Several weeks ago, Zach and I asked Leah Zinnert to join the Premier team. When we hired her, we knew we had found a personable, intelligent, therapist AND trainer (she holds a doctorate in Physical Therapy and is an NSCA certified strength & conditioning specialist).
What we didn't know is that we were also getting a thoughtful writer.
After sending Leah off to become a Neuro Therapy master for 2 weeks in Arizona, we were pleasantly surprised to find she took the time to put some thoughts down on paper regarding Neuro Therapy and a little exploring she did through the Grand Canyon and Sedona.
Read on to learn more about how Leah compares Neuro Therapy to some of the most beautiful, jaw droping sights in the US.
And after you're done, please join us in welcoming Leah to the Premier team by commenting below or emailing her at email@example.com. You can also learn more about her by reading her bio at:
We're so happy to have you on our team, Leah!
Part 1: Exploring the depths of your nervous system
While in Arizona for Neuro Therapy training over the weekend, I decided to take a very long day trip. An adventure to say the least.
I drove 4 hours from Mesa to the Grand Canyon, 2 hours from the Grand Canyon to Sedona, and then 2 hours at the end of the day back to Mesa. Coffee was my friend. As I sit here and reflect upon my travels, I can’t help but relate the experience to the Neuro Therapy process (of course).
If you have ever been to the Grand Canyon, you may understand that overwhelming feeling of astonishment and wonder as you gaze out over the beautiful rocks. It's the first feeling that you get looking out over the Canyon.
You’re flooded with a variety of emotions. It’s difficult to comprehend what is happening, how it’s happening, and how something so massive freaking got there in the first place.
That experience is a lot like how the sensation hits you when going through Neuro Therapy treatment. And that massive thing in the distance is your compensatory movement patterns, which contribute to your nagging aches and pains.
But as that intense first feeling starts to wear off, you can begin to explore further. The more you learn and experience, the more you want to get closer to that edge, hike the trails, travel deeper into that canyon.
It becomes an unforgettable immersion of the senses that live on with you.
Metaphors aside, Neuro Therapy is much like this experience. It’s an amazing opportunity for discovery of your nervous system and the way it impacts your movement patterns. To bring your compensatory patterns to the surface and sustain meaningful lasting change, we must overload the system.
In other words, you’ve got to get closer to the edge.
Part 2: The Snoopy Rock, Perspective, And The Little Things That Contribute to the Big Problem of Persistent Pain
My experience in Sedona was nothing short of breathtaking. The views were incredible and unlike anything I had ever seen. Let’s just say - you can’t get this type of scenery in Baltimore.
In the short time I spent there, I booked a Pink Jeep Adventure Tour to explore the Broken Arrow Trail. I was ecstatic to see things up close. Equally excited to go off-roading in a jacked-up Jeep that climbs 35-degree angles in idle (C’mon, that’s freaking cool)!
Along the way, our guide, Doug, pointed out Snoopy Rock. It looks like Snoopy on his back with Woodstock, his little bird, sitting on his nose. See Below.
What he said next threw me. Woodstock, the small rock on Snoopy’s nose there… is 18 feet tall.
My jaw dropped. Granted, from a distance everything looks smaller than it really is.
But to the side of that seemingly tiny 18-foot rock, take a gander below at the monstrous structure that sits next to Snoopy.
Which brings be to my point... it’s all about perspective. From a distance, these things may look insignificant, but once you get up close and personal, they’re massive.
The same can be applied when thinking about any old injury or change in movement pattern that seems too little to be the cause of your pain or poor performance.
As Neuro Therapists, it is our job to bring your awareness to these seemingly LITTLE things that may be having a BIG impact on your day to day function.
Once we have perspective, we can bring your awareness of these things to the forefront and correct them.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
Are you ready to change your perspective? Come see us!
