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HEALTH CONCERN? BioHealth Health Concerns

The CHEK Approach to Preventing and Recovering Injury

Contributing Author: Chek, Paul H.H.P.

Paul ChekPaul Chek is a world-renowned expert in the fields of corrective and high-performance exercise kinesiology. For over twenty years, Paul’s unique, holistic approach to treatment and education has changed the lives of many of his clients, his students and their clients. By treating the body as a whole system and finding the root cause of a problem, Paul has been successful where traditional approaches have consistently failed. Paul is the founder of the C.H.E.K (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) Institute, based in California, USA.
» Website: www.paulchek.com 

 

Certainly you must be aware of the unique situation humanity finds itself in today: more doctors, scientists, therapists and advanced technology than ever in history – yet we are more unhealthy, unfit, even sicker than ever in history!

How can it be that we put men on the moon at will, fly sophisticated airplanes, make laser guided missiles, have the ability to image your insides with incredible reproducibility and perform major surgery through a key hole, yet last year alone, American pharmacies filled THREE BILLION prescriptions (1)? Do you realize that on average, that is one prescription for every man, woman and child in the US every single month (2)? It doesn’t have to be this way, it really doesn’t!

At the CHEK Institute, people come to see us from all over the world. They usually come because, as they commonly say, “I’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work!” I’m happy to tell you that we rarely fail to get very satisfying results for our clients, who suffer everything from sports injuries, spinal cord and brain injuries, strokes to chronic fatigue and general idiopathic malaise. How do we do it, you may wonder? The answer is what Dr. Timmins wants me to share with you, and I will start by telling you that the CHEK Institute approach to all clients can be summed up as an “Einstein approach.” We use simple, yet effective assessment methods to evaluate what we feel are important indicators of stress on your body systems. Once we identify the systems of the body and areas of your life where you need coaching, we begin with what Dr. Timmins calls foundation principles, regardless of your challenge. While you learn how to better manage your foundation principles, you are also directed to work with other experts in any given area necessary to balance your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies; or, your physical and energetic bodies. Let me share with you the system of analysis that we use to determine what you need to achieve health and vitality, regardless of your challenge.

IDENTIFY THE PRIMARY STRESSOR!
The body is a complex living organism. It may be considered a cybernetic organism, or a system of systems. All body systems are interlinked and inseparable. Not only are our body systems interlinked and inseparable, we are interlinked and inseparable from our external environment, the ecosystem.

Stress is pretty much thought of as bad, yet to become and remain vital, we require manageable doses of a variety of stressors. The necessary stressors entering our bodies and our lives can be broken down into six major categories. Examples of useful stressors from each of the categories are as follows:

  • Physical: Optimal movement. Correct exercise methods in an optimal dose of volume and intensity for each person aids in keeping the body resilient.
  • Chemical: Our bodies have developed both the need for chemicals and systems to protect us against harmful chemicals. While there are a myriad of possible examples of good chemical stressors, consider that the small doses of harmful chemicals used by plants to protect themselves are beneficial to our bodies in the correct doses. Parasitic organisms produce harmful chemicals, yet research shows that in absence of stimulus from parasitic organisms and their chemicals, our immune systems would fail to develop adequately to protect us in most environments.
  • Electromagnetic: The sun is a very valuable form of electromagnetic (ELM) stress, yet you all know what happens if you get too much!
  • Psychic: While nobody enjoys the stress of an argument or being put into psychologically challenging situations, I think we can all agree that anyone protected from such situations would be psychologically underdeveloped and incapable of handling the world.
  • Nutrition: Eating unadulterated foodstuffs that are ideal in macronutrient proportion for your racial, ethnic and genetic roots affords an optimal nutritional stressor; the stress here being the work of eating, digesting, assimilating, metabolizing and eliminating the foodstuffs and the nutrients contained therein.
  • Thermal: Our bodies are very temperature sensitive, like any living organism’s body. Exposure to variances in temperature helps our body become more dynamic and better able to adapt to a variety of seasons and environments.

