The Science Behind Pain & Recovery | Garrett Salpeter | Better Man Podcast Ep. 091

The Science Behind Pain & Recovery | Garrett Salpeter | Better Man Podcast Ep. 091

Here’s an uncomfortable truth: 

You will get injured at some point on your fitness journey. While we can do our best to prevent injuries, injuries are unavoidable. But just because you’ve injured yourself doesn’t mean you have to be sedentary for months. In fact, after listening to this episode, you might be able to cut your recovery time in half. 

Here’s why:

The science behind pain and recovery reminds me of the science behind nutrition. For years, we’ve been told outdated advice on nutrition, and the proper protocols are just becoming popular. 

Well the same is true for pain and injuries. For years, we’ve been told to use the RICE method—and are only recently discovering how ineffective this protocol is.

That’s why I invited Garrett Salpeter (aka The Health Engineer) on today’s show to give you an updated understanding into the science behind pain and recovery. Garrett’s background in engineering and neuroscience has helped him create NeuFit and his patented NEUBIE device, which helps you recover in half the time as normal. 

How was Garrett able to create tools to actually speed up recovery? Well, his big insight into pain and recovery is how much of it stems from your brain and nervous system, not just the injury itself. 

When you can tweak this “software” side of your injury, your body doesn’t get in the way of the healing process. And you recover faster. Regardless of your age, injury, or fitness level. 

Garrett will challenge many of your beliefs about pain, chronic pain, and injuries in the episode. And if you’re currently dealing with chronic pain, I can think of no better way to spend your time than by tuning into this interview. 

Here’s a sneak peek into what Garrett and I discuss: 

  • The science behind pain and recovery (including chronic pain)
  • How to speed up your recovery by weeks (or even months) 
  • The differences between the hardware and software of an injury (and which one prolongs your recovery) 
  • 5 most common triggers of chronic pain (and strategies to ease and eliminate chronic pain) 

And so much more!

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

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Show Highlights with Garrett Salpeter

  • How Garrett recovered from a 3-month injury in just 3 weeks (5:24) 
  • The weird neurological response to injury that slows down your recovery (5:40) 
  • The scientific reason why movement, not rest, fast tracks your recovery (10:48) 
  • How your brain can create pain out of thin air (and how to prevent it from hijacking your fitness routine) (20:52) 
  • Why worrying about injuring yourself when working out actually increases your risk of injury (30:11) 
  • How your body gets in the way of its own healing process (36:56) 
  • Why focusing on the “software” of your injury instead of just the hardware can speed up the healing process by weeks or even months (38:17) 
  • The “Motion is Lotion” mindset shift that helps you recover from pain and injuries faster than anyone else your age (42:25) 
  • The top 3 activities you can do outside of physical therapy to boost your recovery and curb your pain (57:47) 
  • How to better tell the difference between common soreness and full-blown pain (1:01:59) 
  • Can muscle cramps make you stronger? Here’s what the science says… (1:09:22) 
  • How joint mobility exercises can calm chronic pain and even eliminate it (1:17:35) 
  • 5 most common triggers of chronic pain (and why it isn’t always physical) (1:20:09) 
  • Why Mike Tyson credits Garrett’s “NEUBIE” machine for him being able to fight Roy Jones Jr. at age 54 (1:39:11)
Episode 091 – The Science Behind Pain & Recovery | Garrett Salpeter – Transcript

Dean Pohlman: Hey guys, it’s Dean. Welcome to the Better Man podcast. Today is an interview episode, and I’ve got my friend Garrett. So Peter here from New Fit. And we’re going to be talking about pain when we’re talking about Garrett’s experience with pain, the solutions that he’s developed that, and this is something that when I have when I’m experiencing pain, this is the guy, who service that I like to go to because it’s just it’s a really cool modality.

Dean Pohlman: So but that aside, we are going to get into pain science. And I think this is going to be a really interesting discussion because I know most of you guys do have pain. So, Garrett, thanks for being here.

Garrett salpeter: Dean. Thank you for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity here. And excited to dive in.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, let’s, let’s get started. So I always like to start this off telling how I know the guest. So Garrett and I met at a conference, a few years ago, and I remember going up to the booth and I forgot what exactly the pitch was, but they’re like, yeah, just. We’re going to hook it on you, and we’re going to, do some stuff.

Dean Pohlman: I was like, okay, cool, let’s do it. And so, you know, so they put these. So I think it might have been even been you there at the time. So let’s just assume that it was Garrett. So Garrett hooks up these these nodes to me, these sticky pads collected connected to a machine. And he puts them on muscle.

Dean Pohlman: certain parts of, of the muscles. And then he switches the knobs, turns up the dial, and you feel this incredibly strong contraction in the muscles. And what was really cool about this was most of us have difficulty with firing muscles in certain areas. You know, if you guys have done my workouts, you’ll know that there’s a big focus on muscle engagement and that it’s not always automatic to get these muscles to fire or to turn on.

Dean Pohlman: And so what was unique was that this machine allowed those muscles to fire. So it helped to connect mind. It helped with your mind body connection essentially, so that if you were unable to get your, let’s say, your glutes to fire, let’s say your scapula stabilizers or a specific part of your your rotator cuff, then this machine allowed you to understand what that muscle engagement felt like and to help train your mind body connection.

Dean Pohlman: And for me, that was incredible. And it also helped me make improvements that I probably wouldn’t have been able to make without it. So, so that’s how I met Garrett. I’ve been on and off using new fit and whenever I need it for the last few years, we had it at the Be the Better You retreat that we did, in, in November.

Dean Pohlman: So it’s just a really cool modality. And I’m excited to have this interview to, you know, to talk more about pain as a whole and understand that pain is not just physical. There’s a there’s a very big, neurological component to it. So we’re going to get into that. And and yeah, that’s how I know Garrett. So that’s my story.

Dean Pohlman: So, yeah. Garrett. maybe you can tell us a bit more just, an overview about yourself.

Garrett salpeter: Yeah, happy to do it. So my background is engineering and neuroscience, and I had been an athlete. And just like, like many athletes, was very frustrated, disappointed with the traditional orthopedic medicine, traditional physical therapy with various injuries that I had until my last year in college, I had another injury where I had some torn ligaments. I was told I was going to have to get surgery and be out for three months, and I was devastated.

Garrett salpeter: As an athlete, you know, in my last year in college and all this stuff. And, fortunately, I met a doctor who was doing functional neurology and using older versions of direct current. And so I worked with this doctor and, he showed me, you know, about this functional neurology concept. And it’s essentially looking at not just the tissues that are torn or broken, not just looking at the bones, the ligaments, the muscles, etc., but looking at the neurological response to injury, how the nervous system might be guarding or shutting down muscles, trying to restrict movement, kind of imposing this whole suite of protective patterns on the body.

Garrett salpeter: And pain is a part of that too. So we can plant that seed and, you know, come back to that. And then he was also using direct current, taking advantage of like a microcurrent at the time, but taking advantage of these electric fields and their ability to influence the body’s own healing and regenerative processes. And long story short, I ended up healing my ligaments in three weeks, avoiding surgery, getting back on the ice and I was just.

Garrett salpeter: I was so relieved and and happy as an athlete, but as a physics major, as a pre-engineering student, to find something that made sense scientifically from first principles. That’s what really got me excited, and that’s what really spoke to me. And going through that experience, this is now, you know, nearly 20 years ago, I felt called to share something about that.

Garrett salpeter: I just felt called to share that with as many people as I could, because it felt like a truly better way. And so for the next, 7 or 8 years, I sort of had this, what I call my laboratory phase, where I had a clinic within a clinic when a chiropractor, originally in the office of the chiropractor who took care of the University of Texas Longhorns football team, rented a room there, started using older versions of direct current, and for about 7 or 8 years kept refining the methodology.

Garrett salpeter: Learning from other people went back to traditional graduate school work in neuroscience, and then finally decided to after just waiting for people to come out with newer technology and sort of modernize and, this, this category of direct current technology and allow it to do the things that I wished for it to be able to do after waiting and waiting finally, you know, I just I just said, all right, I’m going to do it myself.

Garrett salpeter: And then decided to develop the newbie. And then we launched that and it was a couple of year project, and then we launched that about six and a half years ago. So I’ve been really focused on sharing that with as many people as possible through this last seven years or so.

Dean Pohlman: Gotcha. And that really resonates with, that sounds really similar to my story in a lot of ways. you know, I got injured, I was injured as well. my last year of, my senior year of college playing lacrosse. And, so I was out for, I want to say, a month I had in high. I had a high ankle sprain.

Dean Pohlman: And, it was kind of. I was kind of really, upset about that because I had been doing I had started yoga that year, so I was like, oh, I can’t get injured now because I’m doing yoga. Right. And no, that’s not how injuries work. So, so yeah, I was injured for the last month. And, you know, I’ve been, in and out of knee braces my entire life.

Dean Pohlman: I think I had my first, my first, partial patellar subluxation. Sorry. My first partial, wasn’t patellar subluxation, or it was patellar subluxation. I always forget the name, but I had my kneecap. Came out partially the first time when I was 13. I think. And it, you know, just recurred until I think the last episode I had was maybe 25 years old and, yeah, just it just sucks.

Dean Pohlman: Being injured as an athlete is really, really frustrating. But you do learn a lot from that. But, those, those learnings aside, it’s really frustrating, being injured. And for you to say that you went from, you know, an injury that should have taken three months to heal to three weeks is, is really intriguing to me, especially because I, a lot of, you know, if you’re listening to this and you’re you’re in your 50s or your 60s or even late 40s, I think the the previous maybe even if you’re in your 40s, but with the previous mentality with injuries, wasn’t rehab.

Dean Pohlman: It was rest until it heals and, you know, I’m wondering if Garrett, maybe you can speak to this, but you know, when did that do you know when that when that changed in physical therapy world when people started instead of letting things rest, they started because now I know if you get a hip replacement, you’re on the table like the next day starting to rehab it.

Dean Pohlman: It’s not, you know, you’re not just you’re not just sitting there waiting for it to heal. You’re you’re doing stuff to to get blood flow, to restore range of motion, to start getting those muscles working again. So I’m wondering if, do you know when that all switched.

Garrett salpeter: So the the rice paradigm, the rest ice compression and elevation paradigm, sort of took hold, I guess I want to say in the 1980s, Gabe Mirkin is the famous doctor that sort of coined that term. And then in the last several years came out and reversed course. He said, right, there’s a there’s a better way of doing this.

Garrett salpeter: So I remember his name from reading the reports of that, but it’s it’s sort of been a slow trend over the last, you know, 20 years or so where, you know, for instance, someone had the idea to test out continuous passive motion machines on people after after knee surgery. And so that became part of it, where people would actually lay down at home in a machine that’s just passively bending and straight leg for them so it doesn’t stiffen up and it recovers better.

Garrett salpeter: We see that movement helps, reduce that, that stiffening and just keeps everything working better. Because not only not only do the tissues not get too stiff, but then that allows for better blood flow, which of course supports the body’s healing process because it not only now has to recover from the injury, it has to recover from the extreme trauma of surgery, which is, you know, which is very traumatic to the body.

