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Every session with a client needs to be structured to their individual needs and goals. However, there may be elements of a session that will be useful for when you train a similar client. In our lastest my session Neuromuscular Physical Therapist, Bev Porrino takes us through one of her sessions with an athletic performance coach.

Introducing the client:

Dominic Mulligan is a Strength and Conditioning Coach based in Dublin Ireland. He’s currently part of an Athletic Performance Team and coaches Rugby, Gaelic Football and Hurling. An athlete himself, he won the All-Ireland Championships in Hurling when he was in University.

Dominic is passionate about his work. His job is to keep his athletes in tip-top condition and injury-free so that they can stay in the game, and my job is to help Dominic look after himself in the process. In our latest session, he was complaining about tight and heavy quads. Dom’s exercise and work tends to be quad dominant however in past muscle assessments, his quads have not been the biggest issue. Dom also wanted me to check his muscle firing sequence because this is something he can’t do himself.

Bev Porrino’s specialist skillset:

I’m a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist a BeActivated facilitator, and an NLP coach. I work with lots of different people from athletes, people with neurological conditions, and the walking wounded. My job is to assess the biotensegrity of the whole body in motion and to help my client understand how stress affects them.

I assess from the nervous system’s response to stress, particularly the relationship to chronic stress. Without doing this I won’t get to the root cause of the issue. When gathering my information I use a combination of muscle tests, breathing, and neurological assessments to find out where the body lacks integrity; and we find out how thought processes and language influence performance.

Concerns for Dominic:

Fitness professionals are notorious for pushing themselves to the limit. They often put their clients’ wellbeing, needs and goals before their own. This approach makes them far more vulnerable to burnout, injury or both! Another problem is that people get stuck into activities like foam rolling and fascial release techniques too early and without changing the brain’s relationship with the body so to speak. Muscles are very low down the body’s priority for survival so for me it doesn’t make sense to start there.

If you approach the body from a deeper level the results are better, injuries heal quicker and performance improves exponentially.

Bev’s programming:

During my assessment and treatment, I used BeActivated Muscle testing and activations. Of all the muscle testing and biomechanical assessments I’ve ever learned for my approach this method is by far the most simple and effective, and because of that my client understands what is happening in their body and why. This is crucial for getting them on board with their rehab or training regime.

In Dom’s case, he came in with tight and firey quads that were affecting his performance and his energy levels, but our muscle testing showed that neurologically he was driving from his jaw. The jaw can create lots of issues through the kinetic chain and so I worked with Dom to rebalance the compensatory patterns. Once this was done his jaw could be released safely.

Now that he has a better understanding of what is getting in his way, Dom agreed to add more breath work and a TMJ release to his usual muscle activation sequence as part of his warm-ups.

Conclusion – Self-care is priority

It’s wise for professionals like Dominic to seek regular therapy or coaching sessions themselves. Self-care must be a number one priority especially if you use your body for your work. My advice is that you shouldn’t wait until you are broken before seeking support for yourself.

Author bio

Bev Porrino's headshot

Bev Porrino has more than 30 years of experience within the health and wellness arena, Bev brings a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and fun. She is a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist, a BeActivated Facilitator, an NLP Coach and a Yoga Teacher Trainer. She is passionate about helping people to understand how amazing their bodies are, and with a few tools and better information, how quickly they can change states physically and emotionally.