I. Assumptions

We make one--and only one--assumption regarding the people who work with us: you want a functioning body.

A body that functions. That works. For you.

For something to be “functional”, we needn’t overthink anything. A “functional” body just means that it is:

  1. Free of pain

  2. Able to be moved in a controlled way

That’s all.

What you choose to do with that functioning body is fully up to you; we don’t presume to tell you what that should be (although we have ideas :).

No, we only assume that you want a physical vehicle that doesn’t hurt, and goes when you say “Go”.

And “Go” might mean hiking Mt. Whitney, PRing a triathlon, or picking up 400 pounds off the ground (and living to tell the tale!).

Or, “Go” might mean: helping a friend up the stairs, finally feeling a little less daily ache and pain, unloading all the groceries yourself... or any other small but profound shift in life-quality.

Or, instead it might mean that when you go road-tripping with your estranged mother, your first contact in 15 years, your chronically painful back actually doesn’t fall apart this time. Phew.

These, and many other actual client success stories, each a specific and beautiful reflection of what our human organism is capable of, shows us what happens when everything in our bodies works together as a complex, dynamic system. A symphony of a 37.2 trillion cells.

But how do you go about actually improving, tuning up, or maintaining such a complex system?

In a network this big, to actually direct change and rise above the “noise” of all the parts requires clear, consistent signals to be sent directly to the parts of your body most adept at listening for signals.

And a thorough review of the scientific literature gives us a clear answer where that place is: your joints.

Healthy joints are not only the kinetic (moving) corners of our bodies, but also critical information-gathering nodes. Especially packed with special cells called mechano-receptors, your joints relay a constant stream of mechanical information--assuming mechanical information is coming in--to surrounding cells and your brain.

From this stream of information comes both physical adaptations (aka tissue changes) as well as an invaluable “map” in your brain with which you will navigate through all the various obstacles, activities, and challenges of your physical life.

So--by assuming that you want a functional body, we can assume that you’d like functional joints. Which, as you already know, means joints that are:

  1. Free of pain

  2. Able to be moved in a controlled way

Now, as coaches, we are not qualified to provide pain-relieving care (that’s the medical realm of doctors, physical therapists, etc). But it turns out that through the lens of function, being free of pain is actually an incredibly low standard; it’s obviously a critical, preliminary component, but a joint that is simply pain-free is quite a ways from being actually useful to you.

So it’s the second component--”able to be moved in a controlled way”--that both demands much more focus and offers a far greater reward.

That reward might mean you can experience sustained periods of pain-free movement (something you don’t know you crave until you’ve experienced chronic pain).

That reward might mean you experience a sense of physical agency, of confidence in your physical self, that is new for you.

That reward might look like achievement of physical accomplishments, athletic pursuits, or other significant physical changes.

But doing any of that starts with actually having functional joints.

That’s where we come in--more on that next week.

Stay tuned…

Coach Will