[Transcript] – 7 Cutting-Edge Physical Therapy & Recovery Techniques You Can Use To Heal Your Body Fast.

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Podcast from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/10/best-and-worst-physical-therapy-techniques/

[0:00] Introduction/Some Things Ben Has To Say

[1:48] Camel Milk

[3:41] Quip Toothbrushes

[5:26] Casper Mattresses

[7:07] Introduction to This Episode

[8:40] Dr. John Rusin

[11:02] What Makes John So Unique

[13:13] What John Would Do That's Different From A Regular Physical Therapist

[15:20] What is Functional Dry Needling

[22:48] Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

[26:13] EDGE Tool Dr. Rusin is Using

[29:57] Pelvic Floor Postural Reeducation

[38:55] Opinion of Dr. Rusin About Cupping

[44:44] Using Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

[51:24] Functional Hypertrophy Training Program

[53:16] Rhythmic and Reactionary Dynamic Stability Strength and Stabilization

[58:14] Unconventional or Other Lesser Known Healing or Training Methods

[1:03:04] End Of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, what's up?  It's Ben Greenfield.  I feel like crap.  I feel a complete crap right now because I lied to you.  I didn't lie to you.  I just made an error last week when I was talking about electrical muscle stimulation, and an astute listener wrote in and informed me that I was in error.  And it turns out I was.  I was talking about an electrical stimulation device called a Marc Pro, and I said it had a square waveform that was really good for healing tissue.  But it's actually not the square waveform, the square waveform is the one that all the other electrical muscle stimulation units have.  The Marc Pro has what's called a dynamic decaying waveform, not a square waveform.  There.  I can sleep at night now.  And so can you.  I know you are lying awake at night wondering about that.

So, what else?  I just got back from the Ultra Beast in Lake Tahoe.  The Spartan Ultra Beast.  Thirty plus miles of obstacles, and barbed wire crawls, and cold weather, water dunks.  It was a fun time, and I just wrote a report on that over at bengreenfieldfitness.com, and also recorded a podcast about that over at obstacledominator.com.  That's where I have my fun/explicit/controversial obstacle racing podcast.  So you can go to obstacledominator.com if you wanna listen to that.

Today we're going to be interviewing.  We?  It's actually me.  You just have to listen, I have to get to interview Dr. John Rusin.  We talk about these really fringe physical therapy techniques and regeneration tactics for your body that a lot of people don't know about, but that he does.  And he's a very, very well-informed, well-educated man.  He's educated.

Speaking of education, let me educate you on something.  Have you ever heard of something called lactoferrin?  So lactoferrin is this protein that helps to protect your body against infections and you actually find it in it what's called the colostrum.  Sorry to gross you out, but the colostrum is like the first milk produced by mammals.  And it does things like bind iron and remove it from the gut, athletes will a lot of times use iron supplements to like boost oxygenation and help improve performance, and lactoferrin prevents that from causing damage.  It also prevents bacterial growth, and it has some really good anti-viral and antifungal properties.  It helps with the healing process of wounds.  But the cool thing is that you don't have to take a supplement to use it.  You can get it from milk.  And in this case, camel milk.

Camel milk has extremely high levels of not just lactoferrin, but a whole bunch of what are called immunoglobulins, growth hormone precursors, electrolytes, amino acids.  It's the most nutrient dense milk on the face of the planet.  And the stuff that I use now, my fridge is full of it, it's raw, it's non-homogenized, they make it in a gluten-free facility.  The camels don't get soy, or corn, or hormones, or additives.  They're just raised out in the pasture, making their little camel noises and dropping their little camel doo-doos as camels do.  I obviously don't farm camels, I'm just making all this up.  This is my camel fantasy.  But you can get camel milk, and here's how: go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/camelmilk and use code Ben20, Ben20.  Gets you 20% off camel milk.  It actually is extremely delicious.  I highly recommend you get it.  It's kinda like the milk kingdom's equivalent of bone broth.  And you can quote me on that.  Okay.  So code is Ben20 at bengreenfieldfitness.com/camelmilk.

Once you've finished your camel milk, you can brush your teeth with this.  I'm not big into like gimmicky toothbrushes, but this company called Quip, they sent me this toothbrush and it's actually kinda cool.  So what it has on it is this little timer.  So it's a 2-minute timer on the selector tooth brush, and it gives this little vibration that tells when to start brushing the next area of your mouth in these like 30-second pulses.  So you can like split your mouth into quarters, if you're a total Type A like me, and you can do 30 seconds one side, 30 seconds the upper right, 30 seconds the, what would it be, the front, 30 seconds the back.

Anyways, it's really cool.  It's got a press wall mount that lets you unstick and re-stick it like a suction cup anywhere, but the tooth brush itself is like a piece of art.  It's got this really cool design, they use premium materials and color options.  You get to choose, like you can customize your colors.  It's a very, very intense and unique oral experience brushing with this thing.  It comes with a bunch of like tooth brushing tips, a really, really healthy toothpaste.

So, here's how you get it.  First of all, you get a $5 refill free.  You go to getquip.com/ben, that's getquip.  How do you spell quip? it's Q, if I can spit this out, Q-U-I-P.  quip, Q-U-I-P.  getquip.com/ben, then use promo code Ben.  And they ship worldwide.  You get a $5 refill of all of your toothpaste accessories and toothbrush accessories for free when you go to getquip.com/ben and use promo code Ben.  Go to the website.  Check out the toothbrush.  You'll see what I mean.  It actually is a cool toothbrush.  I never thought I'd say a toothbrush was cool, but it is cool.

And then finally, speaking of cool, aw, man.  I just gotta pat myself on the back for that segue.  Speaking of cool, your body sleeps better at cold temperatures.  You may have known this.  You should keep the temperature in your room, my rule is like if it's a little bit uncomfortable to take my clothes off, and I'm like I wanna sleep with my clothes on, that means it's a pretty good temperature to take your clothes off and crawl into bed.  So for me it's like 65-ish degrees.

But anyways, a lot of mattresses heat up.  They heat up.  They don't have a breathable design, and the breathable design allows your body to stay cool, which allows for things like neural repair during the night.  Your body heals itself while you sleep.  But if your body's not allowed to get cold, that doesn't happen quite as well.  Think about like Han Solo in Star Wars, how they froze him.  That helped his body to preserve.  Same thing happens to you when you sleep, and you go Han Solo on yourself.  Star Wars.

