A review of Functional Anatomy Seminars system – is a complete system for patient and personal care that will completely alter your clinical perspective towards treatment, rehab and mobility.
My first experience with the Functional Anatomy Seminars system was FRC® or Functional Range Conditioning and after 7 years of clinical practice as a chiropractor, soft tissue therapist, acupuncturist and movement advocate it was the missing piece needed to complete my ability to fully treat, teach and train patients from acute phase care to full recovery. Little did I know that this one FRC® course was just the beginning of a 3-year long journey to a whole new perspective and way of thinking.
On day one at FRC® I was thinking this might give me a few new exercises to give to patients and another thing to add to my tool box – rather it began a shift in my whole way of thinking that would change me forever – for the better.
Day 1 – Wake Up Call:
Wow what a wake up call it was – BIG TIME – you think you’re an athlete and you move well until you take FRC® and you realise wow most of my movements are limited, compensated and severely lacking in range and control. It makes you realise all the reasons why you have injured yourself in the past. Our bodies are so smart they will choose the path of least resistance and if you don’t have the range then another tissue, joint or body part will compensate.
You compensate for long enough and as Dr Andreo Spina (creator of the system) says LOAD >> TISSUE TOLERANCE = INJURY; yup that’s right you get injured. Here is a quick example say you want to some Olympic lifting – a snatch lift – well this lift requires excellent range in all of the following joints: ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders as well as control. How many of us that perform Olympic lifting can really say there is NO limitation in our ankle range? Spine range? Hip range? Or shoulder range?
Well day one of FRC® and I think I maybe had only the knee range – really your saying my toe, ankle, hip, entire spine, shoulder and wrist all are restricting my motion!
Whoa timeout – I have completed Ironman triathlons, marathons, ultramarathons, played volleyball, athletics and more and I cannot move – how is this possible? Well for many years we get away with compensating and our tissues have some adaptability until the load exceeds the tissue tolerance and eventually we get injured it might take years to get to this point but eventually we all get there. Also pretty much all of our ‘sports’ are repetitive motions we do over and over again that stress the exact same tissues over and over again so the movement variation is severely lacking. In my triathlon days I would swim, bike and run that’s pretty much it once in a while would do a yoga class but essentially repetitive motions of swimming, biking and running are what I did for 7 years leading up to that first FRC®. So was it any wonder I had no hip range, ankle range or shoulder range and was adapted to doing only the movements of triathlon.
After 2 days of exploring the system and movements I was sore, so sore, more so than ever before. More sore than after finishing a 13-hour Ironman triathlon (3.8k swim, 180k bike, 42k run) and it was from MOBILITY – unbelievable. I had a lot of work to do…….
Functional Range Release (FR®):
Next up I decided to start on the Functional Range Release courses and started with lower limb which was a 3-day intensive, hands on course to learn how to palpate (locate and feel) tissue and treat it so you create lasting change in your patients. Again as with FRC® this was a mind altering experience that would change my clinical framework and treatment approach forever.
As with all functional anatomy seminar courses we begin with an overview of what the research states and how it provides us with a guide of how to treat as well as in-depth discussions on tensegrity, tissue tension, mobility, dynamic systems theory and much more. The research guides not only how we treat but also how we train and will force you to think – my brain was the thing hurting on FR® for that first time – in a good way of course.
Think? YES! This is not a system for someone who wants to memorise moves or someone who wants to be told specific answers of what to do when, it’s a framework that allows you to apply principles to treating each individual patient, alter as needed and fully adapt their care. So if your looking for a framework and guiding principles that will allow you to think, adapt and become a better therapist or trainer then this system is for you.
My biggest takeaway from the FR® course was – What have I been doing all these 7-8 years? To be honest after further thinking on the subject we all as therapists mean well, give good care and hope we are doing the best – is that good enough? In short, NO, we can do better, do more and achieve not only lasting change for our patients but can make them stronger, better and more resilient than before – and is this not what we all went to school for? We have a rare opportunity when a patient shows up at your door or in your gym to TEACH them how to understand their body, what it needs and inspire them to move more and move better. This is what true prevention is, as therapists or trainers we are not the ones doing the actual treatment we are simply facilitating the tissue change in our patients – they are doing the work. Real treatment does not come from passive care, one treatment or session it comes from long term, consistent commitment to moving correctly, improving range and mobility and learning how to control our bodies.
After FRC® and FR® Lower I was hooked and went on a little spree of functional anatomy seminars training. I have now completed FR® Upper, Spine, FRC® 2 more times (yup every time I get more out of that course), KinStretch (in NYC so fun) and finally in January this year FRA®
My experience with KinStretchTM as with all the functional anatomy seminar courses was again mind altering. We were all so very sore from the good work we did over the 2 days but it was worth it. KinStretch is the class based version of FRC® in reality it is FRC® on steroids. If you think yoga or pilates provides you with mobility training try a KinStretchTM class and you will be blown away. Recently I have been using KinStretchTM as a way to stabilise my pelvis during pregnancy and its the perfect tool to create control, stability and mobility. If you really want to push yourself and your clients then KinStretch is a must be sure you prepare and you have been doing your FRC® prior to attending or you may end up hurting yourself. Dewey and Dre have created a system that allows people to learn about their bodies and to learn how to move like ninjas. My goal after KinStretch was and still is to become a better NINJA.
Functional Range Assessment (FRA®):
That final piece of the puzzle – FRA® or functional range assessment course was the icing on the cake and works like a tree supporting and guiding the entire system. It is much more than just an assessment system it’s a way to understand the entire functional anatomy seminars framework and a specific way to apply all the principles in clinical practice and in the gym. I can now break down someone’s body into its component parts, assess and come up with specific ways to improve, train and increase mobility in those joints with the goal of ‘Making them better humans.’
That is what this system when you break it down to its core and essence allows you to do ‘MAKE BETTER HUMANS’ really and honestly it is that profound. I am a better human personally for taking the system and I teach others how to become better humans.
Don’t we all want to be ‘better, more functional humans?’
If you do – invest in yourself and your patients take any of the functional anatomy seminar courses and you will be inspired. The system is now worldwide check it out at www.functionalanatomyseminars.com
Last and by no means least words cannot express how grateful I am for Dr Andreo Spina for creating the system along with Dr Michael Chivers, Dr John Saratsiotis and all the patient amazing instructors – Dewey, Hunter, Dana etc. Not only are all of you inspirational in your movements but more importantly in your generosity to share your knowledge. I am a better human for having met all of you.
Nicole Paine, DC, BA, MSc
Chiropractor – Acupuncturist – Functional Medicine Practitioner – Mobility Specialist
FRC® x 3, FR® Upper, Lower, Spine, KinStretchTM, FRA®