Jacob Schoen And Ashley James
- What is ELDOA and knowing the basics of it
- Resolving symptoms using ELDOA
- How all elements in our body are all inter-connected that one symptom doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the root cause
- The complexity of the human body and tensegrity
- Stretches and specific techniques using ELDOA
Improve your mobility and unlock the symptoms that you’re feeling using Kinesiology by Jacob Schoen on today’s podcast. Know about positions to target specific functional units in your body by learning about ELDOA.
[00:00] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 368. How did you get on the podcast? Did he reached out to you or did you reached out to whom?
[00:19] Jacob Schoen: No. That’s a funny story. I was sitting in the living room and my mom came in and she showed me this post that Ben Greenfield had made on Facebook. She showed me this picture of Ben Greenfield hanging upside down on an inversion table. She had known that I was a fan of Ben’s since I don’t know, probably since I was 17 when I first got into triathlon because he had his book beyond training and he was on triathlon at that time. I watched all his videos online. Anyway, she showed me this picture of him hanging upside down talking about the benefits of traction whether be pulled up float to the head or different types of decompression for the spine or making you feel good just in general or anything like that. This is when I was really, really excited about the Eldoa and I still am but I was just new into it so I was really passionate about it. I decided to message him in Facebook. That’s really what I did. I messaged him and I was like, “Hey Ben, my name’s Jacob Shayne and I have these exercises that I’ve learned. They’re pretty uncommon and you’re a pretty uncommon person. I think you might really dig them. They’re pretty holistic. They’re pretty badass like I think you might really like this things. I’d be totally willing to show them to you if you’re willing to have me teach them to you.” He responded and the next day, I booked my plane ticket to go up to Washington like 2 or 3 weeks later. That’s where he lives in Washington state. I showed up at his house 3 weeks later and taught him exercise for 8 hours for the course of 3 days. Just really got immersed in how he lives up there and what he does, him and his whole family, if he’s listening to this “Man, you’re a beast. Good job for you and your kids and your wife you are an amazing group.” I was to go up there to spend time and just kind of live in the greenfield household and really dedicate myself to training him everyday as intensely and precisely as I could and all the exercises that I’ve learned up to that point just try to give the best impression that I could.
[02:19] Ashley James: That is so awesome and during the time that you were training him over the 3 days, was he recruiting you and that’s how you got in the show? After those 3 days then you sat down and did a podcast interview?
[02:35] Jacob Schoen: Right. The second one. After those 3 days, he was like, “Hey man, I really enjoyed what you did. I think the best way I could give your exposure, the best way we can let people know about this is through the podcast.” He was like, “Let’s set up a time to get on skype and make that happen” that’s exactly what we did. I think maybe 6 weeks later, we are on Skype and we got into it. It’s interesting because there’s just like this person I had seen his books, he’s not famous like Brad Pitt famous but in the world of training and more alternative types of ways of thinking in health sphere he’s kind of the man. To be in his show and to be able to talk to him and really to be able to train him like that was pretty awesome for me. That was a definitely an experience I would never forget anytime soon. It’s still kind of unreal people ask me just like you did, “how did you get up on the show” it’s just like, “Well, I just messaged him.” It’s like a lesson of some way to if you just put yourself out there and say, “Hey, what’s the worst thing that could happen” he says, “No, or the best thing that could happen you know you get on his podcast and a whole bunch of other doors of opportunity open for you. There’s a good lesson to learn from that for sure.
[03:51] Ashley James: That is so cool. We have with us, Jacob Schoen. I was really excited to interview him especially because he was on the Ben Greenfield podcast. Of course, most people know he’s a really cool health podcast. People have told me I’m like the female version of him. I thought that was pretty neat. He was homeschooled. I’m homeschooling. I’m going to homeschool our 4-year-old. In fact, were going to do road schooling. We plan on getting an RV and traveling across Canada and the States and homeschooling there. I’m trying to figure out the logistics of how to keep ding the podcast and while doing road schooling. It’s going to be fun and hey, my idea is I want to travel and go to my guests and even like interview them or video them in person so I’ll have to come down to New Orleans and see you, Jacob.
[04:40] Jacob Schoen: Yes, come down to New Orleans. It’s a good place to be.
[04:43] Ashley James: I’m really excited for you to teach my listeners today some awesome information about how to relieve pain and eliminate pain both the chronic and acute injuries and how to prevent them. You specialize in that. You have a degree in Kinesiology. You’ve got all these amazing training. I’ve heard of it before but I don’t really know a lot about it. I know my listeners will definitely want to know more about what you do. Soma training and all the other things you do. Before we get into your credentials, id love to hear your story. What happened in your life that made you want to dive into Kinesiology and eventually want to help people become better versions of themselves?
[05:34] Jacob Schoen: Yes, sure. I think that starts from day one honestly of my life. Now’s the perfect time to give a big thanks to the main person involved without her, she’s my mom. She’s been my best friend for my whole life and she’s really the person that inspires me to do what I do. Without her, even coming down to just giving me my first client. Without her, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing. So thank you, momma, I love you.
[06:02] Ashley James: I’ve never had guest do a shout out to their mom. I think that’s pretty awesome.
[06:06] Jacob Schoen: You’ve got to give a shout out to mom. She’s so important. I started like any kid. I grew up playing sports. Played any sport you could imagine. Baseball, football, soccer, basketball all those. I just loved being outside, I love playing sports. Also, I am unbelievably competitive. Competitive to the point where not just I would cry if I lost but I would cry for days and think about it. I was super, super competitive and then that brought me into sports into high school where I wasn’t the most naturally gifted athlete but I was really set on trying to work hard to try to find different ways to be better. Whether it was how to make my legs stronger so I could kick the soccer ball harder or jump higher or whether it was how much weight can I do for this to make me swim faster whatever it is. Being really competitive and being really curious and being really interested in trying to learn to find details about things to try to make up for any deficit I might have naturally was really my – on how to learn different things. When I was in high school I had an injury to my knee and later come to find out that injury to my knee actually probably gave me the injury that I have in my hip right now that I was still dealing with to this day. That injury in my hip is what really inspired me to start trying to figure out different ways to get the injury and the pain to go away because it would just bother me all the time. I was really competitive cyclist and triathlete in my late teen, early 20 years and anybody who know athletes who knows sports they know that when they get focused on something they just go for it. Like if you’re a cyclist or a runner or a swimmer you could look at the black line all day and just focus on that thing. I was really driven to try figure out what the heck was going on with my freaking hip. I couldn’t figure it out so when I got into college I know that I wanted to deal with something of the physical body. I was interested in performance. I was so interest on how to make the human body bigger, faster, stronger. Just kind of classic like most athletes are. I went into Kinesiology and the from Kinesiology, my senior year of college I got an internship at a holistic training facility in Baton Rouge which is where LSU is. During that semester, I was introduced to all different types of exercise techniques that I’ve never even heard of or thought of. Never even knew existed, because my initial interest was in the sports performance aspect, how to make a muscle bigger, faster, stronger. I’ve never really thought about the body in a holistic type of way. I always just really focus and super-concentrated on a particular level. I’ve never really branched out and try to think about like “what influence does the ankle have on the hip, what influence does the knee have on the shoulder. What influence does all the different parts of the body have on the bigger picture.” Once I got into this internship and started to have my eyes literally not just open but peeled back and just held up into all this new amazing information. I was so inspired to start to learn about this stuff and I was like, “Man, maybe some of the things can help me with the hip problem that I have.” My final couple months there, I got introduced to Eldoa techniques which are a group of exercises designed to create space joints. Whether hip, back, your neck whatever it is. They try to create space to give more room for the nerve so you could rotate and move and really just feel good. These exercises I introduced them and I was like, “Man, not only do they feel really good but they’re also really challenging and there’s academic aspect to learning about them.” I was just hooked from that. As soon as the semester was over and I graduated. I signed up with a couple of guys from the facility to take the first Eldoa one which was in Dallas that next April. Ever since then, I have been on the road to just really learning as much as possible but over time, it’s changed from just learning as much as possible just to be the best practitioner to learning as much as possible because I realized the more things that I learn, the more opportunity that I have for the people that come into my studio for me to help them. If I learn a technique, if I learn something more about the body that opens my eyes a little bit more to a problem that someone else’s is having then that makes me a better practitioner and give me the opportunity to help them. It’s really been all the way back from day one to trying to be good athlete to now, to try to use that same drive to get the people that come into my office out of pain or just to having a more functional life.
[10:58] Ashley James: It’s interesting. If you had never had that hip injury, do you think that you would’ve ended up in the same place?
[11:04] Jacob Schoen: It’s so funny you say that because I’ve been it’s a constant battle in life I think to try to garner perspective and to try to really appreciate the things that are challenging for you and how they put you in the place that you are. For example, like my dad died when I was young, if it wasn’t for him passing when I was young then I probably wouldn’t have that relationship I had with my mom. If I wouldn’t have that relationship with my mom, I wouldn’t have the respect for the work that she does. She’s also a trainer. I probably wouldn’t have been inspired as much by her to do what I do now. Just from that level also like the competitive nature of being a little boy trying to find his way. Everything that comes from that and then – it’s funny because I got the knee injury when I joined the wrestling team in high school. I joined the wrestling team in high school because my friends that were on the wrestling team kept beating me up. I was like, “I can’t keep getting beat up like that. This isn’t that much fun. I want to be able to handle this back.” I did it totally from a place, now I see there’s a place of lack of maturity but in reality, if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have had the knee injury. The knee injury wouldn’t have caused the hip problem, the hip problem set me on the path towards really trying learn about all this stuff. It’s a tough thing to do to have that perspective that the thing that causes you the most pain is probably the best gift but in reality, that’s really what it is. As much as my hip problem annoys me, I have to at the same time be thankful that I have it because without it, for sure I would not have the drive to really try to figure any of this stuff out. I guess I can thank my bum hip for that.
[13:00] Ashley James: You turned your pain into a gift.
[13:04] Jacob Schoen: Yes. Hopefully, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I guess. [laughter] People who have problem that they’ve been dealing with for a long time, a lot of times there’s a lot of layers of it. It’s complex, not just from the orthopedic level where now my hip problem has caused different things to happen in my lumbar spine and that creates little problems in my neck. I still have the knee problem, yes. All that stuff is connected but everting comes in layers like that. It’s definitely an interesting process for sure both mentally, physically and emotionally too.
[13:46] Ashley James: Now, you’re a Eldoa trainer. Can you explain what does Eldoa mean?
[13:54] Jacob Schoen: Yes, Eldoa. I like try to make it as simple as possible. I don’t if it’s Einstein that said it, “it takes a real master to or anyone can make something simple complex but it takes a real master to make something complex simple” something along those lines. Really, what Eldoa is it’s a group of exercises designed to create space at a joint. If you think about our body in a way that it’s organized, we can get into that a little bit more later too but it’s really organized in what’s called Tensegrity. Tensegrity is like those kids toys you see where there’s a bunch of rubber bands holding a bunch of sticks together. Those sticks are our bones those rubber bands are our connected tissue in our muscles. If you think about your body, if overtime you get dehydrated or too much stress or injury, those rubber bands start to get smaller, smaller and more and more fragile. The goal for the Eldoa is to re-establish the quality of those rubber bands and also to establish again better movement between the sticks it creates space at the joint. On a deeper level, it gets as complex as you want to make it. It means in French, it’s a French acronym. In English, it’s Longitudinal Osteo-articular De-coaptation Stretches. Which is not only a mouthful but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
[15:21] Ashley James: Okay, but I want to hear the French version.
