The Threat Bucket: An easy explanation of pain and decreased performance

The Threat Bucket from Taylor Kruse on Vimeo.


Video Transcript:

Hey everybody, we are talking about the threat bucket. The threat bucket is our favorite client education tool that has been gifted to us by Dr. Eric Cobb from Zhealth. The threat bucket is an excellent way to educate people on all the different variables that go into a person’s health, their performance, and why they might be feeling pain or having any other issues. It’s a rather complex topic and we are going to simplify it – beginning with the drawing of the bucket (see video at: 00.30).

Simply put, this bucket is going to represent the part of a person’s brain that is responsible for receiving inputs during the day. When we say receiving inputs, we are really talking about stressors that you encounter on a daily basis. Additionally, our bucket is going to have an output system, represented by the nozzle on the side.

What you should know about a person’s brain is that the brains primary role is to keep us alive. Our brain is wired for survival before performance. As we go about our day and we encounter different stressors, our brain is measuring those stressors on a moment-by-moment basis to determine whether or not they are being perceived as safe or unsafe. When a stressor is unsafe, we call it a threat. Every time we encounter a threat, it adds a level of threat to our threat bucket (see video at: 1.37).

The questions then becomes, what types of variables do we encounter on a daily basis that might contribute to the overall level of threat in our bucket.

I’m going to start by explaining a couple of the more important variables to us as health and fitness professionals. I’m going to start with vision because it’s unique to some of the work that we do.

If you are a person that has some vision issues or your eyesight has been declining over the years, that’s a threat. That means that our eyes matter. If you have any issues with your vision, that adds to your overall level of threat in your threat bucket. Another common one is balance. We work with a lot of people that have balance issues – that would be a threat in the threat bucket. Movement or quality of movement obviously would contribute to the overall level of threat in the threat bucket (see video at: 2:45).

These are the common variables that we work with all the time, everyday. Surprisingly to people, there are other variables that come into play here. For example, your emotional status - your emotions play a big role. Work-related stress would be a big one. And even finances. All of these things contribute to the overall level of threat in the threat bucket (see video at 2:58).

Now the cool thing about this is that our body is designed to handle a tremendous amount of stress.

Eventually though, if it keeps building up, there has to be an output. So, our threat gets too high and the bucket starts to spill – and we have an output. The most common output we are used to seeing is pain. Also, decreased performance. These two things happen to be the most common reason people come to work with us (see video at 3:43).

Surprisingly to people, this is not the whole story. The output can manifest itself into a number of different things. For example, problems with digestion, high blood pressure, issues with fuel and energy, even depression. All of these things could be outputs if the level of threat gets too high in your threat bucket.

As a health and fitness professional, when we are trying to strategize on how to help a person improve their performance and get healthier we have to look at a person as a whole because all of this matters. But we don’t have control over all of these different variables. The ones we have the most control over is helping people fix vision issues, fix balance issues, improve the quality of their movement, maybe help them make better food choices, or strategize on how they can get better sleep.

The idea is, if we work in the right areas and we do enough good work for long enough, we begin a process referred to as threat reduction (see video at: 5:14). As movement quality improves, threat will go down. As all these other issues start to resolve, we continue to see threat get lower.

Eventually as a person gets healthier we start to see pain vanish and we start to see performance actually increase. That is the idea behind The Movement Project.

I hope this helps you understand a little bit more about your own personal health. But more importantly, I hope this helps you understand just how important it is to adopt health lifestyle habits and engage in safe, high quality fitness.

If you want to feel better and you want to improve your performance, you have to start thinking about the whole picture. At The Movement Project we are here to help you begin that process. If you have any questions about this or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us, we love talking about this stuff!

Thanks for having a look.


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 10 years of education and coaching through systems like Zhealth Performance, The Burdenko Method, and various movement practices.


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