New Life

How a New Life Began After 50
When the Neglected Principles of Functional Anatomy Were Discovered and Brought New Insights to Improve Health, Wellness and Life

Upcoming Book Outline

CLIENTS COMMENTS
Kinesiology. That’s what Lenny Levin teaches. Kinesiology is the study of human body movement. It addresses the physiological, biomechanical, and psychological mechanisms of human movement.
And from Day One of taking a three month, 3x a week intense course with Lenny, he told me that what we were about is not cardiovascular exercise regimen for my rapidly deteriorating 69-year-old body, but a body awareness, using the power within my brain to identify body parts and begin to move them…when they hadn’t been exercised, some of them…ever.
Even though I played vigorous full-court basketball until I was 65 years old, or perhaps because of it, I was told I needed one knee replacement and two shoulder replacements. In the two months since I’ve been involved with Lenny’s instruction, both of my frozen shoulders are…unfrozen, so that I can reach around, find a sleeve and put on a sport jacket and do the backstroke in the pool, which I hadn’t been able to for over two years. My back is hurting less, my knee is less swollen and I am not having knee replacement surgery.
He began by identifying different centers within our bodies, one by one. Our hip joints, our shoulder blades, our glutes, our center, our feet and ankles, spine. How we sit and walk, our heel –toe connection, our neutral hip position, our lifting not with our arms but with our shoulder blades, exercising our gluteal muscles as we walk to support the legs.
Through exercise and awareness of our bodies as we go through our daily lives, I believe I am putting less stress on my weakest areas – I am more centered when I take a step and don’t land on my sore knee on each step, when I stand I am aware of my hip joint position and purposefully flex it and feel less stress on my lower back, when I lift something, I feel my shoulder blade rotating. It takes work, but I am feeling I am using my body better.
Of course, the psychological impact of working at getting better is uplifting and very positive.
I highly recommend Lenny, his view of how our brain is the most powerful way to connect to our body and this alternative to the standard sports club fare of personal training. It’s unusual, interesting and actually frees our brain to connect with our bodies. ¬– Mitch Lyons

I have been studying with Lenny for over two months (currently 3x/week) and couldn’t be happier. Not at all what I expected when I initially indicated an interest in working with a personal trainer at the club in early January, Lenny’s emphasis on understanding how the body is designed to function is precisely what I needed. I am 70 years old, in very good health and physical condition. My husband and I have been working out at the club ever since it opened as Well Bridge in the early 90’s.
I have routinely done strength training, swimming and either the treadmill or the elliptical, my personal training program having been enhanced by an 8-month small group strength training class at the club that I participated in many years ago. Despite my many years of working out, however, I felt I had reached an impasse and was not experiencing much, if any, improvement in my overall physical condition.
I felt untoned and hugely challenged by any attempt to run or jog outside. Worst of all, working out had become something to endure. Lenny’s program has completely re-energized me, both intellectually and physically. With Lenny’s prodding, I have literally learned how to re-awaken the connections between my brain and the various parts of my body that I honestly don’t think I ever had despite Lenny’s contention that as a child, we all move correctly.
In two short months, I have improved my gait and my balance through my newly acquired knowledge of anatomy and my practice of the exercises Lenny assigns. With Lenny’s instruction and guidance, I am learning how to swim using the breaststroke, basic ballroom dancing, race-walking on the track, and how to better align my body when I walk and sit for increased efficient use of my joints.
I recommend Lenny to anyone who is open to new ideas, willing to listen and work in between sessions (yes, there is homework), and, most of all, be ready to be amazed at the awesome changes in your everyday life that follows. What I am learning from Lenny doesn’t simply impact my workout at the club; it carries over into every aspect of my life outside the club. Kudos to the club for having the insight to add Lenny to its cadre of trainers. – Paula Andrews

Even after years, decades, of training and going to gyms, I learned so much through Lenny Levin that I kick myself for not coming across him years sooner. Lenny’s approach is both unique yet highly sensible and leads to real results, not often achieved even following years of training. His approach is more comprehensive than most and requires one to be patient, trusting, and willing to watch and listen a lot and not just do, do, do.
Lenny does not just have you push weight around or do endless hours of cardio. His approach emphasizes that if you are not using the correct muscles (hips, glutes, core, etc.), if they are not strong and able to “support” you, then your body will compensate using the wrong muscles and open you up to be prone to injury and eventually body breakdown. It is about “Functional Muscle use” and “functional form”.
He has a detailed workout sheets and training schedules to offer. Sometimes, in the course of training they seem too challenging. But Lenny reminds you that you can’t undo years of mis-training in just a few short months of personal training. “It is a work in progress-always”. I can’t imagine being able to access or move forward without the benefit of personal training and a dedicated, caring personal trainer.
It becomes your daily GPS to strength and health. He also proves that age is just a number and that the body is a remarkable machine – when functioning properly. Unfortunately, I will be moving from the Boston – metro area in the fall and will have to forego regular training with Lenny. But the lessons he has taught me – both physical, mental, and intellectually will be with me always. I would highly recommend Lenny, his approach and philosophy to anyone – young or “old”- who wants their body to function well for years to come.” – Steve Lipman

I worked recently with Lenny Levin as a personal trainer for a period of twelve weeks at the Boston Sports Club on Wells Avenue in Newton. I would highly recommend Lenny as a trainer for anyone interested not only in improved fitness, but in better understanding the psychological as well as physical benefits of his comprehensive understanding of functional fitness.
When I began my work with Lenny, I had only worked on the elliptical thinking that I was getting a good cardio workout and feeling a need to pay more attention to my upper body (muscle, tone, strength, etc.) as well.
The first thing I learned from him was the benefit of using my own body as a “machine” rather than the artificial benefit of the elliptical equipment. He introduced me to a variety of stretches and strength exercises that not only addressed successfully a longstanding shoulder injury, but also the need to work and build strength in my arms, legs, torso, in my full body.
I began with simple stretches and work with free weights (about 7.5 lbs) but over the period I worked with him I not only increased the weight I was comfortable with (to 12.5 lb. weights) but the number of repetitions I was able to do.
Lenny also taught me the value of lifting slowly and focusing on/isolating particular muscles/joints (e.g., biceps, triceps, hips, ankles, etc.) to maximize the benefit of stretching and lifting. I have a hiatal hernia so am unable to do conventional stomach crunches and Lenny taught me leg/arm lifts and extensions that work the abdominals (as well as the shoulder and hip joints) without putting the hernia at risk.
He also taught me a modified push up to build strength. When we first began working, I was having a hard time doing 15 push-ups. I now routinely do 3 sets of 20-25 push-ups in every workout.
Perhaps the most dramatic improvement made in my workout/fitness program was in moving from the elliptical to doing interval training on the stationary bicycle and in jogging/running on the track.
Thanks to Lenny’s guidance in making greater use of my hips and pelvis (and even ankles and feet), in other words in attending to the form and function of my running, I have dramatically increased what I am capable of doing. I had been running “on my knees” rather than from my hip and pelvis and for that reason worried about hurting my knees.
Once I became more self-conscious about focusing on hip and pelvis (and even the way I used my ankles/feet), I stopped worrying about hurting my knees. The first time we ran the track, I did 2 laps (about 200 yards) then walked a lap. The next time we moved to 3 laps before walking a lap, then 4 laps, etc. Over the 12 weeks, my strength and endurance grew far beyond anything I would ever have imagined.
By the end of our 12 weeks, I was running a mile (17.5 laps) without difficulty, and I am currently running as much as 2 miles (35 laps) without significant difficulty. (I could and probably will do even more but I remain astounded at my level of increased capacity and still worry (irrationally) that if I run even further, I will wake up the next day stiff and sore. It hasn’t happened.)
Not only does Lenny have an excellent understanding of the way the body works, but he was able to communicate with confidence and enthusiasm what I might be capable of doing – beyond what I ever imagined. And it is that confidence and enthusiasm which was contagious and which serves to motivate me (even in his absence) to continue to stretch and lift and run more often and more vigorously than ever before. I am grateful to him for his guidance and his support, and recommend him without reservation to anyone looking to understand and improve their fitness program. – Charles Marz