[15:24] Jacob Schoen: Oh the French version? All right, here we go. Gosh, you know I don’t speak French right? [Laughter] it’s like Entirement Longitudinaux Decoaptation Osteo-Articulaire avec something, something.
[15:36] Ashley James: That was awesome.
[15:39] Jacob Schoen: You made me do it and I did it. there you go, I hope you’re happy. Yes, it’s a big, big word that is you really just boil it down, you have two structures, two bones and you want a little more space between them. What that space means is that space means freedom. That freedom gives you an ability to move, it means less stress on the artery and the vein that is associated on that’s space. It means better quality, better hydration, more ability to get nutrition to that area. Just in general, it means a higher quality existence for that particular structure that you’re working on.
[16:17] Ashley James: That’s really interesting because the first thing I think of when giving a joint more space is instability. The more space you give a joint the more and stable it becomes. Can you bust the myth or explain why giving the joint more space using Eldoa would not create and instability in the joint?
[16:36] Jacob Schoen: Yes, absolutely. If you were to for example lay down on someone’s table and they just yank your leg right, let’s say the goal was to create space between your leg bone and your hip bone. So your femur and your ilium, let’s say that was the goal. Let’s say they accomplished that goal where they now have 2cm instead of 1. There is going to be more instability at that joint now, because why? For one because it was done passively. The ligaments that support the joint, the muscle that support the joint, they didn’t learn anything. They didn’t have time to adapt, they didn’t have time to actively take part in it and also the nervous system which is what coordinate your reception and the awareness of your body no longer now has any feedback from that joint that it knows exists. Does that makes sense? When things are done actively, whether it be a kid learning how to write or ride a bicycle or someone learning how to do an exercise to decompress a joint in their back, when it’s done actively, the nervous system takes part, the brain takes part and then locally the muscles and the ligament and all the connected tissue around that joint, they all take part in that process. You become strong in that new place. As opposed as to just being put there by something someone else because you got there yourself. You learn how to be there and the structures that got you there or are there to support you, know what you’re doing. They know what your intent was, their ability to adapt to that new place is so much stronger, does that makes sense?
[18:00] Ashley James: Yes, absolutely. If someone hangs upside down using an inversion table is that considered passive?
[18:18] Jacob Schoen: It is because the active component of that is just gravity. The active component in that is not intrinsic to their connective tissue or to their body. It’s an outside force acting on them and then them allowing that to happen. That is passive, yes, maybe they’re holding on to the pull-up bar. But at a more specific level or a more precise way of looking at it. It is passive. If you do an Eldoa exercise, trust me it is active. I’ve had athletes where for example, I’ve worked with a weight lifter who was, I believe he was 22 at that time. He’s like 160 pounds, he could clean and jerk 375. This kid was an absolute stud weight lifter. I had him do teen on teen Eldoa which is to be fair, one of the more difficult ones. He said, he was more likely to throw in the white flag, it’s a throwing the towel during the Eldoa exercise than he is in even some of his hardest squat workout because what it does is it not only in some way put you in a slide battle against gravity but also in a battle against all the tightness that you have intrinsically in yourself. If you’re really, really tight in your hips, if you’re really, really tight in your shoulders or in your neck and then I tried to coach you into a good position then you had to work against that tightness. The battle against yourself is the hardest battle. It’s super active when you do it but because it’s active your body remembers it. It ingrains it in your nervous system and the result last longer because you had to learn how to do it as opposed to someone just in some way giving you the answer.
[19:59] Ashley James: I’m trying to imagine it. Obviously, with the podcast, we can’t see you doing it. I’m trying to imagine it. Is it like stretching? Is it like doing a squat? I’m trying to imagine going against the tension of the body to open up the joints.
[20:22] Jacob Schoen: I’ll bring it to one of the most introductory postures. It’s really the ones that you learn when you first start doing the Eldoa. It’s the Eldoa for t67. I’ll try to describe it to you in a way hopefully make sense in the context of what we’re talking about but you sit as tall as you can possibly sit. Most people work at a desk nowadays or if you they don’t, they spend a lot of time on their phone or on the computer and they start to develop that rounded posture that everyone’s familiar with the my-head’s-forward-I’m-looking-at-my-cellphone kind of posture. That posture now you have to try to sit tall. Now you can’t sit rounded which is more comfortable for you. You try to sit tall now. Now you’re pushing the crown of your head to the ceiling and you’re pushing your sit bones into the floor. Your initial tuberosities down into the floor. What that is, it’s what called axial extension. Essentially, what you’re doing is you’re taking the resting tension in the spine and increasing it to start establish the deepest level a little bit of tension so you could create some space out of a particular joint. Then with your legs crossed, you start to push your knees down a little bit. The way I think about that is it kind of anchors the lowest level and then you take your hand above you keep them above like you’re praying and you try to touch the ceiling. You don’t just hold your hands at a high point you’re actively constantly trying to touch the ceiling with your head and your hands as you keep your sit bones and your knees pushing down. If you really just take a step back and look at that, is the upper half is doing a tug-of-war to the ceiling, the lower half is doing a tug of war to the floor somewhere in the middle they meet and they meet at T67 and at that joint they create a little battle. They create a little tug of war. The top that’s above wants to go up, the art that’s below wants to go down and so in the middle you create a little bit of space.
[22:12] Ashley James: You said, cross your legs?
[22:16] Jacob Schoen: Yes. You cross your legs. For T67, you cross your legs.
[22:20] Ashley James: Does it matter what legs is crossed? Like leftover right or right over left. Does it matter?
[22:25] Jacob Schoen: No, it doesn’t because you close the kinetic chain at the two initial tuberosities. Whenever you start to cross the legs you don’t have any concern anymore for the balance of the pelvic floor and now you’re really just concerned about the extension above your head. That’s just particular for that posture. For the other ones though you have more concern for the different fascia connection down to the feet to the hips whether depending on which level you’re trying to target.
[22:54] Ashley James: That felt awesome. How long should I hold it for?
[22:57] Jacob Schoen: 60 seconds. Yes, I try to explain it a little bit like it’s a really, really fast jog. It’s not a sprint because you can only sprint for so long. If you’re just, “I’m pushing super hard. I’m holding my breath. I’m trying to make myself as tall as possible.” A lot of people when they first try it they go, “That was tough. Oh man, it’s only been 15 seconds.” The reality is to get the different type of muscle fibers that you are working with to totally relax, to shut off the Sherrington’s reflex. To get the fascia that you’re working with to actually start to respond because of it’s elastic nature. To actually start to respond you need to hold it under tension for a little bit longer. The base-level we say is just 60 seconds. There are adaptations to that depending which Eldoa you’re doing and also the state of the client that you’re working with. If they have a super, super toned nervous system, they’re under a lot of stress, under a lot pain, maybe you changed that a little bit but the base level is that you work for 60 seconds and that also gives you time to start to make modifications too. Let’s say you don’t have super good awareness of your head in space, if you only go up there for 10 seconds well, then you don’t really have time to correct the posture of your head or to really learn that it was in a bad way so you can move it back. That 6o seconds is both physiologically functional but also awareness functional. It lets you try to modify and perfect the exercise while you work at it.
[24:27] Ashley James: I like it. In your pre-interview form, you mentioned that you love to teach people how to have awareness of their body so they when they go to work out they can prevent injuries. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve injured and my husband too, I’m going to throw him under the bus, how many times did both of us have injured ourselves. I remember this one time we went back in the gym. It’s sort of like after we’re taking a hiatus, “Okay, we’re back it’s going to be awesome” the first machine we’re like, “Okay, we’re going to use machines because they’re safe. We’re not going to injure ourselves.” I think we we’re recovering from something. I remember my husband had fractured his ankle. We were working with the trainer and he was like, “Just push harder. It’s fine.” So we were like, “No, we got an x-ray. No, it’s actually fractured. Thanks for telling him to push through it.” When we got back to the gym, the first machine he got on, I guess he overdid it. He re-injured his ankle. I’m like, “How did you injured your ankle on a machine? That’s a stationary object. You’re moving your body in it.” I injured myself so many times at the gym and so the idea of having more awareness and just taking it slow. Making sure our bodies in the right space, in the right alignment. Yes, you’re in the right space. What can you teach us here to help us have better body awareness so we can prevent injuries?
[26:08] Jacob Schoen: Wow, that’s a good question. To be fair, it’s kind of tough to teach someone awareness without being there with them. I’ve worked with enough people now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the most experienced practitioner. I’m only 26 but I’ve worked with enough people now to really appreciate that fact that not many people have awareness of their body. That’s why a quick sidebar, I think people should absolutely get their children involved in gymnastics or dance to really start to develop that awareness from a young age because gymnasts and dancers even if they’re not the most brutally strong or brutally fast athletes, they have a really good base of understanding their body in space that they can then transfer to any exercise or any sport that they want to. There’s stories of football players that their parents make them take gymnastic and you have these 6’5, 300-pound guys able to do backflips. It’s just unbelievable stuff. That’s a quick sidebar for that. To develop awareness I would say, one you have to have a reference. You have to have something you trust to be for example straight, so you can compare whether or not you’re straight. Your husband or wife to take a photo of you like, you pick a string, an example that people first tell me the how-to assess posture is that they use is that they have a string hanging from the ceiling, then they line it up directly in between the people’s feet and then they take a picture of them and they show them how maybe their nose is not directly in line with the string-like they would think if they were even or the other way you can do it is you can stand next to a wall maybe you have too much curve in your lumbar spine, you don’t know that. Maybe your hips really fall forward put your shoulders and head to the wall you’ll see how much space is between your lower back and the wall maybe you thought its going to be a little bit but it turn out to be a lot. You have that trancendal reference to know because you trust that the wall is built vertical, right? Hopefully at least if your carpenter was good. You have to have to have something that you trust to be your standard so that you can have that thing to compare against, right? From there, you have to start to develop movement practices. You have to start to really try to do movement with an intention. That intention can be anything as simple as when I wake up in the morning, I do a gentle routine where I just start my body a little bit. I roll my feet back and forth, left to right. I roll from front to back. I try to do a little figure 8 with my feet, little figure 8 with my knees. I really try to don’t it just to accomplish it, it try to do it at least when I was first doing it to see how it felt. Is it easier to do it on my right? Is it easier to do it on my left? When I move my pelvis, is it easier to stick my butt out? Or is it easier when to tuck my tail? Do I have a little pain when that happens? If move my spine, if I try to move it left or right can I actually move that? Another thing that your people can do at home which is an interesting thing to try do. I’ll try to explain it. Take your arm out to the side, so that your palm is facing the ground. Alright? You there with me? Okay, perfect. Now turn your hand all the way down so that your palm is facing backward. Okay, do you see that? Now I what I want you to do is keep your palm facing backward but turn your bicep to the ceiling. Were you able to do it?
[29:38] Ashley James: Okay. [laughter]
[29:43] Jacob Schoen: I like the way you’re doing that.
[29:44] Ashley James: My elbows bent a little bit. Was my elbows supposed to be bent a little bit?
[29:48] Jacob Schoen: We’ll start from the beginning again. Take your arm out to the side with your palm facing the floor. Turn your palm towards the back wall. If you look at your elbow now your bicep is facing more towards the floor. Right?
[30:00] Ashley James: My bicep is yes, floor and also kind of in front of me. 45-degree angle. Yes.
[30:12] Jacob Schoen: Exactly, okay. Now what I want you to do is keep your bicep facing that exact same place and turn your hand back flat. Now without moving your hand turn your bicep back to the ceiling.
[30:29] Ashley James: Oh yeah. Okay.
[30:31] Jacob Schoen: Do you see how your elbow and your hand can move separately?
[30:34] Ashley James: Yes.