Questions for Leah about her Neuro Therapy training process or trip to the Grand Caynon and Sedona? Shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several of our clients have recently asked how Neuro Therapy is different than something else they had heard about, biofeedback therapy. If they had that question, I thought some of you may also be interested in learning more about the differences between the two.
In some ways, Neuro Therapy is similar to biofeedback, but in other ways it is very different.
When the body is under stress, the following response can occur: increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, aches and pains, increased muscle tension, inflammation, and decreased recovery rates. Sometimes, the nervous system can get stuck in the "stressed state", even when there's no true threat, causing this response to last longer than necessary (i.e. persistent pain).
Both biofeedback and Neuro Therapy aim to re-train the nervous system's response to stress, but in slightly different ways.
Biofeedback therapy basically consists of two things:
-A quantitative measurement of your body's stress (ex: blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, etc)
-Manual techniques to bring these measurements into a more normal range
As an example, you might sit in front of a computer screen (above) that is showing a readout of your blood pressure. Your biofeedback instructor might teach you a specific breathing technique to help you relax the nervous system and bring your blood pressure down. The data on the screen would help you see whether or not the breathing technique is working.
Over time, and with consistent practice, your body may learn to relax the nervous system, helping to control blood pressure better, even when you're not using the breathing technique.
By providing a visual readout of data, it gives you and your nervous system the ability, consciously and subconsciously, to learn how to control the parameter (even under stress).. really cool stuff!
From a high level overview, Neuro Therapy works in a very similar way. We are also re-training the nervous system to respond differently to stress.
The biggest difference is that we are not using a visual readout that provides quantitative data. Rather, we are using your qualitative response to the stress (how intensely you are feeling the current). See the video below for a visual of how/why the body responds differently from a qualitative standpoint.
We then use movement/exercises to help the body to start re-interpreting this stress (the current) and re-train the nervous system to stay relaxed, even under stressful conditions and positions.
Simply put, biofeedback allows you to visualize the stress response through data, while Neuro Therapy allows you to simultaneously feel and control the stress response.
In both cases, the goal is to transition the nervous system from being stuck in that "stressed state" (which can be a contributor to persistent pain) to a more relaxed state, which minimizes persistent pain and promotes tissue recovery.
More questions about Neuro Therapy or biofeedback therapy? Shoot me an email at:
or comment below!
My wife and I just bought our first home and with buying a new home, comes customization. We decided to update the standard light fixtures to something a little more our style (I’m not claiming to have style). We picked up three light fixtures from Lowe’s and off we went to replace three light fixtures at home - 2 in the hallways, 1 in the dining room.
I am not an electrician by any means but by profession, electricity is something I work with every day. I have also never changed a light fixture. The most I’ve ever done is change a light bulb actually. I’m not sure if that is that embarrassing to admit or not?
So this was definitely a new experience and one that was pretty exciting (as far as home customization goes) because I can’t stand those standardized “nipple” lights and it’s kind of like taking work home with me - I have the opportunity to take something that needs fixed and I can use electricity to help it become better.
4 hours later we had 3 new light fixtures installed (4 hours... that sounds embarrassing too). I yell down to Jenna to flip the breaker and let there be light! But wait, the dining room light didn’t turn on. Hmmm.
By this time it was already dark outside and getting late so we decided to call it quits for the night and come back to it another night later in the week after work when there was time. This would also give me time to think about the instructions, all of the pieces to the light fixture, and try to problem solve why we were only 2-for-3.
48 hours rolled by and the only thing I could think of was that I didn’t splice the wires enough when connecting the light fixture wires to the house wires. Essentially, we needed more electricity, or stimulus (there’s the foreshadow to the title of this blog).
Jenna hit the breaker and off I went to pull apart the fixture where it connected to the ceiling. The next step was to undo the wiring to splice the wires, and then of course, yell down to Jenna to turn the breaker back on. Finally - light in the dining room.