So this mattress company, Casper, not only do they have a sleep surface that has really, really good sink and good bounce, meaning you can jump on your bed, or you can sleep on your bed, or do anything else you wanna do on your bed, but it stays cool during the night, which I think is awesome.  So they have what's called an adaptive pillow, they've got soft breathable sheets, and the mattress itself is breathable, and you can try it a hundred nights risk-free in your own home.  They drop it off in this cute little box.  Not a giant mattress, but this cute little box that unfolds easy-peasy.  Free shipping and returns to USA and Canada, and you get 50 bucks off.  You get 50 bucks off any Casper that you would like by going to casper.com/ben, that's Casper with a C, casper.com/ben and use promo code Ben at casper.com/ben.

Alright.  Let's go learn how to heal our bodies up, shall we?

In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“You know, the occlusion effect of musculature, in training under the occlusion effect is pretty powerful, and it's getting some more good press in the physical therapy realm right now.”  “The thing about scraping, like you said, I hate the term scraping because you think as a patient, that you're gonna go in there and you're gonna get skinned with this metal tool.  And the more and more that I've used this tool, the less the less pressure I think you have to actually use through it to get through some good results for alleviating pain and increasing some functional range of motion.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Ben:  Hey.  What's up, folks?  It's Ben Greenfield, and my podcast guest today has a lot of alphabet letters after his name.  His name is Dr. John Rusin, PT, DPT, CSCS, ART, FMS1-2, not kidding, YBT, SFMA, FDN.  You almost sound like a robot, dude.

John:  (laughs)  I appreciate that, man.

Ben:  That’s a lot of letters.  And I know that you as a physical therapist, which I am guessing is the PT part of those alphabet letters, you delve into a lot of therapy and recovery techniques.  I've actually been to your website and seen some of your writings, and you talk about a lot of stuff, like functional dry kneeling, and soft tissue mobilization, and blood flow restriction training, and even that cupping thing that we see that the swim team recently did in the Olympics.  So I know that you're kind of on the cutting edge of all sorts of different modalities one could use to heal their bodies that potentially go above and beyond the foam roller.  So I'm excited to get into that stuff with you today. And for those of you who are listening in, John works with some of the world's best power athletes, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the Olympians, competitive powerlifters, bodybuilders.  He's got a sports performance and physical therapy practice in Madison, Wisconsin.  He owns John Rusin Fitness Systems, which is like an online fitness platform in which he helps people around the world.  And so he's definitely got a lot out there.  And his website is

And for those of you who are listening in, John works with some of the world's best power athletes, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the Olympians, competitive powerlifters, bodybuilders.  He's got a sports performance and physical therapy practice in Madison, Wisconsin.  He owns John Rusin Fitness Systems, which is like an online fitness platform in which he helps people around the world.  And so he's definitely got a lot out there.  And his website is drjohnrusin.com, and I’ll link to that as well because he has a lotta cool programs, including what's called a functional hypertrophy program which I wanna actually ask you about some point during our discussion, John.  But first of all, welcome to the show.

John:  Ben, it is great to be on.  Long overdue, like we were talking off air.

Ben:  Yeah.  Had to reschedule a billion times, but…

John:  That's what happens with busy people.

Ben:  Glad we made it happen.  We're actually recording, for those of you who want the kimono open, we're recording on Labor Day, which is what we do.  Instead of going hiking, and barbecuing, and getting drunk on boats, I podcast.  So John, I notice on your website you say you're not the run-of-the-mill physical therapist.  So considering that came from your mouth, why do you say that?

John:  It's funny because people view physical therapy, or really any profession, and they try to stereotype it.  So when I get introduced as a physical therapist, I almost cringe now because a lot of what I do, I'd say like 90% of what I do professionally, is more along the lines of human performance, but I happen to have a couple of those letters at the end of my name, like you mentioned.  So people automatically think like, “Oh, a physical therapist.  I know what that is.  I know the systems that you run.  I know what you're able to do for me.”  But I don't run those systems, and I try to provide something a little bit different than the status quo right now in our industry.

Ben:  So what do you mean when you say something that's beyond the status quo?  And I guess like what I'm guessing you mean is when I go to a physical therapist, which I've been into a handful of times over the past decade, there's always just like a series of like elastic band exercises that you go through, usually you spend a little bit of time in the recumbent bike, sometimes you stand on one of those balance pillows, and then you fill out copious amounts of paperwork.

John:  Dude, that's exactly what I'm talking about, and that is the traditional physical therapy model.  That's the model that insurance pays for right now.  Nothing wrong with that model.  It will work for a couple, a vast majority of people.  But for those people that have goals and aspirations in athletic endeavors, physical endeavors, I truly believe that you almost have to be a hybrid practitioner.  You have to know a little bit about everything so you can offer your client, or patient, what exactly they need.  And for many people coming through my doors, they need more foundational movement, they need more muscle, they need to lose body fat, and then they have to get out of pain like everybody else as well.  But it's all layered into some of the programs that we run.

Ben:  Okay. Let's jump in to brass tacks here.  Let's say I'm doing a body scan right now to identify a body part that I would potentially be in physical therapy for.  I'm not too bad right now, but like two weeks ago, for example, I sprained my left ankle.  If I were to walk into your clinic with a sprained left ankle, what would you be doing that's different than what like a normal physical therapist would be doing?

John:  See, that's a good question because one thing that we do is try to separate traumatic injuries, like a sprained ankle.  You did it running, whatever.  You twisted your ankle, and there is a mechanism of an injury there.  But a lot of people come in with chronic-natured pain and dysfunction, and that's really where I specialize in is trying to get the origins of why you're having these problems, what's holding back your performances, or what's keeping you in pain.

So we do the coolest things in the industry.  Like you mentioned in the intro, we're dry needling people, we're putting people through functional movement capacity screens, we're doing soft tissue work, advanced things that most other practitioners aren't quite doing in your manual therapies.  But it really depends.  I think that putting, trying to force squares into a round peg hole is not the system for athletes.  We need to have more diagnostic tools, more movement screening tools.  We have to appreciate people's goals above and beyond what they're coming in for and what they think they're gonna get from us.  So trying to over deliver on some of that.

I get it all the time because people come in and see me, and after a two hour evaluation, they'll be like, “Whoa.  This isn't physical therapy. What is this?”  And that's like I love when I hear that because everyone who usually comes in to me, they've been through the system before, they've been in a traditional chiropractic, they've been in traditional PT, they've worked with personal trainers and all of that, and those systems that failed them.  So many times, we're people's last hope to try to either enhance their performance or get out of pain.

Ben:  Got it.  Okay.  So you mentioned functional dry needling.  So why don't we jump in right there?  What is functional dry needling?  Why is that something you would do?

