by Sean St. Onge
A couple of years ago I had done a brief series of interviews with some of my favorite resident chiropractors that we have as members at 212 Health and Performance. In those blogs, I mentioned that having a competent and unscrupulous chiropractor as a resource guide has been priceless for me as a trainer and coach. Not only as an option that I can comfortably send my clientele to, but also for outsourcing purposes.
I have been extremely fortunate to have a few to my disposal; namely Dr. Vincent Brunelle and Dr. Ron Tyszkowski. Both have been more than just a resource for referral from my clientele to becoming their clients, but also vice versa. I was not aware that there was another way of doing business. Albeit having the fortune of being surrounded by very like-minded and genuine good people. I must say I was suffering from being naïve. Sadly from the tree of health and wellness the relationship I share with these professionals is not commonplace for all trainers.
My first experience with Dr. Brunelle was during an outdoor boot camp I, and fellow strength coach Joey Taraborelli, was running. Dr. Brunelle (whom I did not know personally at the time) was “scouting” the exercises and coaching Joey and I were doing with our clients. He was not participating or inquiring about potentially joining, yet questioning exercise selection, safety, awareness, and tempo of the drills. Unbeknownst to me, he was sizing us up as a resource for HIMSELF to refer his clients to. From this point on we became friends, and he has been mentoring me for the past 6 years. We continually refer clients to one another, attend continuing education seminars together, and I have been bouncing ideas off him ever since.
Dr. Ron Tyszkowski and I met at what was formally Punch Kettlebell Gym (now 212 Health and Performance) as he was the resident “Kettlebell Doctor.” Ron helped me a lot early on with the assessment piece of the dreaded Turkish Get Up and utilizing it as a tool and not just an “awful exercise” I make everyone do. Ron was very eager to with meet with me as I had learned from my lessons with Dr. Brunelle to ask as many questions as possible. (I will note it was very easy to connect with Ron, simply because he is as much of a nerd that likes Metallica/Comic Books/Star Wars as he is a professional!)
WHAT TO TAKE HOME:
- Trainers and medical professionals should work together for the best interest of their clients
- Performance/Physique do not equate health
One of the topics I find interesting based on my relationship with these two professionals is the role a chiropractor has with a trainer and coach. Optimally, you, as the client, would enjoy there to be a working relationship so literally everyone is on the same page. Is this happening for you among your health professionals?
***Allow me to preface by stating that there is an obvious difference between both of these professionals’ roles. Yet also allow me to note a personal trainer’s number one job beyond teaching a client new exercises, exercise fundamentals, and coaching for a goal, is to DO NO HARM. And although obviously you do NOT go to see a personal trainer for pain purposes, if you are performing exercises improperly, that definitely falls into their scope of practice. ***
With reference to pain management, let’s be honest. If you are visiting a chiropractor it is to reduce pain that currently exists. Yet being preventative and proactive will lead to proper exercising and MOVING better.
Seeing how doctors can prescribe pain medication, the chiropractors I enjoy working with would do their best to stay away for as long as possible from this means to an end. So the next choice would be prescribing EXERCISE. (NOTE*If your chiropractor is not teaching you why you are ailing it may be time to look for one that will) It is important for a chiropractor to have a detailed understanding of your workout program simply because if you are constantly in pain, then training with your personal trainer, STILL IN PAIN, and there is just a constant revolving door between two professionals there is a missing link that NEEDS to be fixed. All too often we don’t put those links together.
Unfortunately, people that utilize a chiropractor don’t also utilize a trainer and the same could go the other way. There should be a proper merriment of these two resources moving forward to your overall health and wellbeing. I understand how some people may shy away from using either one, yet should you be working with one or both of these professionals, here are some things to get all Horshack about.
“Question everything” with your professionals.
- The necessity for exercise
- Do I need to be doing this exercise? Am I doing enough? What more do I need to do
- Responsibility for it to maintain health
- Exercise selection based on needs not just aesthetics.
- Maintenance for livelihood
Again, make sure the regimen of exercises is conducive to your lifestyle and occupation.
Bare Minimum & Beyond Basics
Once you have made a clear path with your trainer as to where you will be heading, now it becomes the question of “AM I doing enough?” Sadly, it is rare for the answer to be that someone is doing too much, but it is possible. More often than not, it is not enough. Doing the bare minimum will be “just enough” to keep you out of consistent pain. Consistently practicing fundamental movements will impact daily routine. “Aim Small, Miss Small” is a mantra I really enjoy, so start off small with walking in small increments and over time boost frequency and then distance. If you are not currently working with a trainer or coach, implore towards group yoga classes. Again we are talking about basics and minimal.