So, why am I telling you this and how does it relate to Neuro Therapy? Well, at Premier we are constantly looking to push clients higher and higher on the output power (stimulus via electricity into the body). Based on years of clinical experience, we know that if we can push a high enough stimulus of electricity into the body, we can create an environment where the body eventually creates an adaption.
This change leads to client results. But what if there is not enough of a stimulus in the first place? Well let’s compare that to the light fixture.
The exchange of electricity between the light fixture wires and the house wires were very weak at first. Sure, there was a small amount of electricity being exchanged but not enough to yield the result of the lights actually turning on. However, after splicing the wires to allow more of an exchange, Jenna and I could achieve our goal - the light fixture can now provide light to the dining room.
So why do we need to turn up the output power during your Neuro Therapy sessions? We know that in order to achieve the result you want, a higher stimulus is needed.
We had a client come in for the first time yesterday and her symptoms were all very much nerve related. Aching, burning, and numbness starting from the gluteal crest where the long head of the biceps femoris muscle originates at the ischial tuberosity through the posterior aspect of the knee, working laterally to the fibular head, wrapping around to the medial tibia, and eventually working its way down to the dorsal aspect of the foot (see Figure 1).
After physically running through this pathway with her hand to show me where these symptoms are being presented, I asked her if she was familiar with the pathways of the nerves in the lower body (see Figure 2).
I was pretty surprised by her answer, which was a simple, "no". Normally I would not be expecting a "yes", as I know its rare to be familiar with this side of health and wellness. It's not exactly the most exciting thing to Google in your spare time.
But, after hearing how long the symptoms have been around and the amount of time spent trying to find a solution, surely someone in the medical field had shared this information with her. My expectation was that at some point there had to be a specialist or doctor who ran through this information, especially being that there was a trip to Johns Hopkins Medical Center at one point for an injection.
So I went on to explain to her the comparisons between where she touched on her right leg to some of the nerves in the lower body.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well it could help you, a friend, or family member that has not yet found an answer to similar symptoms or given up hope. This client has had the issue for over 5+ years and has been through the wringer and back with "specialists", physicians, MRI's, and different methods of therapy, only to find out that no one knows what's happening or how to solve it.
Sleeping is terrible, sitting at work is beyond frustrating, and driving, well that sometimes requires the use of the left leg because of discomfort in the right. How frustrating!
After a few minutes of administering the Neuro Therapy search process, we were able to locate the exact areas in the body that were over-sensitized, which were directly correlated to the most distal portions of those nerve endings she discussed (see figure 3). These areas we found were actually about the farthest thing away from the most painful spot on her body, near the gluteal crest. We then went to work on correcting the issue at hand.
Interested in learning more about Neuro Therapy?
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The week of the World Cup finals seems like a good a time to bring back an ongoing debate – why does the US struggle at soccer?
One of the reasons behind their struggles carries over to many other areas of sports performance and training.
For those of you that don’t know, team USA failed to even qualify for the World Cup this year, despite the fact that four million American kids play soccer, more than any other country in the world.
There are a multitude of reasons for US Soccer’s recent failings including coaching/leadership, economic access to the sport, and competition with other sports for the country’s best athletes.
However, today’s article will focus on the differences in training in the US versus many other countries that excel at soccer. The difference comes down to the concept of internal cues versus external cues.
A cue is something that we as coaches, trainers, and therapists use to give direction to a client on how to move. When we give that direction, we can either place the focus on the internal or external.
If the focus is on the internal, we are encouraging the athlete to focus on his body parts as he moves. In soccer, an internal cue might sound something like this:
“Place your right foot next to the soccer ball and point it at the target. As you plant your right foot, drive your left foot through the ball.”
(Disclaimer: This is probably a terrible cue and shows how little an expert I am on soccer.)
An external cue focuses the athlete’s attention on something in his or her environment and the outcome of his/her movement.
An external cue may sound like this:
“Kick the ball as hard as you can into the top right corner of the net.”
There’s a developing body of research that indicates external cues may help an athlete improve more efficiently than internal cues.