John:  Well, it's a technique that's (censored word) a lot of people off in America and North America, specifically the last couple of years, but functional dry needling, the dry needle is a tool itself.  So don't get it confused with the technique of acupuncture.  It's essentially the same tool, but dry needling itself is like the big umbrella.  So functional dry needling is just a type of method that you use this tool, the dry needle with.  Acupuncture is another method.  There's actually seven or eight different methods under the acupuncture umbrella as well.  So you can see that there's a bunch of different theory behind it, but basically what I use it for in my practice is not only treating myofascial trigger points and soft tissues, so mostly muscle tendon and even some joint space, but also for regenerative purposes as well.

So there's some spotty research on it right now which kind of holds it back from being more mainstreamed, but right now a majority of states in America, it's in the practice act for physical therapists.  And many of the states that it's not, it's kind of a gray area right now but it's one of the most exciting emerging practices for manual therapy in the rehabilitation setting.

Ben:  So how does it work?

John:  Man, you get a needle, you glove up, you alcohol swab whatever region that you're gonna go through, and these little monofilament needles, these things are about a tenth of the size diameter of like pencil lead.  So these things are tiny.  They have a little cone-shaped edge on 'em, a beveled edge.  You tap 'em into the tissue, and it should be said that the people that are practicing functional dry needling, they're already movement specialists.  They're people that know anatomy, biomechanics, neuroanatomy like the back of their hand.

So there's a palpatory process, there's a movement screening process that goes in.  But like any other modality that you use, whether it's your hands, whether it's a foam roller, whether it's a dry needle, we're trying to just clean up some weak links in that kinetic chain.  So pretty much, we target a couple key players in that kinetic chain, and we treat them with the dry needles, and then we look for test-retest to make sure that we're actually either relaxing some of the tissue, getting some more functional length, transferring back into some foundational movement patterns like the squats or the hinge, just to see what that novel stimulus that we just added to the system can cause.  And from there, it looks very traditional. You have to follow it up by something.  This isn't just guru science where you throw needles and everything's okay.  Really, we're just using those to open up our capacity to move a little bit better, remediate movement, and then go and use it, and train.

Ben:  So when I have a massage therapist working on me and they're finding like trigger points in tissue, areas there that are like tight-knotted areas, you're doing something similar, but you're doing it with needles rather than, say, like knuckles, or fingers, or elbows, or knees, or something like that?

John:  Well, think about this for a second.  If you have like manual therapy, so like massage is one of those, I also practice a technique called ART, active release techniques, which is a really notable technique, but you have to push through so much (censored) to get down to some of these deeper layer musculature.  I mean, you look at just like the dense fascia that encapsulates the muscles and then you go above that more superficially to the skin, you have these dermal layers that are pretty frickin' thick.  You're just kinda of playing with yourself if you think that you can get deep on to something like a periformis that's under these gluteal muscles that are the thickest muscles in the body like, “Oh, yeah.  I got my lacrosse ball in my periformis.  I'm doing well here.”  Or somebody's elbowing and your periformis that you can't drop that deep.  And the transference is pretty tough too because you're not actually making physical contact, you're just kinda putting pressure points through the dermal layers, through the adjacent musculature, and just kinda hoping, poking, and guessing, and trying to get some sort of novel stimulus into those deeper tissues.

But with dry needling, man, you can essentially throw the needle right into contact with some of those deeper layer musculature.  I mean, we're doing it on some of the deep layers, the multifidus, the rotatories of the spinal column, we're going deep into the deep six rotational group at the hip.  I've gone through my career having difficulty treating certain spots 'cause we can't access them very well.  In the process, you end up beating up your patient.  If you've had some deep soft tissue, man, that (censored) hurts, and it bruises, and you just feel like you just got beat up on the table instead of having a regenerative effect.  So, it's just another tool in the toolbox for some practitioners that are licensed in their state to use, but it's something that's opened up some of my results for not only getting people out of pain, but actually the recovery process as well.

Ben:  Cool.  I like it.  Is there much research behind it?

John:  So, there's new research.  Majority of the research has been done through acupuncture, and this is where people get (censored) off because, right now, we're butting heads, physical therapists versus acupuncturists, in kind of this rehabilitation setting in America because everyone wants to use this tool, but they wanna have exclusive access only to use this tool and not have their competition using it.  But essentially, we have kinda spotty research.  There's research saying that, yeah, it works in some cases, it doesn't work in other cases. It's old.  But there's more emerging research coming out now because our practice act has been opened up.

So with more people practicing functional dry needling and dry needling in America, we have more studies that are looking at this.  And if you go in just like type it into Google Scholar right now, you can look at the last couple months.  There's been like 300, 400 plus new studies on this modality.  And you look at the years before, it's probably like 300 total.  So there's emerging evidence coming out, but again, I'm not gonna sit here and say that it is definitively gonna help you no matter what.  But you also have to take into account that it doesn't matter what the research says, sometimes it matters if you personally, as an athlete, as a patient, get a positive response from it.  And, hey, if you do?  Then that's a technique that you can utilize when you need to.

Ben:  Yeah.  Interesting.  It's like me and structured water.  People ask me why I drink structured water, and there's not a lot of research behind it aside from in test tubes, but I just feel better when I drink it.  So I drink it.  But I did notice that there's actually a few good systematic reviews and meta-analyses, I just checked it out, on the effectiveness of dry needling for, at least, myofascial pain.  It looks like one study here looked at several dozen different studies on dry needling and found it to be pretty efficacious for pain and range of motion as well.  So interesting, and it's a little bit different than acupuncture.

John:  Yeah.  The tool's not different, just to be clear on that.  The application is, the reason why you would be doing it.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.

John:  For functional transference into movement.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Okay.  Let's jump into another one.  Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, or IASTM. I notice this is something else that you've talked about.  What is that and how does that work?

John:  So basically this is a tool to assist soft tissue work.  So if you've ever seen somebody kind of like scraping away at the skin and you can see it's kinda like a beveled edge…

Ben:  Like Graston?

John:  Exactly.  So that would be one of the most popular IASTMs.  But there's a bunch of different tools out there, and they all stem from something in Eastern medicine called the Gua Sha rock, and I actually had some experience when I was working for the Chinese Olympic committee a couple of years ago prepping for the Olympics.  I had all of these Eastern techniques done on me because they wanted to show the Western consultant what they were all about in the Eastern medicine.  So this was my first experience with like the Gua Sha rock, which is all of this stuff, that's where it stemmed from.