[30:35] Jacob Schoen: Now what I want you to do the level is to keep your hand flat the whole time and now turn your bicep to the floor. Did you do it?
[30:46] Ashley James: Yes.
[30:49] Jacob Schoen: Okay, perfect. That is your body’s awareness of I know the difference between my hand and my wrist, my elbow, and my shoulder. A lot of people especially if they have an injury they go, okay they can turn it down then can turn it back but then when they try to differentiate the movement at their elbow from the movement at their hand. They can’t do it. It’s not because you and I are from a different planet that we can do it, it’s just because our brain knows how to move our elbow instead of move the whole thing. That is body awareness. There is different practices for that, for everything. It could just be inverting or reverting the ankle. Rolling the knees around, moving the lumbar spine, moving things left to right. A good thing that I’ve tried to teach people when they first come in especially if they have a lot of back pain is what’s called the Good Morning exercise. Essentially, all you do is to sit on your bum, you bend your knees to whatever they’re comfortable most people a little less than 90 degrees or sorry, little more than 90 degrees. Nice and relaxed kind of like a butterfly would be open. All you do is hold on to your knees, you lift yourself up really tall, feel your sit bones on the floor. Feel those hard bones like that would be if you felt those on a hard chair it would be uncomfortable. All you do is to tilt just your pelvis back and then roll your pelvis forward. That just to teach you, “Okay, I know where my pelvis is.” A lot of people when they do that they start to move their pelvis and then their head starts to move forward or their chest moves a lot. I have to educate them that your pelvis is here and not up there. Start to move just the pelvis and then you can increase it so you can say, “Okay, I’m moving my pelvis and more of my lumbar spine. Okay, now I know better where my lumbar spine is in my body.” Then you got from your lumbar spine to the thoracic and then you can go all the way up and down but that’s an education exercise that teaches them how to differentiate different parts of their body. When you’re doing exercise at the gym, really try to pay attention to what you’re doing. Be mindful of what you’re doing and if you’re really interested in learning more body awareness, you go out and you seek out a professional that’s going to be able to teach you whether it be yoga or I prefer, recommend doing the Eldoa because of how precise it is. You really learn a lot about your body and how to manage all the pieces at one time.
[33:05] Ashley James: I learned about a Z health. Have you heard of that? It was developed by a chiropractor. He explains that when we have injury, the body’s compensating to protect it but when the injury’s healed it’s like we still have the neurological map of holding this pattern. Like that you just said, when someone has had an injury in the past, they might not be able to right away move their arms separate from their wrist and move their shoulder separate for\\rom their elbow then it might just all move in one because if they have elbow injury then their brain is still holding that injury memory. That in Z health he has people do small circular movements with each joint to reset the map. Have you heard of that system? Is this similar to it?
[34:08] Jacob Schoen: I haven’t heard of it. No. To be honest, I’m really a fan of anything that gets people more moving and in the context of moving gets them moving more mindfully. Anything that gets them to get to start to do that where they just pay attention to what it is that they’re doing is something I’m all on board for. I haven’t heard of that specifically.
[34:31] Ashley James: Intuitively, it sounds like you intuitively were doing what he also intuitively figured out. Which is sit there and roll each joint and just pay attention and go, “Wow this is how this joint feels. This is right wrist versus left wrist. Left knee versus right knee and you’re warming them up in the morning, you’re getting the synovial fluid going, but you’re also getting that body awareness and going, “Okay, let’s just come back into the body” which would also be very relaxing. It would turn off the sympathetic nervous system response. It would help the body like you said better circulation. Better circulation happens when we were in that rest and digest state. How many minutes a day would you say do that in the morning?
[35:15] Jacob Schoen: In the morning? Maybe just three. Nice and easy nice and quick. I’ll do that and usually hop in the shower and get my day started. It’s nice because unfortunately, we live in the world were most people are a little sleep deprived so they set up their alarm from the exact last minute that they would absolutely need to wake up to make it to work on time. They don’t really allow themselves that time in the morning for their body to really warm up to the day to day life. I try to give myself that a little bit of time, just allow myself just 3 minutes to move and not only open my eyes and wake up and but also get my body ready to go get the day is something I think really important. It’s also most people’s first instinct when they wake up especially if they’re busy and they have a lot of responsibilities, “Okay, let me check my email. What did I miss? Let me do this” its just nice to take that first couple of minutes to just say, “Hey body, good morning. How are you doing? How my knee? How’s my shoulder? How’s my head?” just kind of take that time for yourself. I admit I’m not always the best with it. There are some morning where I’m like, “Man, I’m just going to the shower I’m tired of doing this.” Most mornings I will try to make that time.
[36:28] Ashley James: You could do it in the shower.
[36:30] Jacob Schoen: I could do it in the shower but I don’t know if that’s slippery soapy environment is my best environment for body awareness. It’s definitely high stakes that’s always kind of fun but I don’t know if it’s the best place to do that. I think this reminds me of why I’m so pumped about – there are certain things that I feel like come to you, just like pop in your brain. You know, I can’t really take responsibility for thinking up. Here is this time when I thought of the tagline for my business or the slogan for my business whatever it is it’s called Move More Aware. I want people to move. I want people to move more. I want people to move more awareness. That awareness can be whether mentally, emotional, how you moving throughout the day, what kind of baggage you bringing with you, what kind of energy are you giving off to the people you’re interacting with. Also physically, how are you moving? It’s not just that you’re moving but what like what’s the quality of your movement? Most people especially in the western culture it’s more about go, go, go. I did 20,000 steps. I burned 6,000 calories at CrossFit class. I’m not trying to talk bad about CrossFit anything. I did 4,000 burpees today. Okay, good but how well did you them? What is that really giving you in the long term? What kind image and what kind of information are you sending to your brain about the quality of your movement and not just the quantity of it.
[38:08] Ashley James: I like that you’re pointing out the quality of the movement is more important than just the quantity of the movement because in the quantity of the movement is where we can injure our self but the quality of the movement is where we can heal our self.
[38:24] Jacob Schoen: Absolutely. That’s where all the power lies. I think it’s general life thing too. It’s really about the quality of your life and not necessarily the quantity. It’s so interesting to me I think a lot of times about people who are doing the longevity stuff. I also wonder say, “Okay good you’re doing all these stuff but what’s the quality of the life you’re living right now? How good is it?” If it’s good, I would like – one of the things I came up with is like, I want to live a little and live a lot. Do you know what I mean? A lot of times when you’re out having a good time and people say, “C’ mon, live a little.” its like, “Okay, I’ll live a little. I’ll do some things but also I want to balance that with living a lot. I want to live long time.” Trying to balance those two things. There needs to be, yes sure there needs to be some quantity on your life. I think it really comes down to most people would probably agree that it’s really about the quality of the relationships that you have, the food that you eat, the movement that you do, the sleep that you get. All of those things are really what create a balanced and beautiful life. It’s really about the quality. I think movement is no different than that. Especially in our culture, it’s about we were pretty short-sided in a lot of ways where we just say, “Okay, I want my muscles to get bigger. I want to be more ripped and lean,” it’s like, “Okay, I understand that. I also want to do that and wanted to do that when I was 16 but at the same time, how well do you move, how much pain do you have? How good is the quality of your movement and where is that going to bring you in 2, 3, 5 years? If all of those answers are answered and you’re happy with those answers then you can just plug and go along.
[40:11] Ashley James: Right. I love it. looking deeper into what your motivation is for wanting to shape your body in a certain way is important because you point out there are those consequences that come down the road. We want to make sure we’re creating a quality of life and longevity in our life. Also having a great life right now while we’re doing it. It’s both. What is Soma training? That’s another thing that you do. Soma training and Soma therapy.
[40:43] Jacob Schoen: Yes, sure. Those programs are programs that were developed by Dr. Guy VOYER who is also the gentleman who developed the Eldoa exercises. Everybody has that person, that teacher that they really resonate with and what they find to really provide message that they think is powerful and philosophically they agree with and also academically, you’re otherwise they really find to be true for them, he’s been that teacher for me. I want to thank him for that, thank you Dr. VOYER, you’re amazing. Those two programs are his programs for both trainings so soma training and soma therapy. What those programs are, I’ll talk about the training aspect. What those programs are they really try to teach you how to work with every single part of the body so that no matter who walks into your facility, you can at least in some way help and understand what they have going on because the level of the training you’ve gotten is so in-depth. One of the things that’s interesting about it and i respect so much about it is that it does break the body down into its smallest pieces. When you take a class you’re going to take a class for 3 days just on segmental strengthening of muscles in your legs. There’s a whole bunch of muscles in your legs and people might go “Okay, why do I need to strengthen this specific fiber of this quadricep?” Well, that’s really specific but if you take a bigger step back and you understand the global picture it makes a lot of sense to go after the link in the chain that you know to be the weakest link in the chain. Only with specific tools can I think you really be holistic in the way you approach things. Each ligament of the knee has an exercise for appropriate section. Each segment of the spine has an exercise for the Eldoa. Each muscle has segmental strengthening exercise. Then there is exercises to bring the picture all back together. The Some training what it really does is it divides the body into all of its functional pieces. Teaches you how to work with each individual one and then gives you the context on how to bring it all together in the bigger picture. For me as a trainer, it absolutely changed and really made my practice because I feel confident that anybody who comes into my studio I’ll at least be able to get them on the road towards their goal. Whether it be bigger, faster, stronger, whether it be no pain, longevity or whatever it is. I feel really confident the these exercises, because of their specificity and because of their precision can really move people towards whatever goal it is that they have.
[43:24] Ashley James: That’s soma training?
[43:25] Jacob Schoen: That’s soma training exactly.
[43:27] Ashley James: It taught you how to work with all body style, body shapes, body challenges and the goals that people have.
[43:38] Jacob Schoen: Yes. It’s an exercise program, exercise curriculum that really teaches you how to respect the individualistic nature of each person. One thing and this is a good time to talk about what people call functional exercise. That’s a really big term that is used super frequently. The thing I would say first off start by saying is that it seems to me that most functional exercise looks the same. It has a similar style look to. Whether it be a certain type of kettlebell thing or certain type of TRX movement or if you’re not familiar with TRX, it’s just that suspension straps but I’m sure you know what those are. It’s just a specific looking type of movement. The one thing I would say about that is that “Okay, what’s functional for me is someone does manual therapy over a table and teach people how to train all day versus functional exercise for someone who’s sitting at a desk versus functional exercise for someone who does hair or is a car mechanic. These totally different functional exercise. The other thing is it’s like, “Okay, what’s your goal. If your goal is to build muscle then yes, a bicep curl is functional exercise for that particular goal.” I think a lot of times in the exercise field, we need to take a step back and we say a lot of people really get dogmatic and say anything that isn’t functional training is bad, or whatever it is. “Okay, functional for you and for me are two different things, otherwise what’s your goal for that?” The Soma training programs that really teaches you how to respect, what is functional in for that person. Also how to apply that to every single person because everybody is totally beautiful and unique and different right? You know, you’re obviously different than I am. Not only different but maybe you have a different way of thinking, a different type of emotional system, a different brain, and a different orthopedic history. The way that I teach you an exercise or how you execute an exercise might be different from how I execute the exercise based off our anatomy based off a whole number of factors and what the program really does is it allows you to take all of those factors into consideration and give the person the best exercise as opposed to just saying, everyone needs to be able to do deadlift or everyone needs to be able to do a kettlebell swing, everyone needs to be able to do whatever because the truth is that, not everybody needs to do the same thing because not everybody is the same.
