I did a very cool interview with Brad Pilon of Eat Stop Eat in yesterday’s post. I know everyone is super busy and the interview is a whole hour long, but I want to give you an incentive to check out the post by having another contest.
Starting now until this Friday Jan 15, 2010 at midnight central time, I am going to give away a free copy of my lectures on protein, fat and carbs. They will take you through all the basics and distill YEARS of info into about 4 hours. You will get them on MP3 so you can listen to them anywhere. I will have this product out for sale (at some point soon, silly dissertation work) so you will be getting it WAY in advance.
No matter what your goal, you need to know about how protein, carbs and fat affect your performance; from recovery to fat loss. Now you can take time to read all the websites, all the latest research and sift through all the information out there or you can just sit back and listen to a lecture on each one. Nevermind that most of the information out there is conflicting and you will probably end up confused!
The lectures are from an Advanced 12 Week Nutrition online course I did this past summer; so you get to hear live questions being answered. The sound quality is good, but nothing stellar as I did not initially planned to release it; but after getting numerous questions about are fats evil, too many carbs will make my fat, too much protein will destroy my kidneys; I decided to release them and clear up some massive confusion.
Here is some feedback from the overall course that each person paid $300 for a full 12 week course (you are just getting the first 3 weeks)
All you have to do is read the post and make a comment on the blog. Make sure to enter your email address when you place your comment so that I can reach you.
After all comments are placed by midnight this Friday, I will then randomly pick one person as the winner and email them the product for free!
For a few minutes of your time to learn about some cool stuff you may win a free product. Go to the post right now by clicking below, leave a comment, and you may win! Feel free to pass it around to all your friends.
If you don’t win and still want to buy a copy, email me by clicking HERE.
As you know I am a huge neuroscience geek and am convinced that the concept of brain neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to undergo physical changes) will have HUGE impacts to fitness, sports performance and overall health.
Dr. Bryan Walsh over at Precision Nutrition had a great article on Preventing Neurodegeneration that just came out, so check it out below.
Take a moment and think about an elderly person you know.
* How well do they taste or smell their food?
* How good is their memory?
* How well can they balance or walk?
* How healthy is their digestion?
If they haven’t aged gracefully, chances are they can’t do any of those things very well. And you can thank their brain function for these symptoms of degeneration.
Anti-Aging Gone Wrong
The degree to which the elderly can perform normal daily activities is directly related to the amount of brain degeneration they’re experiencing in their twilight years. In fact, the anti-aging movement has it completely wrong. It’s not about hormones. It is about brain function.
When your brain stops functioning, your body stops functioning. And conversely, the healthier your brain, the healthier your digestion, your response to stress, your hormones and your response to exercise.
In this article, we’ll provide a broad overview of a very complex system in the body, the brain. Plus, we’ll share some ways of nutritionally improving your brain function today.
Your Brain – The Basics
Your brain is a vital organ that helps run every other system in our body. For example, 90% of the brain stem’s output goes into something called the pontomedulary reticular formation, which stimulates the vagus nerve.
Well, that’s just a fancy way of saying that 90% of your brain’s output directly impacts activities such as digestion, gastrointestinal motility, enzyme production and salivation, and other parasympathetic activities.
Ever seen something that you were pretty sure was true and all the evidence was pointing in that direction, but you still felt a large chunk of the data was missing?
I always feel like that trying to explain some concepts in Z Health and how your brain is in control of your performance in the gym and on the field. Optimize your brain and your body HAS to follow.
How does the brain get information?
Optimize each one of these and you are set. This will also allow you to add strength and not degrade your movement performance when done correctly.
If you come to me as an athlete that wants to be a D1 football player and coach says you need to get stronger. Let’s say I add 100 lbs to your squat in 6 months, but in the process you move like you are dragging your right leg. Did I make you stronger? Yes! Did I make you a better football player? No! Will coach (and you) be happy? No! What you are really saying is that you want to be a better football player and you and your coach think that strength is the ONLY way.