Lenny, I did want you to know, that your training/coaching helped me adjust my running style in several ways. I’m now able to run longer distances with no leg/foot pains and at a much lower heart rate. On 3/17/13, I completed the New Bedford, MA Half-Marathon, running negative splits for my miles as I progressed through the course, starting with about a 9min/mile pace and progressing to end with sub 8 min pace for the last mile plus, ending with a 8:31 overall pace.
My heart rate was below 140 most of the way; the last three miles were into the wind and uphill and my heart did go into the low 150s as I was also picking up speed, and it climbed to the low 160s for the final sprint to the finish. At the end I was obviously tired and physically drained, with muscle fatigue, but no blisters or leg/foot/ankle pains. Your technique worked well!
For reference, prior to taking your training, on 11/4/12, I did a 10K (Lexington, MA) and finished with a 8:31 pace, but was quite sore and much worse for the wear, my heart rate was above 150 most of the race and spiked above 170 at the finish. I still have plenty of room for improvement, but was very happy with my progress. – William Uliacz

I started working with Lenny Levin as my fitness trainer in December of 2014. When I received the e-mail from Boston Sports Club regarding Functional Fitness, I was immediately interested. I have worked with a variety of trainers over the past 15 years, and the idea of ‘Functional Fitness’ really sparked my interest.
I was no longer interested in working with a trainer who would just simply teach me more exercises and push me to lift more weight. I’m over 50 years old, consider myself in decent shape, and continue to be active, playing golf, softball, basketball and running. I do realize my body is changing and I want to preserve it as best I can so I can continue to enjoy being active, and avoid the typical ‘body breakdown’ that many in their senior years’ experience.
I’m delighted that I signed up with Lenny. I’ve not only learned how to take better care of my body, Lenny has taught me how to be more efficient and not wear down so quickly. As an example, I enjoy outdoor running, but my knees would hurt, or my lower back would be in pain.
Lenny changed my running stride, taught me how our bodies are a series of interconnected parts, each part relying on its connected partner to function properly. He’s taught me how to fix my posture, relax my shoulders, and run efficiently. My knees no longer hurt, my hips and buttocks are in their best shape ever.
On top of all of this, the exercises and routines are both interesting and enlightening. One of my favorite sessions is when we go into the dance studio, and stretch to classical music, or perform ball room dancing to exercise the pelvis and hips. There is never a dull moment. I highly recommend working with Lenny Levin. I don’t just feel better about my body, mind and spirit have been enlightened. – David J. Rubinstein

I struggled for about 5 years with on and off lower back issues. I saw multiple Dr’s and it was clear I had some disc issues (stenosis, bulging disc) but it was unclear how to correct the problems. Lenny worked with me for about 3 months and helped me better understand what was going on with my back and how I could correct the issue.
In the end, being more aware of body alignment and movement and incorporating that into my work out routine has helped me improve and has kept me out of the Dr’s office. While I still at times have some pain and soreness in my lower back, I have not had an acute back incident in a full year (this after having recurring issues for 5+ years). I strongly recommend Lenny and his approach works. – Ben Hicks

I have been a member of Boston Sports Club for about twenty years. During that time, I have worked with many trainers and instructors. All of those trainers were very committed, but in the past few months I have been training with Lenny Levin and he has taught me from the ground up, so to speak.
By that I mean, he has taught me a system of gradually incorporating each muscle to work in sync. In other words, it is like climbing a ladder, with the inclusion of each muscle to work like a well-oiled machine.
For the first time I leave the gym knowing and able to practice on my own. There are no machines to remember or how so set them, or which weight to use and what position you need to assume. He teaches you to use your own body to be your equipment with very little use of gym equipment.
Lenny also is very knowledgeable and conveys so much information regarding anatomy so that what you are doing makes so much sense, and I know I feel when I leave the gym that I have really learned and accomplished a great deal. – Marilyn Conviser

My swimming and running have greatly improved since I started working with Lenny. I have cut over a minute off my half-mile swim, which is amazing after years of struggling to cut seconds. After adjusting my stride based on Lenny’s advice, I have been able to run without any foot pain for the first time in many years. – David Rudoplh
When we first met, Lenny recognized immediately my posture needed attention. Being aware of this situation in myself I immediately trusted him. He showed me several exercises to practice in the shoulder area, helped me focus on how to lift my rib cage to hold my core and how to practice holding the proper dance frame in order to stand tall. When my husband looked at me while on a walk last week and said “Is that you?”—your standing so straight, it makes you look so much younger”. I realized Lenny’s instruction has really helped.
When younger I had run for approximately 25 years (10KS, half marathons, even a marathon) but at the age of 50 I had to stop due to knee pain. Now at 70, Lenny is encouraging me to think again about jogging, using his technique. (My initial reaction— “No Way!!”) Lenny gently talked to me about why I was injured before and how if we try walking first, using the glutes, pelvis and thighs all the stress will come off the knees. Walking around the track slowly and then gradually quicker I could feel the softer landing.
After several weeks of working at this technique he said quite unexpectedly – “Try to jog this lap”. To my surprise I was able to complete a lap and there was NO KNEE PAIN! My gym routine now includes the stationary bike, the exercises Lenny has taught me to build my core strength and the track—I’m able to complete a mile by walking 2 laps (One slower, one quicker) and the 3rd one jogging for 18 laps!!
Using ones body to stay strong and functional and not relying on machines to stay fit is such an important lesson taught by Lenny. The surprise of Lenny’s training is the dancing. We worked on form and the use of glutes and core to help with movement. The use of music, the thinking involved of how to hold one’s center, concentrating on the frame, how to step coinciding with the beat and then experiencing the easy flow of actually dancing, brought joy into the training sessions.
I have truly benefited from training with Lenny Levin and will continue the use of these best practices every time I come to BSC. – Margaret Mills

TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
MY EARLY YEARS
THE PAST AND NEW BEGINNINGS
CHAPTER_: FUNCTIONAL BODY MOVEMENT
CHAPTER_: PERSONAL FITNESS
CHAPTER_: MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN DISORDERS
CHAPTER_: CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS AND AEROBIC ENDURANCE
CHAPTER_: SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
CHAPTER_: FUNCTIONAL FLEXIBILITY
CHAPTER_: MYTH OF AGING
CHAPTER_: WEIGHT LOSS
CHAPTER_: HEALTH, LIFESTYLE AND WELLNESS

