"The most advanced form of training and rehabilitation in the world..."
What if I told you you’d never have to stretch or foam roll again and you’d be injury free and nimbler than ever before?
If someone had explained this concept to me just 18 months ago, I would have laughed. If they’d then insisted that they were speaking the truth, I’d have whisked them away into a dark corner at gun point (I don’t actually own a gun…) and demanded that they hand over one of the ‘magic pills’ that they spoke of.
If you’re anything like me, then you hate stretching. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a ride, spending the day at work, returning home for dinner and then realising that you need to stretch before you really feel as though you’re ready to jump into bed (guilt free…) Perhaps you’re not as obsessive about your stretching as I once was?
An overuse injury in my early day’s as a cyclist had me feet up, unable to turn the pedals for close to six months. I was diagnosed with the dreaded ‘ITB Syndrome,’ a common injury for cyclists in which the Iliotibial Band that run’s down the exterior of the quad, becomes so tight, that it results in the bursa (small, fluid filled sacks that lubricate the joint beneath) becoming inflamed and causing chronic pain. I spent hours at the physio and hours researching exactly what was causing the grief I was experiencing. Everything I read explained that I should be foam rolling the band itself, loosening the attachment points at either end and strengthening my glutes. Eager to jump back on the bike as soon as possible, I turned into an ‘obsessive stretcher,’ stretching for upwards of two hours each and every day, in the hope that this would fast track my recovery.
Upon slowly emerging from the injury, I soon realized that I had become dependant on stretching. Any minor niggle (which was becoming more and more common) had me stretching and yet even though I was completing a monstrous amount of stretching each and every day, I still felt tight. How could this be?
This routine lasted for four years. Four long years of stretching 1-2 hours each and every day. If I look back and calculate the time I spent stretching in the four years prior to my introduction to Neuro Physics Therapy, I’d have accumulated approximately 2,200 hours of ‘stretch’…the equivalent to three whole months of stretching 24/7. Ridiculous…
Late in 2016 I was introduced to Kam Wilkinson and Teneal Attard (T) from ‘Chaotic Energy’ in Highgate, Western Australia and this is when my stretching regime stopped abruptly.
Kam & T are experts in the field of Neuro Physics Therapy (NPT.) In a nutshell, NPT is a unique exercise-based program, which activates the nervous system in such a way that stimulates the body to re-organize itself and return to optimal function, through very light and controlled resistance training – Often within incredible timeframes.
Developed by Ken Ware over the past 30 years, NPT has been shown to consistently benefit clients through its ‘whole body approach,’ rather than isolating trouble spots that require ‘fixing.’ This unique form of therapy enables the body to facilitate all of the healing work required to return the body to peak physical and mental form, without the use of medicine, surgery or physical manipulation.
It’s a difficult phenomenon to describe and so what I’ve done, is put forward a series of questions to my therapist Kam, so that he can provide more clarity on the concept behind NPT and how it will benefit you. But first, I want to describe my experience and the outcomes that I’ve achieved through NPT in such a short space of time.
As outlined earlier, prior to NPT I always felt tight. No exceptions. I struggled to reach my toes bending forward, my quads felt as though they were heavy and solid and I always had some form of niggle, be it in my knees, hips, calves or back. I felt like an old man and yet I was in my mid-twenties, ‘prime time’ as some would argue.
Another thing to note is that in order to feel comfortable on the bike I was required to adopt a ‘duck foot’ position where my heels were in and my toes were out. My feet were so splayed on the pedals that my heels would rub on my cranks and rear stays with every pedal stroke. To solve this problem, I purchased pedals with longer spindles but this just led to additional issues. The longer spindles had me feeling as though I was riding a horse. My stance was so wide and I felt so awkward on the bike that some days I would jump aboard my steed and really question what enjoyment I was getting. It became a mental battle to overcome how uncomfortable I was.
The above is no doubt news to most, but this was a struggle that I put up with for years and to this day, I sometime question why and how I kept on riding.
Back to NPT…Initially, I completed an intensive four-day program under the guidance of Kam. At the completion of each day, I was not only physically wrecked, but mentally exhausted too, as my body was going through a series of exercises in which I was able to see what was occurring in my system and then set about changing them.
Exercises ranged from leg press to lat pull down and everything in between with a clear focus of symmetry and alignment. A few key concepts that were mentioned included being centred, calming arousal down and keeping everything innocent. All of the exercises were completed without weight and yet the levels of fatigue I experienced were like no other I had ever come across in the gym. All exercises are completed at a very slow pace which enables significant refinement to take place physically and emotionally, I really was experiencing how my body was riding my bike.
To give you an idea of how quickly I noticed results, following the four days of therapy, I had to make drastic changes to the positioning of the cleats on my shoes so that my feet faced squarely forward and in addition to this, I felt improved clarity and had the ability to remain composed when riding at my absolute limits. It was at this point that I realised that Kam, T and the whole of the NPT following worldwide, were onto something...That everyone can fix themselves and learn to be in control through this therapy.
So how do I go about completing my therapy when away in a remote location on one of my Adventures without access to a gym? Simple…by completing just four ‘super slow’ squat repetitions at the completion of each day, I can now realign my body back to optimal function. I complete this prior to bed and voila, the following morning I jump on the bike and feel like new again. It truly is incredible.