Strength is great and a huge component to athletics, but it should NOT come at the cost of movement efficiency. How can we get an increase in performance without making you walk like Ethel? THAT is the key and we need to look at the brain.
Watch the slide show below. It is a bit crazy, but hang in there
If you only get one thing, here is the take away
I would even go as far to say that they will instead of may (but we need more data of course). If your brain is the key to performance, than maybe there is something to this body image thing. The brain can actually change over time, so it is not fixed even if you are an older adult (concept of neuroplasticity).
Not that type of body image there Fabio! Body image is referring to the map that your body generates of yourself. When I busted up my ankle several years ago, I had a horrible map of my right ankle at the time. It just felt like a big lump and very “dumb.” It was not uncommon that I would bump it against things in my home (which does not help the healing process). My body image (map) of my right ankle was horrible. How do you think my ankle performance was at the time? Horrible! I could barely move it at all due to the injury.
To a lesser extent, this happens to all athletes. If your wrist wrist does not have 100% mobility, the body map is fuzzy because of it.
How do we fix it? For most, starting on the joints is key since they take a fair amount of abuse from desk jockeys with mousie right hand to elite athletes with crazy shoulders from throwing 90+mph fast balls to football players hitting each other at mach 2. Daily living takes its toll and getting all the joints to move through a full range of motion to clean up the body image (map) and allow more performance.
Less than optimal joint mobility is breaking your current performance. I like the Z Health R Phase for mobility work since it targets the joints, but just plain movement is a great start.
We have evidence now that your body image will affect your performance. Fix your body image (movement map) by first starting off on some joint mobility and watch your performance sky rocket.
Mike T Nelson
Leave any comments below and tweet the heck out of this one! Much appreciate all the help!
References below taken from
Physiologically impossible movement of phantom limbs explained
1. Damasio A (2000) The feeling of what happens: body and emotion in the making of consciousness. (Vintage, London).
2. Churchland PS (2002) Self-representation in nervous systems Science 296, 308-310.
3. Ramachandran VS (1998) Consciousness and body image: lessons from phantom limbs, Capgras syndrome and pain asymbolia Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London – Series B: Biological Sciences 353, 1851-1859.
4. Price EH (2006) A critical review of congenital phantom limb cases and a developmental theory for the basis of body image Consciousness and Cognition 15, 310-322.
5. Moseley GL, Olthof N, Venema A, Don S, Wijers M, Gallace A, & Spence C (2008) Psychologically induced cooling of a specific body part caused by the illusory ownership of an artificial counterpart Proc Natl Acad Sci 105, 13169-13173.
6. Moseley GL, Parsons TJ, & Spence C (2008) Visual distortion of a limb modulates the pain and swelling evoked by movement. Curr Biol 18, R1047-R1048.
7. Parsons LM (2001) Integrating cognitive psychology, neurology and neuroimaging Acta Psychol. (Amst). 107, 155-181.
Great question Chris.
I think the bigger question is “What can’t you do?”
Now this may be a problem for various reasons and scar tissue may be one of them.
Most of the time on a first session, joint mobiity work is enough. Guy came in a while back and his shoulder did not go all the way when moving it out in front. Joint mobility work (Z-Health) on the same side wrist, opposite hip, opposite foot/ankle got his arm almost all the way up (was only at about 70% before).
If joint mobility work is not having a good response, I will test their eye reflexes (PREP, taught in Z Health I Phase). PREP=postural reaction to eye position. If they were not normal, they do drills with an eye position and joint mobility.
A female athlete came in a while back with an ankle issue. In order to get her hip muscles to fire better, she had to move her eyes up and while holding them up, do some ankle joint mobility work. Hip muscles (glute med, psoas and RF) fired up and her gait (along with her ankle) was much better.
