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bodywork

How P-DTR Can Help You

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How P-DTR Can Help You

What is P-DTR?

P-DTR stands for Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex. The technique of P-DTR optimizes the functioning of the human nervous system, resulting in increased performance and decreased pain and dysfunction. P-DTR is different from many other techniques because it deals directly with the nervous system and allows us to make right a multitude of possible dysfunctions in the nervous system.  Most techniques work indirectly on the nervous system, whereas P-DTR is much more targeted.

What is a Proprioceptor?

A proprioceptor is a sensory receptor (part of the nervous system) that receives stimuli from within the body. We have many different types of proprioceptors – some that sense pressure and touch, others that sense temperature changes, some monitor the body’s position in space, and others communicate potentially hazardous or painful stimulus. The brain then interprets this information and organizes the nervous system response accordingly. This is great when there is no negative proprioceptive information present, but when the proprioceptors communicate that there is an injury or excess stimulus, it will start organizing movement sub-optimally. Doing so can negatively affect movement quality - at best making it inefficient, and at worst causing someone to experience substantial discomfort and weakness.

Nearly every time the body is injured, there is a proprioceptive component to the injury.  For instance, if you cut your hand, tissue damage obviously occurred - we’ll refer to this tissue as the “hardware” of the human body. However, there will also be trauma to the proprioceptors - we’ll call these the “software” of the human body. In this case, the proprioceptors that transmit noxious stimuli will be aggravated when the cut occurs. Fast forward three weeks: the cut is healed, but the strength in the hand is not quite where it used to be.  In this case, the hardware issue has healed, but there is still the software component of the dysfunctional proprioceptors.  Despite the fact that the laceration has healed, the proprioceptors are still communicating to the brain that there is an injury. The result of this proprioceptive feedback is impaired function of the hand. Prior to my training in P-DTR, I would view this issue as a strength problem - “the hand is still weak, so let’s strengthen it back up!” But strength isn’t the problem in this instance, the information the proprioceptors send to the brain is. By using P-DTR, we can directly address the issues in the software - that is, the proprioceptors - and in doing so, normalize the function of the hand, or any given dysfunctional muscle.

The technique is fast, efficient and very effective.  Whether it’s a client looking to recover from an injury or a client looking to optimize their performance, P-DTR has been a game changer in my practice. Here at Perform for Life, we have 3 clinical bodyworkers that are trained in P-DTR techniques - Austin Villamil, Bob Gazso, and myself. If you would like to experience the benefits, we'd love to schedule an appointment with you.


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WTF is Manual Muscle Testing?!

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WTF is Manual Muscle Testing?!

When you’re sweating through your workout at P4L, or if you’ve ever just walked by the gym and peered through the windows, you may have noticed a few coaches standing around and weirdly pushing on their client’s limbs and muscles. A client may be standing or sitting or even lying on a massage table as a coach pushes or pulls at an arm or leg from a multitude of awkward angles. What’s going on at P4L? It may look a bit strange, but what’s actually being done is a very cool tool called manual muscle testing.

Manual muscle testing is a diagnostic tool that comes from Applied Kinesiology with which a practitioner can evaluate whether or not a muscle is neurologically functional. It works by having a patient or client perform a muscle movement that the practitioner manually challenges so as to see whether or not the client can appropriately meet the resistance. Maybe it’s best to use an example to explain what I mean.

Let’s say I want to muscle test my client’s latissimus dorsi, or lat (a muscle located on the back side of the body). The client may be standing, seated, or even lying down and I’d begin by having her internally rotate her shoulder (so that their palm is facing away from their body, below).

Then, I’d instruct her to meet my resistance as I pull her arm away from her body into flexion and abduction (in front of and away from the body), thereby challenging her to adduct (pull toward the body), extend (pull behind the body), and internally rotate the shoulder in one motion, which are all the muscle actions of the latissimus dorsi.

This is why I have my client maneuver in such a specific way - so that I can target one specific muscle and challenge it to perform its main action by trying to pull it in the opposite direction of said action.