INTRODUCTION
MY EARLY YEARS
Looking back now I can say I didn’t have a normal and happy childhood. My parents were having a very difficult and stressful marriage. When I was in the 3th grade they got separated and my mother had no profession and financial means to support us.
Three years later, my brother and I were sent to a Russian state-owned internats (an equivalent of foster homes in US). The internats accommodated children from troubled families. Their fathers either left them or had a serious problem (often addictive alcohol problem).
The mothers could not provide for them financial support and raise them on their own. The teaching faculty in these schools was not well educated and inexperienced to help children from broken families with their wide spectrum of issues.
Before the first day, my uncle urged me that I should behave well and listen to the teachers. I followed his instructions to a T and the teachers were so happy with me that they wanted to make me the president of the class. However, my classmates were not thrilled with this idea at all and they voted me down.
The reason my peers didn’t like me because I was totally unprepared to live outside the home and to room, board and study in a foster home with kids from troubled families. They came from broken families and from early on they understood they will be getting a limited support if any.
Most of my classmates already learned how to be survivors. They knew how to take care of daily needs and stand for themselves when needed. For starters, I had to learn how to make my own bed among many other things.
I was a Jewish boy (when I graduated was still the only Jew in school) who was not prepared how to be self-independent in a foster home environment. All boys slept in one large room that had 30-40 beds and girls had the same arrangement. In addition to taking classes we had to make our beds, clean our sleeping quarters, classrooms, halls and had regular shifts during the week to work in the cafeteria.
The teachers were people who could not get a degree from a decent college and find a teaching job anywhere else. Our class leader was a former army sergeant and he lost his arm during his duty. He could not work at a plant or factory and became a teacher.
As I was growing up, I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable taking unquestionable instructions from the teachers and was not afraid to speak or argue about it. Little I knew then I was born under a Leo zodiac and this type of a person has a mindset of a leader rather than a follower.
The school tried to address this problem by the approach of inclusion and at one point I was added to school’s math team for scholastic competitions.
At those times, every Russian school had to decide when a student finishes the 8th grade and determine if the student would benefit from further education. Since I was not their favorite son the teachers didn’t want me to stay in school but go to work.
When mother got this news during the meeting in the principal’s office she went into extended nervous breakdown and broke into tears and after her long pleas they backed off and agreed to let me stay in school.
THE PAST AND NEW BEGINNINGS
The Past
My doctor came in holding the results from my physical. The physician’s report contained the detailed results from my exam. Although I was only forty-two years old, the document suggested the physical and emotional condition of someone almost twice as old I.
And why wouldn’t it? I was feeling lousy. On a near-daily basis, I suffered from general irritability; my blood pressure was rather high; for unknown reasons I was disturbed by loud noises; had a nagging and unnatural electric sensation in my hands; either was sleeping way too much or too little; had a reduced capacity for taste; and felt a sense of fatigue and weakness.
At the time, I was playing in adult soccer league and the league was coincidentally called “Over the Hill Soccer”. I thought it should be renamed “Down the Hill” to describe more accurately our failing bodies. We played 10 games in the spring and 10 games in the fall. Everyone was deteriorating physically and mentally each season and we thought the age was the reason.
The First Step
Seven years later, I made the first tentative step toward a healthier lifestyle: I started jogging without particular reason or goal. I certainly did not envision that this step will transform my entire life and the results were surprisingly positive. I ran my first road race; later I expanded to triathlon racing and long-distance running including marathons.
I continually surprised myself, putting greater and greater challenges in my path, yet continuing to achieve them and subsequently achieving even higher results. I had become a relatively fast runner and triathlete for my age.
I have continued to up the ante (I’ve run a 5K in under nineteen minutes; a 13.1M at one hour and thirty-two minutes; a 26.2M at three hours and 23 minutes; and a half-ironman triathlon at five hours, twenty-three minutes), and started increasing the volume and intensity of my training.
The Reality
There are realizations, revelations, and self-discoveries I have been making ever since taking that tentative first step, all of them substantial and deeply rooted in changing misconceptions I had about exercise and life. For one, I realized that my body was not strong and it was failing to sustain athletic intensity.
As I started to train and race more, the body stubbornly refused to mold itself into stable physical condition; the concept of a “gradual buildup” and a state of physical fitness seemed out of reach. I experimented and tried countless conventional training approaches and plans—to no avail.
Bear in mind, I was still better off than before. Really, on the surface, I was fine. I was racing regularly and winning medals in local and regional competitions including running 4 marathons at age of 59. However, I could not figure out how to maintain the body in a stable condition.
But on the other hand, I felt that if I was unable to find a way how to keep my physical mental condition consistent in the long-term, I was going to seriously injure myself and/or lose interest in exercise because of the constant ups and downs of my physical and mental condition.
The Conventional Wisdom
I always had doubts about school of thinking that makes the DNA and age the primary factors. If we are made from the same flesh and bones, why can’t we do what younger individuals with a superior DNA do?
At the heart of this question lies another query: Why do we start life at our most capable, and get less and less potent with time? Is this process inevitable and irreversible?
I find difficult to accept and cannot reconcile at all with this philosophy: that because of different genes, with age my fate is linked to doom. For the rest of my life, I will always be deteriorating physically and emotionally? On the other hand, I was never afraid to challenge the established notions and disrupt the status quo.
This quest to find answers to these questions has become my life’s mission discovering what the secrets really are and Wellness and Beyond was born.
Studying the functional anatomy and the science of human movement led me to the concepts of functional movement and I found out that this area has not been researched and developed beyond the introductory concepts.
Initially, I discovered that the basic scientific concept and components of human movement are neglected by the entire medical and fitness fields.
Scientific literature defines that human movement is carried out by the functioning integration of three systems within the human body, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems.
However, the nervous and skeletal systems are not included in the existing exercise and injury treatment protocols.
Further study and analysis revealed that other fields such as fitness equipment manufacturing, fitness footwear and certain specialties within the medical field (neurology, cardiology) should be added to this list.
When I started practicing with my private clients by integrating all three main systems into the fitness and injury treatment protocols it has generated results the medical and fitness fields had failed to produce.
In addition, these efforts have demonstrated that a science-based functional movement makes a profound impact to a wide range of areas related to the human body:
 Personal Fitness
 Musculoskeletal Pain Disorders
 Cardiovascular Fitness and Aerobic Stamina
 Sports and Physical Activities
 Functional Flexibility
 Aging
 Health, Lifestyle and Wellness
 Weight Loss
Chapter 1
Functional Body Movement
Current Trends and Statistics
More than 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States and is expected to exceed 3 million by the year 2030. According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) the number of hip replacement procedures more than doubled in the United States, from 138,700 in 2000 to 310,800 in 2010.
Neurosurgeons performed 2,296,331 total procedures in 2011 in the United States, 1,448,400 of which were spine surgeries, according to AANS National Neurosurgical Procedural Statistics.
Conventional Misconceptions
Every human body is unique and human movement patterns of each person are different
If you maintain an active lifestyle and work out regularly it will keep you fit and healthy.
If I exercise regularly and will make my shoulders, arms, legs stronger I will stay fit and healthy
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
All human bodies have identical anatomical structure and it is a misconception to believe that science-based patterns of an efficient functional movement of each person are unique. It should be noted that variations of movement patterns can occur due to the physical dimensions and body composition differences.
Medical and fitness professionals have basic information about exercise and human body characteristics. However, they don’t have a sufficient knowledge related to the principles of functional anatomy and human movement to program properly exercise programs and treat musculoskeletal disorders.
If you ask a typical personal trainer or physical therapist to describe the principles of functional anatomy and the science of human movement related to the movement patterns of a fitness workout which was designed for you would not be able to receive a scientifically sound explanation.
Movement-based training is geared to your daily life activities will help you stay healthy and avoid degeneration with age. For example, learning how to walk, carry, get up and down will train the body to function as an integrated system as opposed to
The fitness-based workouts do not pay attention to development and maintenance of proper functional movement and it will impair your movement mobility for everyday life in the long-term.
Walking represents a significant part of daily living including certain sports (golf). Poor walking stride can lead to musculoskeletal pain disorders and overall functional decline throughout the entire body.
Successful Outcomes
Many of my clients were able to restore their functional movement and improved fitness including people in their 70’s and 80’s with serious mobility problems.
Studying functional anatomy and kinesiology, I learned that my body was significantly dysfunctional and it was moving extremely inefficiently.
Contrary to common beliefs, my body continues to respond very well to functional movement restoration and it improved my overall movement efficiency as I am getting older and I feel physically and mentally considerably better than I was in my 30’s and 40’s.
Also, regular practicing of functional movement helped me to reduce the amount of energy required to perform all my training and competitive activities (running, cycling, swimming, dancing and weight lifting).
Chapter 2
Personal Fitness
Current Trends and Statistics
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine chronic diseases have become the leading cause of death and disability accounting for 70% of deaths in the United States. Chronic diseases, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are widespread and rising dramatically.