If eyes + mobility don’t work I will add in vestibular work, using PNRT (postural neck reflex test). A recent athlete came in post ACL replacement and post Physical Therapy and on his first visit the joint mobility was not working, so I tested his eyes and they were normal (PREP test only), but his PNRT was positive (not normal) for his head rotated right. So his drill was an ankle mobility drill with his head turned right. Moved much better, knee was much better. (note I find it is rare to find ONLY vestibular issues)
Some times it is a combination of all 3
This is hold the brain gets information to execute movements too (joints + vision + vestibular). We are reverse engineering better movement by fixing the “bad” signals!
If that still does not work, I will check the tissue by just moving it in specific orientations at 3 different layers 1)skin 2) fascial 3) deep. Note, most of the time I am not FORCING the tissue to move, I am holding it in a specific orientation and then using joint info, visual (ocular motor too) and inner ear (vestibular) work to ALLOW it to release. I am working to find the correct combination to the safe via spinning the dial, vs trying to blow up the safe.
Awhile back a powerlifter came in and her left hamstring would not fire up to 100% and gait could be better. At the time she was deadlifting about 3xs body weight. Went through the testing above, using a gait assessment after each drill.
On a manual muscle test, the left hamstring was still weak and gait was off. Ending up doing a right elbow circle (neuro reflex to the opposite knee/hamstring aka probably interlimb coupling), with her head rotated right (vestibular input), with her eyes open and in the up position (looking up), while I held deep (not remotely painful) pressure on the whole hamstring (all 3) in a position to the “right.”
As she rotated her head and did the elbow circle, I could feel the hamstring tension to the right melt and it moved easily. Had her walk and gait was much better, left hamstring fired up great. Later I heard her DL went up, but hard to say what I did was directly related to it; but moving better is always a good adaptation.
I hope that helps a bit.
Basic joint mobility work is Z-Health R Phase, eye and head movements (vestibular) is Z Health I Phase, hands on work (holding tissue) is Z-Health T Phase (level 4) work. Minimal amount to get the job done = less collateral damage to fix later (although I don’t see them again as much which is my goal, but is a crappy business model–hahaha)
Most don’t need direct tissue work right away, but that is not to say it can’t work. Physiology is messy and many things can work.
If anyone has comments/questions on this one, post away in the comments! Comments make me feel all warm and fuzzy and it is getting colder here in Minnesota now.
If you want any info on the Z Health certs, let me know and drop me an email or give them a call and tell them I sent ya. I am NOT an employee of Z-Health, but I do make a few bucks off of cert referrals. Again, I would never recommend something that I don’t use myself or feel that works great.
I know it sounds like a concept from the movie The Matrix, but it is a newer (ok, not really that new, but not overly well accepted) theory about pain. Pain lives in the brain. Pain is needed for survival. There is actually a condition where some don’t feel pain, and they have horrible problems with doing all sorts of nasty stuff to themselves since they don’t get the signal that “Hey, what is that I smell, oh, I left my hand on the hot stove!” Duh!
The pain in the brain can go awry though and start to cause other issues. According to the Neuromatrix of Pain, you have 2 areas to work on
1) Signals – alter the signals coming in to the brain. Movement can do this, as can other things
2) Interpretation - how the brain translates that signal.
By working on both of these, many times pain can be reduced or eliminated. Now it is not always that easy, but greater than 50% of the time with acute pain (chronic pain is a whole different can o’ worms) it can be altered in 1 session! Pretty crazy. It still amazes me to this day when just a few of the correct joint mobility (or sometimes eye or head movements) get man athlete to move much better. When they move much better, a vast majority of time their pain drops dramatically.
I’ve seen this myself to date about 90 times (conservative estimate). I know it sounds crazy, but it is true.
What you thought you knew about pain is most likely out dated! Pain is a multi focal event. If you are in pain, you are NOT performing at an optimal level. Period. You need to get OUT of pain ASAP for extreme human performance.
I have a few other articles that discuss this, so check them out below
Mike T Nelson