So basically you get down, in ancient Chinese remedy, and they scrape until they bruise the tissues.  So they get over and they just want an inflammatory process through the tissues.  I mean, you turn purple after just a couple of minutes on this thing.  Excruciating pain.  Feels like you're being skinned.  So obviously, that technique is not going over well in America.  So I think people wanted to use, it was getting decent results for thousands of years over in China.  So when it came to America, we just marketed it a little bit differently.  We changed the application, and all of a sudden, we have like these stainless steel, and these titanium tools with beveled edges on them, and they're smooth on the skin.

Ben:  And they're expensive too, like hundreds of Dollars for these devices that are designed to like hit specific body parts.  They look like butter knives.

John:  Man, I mean hundreds.  If you look at Graston, thousands of dollars.  Like there are practitioners that take out loans to buy these things.  But in the last couple of years, there's like a tool specifically that I use is the EDGE tool.  It's only a couple hundred bucks in comparison, but it's all getting at the same thing.  So we're all targeting the same kind of effects that you'd be targeting with dry needling.  It's just a different modality that you're trying to get at.  So we're all trying to decrease pain, increase range of motion, increase functionality and transference into whatever your sport or your physical activity is.  It's just a less invasive way to get at some of these tissues.

Ben:  I've done some of this scraping before.  One of my buddies had these things made by a company called Hawk Tools, which I guess the way that I understand it is like Graston in the US, or in at least Westernized countries, was like the original scraping tool and they lost their patent or something like that.  So now other companies are popping up, creating these type of tools for like scraping across certain areas.  So these were ones called Hawk Tools that he used, and I had some elbow pain, and scraped both elbows, and the pain was gone within messing around with that thing for about like 10 to 15 minutes.  But it left exactly what you were talking about, like these big, like scraping, almost like burns on skin.  And actually pretty painful after a while, almost like a carpet burn kind of.  When you're doing your type of scraping, what you say the tools they use?  The EDGE tool?

John:  I use the EDGE tool.  It's something, I just like the feel of it.  I know some practitioners that originated with some of their techniques, but the thing about scraping, like you said, I hate the term scraping because you think as a patient, that you're gonna go in there and you're gonna to get skinned with this metal tool.  And the more and more that I've used this tool, the less and less pressure I think you have to actually use through it to get through some good results for alleviating pain and increasing some functional range of motion.  I mean, again talking about the dermal layer, essentially we're just using this as a like a neural kinetic enhancement tool.

So we're just trying to stimulate some of those nociceptors on the skin's surface and we're trying to relax the underlying musculature that are linked to that skin surface.  So the dermatomal and myotomal linkages, that's all we're doing.  So we're just adding a novel stimulus to whatever area that you're trying to treat, and the transference back into the central nervous system is really what we're getting at.  And a big misconception is that when you get scraped, you could kind of visualize, like yeah, there's some scar tissue getting broken up there.  There's no scar tissue getting broken up.  Like 100%.

Ben:  Interesting.

John:  Ninety nine point nine percent of the benefits that come from any of these techniques, they're all neurological-based.  There might be a tiny bit of mechanical breakdown.  I mean, if you absolutely went after it, but there's very minimal.

Ben:  And when you say they're neurological-based, you're not saying they're placebo, you're saying they're not working on the musculoskeletal system, they're more working on actual nerve endings?

John:  Well, I would say they're working on the neuro-musculoskeletal system.  And hey, man, placebo is out there.  Placebo is pretty powerful.

Ben:  That's true.

John:  And it's very hard to differentiate on some of these very subjective techniques, but as long as people are seeing benefit from them and not being scraped raw, I'm all for that.

Ben:  Yeah.  Interesting.  And I'll link to the Gua Sha traditional Chinese medical practice in the show notes for this episode 'cause there's some pretty disturbing pictures there of what they call skin blemishing.  If you wanna see what it actually looks like, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/pt.  That's just bengreenfieldfitness.com, the letter P and the letter T, and I'll have that in the show notes.  But then this edge tool that you use, John, could I go buy that and just use it on myself?

John:  Yeah.  Definitely.  It's over on themanualtherapist.com in the shop there.  Couple of cool rehab tools over in that shop.

Ben:  Okay.  Cool.  There's a whole bunch on Amazon.  There's a whole bunch of different like Gua Sha scraping massage tools, and tools in different shapes.  It's kind of interesting because I even had a massage therapist who had me buy a bunch of these rocks, like rocks that you would use for, what do they call the type of massage therapy where you get rocks placed on different parts your body?  Some are cold, some are hot.  It's like, I dunno.  Hot rock massage, something like that.

John:  You could tell I don't get any massages.

Ben:  Anyways, they're a bunch of like river rocks and you can use them for scraping 'cause they're in all sorts of different sizes.  So I've been taking those to some muscles, now and again as well.  And that's all they are, they're just like smooth river rocks, but they seem to work pretty well.  At least better than a butter knife.  But I may have to get this EDGE tool that you're talking about 'cause it looks pretty cool.  So we've got functional dry needling as one method that you use.  Sounds like you are also a fan of this instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization.

John:  Definitely.

Ben:  Much sexier title than scraping, by the way.  How about another one I've seen you talk about, that's pelvic floor postural reeducation.  Pelvic floor postural reeducation.  What is that?

John:  Man, it's just what it sounds like. The pelvic floor for many people, especially females, it goes through dysfunction and definitely trauma through many different things, but most mainly the birthing process.  So, I think that it's an under-served area of physical therapy that really doesn't get much love from the general public, and it affects high-end athletes more than you'd know.

Ben:  You mean like, basically peeing while you're running?  What do they call that?  The…

John:  The workout piece?

Ben:  No, not the workout piece.  Well, incontinence.

John:  Urinary incontinence.

Ben:  Yeah.  Urinary incontinence.  Is that what you use this for?

John:  That's a symptom of pelvic floor dysfunction for sure.

Ben:  Okay.  So what exactly does this pelvic floor reeducation involve?

John:  It's putting back everything, getting functionally strong in the intrinsic muscles of the pelvic floor, but also incorporating just functional movement capacity back into your physical practices after you had something like a pretty tough trauma in the birthing process, or really any type of injury.  It affects a ton of women.  I originally got pretty interested in it because when my wife had our most recent child, our youngest child, Cam, she went through something where she was doing interval sprints on the treadmill about six months, she at about six months and she ended up severing her pubic symphysis.  So we had to alter her training, we had to alter everything.  She's a high-end athlete as well.  And after she gave birth, man, she's tiny, she's 5 feet tall, 100 pounds, and she gave birth to this like 9 plus pound behemoth man, and stuff was just like not where it should have been.