The theory is that by using internal cues, we are introducing a level of consciousness that limits the nervous system’s ability to perform the task. In other words, we have to think about it so much that we can’t perform it as well.
By placing the focus on the external, the nervous system can self-organize without the constraints of being controlled by conscious thought. The body is able to figure out on its own the most efficient way to do the movement.
So how does this apply to US soccer? In the US, parents with dreams of their kids achieving the highest levels of soccer place them immediately into technical training programs. In many instances, the focus is to train the fundamentals, i.e. give youth soccer players lots of internal cues on how to correctly pass, kick, and dribble.
We make our kids think a lot to learn the sport.
In other successful soccer countries like Brazil, kids are learning to play soccer with hours of endless unstructured practice with other kids. Their bodies are able to develop necessary skills without over thinking it.
The result? More fluid, creative, athletes who consistently dominate the US on the soccer pitch.
So how does all of this apply to your training?
Place more focus on what exactly you’re trying to accomplish, rather than how you’re going to do it.
For example, if you’re back squatting, think more about driving the ground away, rather than squeezing the hamstrings and glutes.
If you’re pitching, think more about how you’re going to throw the baseball through the catcher’s glove, rather than rotating your hips.
By placing the focus on the external, rather than the internal, you’ll create an environment where the full potential of your nervous system can evolve and take your performance to another level.
In this article, we'll review a quick & easy self-check to help relieve pain, and all it requires is your phone and a friend.
Ready for it? Simply record yourself doing the movements that cause you the most discomfort. From there, playback the video to yourself and look for any movement patterns that look abnormal or imbalanced.
If you're comfortable using your phone camera, you can even record the video in slow motion or slow down the playback to help breakdown the film.
If you are in pain, have limited mobility, or decreased performance, I bet something will jump right off the screen. It's not rocket science and it doesn't have to be difficult. It's quick, easy, and can save a lot of time and money on the back end.
Let's look at a few examples of how we utilize this tool at Premier:
Figure 1 below shows a Premier family member walking. You can see the location of her pain is located on the posterior hip, near her glute medius.
When she walks, she presents significant knee valgus (knee collapses toward the midline due to hip adduction and hip internal rotation. Having this issue for many years, all of her muscles on the lateral side (or outside) of that right leg have been chronically lengthened.
You could infer that the pain is a result of these improper walking mechanics. Walking and sitting is when this client is in an elevated pain state. Ironically, she also sits with her right leg in this position (knee valgus). Coincidence? I think not.
Example #2 is a little more complex. This time, the Premier family member suffered from right shoulder pain.
The first step was to discuss what movements present the most discomfort. In this case, it was the "muscle-up" exercise. The next step was to have her perform that exercise and record it. The last step was to break down the video (in slow motion) and review for any compensations we did not catch in live action.
Upon first glance, the thing that jumps out the most is the difference in shoulder angle in Figure 4.
It's easy to focus on this part of the exercise because that's where the shoulder is doing the most work, and there is clearly an imbalance or compensation occurring. But, not so fast....
Let's rewind the footage a little bit and determine if there's another reason that shoulder imbalance is occurring.
Figure 3 shows the left leg swinging through faster while the right leg lags behind. Figure 2 shows that imbalance coming out even sooner in the exercise.
Is it possible that the end result of the exercise (pain occurring in the right shoulder) is actually a result of the initial muscle-up movement that involves a faster left leg swing?
Yes, that was precisely the outcome.
Now, let's take another look at Figure 4. The left biceps is clearly shortened - which is an issue. How do we know this? Well, if it were in more of a lengthened position, the left arm would look like the right.
When the left biceps stays in a shortened state during the muscle-up, the right arm is forced to do more work, putting it at high risk for shoulder pain.
This same biceps/triceps compensation presented itself during a straight-arm front delt raise in our Neuro Therapy sessions. As we climbed to higher output powers on the device, she was not able to keep her left arm straight.
