Friday, February 29, 2008
In case, I haven't already given you that impression, Gray Cook is a freakin' genius.
In my medical education, only Pavel Tsatsouline himself has impressed me to the same degree as Gray Cook, MSPT, OCS, CSCS. I've been fortunate to study with some of the most sizzling brains in my field, but when you talk to Gray Cook, you realize he's on a totally different level.
Here are the circumstances under which I had the chance to meet him. Pavel called me and asked if I'd like to meet with him and Gray to see Gray's Functional Movement Screen. As part of my medical training and clinical practice, I'd seen or done the standard orthopedics & neurological tests that are part & parcel of western medicine. I'd also seen plenty of stuff like Applied Kinesiology's muscle testing. So I thought I wasn't going into this completely blind.
Pavel & I got to the David Beckham Soccer Academy at the Home Depot Center in Carson, where we met up with Gray. He took us through his Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which looked deceptively simple but soon proved itself to be incredibly brilliant. I approached it at first with the same thick "show me something I don't already know" skepticism that I approached Pavel & his Russian kettlebell training methods.
The 7 movement screens are not rocket science when it comes to executing them, but they show where movement dysfunctions and improper patterning and compensation have occurred. A lot of what I was having to do in my clinic instinctively by watching people move and doing different exercises, Gray had reduced to an almost mathematical simplicity. The same conclusions I had come up with through experience and study, he'd come up with, but in a better, far more complete fashion. His FMS made patient diagnosis easier, more efficient, and most importantly... more complete!
And what made it all that & a bag of chips for me was Gray's COMPREHENSIVE knowledge of how to fix the problem once he'd identified it. Pain elicited in any step of the screen requires the screener to refer out for medical intervention (assuming they're not a physician already), and the screens helped me to see where the lynchpins of pain & dysfunction lied in my patients. Instead of chasing one pain after another around the body as the layers of dysfunction are peeled back, the FMS helps orthopedic medical professionals & pain specialists focus in closer to the source of the pain. Combined with the structural manual medicine of Tui-Na and the corrective exercises inherent in Hard Style Russian kettlebell training, the FMS is a crucial gem of knowledge for anyone working in the fields of fitness, athletics, movement sciences, medicine (pain management, orthopedics, physical therapy), or fire/police/military.
His works are at the TOP of my current "to study" list. 'Nuff said! Get some by clicking on the FMS banner above.