This is just one example, but we have muscle tests for all the major muscles of the body, so now that you know how it works, you might be able to see how manual muscle testing is a handy tool for thoroughly assessing a variety of movements from head to toe. We can test whether muscles can contract and relax properly, which is very important from a neurological standpoint. Clients can tell us if activating a specific muscle causes pain, which can lead us to the right steps for resolving and preventing that pain. We can look for areas of weakness or for weakness in specific muscles that may correlate to dysfunctions in exercise, which can then help us to correct movement.

Manual muscle testing is one of the many tools some of us use alongside our exercise programming and bodywork, and it has definitely been a useful one. It's helped some of my clients improve muscle activation, reduce or prevent pain, and achieve their goals. So the next time you notice a training session on the floor that looks a little different, just know that our clients and patients are (literally) in good hands. Maybe even give it a try yourself!


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How Bodywork can Save Time and Money

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How Bodywork can Save Time and Money

Carpal tunnel syndrome accounts for over $1 billion in direct costs annually in the United States.  It is the most common nerve compression disorder in the upper extremity.  Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by pain in the hand and fingers due to compression of the median nerve.  It may be caused by repetitive movements over a long period, or by fluid retention, and is characterized by sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning.

I am sure most of you know a relative, friend or coworker that has dealt with carpal tunnel syndrome.  

The other day, Bob Gazso had told me an intriguing story about his mother, who was previously diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.

He said, “My mother had pains in her hands and wrists about 8 years ago, so she went to see a neurologist.  The neurologist ran some nerve conduction tests and was diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.  The doctor recommended surgery to alleviate the symptoms.

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Steph Curry and Why We Should Focus on A Whole Body Approach to Fitness

STEPH CURRY AND WHY WE SHOULD FOCUS ON A WHOLE BODY APPROACH TO FITNESS

Most of you probably know who Steph Curry is, but for those who don’t, Wardell Stephen “Steph” Curry II plays for the Golden State Warriors.  He is known for his agility on the court and is the undisputed king of three-point shots.

But just a few years ago, Steph was spending more time on the bench than on the court.  Ankle injuries in the 2011-2012 season allowed him only to play 26 of 82 games. Curry’s future in the NBA was in question, but then he experienced a miraculous turn around: the next season he played 78 games of 82 games, and the following season he managed another 78 games.  This past season Steph led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA Championship since 1975, playing 80 out of 82 games and earning himself title of 2015 NBA MVP!  Steph continues his streak into the current season and he looks to be leading the Warriors to their second consecutive NBA Championship.

How did such an amazing turn around happen?  There was no single silver bullet that turned around Steph’s career: it took a multi-disciplinary full body approach. There was some major damage to the ankles that required some surgical intervention and he did have to go under the surgeon’s knife.  He also started wearing a specialized ankle brace.  These were no doubt essential to his recovery, but the most important piece of the puzzle came when the Golden State Warriors hired Keke Lyles as the new Director of Performance. Lyles did a FULL BODY ANALYSIS of Curry and realized that his ankle problem was not really an ankle problem at all: it was a hip problem!  Full body movement analysis revealed that his hip was not providing his ankle the support and stability it needed.  In short, his ankle was trying to do the work of his hip.  Curry then engaged in a rehabilitative program that allowed better hip integration into his movement.  His amazing success is a testament to the efficacy of the full body approach.

We can learn a couple things from this super star’s example. 

1) First, you need to have a good health team

There was no one intervention that saved Curry’s career.  It was a combination of surgery, orthotics, refined exercise protocols, and hard work.

2) Second, the site of the pain and the source of the pain were not one in the same. 

Whether you seek performance or wellness, the body demands a holistic approach.  When we deal with problems in isolation, we often miss issues of interdependence – a weakness in one area of the body can manifest itself as pain or dysfunction in another part of the body.

Full movement screens are thankfully now becoming more and more common, but it is not yet a universally adopted practice in the fitness industry.  Here at Perform For Life, we use a customized full body approach that combines several movement screens including the Functional Movement Screen, Selective Functional Movement Analysis, and the NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist.  Additionally, all of our trainers utilize the static postural assessments developed by the CHEK Institute.  These tools allow our movement specialists to get a global view of the body, and better design and prioritize your movement prescription.  To schedule a full body movement screening and get started click HERE

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