So after doing a ton of research, this is definitely a specialty in the profession of physical therapy, I took what I knew, which is sports performance, regenerative rehab, and training, and I started to look at how we could kinda integrate this stuff together.  You know, things like making sure you put an emphasis on the posterior chain of the lower body, especially at the glute-hamstring group, to realign the pelvis so it integrates well with the lumbar spine, so we can actually get some activation through the pelvic floor.  Simple stuff.  Planking progressions, contraindications for people coming off of pregnancy.

It was an eye-opener for me because coming from the strength and conditioning world, getting into women's health, that's like polar opposite type stuff.  But really, the more I delved into it, it's kinda all the same.  Everything is kinda looking at foundational movement, trying to build strength capacity, and trying to transfer it back into whatever your goal is with a tiny bit, if niche therapy and niche training.

Ben:  What about, and this is something that we talk about always on the show when we have a chance is poop.  We've talked about things like herbs that you can take, and we've talked about everything from like doing a colonic massage, where you massage across your large intestine from left to right and across, in the mornings, or even using, in some situations, like a vibrating foam roller, like deep tissue massage in the abdomen.

In terms of pelvic floor reeducation for things like constipation or improvements in bowel movement, would that include some of things I've seen folks doing, like on YouTube videos I know Kelly Starrett and Jill Miller who does like the Yoga Tune Up balls, like they have one full episode devoted to just doing like lower glute work on the underside of your butt to help you poop better.  Is that included in pelvic floor reeducation?  Or is that a totally different beast?

John:  No.  They're on point there because it's, like I said, it's kinda all the same.  Getting your posture alignment in check, making sure that like some of the strength curves of some of those major muscles, but also the intrinsic muscles, and getting them not only, dare I say like supple, like Kelly would say, and functional again, especially after they've gone through a bout of dysfunction, I think that's big because it can play a huge role in everything.  If you look at the pelvic floor, just the physical location, the anatomical location, and you look at the lower aspect of the GI system, I mean those things are almost adjacent to one another.  And neurologically, they have a lot of overlying neurovasculature.  So there's definitely a linkage there.

Ben:  Yeah.  That's really interesting.  And I think a lot of people neglect deep tissue work in that area because if you're getting a massage, it can be an awkward place for a massage therapist to work.  And I think if you're doing your own, whatever, foam rolling, some of us just forget about taking like a tennis ball or a golf ball-sized object and just like working it into our butt and hip area just because it's kind of a difficult, awkward area to get at, but it's really interesting.  So you call that pelvic floor postural reeducation.

John:  On the point of doing some of the ball work and some of the soft tissue work on yourself, especially through some of those like really deep muscles, like the iliopsoas group, and even like the deep periformis and the deep six rotators on the back side of your butt, we have to say that you have to kinda know what you're doing when you're going through some of the stuff.  So I think like Jill Miller's ball is great because it's a soft ball.  You lay on top of the ball, so you can actually like figure out how much weight you wanna put into that surface area of the ball coming in contact with your abdomen, whereas like I've seen some bad (censored) in my day, like people smashing 150 pound kettlebell into their stomach.

Like we do have to remember we have vital organs in there.  If you're putting like hard, sharp objects into that surface that could be said for the butt too, you’re kinda playing a Russian roulette game because you could flare up, obviously, the neuromusculature.  But also, you have things that you rely on to survive in there.  You kinda gotta be careful.

So grading it with a softer ball like Jill's doing, or even using a different size or shaped ball, the backside of that periformis group can be advantageous because, I just wrote an article about this, it was on T-Nation a couple weeks ago, about people sticking the lacrosse ball in their butt as soon as they have any symptoms of lower back pain.  And I've seen it time and time again, that people end up flaring themselves up chronically from just flaring up the sciatic nerve by putting that ball essentially right next to the sciatic nerve.  Because most people with lower back pain, their glutes aren't strong, they're not thick, they're not big.

So essentially, you have like this paper-thin glute, and you're thrown a lacrosse ball, and it's not protected by any means, and you're hitting some of these big bundle of nerves, and it's just a flaring up the entire system.  I mean people go for months thinking that they're doing well trying to treat some of the stuff, and they're just shooting themselves in the foot.  So education's a thing on that.

Ben:  Those bundles of nerves are important.  I think that some people who do a lot of like teeth-gritting deep tissue work a lot, like Kelly Starrett's “Becoming a Supple Leopard” book, which is great, do need to realize that you can't just mash a bundle of nerves, like say the brachial plexus of the shoulder or something like that without  potentially doing damage.

John:  Yeah.  I mean there's always a cost-benefit of everything that you're gonna do, whether it be training, whether it be rehab, but people don't necessarily think that like soft tissue work can harm you.  Sometimes, it can.  If you have no idea what your doing, target certain structures, and you're overly aggressive to the point of like excruciating pain in the wrong spots, and when I say pain, I mean, like kinda like that nerve pain.  That's not what we're going at, so differentiating those two things is big.

Ben:  Yeah.  Buy yourself a good copy of like Grey's Anatomy or go dissect a cat, so you start to figure out where things are before you shove sharp objects, or pointy objects, or hard objects into said anatomical areas, especially the area we were talking about, your crotch and the region where there are important sphincters and nerve bundles.  Be careful kids.  Okay.  So let's turn to a sexy topic of late in light of the recent Rio Olympics: cupping.  What's your opinion on cupping?

John:  Cupping's a technique that's been around forever again.  It's an Eastern Chinese medical technique thousands of years in the practice, but I'll preface all of this by saying that I do not practice cupping.  I usually don't recommend cupping for any of my clients that are remote.  But, that being said, I know that they've had their bout of publicity after Michael Phelps climbed out of the pool with these red dots all over him.

So it's an interesting technique, and again, I had the opportunity to be over in China working with these guys, working with their best medical practitioners over there.  They don't use cupping for neuromusculoskeletal issues.  They don't.  What they use it for is systemic health benefit, and that's something totally polar opposite of what everyone was talking about after the Rio Olympics.

Ben:  So what is cupping exactly?  Can you explain like how it's actually theorized to work?

John:  (chuckles) That's a good question.  If somebody had the answer that question, man, all this conversation would stop.  But basically, there's different forms of cupping.  There's heat-based cupping and there's also decompression-based, so it uses air.  So the heat-based cupping, so essentially you have a cup and they put heat on the skin, targeting a certain area, and the heat is put on the top of the cup.  And because the heat is put on the cup itself, it takes some of the air out of the cup, and it actually decompresses the tissues.  It draws the tissues up into the cup itself.  So that's the old school technique.  In America, you're probably not gonna be seeing fire on people's backs in the rehab clinic, but again, Americana.  We changed it just a little bit to make it more mainstream.  I mean decades ago now, they came up with myofascial decompression, which is essentially like, you ever see Austin Powers where he has that the Swedish-made penis and larger machine?