(Remember back to why we look for straight lines and right angles? See blog here:
After a few weeks of re-educating the left arm muscles (biceps and triceps) to work properly together in the front delt raise, we were able to transfer the same mind-muscle connection to the muscle-up exercise, while focusing on an even leg swing. The pain in the right shoulder substantially decreased until finally subsiding for good.
Pretty awesome tool we all have in our phones, but I might be biased ;)
In 1954, Roger Bannister became the first person to do what was considered by many to be impossible. He ran 1 mile in less than 4 minutes. For 70 years, runners had chased the goal, but none had been able to break through the barrier. In most of the world's mind, it was just not possible.
Within just over a year after Bannister's feat, 4 more runners accomplished the achievement, and thousands of runners since have done the same.
A mindset shift.
Seeing Bannister accomplish the goal allowed them to believe the feat was achievable.
At Premier, we talk a lot about protective mechanisms that exist within the body. These mechanisms limit our ability to move freely and perform at our best. In many cases, these physically induced limitations can develop due to previous injuries or improper movement patterns.
However, the race to the 4 minute mile demonstrated that the most significant limitations can often occur in our minds..
Psychologically induced limitations are created when we have negative beliefs, thoughts, and emotions about the goals we set out to achieve. Negative thoughts serve to protect us from the psychological damage of failing (which in 99% of cases really is never as bad as it seems, right?).
In doing so, they drastically reduce our ability to set meaningful performance goals and strive for improvement.
Instead, negative thoughts allow us to quickly say "no" to new ideas and move on.
Just think about it for a second... when's the last time you had a great idea or ambitious goal?
Maybe it was to decrease your 40 time, throw more weight around in the gym, or start a new project for your business.
It's possible the idea ignited a fire of enthusiasm, but was quickly doused with a negative thought like "I could never do that."
Within seconds, negative thoughts limited your ability to improve and do something great.
On the flip side, having a positive thought in that moment would have expanded your vision, making you more receptive, creative, and likely to achieve your goal.
If negative beliefs are the walls that we build around ourselves, positive thoughts are the ladders that allow us to peak over that wall to see if it's a barrier worth overcoming.
Therefore, in order to perform at your best, we must work at replacing negativity with positive belief.
Because negativity is a much easier thought process, it can easily become our default operating mode if we don't work at it.
How to start shifting your mindset:
One way that's proven to be effective is tallying the number of times you feel positive and negative emotions throughout the day. You can do this on a piece of paper, a word document on your computer, or the notes app on your phone.
Positive emotions to key in on include:
Negative emotions include.:
By doing so, you'll place a focus on the positive, and quickly start to shift your mindset. Goals that previously seemed impossible will seem reachable, allowing you to constantly strive for better performance.
Note: This article was written by Premier Neuro Therapy co-owner Zach Michael and originally appeared as a guest post on Erica Suter's blog at ericasuter.com. Erica is a strength & conditioning coach and performance consultant that trains soccer players throughout the Baltimore, MD area.
The brain is basically your overprotective mom in high school (no that’s not the beginning of a yo momma joke – Erica made me promise I wouldn’t tell any of those in this article).
It is going to do whatever it can to protect you.
Maybe some of you had a mom that was both protective AND very well connected in the community. It seemed like no matter how sneaky you tried to be, she always found out what you were really up to. Somehow, she was able to use her network of spies to make sure you stayed out of trouble and grew up into the great young guy or girl you are today.
If you challenged what your mom thought was safe too much or too often, it’s likely she brought about forms of punishment. Things like no more cell phone, no car keys for 2 weeks, or no video games for a month.
It didn’t matter to your mom that “no cell phone” meant you weren’t able to coordinate your weekly study group. Or that “no car keys” meant you wouldn’t be able to get to offseason workouts. And it didn’t matter that “no video games for a month” meant you weren’t going to be able to develop your Call of Duty (or nowadays Fortnite?) skills.