Garrett salpeter: So, yeah, so it’s been one of these things where where, you know, people do do one study and look at it in one condition, adding movement. They’re like, okay, that works. And oh, maybe we’ll try it in another condition and sort of like sort of like whack them all, sort of like, you know, start adding in more activity for one condition.

Garrett salpeter: But it’s the I think comes from the visionary people who had the idea like, hey, the body does. If you just sit around and do nothing, the the stimulus, the signal to your body is actually to down regulate, to make less energy, to make this the new set point, to not invest as much energy and resources and building back up and repairing and regenerating.

Garrett salpeter: So there’s some visionary people who understood physiology who said, you know what, let’s try introducing some more movement and then just sort of gain ground conditioned by condition, by condition. But even still, there’s, a lot of people who, who think of that race paradigm and who, you know, still aren’t really bought into that notion of wanting to be more active as part of stimulating the body.

Garrett salpeter: And there’s there’s times where, you know, someone, you just have a surgical graft and you really don’t want to put more than 50 Newtons worth of force or something through it, because it could tear for a period of time. I mean, not, you know, that that is still sensible, but you want to move everything else around it and do as much as you can within the safety parameters, because within those safety parameters that you have, because then the signal is just like with exercise, the signal is actually to repair, to rebuild, to increase blood flow, to increase protein synthesis.

Garrett salpeter: So you can make new tissue and, and all these wonderful things. So recovering from an injury is a lot if you really look at it as a lot like recovering from exercise and you’re intentionally depleting the body, causing micro trauma as a signal, then because those, those proteins, those breakdown byproducts act as a signal for the body to rebuild, it doesn’t just rebuild anywhere.

Garrett salpeter: It rebuilds exactly where those metabolites have built up, because they’re the messengers that call them body into action and call the raw materials and resources there to rebuild and repair.

Dean Pohlman: Got it. Yeah. And I think, I, I like that you mentioned that. So thinking about, thinking about that recovery, not just as resting and waiting for it to get better, but doing the appropriate movements, the appropriate exercises or modalities that send the appropriate stimulus to the body to help with, to help with the recovery. And I think, I think the really interesting thing about rice is that it’s so ingrained in people that at this point, it’s not just a fact that can be easily switched off in your brain.

Dean Pohlman: It’s like people have this deeply emotional connection to rice. And so you see people who have been doing rice their entire lives and they’re in their, you know, 50s, 60s now and they’re saying like, hey, okay, we don’t do rice anymore. And they’re like, I’m going to keep doing rice like they still do it, even though, you know, we have studies that say, hey, we were wrong.

Dean Pohlman: Rice isn’t the right thing to do. and that’s not to say that there are things that, that there are components of rice that aren’t effective and that, and that some of it is sometimes helpful, like ice is good if you want to get rid of pain, you know, so you can use ice to get rid of pain, but that also slows down the circulation.

Dean Pohlman: So it’s a short term, you know, short term okay. This really hurts I’m gonna put ice on it. But it comes at, you know, the expense of the of, of of the recovery. And then for elevation, you know, if you do have a lot of swelling, then correct me if I’m wrong, but elevation is helpful if, if you do have my right on that.

Garrett salpeter: Yeah, maybe I’m wrong. Gravity will help pull fluids down. You know, the fluids that are there should be. Well, there’s a there’s a couple different, different thoughts on that too, actually in terms of pain since you mentioned that to ice can’t get rid of pain. But then there’s a question of do we just do we want to, you know, mask the pain or do we want to fix the problem.

Garrett salpeter: Right? I mean, sometimes, yeah. Yeah. You can have compassion for people if there’s a lot of pain. But just know if you’re doing it using ice or taking anti-inflammatories or something like that. It’s sort of like if your house is burning down and the fire alarms going off, it’s like it’s like taking the fire alarm off instead of actually fixing the fire.

Garrett salpeter: So your pain is a signal and we’ll get in. I know we’re going to get into, yeah, pain is a signal in terms of elevation. so swelling. There’s a couple of things. There’s there’s one question of, you know, if swelling is happening, there’s there’s a reason for it. And part of that reason is that, you know, in our blood we have red blood cells that that, you know, I think people know.

Garrett salpeter: And then there’s blood plasma. There’s kind of a liquid medium, that liquid milieu. And that’s where that’s what carries proteins and other, other molecules of the immune system and different things. So swelling is bringing a lot of this blood plasma there, which has a few things that are important. And you don’t, you know, they’re there for a reason.

Garrett salpeter: So you don’t necessarily want to get rid of it right away because it can serve a purpose. Or if if it goes away and comes back, that can be part of the body’s healing process. But it’s going to have some of the these immune system compounds that are there to actually kind of chew up the debris and clean the area before the body then rebuilds.

Garrett salpeter: And the other part of blood plasma is the proteins, the raw materials. So once that debris has been sort of eaten up by these, like, you know, Pacman, like, cells in the nervous system, they then the proteins there can start to be, you know, lay down and build new layers and rebuild areas that have been damaged. So, there’s one question of whether you want a ton of swelling there or not.

Garrett salpeter: or. Sorry, there’s one question. What do you want? Some swelling there. You know, if there’s a lot and it seems stagnant. Yes. Getting rid of it is good. the gravity can help, you know, the best way to to pump blood and fluids generally is movement. muscles act as our mechanical pump. You know, our calf muscles are.

Garrett salpeter: What if they didn’t if they weren’t working? Like, if you sit on an airplane, a lot of people, even if they’re healthy, get some swelling in their in their feet and lower legs because you’re not you’re just not moving as much. So if the calf muscles are moving, they pump that fluid back up because you know, you got to work against gravity to get fluid from the legs back up to the heart so it can reenter, recirculate throughout the body.

Garrett salpeter: So movement ultimately is best. and elevation can be helpful. We typically like to do both in sessions where we’ll do some do some therapy, try to work through the neurological protective patterns that are keeping people, you know, preventing them from moving. You know, it’s interesting pain. And, we’ll get into this more of a pain and these movement limitations a lot, a lot of what we experience as problems are actually imposed intentionally by the brain, on the body, by the nervous system, on the body, and we need to figure out how to essentially work with it, figure out why that signal is being imposed, find where it’s being imposed, and work at that neurological

Garrett salpeter: level to affect change. And that’s how you can get these amazing results, where people feel better so much faster because you’re sort of going to the root cause of the problem. But if you can get more movement in there, that’s going to be the best thing for swelling. And then sometimes we’ll have like with, with or without even our, our device on usually with in our sessions.

Garrett salpeter: But and then at the end of a session, we’ll have some people lay down their, with their legs elevated or the body part elevated so that they will get some more fresh blood flowing there. And things like that. But we typically like to do both.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So that brings up two things for me. The first is, so I did I tweaked my back. Not majorly, but like this minor tweak. I was doing some deadlift, and it was like a week before Marissa was going to give birth. My wife was going to give birth. So I was like, oh, crap. I just like, I just messed up my back doing deadlift.

Dean Pohlman: Now I’m going to have to deal with this while she’s giving birth and she’s going to be, you know, saying like, oh my God, I’m going through birth. I’m going to be like, yeah, but like my back hurts a little bit. So what about me? And that wouldn’t have been good. so I was so I was anyway, so like, I freaked out and I contacted, a fortunate enough to like to be able to to to reach out to Kelly Starr at and he’s been on the podcast and he’s been, able to help me out sometimes.

Dean Pohlman: So I reached out to him and I was like, what do I do? My back. He’s like, oh, just don’t freak out here, do this. So he has me do like a little reset exercise that he’s he’s got an older, model. According to my wife, he has an older model of, of of of PT, which is really hit focus when it comes to the spine.

Dean Pohlman: And so he had me do some, some basically just hip exercises to try and, reset the pelvis to, to make it centered. And then, he said, and the part that’s relevant to this conversation is that he mentioned that, hey, and it’s a good idea for you also to get on ibuprofen regimen for the next few days just to dissociate, just to try and eliminate that pain signal so that you don’t establish this relationship between pain and these certain movements.

Dean Pohlman: And so that was, and that’s what I wanted to and I wanted to bring that up because it is understanding that pain is not just physical. It’s also like when you remember that there is pain there. You create this sensation of pain, even if it might not be caused physically. And that’s to say that pain goes beyond physical.

Dean Pohlman: And there is that there is that that brain component to it, that nervous system component to it. So I think it’s, it’s cool that you it’s cool that you brought that up. And the second thing that I thought of was just how that comparison of pain in the body is very similar to, to pain, to pain to emotional pain and emotional discomfort.

Dean Pohlman: Right. You, you know, you’ve got this, this uncomfortable feeling for a reason. And you could either deal with it or you could do something to make it go away. So you can either make the annoyance go away, or you could understand that the annoyance is being caused by something, and you can address the root cause. So it’s, it’s just kind of cool to see that that, concept plays out in, you know, in multiple areas of life.

Dean Pohlman: So I’ll let you get back to, to what you were saying now.

Garrett salpeter: Well, well, that’s that’s a great, a great connection. And I think it’s the, the pain is really similar in both, the experience of physical pain and also that of emotional pain, where in both cases it’s, it’s literally the brain’s attempt to, to signal us to change our behavior or to do something or not do something. But, if it’s a fear and avoidance, it’s to not do something.

Garrett salpeter: If, you know, if the brain’s attempt to get us to change our behavior and it’s it’s more obvious in the case of, you know, if you have just been in a traumatic accident, if you, you know, hurt your leg significantly in, in a car crash and you broke your femur, you know, it’s obvious that the pain, their pain in your leg is your brain’s way of saying, don’t load that leg because you could hurt your femur worse.

Garrett salpeter: So there it’s an obvious 1 to 1 correlation between, you know, damage and pain.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So that brings up a good question that we could explore. When is it appropriate to try and numb the pain versus when is it not as appropriate to try and numb the pain.

Garrett salpeter: That that’s that’s a really good question too. So I think that there’s a, there’s a difference between relying on, you know, ice or painkillers or anti-inflammatories to, you know, as a long term strategy versus like you were talking about with Kelly, start out as a short term part of your intervention in order to break some of this association.

Garrett salpeter: So I, you know, generally I’m, I’m on the side of we want to experience pain because it’s a signal. And if we’re just numbing it or masking it, it is like, I, I do really believe in that metaphor. It’s like if there’s a fire in the house and the fire alarm is going off, it’s sort of like just letting the fire still, still rage, but just silencing the alarm.

Garrett salpeter: You know, it’s the pain is trying to tell you something. And in generally speaking, if you’re if you’re only strategy is to just turn off that signal, you’re not not only not fixing the problem, but the problem could continue to get worse because you’re not even aware of it. Like, you can have a little bit of damage and not know that it’s there because of pain, because the pain isn’t telling you.

Garrett salpeter: And you could, you know, continue to make it worse, make it worse, make it worse. So it’s going to get to the point where you might have been able, had you intervene, then been able to still salvage something or some better result. But now it gets past the point of no return, where you’re going to need a surgery or some more significant intervention or whatever it may be.

Garrett salpeter: So the I, I do believe it’s a signal. And outside of of short term strategic intervention like you described, where it’s part of, an approach where you also are working on the root cause. Outside of that, you know, I’m, I’m generally not as big of a fan of strategies just to, just to block and treat pain.

