We recently chatted with Troy Lavigne on the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System podcast only to quickly discover that he had recently interview Anatomy in Clay® Learning System founder Jon Zahourek on his own podcast!
The chat between Lavigne and Zahourek is one hour long—and, well, wow does it cover some ground. The episode is titled “Pain Is Just God’s Way of Hurting You” and the two talk quite a bit about pain and its importance in evolution. Also, Jon tells the incredible story about how his early experiences with self-awareness around anatomy led to the development of the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System and how it impacted his own health. (It’s a pretty remarkable story.)
A brief bio about Troy:
He graduated from Boulder College of Massage Therapy. He holds specialized certifications in Orthopedic/Sports and Pediatric massage. Troy opened his massage clinic in Boulder in 2005 and worked with several professional bike racing and soccer teams. In 2016, he switched from working with professional athletes to the pediatric population, including time in the slums of India working with the LiddleKidz Foundation. (Our hat is off to him for that effort!)
Today, based in Canada, Troy runs his own continuing education course called the Sensory Approach to Manual Therapy. And here’s how he describes the approach (quite succinctly!) on the podcast with us:
“It's a program that really looks at the musculoskeletal system as subservient to the sensory system. You know, we talk about sensory motor cortex being two-thirds sensory and one third motor. So I think if the sensory motor part … is so large, takes up so much of our brain space and so much of our neurological load, shouldn't it be at the forefront of our thought process and how we treat the human body when it comes to manual therapy?”
Traditional manual therapy, Lavigne says, “tends to kind of bypass the sensory system. But the more we look at research coming out, the more we realize that the sensory system plays such an important role not only to how we behave and how we move, but even to our daily expression of stress and comfort and discomfort.”
Lavigne said he created the approach to help therapists not only think about depth and mechanics and structure but also to factor in neuroscience, the brain, and the sensory system.
A lot of touch therapy, he argues, has to do with the brain interaction and the sensory system receiving messages of ‘threat’ or ‘comfort.’ It’s helpful, he says, to take a more holistic approach to manual therapy that moves beyond manipulating muscles and tissue.
The whole podcast is worth listening to (of course). And, on the podcast, Lavgine said he had recently been in Colorado and chatted with Jon Zahourek in person for many hours in addition to recording his own podcast interview with Zahourek.
Says Lavigne, “You have the chance to speak with John and you walk away just going, ‘my God, he just sees the body in this slightly different way.’ A great example is just instead of speaking about superior and inferior talks about caudal and coxal. So you know, it's a subtle change, but the as soon as you integrate it into your vernacular, conceptually, it just suddenly makes more sense. Or the idea of what an ‘anatomical neutral’ is based on gravitational forces and things like that. You know it's resistant at first, but as soon as you kind of think about it for any extended period of time, you kind of say, ‘you know, it's kind of hard to argue against that thought process.’ And yeah, sure, his mind jumps from subject to subject, but that's because it's a mind that is curious and wants to go to unique places.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
The chat between Troy and Jon would be quite challenging to summarize. It’s simply one where you have to get into the flow and follow along as two curious minds go to “unique places,” all revolving around our human anatomy.
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