In other words, Mom didn’t care very much about your performance. What mattered to mom was that you were safe.
Now, Erica asked me to write an article on how the nervous system might affect your clients’ ability to run a 20 yard shuttle faster from one day to the next, and so far, all I’ve done is written 274 words about my mom (love you, Ma!).
But the same thing that matters most to your clients’ Mom (their safety) is what matters most to your clients’ brain. The brain uses its network of spies (the sensory nerves) to sense threats and respond to keep your clients safe from them.
For the brain, a threat is anything that it doesn’t consider “normal”. Basically, it is constantly receiving input from the sensory nerves and asking “is this normal?” If the answer is no, it starts going into ‘overprotective mom’ state.
And just like Mom, it doesn’t care nearly as much about your clients’ performance as it does their safety. So if the brain is overwhelmed by many different threats at once, it will direct energy and resources to taking care of the threat, potentially affecting your clients’ performance.
There are a number of “threats” that can cause nervous system function to change from one day to the next.
For example, as I’m writing this article, it’s 1:00 PM. I’ve consumed nothing today but 3 cups of coffee, a piece of bread w/ peanut butter, a protein shake, and a few glasses of water. Last night, I slept about 8 hours after drinking 3-4 alcoholic beverages. This morning, I got a quick, intense workout in.
My stomach is starting to rumble a little bit, I’ve got a dull headache from the 3-4 alcoholic beverages (welcome to the ripe old age of 28), and I’m feeling a bit thirsty.
In other words, the brain is sensing a few threats. It isn’t happy about my nutrition, consumption of alcohol, and lack of water. It’s re-directing resources, trying to get me to take action (grab something to eat, dummy).
Instead, I’m on a mission to finish this article, but let’s be honest, my writing performance is suffering (what am I even saying right now??)
Similarly, if I were getting ready to run a 20 yard shuttle, it’s likely my athletic performance wouldn’t be ideal. My brain is using precious bandwidth to think about when it’s next meal will be and wonder why the heck I choose to poison it every now and then with alcohol.
Therefore, it’s much harder for it to dedicate energy to the task at hand, and a number of performance factors suffer, including:
If any or all of these are being impacted by the nervous system, it’s expected that a decreased level of performance would follow.
In order to fully optimize nervous system performance, all factors must be considered, including:
A simple strategy can be employed, considering all of the factors:
For trainers, this is a no brainer when it comes to the physical stressors. It’s what you do. You know a midfielder will be required to run 5-7 miles during a game. At times they’ll need to sprint, shuffle, and cut with power, speed, and quickness. So you design a training program that will allow their body to meet and exceed those demands (I know I’m oversimplifying here).
By doing so, you are both forcing the body to physiologically adapt (add more muscle) and de-sensitizing the nervous system to the idea that such rigorous physical demands could be considered a threat.
Basically, it’s like bringing your mom along slowly to an idea that she considered threatening to your safety in the past (I don’t know, sending you off to an out-of-state college?).
The challenge for many trainers is going beyond the physical. I challenge you to not only strive to optimize your clients’ performance physically, but neurologically. In order to do so, all of the above factors must be considered, and we’ll need to ask ourselves questions like:
Asking questions like these will help you take a more well-rounded approach to nervous system optimization and give your clients an added edge when it’s time to perform.
If you’re already asking and answering these questions in your own training philosophy (or even have a few ideas), I’d love to hear about them. Comment on the blog or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Registration is now open for the Premier Neuro Therapy 2018 High School Elite Athlete Development Program. This event takes place at our facility in Hunt Valley, MD and runs from 7/9/18 to 8/17/18.
In the past, we have reserved the program exclusively for our pros, but for the first time ever, we are opening it up to a limited number of high school athletes.
This program is a good fit for the high school athlete that is looking for an added performance boost. Professional athletes who've received the most benefit from the program have found they were not performing to their full potential due to limited mobility, nagging injuries, and/or improper movement patterns.