Dean Pohlman: Okay.

Garrett salpeter: There. You know, it’s it’s really interesting where, sorry. Just, just, just to block or numb pain to actually treat it. If we understand this, this notion of we can just carry this forward a little bit here, we get some insights into how we can how we can treat it where, you know, there’s we know this this type of scenario where someone has a broken femur and they’re, they’re that leg hurts.

Garrett salpeter: And that’s the brain’s way of saying, hey, don’t don’t load that leg. And that’s that’s kind of obvious. the the problem with thinking about examples like that is then we always start to assume that there’s a 1 to 1 correlation between physical damage and pain. And one of the biggest breakthroughs in pain science in the last 20 to 30 years is that we we now know that pain is an output signal from the brain, and it may or may not be related to physical damage in the body.

Garrett salpeter: It could be a response to psychological pain. It could be a response to, you know, your liver having difficulty processing alcohol, you know, which leads to pain in the right shoulder. Sometimes it could be, yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Like my my wife’s mother, had lung cancer, and she eventually passed away from that. But she was saying, I think a left shoulder’s related to lungs or right shoulder. I don’t I forgot, but, yeah, there’s different, different locations of the body are connected to different parts of the body. Really interesting concept.

Garrett salpeter: And that that’s part of why if you do if you are having pain, you know, you do want to see a professional, you know, like like your wife who’s a, you know, a bonafide doctor of physical therapy or something like that, because if you just just work on it with, you know, a trainer or some, you know, self myofascial release stuff at home or something like that.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, some dumb yoga.

Garrett salpeter: Instructor, if it doesn’t, well, if it if it, if it does go away and get better quickly then you can it’s probably musculoskeletal. But if it lingers you want to get it checked on because I mean those cases are rare, but sometimes it is a cancer. Sometimes it is, you know, cancer in the lung or in your bones or something like that, where you hear about these inspirations and, you know, people who are trained to identify just, just want to mention that because, yes, the rare but gosh, if you want to catch those, if you know as soon as you can.

Garrett salpeter: So so back to the back to this conversation about pain here.

Dean Pohlman: I was also, I just want to say like if you have lingering pain, it doesn’t mean necessarily that you have cancer. There also is a thing of chronic pain. We are going to talk about that too. So don’t just don’t jump straight away of cancer.

Garrett salpeter: Good. Fair point. Yes. I’m not intending to scare anybody. Yeah. So, so there’s there’s this phenomenon then where the that bone in this example can heal, and yet the person is still locked in this cycle of chronic pain. They still have pain for months or years after that, after it happens. And so the question there is is why?

Garrett salpeter: You know, obviously the pain is not coming from the leg because the leg is heal the pain is in the brain, and the brain still perceives a need to protect that area. It still perceives a need to signal signal. You signal the person to not use that leg. And so it could be because you never fully rehabilitated muscle function or proprioception, your ability to sense where that leg is in space.

Garrett salpeter: So sometimes in this example, sometimes if if your brain can’t sense where your leg is in space, it will actually trigger a pain as a way of limiting your movement there, because the brain’s, you know, proprioception is this this word that a lot of your listeners, I’m sure will know where it’s sort of how how our brain can see the body in space.

Garrett salpeter: So it’s sort of like if you’re walking around a room with an obstacle with, you know, obstacles on the floor, you can easily navigate around it when your eyes are open. That’s like having good progress. But if your eyes are closed, your movement is you’re going to you’re going to be a lot more guarded. You’re going to as you’re walking around the room, you’re going to be kind of taking smaller steps, really, really guarded.

Garrett salpeter: That’s sort of how your proprioception is. If your brain can’t see where that limb is, it’s going to want you to want to confine your movement more and more and more so that because it can’t predict, it can’t see if you’re going to run into obstacles or hurt yourself. So, so it’s going to try to limit that as a protective mechanism.

Garrett salpeter: And pain is one way of imposing that limitation on the body.

Dean Pohlman: So pain and a lot of so in this description there is a type of pain where it is a protective measure. So it’s not actually being caused by anything, but it’s your brain’s way of saying or your body’s way or however you want to think of it. But it is your body’s protective mechanism saying, don’t do that. This might hurt and it’s causing pain in order to to signal that, which is interesting.

Dean Pohlman: Marissa, so she’ll say this because, you know, she, she’s worked with she has been injured as an athlete, and she, she’s worked with athletes. It’s not a specialty, but she has worked with athletes. But one thing that she does say, like, to me, when I was playing lacrosse, still, I haven’t played lacrosse in a in a few years.

Dean Pohlman: I have decided that being able to create workouts is more important than being able to go play lacrosse on the weekends. So, I’ve opted out of that largely. But, she mentions that if I, you know, when I was going out and playing to make sure that I go out and I play hard, like go out and don’t think about if you have, you know, something to guard or something some sort of injury or some sort of pain that you’re guarding because you’re more likely to get injured there if you’re not going out and playing all the way, if you’re only going in and you know, half asking it, then there’s a higher risk

Dean Pohlman: of injury because you’re you’re you’re being protective. Is that is that something that you’ve you’ve experienced that you talk to people about?

Garrett salpeter: Yes. That’s a great insight. And only I would say yes. And the only thing I would add is just a little bit of elaboration and say it’s because you need in order to protect yourself from injury, you need your muscles to be working to their maximal ability. Think about them as, as shock absorbers. They’re you know, when you’re especially you know, when you’re when you’re running, especially when you’re you’re cutting, decelerating those forces can be, you know, 5 to 8 times your body weight or the force on one leg as you’re cutting aggressively or you’re sprinting down the field.

Garrett salpeter: So there’s, you know, hundreds or even a thousand or more pounds of force in fractions of a second that your, your muscles have to contend with. And if your muscles don’t absorb those forces, they’re going to go into, you know, your meniscus or ligaments, these other passive supportive structures, or they’re going to work their way up the leg and go into your into your low back, and you’re going to get a tweak up there.

Garrett salpeter: And so in order for if you’re if you’re holding back just as, as you’re describing, then you’re going to be impeding your muscles ability to fire in that explosive way that is required for them to protect you from the forces you encounter on the field of play, so that is, very good advice. And yeah, I would say I totally agree.

Garrett salpeter: And that’s part of why when you do have a tweak or something in, you’re compensating around it, you’re more likely to get injured as well because you could be trying to go hard. But if if on every step you feel your, your ankle, or you feel your knee, you’re more likely to, you know, tear an Achilles or hurt something because you are your muscles are not going to be no matter how much you try.

Garrett salpeter: If you have that pain there, your nervous system is going to be beneath your level of consciousness is going to be limiting muscle output there, and you’re going to be more vulnerable.

Dean Pohlman: I mean, so so for me, that brings up the and I’ve got, I’ve by the way, if it looks like I’m typing things, it is because I’m typing up notes as we go here, I’ve got all these questions that I want to ask. And for me that brings up the question is how do you go from injured and in pain to being able to exercise freely and without pain?

Dean Pohlman: Again? and another question that I had written down is, you know, how do you how do you distinguish between I think we talked about this, but I do want to come back to this is it’s distinguishing or how to how to address pain from different types of injuries appropriately. So like you mentioned, if someone’s in a car crash and they fracture their femur or, you know, their, their they have multiple.

Dean Pohlman: Splinters or multiple multiple, multiple parts of that bone break off and shatter versus someone who has a meniscus injury versus someone who I don’t know, breaks a finger. You know, how do you approach those different types of injuries? So like a like a fracture is different than a. So I’m thinking about it from my perspective. If I let’s say I’m a runner and I have a stress fracture in my in my foot, let’s say one of my metatarsals has a, has a stress fracture versus if I have a ankle sprain, you know, so, like, how do you how do you how do you approach the pain differently there too?

Dean Pohlman: So anyways, those are questions that I have. I’m going to throw them out there. But if you had, something that you were going into with pain, before, if you were building up to something, I don’t want to take you away from that.

Garrett salpeter: There’s, there it’s a good question. We can sort of tie back in those themes to, you know, there’s the David Goggins approach of the to heck with it. I’m just going to curse myself out and run through the pain anyway, right? Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That’s like that’s the traditional model of male improvement. I, I think there’s a better way to be better, which involves acknowledging things instead of just pushing through everything. And.

Garrett salpeter: Yes. Well, yeah. And, you know, and I mean, even in, even in his, in his first book, he talks about he ran through that and he then he had to take, you know, months where he couldn’t run again because he, you know, needed to repair the damage. So he, you know, oh.

Dean Pohlman: I didn’t I didn’t know about that second part. All I knew was that he just ran through and, you know, broke a bunch of bones. And okay, good to know that he actually had to recover from that.

Garrett salpeter: So yeah. So there were a time, you know, he even even he had to pay some of the physical consequences. But but, you know, I mean, there’s certainly other, other value in terms of the mental toughness and everything he’s cultivated. So not not to not to diminish that at all. Right. And like that. But when you’re talking about recovering from an injury, there’s, there’s two parts that you have to consider.

Garrett salpeter: There’s the we’ll call them the hardware and the software. The hardware being of course, you know, the, the bone that has a stress fracture or the ankle ligament that’s been sprained or the femur that’s been broken. You know, whatever the situation is, and there’s the software, which is the nervous system function, which is the reason that that you talk about having to go out and play hard, because if your muscles aren’t working as well, then you’re more vulnerable.

Garrett salpeter: And they’re not they’re not turned back on. So so when you if you go out and you try to play lacrosse again, you try to play any sport again while you still have pain. Well, well, the the tissue isn’t recovered enough to, to be stable. It doesn’t meet that that kind of minimum threshold. You’re going to be holding yourself back.

Garrett salpeter: You’re going to be in, you know, having these subconscious patterns that we talked about are going to be limiting muscle output, sort of as a, as a protective mechanism, or muscles are going to be stiff and holding on to protect. And therefore when they’re stiff they can’t work eccentrically, they can’t lengthen to accommodate movement. And and perhaps then the muscles are likely to strain or tear.

Garrett salpeter: Because if you if you are running and you your hamstring is, is is holding on to try to protect your knee and you, you know, you’re running, you’re kicking out fast with your quad. You’re trying to trying to pull your hamstring apart as it’s holding on, embracing sometimes in that, in that tug of war, you know, one of the muscles will lose and get get, you know, muscle strain and stuff like that too.

Garrett salpeter: So there’s all these other things that can happen. You’re also your joints will be more vulnerable to further injury. So you want to ultimately address both the hardware and the software. The really interesting insight here, in our experience, is that so many times when we think an ankle sprain is going to take 4 to 6 weeks to heal, the reason that it takes so long is not as much the hardware.

Garrett salpeter: It’s because of the software. It’s because of that neurological response is because of the the guarding, the bracing, the stiffening up around it, trying to protect. So that actually is a case where the body is standing in the way of its own healing process. That response may be productive if that tissue is going to be attacked again at any moment.

Garrett salpeter: But if you’re actually being intentional about recovering and you’re you’re you’re safe, like, you know intellectually that you’re safe even if your your body subconsciously doesn’t know if you know that, then you want to be able to work through those protective patterns as much as possible. Because that stiffness, I mean, literally, it can be part of, you know, that tension reducing the the blood flow to that injured area, which is impeding the body’s ability to send those inflammatory, you know, those immune system cells and, and the proteins that we talked about earlier that are part of the healing process.