When we are predominantly exposed to physiological or beneficial stressors, we maintain homeostasis, a fancy word for balance. The healthy body will also have a high capacity for allostasis, or the ability to bounce back to balance after exposure to an excess dose of any given stressor. For example, if you go to the gym and work out, you break down tissue, creating inflammation, placing heavy demands on the thermo-regulatory system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, nervous system, etc. The stress of the workout temporarily throws your body out of balance. If your body is healthy, you bounce back (allostasis) to balance (homeostasis) in short order. The healthier your body, the faster you bounce back from any given stressor. Looked at another way, the healthier the body (here meaning the physical–emotional–mental–spiritual being), the greater the stressor or number of stressors it takes to push you out of balance.

The more stress you accumulate, the more symptomatic you become and the closer to death, or out of chilife-force energy – you become. Needless to say, your tolerance for exercise, yet another form of stress in most cases, is reduced in proportion to the level of overall stress that you experience at any given time. This is why so many people have bad reactions to exercise, such as feeling worse, perpetual soreness or simply not getting results.

IDENTIFYING THE PRIMARY STRESSOR
The human brain, a product of billions of years of evolutionary development, is imprinted with functional remnants from key developmental periods. Scientists studying phylogeny (the development of species) also study encephalization, the study of brain development. Arguably the most accomplished scientist in the study of encephalization of the human brain is Paul MacLean. Through years of research, Dr. MacLean has shown that our brain can be broken into three distinctly identifiable, yet fully integrated brains that have the characteristics of our developmental predecessors. Referring to our brain as the triune brain (three in one), MacLean shows us that what makes up our brain stem and much of our autonomic centers is what the typical reptile has as their entire brain, called the reptilian brain.

The reptilian brain, although clearly identifiable by researchers, is not modular. Dr. MacLean makes it clear that the reptilian brain acts like operating software, like Microsoft Windows 2000. The reptilian brain, like Windows 2000, serves as a platform on which higher brain functions depend. The developmental outgrowths of the reptilian brain are the paleo-mammalian (old mammal) and neocortical (new) brain (3).

By better understanding our innate developmental survival drives and behaviors, we can better understand what our ancestral software actually determines to be a useful or threatening stressor to the system. Our reptile ancestors have three primary survival drives that dictate their behavior in any given situation. They are:

  • Safety: Concern for territory and the protection of self. Since the reptilian brain developed as an outgrowth or our developmentally older autonomic nervous system (ANS), or vegetative nervous system, it controls our internal organs and hormonal glands. Any perceived threat to the reptile’s safety, or to the safety of the reptile in us, results in what is classically called the fight/flight response. Any threat to survival immediately results in the production of stress hormones, as mediated by activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), often called the fight or flight nervous system. Any of the six classes of stressors in excess can threaten our safety and evoke a reptilian stress response, or what I call a survival response!
  • Sustenance: Once the reptile is sure that he/she is safe, then and only then does sustenance (eating) come into the picture. By the same token, anything threatening the reptile’s ability to feed itself will activate a fight/flight, or stress, response. In the human being, our reptilian software sees any threat to sustenance as a threat to our survival. Therefore, undereating, skipping meals or eating foods void of nutrition can activate the SNS, the fight or flight nervous system, producing a stress response. Chronic activation of the SNS secondary to what is perceived by our reptilian brain as a threat to our survival, comes at a cost to our hormonal and immune systems.
  • Sex/Procreation: The genes of our reptilian ancestors and all of our ancestors before them, all the way back to the single celled amebas, wanted to survive! Anything that threatens our ability to have sex or procreate ultimately causes a reptilian stress response, just like a threat to our safety or sustenance. Because of the complexity of our mammalian and neocortical developments, we often behave in accordance with a stress response because our higher brain functions (which are more creative) override our reptilian survival software!

I’ve given you this brief overview of the reptilian brain because an excess of any one or combination of the six classes of stressors can result in a direct or perceived stressor to it. Because the reptilian brain is inclusive of the ANS and because any stressor perceived as a threat to the organism produces elevated SNS tone (activity), an associated hormonal response occurs. In a nutshell, any excess stressor (six major categories) entering the body/mind may itself activate the release of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) or may be perceived as a threat by our reptilian software; a threat to our safety, sustenance or sex/procreation.

The Hormonal See-Saw
When our SNS tone is repeatedly elevated because of our life situation or our perception of life, our ability to recover from injury or achieve our physical goals with an exercise program are limited. This is because chronic exposure to stressors of any type, particularly reptilian stressors, elevates glucocorticoid levels. Eventually, this leads to adrenal fatigue and, as a clinician, I see progressive breakdown of body systems; which system malfunction first is influenced by lifestyle factors and genetics.

