The Importance of Minimal Dosing

1 November 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog
Read 3971 times

Imagine with me for a moment: You're working away at your desk when you feel a headache coming on. You're up against a deadline, and the last thing you need is to be derailed by pain. Feeling the time crunch, you reach for the bottle of Advil, pop a couple in your mouth, flush them down the hatch with some water, and you continue pounding away at the task in front of you.

I'm certain all of you can relate to that scenario. Maybe you haven't been under the pressure of a deadline, but you and I have both reached for the Advil a time or two in an attempt to ward off a headache.

But, here's my question: Why do we only take two Advil? If two are good, wouldn't 10 Advil be better?

If course not! We take two Advil, because two are enough!

Obviously there's a minimal dose of Advil (or any other painkiller for that matter) that does the job. At a certain point, your system can't handle any more, and an excessive dose can work against your body and be harmful to you. Taking 10 Advil makes ZERO sense when a minimal dose works just fine.

I believe the same is true with our body (and our workouts, as I'll explain below). In my experience with Egoscue, the best menu I can write you is the one you do every day. I could write you an unbelievable menu that is 15 ecises long, but if you don't do it, it's no good for you. On the other hand, I can write you a menu that is five ecises long that gets done daily, and it can have a profound impact on your body.

With Egoscue, there's a cumulative effect. Just like the saying, "A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing," Egoscue works in much the same way. We have to give our bodies "a little bit of something" every day to combat the ill-effects of our (mostly) sedentary nature. We struggle with chronic pain, because our bodies have become structurally compromised. They are motion-starved!

Last week on my Facebook Live broadcast, I gave you all homework. Your assignment was to do lateral bear crawls once per day. That's it. Bear crawl, sideways, the length of your hallway, and then come back to where you started. For those watching the broadcast, it sounded like a simple assignment, and honestly, it was. I wasn't trying to overload your system. I wasn't trying to break you down. I was simply giving you a minimal dose of movement. I was giving you a "little bit of something" to break up the monotony of sitting. I was giving your body something new, something it (most likely) hadn't done in a long time, if ever.

Notice I didn't assign those bear crawls eight times per day. I didn't even give them to you three times per day. I simply wanted you to go down your hallway and come back. Why? Because it's a minimal dose. Once per day simply gets the engine started. All I wanted to do was introduce the movement to you. Now, my guess is that you did them more than once per day on occasion. I'm going to assume that your body started enjoying the new movement, craving the new motion, and you happily obliged.

My goal with the bear crawls was to simply get you moving a little bit more, and get a little bit of "buy in" for when the next assignment comes around. Similarly on the therapy side of things here at Egoscue, I won't write you an ecise menu that's 15 ecises long on your first visit, when I know you're pressed for time and you're trying to work this new regimen into your daily schedule. I know that your compliance will be much greater with a shorter menu (minimal dose) that you do daily.

We at Egoscue have a saying when it comes to fitness and working out out that "anyone can make you puke." What we mean by that is you can attend any group fitness class and be pushed so hard that you throw up, but is that really the goal? Does throwing up mean that you accomplished your goals of getting in a good cardio workout and increasing your heart rate? Just because you puked, are you really better off than the person beside you who didn't throw up?

Maybe you are...but maybe you aren't. What if you could accomplish your goals without puking? What if you could breathe heavier, have your heart rate climb, and have lunch stay down. What a concept!

That's exactly what happened to Jason Glass (who first taught me about minimal dosing at the 2016 World Golf Fitness Summit) when he experienced The Patch for the first time. If you haven't had a chance, listen to the interview he did with my colleague, Brian Bradley. After you've finished listening to the interview, watch what Jason experienced on The Patch:

Did you notice that Jason's heart rate got to 164, yet he and Brian were essentially walking The Patch? They weren't running all over the place and doing work until they puked. This entire workout lasted about 15-20 minutes. Basically, what you see in the video is how long it lasted.

If you're struggling with chronic pain, you might not be ready to get on The Patch (nor would I recommend it), but my point remains the same: Whether you're doing Egoscue or Patch Fitness, there's a minimal dose that gets the jobs done. Like the old saying that I mentioned above--I'd rather you do a little bit of something than a whole lot of nothing. If you're struggling to get your Egoscue ecise menu in each day because it's too long, communicate that with your therapist! Believe me, they want to know that information! It's crucial that we find the minimum dose that works for you!

QUESTION: When it comes to your Egoscue ecise menu, what have you found to be your minimal dose?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can now follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

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# Patrick 2017-02-21 13:26
so true! Some e-cises seem so simple but e.g. doing a sitting floor can make you SWEAT! Often it's the small deep posture muscles that are so atrophied in clients (and ourselves) that they can't believe they are having a hard time and sweating while they are basically "doing nothing and sitting there"!
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# John 2017-03-07 14:51
That's so true, Patrick! The body can become de-conditioned very quickly!

Best,
John
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