[46:12] Ashley James: Right. I just imagine the challenges that someone was sitting in the desk all day versus if they’re doing hair or if they’re a machine. Their bodies in a different position all day. It wouldn’t benefit them to just do the same exercise, the same machines at the gym. You are looking to support them and understanding what their body does every day. You can support them in being balanced. That makes sense.
[46:42] Jacob Schoen: Yes, absolutely. If you have a chiropractor for example. Chiropractor is probably doing manual work and adjusting most of the day. Maybe he’s leaning forward over a top of somebody for 4 hours a day. That a totally different stress in his body than someone who like a hair dresser who’s arms are up by their head all day working on people’s hair or different than somebody who’s a car mechanic who’s laying on his back all day underneath a car. It’s three totally different classes of people just in those examples. To say that their training all needs to look and be the same is super reductionist and the goal is to be précised so you can help the person as quickly as possible and as efficiently as possible. To put everyone in the same box and say everyone needs to do a certain type of training is really narrow. When you have the tools to work with the body then you can apply those tools to anybody. Soma training is just somo which means body, so it’s body training. We know things about the anatomy, we know things about body mechanics we could just apply those if you understand it well to the people would walk into you and say, “Okay, Joe walks in. He has problems with his knee. Should he be doing this or should he strengthen his specific muscle around his knee? How do you strengthen that specific muscle? Well, you do it like this but you have to modify it to the fact that Joe has pain around this point. Everyone’s different. Not everyone is the textbook. If you only have the textbook to work with then you’re going to be really limited as a practitioner to how you can apply that to different people when they come see you.
[48:19] Ashley James: If someone come to you and they have pain and they want to work out. They want to strengthen their body but they have pain so maybe the mechanic or that hairdresser has a frozen shoulder or the person works at the desk all day has carpal tunnel, the chiropractor has lower back pain.
[48:41] Jacob Schoen: Which is very common by the way, which I get because you’re leaning over people all day you know.
[48:46] Ashley James: Exactly. My chiropractor has pain in his hands from how he adjusts and he’s developed some kind of arthritis. He’s been doing it for over 30 years. He figured out amazing ways at still being a chiropractor and no wearing down his hands. If someone comes to you, they want to work out but they’re really afraid because they have pain and pain has stopped them from working out in the past, do you start by doing Eldoa with them or what do you do first to help get them out of pain so then they can train? Or do you train at the same time? How does that work?
[49:30] Jacob Schoen: It’s really a concurrent process. Most of the time it’s going to happen at the same time. That’s the beautiful thing that I really love about this exercise is that you can get someone who is afraid of exercise or hesitant about exercise because they’ve been hurt in the past. Every time they do something, it hurts more or they just don’t want to be in pain anymore but the beautiful thing about this exercises is that a lot of times you use the exercises to help or start to work on the pain. It’s like a snowball effect, you do more exercise you feel a lilt bit better. You do more exercise you feel better and better before you know it, you’re using the exercise as maintenance thing because you’re no longer in pain and then you can start back on the road of classic fitness training if that’s your goal. Most of the people that I work with, they come and see me because they either had a friend that work with me and they had results or they just tried everything else and they still are not really where they want to be. Most people it is concurrent process of a little bit of manual therapy and then a lot of exercise. I try to do as much exercise as I can in the context of that person because it really gives them the power. If I have someone that comes and sees me and I only see then to do manual therapy then yes, I’m healing them and I believe I’m helping them but it’s, not that its too much power on my hands but it’s not enough power on their hands. I really want to work the peoples that I work with their mentality that start to, here’s a plug, shift. That’s how I came up with the business. I was started talking to myself and I came up with that name. It’s really been great because it’s stuck and is made a lot of sense for me as far as the paradigm goes. Yes, its really start to shift because if they say, “Yes I learned these exercises from Jake. but I’ve been doing them I’m getting result by doing them.” I’ve only seen him once or twice. It’s not that I saw him that got me the result but it’s doing the exercise that got me the result. “Okay I can do this, I can do the change to myself that I want to see.’ To be a part of that s process is the amazing thing for me because you teach people realize they have power. You do it through exercise. Really, my main goal is to start people to exercise by themselves. That’s not an original idea to me, Dr. VOYER one of his best quotes is “You are your own best therapist” whether it that be mental, emotional or a physical thing, it’s really the power is in you. And so yes I have the tools to teach you how to do that but really it’s up to you to get the result for yourself. Most people that are successful with me are the ones who really take the responsibility to do the exercise by themselves. To follow the home program and to execute that by themselves and that how they get the result. Yes, its some manual therapy but I really try to use mostly exercise to get people back moving and start the ball down the road. I had a lady who come and see me she was so afraid to do anything even walk. We were doing some really, really gentle exercise like the good morning thing I was telling you about. She had pain during that. I know that her nervous systems is really guarded. I know mentally, emotionally, physically she’s really protective of what she was doing on. So I was like, “All right before you do any exercise all I want you to do is just go outside and do a nice easy 10-minute walk. Go get some fresh air. Maybe some sunshine,” in New Orleans it’s super hot you have to deal with that but “go outside and get a 10-minute walk” and she was afraid. She as like, “Well, walking hurts my back.” I was like, “Is there anything that doesn’t hurt your back?” she’s like “Well, if I lay down in this specific away.” and I was like, “We have to work together because if you’re going to get where you want to go which picking up your grandkids and going out to dance with your husband. We need to start somewhere.“ I got her to start to do 10 minutes walks a day she’s like, “It’s a little painful but I do feel better after.” Now she’s walking 30 minutes a day during her exercises and everything is a lot better. It’s just that process. Really getting people to try to take power back into their own hands. Maybe they experience a little pain at the beginning but they feel accomplished after. There’s a whole bunch of factors that go into it to getting someone from a place where they are afraid to do exercise to back to a place where they’re going out and dancing with their husband.
[54:02] Ashley James: What helped her to get out of pain? Was it that not moving was continuing to have the pain or what was it that had her be free of it?
[54:13] Jacob Schoen: To be honest with you, I really don’t think it was anything that I did. I think it’s a little esoteric to say this but I think a lot of people’s pain whether it be at least initially or a lot of times chronic pain, is a mentally emotional adaption from any kind of stress or trauma that they maybe they store in their body. For me, I think hers was a mental-emotional thing mostly. I didn’t say that to her because she came to me for orthopedic reasons. I try to keep it as in that context as I could but I knew that if we got her in some way out of her own way that she would really start to see how powerful she was and how really the pain couldn’t hold her back. If you know what I mean. Getting her to move. Got her to see, “Oh, okay I can do this.” Yes, it’s a little bothersome at first but then she said, “Okay, I can do this. If I can do 10 minutes, maybe I can do 15. If I can do 15 then maybe I can do 20 and you know what, I’m doing 20. I’m feeling better. Okay, all right. I’m doing 20, I’m doing 25, I’ll do 30.” I think in reality she let her guard down a little bit and she started to get out of her own way to heal. A lot of people hold on to these problems that they have and they won’t let them go for any number of reasons. As a trainer, you do have to wear several hats. A lot of people come I and they tell you about their day or they tell you about their problem that they’re having with their kids. I love that because I love working with people. I don’t want to just work with a robot that’s covered with muscle. I want to work with human. A lot of people they have these problems that they don’t really let go. When they come to see me, part of my thing is working with the mental, emotional system. Start to get them out of their own way so that they can progress in the orthopedic system. A lot of times it solves itself over time.
[56:16] Ashley James: I love it. People who are in pain don’t want to be told that it’s all in your head. Because it’s real. The pain is real. There’s proof now that the body the mind can create physical pain that feels real. I believe it was John E. Sarno that wrote the book, Healing Back Pain and he discusses how he could see that when we had mental, emotional issues going on, especially that we were stuffing away and procrastinating to face that the mind would create an ischemia in a muscle would actually tighten the muscle so much that it would cause a tremendous amount of pain because there was lack of blood flow in the are kind of like trigger point. Where the blood flow is cut off in that muscles and just like trigger points would cause radiating pain too so it could mimic pinched nerve. It could mimic a lot of different symptoms. He saw it commonly that it was lower back pain that would be created when someone was having emotional issues that they were facing that the unconscious minds really wants us to resolve things. When we’re in the state of anxiety or panic and we’re faced with choices and they’re really hard so we procrastinate them that the unconscious mind will tense a muscle or tense muscle fibers and create ischemia and create that level of pain that is real. We can move and we can put hot packs on it that’ll give relief temporality but it’ll keep coming back until we look at it and face the emotional stuff. It’s real and physical pain but like you said, she freed herself up and she had to move past that fear of moving and to get that freedom in you helped her face that.
[58:26] Jacob Schoen: Yes. I try to do my part in helping her see that and I think giving her a little bit of accountability with me as someone who’s going to check in on her and see if she’s walking and see if she’s doing these things was helpful for her but really it was up to her to make the decision to impart trust me and the other part trust herself. The other thing that I find so interesting is that a lot of people like you said they don’t want to be told that their pain it’s all on her head. The problem with that is that just because it’s in your head doesn’t mean it’s not real. If I were to be extraordinary blunt with this lady and see, “Mam, I see that you have back pain but it’s all on your head.” She would’ve been totally turned off and she would’ve been like, “Okay, I’m leaving.” I would’ve understood because it’s pretty insensitive. The reality is that even if I do say it’s all in your head doesn’t make it not real. It just makes it not in the place that you thought it was which is it doesn’t mean its any less valuable or any less tangible or any less real. It just means that its somewhere else. That’s all that really important to take away from that. If you look at the hierarchy of your body, Paul Chek of the C.H.E.K institute did an amazing job with his graphic. He has this totem pole. At the very, very top of the totem pole is the spirit or the mind. The mind if you look all the way down of the totem pole you have the visceral system, have the breathing, you have the nutrition, you have all the stuff down the totem pole but really who’s in charge the big boss is the mind. If you think “Okay, I have back pain.” Yes, sure you have back pain and I agree with that but maybe the back pain is caused by something up higher down the line. It doesn’t have to be another physical thing down the line. It could be an emotional, mental thing down the line that you need to work on to solve the back pain that you’re having. The way I try to work with people is I give them exercises that I think will someway get the water out of the boat and will give them exercises to fix the hole. If you just fix the leak but you don’t take the water out of the boat then you can still have some residual pain. But if you just take the water out of the boat then you’re going to be taking the water out of the boat your whole life. That is a process that you have to work with somebody on is one getting the symptoms that have to go away then two getting the cause of the symptoms in the first place to be resolved. That could be, the human body is complex and the human organism is amazingly complexed. That’s why it’s a beautiful field to be in to work with people because it’s not just plugging numbers and doing spreadsheets. You’re working with dynamic diverse history of a human that walks into your office every day and so you have to treat them with that same respect if you just say, “Yes, back pain I need to go straight to your back and cut off of your disc and do this.” Then yes, you’re going to miss the picture. That makes me think about a gentleman that came and saw me last week, 2 weeks ago. He flew down from Colorado. He sent me all these videos of his neurosurgeon showing that in between L4 and L5 he had narrowing in the space for the spinal cord and how it was exactly 103 ml whereas his other space where 110. It’s like I get it there’s narrowing there but there’s also people that have severe narrowing who don’t have any pain. It’s not necessarily all the time that that ting is causing the pain. It could be multitude of factors that’s causing the pain and the weak link that you have because of your history or because of the structure is what’s pain. Someone who has that same narrowing maybe has no pain and has no pain for the rest of her life because they have better hydration or because they’re not at stressed because they didn’t play the same amount of sports that you did growing up. I really try to treat people as holistically as possible because that’s who’s walking into your office.
[01:02:36] Ashley James: What happened with the gentleman? You practice in New Orleans so people local to you can come visit you. I have a friend that lives in Houston and she said it’s like a 5 ½ hour drive or something like that. You could get people from Texas just driving to see you.