As I’m sure you can imagine at this point, there is no sense rubbing, poking and mobilizing tissues and joints if we are just treating the end product of a runaway stress response – a body that can’t heal itself regardless of how good the doctor or therapist is! At the CHEK Institute, we investigate your diet and lifestyle as well as your history of relevant physical, emotional, mental and spiritual stressors, to assist you in calming the reptile and balancing your ANS for optimal hormonal function. Growth and repair are not possible otherwise! You merely bounce from doctor to doctor and from therapist to therapist.

FOLLOW THE SURVIVAL TOTEM POLE
Once we have determined how stressed your reptile is and how much stress your ANS and hormonal system is under, we then know which tests to use to objectify the situation. We make the decisions as to which of the COREONE tests we need to run based on practical screening tests and a review of the reptilian stressors described above. Having gathered this valuable information, we then proceed to physical testing to determine the state of the key body systems that regulate and control the musculoskeletal system. To complete this comprehensive screening assessment, I teach all CHEK practitioners to follow what I call the “Survival Totem Pole."

I developed the survival totem pole after many years of clinical experience with challenging patients. I found that most challenging patients had multiple ailments and that if my therapeutic protocols did not address the primary stressor, my therapeutic interventions were both short term in effect and palliative. Having spent many years studying human anatomy and developmental man, I developed a system of analysis that identified stressors in order of importance to survival, enabling me to prioritize both my therapeutic efforts and my coaching efforts. This dramatically improved my clinical results and has allowed my practitioners and me to get results with literally hundreds of challenging patients that were unsuccessful with other approaches. To better understand the survival totem pole, I will briefly explain each symbol and it’s significance. As you review the survival totem pole, keep in mind that each symbol reigns superior to the symbols (systems) below it when viewed from a survival perspective.

Respiration
Oxygen is the most vital nutrient of the human body. If you don’t take it in with each breath, you have about three minutes before your brain begins to die and in five minutes, you are dead! With that in mind, it is pretty safe to say that breathing is so vital to life that the body will do almost anything to accommodate respiration.

Respiratory rate and breathing patterns are important indicators of autonomic balance and how the body is handling stressors. The respiratory pattern is never optimal when there are unresolved fear or emotional issues trapped within the body-mind of the individual. Because respiration has such a significant influence on pH throughout the body, faulty respiration can dramatically alter body chemistry, producing a myriad of seemingly unrelated problems. Frequently, patients run from doctor to doctor, only to be given drugs to mask the symptoms of faulty respiratory patterns and emotional holding patterns.

There are also structural issues that can influence respiration. For example, many combative athletes have had their noses broken. Clinically, I’ve found that if there is greater than a 10% difference in airflow capacity between the left and right nostril, postural and muscle tension syndromes can arise. In addition, air flow imbalances through the nasal passages have been linked to altered brain function; the yoga masters tell us that air flow through the nasal passages stimulates the opposite brain hemisphere; therefore, if your left nasal passage is blocked because of a deviated septum or allergy, your right brain activity may well be suppressed. With this information in mind, anything altering respiration must become high priority in any treatment protocol seeking long-term resolution!

Mastication
Second only to breathing, which provides oxygen, the most essential element of all, we must consider mastication. Mastication is a fancy word that embodies chewing your food and how your teeth fit together.

When we chew our food, the teeth must fit together in a smooth, well-coordinated manner, much like the gears in the transmission of your car. If you miss-shift, you grind the gears. If you do that too often, your transmission will fail and you must get it repaired. Your teeth are no different. If your teeth don’t fit together properly, you develop what is called a hit and slide bite. This means that your teeth mesh incorrectly and the little guiding facets have to usher the teeth into the correct position. When you consider that the average person opens and closes his or her mouth some 4,000 times a day, it becomes apparent that if the teeth don’t fit together correctly, they will quickly wear out. Imagine miss-shifting in your car 4,000 times a day and how quickly that would wear out the steel gears in your transmission!