It may appear as though I'm trying to sell you a concept that is too good to be true, but I can honestly say that NPT has changed me. It’s not only changed me from a physical sense in that I am now more flexible than ever and able to bend forward and put my whole palm flat on the floor in front, but from a mental/emotional sense too. I am far calmer than I ever have been. If a problem arises, be it on the bike or in daily life, I can deal with it in a calm and collected manner. In addition to this, despite the long kilometres I complete on the bike each and every day, I remain niggle free. If you look to the other athletes that are now using NPT within Australia alone, it highlights how effective this form of therapy is, in allowing these athletes to reach their optimal performance levels in their chosen sport:
Mark Matthews – Professional Big Wave Surfer
Karla Gilbert - Ironman
Jana Pitman – Two time Wold Athletics Gold Medallist
Jonathon Brown – Ex -AFL Player
Reni Maitua – Ex -NRL Player
Nick Kenny – Ex -NRL Player
Simon Dywer – Ex- NRL Player
Pete Jacobs – Professional Triathlete
Matt Spooner – UFC Athlete/Coach
John Maclean – Professional Triathlete / Rower
If the above list and explanation aren’t enough to convince you that NPT is the way forward, then have a good read of my Q&A with Kam below and book into your nearest NPT clinic for a consultation.
Additionally, if you are seeking the validity and creditability of NeuroPhysics Therapy, check out www.neurophysicstherapy.global and view the research tab. If you’re anything like me, you won’t look back. Life changing.
Q. Can you provide me with a simplistic outline as to who NPT is for, and how it works?
A. NPT is for everyone that wants to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. Whether they want to increase sporting performance, better deal with stress, anxiety or general rehabilitation and also for people who have chronic pain/complex disorders.
NPT is about treating the person and not the condition or symptoms. By teaching you to be back in control of your system and equipping you with the necessary skills, you are actually able to fix the system.
NPT works by understanding what we are. We are living systems that perceive and respond to the environment around us. As a living system, we can only be in one of two states, a state of growth or a state of protection. A state of protection is where the stress builds up in our system (physical/emotional tension.) It’s the isolation of stress that creates disease and disorder. NPT enables clients to move into a state of growth, where the communication lines are open, allowing optimal flow of information and optimal nervous system function. As a result, we are able to control our emotions, our sleep patterns and our energy levels.
Using light weights and moving super slow, we are able to see how the client’s system is dealing with stress day-day, whether in their chosen sport, at home/work or in social environments. Your system will indicate to us exactly how it is behaving and interacting in these environments. In understanding the client’s physical and emotional responses to the environment (in the exercises) we can correct the imbalances in the client’s system and this enables reference points to be created which help you deal in the bigger, stronger, faster world!
Q. What does a typical session look like?
A. Each client goes through an initial assessment in which we assess how their system is interacting day-day with their environments. They will then start on a Platinum 2 Day Program or complete the 4 Day NPT Intensive therapy. Following these initial sessions, the client goes onto begin the NPT program. Each session is about continually enhancing and upgrading their system function, so they become better equipped at dealing with their environment.
Q. Does NPT have the ability to fix chronic disease? Do you have examples?
A. Yes definitely, as mentioned above, NPT is about treating the person. Ken Ware the founder has helped thousands of people for over 30 years in remarkably short time frames. Please see these links for client testimonials:
Q. How often will I need to complete NPT each week?
A. Ideally 3 sessions a week, this enables clients to significantly escape the patterns of behaviour that were contributing to their presenting concerns. By continuing the program, you are able to continually enhance and upgrade your system, better deal with stress whilst maintaining composure in all areas of life.
Q. In my written piece above, I explained to readers that stretching and foam rolling are now an obsolete part of my daily training regime. Can you explain why stretching and foam rolling are no longer relevant with the introduction of NPT into one’s regime?
A. When we stretch any part of our system, we are releasing energy and information from the system and losing physical and emotional integrity along with the events/experiences from that training session. Why would we want to lose that information?? The initial release or experience you feel from stretching is because you have lost the information from that session and your system. Your ligaments, tendons and muscles all store energy at different ratios so once you stretch them, they pull back even tighter. Picture stretching a rubber band or pinching a balloon, you are losing integrity from the system. Our systems are far more complex then these examples and as such, stretching has a far greater impact to our physical and emotional states. Everything in the system is affected.
Why do we stretch?? To acquire temporary relief. We need to address what is actually causing the pain and discomfort, rather than isolating the stress in the system to start with. The isolation of stress is what causes disease and disorder in the system.
This is where NPT comes in. By changing the perception and behaviours that are giving rise to the pain in your system, you are addressing the root cause. So rather than a quick fix you are actually solving the entire puzzle.
Q. We watched the video of you completing the super slow squats with 200kg and then go on to chest press 14 plates, calm, composed and with the ability to speak to the camera at the same time. Incredible. Can you talk us through how this is possible?
A. It’s all about practicing with composure and starting exactly the same way that you start with the super slows. Getting everything physically and emotionally stable, being in control of your arousal, regardless of where the stress is coming from. This is the key benefit of doing NPT as the stress of the machines resemble stress from life. It’s not something to be fearful of and if it does make you feel that way, this perception needs to change as this is a reflection of how the system is interacting day-day. As you practice with varying levels of stress, gaining greater levels of physical and emotional composure, you become very robust to world noise. Obviously, this is something that has to be practiced and the ability to lift this type of weight and remain calm, collected and emotionally sound takes time. Think of a cycling great, Peter Sagan for example. Sagan didn’t turn into a superstar overnight. It takes hours and hours of training to perform optimally on the big stage.
If you are interested in learning more about the treatment itself or studying NeuroPhysics Therapy, please follow the link below or contact Kam.
The choice is yours, you now know all about the magic pill...but will you take it...?