[01:02:53] Jacob Schoen: Yes, come on down Texas.
[01:02:55] Ashley James: Yes. Florida, Louisiana, Georgia. All that whole area could be coming and just drive to you but you had someone fly in from Colorado showing you the neuron surgeon stuff. He had pain for how long?
[01:03:10] Jacob Schoen: He had pain at this point for four months. He is a type a of a person, go-getter of a person that you’re ever going to meet. He’s an absolute stud. I’ll give him that. If I look and move like him when I’m in my early 60’s then I will be doing a good job. With that same context, he had never stretched. He had never taken time to stretch. He was severely dehydrated. You could just feel in his tissue when I had my hands on him. It’s like instead of feeling like soft and hydrated and well-nourished it was dry like leather. Of course, you’re going to have more pre-disposition to tearing certain things, you have less leeway when you have that quality of tissue. Part of the things I just started to get him to drink more water, starting to stretch. If you’re 6 foot tall but your connected system tissue think that you’re 5’8. It’s going to be pretty difficult for you to move well and then something is going to have to pay. So over time, he had just developed this posture. He developed an amount of stress in his body. He developed the quality of tissue that his body finally said “Hey man, we’ve got to do something about this.” Gave him exercises for the posture of his head, gave him exercises for his breathing, gave him exercises to get the water out of the boat in his lumbar spine, gave him exercise for the nerve prolifically. Now he just texted me the other day saying that his pain was an 8 out of 10 and now it’s 4 out of 10. He’s making progress by himself. He came down and we spent a lot of time together, got to know him. It was awesome. It’s awesome for me to work with people like that because whenever they come and see you, they’re really motivated and they really try to work on it and you get to really be in the zone when you work with people like that. I saw him for 3 hours a day for 2 days. Those 3 hours they go by in an absolute flash. Which is awesome because it’s almost like you get transported into another realm and you come back and it “Wow, it’s 5 o’clock already.” When you work with somebody like that it really awesome because you can see a change in their brain when they start to realize, “Oh, these things that I’ve been doing to myself or that I haven’t been paying attention to these might be the things that can help me.” Before this, he was scheduled to have surgery the end of July and as far as I understand he’s no longer going to have that.
[01:05:37] Ashley James: I’m so happy to hear that. I love it when people choose to try alternative methods before just jumping into an elected surgery. One of my mentors, he’s an old school naturopath. He’s yelled at someone who had something removed, some organ removed from their body and then they need help. I think it was thyroid. The doctors removed my thyroid and then they were asking for your help. He’s like “I can’t help you when your thyroids in the garbage. I can’t help you get your thyroid back. It’s been cut out of you.” he was more yelling like sheer frustration because he’s also a pathologist before he became a naturopath and he saw that like you can reverse so many diseases that surgeons just go, “Okay, let’s just cut it out of you, it’s time.”
[01:06:29] Jacob Schoen: Totally. That’s the thing that we have to work against as people who are offering alternative means to these things. It’s because fortunately or unfortunately most people’s disposition is that when they have problem they go to specialist. One of my favorite quotes is that “A specialist knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.” That’s the thing that I really think about. If you go see a neurosurgeon, a neurosurgeon is great at what they do which is neurosurgery. They’re not going to be experts in all these other field that most likely are going to be the cause of your problem. Don’t get me wrong, some people need surgery, that’s a certain thing that you can’t fix with Eldoa. It’s just not going to happen. At the same time, you have to think, what is surgery? You already have a trauma to your body, well guess what, you have to create more trauma to go in there to fix the trauma. Are you doing anything before to repair the tissue for that type of surgery and what’s the quality of the stuff that you’re doing after to make sure that you don’t have another problem because it’s not so uncommon for someone to have a back surgery and then 6 months later be like, “Oh man, that didn’t really work. I need another back surgery” or for someone who have fusion in her neck and be like, “Oh geez, I still have the same neck pain that I had and now I have to go get another fusion to now fix the problem because something was mechanically stuck in my neck and then now everything above and below has to compensate for that. It’s not so uncommon for that. Then as a quick change, the other change is when you go see a specialist, they specialize and they spend a lot of time specializing in that thing but whenever you have your blinders on to focus on one thing, you do miss the things that are around you. A lot of times, for example, people will have problem with their cervical spine, guess what’s right below your cervical spine, your rib cage and your thoracic spine and then your shoulder and then what’s above that is your head. The connections are unbelievable. People who are really interested your pericardium, you have a series and your fibers are pericardium which is the fascia of your heart has connection forward to your sternum below to your diaphragm and above to your cervical spine. If you have bad posture for your neck, guess what, then there’s differentiating tension in the pericardium. Maybe your heart doesn’t work so well as it needs to. Okay, your heart doesn’t work as well as it needs to. Well, now there’s differentiating tension on your sternum, which is where your rib is attached and on your diaphragm. When your diaphragm goes all the way down and attaches to your lumbar spine and into your pelvis. Guess what, there’s no distinction between those connection, if I pull on one end of the chain, the other end of the chain is going to move. Where you have the problem is just dependent on the person.
[01:09:18] Ashley James: Have you helped someone get lower blood pressure, better heart health from using Eldoa and the soma therapy?
[01:09:29] Jacob Schoen: Yes, absolutely because one, if you start to drink water most people are severely dehydrated. I think that’s what I’m meant to say. First off, you introduce more water so now you have less resistance in the tube and the water flows [Audio Gap 01:09:48-51] blood is viscous so it moves more easily. The other thing is that now you have better water in the tissue so the tissue is more malleable. When the heart has to push, doesn’t have to push against as much peripheral resistance so now the blood pressure can be lower. The other thing is you start to work on the posture. The posture in quotes of the vein and of the circulatory system is off the better alignment. Now it doesn’t have to work as hard to move blood to the periphery so now the blood pressure go slower. The other thing is whenever the posture of the head is in the better way, there’s less tension on the heart, the heart is organized in relation to gravity in a more perfect way. The way that it was intended to be. Whenever you work on all of those factors, the blood pressure a lot of times goes down. The other thing is when you work with these exercises not only do you affect mechanically the bone but on the front of the spine is the sympathetic chain ganglia so the autonomic nervous system sits directly on the spine and it doesn’t just sit there because it’s glued there. It sits there because the fascia holds it there. The fascia integrately holds it to the bone. If you affect the bone, you affect the fascia, you affect the sympathetic nervous system, blood pressure going down baby, everything’s looking good. All of this factors go together to really holistically start to help the person.
[01:11:16] Ashley James: I love that. A few years ago it was 2010 my husband singlehandedly carried all of our furniture into a 26 foot Penske. We moved from Las Vegas to Seattle. We didn’t hired anyone to do it. It was all him. I was busy packing boxes or something, a few days later and he’s a carpenter for 20 years so he’s used to carrying heavy loads. He’s pretty big guy, 6 foot 7.
[01:11:44] Jacob Schoen: That is a pretty big guy.
[01:11:46] Ashley James: Right? We were under a lot of stress. Big move. Lots of new changes and he woke up one morning and his lips were blue and he’s like my heart’s doing something funky. I freaked out what’s going on? It took me a bit that I’m driving him to the hospital. That’s when we found out that he had AFib. Every chamber of his heart was just spasming. That’s why his lips were blue, he’s having problem breathing. They had to reset his heart which was again really scary. The cardiologist said, “This is holiday heart.” Probably because you’re under a lot of stress. We were at that time, we just bought an espresso machine. We thought, we’re living in Seattle, we need to do the coffee thing.
[01:12:37] Jacob Schoen: Get the coffee culture going. I love it.
[01:12:38] Ashley James: Yes. Exactly. We got the coffee culture going a little bit too much. So he was overdoing it with that espresso and that time we were still drinking alcohol, not that we were alcoholics but we don’t partake in poison anymore. Back then we were not into health as we are definitely now. The cardiologist was just like “between the stress of the move and your new lifestyle and excessive caffeine and alcohol, it’s right around Christmas” so she was like, “this is the most AFib I’ve seen it’s right around Christmas and new year’s. This was just totality normal.” Totally normal okay, great. She’s like, “well, you know, we should do stress test just in case and you’re fine.” It happened again a year later. He as carrying a 6-year-old child on his shoulders who was jumping because she’s excited so she was jumping, as we’re going for a walk. We’re walking with a friend and her daughter and the next day he woke up with AFib again. Not as bad as the first time but it is definitely scary. At this point, we were seeing a naturopath and the naturopath said something really interesting, the naturopath said when there’s compression on the thoracic spine I think it’s T67 but I could be wrong. That there’s a nerve that comes out your be able to correct me one of the nerves that innervates the heart comes from the thoracic spine and so when its’ compressed it can send a full signal to the heart and the heart is completely healthy but the compression on the spine is what’s triggering the AFib. That made sense now that we were thinking to ourselves, “Okay, this is the second time that’s happened” and so the naturopath said I want you to rest. Get an inversion table and do hydrotherapy. Hot cold showers and just rest and see your chiropractor. It went away on its own. It was scary 3 days and his heart was beating irregularly and it just reset and everything was good. We’re like, “Okay, that’s a little scary but now we know. A few years later we’re doing CrossFit and he’s learning how to do deadlifts and the next day not only wakes up but he faints. He wakes up and he faints, he hits the floor and he has AFib. We’re like, “Whoa” That was again that was his first time lifting heavy objects since the last AFib occurrence. He’s only had 3 but 3 acute AFib attacks it makes you a candidate for pacemaker. If we had never worked with a naturopath and we had just seeing a cardiologist he would’ve gone in for a pacemaker which they have to burn the nerves to the heart and then put in a machine –
[01:15:48] Jacob Schoen: Which is terrifying by the way.
[01:15:49] Ashley James: It’s terrifying , yes. Put in the machine that beats your heart which sends a signal for you instead of your body. Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with the nerve at his heart. It’s the compression on his spine. We did the exact same thing the third time. We had actually gone to a naturopath and they did an EEG and determined yes, it is AFib. “Okay, great. See your chiropractor. Hang upside down, do hot and cold hydrotherapy and just lay down a lot.” It reset again. Thank goodness. That was the last time because since then, he’s been doing exercises and supplements and seeing the chiropractor on a regular basis all to keep his thoracic spine super healthy and decompressed. Sometimes when he gets a little off or he gets a little tight, he’ll just start to feel it and his heart starts to just do a little bit of a skip and he’s like, “Oh.” I’m like, “You’ve got to get back to the chiropractor. What are you doing? Or do the exercise your chiropractor gave you.” Listen to the whisper. Listen to the symptoms as they’re coming in gently. Don’t ignore them and just push through.
[01:17:02] Jacob Schoen: Exactly. Don’t let the little hearts turn into big hearts later.
[01:17:03] Ashley James: Right. But if we were to see a traditional MD it would’ve gone surgery. They’re amazing doctors. They specialize like you said they’re doing more than 8 years of higher education. They’re so intelligent and they’re passionate about their field and yet they’re not taught that the compression the spine can cause AFib. It just maddens me.
[01:17:31] Jacob Schoen: Yes. There’s only so much time in a day to learn so much stuff. I am definitely not an MD and there’s things about pathophysiology and immunology and things like that that they would absolutely blow me out of the freaking water with. That’s definitely not my area of expertise and if someone has a disease like that I for sure would send them to an MD. When it comes to a lot of other things unfortunately, they’re not really given the tools to be effective with the complexity of the human body that is walking into their office. They have a subset of tools, they have the parameters that they have which is only a certain amount of time with each person because they’re super overloaded with patients. They only have so much time to make a guess and to give a certain type of treatment for that and unfortunately, most of the treatments the we have especially in the western culture is just cut and burn or whatever they do to people’s bodies.