The way the nervous system monitors how your teeth fit together (occlusion) is through a very sensitive network of nerve endings in the ligaments around the roots of each tooth. These ligaments are called paradontial ligaments and they are innervated by the massive fifth cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve has a massive field of reception in the spinal cord, so large in fact, that it receives stimulus from the upper three and sometimes four spinal segments of your neck. This means that your trigeminal nerve not only monitors your teeth constantly, which is vital because the neck and jaw are part of a functional unit that includes the shoulder, arm and hand. This unit, called the stomatognathic system, is responsible for bringing food to your mouth. With that in mind, you can imagine that any injury to the masticatory apparatus, neck (particularly the upper three segments) or arm is perceived as a major threat to your survival; if your neck doesn’t work, you can’t use your eyes properly to track the food you need to kill; if your arm doesn’t work, you can’t bring food to your mouth; if your teeth don’t fit together properly, you will wear them out trying to eat, and 10,000 years ago that meant you would die!

What few people realize (even in the mainstream medical community) is that the massive trigeminal nerve communicates with all other cranial nerves. Additionally, each tooth has reflex communications with given organs, muscles, joints and glands throughout the body. These reflexes are often called paradontial ligament reflexes, or Voll reflexes, after Dr. Voll, the physician that did much of the pioneering work in this area (4). There are also reflex relationships between various teeth and acupuncture meridians, which are energy highways.

When I perform an assessment, I am always very interested to see which of your teeth have been worked on by a dentist, what kind of filling materials they’ve used, which teeth may be cracked or decayed, and whether you have any indicators of an undiagnosed abscess. Whenever you have more than one kind of metal in your mouth, a battery effect is created because the two metals are encased in a salivary saline solution. For example, if you have a silver or gold cap on one tooth and a mercury amalgam filling on another tooth, an electrical current commonly sets up between the two teeth. This can cause a relatively massive electrical charge within the trigeminal nerve system or related acupuncture meridians.

This energy can actually transfer right through the body to other attractor tissues, particularly if you happen to have high levels of heavy metal toxicity, such as mercury, in those tissues. I have seen all of the above problems MANY times be clinically responsible for fatigued adrenal glands, chronic fatigue, frequent colds, bodily aches and pains, poor response to exercise, digestive and eliminative disturbances and much more. This is why the teeth are second only to respiration on the survival totem pole!

Eyes
Quite simply, as a developmental being, if you can’t see, you won’t know what is going to try and eat you and you won’t be able to see what you are going to eat; the result is obvious!

The eyes, which are also highly proprioceptive (sense movement and give spatial relationships to the brain), must maintain a binocular relationship to properly merge the visual fields. The eyes are each controlled by six muscles, which are of the same composition as the muscles of your arm or leg. When the eyes are imbalanced for any reason, the eye muscles can fatigue and their length/tension relationships become altered. This results in a visual field dysfunction.

Because the body is so dependent upon both focal vision (target recognition) and ambient vision (proprioception), anything that disrupts binocular vision causes the body to compensate below in attempt to correct eye position. It is not uncommon to see a patient with an eye muscle imbalance or one weak eye stand with his head or body twisted to one side in an attempt to correct eye alignment. As you can well imagine, this can cause a lot of musculoskeletal stress, such as back pain! No matter how hard you try to poke, prod, stretch, exercise or mobilize the back, until the eyes are working correctly, you will never alleviate the stress in the back because it is sacrificial to the eyes, which rein superior on the survival totem pole!

Auditory – Vestibular
You can well imagine how essential hearing was to our survival in the wild. Our nervous systems are structured such that any loss of hearing automatically results in a compensatory change in the orientation of our posture to bring the good ear closer to any sound. For example, bank tellers end up talking to and listening to people with their head slightly turned to favor the good ear. It won’t take long before the musculoskeletal system becomes strained and imbalanced from the task of accommodating faulty hearing. This is yet another example of how the body is structured in a hierarchical manner for the purpose of survival.

The vestibular system works intimately with your eyes and upper cervical spine to maintain your balance. The vestibular system monitors the head position relative to the body and activates the extensor muscles to right the body. For example, if while riding a bicycle you begin to fall to the left, your vestibular system senses that you are falling left and reflexively activates the left knee and hip extensors to allow you to against the ground or foot pedal to right yourself. Someone with a vestibular dysfunction has impaired balance and the chances of injury are much greater; therefore, before going out of the way to do a bunch of work on the body to treat an injury, make sure the person has the ability to maintain his balance!