Ben:  You mean the pump?

John:  Yeah.  The pump.

Ben:  I think I do remember that.  Yeah.

John:  I mean these things essentially look like the pump.  So you put it on a tissue, and you literally pump it up, and you take the air out of that cup, and it draws the skin and the dermal layers up into the cup itself.  And because, it's almost like a bruising.  If you were to like bite yourself, it's like of that kind of, or suck on your arm and really like draw the skin up into your mouth, it's that similar feeling because the skin itself goes into like an inflammatory process, drives blood into the most superficial areas of the dermal tissue, and essentially bruises on the spot.  So it's a technique again that's used to theoretically reduce pain, functional trigger points, it's supposed to enhance movement.  But again, if I said that there wasn't really good research on functional dry needling, there's really no good research on cupping.

Ben:  Aside from some of the research that's been done on actual pain management, right?

John:  Yeah.  But with a grain of salt.  I mean, Michael Phelps wasn't dealing with pain management.  What they were dealing with…

Ben:  Well, yeah.  That's the thing is like a lot of people think because the Olympians are using, it must be good for just pure sports performance.  But again, all I've ever seen is that it can assist with chronic pain in a specific area.

John:  It can, and that's chronic pain.  There is some efficacy to it, but everyone got hyped up about the performance enhancement stuff.  And if you look deeply at the Olympians this year, who were the ones with the cupping marks on them?  They weren't the Chinese.  They weren't anyone from any other country but America, which begs the question why are the Americans the only one using this technique?  It's interesting because back in the day when I was first out of DPT school, I went through a training course at the Olympic Center's in Southern California on myofascial decompression.  So they were actually doing the education on this technique.  So I think they were a little bit more vested in some of these techniques.  It might be a placebo effect, it might've had a positive response, it might have no response, might have a negative response, but I think that's the reason why it was so polarized in the American athletes.

Ben:  Yeah.  And then there's also, I mean, I think everything you we're just talking about is considered to be what's called dry cupping, right?

John:  Exactly.

Ben:  But then they've got wet cupping too, which is where you're actually, and there are some nasty photos of it, I've never had this done.  I've had friends who've had it done and sent me text messages, like, “Check out this amazing procedure I'm having done,” and that's where you do the cupping.  But then I believe, when you have the suction there, you're actually like making a scalpel incision and drawing out blood.  Have you seen this?

John:  Yes.  (laughs) It's not a very mainstream practice in America.  I think for good reason.  It's almost like old school blood-letting.

Ben:  It's very similar to blood-letting.  It looks a lot like it.  Apparently, it's supposed to like move chi, or energy, in and out of areas, or be good for like, I guess, they would use something like that for infections or something along those lines to like draw out of, I've heard talk about like drawing out parasites and all sorts of weird things.  But, yeah.  If you wanna see some nasty photos, and scraping wasn't enough for you, go do a Google image search for wet cupping 'cause that's some nasty stuff.

John:  We actually featured a picture of that on a review that I did on my website, and people are just bitching and moaning about how gruesome that picture was.

Ben:  Oh, yeah.

John:  We kept it up, but I was actually contemplating taking it down.

Ben:  Yeah, it's nasty.  So speaking of blood though, I want to talk about something else regarding blood, and something that I've done actually.  Me and Aubrey Marcus, who owns this company called Onnit down in Texas, did a few months ago this workout called a Kaatsu workout where he has this device, it's like a little hand-held monitor that will put specific millimeters of mercury of pressure around specific limbs, like your leg limbs or your arm limbs.  Like you would put it around your biceps, for example, and do curls, and it restricts blood flow to an area.  It's also known as Kaatsu training, K-A-A-T-S-U, Kaatsu blood flow restriction training using almost like tourniquets around the muscle, and in this case, using a fancy device that adjusts the actual pressure in those little rubber tourniquets that you're wrapping around the muscle.  What's your opinion on blood flow restriction therapy for either rehab, or performance, or any or all of the above?

John:  It's funny because all these topics, they all come from the Eastern countries, and they're all very, very hot topics in physical therapy right now.  But blood flow restriction training, people laughed at it in America 20 years ago when the body builders were using it.  They were getting their knee wraps, they were wrapping their upper arms, and they were going to town on high volume training for the biceps and triceps.

Ben:  Yeah.  And by the way, I should mention that in addition using that more advanced device I mentioned, I was a bodybuilder 10 years ago.  I used to weigh forty five pounds more than I do now at 3% body fat and would just train my butt off for three to four hours a day in the gym, and I remember wrapping these tourniquets around my muscles to get that pump, to get that lactic acid, to get the vascularity.  Supposedly there's like an increase in growth hormone release from the buildup of lactic acid, et cetera.  But, yes, I remember when this was something that people would laugh at you for doing in the gym 'cause you would just like, literally old school, be wrapping rags around muscle parts.

John:  (chuckles) It sounds ridiculous.  And even now, like 20 years later if you do that in a commercial setting, at least two people come up to you and go, “Bro, what are you doing,” because it's just so bizarre.  But the occlusion effect of musculature and training under the occlusion effect is pretty powerful.  And it's getting some more good press in the physical therapy realm right now because they're looking at the Kaatsu training, they're looking at old school bodybuilding, occlusion-style training, and they're like, “Well, what does this do to us?”  So at a 70 to 80% occlusion of a limb and then training under that, we're able to actually stimulate a training far less extra load, so like less weight in your hands if you're doing a bicep curl.  And you're able to execute more reps to really get into this metabolic pump effect to the tissues and just drive, increase blood flow in there, and then keep the blood flowing there to get the metabolites, rush nutrition to the tissues.

And it's one of these things that has been moving into physical therapy because if you look at people with gross atrophy of some of their musculature after surgery or an injury, we wanna keep the loads like somewhat low for most traditional-based physical therapy clinics because the people are inherently weak at that point.  So, this is a safe and effective way to get a training effect, by minimizing the load, minimizing the joint stress, and like getting the pump of your life, and actually building some tissue.

Ben:  Do you utilize this in your physical therapy office or in your sports performance practice?