Garrett salpeter: And so working through that to restore function, it enables you to let the, you know, get out of your own way and allow the body’s healing process to go at its natural rate. And when when that happens, it seems miraculous. You know, we’re here in Texas, we see a lot of high school football players. I can’t tell you how many times every fall, you know, football players are supposed to be out for four weeks with an ankle sprain and we get them back in one week time and time and time again.

Garrett salpeter: And it’s because we’re able to manage the neurological response, work on the software side instead of just focusing on the hardware. Because oftentimes when you work on a software side, the hardware can heal faster, and you also complete the recovery faster because you’re you’re not left in a state where you’ve just waited for the, you know, the tissue to heal.

Garrett salpeter: But in the meantime, the muscles have gotten weaker, the tissues have gotten stiffer. So you have all these functional deficits when you finally get back onto the field, too. So we we really, really like that approach.

Dean Pohlman: That’s awesome. That’s so cool I love it I mean that was that was really well explain to I think people understanding that there is the, the the physical component and the, the brain and the neurological component, the brain, neurological, the nervous system component to it, that’s, that’s really cool to understand it. So now now my question is, you know, I’m, I know the newbie is an awesome machine and that if you are in Austin and if you’re in, where else are you, by the way, I know that you have practitioners all over the country.

Dean Pohlman: You have a website with, so if you are listening to this and you’re like, I need this newbie to help recover more quickly, if you go to New Fit Dot, there’s no it’s any dot fit, right? The website new.

Garrett salpeter: fit.com. We got that it does forward by the website is yeah new dot fit okay.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So if you go there I know that there is a there’s there’s like a portion where you can find someone who practitioners in this and you can get it close to where you are. We’ve actually had a few people from be the Better. You, who looked it up after you doing their demo there. And we had one guy who had actually been doing it even before that, like he already knew about it, which was pretty cool.

Dean Pohlman: So, you know, so if you do have the ability to do it, then obviously do that. But I’m curious, like for people who don’t have that ability, then are there, are there lessons? Are there, is there practical information that can be taken from this understanding and applying it to their recovery? That can be helpful?

Garrett salpeter: Yeah for sure. So the way I look at it is, is sort of like, you know, imagine we’re in, you know, caveman days and someone and someone in your, in your family or extended family gets injured, sprains their ankle. You know.

Dean Pohlman: You kill them, right? You just send them off right there.

Garrett salpeter: You I mean potentially right. Yeah. It’s very you know, if they if they can’t, if they can’t walk and fend for themselves, they’re liable to get eaten. Or if you have to carry them, that could be make everyone else more vulnerable. And so you basically have to like get up and move around. And so what we’re really trying to do is and I’ll describe this because then we can learn the principles that even if people don’t have access to the technology that they can apply.

Garrett salpeter: But what we’re really trying to do is take that, that, sort of seemingly ruthless approach of like, okay, we’re just going to you got injured here. It pushed you a lot in that direction. We’re going to give you enough stimulus to push you back in the other direction to restore function in a positive way, but we’re able to do it in a safe way that doesn’t cause you get injured worse along the way, because that’s the that’s the caveat with that approach of saying like, okay, I’m limping, I need to get function back in this leg.

Garrett salpeter: But if I just go and use that leg and use that leg and use that leg and try to power through it, then I could injure it worse.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And that that makes me think of my that makes me think of my noncompliant grandparents who, you know, they get a surgery or they do something and they’re like, it doesn’t matter. I have dinner tomorrow. I’m going, and you can’t stop me. So, to what extent? That’s helpful because they’re going to get up moving. But if they’re pushing themselves too much, you’re saying then that is detrimental.

Garrett salpeter: So yeah. So there’s there’s a balancing act here. And so what we’re able to do with the, with the newbie for neuro bioelectric stimulator. And then the new fit method is to find where the nervous system is guarding, protecting how people move and work through that. So you may change a lot faster. The that’s the technology driven version.

Garrett salpeter: That’s that’s called the digital version. The analog version is to essentially try to do the same thing through movement on your own. Motion is lotion. Movement is improvement. Try to do as much. you know, it depends what the exercise would be, what the movement would be. But like you talked about, Kelly, start giving you some movements to do to help reset your pelvis.

Garrett salpeter: So when I would say is if someone doesn’t have access to technology like this, try to do as much quality movement as you can without exacerbating your symptoms at all. So if someone had a lower back pain episode, you know, maybe doing some lumbar circles like this, I mean, if it’s listening, you can’t see, but I’m just doing a movement that’s literally like a few inches with my spine going to the pain, but not through it, doing as much, as much movement as I possibly can, and then try to increase that, go up to the edge of pain as that pain free range of motion increases.

Garrett salpeter: Do a little more, do a little more. But you’re going to the expectation has to be that’s going to in order to to create change, to change. Is there a logical pattern? You have this this neurological pattern being imposed on the body. That’s a response. It’s like an alarm alarm, alarm response to some sort of injury or trauma.

Garrett salpeter: So you need a lot of input to change that. You can use the technology we talked about to get a get that barrage of input faster, or you can accumulate it over over greater time, but it’s going to take, you know, thousands of repetitions likely. So. So it might be, you know, might be one per session, you know, 45 minutes or it might be, you know, several hours a day of doing these movements on your own if you don’t have access to technology like that, but that would be the analog or the manual version doing as much of those exercises as you can, as much movement as you can within that range where you’re

Garrett salpeter: not exacerbating the symptoms at all, so that, you know, again, using pain as a signal, you know, that you’re not harming yourself and making things worse.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So and this is something that my, my wife tells her patients all the time, but and it’s something that I’ve been fortunate to bring over into, you know, the work that I do. But do what you can without pain. If it hurts, don’t do it. And if you continue to focus on the things that you can do without pain, and you slowly start to expand your ability into those things within a few weeks, maybe even within one week, if you have access to a newbie, then you’ll go back to movements that used to cause pain and you realize like, oh, this doesn’t hurt anymore.

Dean Pohlman: That’s pretty cool.

Garrett salpeter: 100%. Yeah. I, I’ve nothing to add other than to underscore, highlight, and add an isolation point.

Dean Pohlman: I think what’s really cool about, you know, physical therapist and you, you mostly employ physical therapist at, at New Fit, right?

Garrett salpeter: We do. Yeah. We’ve got a lot of physical therapists, and we have some fitness trainers and people that, you know, we also can use it on that side, but, yeah, several. And then it’s most commonly used in physical therapy clinics around the country. Also many chiropractic offices, you know, and other different types of various boutique medical facilities or some, but mostly, yeah, mostly physical therapy and chiropractic.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So I bring that up because people who have this specialized knowledge are there way more knowledgeable than, you know, people like people who have physical people who are, who are trainers or coaches. Not to say that they those people don’t have that training. They may have that training. But if you’re looking for people who have the specialized knowledge that understand when you move something and it doesn’t work, the way it’s posed to a physical therapist understands, a good physical therapist will understand, oh, if this causes pain here, it’s because of this muscle.

Dean Pohlman: It’s because of this dysfunction. And I know the exact exercises that you can do to fix it. So if you’re looking for the quickest way to relieve pain, it is really helpful to understand, it is really helpful to work with the people who understand, understand, that those practices and that’s a physical therapist.

Garrett salpeter: So and if I.

Dean Pohlman: Just want to.

Garrett salpeter: If I could add one, one comment, please do I like to think of whether you’re injured or not, whether you’re in pain or not. I like to think of, of exercise as medicine, where you want to make sure that you have a, I mean, especially true when you’re, you know, dealing with an acute injury or you’re in pain or stuff like that, where it’s even more important that you choose the right medicine for the, for the disease.

Garrett salpeter: you also need the right dose, the right timing, the right consistency, stuff like that. And you so you can you can have the wrong thing or you can take too much or too little of it. and then you have a lot more latitude when you’re not injured, of course, but there’s something there. And then, when you.

Garrett salpeter: That’s a.

Dean Pohlman: Great analogy.

Garrett salpeter: And then there’s also. Yeah, there’s also when you’re not injured, then there’s like the notion of it, we kind of expand it for nutrition and supplementation. And so I think we want to expand exercise to also include moving throughout the day. You know, unless you’re on some sort of extreme plan, you know, just eating once a day for most people most of the time is not the best avenue for energy and vitality and things like that.

Garrett salpeter: So getting more movement in throughout the day, in addition to your manual yoga class or in addition to your physical therapy session, you know, other other things like that throughout the day. But I think some of these metaphors thinking about how movement is part of our is is a source of nutrition, I think is another helpful exercise is medicine and movement is nutrition.

Garrett salpeter: I think that’s a really powerful framework, at least that helps me and seems to land with people that we talk to.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I think that’s, yeah, that’s definitely helpful. All right. So I want to go back to all those questions that I had, before. So it is distinguishing between things like a bone break and soft tissue injury. And how do you how do you address recovery with those differently.

Garrett salpeter: So, of course, you know, first thing you want to get evaluate if you’re if you think you’re might have a, an acute fracture or some that are not getting evaluated, you, you know, sometimes a therapist or an athletic trainer can look at you, sometimes you have to be referred out for imaging, but, you know, you want to be responsible and not load something.

Garrett salpeter: If you could injure it worse just by even walking on it or something like, you know, there’s so, so, you know, caveat that we want to be responsible, but then whatever it is, whether it’s a bone or it’s a ligament or muscle, whatever it is, then we want to apply the same thinking here of, you know, looking at the hardware, looking at the software, looking at prioritizing as soon as we responsibly can, the neurological response to that injury and working through that so that we can restore function because that the other another part of that is that in addition to allowing the body’s healing process, like we talked about a little bit earlier, the

Garrett salpeter: other part of that is that by restoring function, you’re turning the muscles back on to one of the themes that we talked about even before, that you’re turning your muscles back on in a way where they can now support the injured area of the body as it heals, so that you are less likely to re injure you, have these built in protect, you know, you have your own natural, you know, brace or cast or whatever the protective sling or sleeve your own natural protective mechanism, and it’s your muscles so that you can get them working again.

Garrett salpeter: The more effectively they’ll work to prevent that re injury from occurring. So, so so, you know, regardless of what the injury is, as fast as we responsibly can, we want to really prioritize that that neurological response and restore function.

Dean Pohlman: Got it. So I’m maybe I’m I could I it sounds like I might be I might just have an incorrect assumption about like a bone injury versus a soft tissue injury. But for me I’m thinking from personal experience, like when I have, a broken wrist feels very different than a than a ligament tear in a knee. I think if you have if you’ve ever had a broken bone before and if you ever want to see my cast collection, my mom has it somewhere.

Dean Pohlman: I think she’s actually going to throw it away pretty soon. But I’ve got a really nice cast collection somewhere. point being that they they feel really different and having something like, like a torn ligament, like it feels okay to move on that versus a bone. It doesn’t. And so my assumption to this point has been that if you have, you know, here’s a here’s a cool injury that I had when I was 12, I jumped off a flight of stairs, jumped off a flight of 12 stairs and landed on cement.