The Upper Cervical Spine
The top three cervical vertebra are classically referred to as the upper cervical spine. This region of the spine is loaded with specialized proprioceptive nerve endings to inform the body of the head’s location relative to the body and the body’s location relative to the head. The combination of information coming to the brain from the eyes, vestibular system and upper cervical spine is primarily used to keep up upright while performing activities of daily living. The atlas, the top cervical vertebra, is the most easily subluxated (malpositioned) vertebra of all spinal vertebra.

An important and intimate communication link to the spinal cord via specialized ligaments called denticulate ligaments is created at this level of the spine. Because of this link, if for any reason the atlas is malpositioned, the spinal cord may experience compression, torsion and/or sheer. Since every nerve root in the body passes through the atlas, if there is a problem at this level, literally any body system or body segment may be negatively affected. Clearly,assessing to assure optimal function of the upper cervical spine is a must!

Visceral Systems
Next, we must make sure your hormonal glands and organs of digestion and elimination are working correctly. Using a comprehensive questionnaire system and hands-on assessment techniques, we identify any gland or organ that may be causing reflex dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system. We can make this assessment two ways:

  1. The questionnaire system looks for key indicators of glandular and organ stress, directing the clinician to look more closely at those systems.
  2. Each organ borrows its sensory fibers from the sympathetic nervous system, which is intimate with the sensory and motor nerves of the musculoskeletal system at each level of the spinal cord. Because of this anatomical relationship, when pain fibers are activated in any organ or gland, there is a corresponding response in the skin and muscles innervated by the spinal segments with nerve roots feeding the organ in distress. That the organs borrow their sensory nerve endings from the musculoskeletal system is why during a heart attack, a person feels pain in the left arm and chest, not the heart. Any female can give you an education on visceral referral patterns when she is premenstrual, during which time low back pain is commonly referred from the sloughing uterus.

The Emotions
As you can see by the symbols of broken heart, and the lightening bolt in the stomach and in the tail end of the colon, our emotions can greatly influence any organ or system in our body. The CHEK System’s philosophy is that energy precedes structure. Stated another way, this means that thoughts create words and words create deeds, your body being a physical expression of that transfer of energy. We listen carefully and use careful assessment techniques to determine where an emotional imbalance exists because the emotions are so powerful and influential over the body that this symbol of the survival totem pole is what I refer to as a floating symbol; it has the power to override any other symbol and can be the source of any and all problems in the body-mind!

The body in pain also produces an abundance of energy that must be managed or it may cause permanent damage. Generally, an inflammatory process in the body is accompanied by an abundance of energy. In time, if this inflammatory process is not properly managed, it will shift from being a inflammatory condition to a degenerative condition; for example, a tendonitis may eventually become a tendinosis. The degenerative condition marks the point at which the body runs out of restorative energy.

By tracking which zone of the body (chakra association) each client has musculoskeletal, hormonal or visceral problems, we can use the Eastern system of Yoga to correlate emotional issues commonly related to a given body region, gland or organ (see Figure 6. Muscles – Plexus/Glands – Related Functions – Main Issue; Need diagram from PFP article on Holistic Training). When the patient can be shown the correlation between his emotional status and his physiology, he generally becomes more willing to receive coaching for emotional self-management. Failure to address emotional imbalances and the associated energy imbalances is a common stumbling block to conventional approaches to pain and dysfunction of all types!

The Sacrum
The sacrum, which actually means “sacred” is so named because when witches were burned in medieval times, the only bone left in the ashes was the sacrum. This sacred bone is also intimate with the tail end of the nervous system, which attaches at the coccyx. It is important to realize that anything that disrupts the position of the upper cervical vertebra, particularly the top vertebra (C1 or Atlas) and the second vertebra (C2 or Axis) at the top, or the sacrum at the bottom, can torque the spinal cord. The axons of the spinal cord are extremely sensitive to tension and compression and the brain will do its best to alter your body position to minimize aberrant mechanical tension in the central nervous system. This means that any faulty biomechanics of the upper cervical spine and cranium, or of the sacrum, can result in shifted and twisted postures. The common result of these compensations is low back pain, pain in one of your legs and concomitant dysfunction of any physiological system fed by the distorted nerve fibers.