Conventional Misconceptions
The guidelines of U.S. Surgeon General and fitness training organizations indicate that any physical activity is better than none. In addition, these recommendations suggest that regular gym workouts of 2.5 hours a week which includes cardiovascular conditioning, weight lifting and flexibility training will bring 50 health benefits and reduce the risk of developing or dying from leading causes of illness and death.
However, if the overall population health in the U.S. and worldwide is steadily declining it is fair to question whether the current concepts of conventional fitness and exercise methodology in the present form fall short of keeping human body fit and healthy.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
Any physical activity is better than none is a flawed concept and the overall health statistics clearly indicate that the current methodology for personal fitness and athletic performance has proven to fail for keeping the human body fit and healthy for the last 50 years.
Typically, fitness-based training is not connected with daily movement needs and these workouts do not include sound practices of functional movement and produce no fitness improvement. In addition, fitness-based workouts contribute to physical and mental deterioration and attributing the overall functional decline to aging exclusively is a misconception.
Functional movement is key to overall fitness, health and wellness. The lack of understanding and practicing of proper functional movement will make the body dysfunctional and lead to injury.
Successful Outcomes
Scientifically sound principles of functional anatomy and movement-based training with my private clients was focused to restore and develop the overall mobility. When the mobility was improved it produced tangible progress in fitness and health followed.
Personally, functional movement training helped my physical and athletic activities (dancing, swimming, cycling, running, weight lifting) to reduce the impact on my body, stay jury-free for 20 years and maintain the vitality with age to participate successfully in high endurance sports.
Chapter 3
Musculoskeletal Pain Disorders
Current Trends and Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 out of every 2 adults in the U.S. have experienced a musculoskeletal disorder – and more than 30 percent of Americans aren’t finding relief, living with chronic pain day to day. Also, musculoskeletal injuries in U.S. are at all-time high than it was 40 years ago.

Conventional Misconceptions
I am 40 and I wake up in the morning feeling like 60 – it is a part of the aging process and I have to live with it
If I am engaged in regular fitness and athletic activities, I should expect to have injuries
When I get injured drugs and surgical intervention are the only options
I should keep strengthening my musculature to participate successfully and stay injury-free in any physical activity
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
Existing injury treatment and exercise protocols overlook skeletal joint movement, do not assess the areas outside the pain and focus on muscular actions only.
Skeletal joints are supposed to move dynamically and provide the base of support for the muscles function properly. If the joints are not properly aligned it will compromise the movement and place undue stress on the soft tissues, cartilages, and muscles.
Typical injury treatments address only the area of pain and the body segments outside of the location of pain are not evaluated. When a patient has a shoulder pain the conventional orthopedic care and physical therapy will treat the shoulder.
Physical therapy treatments might provide a temporary relief and most often they are unsuccessful, and to remove pain patients have to resort to drugs and surgical intervention.
If you experience musculoskeletal pain your body parts do not work together in a coordinated fashion. Practicing functional movement will relief pain and you can avoid injuries in daily life and during regular physical activities.
Successful Outcomes
I work with clients who are diagnosed with various musculoskeletal pain disorders (knee, shoulder, neck, hip, feet and others). One of the clients consulted with his doctor and he was recommended 3 surgeries (two shoulders and one knee). After two months of Functional Therapy the knee and two shoulders returned to a normal function and he cancelled all three surgeries.
Other clients had unsuccessful Physical Therapy treatments related to hip, neck, shoulder and feet problems. After taking sessions of Functional Therapy their long-standing issues were addressed successfully.
Chapter 4
Cardiovascular Fitness and Aerobic Stamina
Current Trends and Death Causes Statistics
Research has shown that the leading causes of death in U.S., 57% were caused cardiovascular disease and cancer, nearly 80% of these deaths could have been prevented if a healthy and a functional fitness regimen were followed. The heart disease is the leading cause for death and disability among men and women in the United States.
Conventional Misconceptions
A 15-20 minutes “cardio” 2-3 times a week will build cardiovascular fitness and aerobic stamina to keep the body healthy in the long-term
High intensity interval training (HIIT) will build my overall stamina and endurance
In the fitness industry, the current cardiorespiratory exercise protocols target the circulatory (heart, veins and arteries) and respiratory (vessels, lungs and breathing muscles) systems only.
It is a common practice to assume that cardiovascular fitness training will build aerobic endurance which is a misconception
Scientifically principles of the energy production in the human body are not properly understood.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
Understanding of the cardiorespiratory and energy pathway is incomplete in the medical and fitness fields. The aerobic energy system is overlooked in heart disease treatment and exercise protocols.
Terms ‘aerobic’ and ‘cardiovascular’ are used interchangeably which leads to improper exercise programming and inadequate heart disease treatment. As a result, the development of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic stamina is not properly addressed across all sports and physical activities.
Cardiorespiratory system refers to the integrated functioning of heart, lungs and blood vessels and existing exercise protocols to build cardiovascular fitness use intensity, time, type and frequency.
It is not fully recognized that every human cell can produce two types of energy aerobic pathway (with oxygen) and anaerobic pathway (no oxygen). Energy pathways serve two separate functions
Aerobic energy is supposed to support the daily tasks and the lack of sufficient aerobic energy leads to excessive fatigue. If you get tired performing daily tasks as you get older insufficient aerobic energy could be the reason. To attribute the lack of energy to aging only is a misconception.
It is not widely recognized that the body determines the type of energy to supply during any physical activity. The commonly used term “cardio” does not describe properly developing cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance.
The body will provide aerobic energy if the body moving at a constant pace. To build aerobic stamina the body has to move at a vigorous intensity and for extended period of time. If the pace is not steady and the speed varies from low to high the activity is not fully aerobic and the body will not supply a sufficient amount aerobic energy.
In addition, my research and practice revealed that functional movement is one of the key factors to contribute to a sufficient amount of aerobic energy production and development of aerobic endurance. If the functional movement is inefficient the body will not be able to sustain a constant pace, vigorous intensity and a steady movement for an extended period of time.
As a result, the heart will not supply a sufficient amount of blood with oxygen and aerobic stamina will not be built. It should be noted that aerobic stamina is directly linked with vitality and inner desire to move and exercise.
Successful Outcomes
The improvement of my functional movement efficiency reduced the heart rate and to move the body with aerobic energy for swimming, running, cycling and resistance training including body weight exercises. As a result, it led to the lower demand of muscular power and anaerobic energy.
Dr. Stephen Gangemi, MD notes that the reduction of anaerobic energy prevents excessive wear the tear for the entire body including nervous system, cardiovascular system, hormonal system, immune system, and digestive system.
In turn, if you develop your aerobic energy system it will significantly improve your fitness and athletic results. Also, the aerobic system will provide you with the stamina for everyday life to work and sleep including enhanced sex drive and potency.
Some of my clients who improved their functional movement were able to increase the utilization of the aerobic energy and extend their running distance at a lower physical effort and heart rate.
Chapter 5
Sports and Physical Activities
Athletic Performance
Current Trends
The medical literature suggests that the physical and mental prime for a human body is considered to be around 30 years of age. However, in professional, amateur and recreational sports, a typical 30-year-old athlete is unable to compete successfully with younger opponents and by this age was affected with various injuries.
There is a selected group of athletes with similar physical size and training methods at almost any competition who finish significantly faster and with less effort than the rest of the field. A common explanation is that they are simply younger and genetically superior, they must have been born with these abilities and strengths.