Dean Pohlman: And I did it once without hurting myself. I did a second time, and I ended up breaking three metatarsals. And so for that, like I was in a cast for a really long time, it really hurt to lock. But like, what’s the difference between maybe I just need to I don’t know if I’m asking you a different way, or maybe I’m misunderstanding this, but what is the what’s the difference in recovery?

Garrett salpeter: So I think I think I sort of lumped all these together because the paradigm is the same. And I sort of glossed over some of the, some of the details when we’re, you know, I’m saying we want to prioritize restoring neurological function and reintroducing movement as fast as we possibly can. The difference is that sometimes you’re going to have to be have that limb immobilized for, you know, 6 or 8 weeks, whereas in another one you can actually introduce movement right away on day one.

Garrett salpeter: So there so there is some difference in terms of the time force and what you can do. We always want to do as much of this process of restoring a function as we safely can within the confines of the situation, but those confines can be vastly different depending on the circumstances. So yeah, if you are in a cast and can’t move a limb or you can’t put weight on that leg for a period of time while the bones are healing, then the question is, okay, how much of this usual process can we do within these more severe limitations?

Garrett salpeter: So maybe maybe it’s we’re going to just do isometric squeezing of the muscles. Or maybe we’re going to put pads on, you know, from our machine above and below the cast to get some increased blood flow in there, to get some muscles ready so that when the cast comes off there’s not as much atrophy. So that it’s still the same paradigm of wanting to, you know, address that, you know, restoring neurological function, addressing the neurological response to injury and trauma as quickly as we can.

Garrett salpeter: But it’s just, you know, in some scenarios, we’re going to be a lot more limited in our expectation of a time course. There’s going to be a lot different because we know we’re not going to be able to really do the more intense version of work for four or 6 or 8 weeks.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. So there’s so the, the same advances that you’re so the same advances that you’re talking about that you’ve been able to make with the newbie, with speeding up soft tissue injuries like ankle sprains or meniscus tears. You haven’t figured out a way to you haven’t yet figured out a way to speed up a bone break from a three month period to two weeks.

Dean Pohlman: Is that is that what you’re saying?

Garrett salpeter: So there I mean, there’s you know, we’ve talked about this a lot here where there’s this there’s both this hardware and software. opponent to injury and where we have these exciting breakthroughs are when there is, there is some hardware damage. And that, however, is not as big of the, of a of a part of the problem as you know, the more of the problem is actually in the neurological response.

Garrett salpeter: That’s more of the cause of pain and limitation than the actual damage. There might be some damage to heal, but the addressing that neurological, response really, really speeds up the process. There you are. However limited, the more severe the hardware damage is, the more time it’s going to take to heal. And we can, you know, we can speed it up, maybe, maybe reduce a week or two.

Garrett salpeter: But if there is a fractured bone, there’s a period of time that it’s going to take for that bone to form the union and the layers of bone to build back together and all that stuff. So there is a process, and that process is limited by the hardware. There’s times where we think it’s a hardware injury and it’s but it’s actually more of a software injury.

Garrett salpeter: And that’s where we get these experiences that are like, holy crap, that’s that’s insane. But then there’s times where, you know, the hardware injury is more serious and is a greater percentage, you know, a greater part of the problem. And so we’re going to adjust our time for our expectations, knowing that it’s going to take longer for that part to heal.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. Got it okay. All right. That makes that makes that makes sense to me. So so for guys who are going through for women men or women going through your protocols, what are some things that do are there things outside of the you know, obviously do your at home obviously do your at home physical therapy don’t be a noncompliant patient in this case.

Dean Pohlman: And if you have, you know, prescribed exercises you should be doing those in addition to your PT visits. But aside from that are there other things that can help other lifestyle. or I don’t know if there’s a diet nutrition is there. What else can you do to help speed up recovery?

Garrett salpeter: This is definitely yes. There’s some things here and this sort of gets into something you and I were talking about even before we hit the record button of there’s this notion that some people believe and others others resist. But this notion that we’re all we’re all athletes and life is a sport. And that thing, the things, you know, athletes spend a lot of time very intentionally recovering because they need to replenish their energy and rebuild their bodies, you know, between practices and games and the grueling sports season.

Garrett salpeter: And so there’s a version of that that I believe we all need in daily life. And for many people, I mean, sleep is going to be the cornerstone if you’re not sleeping well, you know, that’s sort of the first domino. Everything else is a problem. Then then, you know, looking at the basics of nutrition. So I’m not saying we necessarily have to do anything super elaborate, but the things that are going to move the needle the most on recovery, you know, let’s look at let’s look at, let’s look at sleep for example.

Garrett salpeter: So if you have if you’re fatigued from a workout or you have some micro trauma in your muscles from a workout, or if you’re trying to heal a fracture or torn ligament, the biggest that the greatest percentage of your actual healing and rebuilding of tissue that’s going to happen throughout a day, throughout the day is going to be concentrated during sleep, especially during your stages of deep sleep.

Garrett salpeter: So you want to make sure you’re going to bed early enough so that your circadian rhythm is aligned to where you’re going to get deep sleep. You want to make sure you have, you know, adequate protein on board. So you have the raw materials to rebuild and repair tissues. If you want to, make sure that the quality of that sleep is, is going to be as good as it possibly can be.

Garrett salpeter: REM sleep also is another very important phase of sleep. And that’s when we do a lot of the neurological remodeling to incorporate whatever we’ve learned during the day. So, so, you know, incorporating learning, synthesizing memories. When we tell.

Dean Pohlman: You why we sleep.

Garrett salpeter: yeah. Matthew Walker yeah, great book, awesome.

Dean Pohlman: Awesome book, awesome book. So yeah, if you want to go deeper into this, not that you can’t speak to it, but if you’re listening to this and you’re like, I want to learn more about why sleep is good for me, or if you’re just not convinced that sleep is that important. Matthew Walker, why we sleep life changing book.

Dean Pohlman: Definitely get it?

Garrett salpeter: Yes, 100%. So so the you know, the things that are going to move the needle the most outside of PT are going to be, I would say, you know, sleep nutrition movement, for sleep, a big one that’s made it, you know, made a huge difference for me and many others is, you know, aligning with circadian rhythms. You know, you know, people talk about like seeing morning sunlight or I often get up before the sun’s I a big red light panel, I go stand and I do some work or reading in front of that in the morning just to make sure that that, you know, sort of like the equivalent of a sunrise is read.

Garrett salpeter: Right. So telling my brain like, hey, it’s morning time, let’s set this cycle that’s going to have me ready to fall asleep properly, you know, 16 hours later, at the end of the day, that can have a huge influence. The timing of food and light exposure are super relevant. and then other movement too, you know, there’s this concept of energy flux that’s, really, really valuable tool to think about.

Garrett salpeter: So you can have, for example, you know, if you’re if you’re trying to and we can tie this into injury recovery is something that soon. But if you’re if you’re trying to to lose 10 pounds and you’re trying to have a 500 calorie deficit every day, there’s a huge difference between, eating 1500 calories and burning 2000 calories in a day.

Garrett salpeter: Huge difference between that and eating 3500 calories and burning off 4000 calories in a day, even though both have off the same 500 calorie deficit. There’s a huge difference between them, because when you have more energy flux or more, more energy activity there, your metabolism metabolism is going to be higher and have less of a sense of hunger.

Garrett salpeter: All the systems of your body, your mitochondria, are going to be working better to make more energy. And what does it take to repair from injury, you know, to repair tissue, recover from injury? It takes energy. You have to have enough energy to meet your basic survival needs and then have a surplus left over to rebuild and repair tissue.

Garrett salpeter: So the way to the way to increase that energy flux is more movement during the day. And then of course, eating more because you think we talked about at the beginning, the signal of if you’re resting your, if you’re resting, you know, your signals basically to down regulate energy production, if you’re moving signals to upregulate energy production.

Garrett salpeter: Same thing if you’re if you’re not eating food, if you’re fast, you know, there are benefits to occasional fasting. Yes. But, a lot of if you’re if you’re generally not eating enough food, the signal is to down regulate your metabolism, put the body into a, a state of a famine, you know, or, you know, a state of conservation for concern that there might be we might be in the middle of a famine right now.

Garrett salpeter: Right. So we need to down regulate. We need more. We need to ramp up energy production for healing repair. So just a few a few things there that I think are going to be the biggest movers of the needle. But, you know, sleep nutrition movement throughout the day as much as you can do without, you know, safely without re injuring yourself.

Dean Pohlman: So when you say nutrition, what aspects of nutrition?

Garrett salpeter: definitely protein. So especially when you’re trying to recover from an injury in an extra serving or two, we tell people an extra serving or two of protein a day. general general guidelines. I mean, you know, people have different paradigms. I think we can all agree on, you know, eating more whole foods, you know, a lot of healthy plant foods.

Garrett salpeter: I’m a fan of animal protein, especially when trying to recover from injury or heavy workouts. you know, but I care a lot about the quality. I’m a big believer in in grass fed beef and how it actually is good for the planet and regenerative agriculture, you know, don’t like the traditional confined feedlot animals and stuff like that.

Garrett salpeter: but, I would say, you know, really emphasize as, as much, as much protein as you can eat because you’ll, you, you’ll get a greater sense of satiety. And you want, as you know, you want a lot of that protein on board, especially when you’re trying to repair tissues. and then challenge yourself to double or triple beyond what you would normally, you know, the, the number of plant foods.

Garrett salpeter: So you get the fibers, you get the polyphenols, you get all these things you feed your gut bacteria. you need some, you know, you need some some carbs and fat to give yourself energy as well. So, in this, in this state, you know, it’s not it’s not if you’re trying to recover from injury or trying to build tissue, it’s not the time to be dieting down.

Dean Pohlman: okay. All right. That’s helpful. So here’s a question that I thought of, that I get all the time. And I would love your response on this, but trying to gauge what is an acceptable amount of discomfort or pain versus. So the questions that I get people I think people confuse soreness with pain. And I think people don’t know the line between discomfort and pain.

Dean Pohlman: And I’m just wondering what would be your thoughts on being able to interpret the delineations of those different categories?

Garrett salpeter: Yeah, that’s a that’s a good question. There’s a couple a couple parts of that. I mean, one is you’ll certainly know afterwards when, when the exercise is done based on if you’re, you know, if you feel better or worse once you’ve kind.

Dean Pohlman: Of and how long afterwards.

Garrett salpeter: well, it depends where you’re talking. I mean, if you’re talking about muscle soreness, you could have muscle soreness for, you know, 2 or 3 days after or after exercise. And that can be okay. You don’t necessarily need to be sore. So it’s not like is that like getting sore itself is the goal. You know, you’re trying your goal is the goal.

Garrett salpeter: Whether it’s increasing mobility or strength or the ability to perform a certain skill. You know, if you if you have some soreness along the way, the key to look at is, is, is the soreness in the muscle that I was trying to target. And is it reasonable or is it or is it achy and a joint. That’s that’s a problem.