[01:18:36] Ashley James: Cut, burn and poison.
[01:18:37] Jacob Schoen: Yes. Cut, burn and poison. I’ve had people who come in and it’s funny because they call certain surgeries minimally invasive. If you ever watched video of minimally invasive surgery, I have seen various things in my life that are more invasive than minimally invasive surgeries. They have to go inside of the body especially for the lumbar spine, they have to go inside your body, cutaway bone, slip away disc, burn the disc, sew you back up. I don’t know about you but that’s pretty invasive. All qualification for what it means to actually have remedies for this things are so skewed to this unbelievable procedures. If you want to freak yourself out, go watch a hip replacement surgery. It is absolutely freaking brutal. People say, “You know my hip hurts maybe in a couple of years I have some arthritis and I’ll probably have to get hip replacement” I was like, “Are you kidding me right now? Have you seen a freaking surgery like that? Wouldn’t you just rather do some stretching and exercise?” but unfortunately, this is kind of where I get into my soapbox. Unfortunately, we live in a culture right now where people would much rather give away their responsibility to someone else than have to take the responsibility themselves. They say, “Oh my doctor said this, this, this” it’s just like listen to your body. Give yourself the opportunity to heal yourself. Then if that doesn’t work and you know you’ve tried all the other options then you can get surgery. But for your first instinct to be to get surgery or to get your fourth surgery or whatever it is, it blows my mind but that’s a philosophical thing that is different between where I am now and where I was. I definitely was on the other side of the coin a couple of years ago before I got introduced to these things and where most of the population is because “Oh, you have a problem with your knee? Go see the orthopedic.” What does the orthopedic say, “Oh, we took an MRI. You have a problem with your meniscus. What we can do about that is that we could cut out a piece of meniscus.” It’s like, “Maybe you can do something else?” it’s just crazy what we turn to and what we think is or we think is very valuable therapy but you know. That’s a philosophical thing that is different amongst practitioners. Not good or bad just different.
[01:20:54] Ashley James: Just to add that story, recently I mean, it’s been the last 4 years I thought I had a hernia. I gave birth and so they say it’s common for women after giving birth near belly button I’m like, “Wow. Something is pretty funky feeling in my belly button. I better get this checked out.” I got to the doctor, naturopath of course. He feels around and he goes “You know what that really feels like a hernia. I’m going to suggest that you go get a surgical consult.” I looked at him like dead in the eye. “Surgery is the last option. I will try 100 alternative therapies. I will travel to Tibet and rub I don’t know, Tibetan berries on my tummy before surgery is an option. It’s just my last option.” Luckily, I heard this old school naturopath again mentored me he says, “Anytime that there’s a hernia, go to a Bowen therapist. It’s a Bowen technique. It’ll a massage therapist likely who would administer it.” I found a woman who’s been a massage therapist since the ‘80s and been doing Bowen therapy for 15 years and she’s 45 minutes north of me. I went in and visited her. Very interesting. She spent most of the time doing ranger motion tests to determine where my fascia was. She goes, “First of all, I’m not a doctor. I can’t tell you. I can’t diagnose” like cover her butt. Yes, exactly. There’s a disclaimer but hint and wink-wink, she’s like, “This is not a hernia. This is diastasis recti.” So many people will go in and get a surgery when it’s not needed because the abdomen has separated and she did some very minimal technique. I kind of was like “Are you kidding me?” She just touched me a few times in different places to adjust the fascia and then I started feeling like a new person. It was really cool. She recommended some exercises. I went to see her like 4 times. Again, if I was on the just the MD route even if my naturopath told me I should get a surgical console. If I had just given away my personal power. I would’ve been under the knife the next week and have all of the consequences that come with that versus seeking out other types of therapy. The problem is, people don’t know there’s other therapies. I love that you bringing up that. Now people know that there’s Eldoa which is spelled E-L-D-O-A. There’s this soma training, the soma therapy. You do other stuff too but there’s this techniques that are very effective. Even if they don’t get 100% results, they’re going to get some results. Even if they get no results which is rare I understand. At least they could rule out trying something before they get permanent surgery. Right? I love that it gives people those options. Do you have any stories to share? More stories to share of people who come to you with issues and have had really great success?
[01:24:32] Jacob Schoen: I mean, I just have so many I didn’t even know where to start. I’m just kidding. I just had a gentleman leave a review for me on google because I just trying to get into the – what I’m really bad at, to be honest with you is business, what I’m good at is training and work with people, what I’m bad at is business. I had him leave a review and he had back pain for 15 years and he’s been working with me for 3 years now. He’s’ now a great friend. He hasn’t had any single spell of back pain for over 3 years now. He’s an older gentleman. I’d like to think I helped him changed his life a little bit whether it be just his quality of movement or even just drinking more water, taking more time for himself things like that. It’s funny because when I first got started, to be honest with you, I look back at who I was and the trainer that I was. I have to laugh because you look back at where you were and “Man, I didn’t know a single thing. I didn’t know what I was doing at all.” I know in 10 years from now I’m going to look back at myself now, “Yes, I thought I know so much. I don’t know anything.” I had this lady come see me and she had a lot of people used the terminology but she had thrown out her back. She was all slumped over. Her back was totally wrecked. She couldn’t really do much of anything without feeling a lot of pain. I was a little inexperienced so I tried to get her to do just a little gentle warm-up. Even the warm-up just absolutely lit her on fire. I just laid her down on the floor, had her do some breathing exercises. Taught her Eldoa for L5-S1, which is the pillar of all the Eldoa exercises. Your last lumbar vertebrae, your first sacral vertebrae, it’s really an important area because of how important the pelvis is and the amount of stress that that area takes. I taught her how to do that any gently. She hasn’t had pain since then. She’s text me she like my biggest fan just because she was dancer. She was super active, super healthy lady and now she gets to go back and do all her stuff and she does all her exercises. The amount of people and that I’ve been able to help is pretty awesome to look back on that. In reality, like I said before, it’s really those people helping themselves I gave then the exercise but the people that have the most success with me are the ones that commit themselves to doing the hallmark that I gave them. If you see me for once a week, you see me for an hour or an hour and a half a week and then there’s all hundred something hours left in the week for you to manage what we do and for you to improve on yourself. If you do those exercise if you commit to that, really that’s when you start to get the result because you need consistency to those things. Your body has learned through thousands of bad reps and thousands of days in pain or whatever it is to adapt to a certain posture so to unlearn that takes a little bit of time and that time takes consistency. That consistency takes dedicated effort on your part to do the exercises. I mean, I’m trying to think if there’s really a groundbreaking one that I’m just super stoked on. Honestly, anybody that I’ve helped that had pain I’m pretty pumped to be able to help them out. Let’s see. It was funny because I was working on this lady the other day. I was treating this lady and she had a carpal tunnel in her left hand for 4 years. She was a painter so she really enjoyed painting and she just couldn’t do it as enthusiastically as she wanted because it hurts her hands whenever she would do it. She went to a surgeon the surgeon recommend carpal tunnel surgery. I had worked with her on her neck before of course, –
[01:28:14] Ashley James: With a surgeon that would be like, “I think you should go get a gentle massage.”
[01:28:20] Jacob Schoen: Right. Exactly. She came to me and her hand was almost contracted with Dupuytren’s. Are you familiar with that? Yes, it was almost contracted with Dupuytren’s. She sat them down on the table. I did a bunch of work for the fascia of her hand. I pumped. Pumping is just a terminology thing for getting the joints to move better, more nutrition, all those kind of stuff. Did all that for her shoulder, her elbow then her wrist then work on the fascia of her hand. I moved to the other side because she had small problem with her right hand. She laid her left hand down on the table, I didn’t say anything because I want her to notice but her hand had opened almost completely on the table without her trying to force it because all of the connected tissue of her upper limb had just relaxed. I waited 2 or 3 minutes and she looked over she goes, ”Oh my god, look at my hand.” I was like, “Yup. Check it out, pretty cool.” Just things like that. You have people get on your table. You work on their sacral joint or work on their knee and all of a sudden their back feels better. It’s just like yes, I’d say magic because I’m trying to be funny. The reality is if you respect the connectedness and the holistic nature of the body, you could really achieve some amazing things. Just things like that. Pretty cool.
[01:29:34] Ashley James: What caused her fascia to be tight in the first place do you think?
[01:29:38] Jacob Schoen: For her, I think it was just repetitive nature of holding on to a brush for 5 hours a day for 10-15 years.
[01:29:47] Ashley James: Not taking a break.
[01:29:50] Jacob Schoen: Yes, not taking a break. She was passionate about she loves painting. She loves, loves painting. Just that and then also, I’m pretty sure before she retired, she was not a secretary but she was someone who worked on the computer a lot. Lot of stuff with the hand being in that kind of closed claw position. Kind of gradually chronically shortened everything in that hand when that happens the posture just adapts to it. The posture of the hand affects the wrist. The wrist affects the shoulder, the neck and all that down the line. I think it’s just a chronic thing for her. Some people its hydration, some people it’s stress, some people it’s any number of factors. The superficial fascia of your body covers your whole body except for your face. If I were wearing a bodysuit, just kind of weird to think about. If I was wearing a bodysuit and just scrunched up the fabric by my hand, it would get tighter by my toes, tighten about my knees and my back and my neck, it wouldn’t be as obvious as it is by my hand but for sure it still gets tighter. The body’s connected in that way. For her, I think it was chronic, for other people it can be any number of things. That any number of things is why this job is so cool is because it’s not a cut and paste thing. For anybody that comes in as a new puzzle to try to solve. That always keeps it interesting.
[01:31:20] Ashley James: I love that you keep bringing up that hydration was so important. I was a massage therapist in Canada ages ago and it’s really interesting how tissue does feels different depending on whether someone’s hydrated or chronically dehydrated. Even cellulite and you could correct me if I’m wrong, cellulite is the puckering of the fascia when it’s dehydrated. People always think, “Oh, cellulite is just fat or something” but it’s the fascia adhering because it’s dehydrated and getting all sticky. Is that correct? Is that a good way of explaining it.
[01:32:01] Jacob Schoen: I believe that. To be perfectly honest, I’m not super sure about cellulite but it makes sense to me because a lot of people – the fat that you have at least above the orthopedic system is located inside of that superficial layer of fascia. If that fascia contracts it makes sense that it’ll create some dimpling effect for the cellulite. Absolutely.
[01:32:21] Ashley James: There’s aesthetic reason why we should hydrate. What do you recommend? Let’s say everyone who is listening is dehydrated on some level. They’re drinking coffee or black tea instead of water. They’re not drinking the 4 gallons of water a day or whatever.
[01:32:41] Jacob Schoen: That’s quite a bit a lot of water. [Laughter]
[01:32:42] Ashley James: I’m from Canada. I keep on forgetting quarts. Quarts, not gallons.
[01:32:46] Jacob Schoen: We use liters.
[01:32:47] Ashley James: You guys use liters. Okay, two liters is a minimum, right?
[01:32:51] Jacob Schoen: Yes, we need to switch to the metric system without a doubt. I hate dealing with ounces and gallons. It doesn’t make any sense. Let’s be honest.
[01:32:59] Ashley James: You drink at least 2 liters of water a day but okay, if everyone is somewhat dehydrated how much water should people drink and how can we help dehydrated tissue to become hydrated again? Are there any exercises or movements that or just moving the body is that going to be adequate enough to rehydrate?
