Home » Dr. Eric Goodman: The Unexpected Physical Consequences of Technology at TEDxAmericanRiviera (Transcript)

Dr. Eric Goodman: The Unexpected Physical Consequences of Technology at TEDxAmericanRiviera (Transcript)

Actually my chiropractic education is what allows me to understand what I understand about moving. It allows me to help people make the changes they need to make, helping them understand what I understand about movement, and ultimately teaching these people just like you’re capable of getting themselves out of chronic pain and becoming stronger than they ever thought possible.

So what I did for myself, when I was in the pain when I was told I had to have surgery, I used my education. I used this understanding of anatomy, this idea that I had of — well, if I’m breaking down, I’m sitting all day in chiropractic school. I’m then going home and studying and sitting while I study. And even though I’m a large strong athletic guy, my body is weak, my stable structure is not a stable as it’s supposed to be. And when I move, when I use resistance exercises, when I play a sport, my body is going to its built-in movement pattern that has adapted to the wrong movement pattern — a pattern that I would imagine just about every one of you is in.

I’ve taught a lot of people how to move, a lot of different kinds of people and almost every one of them shares this one common denominator, this one thing that will determine whether your life is out of chronic pain, whether your life is relatively pain-free with the exception of bumps bruises and acute injuries. And that one common denominator, that thing is the ability to hinge at your hip joints, keeping the front of your body long instead of bending at your spine keeping the front of your body short, just like you’re sitting. I am watching everybody kind of change their sitting position a little bit here. This is usually what happens. I’m doing fine, no — not me; I don’t move like that, but you do.

In fact, I’ve seen a lot of different kinds of people, and I want to tell you a story of two different extremes that both shared the exact same movement pattern, this common denominator, this inability to hinge properly from the hips instead bending improperly abrasively, angrily at the spine. So when you bend at your spine, it starts this typical pattern of breakdown. It’s the reason you go to a doctor and they try to treat your back pain, they try to treat your knee pain, your ankle pain, your hip pain, your carpal tunnel syndrome, whatever it is, your headaches. But they can’t — they can mask it, they can mask the pain but the pain is not the problem. The problem is movement, and what the pain is telling you is where you’ve gone wrong.

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So these two stories that I want to tell you about are two good friends of mine. They started off as clients and ultimately became quite a bit more. One of them is a brilliant, brilliant physicist, somebody that’s had a hand in most of the advances we’ve had in modern technology in the past 30 or 40 years. This is a brain that is capable of breaking down phenomena that none of us can understand, making something out of it and then putting it in a way that we can understand. Yet, he couldn’t understand his body’s own fundamental movement pattern and the breakdown in that movement pattern that was leading to his every-day chronic pain and at 60 plus years old, he was in chronic pain for a very long time. And he had the ability to seek answers from the top people in the world but he was still in chronic pain, because he was seeking help instead of helping himself. He was not actively adapting instead of complacently adapting to the rigors of everyday life of sitting. When you’re a physicist, when you’re an engineer, you sit all the time.

The other person I want to tell you about is a very good friend of mine, one of the top triathletes that has ever been. In fact, this man has won the world’s toughest triathlon twice; that’s a pretty serious beat. This guy runs and bikes and swims and can’t sit down for the life and he hates to sit down, he will not stay still. He also happened to train a number of the top athletes in the world. This is a super athlete. He is not like any of us; he is what all of us that are athletes strive to be. Yet he shared the exact same movement breakdown, the exact same common denominator — this inability to hinge at the hips.

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And this ugly thing that happens when you bend forward and put all of that force that should be absorbed at the hips, the butt muscles, the hamstrings, the muscles that are designed to absorb the force of gravity throughout the day, every day of your life, instead of using those you bend at the spine — they bend at their spine and suddenly they had the exact same problem as each other, even though they had completely different lifestyles. And these extremes are what we see sharing and that means that every one of you, most of you know somebody or are currently yourself experiencing this exact same breakdown pattern, this inability to hinge at the hips instead bending at the spine, and again putting into play this very typical expected series of events starting with back pain leading to an eventual overall deterioration of the physical body.

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