Garrett salpeter: You know, if if your muscle is sore 2 or 3 days after, but your joints feel feel loose and good, you know, that’s that’s fine. If you feel achy in a joint or in a tendon, that’s, that’s where you don’t want to feel that there. So so that’s the first question is sort of where do you feel either acutely or your sore a few days after.

Garrett salpeter: generally if during during exercise, also if you feel burning in the belly of your muscle like, you know, you know, people think it was lactic acid or, you know, the presence of hydrogen ions or there, if you feel that burning in a muscle that generally is productive, and if you feel your lungs really working, well, that generally is productive.

Garrett salpeter: But if you feel something in a joint or connective tissue that is generally more of an alarm. So I’d say the first thing is look at where one is feeling that, and then I think some of it comes from experience. but if you know, if people are really concerned having that question, I think one thing to do is to actually if you’re concerned, like, am I hurting myself worse?

Garrett salpeter: As soon as you have that concern, if it makes sense, stop, sort of rest for a moment or a few minutes until the sensation goes away and then see, see, can you do that movement without pain? Because if you’ve if you’ve, you know, sort of sort of, you know, kind of testing your own hypothesis, like you have a hypothesis, this might be this might be hurting me.

Garrett salpeter: So if so, then in a few minutes it’s probably still going to be eager. And a moment later it’s probably going to be aggravated and hurt worse if you try to do that same movement. Whereas if you’re actually having the productive type of discomfort, challenging your muscles, working through these neurological limitations to come out stronger on the other side, then a moment later when you go to that movement, it should feel lighter, crisper, easier, less painful, etc..

Garrett salpeter: So I think you can sort of play detective and test your own hypothesis there to figure it out.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. Got it. Yeah. I think, I think what you’re hinting at here is there could be there could be fatigue. It could just be tired in the moment. And your your technique is started to get a little worse. So if you take that time to, to give yourself some, just a little time to reset and kind of recover and refocus on the proper technique, then, then that pain might go away because you’re using proper technique.

Garrett salpeter: yeah, for sure.

Dean Pohlman: So and now another thing that I’m thinking is I forgot it, but I’m going to remember it in a second and then I’ll, and then I’ll, and then I’ll be able to ask it. We’ll cut this part out. Try to remember what I was asking about or we won’t cut it out. No, no, no, it depends on. Depends on if Edward catches it or not.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, I want to talk about. I wanted to talk about muscle activation. And so there’s this concept of, so muscle activation has been, I think a big I don’t know if you call it a buzz term or whatever, but muscle activation is really big with what I do with Mantle yoga. And, it’s it’s something that I really focus on in the workouts and, there’s, there’s some different I don’t know, I don’t know if to describe it as competing.

Dean Pohlman: competing schools of thought. But there are some people who say that training, activation, training, muscle activation is good. And there are some people who say that training it is bad because it it develops this unnatural sort of muscle engagement where you should be focusing on instead of saying, work on squeezing your glutes, you should just be doing a hip extension.

Dean Pohlman: You should just be doing a movement that automatically causes the glutes to fire. And I’m just wondering if you can speak to speak to what makes muscle activation training effective or not effective.

Garrett salpeter: So that’s a good question. the, the sort of approach I like to take here is to think think of movement literacy the same way as we would about literacy with language. We want to first learn the alphabet, which would sort of be the equivalent of doing muscle isolation exercises. And then we want to learn to string those letters together into words, and then sentences and paragraphs, etc..

Garrett salpeter: And so I think there’s value in there’s certainly value in, you know, we need to learn to be able to speak in full sentences. Right? And we need to be able to communicate in that way. And so we need to be able to do compound movements and have the right letters or the right muscles engaging in those movements.

Garrett salpeter: Right. So everything works harmoniously and in a coordinated fashion. And there’s also times where we have to regress and sort of build the, you know, the basic building blocks. So sometimes that means isolation exercises of certain muscles. I would particularly emphasize using muscles at their shortest range of motion where you really have to activate. So for the bicep, for example, you know, a lot of people just do bicep curls with their arm at their side here.

Garrett salpeter: But doing a bicep curl here where you’re in both. So if you can’t see if you’re just listening I have my arm up overhead. My. So I’m, I’m flexing I’m raising my arm and then bending my elbow. So I’m really working that bicep in the short range of motion. So working that muscle in a position where it actually wants to cramp, where your arm is, when the muscle is at its shortest length, you need to send the greatest signal from your brain downwards to engage that muscle.

Garrett salpeter: So doing some repetitions there at that shortest range, I think are very good. And that’s the equivalent of learning the letters. And then you can string that together. So for your glute it might be lying face down lifting your leg and really squeezing that glute in isolation. And then going to the glute bridge so that you’ve activated. You’re working at that glute.

Garrett salpeter: And now you’re more apt to more likely to incorporate it into that multi joint or complex movement.

Dean Pohlman: I haven’t heard that before. the emphasizing muscle activation at the shortest range of motion. That’s really cool. And then, it’s it’s good to know about the cramping because so many people, you know, and I always tell people like no cramping is part of it. It’s just you’re getting stronger. But so now we can tell people like, you’re really getting stronger.

Dean Pohlman: This is exactly what you want to, this is exactly what you want to be feeling. So what’s happening when cramp is when you are experiencing a cramp, what’s happening?

Garrett salpeter: So it’s your muscle is sending your muscles. You’re sorry your nervous system is able to send to your muscles two signals. One is to contract and one is to relax. And you’re basically getting, a bombardment of contract signals and not any relaxed signals to, to counter that. So, when you’re in your when you’re in your shortest length, you tend to get more cramping there because you have to send such a strong signal and everything is focused on maximally shortening.

Garrett salpeter: There. There’s no relaxing on the counter. Whereas when you’re at more neutral muscle lengths, you have the opposing muscle contracting. So you have this more, more balanced set of contract and relaxed signals.

Dean Pohlman: cool. All right. And so just know that.

Garrett salpeter: And there’s a interesting phenomenon. I think it is product. I mean, it can be uncomfortable and scary when you go into that cramp. But but working through that, just like I would coach people, okay. If you’re in this position where you’re going to get a muscle cramp trying to go there just to feel that cramp for 2 or 3 seconds and then get out of it and chill out and then go and feel it for 5 or 6 seconds.

Garrett salpeter: And eventually, over time, you’ll get to the point where you’ll get into these, these same positions, and you actually you’ll have better control and the cramp will minimize or go away altogether.

Dean Pohlman: How long does it take to go away in your experience?

Garrett salpeter: depending on the level of athlete and level of preparation and proficiency, it could be anywhere from a few weeks to several months. You know, the depending on the. Yeah, the, the training history.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. Yeah. I mean, I think we typically see those cramps go away if you’re being consistent. By consistent I mean three times for a week, it usually takes two, 3 or 4 months.

Garrett salpeter: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: But people people doing manual yoga. So if you’re listening to this and you’ve got cramps, you get a lot of foot cramps, a lot of foot cramps, a lot of hamstring cramps. That’s where, and a lot of the, hip flexor cramps, too, because we do a lot of seated. we do a lot of seated leg raises.

Dean Pohlman: and, Yeah, that’s, that’s Cramp City.

Garrett salpeter: There’s one. So one one other point to this. So, so what I was talking about there was if you’re contracting your muscles, actively cramping, but then you relax and the cramp goes away. Sometimes, you know, people are going about going around, going about their day later on and the muscle cramps or, you know, people listening. If you have the experience of, like, you’re you’re in bed at night and something cramps up and it’s like, oh shit, you know, so those, those are, those are a little bit different.

Garrett salpeter: I mean, we don’t we don’t want those, those. I’m not saying we should go into that type of cramp. And that often has to do with, well, there’s a there’s really interesting phenomenon where it actually, you know, muscles work with these fibers that overlap and kind of ratchet and pull on each other. and there’s an interesting thing where you actually get it takes multiple ratchets, for lack of a better term, to contract for a full muscle contraction.

Garrett salpeter: But you actually once they once they attach, you get the first one for free. It actually takes energy, takes ATP to break the connection between them, to ratchet on to the next point and then pull again and pull again. So if you think about it, the it actually takes energy to relax muscle, which is counterintuitive. but if but if you think about it, the extreme example is think of, think about, think about a corpse.

Garrett salpeter: Think about, you know, a body. If someone who has recently died, what happens? Their muscles don’t just go limp and flaccid, right? They get rigor mortis. They stiffen up because they no longer are making ATP. They’re no longer making the energy that they need to actually relax their muscles. So it’s a higher energy state to have relaxed muscles because they’re primed and ready to go.

Garrett salpeter: They’re more supple, they’re more prepared to make that next contraction when needed. If they’re already stiff and tight, they’re actually less prepared to make that next contraction. So the interesting thing there is that when we’re the more fatigued we are, and the less we are at regenerating and replenishing our energy supply, the more apt we are to get those types of cramps, you know, and other times during the day.

Garrett salpeter: So a different category of cramping there. But that’s an interesting paradigm. So I thought it was worth mentioning.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That that reminds me. Yeah. So that’s so that makes me think of so are there things that people can do to, to help with that? I mean, it sounds like eating enough and is one part of it. So like something that we recommend is, you know, if that does happen, we say, okay, well, you want to make sure you’re hydrated, right?

Dean Pohlman: That’s that’s usually the first thing. And then the other thing that I don’t know if this has actually been proven by a study, but magnesium supplements is something that some people have anecdotally reported can help. Do you have any anything to say about that?

Garrett salpeter: Yeah. So magnesium and calcium are the two biggest minerals involved in muscle contraction and relaxation. So calcium triggers contraction. Magnesium triggers relaxation between contractions. So so yes magnesium can be helpful. as well as generally things you can do to increase energy production. And then some of it is some of it is just sort of the the breaking in period to a new training cycle where you’re just having having trouble, probably keeping up with the energy and energy demands and recovering.

Garrett salpeter: But if you continue to send that signal, your body will upregulate and adapt and you’ll get better at it over time. So so some of it is just recognizing that it’s that sort of breaking in period. But yeah, all those things can help. There are some studies that show pickle juice can help with those types of cramps too.

Garrett salpeter: That’s one. That is one that is proven. I forget what the what the chemical compound is in there, but there’s something, something in pickle juice that actually helps. Okay. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: All right. Good to know. So, you could take magnesium supplement, but it’s been proven that pickle juice is beautiful.

Garrett salpeter: So write down your magnesium capsule with some pickle juice. So you got all your bases covered.

Dean Pohlman: Wow. Yeah. That sounds that sounds awesome. and then I wanted to ask one more big question that I had on here. And I think this is going to resonate with a lot of guys listening. But for guys who are older, who have had chronic pain for a long time, do these same principles that we’re discussing, do these apply?

Dean Pohlman: Is there something that these guys should know about? So, you know, if you’re an office worker and you’ve had low back pain for years, if you have, maybe you got shoulder surgery, you had a shoulder injury when you were in your 30s or 40s, and you’re still having issues with that shoulder pain years later. How does how does what we’re talking about apply to those guys who have had chronic pain?

Dean Pohlman: Maybe you can define chronic pain for us too, because I think people might not know what chronic pain actually means.