[01:33:21] Jacob Schoen: Yes. That really takes time. The way I think about it is like filling an Olympic size swimming pool. It’s going to take some time. Your body is 70% water certain structures are more or less depending on which one you’re talking about. If you want to think about it, yes, I dumped 4 liters of water into my body today. Okay, that’s good. But how much of that water is needed to work through the kidneys so it can cleanse and detoxify? How much of that water is for biochemical processes and how much of that after is actually going to make its way into my orthopedic system so I can start to rehydrate the structures that we’re talking about. I don’t know what the numbers is. It might be only be a 100ml of that 4L that you drink. If you’re missing 15 kilos of water in your body then it’s going to take a little while for you to get rehydrated. A lot of people say “Oh I need to drink water. Yes, but I’ve been drinking water for last week and I don’t feel any different or I’m just peeing a lot.” I was like, ”Hey, sorry to break it to you but it takes a little while to do that kind of thing” I would say it also depends of what kind of climate you live into. If you live in a super dry climate, it’s different than you live in a humidity, if you live in an altitude that’s different. If you live in New Orleans where I live where it’s just hot as a mother every day, then it’s a little bit different. I like to say that if, I’m going back to ounces look at me talking about how much the metric system is good, I’m going back to ounces. Your bodyweight in ounces of water a day is a good place to start. You also have the thing about the quality of the water. Hopefully, it’s not tap water. I’m crossing my finger for you. It’s not tap water. Nice quality mineral water that has different effect than just distilled reverse osmosis water like with the minerals and things like that. Whether you drink it with food or without food, that’s getting into fine details of it. A lot of people that they think they drink a lot of water and then you really ask them and they go, “Oh, I drink water.” I was like, “How much do you drink?” “Oh, I don’t know couple of glasses. Yes, I drink 4 glasses or 8 ounces a day.” “That’s only 32 ounces mam, you need to drink like a hundred. What are you doing?” People are in some ways surprised that they have these orthopedic issues but that the same time they’re dehydrated. That is the base to base level of nutrition for your body. If you don’t have water you can’t do anything else. Yes, you can’t do anything else. If you want height in the disc for your lumbar spine so that the nerve isn’t so compressed, guess what, the disc is 85% water. You need water in the disc to make a change. You need water in the muscle. You need water in the fascia so that things could actually move. A lot of people – my teacher loves to say this, I think it is such a great idea. There’s the age on your passport then there’s the actual age of your body. We all know somebody who’s in their 80’s but looks vibrant, feels young and moves really well. Then we also know somebody in their 30’s that is like, “Oh my back, every day, oh my knees.” There’s a difference between the age in your passport and the age on your body. Water is the answer. Drink more water. As far as movement that’s going to solicit the water, just moving is good place to start. As far as particular movement, you just move the water around your body. I don’t really have answer for that, unfortunately.
[01:36:45] Ashley James: Just drink and move and your body’s will take care of itself.
[01:36:58] Jacob Schoen: Think about your body as any other body of water. If you look at a pond that doesn’t have any freshwater moving in and out of it guess what, it get stagnant, it gets stale, it starts to stink, it starts to rot. Guess what? You’re not moving and you’re not getting new water to your body. No wonder that you have this pain or that pain or that ache that just will not go away. You need to manage those things on a more consistent basis for you to really make any change. That takes time too. The gentleman who came saw me from Colorado. He’s been living in Colorado. He’s super active. He’s a super active guy works out on the heat all the time. He’s only been drinking about a liter to a liter and a half of water a day. He’s about 180-170 pounds. That is 50% of what he needs to be drinking and he’s been drinking that for 25 years. There’s no adaptability. There’s no leeway in his tissue because there’s no water in his body.
[01:37:58] Ashley James: I love it and it’s going to take time. Like you said, in 2 weeks working with you, his pain went from 8 out ten to 4 out of ten. I imagine in the coming weeks, he’s going to see even better results but it does take time. He flew down to see you and he flew back and he’s continuing to do the exercises you taught him and getting result. I love it. I love that.
[01:38:23] Jacob Schoen: That’s the hope at least is that it he keeps- unfortunately, it’s easier for us to have a short term memory loss where we go, “Oh, I forgot how much pain I was in. My pain is gone. My body feels good. I don’t have to do my exercise anymore.” Then they try to go right back into the gym, pick up right where they left off deadlifting, how many pounds and they go, “Oh crap, my back hurts again.” it’s like, “Well, sorry brother but you’re not quite back to the place where I need you to be before you can really start loading your body again.”
[01:38:55] Ashley James: Right. I had that happen with my clients where I get them off of the foods that are causing inflammation, get the mono great holistic diet that’s anti-inflammatory and get them on some supplements to aid in rebuilding their body if they have certain nutrient deficiencies. They started feeling amazing and they called me up and they’re like, “Why am I in so much pain?” I’ve had it more than once. It’s so funny. Just one that’s come into mind, this grandma and she’s like, “Why am I in so much pain,” I’m like, “Okay. Well, what’s happening?” she’s doing everything, right? Everything I laid out for her she was getting really great results and all of a sudden she’s just totally flared up and I’m like, “Okay, tell me what you did this week.” “Well, I gardened and then hiked with my grandkids and then I played with them for 4 hours in the yard.” I’m like, “Were you doing any of that before we work together?” like, “No, I was sitting watching wheel of fortune all day because I couldn’t.” so when they start getting really good results take the pain away, all of a sudden they’re living like half their age and they’re go, go, go, and then some pain comes back because they’re pushing their body way beyond what they were used to. We have to always remember that, when the pain is gone we need to ease into it. Like you said, move more aware. Have that awareness and have that patience to baby your body a little bit, as we build up endurance. While we’re creating, we’re building upon a foundation you helped set for them.
[01:40:27] Jacob Schoen: Totally. You’ve got to take your time unless you’re an elite athlete and there’s a competition you’re getting ready for. Maybe you’re a weekend warrior and there’s really something you want to do. Yes, maybe you can push it a little bit but you have to take that into context that that’s a risk that you’re willing to take. But for most people, take your time, you got nothing to rush here.
[01:40:52] Ashley James: I have a few more questions before we wrap it out because you did say you were going to touch on explaining more about the tensegrity but before we do that we kept talking about water is. We live in a well and the water has been amazing the last few years but something happened also in our well. Water stared tasting funky and were like “Oh my gosh” we started buying bottled water while we waited for the lab results to come back to tell us whether our well water was safe or not. It’s something that I keep forgetting as you should, if you live in a well you should have it tested every year. It’s important you don’t want to die from E-coli. I finally made a purchase of a gravity-fed, this doesn’t require electricity so it’s great for emergencies. A gravity-fed water filtration system that’s really affordable. I’ve been wanting to buy it for about 12 years. I just didn’t have it. I didn’t need to buy it. It also has a way of filtering fluoride for those in the city. We are drinking even more water now because of it even though we’re well water for whatever reason just started it went back to normal. It was like this weird flu I don’t know what happened. Well, water still tastes great and we put this on this water filter that’s on our counter. It’s amazing. It filters out all viruses, it goes all the way down to viruses but like you could basically put sewer water, you could put water from a puddle or a pond, creek and it filters out everything. It doesn’t filter out minerals. It makes the water taste amazing. It’s now my new favorite water filter. I think everyone should own it. I’m going to put a link to it in the show notes.
[01:42:47] Jacob Schoen: What’s it called?
[01:42:49] Ashley James: I forget the size. There’s different sizes, it’s a Berkey.
[01:42:55] Jacob Schoen: Berkey, yes. I was going to say, Berkey. It’s awesome.
[01:42:57] Ashley James: I did it. I read a bunch of people’s comments about which size to get and I was like, “Oh we should just get the travel size.” I read a bunch of notes you should actually get one size larger than what you think you need because you will want to cook with that water. The whole family wants to drink it but then you’re going to also find that you want to cook with it. Once we start doing that, we realize that we still fill it up everyday. We got the 3rd largest size. I’ll put it in the show notes. This is my absolute new favorite kitchen gadget is the Berkey. Like I said, you can get the filters to filter out the fluoride because a lot of people go, “I don’t like the taste of water.” It’s like you know what, this stuff makes water taste amazing especially if they live in the city, right? Even bottled water. I had a problem with buying bottled water. I’ve had a guest on the show, doctor on the show teaching this. They’re finding now that if you drink bottled water, basically any water from plastic any water that’s been stored in a plastic they’re finding micro-plastic has been leeched into your water. What’s your kidney and liver going to do with microplastic?
[01:44:1] Jacob Schoen: Throw their hands up in the air and complain. I guess
[01:44:19] Ashley James: Right. Exactly. It’s an endocrine distractor, it’s an obesogenic. It’s not healthy in anyway. So many people resort to drinking water from plastic bottles that is why I love the idea of getting the Berkey for everyone because it makes your water taste great. It’ll take out the chlorine and the fluoride and all that stuff from tap water. It makes it taste great so you drink more. It doesn’t require any electricity so if there’s a problem you could still filter water if there’s an emergency.
[01:44:52] Jacob Schoen: I’m actually probably going to buy one for my studio honestly. I definitely should.
[01:44:58] Ashley James: The trick I found is you want to get one that is big enough to feed everyone for the day but only for the day. You want to fill it up at the end of each day maximum at the end of two days but you don’t want to go longer that because if the filter gets dry and air gets in it, it becomes very slow. You want to get one that’s big enough to give enough water so it doesn’t run out during the day but the small enough to still need to put to fill up the top chamber once every one or 2 days. That’s my tip for knowing what size Berkey to get. I highly recommend it. I think everyone should own a Berkey. I’ve seen a lot of people in RV have travel Berkey because they literally go to a pond or a creek and put it in. It’s pretty cool. Yes, okay. That was my plug for – I’ll make sure the link to my favorite size and put the Berkeys in the show notes of the podcast at learntruehealth.com. Of course and the link to Jacob Schoen’s website as well is going to be in the show notes of the podcast which is shiftsportwellness.com. We’re going to talk about how people could work with you but first, tensegrity is that like a mixture of tension and integrity?
