Archive for July, 2014

Your Circle of Influence for Pain

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

From Chapter 2 of The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method to Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder and Joint Pain

First, let’s begin with your doctor. Your doctor is there for you. He or she is not you. In other words, no doctor knows your body better than you do. When you go to the doctor with a complaint about your body, your doctor examines you, runs tests if necessary and then applies a diagnosis to your problem. This diagnosis is based on what the doctor sees, feels with his hands and sometimes hears. Your doctor may also come to a conclusion based on the answers you provide him to targeted questions. But your doctor can never experience what you experience. The pain, the limitations, the inconveniences are all unique to you. There may be similarities to others with a like condition, but never will their experiences be identical to yours. Therefore, this well-educated, well meaning (hopefully) individual is much more limited in how he can affect your circle of influence than you probably thought. Although limited, his influence is still an important part of the route to recovery.

The doctor has four main options with you once a diagnosis has been made. He can send you to some form of therapy, prescribe medication for pain and/or inflammation, perform surgery or some combination of the 3. Once this decision has been made, the role of the doctor becomes more of an evaluator. He evaluates the impact of the intervention he prescribed and determines to continue, modify, stop or apply one of the other 3 options available. The doctor’s role becomes smaller and smaller after an accurate diagnosis has been made.

Sometimes the doctor’s evaluation and your personal assessment of progress may not match. The case usually being that the doctor feels you have progressed or improved more than you think you have. This difference in opinion brings us to a critical crossroads in your history book. Because if you are not as improved as the doctor thinks you are, or should be, and are still struggling with the pain, then there must be a reason. The possible reasons that run through most people’s minds are that the doctor made the wrong diagnosis. The drugs prescribed weren’t effective or the therapist didn’t “make me well”.
Perhaps it is to your advantage as an individual seeking an improved quality of life, to consider some other possibilities -possibilities outside the contemporary “menu” of options most adhere to. Medications top the list on this contemporary treatment menu, just look at the profit margins for the pharmaceutical companies in this country. If medication is part of your daily regimen for coping with musculoskeletal pain, it doesn’t have to be.

From page 23 of The Pain-Free Program

Medications are nothing more than an adjunct to your path to a pain free life. They are not the foundation. And they are certainly not the ultimate answer to your problems. There is not a single medication on this earth that on its own, relieves pain, stops inflammation, fights infections, etc. The only way medications can do their job, is to assist the other systems in the body to do their jobs more effectively.

Am I telling you to flush all of your medication down the toilet right now? No. But I am going to give you hope as to why you should be able to one day. That hope should be inspiration to start formulating a plan to get off your anti-inflammatories and pain killers. Of course I am going to add, “check with your doctor first”. But keep in mind, pain pills and anti-inflammatories are not life and death drugs, as say, blood pressure medication might be. So getting off of these drugs is as much your decision, if not more, as it is your doctor’s.

Rachel Hayes Client Spotlight

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Function First’s Spotlight Member


Rachel has been training hard in and out of the gym, and just completed her first triathlon, the San Diego International Tri! With a 1,000 meter swim, a ‘hilly’ 30k bike ride, and a 10k run, this is an amazing achievement. Nice work Rachel, and thanks for being an inspiration to the whole Function First team!

1. When, and why did you first start training with Function First?

My first workout with Function First was almost 3 years ago, WOW! It was a beach workout on a Saturday morning in August of 2011. I had been labeled by some as the “cardio queen” and was doing quite a bit of running, but wasn’t seeing any progress in my performance and/or physique. The Function First workout started as a way for me to shake it up a bit and do something different.

2. What challenges did you face with reaching your goal of completing a triathlon when you first joined Function First?

I didn’t have a goal of completing a triathlon when I joined Function First, but my results from Function First inspired me to do a triathlon. Over the last year and a half, through the quality and diversity of the workouts and the trainers’ expertise, I have gained significant strength and have seen marked improvements in my running times. The physical changes combined with the increased speed achieved goals that I had established for myself, so I decided I needed to set a new goal that would stretch and inspire me, while still maintaining and increasing both strength and endurance. Because of some of the successes of other fantastic iron chicks who have done tris (Sandy and Em) and the biking inspiration (the other Em), I jumped into signing up for a half ironman with both feet. The biggest challenge was I didn’t have a bike and I need to coordinate swim, bike, run, workouts around making sure I make it to the Function First workouts!!

3. Can you tell us why you think the Function First Approach worked for you in reaching your goals?

As noted above, the amount of strength that I have developed through the workout programs that the amazing trainers have developed. I’m even learning from the Function First approach that less can be more (and someday I will subscribe to it!)

4. What do you like best about the training program at Function First?
What don’t I like about it!? Honestly, the community is what I like best. The X-Factor crew is amazing, I have developed great friendships through Function First. the X-Factor crew really inspires each other to be 1% better. And, I love the diversity and creativity of the workouts that make me want to be there and makes me sad when I can’t be there!

5. How has Function First and X-Factor changed your day to day life?

Haha, I plan my schedule around Function First workouts. What I have been able to accomplish through training over the last 2 years or so has given me tremendous body confidence and a continued desire to challenge and improve myself, not only physically, but in all aspects of my life.