Because the head contains the eyes, ears and vestibular system and the teeth, which must be maintained level with the horizon as their functional working positions, the body will sacrifice anything below the head/neck interface to accommodate maintenance of the sensory organs of the cranium. For this reason, CHEK Practitioners always clear and correct dysfunction in the order of the survival totem pole; frequently, therapists and doctors try to correct the position of the pelvis and sacrum without paying attention to the fact that many systems use the pelvis and sacrum as a buffer system to maintain optimal function of key survival systems!

Slave Joints
The two halves of the pelvis, each called a “hemipelvis,” the spinal joints from C3 to L5 and the joints of the upper and lower extremity are called slave joints. They are called this because they are sacrificed by the CNS in an attempt to maintain optimal head position, as stated above. By assessing and correcting dysfunction in any and all systems above the slave joints on the survival totem pole, myself and my CHEK Practitioners have successfully resolved thousands of cases of seemingly intractable musculoskeletal pain!

As you can see after going through the survival totem pole, there is a very logical structure to our body plan. Mother Nature has done an excellent job over time to assure our survival; we now just need to survive ourselves! As you can well imagine, following the CHEK plan to assess the body results in the accumulation of a lot of information. The next real secret of my success as a therapist and coach lies in my system of prioritizing our approach to the rehabilitation and revitalization of body/mind systems.

MOVEMENT THAT MATTERS

Today, there are many philosophical and mechanical approaches to treating injuries and developing exercise programs for health or performance. Unfortunately for the public, the majority of these approaches still operate on the illusion that the musculoskeletal system is an isolated system that runs all by itself. Since we know for sure that this is far from the truth, before assessing a client’s or a patient’s ability to move and perform general motor tasks, the CHEK Practitioner will have:

  • Completed an investigation of diet, lifestyle factors, hormonal and visceral health within the framework of the six major classifications of stressors
  • Looked for reptilian stressors that correlate with the patient’s symptom profile and behavior patterns
  • Completed the survival totem pole assessment to identify potential problems in any of the body’s major control centers, understanding that the hierarchical structure of neurological control allows for the sacrifice of subordinate structures on the totem pole. Included in the Survival Totem Pole assessment is a very comprehensive assessment of length/tension relationships, joint motion, core stabilizer system function assessments and special testing for potential impingement of the CNS.

After gathering key systems information, the CHEK Practitioner completes the Primal PatternÔ (PP)assessment. The PP assessment is based on my research into developmental man. A study of the general evolution of species and the evolution of man suggests that we are what we are today because of the selective pressures of Nature. Through extensive clinical observation and empirical research, I have concluded that to survive in the wild (which was our home for greater than 99.9% of human evolution), humans would have had to have been proficient at the following movements while unsupported on our own feet:

  • Squatting
  • Lunging
  • Bending
  • Pushing
  • Pulling
  • Twisting (such as throwing)
  • Gait:
    • Walk
    • Jog
    • Sprint

As a conditioning specialist working with athletes at all levels and as a Holistic Health Practitioner working in the professional rehabilitation setting, it became evident early in my career that athletes, workers and people in general were commonly injured when forced by their environment to perform movement patterns they couldn’t perform well. I also noted that anyone who couldn’t perform a PP movement with good form was at greater risk of injury because PPs serve as a working foundation from which a plethora of other movements are built; consider throwing a ball, which is a lunge coupled with a twist and a push.

A typical example is the worker or housewife who hurts her back while squatting to pick up a heavy object (heavy relative to the person’s level of conditioning). Upon consulting a physician or typical rehabilitation professional, they are told they shouldn’t squat… that squatting is dangerous for the back and that they should hereafter avoid squatting! This scenario presents a common problem in that squatting is a Primal Pattern. As a PP, it is almost impossible to escape the environmental demand to execute the movement; you squat to sit in a chair, to get into a car, to get on and off the toilet (use to be the ground), to dress small children, to pick up a five gallon bottle of water for the dispenser…. we squat all the time!

With extensive knowledge of how to perform PP assessments and how to modify the assessment techniques to better suit each person’s specific work, sport, or recreational environment, the CHEK Practitioner will gather relevant data. After completing the PP assessment, the CHEK Practitioner is tasked with prioritizing the combined findings of the entire evaluation process.