Each athlete will begin with a movement assessment that utilizes high tech biomechanical sensors to analyze the athlete's running gait, hip mobility, ankle mobility, movement symmetry, core stability, and balance.
From there, the athlete will undergo a neuromuscular assessment that helps determine what muscles may be restricting mobility, limiting performance, increasing the risk for injury, or causing discomfort during performance.
Using the results of the assessments, a 6 week program is customized for the athlete to help them reach their stated performance goals.
All athletes will receive manual therapy from the licensed massage therapists at William John Massage Studios. Additionally, professional grade nutrition supplementation will be provided by Rado Nutrition through the duration of the program to help build muscle, repair damaged tissue, and flush out inflammation.
Interested in learning more? Call us at 410-929-0642 - but don't delay, as spaces are limited; we expect this offering to sell out quickly and will be capping the number of participants.
Negative stressors pop into our lives day in and day out. Those stressors can have a negative impact on our mind and body, but more specifically the nervous system. When our nervous system becomes overloaded with too much stress, negative side effects can start to pile up. This can affect our physical/mental health, relationships, school/work life, or performance levels.
Instant Activity Instructions: For the next 30 seconds, give yourself time to think about every stressor going on in your life and write them down. While you do you that, I will too.
....Time is up!
As the stressors pile up, we can become more and more over-sensitized emotionally. In this scenario, things that didn’t bother us before now seem like huge issues. I think it’s safe to say we have all been there before. Perhaps you have found yourself in one of the following situations:
If we are being honest here, I am definitely guilty of #3. Sorry, Jenna ;) And #2. Alright fine, and #1. Sorry, Zach.
To better illustrate the effect of psychological stressors on the nervous system, think of your nervous system as a cup. Now let’s pour something into that cup – how’s water? The water going into that cup will take on the role of every day stressors.
This cup can only handle so much water, just like your nervous system can only handle so much stress. When we pour too much water into the cup, it over-flows. Comparatively speaking, when we hit our tipping point with the amount of daily stress, the nervous system can go into a lock-down mode, otherwise described as a protective state/sympathetic state. As the cup overflows, the water has no choice but to go where it shouldn’t and begins to make a mess or damage things nearby just as the abundance of stress affecting the nervous system prevents the body from functioning at optimal levels.
Combine the psychological stress with the physical demands of our jobs, workouts, or duties at home and that cup of water might as well be a water fall. But, we don’t stop pushing in our daily, stressful routines. Rarely do we hit the brakes and just breath for a little while. Instead, we keep those physical stressors coming like there’s no tomorrow:
Or, how about these scenarios? With the nervous system already in a protective/sympathetic state from previous stressors, you add another meeting to the end of a work day. You are limited on time so you skip your warm up at the gym and try to max out in a few lifts that didn't quite feel so great on the knees just a week before....
Pop. There goes the back.
The sympathetic nervous system did exactly what it was supposed to do and kept the body in a highly protective state. But, we didn’t listen to our inner voice telling us we are too stressed or needed a break. We also failed to pay attention to the physical signs leading to this moment of discomfort.
Regardless of the situation, there’s no way we can avoid all psychological and physiological stressors, but I encourage you to be an advocate for yourself. Raise your self-awareness and take mental notes (I encourage you to actually write them down) of things that will trigger a stress response in the body. I am not asking you to eliminate all tough workouts, late-night work sessions, or long days of driving, but what I am recommending is that you start to listen to your body.
Some of you do a fantastic job with this and for those of you who do, I challenge you to improve even more. You only get one body, you might as well understand what will negatively impact it so you can start living more optimally. But don’t over think it - start small, jot some notes down when they pop up, develop a plan of attack to eliminate it, and most importantly, make sure to stick with it!
Until next time, #PremierFamily!
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility for people who want to stay active into their 40s, 50s, and beyond.
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