John:  In training, I do.  Many of my training programs, sports performance, hypertrophy-based programs utilize blood flow restriction.  I do mostly for the arms.  I try to be very, very efficient with direct arm training.  So I kind of gets you a huge train effect very quickly.  So that's where I utilize it for my athletes that everyone likes to do a couple bicep curls and tricep pushdowns.  This is a way to get a quicker pump from that.  But I've been layering it into my physical therapy.  But then again, I don't see a whole lot of traditional-based physical therapy clients that are coming in with a leg half the size of the other.  More sports performance, high-end people that are dealing with usually movement capacity-based issues.

Ben:  Yeah.  I mean if you were gonna do a training session anyways, especially, I would say like a single-joint training session where you're working on a bunch of machines, like I recently did the Don Wildman workout which is this, he's like an 83 year old guy, lives down in Malibu, used to own Bally's Fitness, and he's just got a bunch of machines in his basement now, all lined up in a row, and you just go from machine, to machine, to machine.  He's got this three days a week, like for the past 20 years or whatever.  This is all he's done to stay fit, aside from riding his mountain bike.  And you do 30 reps, 20 reps, and then 10 reps, like descending in reps and increasing in weight on each machine as you go through.  And I was mentioning to the guys I was doing that workout with last week, it'd be interesting to do it with an elevation training mask on to increase diaphragmatic strain, and inspiratory and expiratory muscle work.  But this would also be something you'd probably use like one of these occlusion training bands or Kaatsu training equipment on to perhaps increase the amount of lactic acid walking there like Robocop with your bands and your mask.

John:  Yeah.  For sure.  It works very well for increase, like almost muscular endurance or metabolic stress-based set and rep schemes.  So this isn't something that you're gonna throw a couple cuffs on and then like hit like a 3-RM like bicep curl.  That's not the style of training here.  Using about 35 to 40% of your max load, and doing like 15 to 20 reps, and keeping the rest period short, keeping the cumulative stress in the tissues high, it's something that is very, very effective, especially on tail ends of workouts, regenerative purposes if you wanna keep the external stress low on your system and your joints.  It's been a cool tool to see, not only for like my bodybuilders, but some of my sports performance guys that, they're already pretty banged up, looking at some of the triathletes that I'm working with.  They're banged up from the road work, man.  So when they get in the gym, we need to keep joint stress on the minimum.  And this is a technique that we layer in pretty nicely.

Ben:  Nice.  I like it.  Now you mentioned hypertrophy.  You have like, what do you call it?  A functional hypertrophy training program?

John:  Exactly. FHT.

Ben:  What is that?

John:  My last 10 years or so, and all the methods that I've used from being a strength coach, being a physio, working with amazing people, working with average Joes, and we kind of put one system together, a 12-week training program that utilizes the best of methods that I've written about over the last three or four years and that I've been using for a decade.

Ben:  Nice.  Cool.  So it's like a program that you would follow primarily for muscle gain?

John:  You know what?  There's multi-facets to it.  It is functional hypertrophy training.  It sounds kind of cool.  But essentially, what we're trying to do is maintain and maximize musculature, cut fat, but also like still be an athlete.  This isn't a bodybuilding program.  It's a mesh between [0:52:22] ______ training.  So it has different techniques from a bunch of different trains of thought in the fitness and sports performance industries.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Okay.  Interesting.  And I'll put a link to that one in the show notes too, for those of you want to check out this Functional Hypertrophy Training Program.  You're giving us a discount on that one, right?

John:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Okay.  Cool.  So we'll put a discount.  I'll keep it secret, but you gotta go to the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/pt.  And you can check out Dr. Rusin's program if you wanna try some of his muscle building stuff.  I want to ask you about a few other things though.  Rhythmic and reactionary dynamic stability, strength, and stabilization.  That's a mouthful.  I've seen you write about that a little bit.  Is that more than just like standing on a balance disk like I do when I go into physical therapy?

John:  Oh, yeah.  It's way more than that.  There's a difference between open and closed-chain rhythmic stability.  Everyone's seen the BOSU ball.  Everyone's hated on the BOSU ball.  I'll use it here and there for certain clients and patients, but it has like this polarizing effect that people think that like because the ground is now dynamic and you have to balance, that you're getting this increased training effect from it.  And that's pretty much been debunked.  But on the contrary, if you have rhythmic stabilization, something that we do as a manual therapy, say, for the rotator cuff complex, the rotator cuff is a region, it's a complex of four little tendons coming off the musculature in the shoulder to try to centrate the shoulder joint, the ball and socket joint, to keep it in a good position.

So are we gonna strengthen the rotator cuff?  Probably not.  These things are like the size of your pinkie finger, even at the muscle bellies.  So like what're you gonna hypertrophy?  Your supraspinatus?  Probably not.  But what we want to do is have the four tendons of that cuff working synergistically together.  And the best way to do that is by putting it into a position that you're currently lagging in, broken link in the kinetic chain so to say, and trying to challenge it from multi-directional instability training.  So something along the lines of, everyone's seen the shoulder blade, right?  That's kind of what they we're getting at with the shoulder blade where you go back and forth, and you kinda like, you get some vibration coming through the arm.  You know, we do it manually.  But another cool technique that we're doing, especially with the upper body, is a hanging band technique.  It's kind of the same mechanism of neuromuscular retraining, of having instability on a barbell, on a kettlebell, something up over your head in a bench press position, whatever it may be, just so your neuromuscular system becomes more involved in stabilizing in an open kinetic chain.

Ben:  So this would be, for example, if you're using a barbell, attaching elastic bands to either end of the barbell to introduce more dynamic movement of the barbell, both up and down, but also maybe a little bit of like side to side shaky motion?

John:  Exactly.  So you hang, say, two kettlebells off of bands from each side of a barbell, and you go to bench press.  You're gonna be far more like holy (censored), like what direction is this thing going because the bands are bouncing, the kettlebells are swinging, and you really have to work hard to stabilize through ranges of motion at that point.

I think like two years ago or so, there was like this video that went viral on YouTube after James Harrison, the linebacker for the Steelers, he was training with this thing called the tsunami bar.  So the tsunami bar is like bamboo, and it literally has bend to it.  So he was bench pressing like three plates on the side with the tsunami bar.  There's things like bouncing all over the place, and you just go into town, people were like holy (censored).  And ever since then, I think people have opened up their minds to like high performance athletes, strength athletes that are truly outliers on the functional curve, and seeing how this may be applicable to some of this style of training.

Ben:  I'm looking at this online right now.  The tsunami, it's like the shake weight on steroids.  That's really cool.

John:  The bar is unbelievable.  It's not something that I've used a whole lot of…

Ben:  Do you have one at your facility?

