Podcast: A Neuro-Centric Approach with Taylor Kruse (Hosted by: Integrate Yourself)

Taylor had the pleasure of being interviewed by Allison Pelot & Maja Gottlieb of the Integrate Yourself Podcast. 

In this episode, Taylor was able to talk about why vision and vestibular training is so important, the impact pain can have on individuals and why understanding their history is the window into solving pain, and how our movement is an expression of our brain function.  

Here are some of our favorite quotes from this podcast:

Taylor's Daily Practice:

"I feel like having a good mobility practice that you can check in with daily can offer generally healthy people almost as much as they're ever going to need. When you are learning to move your joints well - it's a practice and it does take time - eventually you end up with a tool that is so powerful it will take care of 75% of all the nagging little aches and pains you might have.

I'm just a big believer in having a toolbox that is self-sustainable because I don't want to have to go outsource my health to someone else when something goes wrong. I want to be able to reach into my toolbox and start moving in a way that is going to help my body and most important to me, I need to know that what I'm doing is working."

Vision Training:

"What I should say with any vision training is that there is some level of caution you have to exercise when you introduce vision exercises to people. One of the reasons being is that the closer we apply a stimulus to the brain the more powerful it is. And that means that sometimes things can go really, really well and sometimes things might not go well.

A lot of that comes down to history and past injuries, if you've ever had a concussion or whiplash injury, or an injury to the face, neck, or jaw, vision training might have a level of sensitivity to it.

So, we always say when you start visual exercises you want to dose it out appropriately. Only do a few repetitions at a time to see how you feel. If you can test something before and after like a simple range of motion, how does your squat feel, something like that, you can get immediate feedback to whether or not your nervous system is perceiving it as safe."

How can you determine if someone just does not have enough fuel for the brain?

"That is enormous in the work that we do. Just to give you an idea. Usually when people come to see us and one of their goals is to reduce pain or eliminate pain overtime, when pain doesn't go away....let me just say this, pain is kind of easy to deal with.

When you have a good assessment process and you know that everything you do is a stimulus and it's an applied stimulus to a person and there's always an instantaneous outcome to that applied stimulus, if you just simply check and mark your findings you can discover a lot quickly. And, you should be able to modify pain rather quickly.

It doesn't mean we are able to fix somebody like that but if you come in with a 6/10 pain we should be able to get it to a 5. Right? And, sometimes we get it to a zero. But I guess the point I'm trying to make is pain can be modified rather quickly but when it becomes really hard to modify, when it's not getting better or it's getting worse even, a lot of times that comes back to what you just mentioned which is the brain that doesn't have enough fuel.

It's super important for people to know that fueling comes into this. And, if you are running into fuel disturbances, and, just to give you an idea the main fuel issue we see is problems with breathing, and because breathing is our fastest most readily available form of fuel, if you have breathing issues that are causing a fuel disturbance in your body it's going to be a lot harder to do everything.

And, visual training, because it's so energy expensive will burn out your fuel supply so fast you wont' even know what happened. And then the drill that started out being good might not be good anymore 10 minutes later. This is one of the things we have to constantly monitor with people because if we overdose you with exercise when you have a fuel issue then, you could get worse and it's much harder to get results to stick when you have those ongoing fuel issues. 

 Client Education on Pain:

"When you're experiencing pain, a lot of times, if there's been no injury event which is oftentimes the case, you are experiencing an output of the brain. So, we always say to our clients as we educate them that pain actually lives in the brain, not really the body part you feel it. When people hear that say, 'wait a minute, are you saying it's all in my head?' And I'm like, 'no I'm not saying it's all in your head...I'm kind of saying it's all in your head, it's an output of the brain.'

And, what that means is if we can lower all those perceived threats in your life and within your movement options we can modify pain. And, what that really means is we are making your brain happy. We are giving it what it wants, what it needs. And, it then, basically, gives us less pain, sometimes, and an increase in performance. I think that's probably the first thing client education-wise that's really hard for people to understand but I can tell you that when you start educating people on pain it can be really profound on helping them eliminate pain. Because, it is generally not known in our generally population that pain is an output of the brain and it does not live in the body part where you feel it.

People that have had ongoing pain issues for a long time think something is broken inside their body. So when we educate them on what pain is as a first step, we oftentimes experience them eliminating pain much faster because we are giving them that education on what pain is. Whereas, now they're not as confused thinking something is broken inside them. And that's just for the example where there's been no injury event and we are dealing with one of those outputs of pain.

Obviously, you can have an injury event and you can have tissue damage involved in why a person is experiencing pain. But to give you an idea, 80% of people say something hurts and they can't relate it back to an instance where there was an injury event. Those types of people, that pain, we are able to modify rather quickly.

Regarding conflicting advice between surgery vs. movement:

"In the case that a person has back pain and the advice being given to them is, 'let's do a precautionary-type of surgery,' I think it's important to educate people right away that if you need more space in your spine we can do that through movement. It's built for that and there's a lot of things that can be done.

A lot of people feel like when they've made their rounds and tried different things they feel like they've tried "everything," but they almost, in most cases, haven't tried much yet because they forgot the movement part. Which to me is amazing because movement is one of those things that by design is supposed to inhibit pain."

Additional ways to listen to the podcast: 

We are incredibly grateful to Allison and Maja for providing an awesome platform to educate and spread the word on neuro-centered training and rehab. 


About the Author: 

Taylor Kruse, recently featured in Men's Health, is dedicated to empowering you with the truth and tools for improved health and performance.

His inspiration stems from more than 15 years of education and coaching through systems like Zhealth Performance, The Burdenko Method, and various movement practices.

In 2013, he co-founded KRUSE ELITE with girlfriend, Alisha Hale. Both are dedicated to inspiring people, coaches, and trainers into their best health and performance.




Practice FIVE Neuro-Performance Drills

Learn why respiration, vision, vestibular, and complex movement integrations are essential tools for every coach!



Practice FIVE Neuro-Performance Drills

Learn why respiration, vision, vestibular, and complex movement integrations are essential tools for every coach!