Postural Restoration Institute

This past weekend I’ve had the opportunity to attend a MyoKinematic Restoration seminar by Postural Restoration Institute (PRI), hosted by Kevin Neeld and Endeavor Fitness, who by the way has an awesome facility about 10 minutes away from my home!

If you had asked me 3 years ago whether I thought that breathing would have the ability to fix or alleviate any pains from my daily activities of slaying the dance floor, and increasing my efficiency in dancing, I would have told you to shut your mouth..!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n46CtDmKOg]

However, after having traveled a long and arduous journey, and going through two days of the 36 Chambers of Hruska, I believe that breathing may be the answer for many of my extreme athletic questions that I’ve postulated in the past.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZSJQ_Q_XaA]

For the uninitiated, PRI’s main philosophy is as follows…

The human body is not symmetrical.  The neurological, respiratory, circulatory, muscular and vision systems are not the same on the left side of the body as they are on the right, and vice versa… This system asymmetry is a good thing and an amazing design… The torso, for example, is balanced with a liver on the right and a heart on the left.  Extremity dominance is balanced through reciprocal function; i.e. left arm moves with right leg and vice versa…

Some of the “big rocks” (to quote Mike Boyle)  that I took from this weekend’s seminar:

1. The body is asymmetrical due to the liver on the right, heart on the left, and a larger crural attachment of the diaphragm on the right. Considering these basic factors, our body’s natural tendency is to shift to the right. Therefore, we are all in a trending pattern, or as I like to call it, The Pattern. Whether you decide to take action and follow PRI is up to you…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGQF8LAmiaE]

2. The pelvis moves on the femur, and the femur moves on the pelvis. Instead of stretching hammies over and over to achieve length or relief from tightness (a distal to proximal relationship), understand that changing the orientation of the pelvis can achieve better length and tension relief (a proximal to distal approach). Understand and accept that, and apply it through correctives and be aware of everyday posture to achieve better positioning.

3. A PRI corrective a day, keeps the orthopedist away. The idea of PRI is to perform the exercises under a low-mid level flame, not as if you are hyping up for a cluster set of deadlifts at 85%. Further, although breathing was not the main focus of our seminar, it is still a huge component of how we achieved the results that we received. Neck and chest breathers won’t be able to achieve the same results as opposed to belly breathers who utilize the diaphragm effectively. Follow a long-term treatment plan, and you’ll encounter less snags and resistance along your athletic career.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp-gCvW8PRY]

4. To build on number 3, as strength coaches and trainers, we often think of the body as a muscular system that we aim to change in regards to building a bigger, faster, and more efficient athlete… when in reality there is a large neuromuscular system (read: parasympathetic nervous system) at play here that we need to respect as well. I always respected that there was a huge stress component to appreciate in order to achieve results physically, and it is only now coming full circle in regards to how we can see results almost instantaneously just by slowing down and breathing in the right positions.

5. I have the anterior hip ligamentous stability of a 12 year old Chinese gymnast. From the testing, I found out why I have huge back muscles, and I found out how stretching everyday from the ages of 14-16 or 17 affected my anterior hip ligaments, something the FMS and other assessments could not address (because I had adequate mobility in several of those tests, sans thoracic mobility).

She ain’t got nothin on me.

And subsequently, these “rocks” sparked more questions in my noggin:

1. The PRI methodology is clearly aimed at therapists working one-on-one with patients. However, how can we (re: strength coaches) use this the PRI methodology effectively? i.e. Adapting this to a larger group setting as opposed to ONLY one-on-one (very individualized for the obvious reason that each person is literally different in their day to day activies)?

2. Coming from the lab/practical over the weekend, several of the attendees (myself included) felt significant changes in our stance and posture after we had been “treated”, some even noting a reduction in pain. With this concoction in correctives and coaching blends the gray area of our practice of strength and conditioning/fitness and therapy. How far will this go, considering that PRI is relatively new?

(There is no certification for foam rolling on a tennis ball or PVC Pipe, yet that is something we use quite often as coaches to decrease soft tissue restrictions among other beneficial factors. Trigger points can cause pain in some instances, and relieving them isn’t something I aim to do, but it is a large point of the use of self-myofascial release items.)

3. To build upon point 1, can we just blanket statement everyone’s conditions since we are all in “the pattern” due to our basic human make-up in order to make this methodology more available to the masses?

4. With Movember in full swing, I’ve decided (along with others) that the innovator of PRI, Ron Hruska, is actually Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w1p5UI7Siw]

If you’re in the training or rehabilitation industry, certainly take some time out of your busy weekend watching football and going to Sunday buffets to go to a PRI seminar. The course schedule is here, and from what I understand Endeavor is hosting another seminar in April of 2013.

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