Conventional Misconceptions
To complete successfully I need to increase the number of training hours of my weekly schedule
I can never predict accurately my performance if it will produce expected results on any given day
If I perform below my potential, I will have had a bad day and luck
When I am in my 30’s I would not be able to train regularly with a high intensity and have to retire from competitive sports
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
One of the typical explanations of the elite athletes’ superiority is their much higher training volume. For example, professional and accomplished amateur runners attempt to run 100-150 miles a week and the majority of running world is mimicking this training approach.
In the competitive and amateur world of running, cycling or swimming the athletic performance is revolved around weekly mileage or yardage completed. Feeling exhausted?” If you want to be a competitive athlete, it will hurt.”
Functional movement can serve as a basis to dissect the reasons when expected results are not achieved.
Studies point to that movement-based training vs. fitness produces superior results and it can increase significantly longevity of fitness and athletic lifecycle.
Also, it is a common knowledge across all physical sports and activities that the long-term results of high-volume training do not improve proportionally the athletic performance.
If such training continues the performance levels off and it often leads to chronic injuries. My exploration made another baffling discovery: track and field athletes set a number of world records after injuries when they were forced to stop the training.
Running and Walking
Current Trends
The research related to improving a running and walking stride based on the principles functional anatomy kinesiology is very limited. Various studies indicate that the annual rate of injuries for all levels of recreational, amateur and competitive running is from 60% to 80%.
Millions had attempted at one point in their lives to run and stopped due injuries and to excessive physical and mental stress.
Conventional Misconceptions
I am not born to run and I hate running
To run a marathon, you need fulfill a quota of weekly mileage which the cornerstone of the long-distance running. The weekly figure varies from 150 miles for elite runners to 30 miles for marathon charity runners.
There’s a wide range of experts offering advice how to make running easier and increase speed. They provide advice how to move isolated body parts such legs, arms or hips. However, these expert recommendations are not scientifically sound because they are not based on the principles of functional anatomy and kinesiology.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
My research of the science of human movement led me to understanding that an efficient running and walking stride should include three basic movements: single-side balance, split squat, forward and back lunge.
Furthermore, my research findings reveal that a human body is anatomically designed to run. Movement-based training vs. mileage training will reduce overall mileage, wear and tear, and decrease the rate of injuries.
My study of the running and walking stride biomechanics suggests that daily walking is the major long-term factor contributing to overall functional decline and degeneration of the human body with age.
The reason is that a walking stride is a complex functional chain movement from your neck to shoulders to pelvic girdle to legs to knees and feet. If the skeleton is misaligned all muscle groups spreading from the neck to feet cannot function properly.
Aerobic energy production is not fully understood and most runners do not practice movement and have to compensate with muscular power. It forces the body to supply anaerobic energy with no oxygen and it puts undue stress throughout the entire body.
My research and analysis of triathletes’ performance revealed a puzzling fact. Some triathletes are capable to run with significantly lower weekly running mileage an identical distance considerably faster than the full-time runners with higher training volume. This is after completing the swimming and cycling portions of the race.
This finding holds true with the short, medium and long endurance events. In addition, some triathletes are capable completing Ironman triathlon (2.4M swim and 112M bike legs) and run a marathon distance 26.2M under 3 hours. Typically, during the Boston Marathon with the field of 30,000 participants only about 1,000 runners complete the distance in 3 hours.
Successful Outcomes
I had a number of clients who by practicing proper functional movement were able to extend their running distances and complete a marathon without excessive wear and tear. In 2017, I reached 20th year milestone with staying injury-free during my long-distance running career.

Swimming
Current Trends
Literature suggests that only 2% of overall population can swim continuously 400M. Millions made unsuccessful attempts to learn swimming using conventional training methods. These approaches might be productive to those individuals who possess kinesthetic water awareness or ability to maintain a floating position without sinking.
Conventional Misconceptions
People who don’t have kinesthetic water awareness after failing to master swimming conclude that they are not born to swim.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
Current swimming is mostly focused on the swimming stroke efficiency and training yardage completed. However, the bodies of 98% overall population do not possess a sufficient buoyancy which increases the water resistance and swimming turns into a struggle to keep the body afloat. Existing buoyancy training is not scientifically sound and the conventional swimming instruction does not pay a sufficient attention to it.
Successful Outcomes
I applied the principles of functional anatomy to swimming instruction to train my clients on beginner, intermediate and advanced level and it helped to make them to swim with less effort and a higher speed.
When I started competitive swimming, it became clear my body was not born to swim and I could not move in the water continuously for 25 meters (one length of the pool) without struggling to stay afloat.
Now, I improved my buoyancy and I can swim with much less of water resistance and with a higher speed for longer distances. Had I not studied the science of human movement I would have not able make such a progress at all.
Weight Lifting and Resistance Training
Current Trends
In most gyms, heavy exercise machines are widely used for weight lifting workouts to target isolated muscles. As a result, conventional resistance training programs do not produce any meaningful improvements for a typical health club member.
Many programs emphasize lifting heavy weights to represent achievements in building strength and a mirror-pleasing image. Across all fitness clubs, it is considered a significant accomplishment to bench-press 200 lbs.
Concentric, eccentric and isometric muscle actions are overlooked in most resistance training programs leading to a lack of progress and injuries.
Conventional lifting form is not based on the principles of functional anatomy and targets isolated body parts which contributes to the lack of progress.
Conventional Misconceptions
If I follow a resistance training program regularly and manipulate key variables (load, sets, repetitions) I will increase my muscular strength, endurance and power.
Traditionally, most weight lifting programs target isolated body parts to develop maximal strength.
Many training programs consider strength in isolation and insufficient attention is paid to body alignment and stabilization.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
Current resistance programs have not proven to be effective for improving strength in a typical fitness club and they do not have a practical purpose in the physical activities outside the gym.
Training isolated muscles does not develop functional strength and it can make your body more dysfunctional.
You can do the most push-ups, run the fastest mile or bench-press the heaviest weight. If you lift a heavy weight on a bench it represents a false sense of strength. The reality is that you are not truly strong because you would not be able to lift a half of this weight from the floor.
Alignment aspects are not properly addressed and strength is not built on the principles of functional alignment and movement.
Successful Outcomes
Functional strength emphasis has brought unexpected results in my resistance training. I have gained muscle mass about 20 lbs. and strength by using body weight exercises, weight lifting once a week, and focusing on a proper body alignment. If you align your joints properly it allows muscles build mass and strength.
Ballroom Dancing
Current Trends
Conventional ballroom dancing instruction is focused on a high volume of unconscious repetition and it is dance-figure based. The dancing instructors were trained with this method and they are unable to teach students how to improve the body movement.
A long-term training by a high volume of unconscious repetition will subject the body to a significant wearing out physically and mentally. As a result, many competitive dancers retire from dancing in their 20’s. The dropout rate in the social ballroom dancing is as high as 95%.
Conventional Misconceptions
The prevailing notion is that if you don’t learn dancing movement at a young age and you cannot expect to make any dancing movement progress when at the adult age.
The dancing movement of a novice dancer can be described as “mechanical”. Current dancing instruction maintains that practicing dancing figures the students will acquire a sufficient level of expertise to dance with a partner without a significant difficulty.
I have been dancing for the last 18 years and the dance-figure-based approach has failed to prove it successful for the majority of social ballroom dancers.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
My research and analysis of human movement made an unexpected discovery. As I was learning functional anatomy, I realized that our bodies are anatomically built for dancing movements and if you study how the body works and let the body function accordingly it would move naturally and effortlessly. This approach is fundamentally different from traditional training by a high volume of unconscious repetition.
Majority of dancers who practice by a high volume of unconscious repetition require a presence of an instructor during each training session. On the other hand, if you study functional anatomy and practice consciously you will be more motivated to train on your own. Many accomplished ballroom dancers were surprised to know that I am able to practice for extended periods of time by myself.
Movement can be described as changing positions with a proper weight shift. It is not widely understood that you have to shift the center of body weight located about two inches below the belly button in the pelvis region. This is key aspect for efficient movement and if it is not properly executed the movement will not be fully functional.
Shifting the center of body weight includes certain elements and cannot be done through a series of exercises by a high volume of unconscious repetition.
As I kept learning human movement system, I discovered that the body is programmed and designed to shift the center of body weight naturally between different positions if all weight shift elements work together efficiently.
To improve the results from conventional ballroom teaching methodology a sufficient amount of instruction should be devoted to movement-based conscious training.
Successful Outcomes
I was introduced to ballroom dancing on a cruise ship; my first teachers were world-champion dancers Bob Powers and Julia Gorchakov. When one night at dinner I queried my tablemates how I might learn to dance like Mr. Powers, the reaction was unpleasant and frankly a little hostile.
One man, visibly annoyed, told me that I would “never be able to move like him,” and that if I “hadn’t started that sort of thing as a kid, forget it.” I belong to a category of people when they are told that “they are too old or not born for it” and they find a way to prove naysayers wrong.
Contrary to this general belief my body began responding to the concious training approach and it helped to get out of the “mechanical stage” of movement. To my surprise, I was approached by a number of individuals who asked me if I would help them to learn and improve their functional movement and dancing skills.
In addition to moving with more ease and precision my overall coordination, agility, speed, balance and quickness improved considerably.
Chapter 6
Functional Flexibility
Current Trends
Yoga and Pilates are booming industry, and the market is estimated to be worth $80 billion. This growth has been fueled by yoga proponents who promise to build strength, improve balance and flexibility. However, their claims lack a scientific basis and misinformed followers are not aware of the yoga drawbacks.
Conventional Misconceptions
If you feel tight and need to stretch regularly it may be an indication that your body has muscle and joint imbalances. Stretching might provide temporary relief, and it will not address the problem of poor alignment and it can lead to injury.
A new study by Thomas A. Swain MPH, Gerald McGwin, MS, PhD published in in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine (November, 2016) found that yoga injuries are on the rise, especially among older adults.
The study, titled Yoga-Related Injuries in the United States From 2001 to 2014, found that there were 29,590 yoga-related injuries seen in hospital emergency departments from 2001 to 2014.
Overall, yoga injuries became almost twice as common in 2014 as in 2001. But among seniors especially, yoga injuries truly skyrocketed. During the same time period, the rate of yoga injuries among adults 65 and older increased more than eightfold.