John:  I do.  But again, we use it if the goal is like a deload, or something like that, where we wanna take the external load down again, decrease the joint stress, it's a common thing in many of our training programs, and we wanna like increase the neuromuscular capacity to a movement, this is a great way to do it.

Ben:  It looks like Rogue fitness has them too.  They call them bandbell bars.  Interesting.  It's like a shake weight on steroids.  That's crazy.  That's really cool.  I'll have to link to this in the show notes.  If you guys are listening, I'll definitely put a link to these things.  They got a bamboo bar, an earthquake bar, and a tsunami bar.  But you could also just like take a regular barbell and attach elastic bands to it, huh?

John:  Yeah.  With most of this stuff, the blood flow restriction training, get a knee wrap and do it.  You don't need the $200 pneumatic pump that's gonna grade your blood pressure.  That's not feasible for most people.  Tie bands, do a cuff.  With this, just get two bands and hang some weights.  You can hang a dumbbell, you can hang a plate, you can hang a kettlebell.  You're gonna get a very similar training effect.

Ben:  That's true.  You could hang a dumbbell using an elastic band from either end of a barbell and create a similar effect.

John:  Yeah.  Plate would probably be recommended.  Dumbbells are really tough.

Ben:  I like it.  That's really cool.  I hadn't thought about doing that before, but it's really interesting.  Rhythmic and reactionary dynamic stability strength and stabilization.  Cool.  I like it.  I'll put some links in the show notes to you guys, and those are at bengreenfieldfitness.com/pt.

John, are there like unconventional, or little known healing methods, or training methods that you think are efficacious, or that you use, but they get underplayed, not talked about enough.  You know, things that people might not know about.  Anything else that you wanna kinda bring up or point out that you think folks would find interesting?

John:  It's funny because I spend a lot of time trying to increase the recovery of my athletes.  Because many times, the guys and gals that we're working with, their big limiting factor is how much can they train without like digging themselves into a hole.  So usually, the stuff that people think is too simple to work works really, really well.  So things along the lines of walking, low intensity, steady-state cardio like a zone one heart rate, that's amazing not only for systemic regeneration, but just for orthopedic health and wellness.  I mean that's something that we use with even our high-end athletes, like we have them walking.  Like go walk your dog for 30 to 45 minutes, and then do the secondary recovery session off that.  So things along those lines that shouldn't be overlooked.

Another thing that gets no credit, just like walking, is controlling your breath and really just working on a diaphragmatic breathing skills, especially after workouts and on secondary days, like before you go to bed.  Taking down your central nervous system after a heavy bout of training or competition, it's one of the quickest most effective ways that we could possibly do to start sparking the recovery process instantly.  Everyone thinks that they gotta down like this $30 protein shake with all this (censored) in it after a second after they get off of their last rep of the bench press.  But take 15 minutes, go do some systemic foam rolling, hit the big tissues, go and do some dynamic, or biphasic stretching.  And then lay on your back, elevate your hands, your arms, your legs, and deep breathe, and that's gonna do more for you to spark recovery than a lot of fancy stuff out there.

So, I mean even some of the high-end athletes I'm working with that make millions of Dollars a year, they're not doing some of the stuff.  And when they implement it in, it's a game changer because then all of a sudden, the fancy stuff works even better when you have a better base to go from on that recovery side of things.

Ben:  I don't know, man.  Breathing and walking.  That sounds pretty boring to me.

John:  It is boring.  That's why it gets no credit.  Just laying down the foundations and just doing the easy stuff, it makes the fancy stuff, things like post-workout systemic dry needling, so much better.  It's all about encompassing every single thing that you can do to get better.  But if you're trying to major in the minors, it's never going to work, especially when you're trying to expedite the recovery process.

Ben:  Yeah.  Well, this is all really interesting stuff.  From the Chinese method of Gua Sha rock scraping, to the EDGE tool that we talked about, to the Kaatsu band, the special bars that shake, some of John's articles, like his T-Nation article on the best and worst physical therapy methods, and John's functional hypertrophy training program with the special coupon code he's gonna give to us.  I'll link to all of this if you go to the show notes, which you can find over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/pt.  So, John, thanks for coming on the show today, man.

John:  Nah.  I appreciate it.  Great time.

Ben:  Alright, folks.  Well, this is Ben Greenfield and Dr. John Rusin, the man with many alphabet letters after his name, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.



Dr. John Rusin has a lot of alphabet letters after his name.

He is, after all, Dr. John Rusin, PT, DPT, CSCS, ART, FMS1-2, YBT, SFMA, FDN.

So when it comes to the best and the worst of physical therapy modalities, and the most cutting-edge physical therapy and recovery techniques you can use to heal your body fast, John is a wealth of knowledge.

This guy has more than a decade of elite-level training experience and advanced degrees in both exercise science and physical therapy, and his job is to develop performance, regeneration, and aesthetics programs for some of the world’s best power athletes, NFL and MLB athletes, gold-medal Olympians, competitive powerlifters, and bodybuilders. In addition to his sports-performance physical-therapy practice in Madison, Wisconsin, he’s also the owner of John Rusin Fitness Systems, an online fitness platform geared toward synergizing the best of high-performance training and intelligently designed physiotherapy/regeneration programming to athletes and clients across the world.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Why John says he’s not a “run-of-the-mill” physical therapist…[11:10]

-The important difference between acupuncture and functional dry needling for healing an injury fast…[15:20]

-Whether Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) – also known as “scraping” – works…[22:45]

-How you can retrain your pelvis and bowel function using something called Pelvic Floor Postural Reeducation…[29:55]

-If “cupping” really works, and why Dr. Rusin thinks it is much like the infamous pump from the Austin Power’s movie…[38:50]

-Dr. Rusin’s opinions on blood flow restriction training, also known as Kaatsu…[44:55]

-How Dr. Rusin created the 12-week training program called “FHTP”…[51:20]

-How you can use elastic bands to get what is called “Rhythmic and Reactionary Dynamic Stability, Strength and Stabilization”…[53:00]

-And much more!

Resources from this show:

Dr. Rusin’s Functional Hypertrophy Training Program (coupon code: “BG25” gets you $25 off of his FHT program)

This T-Nation article: The Absolute Best and Worst Therapy Methods

Chinese method of Gua sha rock scraping

The Edge tool that Dr. Rusin uses

Kaatsu occlusion training bands

Rogue Fitness bandbell bars


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One thought on “[Transcript] – 7 Cutting-Edge Physical Therapy & Recovery Techniques You Can Use To Heal Your Body Fast.

  1. Bibi says:

    I find the part about elastic band achieving strength and stabilization most useful.

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