An Integrative Approach = FOCUS Integrative Therapy

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An Integrative Approach = FOCUS Integrative Therapy

An integrative approach is an approach that views the body as one functioning inseparable unit. This means that each area of the body is connected to or influenced by other areas of the body in its functioning and in development of injury/pain. This connection is structural (joints, muscles, tendons), neurological (nerves and the information they send), metabolic (oxygen delivery, cellular interaction) and psycho-emotional (how your mind affects your body). Anytime injuries develop in the body all these dimensions need to be addressed for a complete recovery with no loss of performance. Unfortunately, the current paradigm used for treating sports injuries does not address all dimensions.

Here is an example: Joe is out training, running sprints; he experiences knee pain and comes in to see me.  As an integrative treatment approach the following would take place:

1 We would examine the knee itself, of course; BUT also the ankle joint and the hip joint to see how loss of function through range of motion in either of these places could be affecting the knee joint (structural).  During this assessment I would also detect any trauma to the knee such as a ligament sprain (structural).  

2 The muscles around the ankle, knee and hip will be examined for their behaviour, which will tell me how the nervous system is behaving.  This can show that a key muscle in the hip is not responding well, putting a greater load on the knee making it more susceptible to injury (neurological).

3 I would gather information from the history (previous injuries, current training schedule, intensity of exercise, nutrition, lifestyle habits) to gain an understanding of their body’s ability to function on a cellular level, transferring energy and oxygen to tissues that need it (metabolic).

4 Through my interaction with Joe I will gain insight into his relationship to his injury, his ability to recover and how he views his body’s interaction to the external world.  This will provide information about his recovery in terms of how long it will take (psycho-emotional).

5 Assess how all of the dysfunctional components that are discovered are interacting with each other producing the injury/pain/loss of performance

6 Treatment is initiated to restore all functional losses (structural, neurologic, metabolic, psycho-emotional)

As you can see, there is an array of information that could be detected about the functioning of the body when an integrative assessment is preformed.  It requires a very skilled practitioner to gather all of the subtle information that is available from each test.  You can see why some injuries can take so long to heal when there is so much information that can be easily missed and also why there can be a drop in performance after injuries.  The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case and for the athletes that I work with, it’s not.  I, as a sports performance practitioner love putting putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to gain the most complete picture of whats going on to be able to treat it most effectively. If you have any questions about your injury, recovery or how to improve your performance contact me.

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