DETERMINE YOUR PHYSIOLOGICAL LOAD AND PRIORITIZE
Having completed a very thorough assessment of our client’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual stressors in the format described above, we will have gathered a significant amount of relevant data. While this information is critical to the CHEK Practitioner for developing a coaching and treatment strategy, often there is so much that needs to be corrected that the client may become overwhelmed; less experienced health care professionals may also become overwhelmed by the volume and diversity of challenges presented by most clients! For this reason, I developed the Physiological Load Assessment (PLA) form. The PLA gives the practitioner the opportunity to empower the client/patient by letting him or her see the usually obvious changes that need to be made to achieve function and vitality.

The process begins by listing all of the key stressors in their relevant columns. For example, any musculoskeletal complaints would be listed above the “Physical – Musculoskeletal” column, while any relevant visceral or hormonal findings would go above their columns, respectively.

I then explain to the patient/client that the body shares its stressors to protect itself from accumulating too much energy in any given system or tissue, the result of which would be dis-ease! With this understanding, we can look at the number of stress inputs above each of the columns (represented by one of the sinks that are plumbed together) and collectively agree as to which system is potentially the greatest source of stress or aberrant energy.

After the client understands that body systems all share their stress to create a total stress picture and he or she understands the system under the greatest load, the practitioner must decide which self help options will most effectively alleviate the stressors loading the body systems. As the practitioner decides on the self help methods that will be most advantageous for the client’s specific needs, they are listed below each of the systems (sinks named after systems). Through this process, the patient usually begins to see a pattern emerge; for example, diet is commonly listed under each system sink as an important way to alleviate stress. Common options to alleviate stress include:

  • Diet
  • Circadian rhythm management
  • Hydration
  • Stretching
  • Self-help courses for improved mental/emotional/spiritual understanding
  • Exercise programs or exercise program modifications
  • Specific therapies or specialists, such as:
    • Detoxification procedures
    • Hormonal testing and balancing (COREONE Diagnostics!)
    • Tai Chi, Chi Gong or Yoga classes
    • Feldenkrais or Alexander lessons
    • Body work options such as sports massage, Rolfing or trigger point therapy
    • Breathing lessons from an expert; I often use voice coaches here
    • Psychologist
    • Marriage or relationship counseling
    • Financial planning
    • Seeking council to overcome addiction

You will now notice that there are only four options for decreasing stress on body systems at the bottom of the PLA form. At this point, it is critical that the coach (doctor or therapist) coach them toward making the right choices about how to best alleviate their stressors and make a shift toward health, vitality and achieving their goals; if the patient doesn’t have goals, developing a set of realistic goals on a realistic time line is critical. By letting them make the choices, they are empowered, they are deciding their own fate and they are part of the process. My experience is that by completing the plan this way, compliance improves because in general, people don’t like being told what to do!

DON’T TREAT THE DISEASE THAT HAS THE PERSON!
While the current medical model is heavily slanted toward what I call this for that treatment, I think the current statistics on disease show that the model is failing drastically! As I often tell my patients, we evolved in the wild without drugs and doctors and we did so without nearly the same prevalence of disease, therefore, the greatest healer of all must be within us! A CHEK Practitioner’s goal is always to coach the person with the disease, not treat the disease that has the person. Simply stated, disease is a symptom, it is not a cause.

When the doctor or therapist identifies which of the foundation principles are not being lived by, a structured plan should be developed and agreed upon to bring the patient/client into balance or harmony. Foundation principles include:

  • Good diet
    • Eating correctly for your metabolic type
    • Eating organic foods
    • Rotating foods on a four-day cycle for food variety and decreased immune stress
  • Adequate daily water intake
  • Adequate exercise
    • Work hard and rest hard!
  • Adequate rest and living in accordance with a natural sleep/wake cycle
  • Live with a purpose! Have goals to improve:
    • Physical health
    • Emotional health
    • Mental health
    • Spiritual health

In conclusion, I am proud to tell the reader that Dr. Timmins is one of my personal mentors. By adding the valuable information that I have learned from Dr. Timmins to the system I’ve developed from studying other leaders in relevant fields related to achieving health and vitality or recovering from injury, I have been able to develop a system that is inclusive of those offered by COREONE. The CHEK system is now helping thousands of people achieve the body and the life they’ve always wanted, and you can too!