A University of Sydney study has found yoga caused musculoskeletal pain – mostly in the arms – in more than 10% of participants.
Lead researcher, Associate Professor Evangelos Pappas, says the risk of pain caused by yoga is higher than previously reported. “Yoga may be a bit more dangerous than previously thought,” Pappas said.
“Our study found that the incidence of pain caused by yoga is more than 10% per year, which is comparable to the rate of all sports injuries combined among the physically active population,” he said.
Also, this study has revealed that yoga also exacerbated 21% of existing injuries which adds more weight to the argument that stretching might aggravate existing problems if the body is misaligned and imbalanced.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
Literature indicates that the first signs of yoga practices are dated back to over 5,000 years ago, but some researchers think that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old.
To date, existing research has failed to provide conclusive evidence supporting benefits of stretching. Also, long stretches for 1 or 2 minutes weaken the muscle.
In addition, static yoga stretches can also loosen ligaments and their ability to hold joints. That can set up the body for future health problems.
A typical Yoga and Pilates instructor does not have a complete knowledge of the principles of functional anatomy and they cannot help their students to develop a scientifically sound functional movement. 200 hours are required to become a registered yoga instructor, only 20 hours of which are devoted to anatomy.
Yoga and Pilates benefits are limited to performing exercises and poses during a class. However, they are not useful in real life and don’t prevent a loss of the overall mobility and a functional decline in the long-term.
Successful Outcomes
When I started my fitness life, I was extremely tight. It is hard to believe now that I could only bend forward in standing position to 30 degrees before feeling discomfort.
Also, I could not sit on the floor with the legs extended and had to use my arms to support the upper body. I took many yoga classes, and they brought no improvement.
I stopped stretching and regular practicing of functional movement increased joint range of motion, corrected muscle imbalances and improved my overall flexibility.
Chapter 7
The Myth of Aging
Current Trends and Statistics
Regular fitness and athletic activities with age produce opposite results in personal and athletic performance leading to physical and mental deterioration. Most fitness enthusiasts start experiencing musculoskeletal pain in their 30’a and 40’s which leads to a significant functional decline later in their lives.
The overall burnout forces competing athletes of all levels to retire in their 20’s and 30’s. It is very common to see that many former athletes lose their motivation to participate in their sport at a less competitive level and maintain vitality to stay physically active at all.
Conventional Misconceptions
Functional decline with age is inevitable.
Physical and mental degeneration associated with aging is irreversible.
“I am 30 years old and I cannot exercise anymore as much as I used to. My doctor told me to reduce intensity of my workouts because I am not 20 years old anymore.”
“My knees and low-back hurt when I play tennis. The coach says this is what happens you get older.”
“I am overweight and I understand that I can expect to add 1-2 pounds a year and 15 years later I will be 30 pounds heavier.”
“I am 39 years old, I used to run but at my doctor advised me that running is not recommended for my age.”
“I was diagnosed with arthritis and my doctor told me this condition is common with old people. Really? I just turned 45!”
“I have been doing diligently for years ‘weights”, “cardio” and yoga. Now, my body is breaking down. I guess it is OK. Professional athletes retire in their 30’s and I am already 39 years of age.”
We hear too often people justify their age when they are unable to do activities they used to. It is really sad that the age is an accepted excuse for poor fitness and deteriorating performance in the professional sports. The consensus in the tennis world is that Roger Federer had won only one Grand Slam in recent years because he is already 37 years “old”!
If you don’t know how to keep your body functional and your overall condition with age is deteriorating can you attribute it exclusively aging?
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
Analysis of fitness and athletic performance of amateur group competition in various sports and activities indicates that these athletes are able to compete successfully well in their 60’s and 70’s.
These individuals were born with an advanced functional movement capacity and their bodies were able to maintain it through the years. This means that humans are born with identical anatomical structure and lost it after the loss, functional movement awareness can be improved returned to a normal function The functional movement training is not widely known and the human body has built-in a proper functional movement.
My research and practice indicate that an efficient functional movement can be scientifically described and a natural alignment can be rebuilt and anatomical functional movement would be restored.
Functional will help both naturally born and those whose bodies don’t have functional skills
Successful Outcomes
My clients were able to restore functional capacity and improved fitness including those in their 70’s and 80’s. They learned that active lifestyle is harmful to the overall health without a proper knowledge of the principles of functional movement. I have been competing in triathlons and long distance running for last 20 years and practicing functional movement helped me to prevent physical and mental deterioration, avoid injuries and maintain the vitality to engage in high endurance sports.
I should note that I don’t get always on the podium and other competitors come ahead. However, they experience much higher wear and tear by moving the bodies in their “own” unconscious way. In fact, only 2 triathletes from the original field when we started competing 20 years ago are remaining and their bodies are affected by significant musculoskeletal damage.
Chapter 8
Weight Loss
Current Trends
Obesity is the fastest growing problem in the United States. Research has shown that 66% of Americans older than 20 years of age are overweight. Obesity is a complex problem and associated with chronic health conditions including psychological, emotional and spiritual issues. In fact, if this problem is still growing it means that comprehensive and effective solutions have not been found.
Conventional Misconceptions
Exercise and nutrition – Eat Less, Move More – are the main conventional solutions. A narrow-minded focus on weight can lead to negative outcomes including an excessive concern with nutrition and dieting, and a diversion from other individual health problems.
The focus on nutrition is overemphasized and attempts to lose weight by dieting alone have a long history of failures. The concept of dieting is dating back 2,000 years, countless diet plans have failed to produce successful results and, so far, no plan has demonstrated scientifically proven successful outcomes on a broader scale.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
A proper understanding how is the energy produced and distributed, within the human body, is lacking. It is not widely understood that the brain determines what type of energy will be supplied to support physical movement activities.
Nutrition plans range from low-carb to protein-only diets underline that these approaches are not scientifically sound and demonstrate that understanding of the principles of human functional anatomy is superficial to make any progress in conquering obesity.
Research suggests that aerobic (oxygenated) energy is more effective to burn fat than anaerobic energy (no oxygen). However, many weight loss programs make a significant emphasis on resistance training and a high intensity interval training (HIIT) which are predominantly anaerobic by nature.
Carbohydrates are used to generate aerobic energy and a low-carb diet will reduce the amount of aerobic energy produced and decrease chances to burn fat.
Psychological and emotional problems related to obesity don’t receive a sufficient attention and most often the efforts to lose weight by nutrition and exercise bring negative results.
The caloric reduction was proven to fail by Dr. Ancel Key in 1950’s as you eat less the body starts to conserve energy, the basal metabolism (calories out) drops and you feel hungry. When try to eat a little more the basal metabolism is still low and your weight loss either levels off or you might gain more weight.
The approach Eat Less and Move More is guaranteed to result in a failure and “The Biggest Loser” TV show is the proof.
The published research in the journal Obesity indicates that six years after participating in the “Biggest Loser” competition, only one of the 14 contestants currently weighs less than when the competition was completed. The rest either weigh what they did when they became a contestant or, in four cases, actually weigh more. That is a 93% failure rate.
These results underscore clearly that the principles of functional anatomy have been neglected in favor of easy fixes and quick money-making. In a devastating blow to the “Biggest Loser “, Bob Harper, the host of NBC’s TV show, suffered a near-fatal heart attack that left him unconscious for two days.
He attributed this incident to a hereditary condition and his comments related to changing workouts and incorporating “cardio” into the training regimen have demonstrated he does not have a full understanding of anaerobic and aerobic energy concepts.
Typically, an overweight condition is a long-standing problem and overweight people adapted to live with the problem for an extended period of time which leads to deep-seated quiet desperation.
This state of mind prevents a proper body and mind connection and it is a major barrier to exercise regularly, and maintain healthy eating habits. To address this problem the body and mind connection should be restored before starting a weight loss program.
The weight loss program should start with learning the basic principles of functional anatomy and understand how the body is built to work. In turn, this knowledge will help to improve functional movement to regain a body and mind connection.
To burn fat effectively, the body movement must meet the requirement of a constant pace so that aerobic energy to be supplied. In addition, the body must move at vigorous intensity and for extended period of time to lose excessive calories.
Typically, an overweight individual has more difficulties to move than a person with a normal weight. The development of efficient walking gait should be addressed during the functional movement training.
Successful and Unsuccessful Outcomes
I attempted to set up a weight loss program at the Boston Sports Clubs Newton, Ma sometime ago.
Fifteen club members responded to the email promotion and expressed an interest to attend the first introductory meeting. In the email, I explained that at the meeting I plan to review the weight loss program. None of the respondents showed up at the meeting.
Now, I realize this outcome confirms my belief that the weight loss should start with restoring the body and mind connection to address deep-seated psychological issues.
On one hand, my efforts turned out to be unsuccessful to help people start a weight loss program. On the other hand, it helped to gain a better understanding how to prioritize the issues involved in this problem when a weight loss program is created.
Chapter 9
Health, Lifestyle, Wellness and Human Psychology
Current Trends
John Travis, MD, MPH and Meryn G. Callander suggest to draw an analogy between an iceberg and the human body. The icebergs have about one-tenth of their mass above the water. The remaining nine-tenth remain submerged.
Your existing health condition is the tip of an iceberg. If you don’t like it you can patch it or chip some away, more of the same comes up to take its place.
To find a root cause or causes of health problems you have to look under the surface. Many people – be it a daily life or exercise – move their body unconsciously without a proper awareness how is the body designed to function and they know that it is harmful to their bodies.