Garrett salpeter: Yes, there’s a few really good, really good topics here. So, chronic pain is pain that lingers, you know, consistently or continuously. There’s a textbook definition, for, for some period of time, you know, I, I don’t recall whether it’s six weeks or three months or there’s some period of time where if you have consistent pain, you know, in the same place, same quality for, same or similar quality for a period of time, and it crosses that threshold, becomes chronic pain, whatever, whatever the time is.

Garrett salpeter: But, for for it’s actually plays back into our muscle activation discussion. Also in the time of chronic pain, year two. So one of the other things you can do for muscle activation, we talked about contracting your muscles at their shortest range. One reason that muscles will be inhibited or not activated turned off instead of turned on is because of joint vulnerability or joint mal positioning.

Garrett salpeter: So if you’re if your joints are are kind of, you know, if they should be, it’s called central it if they should be balanced. But they’re off a little bit. Your, your nervous system is going to naturally turn off muscles because it doesn’t want you to move fast or powerfully around a compromised joint because you could get hurt.

Garrett salpeter: And so, so joint mobility drills, movements, exercises can also be very good for muscle activation. And those can also be very powerful ways to help people in chronic pain here to to kind of close the loop or connect the dots where, where, when people have, chronic pain, you know, long after any sort of original injury or something like that.

Garrett salpeter: There’s a there’s a whole whole lot of factors to consider here. We, you know, some of the things we talked about earlier could be a deficit in proprioception or the brain just doesn’t see the body enough. And so movement, especially movement of the joints, joint mobility can be helpful for many people because the joints are so neurologically rich that the most vulnerable, injury prone, you know, areas of areas of the musculoskeletal system, there’s a lot of nerves there.

Garrett salpeter: So when you move your joints, you end up getting a lot of neurological input, which can be very powerful and very beneficial because more input generally tells the brain, like, okay, I can see where things are. So it’s the environment. Daily life feels less threatening. So that’s one one avenue there, 11. of connection.

Dean Pohlman: And just to clarify. So joint movement is different than flexibility work. So if I think of stretching if you think of flexibility as the muscles ability to stretch joint movement is how it’s how would you describe joint movement or joint mobility.

Garrett salpeter: So they’re they’re related because your muscles have to lengthen for your joints to move. But it’s sort of a different point of emphasis, like just because it’s on camera. I’ll look at my look at my elbow here. So your elbow a lot of times people would do like bicep curls or maybe, you know, kind of stretch the bicep here like this.

Garrett salpeter: But if you really want to maximize the neurological activation of the mechanoreceptors, the joint sensors in your elbow joint, instead of just doing bicep curls, you’d want to think a little differently. You’d want to try to see do more circum duction. So I’m going to do a movement if you’re if you can if you’re just listening, you’re not watching.

Garrett salpeter: You’d be sort of like like, swinging a lasso or something in a rodeo. I’d be doing more circum duction. So I’m going to get full flexion. But I’m also going to get some rotational movement, full extension but also also rotation there. So so it’s going to be a little bit of a different point of emphasis to really train the joints versus the muscles.

Garrett salpeter: And there’s overlap because you can’t move one without the other and vice versa. But you’re going to end up emphasizing different positions, different movement patterns, things like that.

Dean Pohlman: Cool. All right. So back to the, chronic pain thing.

Garrett salpeter: So chronic pain. So, so pain for, I’ll say it a little bit different. I know we talked about a little bit area, but so pain is the by the brain’s way of trying to get you to, to change something, to do something or not do something. And so we wanted to try to figure out what, what it is.

Garrett salpeter: So sometimes chronic pain is from, you know, inflammation. It’s something biochemical going on, in your gut, you know, you know, inflammation, chronic inflammation can be can be a problem that throws things off and can that lead to, you know, all sorts of all sorts of different health challenges. And so sometimes it’s something in the functional medicine domain, sometimes if it’s you you want to try to distinguish probably is it musculoskeletal or could it be something else.

Garrett salpeter: So if it’s musculoskeletal, is there any movement that repeatedly causes this pain. And is it, you know, is it is it in a joint. Is it is it more clearly mechanical or does it ebb and flow? Does it hurt some days and not on others? Could it be could there be more of a lifestyle emphasis? Because if you think about this, you know, if if pain is the brain’s way of responding to something that’s threatening, think about if you’re at risk of losing your job, think about like your boss got mad at you.

Garrett salpeter: You’re you’re under a deadline. You’re concerned about your job to to your brain, job means survival means the ability to get a paycheck, to pay rent, put food on the table. So it’s really threatening if you if you’re concerned about the possibility of losing your job and yet you don’t have a I’m at risk of losing my job muscle for your brain to make hurt.

Garrett salpeter: And so if your brain if your brain is concerned and wants to get you to do something to make a change, it’s not going to invest the energy and resources to build a new pain pathway. It’s going to use a well rehearsed existing pain pathway. And so it’s going to wherever you wherever you tend to have chronic pain.

Garrett salpeter: People who have pain, it typically will tend to be in the same place over and over again. So your brain is going to use that pathway to tell you that it’s time to make a change and do something different. Even if it’s not physical, it’s going to use that same, you know, physical pain pathway. And so sometimes it could be like getting enough sleep.

Garrett salpeter: It could be relationship stress or job stress or other, you know, eating an offending food or something like that. And that’s why sometimes that chronic pain can ebb and flow. And so getting a sense of what the triggers are, you know, is it purely mechanical? Is it in the realm of physical therapy or is it gosh, it only hurts Saturday morning after I go out and I have a bunch of fried food and drink eight beers, you know, with my buddies at the bar on, you know, blow off steam on a Friday night.

Garrett salpeter: Like, is there a pattern there? So there’s that. There’s, you know, there’s going to be a different recommendation depending on what the underlying causes are. And I think it’s possible that at least do some self detective work or form a hypothesis as to what the causes might be. And, you know, like we talked about earlier, it often may involve consulting a professional for sure.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. Yeah, that’s that’s good to know. I personally know this. Yeah. So I’ll have I’ll have pain that I don’t normally have if I have, you know, some sort of highly inflammatory food. So if I have, like, I think I’ve had fried chicken twice in the last six months or something like that. And it’s not because I’m trying to say, look how healthy I am.

Dean Pohlman: I just I feel better when I have healthy food, so I do that. But I know that, I had, some fried chicken in the last few months, in the next that evening and maybe the following morning, I was like, why do my joints hurt? This is weird.

Garrett salpeter: So I go back. I was just at a conference, literally last weekend and, with a guy who’s the head of physical therapy for this big organization there, and, yeah, we’ve been talking to him, you know, into the into the newbie and everything. So he said, all right, I finally have something for you to treat. He said this, my back’s bothering me.

Garrett salpeter: I’ve had this, back pain off and on, you know, throughout my life. But I literally hasn’t bothered me for the last six months because I’ve been on a carnivore diet, which I’m not necessarily advocating for here. That’s just his story. I’ve been on a carnivore diet. I haven’t had any alcohol for six months. And then last night, you know, at this conference, I had a few beers and a few other things, he said.

Garrett salpeter: And my back’s really aching this morning. So we did a treatment at the booth, you know, 5 or 10 minutes. Got him feeling better. It’s back with feeling good. And he said, okay. He had some inflammation there that was causing you pain and it was affecting how your muscles were moving as a compensatory response. And then we we worked through that.

Garrett salpeter: So now it’s okay. We sort of hit the reset button. And you can go back to, you know, your carnivore diet avoiding alcohol. And you probably feel good, you know, for a while or if you go back and, and kind of light that fire again and have have more drinks tonight or something like that. We’ll probably see you back here tomorrow and have to go through that process and hit the reset button again.

Dean Pohlman: yeah. Makes sense. So, unknown if you address this in the question, I want to I’m going to ask it again. So for guys who have been experiencing chronic pain for a long time, is there any difference between what they should be doing and the, the things that we talked about here?

Garrett salpeter: You might have I mean, if it’s, you know, six years instead of six months or something, you probably have a greater body of evidence that will give us more clues about what it is. So, you know, hopefully you can have some more clear insights into what the cause is and therefore how to address it. But the approach is essentially the same.

Garrett salpeter: The pain. Pain is still pain. And it’s still, you know, this all this pain science that we’ve been discussing still applies. It’s still an active output signal created by the brain in response to a perceived threat. And we want to figure out what that threat is, whether it’s physical, musculoskeletal or whether it’s, you know, psychological life circumstances, something that quote unquote should not hurt physically.

Garrett salpeter: But but yeah, it does contribute to physical pain. I think the same the same thinking still applies whether it’s six weeks, six months or six years.

Dean Pohlman: yeah. So I guess what I’m thinking of is does and one thing I’m thinking of is if someone has that has had that deeply ingrained sense of this causes pain in their brain for, you know, years and years and years, is it harder to fix than somebody who’s like, oh, I’ve only had this pain for two weeks.

Dean Pohlman: And, you know, I think if I keep doing my physical therapy, it’ll go away versus someone who’s like, tried physical therapy. It doesn’t work. Now I’m doing yoga. It and it still hurts. Like, is this ever going to go away? Just I’m trying to think of like, is that a component?

Garrett salpeter: It’s harder to fix for a couple reasons. One is think about trying to break a habit that you’ve had for a long time versus something you just started doing yesterday. I mean, some of it is habituation, you know, patterns of activity within the nervous system and how those pathways can just it’s more it can be more difficult to, to, to change after a period of time.

Garrett salpeter: there’s also a part of that where physiologically so there’s different types of nerve fibers, different types of nerves that report from the body up to the brain, report what’s happening. And when you have pain for longer periods of time, you actually end up creating more what’s called see fibers, which are those receptors. You know, we can call them pain receptors.

Garrett salpeter: They’re really perception nose receptors. Perceptions of threat because pain is in the brain. But in common parlance people call them pain receptors. You actually will build up more and more of those. The longer and longer you’re in pain. So you actually do adjust into a mode. We’re going to be reporting more and more of that threat to the brain.

Garrett salpeter: So you get it’s easier to get locked in a cycle of chronic pain. And so it’s sort of it makes getting out of pain a steeper and steeper uphill battle. So instead of instead of walking up a small hill, now maybe you have to. It’s more like the equivalent of climbing a mountain. So generally, you know, most people most of the time it can still be done.

Garrett salpeter: But yes, it is going to be harder. That is that is a good point. So the longer it’s been around many times we want to adjust our time expectations of, you know, that it will take longer to address, but the same paradigm or the same strategies would apply.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And so cool. Understanding all this stuff about pain, you know, it’s it reminds me of my previous paradigm about wellness. That was if you just worked out and ate well and slept well, that you’d be fine and you live forever versus understanding all the things that I do now. And, the much greater emphasis on, emotional well-being and your relationship quality and, and all that kind of stuff.

Dean Pohlman: And so pain is not just physical. There’s so much more going on there that, I think that’ll be really helpful for guys. All right. So we haven’t actually gone too far into getting to know the real Garrett. So this will be your chance to to show yourself, so to speak. so at the end of the, the section one, I’ve got a really quick part two, rapid fire questions that really pertain to the focus of this podcast.

Dean Pohlman: pain obviously being something that most guys who are listening to this probably have experienced physical pain from injuries before, so I’m sure that’s helpful. But, getting into the greater focus of this podcast, I’m gonna ask you some other questions. Unrelated. Are you ready?

