically unwinding the body to allow it to express itself to its fullest potential.
We use gymnastics rings, a lot of body weight movements, locomotion, handstands, loaded progressive stretching plus other forms of movement as part of the training. Most important, however, is the creativity and the play aspect that goes with it.
The discovery of “gold” is the creativity that this style of training allows us to do once our joints are not only opened up and mobile, but the strength and resilience that the body has through this mobility. As for the aesthetics, you will find that this method of training shapes a naturally strong looking physique.
Exploring childhood movement patterns, different movement complexities, body awareness, and articulating our body around on the floor, on the rings, and through the air, brings a whole new sensory and neurological stimulation that we as a modern society have become so detached from by living in this incongruent manner that we have been in for so long now. If this method of training sounds appealing to you, I’d recommend checking out Ido’s YouTube and having a go at his hanging and squatting routines.
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