[01:46:25] Jacob Schoen: That is exactly what it is. Good for you. That’s awesome. Yes, it was actually originally a term developed for more architectural structures. Buckminster fuller back in like I want to say maybe 1970’s, 1960’s, don’t quote me on that. There’s a lot of big structures across the world that are using tensegrity principles to be built. If you think about a building that is – they’re going to try to build a building I think Dubai or Qatar that’s almost a kilometer high. You can’t build that building by stacking one brick on top of another. It just wouldn’t work. You have to build integrity into the building intrinsically by creating tension across the pieces. You think about the golden gate bridge, you think about I think it’s the Olympics dome in Montreal, there’s another building in France. Classically as you can think about it. It is islands, this is a strict way of saying it. Islands of solid pieces so an island in a sea of tension. What that means is if you look at your orthopedic system, there no place where you should say that “this is supported by that” right? Because it’s not a brick on top of a brick. When I stand up, my head is not attached to a hook in the ceiling or by a rod in my back unless I’ve had surgery. When you look at a skeleton in the classroom, it has to be supported by rod or else it would just fall to the floor. How does it maintain its structure? It maintains its structure by taking this piece and pulling it tight and then attaching it to that piece and then attaching it over there, back and forth back and forth and before you know it, it’s like a spiders web in your whole body that pulls you together and keeps you together but allows you to move and be dynamic at the same time. That tensegrity system is really how we look at the body. If we want to understand how different pathologies or different problems can really be connected because if you look at it from a Newtonian kind of way it’s just this brick is on top of this brick on top of this brick then it wouldn’t make any sense that the brick at the bottom is affecting directly the brick at the very top. If you look at it in the way that this one is connected to that one to that one then it makes a lot of sense how you can have a problem at your ankle which affects your knee which affects your hip which affects your lower back which affects then your neck. All of these pieces together come together to make the tensegrity model. When you have your body it is being held together by the tension and the tension, its base of support or its foundation is this decompressive element, your bones essentially. Through that, you create the beautiful and amazing organisms that you are as a human. Which is how we are able to walk upright and how we are able to do all the things that we can do. If you just took a brunch of bricks held them on a stack and then drop them on the floor they would all fall apart. For me if I stand up and jump when I land, my heart doesn’t hit my pelvis there’s a reason for that. It’s because it supported by all the ligaments that we’ve talked about earlier. There’s a reason why my sacrum doesn’t fall to the ground it’s because it’s supported by the sacral ligaments, the disc in the lumbar spine, all of that stuff and the muscle and all that. Really that goes back to the fascia which is what gives our body the ability to have a tensegrity structure. If you don’t have a tissue that connects all of the pieces, then you don’t have tensegrity structure. You just have brick on top of brick and we know that we don’t have that because a skeleton can’t hang by himself. To respect that we have to use exercise and therapies that respect that organization which is why I think that these programs are so amazing is because they do respect that. Yes, they break it down to pieces but they talk about and teach you how to assess why the ankle might affect a problem with the head or why someone who’s had a concussion needs to have work done on their coccyx. Things like that is just why it’s so freaking cool. To be honest with you. That’s why it’s so complex and so difficult. That’s why a lot of people they can spend their time spinning their wheels, it like “You know, I had a back problem. I went to the surgeon I got my back operated on and I still have back pain.” It’s like, hmm that is interesting maybe it’s because your knee or maybe it’s emotional system or any of the other things. The tensegrity is a biomechanical philosophy but it’s also a global way of thinking because it’s a more complex way of thinking which means that you respect the complexity of a human not just a robot with muscle on them walking into your office.
[01:51:27] Ashley James: Yes. I love it. I’ve got these amazing experience where my chiropractor gives me an exercise for my upper back and my lower back all of a sudden stops hurting. He adjusts my neck and my hip stops hurting or he adjust my assai joint and my thoracic spine stops hurting. I’m like, “What did you do?” It’s cool because like you said, it’s about respecting that integrity of the where the tension needs to be in that balance. I like that your type of training with people, your exercise and also the therapy you do is looking at how you can support that body and having that optimal balance. That makes complete sense.
[01:52:13] Jacob Schoen: Absolutely. It’s back to the specialization quote. If you only specialize in one thing when someone comes to you for that thing then that’s what you’re going to do. But if you at least have the foresight to say that, “Okay, the thing that they’re coming to me for might not actually be their problem. It might just might be where their symptoms are” then you can really open up the doors for them to actually get the result that they’re looking for which is pain or a better performance or whatever is. Now I’m at the point where I’m just like I’m not even having convinced myself anymore because being classically educated in western culture where most things are reduction is down to this specific thing or the problem is where the symptoms are. I had to work really hard to think in this way and I think in a more complex way and to take myself out of the more linear way of thinking. Now that I’m on the dark side if you will, it’s just so obvious to me. Of course, it’s all connected. Like how simple do you think a human being early is although we can’t be simple sometimes. How complex do you think somethings really be it can be with? It can be tremendously complex. Of course, the muscles of your eyes that help you orient yourself with where you’re looking can affect your lower back. Of course, the concussion that you had when you were 7 because the dura mater envelopes the brain then goes down and attached to the coccyx. Of course that can explain some of the pelvic problems that you’re having but until you take a step back and really see it that way then you don’t really have an opportunity to fully help someone to their potential because you’re limited in the philosophy that you have towards or least you used to approach them.
[01:54:00] Ashley James: Right. There’s a big difference between the hubris and the humility. You have so much humility that you’re willing to say “I don know but I’m not going to impose my belief system in my client. I’m going to be open-minded and be the detective to help find the root cause and help my client come back into balance and be open to learning new things as I go.” Versus other practitioner will have that hubris to believe that they know better. Right? That’s where we really hit a brick wall when it comes to our own healing. When we give up that power especially to practitioners that have that hubris.
[01:54:52] Jacob Schoen: Totally. To be perfectly honest with you, that was not how I started. I’m a person when I was in high school I couldn’t translate Latin to save my life so I would memorize hundreds and hundreds of words of Latin for a particular translation so that when I got the test I could just write from memory. I am a go, go, go type like, “All right. You want to beat me in this contest? Well, good luck.” kind of person. For me to admit that I don’t know something definitely took some time. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s almost freeing to say that I don’t know somethings because then the pressure of having to know isn’t there and also the opportunity to grow from not knowing and having the opportunity to explore and to challenge myself by thinking in different way is now open. It just makes me think of the quote that my teacher always says which is like, “With the body, always possible.” that is just I think so beautiful and powerful. Yes, I’d like to think of ourselves pretty highly. As humans, we kind of dominated the planet and all the stuff that we do to the world but like as an organism, as a creature we are pretty spectacular. The emotional capacity that we have, the physical capacity that we have and all of those to be in the world that we are. We are amazing, amazing creature. I think we have to adopt different kind of thinking to respect that organization. For me as far as an exercise goes that’s what I’m passionate about this makes the most sense.
[01:56:30] Ashley James: I love it you have mentioned that you worked with a woman recently where you did a fundamental exercise to release L5-S1. Is that something you can teach us through the podcast?
[01:56:46] Jacob Schoen: Verbally? No. Before I kind of to but it isn’t something – It’s difficult to do when you’re with someone because of the amount of awareness that it takes. For example, you have to simultaneously coordinate specific movements with your hands, your neck, your eyes, your lower back, your feet, your knees, your hips. I mean your whole body has to be coordinated because what you’re trying to do is I use an analogy like the golf swing. If I want to hit a golf ball at the hole, well then I can’t hit it anywhere else, I have to hit it at the hole. To hit it in the hole, I have to have my hand, my elbows, my shoulder, my hips. Everything needs to be going well. I need to judge the wind all those stuff. All those pieces needed to come together and if they come together, I can hit it the hole. If they don’t come together, maybe I hit it off into the bunker or whatever it is. To be able to actually specifically target L5-S1, the connected tissue around L5-S1 and that joint by itself, it takes a coordinated effort of your whole body. To do that, especially if you are not super aware of your limbs or you’re maybe not the most coordinated person is different to do in person and over audio like this without being visually seeing someone. I’d say impossible.
[01:58:04] Ashley James: Got it. We want to hit it in the hole. That’s why people should come see you. You are willing to talk to people on Skype but you mostly work with people in person and clients have flown to see you. What does it look like to work with you? How people work with you and could people let’s say a listener in Australia work with you through skype?
[01:58:33] Jacob Schoen: Yes, absolutely. It just depends on what they’re really looking to accomplish. If you have someone who is in Australia for example who wants to learn the basics of Eldoa, wants for someone to introduce it to them to see if they like it to see how they feel I do skype sessions like that all the time. People connect me just because they want to work with me. They like that approach that I have and they want to learn some of the exercises. If you have a really specific thing that you haven’t been able to resolve in months or years or weeks or whatever it is and you have the means to come down and see me, I set up blocks of time for people to come down get the training and work on the exercise and they go home with the full exercise program based on the problems that they have and then how much time they have. You don’t want to give someone an hour of exercise if they say they only have 10 minutes because they’re a busy mom or executive or whatever it is. Then I’ve also had people who had organized little courses where they bring me to their facility for their athletes or for their practitioner and I give them an Eldoa rundown. I teach them some of the basics of the Eldoa. I call it a workshop. I do a workshop for them where the goal is to introduce them to the exercises, to teach them some of the basics that they can start to do for themselves and to start to integrate that in their daily practice or movement practice and things like that. If you’re within driving distance of me come on down and see me. I have my studio here in New Orleans and I take clients everyday except for the weekends. I take off on the weekend for a little me time. Come down and see me and then the process is relatively the same. Have the assessment try to figure out what I see in your body based off your symptoms and all those things to give me as much information I can have about you, your lifestyle, nutrition, stress all that type of stuff. To start to develop a program and a plan of attack if you will, to get you to where you want to be and then either put you back in the car and send you back to where your home and you work on that for a couple of weeks and then you come back depending on your means. Or if you’re an out of town person, maybe we spend instead of just 1 or 2 hours together, we spend 2 or 3 days together. Do a whole bunch of work. Give you a big program like the gentleman who came from Colorado and then you go off. You work on that. You report back to me. You get feedback and then we work from there. It’s really a process for those types of things.
[02:00:58] Ashley James: I love it. And your clinic in New Orleans is called shift sport wellness?
[02:01:04] Jacob Schoen: It was. I did call it shift sport wellness but then I changed to shift training and health because people didn’t know what support and wellness meant so I changed it to training and health which made it hopefully more obvious for people.
[02:01:18] Ashley James: Got it. Okay, awesome. But if they go to shiftsportwellness.com they can find out more information in your clinic and how they can work with you and how they contact you?
[02:01:31] Jacob Schoen: Yes. I am on there. That’s is going to be the best place. I’m on google. If you search shift training health on google, you’d find me and there should be link to message me on there. Then my email is also on my website. Anything that people want to send me with questions, I try to help with over email as best as I can but the reality is that if I really respect the complexity of the person, if someone tells me that they have back pain for 10 years what can they do. My answer to be honest with you is I don’t know because I don’t know who I’m working with yet. I try to be as helpful as I can but also respect the idea that each person is an individual and I can’t give cookie-cutter answer for people really looking to help themselves.
[02:02:18] Ashley James: I love that. It comes back that you have the humility to respect everyone as an individual. Of course, if someone has back pain for 10 years they should come see you in person so you can do an assessment. Like you said, you do an extensive assessment to figure out if you can see the Kinesiology of the problem. Then, of course, like you said, you asses their nutrition and find out if they’re dehydrated or not and their lifestyle. You can determine what’s going on and you take it from there. I have really enjoyed spending the last 2 hours with you. The time has just flown. It’s easy, so awesome. Is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview? Anything left unsaid or any last words you want to share with our listeners?
[02:03:08] Jacob Schoen: If I hadn’t already said it then I’ll make it explicitly clear. I think when it comes to these types of problems that we’re talking about. I think you really have two options. Those two options are one, you can offload the responsibility and the work and the problem to someone else or you can take the responsibility yourself. Just because you go and see someone doesn’t mean that you’re offloading that responsibility but if you can find a way to use exercise, I mean I see a counselor every week just to because it’s nice to talk to somebody. Like if you can start to work with people that help you help yourself that’s really going to be where the power is. If you continue to do things that in some way start to wheel away at that power that you have. I think in the long term you will find that you won’t be as successful. My really advice to people would be start to bring the power back to yourself and to try to make the change for yourself because in my experience, you can do it.
[02:04:18] Ashley James: That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Jacob Schoen, for coming on the show today. The links to everything that Jacob does is going to be in the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. His website again is shiftsportwellness.com. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show and sharing why we should all learn Eldoa. I think we should all learn it. This is amazing because we want to keep like you said, the integrity and the tension in the right space, in the right alignment as the demands of our body changes throughout our life that we make sure that we are coming back into balance. It just makes sense to work with you. People take their car to the mechanic more than they consider taking their body to the mechanic, right? You’re like the mechanic I want to take my body to. That’s pretty awesome. Jacob, it’s been such a pleasure talking to you today.
[02:05:12] Jacob Schoen: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed it.
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Get Connected With Jacob Schoen!
Recommended Readings by Jacob Schoen
Gray’s Anatomy 1901 by Henry Gray
How To Eat, Move, and Be Healthy by Paul Chek