Garrett salpeter: Let’s go.

Dean Pohlman: Okay, cool. What do you think is one habit, belief, or mindset that has helped you the most in terms of your overall happiness?

Garrett salpeter: Oh, that that’s a good question. So, I mean, I would say the health, you know, many of the practices that we’ve been talking about here because I’ve, I do find that when I am healthy and have more energy, I feel better. I have I have the energy to do the things that I know I should do.

Garrett salpeter: So sometimes I do think that health is the limiting factor in other areas that don’t seem to be related to health. It’s like, well, why don’t you just study for the test? Or why don’t you just call your mother? Or why don’t you just have more compassion in that exchange with your spouse? Sometimes it’s, well, shit, I just I’m exhausted.

Garrett salpeter: I can’t do it. I just don’t have the bandwidth for it. So, So I do think that focusing on energy and having enough energy is sort of the foundation for other practices. but then in terms of, in terms of mindset, you know, I, we’ve already talked about some of that. So for something new, I would say, you know, really having the as much as I can, I finally read the book mindset.

Garrett salpeter: So I, you know, have the term growth mindset. But even before knowing that just trying to see adversity as a learning opportunity, trying to see challenges as opportunities to improve, understanding that, you know, no one, no one gets strong by carrying small burdens. Right? You know, it’s like we want we want strength, but don’t want to have to carry large burdens, or we want patients but don’t want to have to wait for it.

Garrett salpeter: It’s like, no, those are the those are the experiences that cultivate those qualities. And so I understand that, you know, really prioritizing growth and understanding that, you know, when adversity happens, it’s an opportunity to grow and learn.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. What’s one thing you do for your health that you think is overlooked or undervalued by others?

Garrett salpeter: we talked about sleep. I mean, I would say, you know, prioritizing sleep, maybe, maybe as appropriately valued by others. At least now after after we talked about it. But, yeah, doing it using my red light panel in the morning, I think is a big one because of that, like we talked about, it sets up that circadian rhythm for the day.

Garrett salpeter: So I will often like, read or do some work, do some texts and emails on my phone. Or if I’m working on a project, try to bring my laptop over there in front of it and just be in front of that thing in the morning. And I feel like that really makes a big difference. really, really gives me energy and helps, helps with a lot of things.

Dean Pohlman: I’ve had some requests for red light therapy topics on the podcast, so I’m going to have to I’d have to start experimenting with this again. I had it once and I don’t think I used it. I just I had some foot pain, so I shined the red light on my foot for like 15 minutes a few times a week, and I it didn’t make the pain go away.

Dean Pohlman: So I was like, yeah, red lights, dumb, but maybe I got to try it. in a different application.

Garrett salpeter: There’s a guy, a guy that wrote that. So like you talked about why We sleep and Matt Walker’s book. There’s a guy who wrote wrote. You know, what I would say is the book on red light named Ari Whitten. He’d be a good guy, a good guy to have on his book. I forget, Ari.

Dean Pohlman: What?

Garrett salpeter: Ari Whitten, why, when you with a good book on red light. But the biggest known mechanisms are related to literally red light stimulates mitochondria to produce energy. And it also reduces inflammation. So we can have these, you know, far reaching effects. I mean, obviously dissappointed didn’t work on your foot, but I use it for more more systemic, applications like that and think it, think it, you know, use that in the morning helps a lot.

Garrett salpeter: and then, you know, I certainly use the newby for exercise a few times a week to. Yeah. Not to, to do a shameless plug of my own thing, but that being able to.

Dean Pohlman: Use you, I mean, I asked you guys for one. I mean, as soon as that I did. Well, I won’t say anything. I don’t know if I’m allowed to, but hopefully there will be some ways that it’s, it’s a more democratized, available technology from you guys soon. Looking forward to that. If it happens or it doesn’t happen, I don’t know.

Garrett salpeter: We’re always working on it.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. What’s the most important activity you regularly do for your overall stress management?

Garrett salpeter: I would say exercise. you know, I, I do I really do feel and of course, when I’m exercising, I’m working on mobility and strength and endurance and, and, you know, focus and mental engagement all at the same time. But I really do feel like when I, you know, the few days a week when I push myself harder to like, gosh, if I can get that was hard.

Garrett salpeter: If I can get through that, like I build up sort of that sense of confidence and resolve and fortitude that I can get through the other stuff.

Dean Pohlman: yeah. What’s the most stressful part of your day to day life?

Garrett salpeter: that, depends on the on the day. But generally I’d say, you know, balancing the, you know, the demands of business and family and, you know, running a company with 30 something people and trying to balance that with being a husband and a father and, although, you know, just really, really having to prioritize and, you know, try to fit it all in.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. And stuff. Yeah. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing men and their well-being today?

Garrett salpeter: Oh, that’s a good question. I, I don’t I don’t know that. I mean, the first thing that comes to mind, I don’t know, is that’s I think it’s specific, not specific to men, but, I would just say, how are society is is really set up against against health and vitality. I mean, if you look at, from food choices to, you know, the amount of time we’re encouraged to spend in environments with artificial light, you know, divorced from nature, I think that kind of, the separation from nature is if I had to pick like a core fundamental underlying root cause of a lot of issues because that, I mean, that’s sort of

Garrett salpeter: all encompassing, that speaks to food, it speaks to screen time, it speaks to, you know, not having to contend with changes in temperature and other environmental stressors and stuff like that.

Dean Pohlman: yeah. I mean, you’re right, that’s a solid answer. All right. Garrett, so, where can people find out about more about New Fit, see if they have practitioner in their area or, you have a book to. So what are some ways people can keep up with you or learn more about new fit, especially when they get injured?

Garrett salpeter: yes. So, if you’re interested in in checking out the website dot new dot fit any you like neurological fit. and then there’s a for patients link where you can search our database. There’s, you know, at this time of this recording, several hundreds of clinics in the US and then a few coming online and other countries that are offering this.

Garrett salpeter: And, it’s a great place, you know, experiencing is a great place to start. If you if you’re the learning type you want to learn more about it. yeah. Thank you for mentioning my book. It’s called The New Fit Method and it’s available on Amazon hardcover, paperback and audiobook. I was in the studio last summer recording the audiobook version, which was a cool experience, by the way.

Garrett salpeter: and then, on, in terms of social media, we’re most active on Instagram. We have a, company page called, New fit RFP for rehab, Fitness and Performance. And then I just started a personal one this year. so literally like a month ago, I just started a personal one. I’ve been using the, business one as my, you know, also quasi personal one for the last several years.

Garrett salpeter: But, my first, last name. Garrett, that’s all theater.

Dean Pohlman: Cool. And I feel like I would be remiss to mention this, not to mention this, but, Garrett’s work with the really a lot of really famous athletes. The undertaker. Are you serious? Like the undertaker? Mark Henry. Right? Am I correct? I think it’s Mark. Yeah, I know Mark. Henry. And who else have you been able to to work with?

Garrett salpeter: so we’ve got at this at this point, we we certainly work with a lot of athletes. And then there’s a lot of pro athletes, you know, come here and see us and or go to our network of practitioners around the country. So there’s hundreds and hundreds of pro athletes receiving care or receiving treatment with the newbie.

Garrett salpeter: we’ve got a lot of teams. We just crossed over half of Major League Baseball. Now it’s, you know, 15 or 16 out of 30 teams now have the device. So we work a lot with them. But in terms of athletes, you know, a lot of people know Saquon Barkley, the NFL running back. we helped him recover from his ACL surgery when his progress had stalled.

Garrett salpeter: And so I actually got to go to his house and record a, a video of us working together. And we did an interview with him and we got, you know, he was very gracious and shared his story with everybody. we’ve got, and if anyone’s into hockey, which which I am, Brant Burns is a great guy.

Garrett salpeter: a lot of people know him for a really long beard, but he won the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman. He’s been in the NHL for 18 or 19 seasons now. And he, you know, talks about how the newbie helps him with mobility, working through injuries and stuff like that. And he’s been very durable and credits the newbie with helping him a lot for the last several years.

Garrett salpeter: we got some videos with him. He wrote endorsement of my book also, you know, a couple of Major League Baseball pitchers. We have, videos with and stuff as well. And, you know, a lot of different athletes are using it for sure.

Dean Pohlman: That’s cool. Yeah. And one more to mention, I think I’ve saw a video of Mike Tyson using it.

Garrett salpeter: That’s right. Mike. Yeah, I got I got to mention Mike. So he used it. So he had been in chronic pain for like a decade. And you know people saw it. He had you know he gained a lot of weight. And he that’s part of how he got into, you know, medical marijuana everything to help with his own chronic pain.

Garrett salpeter: And so he started using the newbie to help him get out of pain and get to the point where he could actually go out and fight back in 2020 or 21, when he fought that exhibition against Roy Jones Jr. So he was working with a guy named Brad Rowe, who was using a movie with him every day for the six months leading up to that fight, and he helped him and helped him just, you know, activated muscle so he could train and move and do all the things he was doing without pain.

Garrett salpeter: So there’s this great video of him talking about how, you know, man, without that machine, like I remember why I retired, had all this joint pain and everything, but but I get on that machine before I get in the ring. I can fight and credits it with like, literally enabling him to get back in the ring in his early 50s.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, and he’s doing it again. He’s fighting Jake Paul. That’s right. Yeah, he’s he’s fighting Jake Paul in like a few months. I’ll definitely be rooting for Mike Tyson in that one. so all right, guys, this is, this has been a long. But honestly, a lot of these questions really flew by for me. This is a lot of really fascinating information for me if you’re in.

Dean Pohlman: If you’ve experienced pain before or you plan on experiencing pain again, probably do because you’re human. hopefully this is really helpful. So, Gary, I want to thank you again for joining on and sharing your knowledge with us.

Garrett salpeter: Thanks for having me on. It’s been a pleasure. I really appreciate it.

Dean Pohlman: Cool. All right, guys, I hope you enjoyed this and I hope it inspires you to be a better man. I’ll see you on the next episode.


Resources mentioned on this episode: 

  1. NeuFit: If you want to speed up the healing process, there’s no better way than by checking out NeuFit. Garrett has trained thousands of personal trainers and doctors across the world into his modality. Learn more about NeuFit here: ​https://www.neu.fit/ 
  2. Buy Garrett’s Book: If you want a deeper dive into the NeuFit modality, I also recommend reading Garrett’s book, “The NeuFit Method: Unleash the Power of the Nervous System for Faster Healing and Optimal Performance.” Order it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/NeuFit-Method-Unleash-Nervous-Performance/dp/1544520921 
  3. Follow NeuFit on Instagram: Want to stay up-to-date with NeuFit? Follow them on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/neufitrfp/ 

Want to unlock more flexibility and strength, reduce your risk of injury, and feel your absolute best over the next 7 days? Then join the FREE 7-Day Beginner’s Yoga for Men Challenge here: https://ManFlowYoga.com/7dc

Tired of doing a form of yoga that causes more injuries than it helps prevent? The cold, hard truth is men need yoga specifically designed for them. Well, here’s some good news: You can start your 7-day free trial to Man Flow Yoga by visiting https://ManFlowYoga.com/join.

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