The starting point to overcome this problem is the study of the basic concepts of human functional anatomy. You have to learn on and gain a better understanding how the muscles and joints under the “skin” are supposed to move.
If you exercise regularly and you are working out isolated body parts chest, arms or legs without paying attention to proper functional movement you will be increasing the risk to impair your mobility and getting injured outside the gym.
If you cannot change your bad habits your problem might be beyond the lack of discipline and setting up a plan of action. You need to look into the lifestyle/psychological aspects of your body and mind to determine what prevents you to practice the good habits.
Conventional Misconceptions
Experts maintain that wellness cannot be addressed in physical terms (e.g., nutrition, fitness, stress, reduction). Wellness must include the psychological, emotional and spiritual issues of a human being.
Many people lead destructive lifestyles, but they are unable to change them. Unhealthy attitudes are widespread throughout the entire society and the present emphasis on quick results and easy fixes fails to resolve the fundamental issues leads to despair and self-destructive behaviors.
Research Findings and Scientific Principles Overlooked
In one of his quotes Henry Thoreau writes that most people live a life of quiet desperation. Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, a well-known physician and author, broadly considered a “guru” of holistic health and alternative medicine, believes that 60% to 70 % of Americans are mildly depressed.
After you couldn’t sleep well most of the night, you get up and skip breakfast rushing to work to meet deadlines and keep your customers happy.
You didn’t have time for lunch except having a coffee and muffin. You rush home to get some rest and answer to your spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend why you are so stressed out. After having dinner, you are relaxing on the sofa and falling asleep.
When you wake up in the morning, you feel an irresistible need for a cup of coffee or two to get going and your daily routine will repeat. Week after week, month after month and year after year you started to believe this is how the life supposed to be.
In the meantime, this lifestyle continues to build a quiet inner desperation and after a few years you don’t even realize it became an integral part of your body and mind.
Sometimes, you have a sleepless night and you cannot think of a reason to be stressed out or depressed. It might not occur to you that this deep-seated desperation is quietly disrupting your sleep and your life as well.
When you take a vacation, you are convinced that you have earned the right to indulge yourself without any limitations. The vacation can give you a temporary relief but it will not address in any meaningful way the problem of quiet desperation.
After returning from vacation you feel refreshed but it does not take too long and you are getting stressed out again. Unfortunately, the quiet desperation has not disappeared and you just had a break from your daily routine.
As are you getting older, you feel that your mind is in a vacuum and you find yourself thinking all the time about your past or present experiences to what could have happened, should have happed or hadn’t not happened.
You read about a middle life crisis, reinventing yourself and find new dimensions in your life. At some point, you purchased a book, attended a workshop or started seeing a psychotherapist.
Many experts emphasize the crucial importance of the mind and body connection and their suggestions range from a simple series of steps to recharge your life to elaborate and complex psychoanalysis of all aspects related to psychological, emotional and spiritual issues of the human body.
If you attempted to use these recommendations and they produced little or no progress you are not alone. You have a distinct feeling that some piece or pieces of this puzzle are missing.
The problem is that a healthy body and mind connection cannot be achieved by an analysis of only psychological, emotional and spiritual issues. Have you ever thought in order to establish a body and mind connection you need to learn how is the body built to work? It makes sense to learn how does a car operate if you wish to repair it and in most cases you have to know how the car parts work under the hood.
Let’s take a look at the body and mind connection related to the musculoskeletal pain disorders. As I discussed earlier, 30% of Americans live in chronic pain day to day and conventional medicine is failing to provide relief. Adapting a lifestyle to pain and disease puts your nervous system in a deeper state of quiet desperation and makes you less capable to take action dealing with this problem.
Human movement is carried out by an integrated effort of three main systems, within the human body, nervous system, skeletal system and muscular system. If one system and its components are not functioning properly it will compromise the operation the other systems.
When you experience pain you, the muscles and joints are not functioning properly. If you don’t attempt to relief pain or your efforts are unsuccessful it will put undue stress on your nervous system. If the problem remains unresolved it will contribute to despair and anxiety, and add more deep-seated quiet desperation to your state of mind.
If you make an effort to study how the human body is designed to function it will enable you to move your body consciously and develop a functional body and mind connection. In turn, a conscious and efficient functional movement will be a building block and provide confidence to living your life consciously as well.
Also, you will be taking a responsibility for your own body as opposed to relying on the doctors, therapists or masseurs.
The science of human movement defines that all commands to your skeletal and muscular systems must be executed by your brain. The brain is the control center of the nervous system for all the body’s functions. When you exercise and you are watching TV the muscles don’t receive proper commands from the control center and your movement is compromised.
If you have hands-on therapy performed on your body by physical or massage therapist your brain is not controlling the muscle actions. Your muscles are treated by the brain of another person. As a result, you get only temporary relief and you have to repeat this type of treatment again and again.
One of my clients told me that the most important lesson she learned while working on improving her functional movement is that you must take the responsibility for your own body.
Another client made a comment adding a sense of humor that he can take away this knowledge and he has a better to change his “pampers” when he becomes really old.
If you address wellness in a conventional way you will have a practitioner for each aspect of the wellness paradigm (nutrition, fitness, stress reduction and human psychology) and you will be working with four different practitioners.
If you have a knee pain it will affect the way you walk. When you worry about your knee pain your nervous system will be stressed out. All human body parts and every aspect of life are interconnected.
Practicing functional movement offers a multi-dimensional and comprehensive approach when all interconnected aspects of wellness paradigm are handled by one practitioner, and you take the charge and the responsibility for healing your body and life.
Successful Outcomes
Some of my clients were surprised that increased efficiency of functional movement led to the improved physiological results (blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, etc.) during their annual physical checkup.
When asked what has changed in his lifestyle since the last visit, the client told his doctor that he has been working to restore functional movement as the only lifestyle change he can think of.
I can make an argument that restoring the functional integration of skeletal, muscular and nervous systems has led to a ripple effect on the internal systems and organs to improve their functionality.
Another client reported an unexpected bonus of the functional movement training brought the calm serenity and peace of mind to expand wellness beyond the physical terms of nutrition, fitness and stress reduction.
Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute (NWI), Stevens Point, WI introduced in 1970’s as a multidimensional wellness concept encompassing conscious and evolving lifestyle to achieve a full potential. This model is commonly referred to and comprised of six dimensions: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual and occupational.
My journey started with the physical dimension and I became a lifetime student of the human body to study and develop a proper understanding, and practicing how to move the body efficiently in a conscious way.
This journey led me to occupational and emotional dimensions and to a new challenging and rewarding career. All my clients had to readjust their frame of knowledge and it required dealing with psychological aspects such as confusion, confidence, losing hope and intimidation by stepping into unknown and uncomfortable.
On my part, this process demanded developing human psychology expertise how to guide an individual to face and to take action related to psychological issues associated with lifestyle/behavioral problems and making positive changes in life.
Intellectually, I was introduced to a new field of study, made significant scientific revelations and I was able to advance the knowledge and solutions in the areas of functional anatomy and kinesiology.
The social dimension allowed me to work with so many people I would never meet otherwise and help them to understand and address their issues.
Spiritually, moving along this lifepath helped me to make progress for reaching a personal harmony and balance between the tough challenges (anxiety, fear, frustration, etc.) with the feelings of joy, happiness and discovery.
Overall, enhanced functional movement improved my body and mind connection. In turn, it helped me to handle more successfully newly-acquired dimensions and psychological issues including breaking bad habits, minimizing mental self-destruction and the impact of quiet desperation and stress.
About Lenny Levin
Lenny Levin, the founder of Wellness and Beyond, raised a question why the current concepts of fitness, health and wellness are failing to produce successful outcomes.
This quest led him into the area of functional movement, and he discovered studying kinesiology and human anatomy for the last 12 years that the basic principles of the functional anatomy and the science of human movement had been neglected.
For the last 9 years, he has been practicing his findings and they are demonstrating results that the fitness and medical fields fail to produce. Lenny’s work is getting the coverage across major U.S. radio stations, on the Web and social media.
Lenny developed functional movement assessment and restoration programs based on the integrated functioning of three main systems, the nervous system, skeletal system, and muscular system.
Lenny’s efforts are aimed to research, develop and practice human functional body movement related to a wide range of physical activities and sports based on sound principles of functional anatomy and the science of human movement.
His findings and discoveries brought new insights and contributed to the new understanding of the science of human movement and functional anatomy. Lenny has introduced and defined integrated functional chain movements related to running, walking, swimming, dancing and weight lifting.
Lenny continues studying exercise physiology, functional anatomy and human movement science. He is practicing this new philosophy with private clients and compete successfully in long-distance running and endurance events. He is continuing to dedicate his efforts to advance the knowledge and solutions to a wide range of areas related to personal fitness, athletic performance, overall health, injury treatment, aging, weight loss, wellness, and lifestyle including psychological and behavioral issues.

