Do You Read Your Corrective Exercise Menu Instructions?

 

I read an  awesome blog post from Seth Godin awhile back that really got me thinking about a common problem one can encounter when doing a corrective exercise menu.

Not taking the time to READ the written instructions.

Perhaps the biggest challenge when first beginning the corrective exercise process is re-learning movement patterns from an anatomical "blue-print" design perspective.  

Now you have to understand that by the time the majority of clients first come in to work with me,  most have fully explored the traditional western medicine approach of chronic pain relief and unfortunately, not achieved immediate or long term success.

And our approach is so different that what they are used to.  Instead of me "fixing" you, I'm going to empower you with insight and information for YOU to embody and put into practice.  Remember, repeating the same type of intervention over and over again, without being fully present in the process, or making a distinct and active change and expecting a change is what Albert Einstein famously described as the definition of "insanity".

So things will be different when you begin a program based on understanding how important your position (posture) is relative to your condition (pain).  Understandably, the learning curve is very high when you start a pain relief program from an entirely new approach.  

As a corrective exercise specialist, the best way I describe this to my clients is:

  • You don't know what you don't know AND
  • You can fix what you can feel or are not aware of

Here at Pain Free Posture MN, we are in the business of addressing the ROOT CAUSE of PAIN, versus the SYMPTOM.  By analyzing your posture relative to your anatomical blue-print design AND then treating the body as a unit, we tackle the chronic pain problem from a completely different approach.

That means that setting up and performing exercises will be a little different than you are used to.  Your postural position is very important.  

  For example, if you have unresolved low-back pain symptoms, there is a very high likelihood you have an ankle, knee AND hip joint dysfunction and muscular imbalances throughout those areas that impact the entire kinetic chain.  

  In order to successful resolve low back pain effectively, we need to re-learn movement and motor patterns from the ankle and foot upward.  The most simple thing such as foot position and ankle alignment in an exercise is critically important to the outcome and value of an exercise.  

  So although the process of corrective exercise is in of itself quite simple, at the same time it is quite complex because it requires an open mindset to re-learn movement patterns.

  What you CAN'T do is go back to your old, comfortable postural habits and ways of doing exercises because that's exactly what got you into the pain problem in the first place.  The way I like to say it is, "Nothing changes if nothing changes.".  

Which brings me to the point of this blog.  One of the Three KEY areas where clients can fail in their corrective exercise menus, can happen:

  1. As soon as you get home from an initial appointment and not taking the time to read over the exercises.  Let's face it, memory fades quick when you learn something new.  
  2. When you try it out on your own without hiring the professional services of a Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist.  Do you actually know if you're setting it up right?
  3. Over time as you get familiar/comfortable with your menu you may forget certain specifics/details of the movement.  Believe me, I've seen lots of people make up movements not actually part of a corrective exercise.

So let me ask you,

Do You Read Your Corrective Exercise Menu Instructions?  

If you don't invest the time to review your corrective exercise instructions before you start, you are really placing yourself at a disadvantage.  Why not maximize your menu efficacy by reading and reviewing what you need to do?

You would be astonished at the amount how frequently that action step is overlooked.  Would you bake a cake without reading the recipe?  Of course not, so it befuddles me why people wouldn't take the time to read their corrective menu instructions. 

Sadly, I have to say I'm no longer astonished to see clients come back in for follow up appointments and set up their corrective exercises complete wrong.  Even after I've taught it, coached it, AND had my students teach it back to me.  Why is that?

I could probably go on and one discussing the question, but I will say that in my opinion, the biggest reasons is simply not stopping to take the time to read and review the instructions.  

Remember that success with a corrective exercise program requires clients to be RESPONSIBLE for change while undertaking a new approach to their health.  Making the critical error by simply did not take the time to READ is simply folly.  

 

And please don't think I'm talking about the first time when leaning a new menu.  You'd be amazed how people fall into the trap of becoming comfortable and familiar with a movement.  Another common mistake is not taking the time to periodically refresh and review menu instruction.  You'd be amazed at what gets lost in translation over time due to inattention by going into autopilot.

 

Seth Godin calls it "I Get It".  He and I both believe that "I Get It" mentality is DANGEROUS because we're not fully present in the transformation process.  If you are trying to change your life for the better, "I Get It" mentality will keep you from maximizing your full potential and success.   But don't take it from me.  I'll let Godin explain.

 

"I get it"

No need to read the whole book, I can just glance over the Cliffs Notes... I get it.

I don't need to hear your whole pitch, just show me the summary slide... got it.

No, I already heard about your vacation... remember, I saw the Instagram feed.

Him, why would I go out with him? I read his match.com profile.

You're probably smart enough to 'get it' merely by reading the 140 character summary of just about anything. But of course, that doesn't mean you understand it, or that itchanged you. All it means is that you were quickly able to sort it into an appropriate category, to make a decision about where it belongs in your mental filing cabinet.

The best experiences and the biggest ideas don't fit into a category. They change it. They don't get filed away, they transform us.

It's entirely possible that you can process and file more information than anyone who has come before you. And quite likely that this filing is preventing you from growing and changing and confronting the fear that's holding you back.

You get it? No you don't. Not yet. Because all you've gotten is a tweet.

Read the book. The whole thing. Use the product. A few times. More than a few times.

Immersed. It can change you.

 

Corrective exercise has that transformational power.  But it requires you to embrace an entirely new concept of healing the body from a whole body perspective.  And at the beginning, and throughout it demands that you engage and be fully present in the entire process.  The most important step?  Start by READING your Corrective Exercise Menu Instructions!  

 

It isn't an overnight success thing, but it works.  And sometimes all you need to do is find someone to help point you in the right direction, and help you grow, change and confront the paralyzing fear that you won't ever overcome chronic pain.  You can.  

 

Have you not read your menu instructions and expected a change?  What was your experience?  We'd love to hear from you.

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Head Photo Credit:  Ruby and Roxy Photography

Deb Preachuk is a Chronic Pain Pain Relief, Posture Restoration and Athletic Performance Enhancement pro specializing in corrective exercise, applied biomechanics, STOTT Pilates and functional movement patterns. 

Founder of Pain Free Posture MN,  Deb helps real people transform real-world chronic pain challenges into achievable results. Deb infuses her teaching with an honest, open and down-to-earth mix of chronic pain relief therapeutic modalities training techniques to make the concepts of pain relief and body/mind transformation accessible and achievable!