Health is not a constant. It is either growing or fading. Each day is your opportunity to guide it.
Left alone, all things go toward disorder and dysfunction. Energy needs to be added to create order and function

Life of quiet desperation
Clients reported peace of mind better physical condition
Comfort discomfort zone
Walk away from problems to take easy
Cope with problems vs. solving
Never happy if no dealing with problems
Do you know who you really are
Conventional Misconceptions
Retirement overload, preparation same as financial what to do, schedule, meaningful, I will do what I want, long marriages, lack of sleep affects energy production
Looking for Answers
As I continue to compete in long distance running and triathlons I was looking to find answers to the question if some of us are lucky with God-given abilities and others are left to live with their own limitations. If the elite dancers, runners or swimmers are able to make their bodies to outperform the competition are these skills trainable?
As incredible it sounded then the answer today is yes! My study of kinesiology, the science of human movement and anatomy led me into area of functional movement including the aspects of kinesthetic awareness and neuromuscular efficiency.
I discovered that the human body is anatomically designed to produce natural and efficient movements, and I developed a better understanding how is the body is supposed to move. This knowledge enabled me to describe scientifically functional movements for sports such as swimming, cycling, running, weight lifting and dancing.
If you acquire basic understanding of human anatomy and put an effort to let the body move the way it is designed you will be able to participate in sports and physical activities you never thought it was possible.
I am not born to be fit, to run, swim, dance, any sport or physical activity I decided not to participate and I am better off to do what I can.
The development of efficient functional movement involves three stages: 1) functional awareness to learn the principles of functional anatomy including the muscles and joints responsible for human movement, 2) functional movement awareness to practice the movement of individual muscles and joints and 3) integrated functional movement joint movement of muscle and joint groups for specific movements

HMS is not designed to move body parts and segments and if you move your body this way it will contribute to dysfunction and lead to injury.

LPHC (Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Joint Complex) is responsible for the overall muscular and skeletal control of the entire human body and it is not included in most training and injury treatment programs.