Daniel Kalish, D.C., Founder, The Kalish Institute
Using the hips to hinge, paying special attention to the head/neck relationship, developing the core strength of the posterior chain vs. limb strength or ab strength I’d heard all this before, thirty years before and have had decades of personal experience with the various systems out there that attempt to focus on these concepts. So I put the book down, ignored the DVD and didn’t try Foundation Training. (Hint, this was a mistake, don’t do this.) Fortunately I was offered a couple of sessions with a Foundation Training expert trained by Dr. Goodman to learn about the work directly and I grudgingly went along with it just to check out what the buzz was around Foundation Training. Literally two minutes into the exercises I realized something special was going on here. Dr. Goodman has taken a very well-worn path and blazed a completely new trail which is impossible to appreciate or understand until you get your first two minutes of Foundation Training and the light bulb goes on. Foundation Training is like powerlifting or Olympic weight training for your deep postural muscles. As we sit a lot, collapsed, and work on computers these deep postural muscles degrade and weaken to the point they can no longer function and hold us up. Even the “fit” among us, professional athletes, tend toward developing poor movement patterns from the years of sitting we all do that then translate into their sport whether it be basketball or cycling. Breaking these postural movement patterns is virtually impossible using most all of the existing systems. Yoga increases flexibility and strength, weight training increases muscle strength, the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais make us aware of poor movement patterns, but Dr. Goodman has developed the unthinkable – one single set of exercises that quickly, almost miraculously create profound muscle strength and flexibility at the same time in just the areas we are weakest and tightest from our modern lifestyle habits.
Shocked to be pain-free and mobile
Two days before a major long haul flight to Australia, I re-injured my back at the L5/S1 level thanks to chores of motherhood. Given that my previous injury took three months to heal, I was feeling pretty doubtful about my recovery. However, despite the pain, I started my Foundation exercises straight away. During the flight, the pain was exacerbated by sitting. So, I made regular trips to the back of the plane to do a "founder", which really helped. Then, after about 10 days of regular Foundation exercises, I was shocked to find myself pain-free and mobile. I am astounded at the speed of my recovery. I've been able to get back into sports training with no residual problems. Fantastic!
Thank you for making Foundation Training
I just want to thank you guys for making this Foundation Training. I got into a bad car accident almost 2 years ago. I’ve tried every treatment out there- many of which helped and I’ve had great doctors along the way but by far the best and most effective program I’ve done is Foundation Training. I am living pain-free, and have confidence in my back now. As you know the back affects everything you do in life and I had an extremely hard time dealing with that for a while. I was an active Physical Education teacher and for years was not able to do much. I’m now living my life again and want to thank you because of that!!
Foundation helped my daughter
At the age of 13, our daughter, McKenna, sustained a 6 mm herniation of her disc between L5 and S1. This was an acute injury from an ice skating accident approximately four years ago. Since that time, we have pursued every treatment option available to us, with the exception of surgery. Physical therapy, spinal decompression, acupuncture, and massage have all been defensive therapies offering little, if any, long term improvement. McKenna has continued to play competitive volleyball at the high school and Club level throughout this time. For 3-years it felt like we were simply going from practice to practice, never sure which one might be her last. We were referred to Dr. Eric Goodman last year. He introduced us to his ‘Foundation’ training at that time. At first, it seemed too directly focused on the lower back, and counter-intuitive in terms of strengthening versus over challenging the affected area. Dr. Goodman continually assured us that ‘this will not hurt you.’ McKenna continued with the sessions and began to feel a strength and confidence in her back that she had not experienced in years. Dr. Goodman provided the first tangible, long term benefit for my daughter’s lower back since we started battling her injury over 4-years ago. We are deeply grateful, and feel so fortunate that Dr. Goodman introduced his ‘Foundation’ training to Santa Barbara.
12 months after Foundation
Is today going to be a good day, or a bad day? Will I be able to get through the day without pain meds? These are often some of your first thoughts when you wake up if you’ve ever dealt with chronic back pain. Sure, there are some days when conditions change but usually you know how you’re going to feel within the first few steps out of bed. And if you’re someone who has been dealing with back pain for a long time, you’re probably lucky to have a couple of “good” days per week. Of course by now, feeling “good” is a lot different than it used to be but you take what you can get, right? You start noticing that daily activities you used to take for granted are becoming more and more challenging and downright risky. For instance, when your back hurts you become acutely aware of how many times you have to bend-over throughout the day. Because of pain and fatigue you’re limited to how many “bend-overs” you have per day so you find yourself trying to preserve them and not use them up too early. Before your back started hurting you never gave that a second thought. But now, simply bending over becomes a daunting task and is something to be avoided at all costs, especially on a bad day. Shoot, even bending over on a good day is filled with apprehension and second thought. The physical pain is only part of the decay; it’s really the mental exhaustion and frustration that grinds you down. Knowing how young you are and what you’re still capable of doing, but you’re limited, held back from doing things that you used to do, and fearful of trying things you want to do. It’s like living in a ‘cage’ of some sort. Trying hard not to believe that the active, athletic and physical person you used to be is now a distant memory with little chance of returning. You try to remain positive and to appreciate the good days and just make it through the bad days, but in reality you’re only one bad step or twist away from re-injuring your back and re-starting the pain and temporary recovery cycle all over again. As each year passes you reluctantly start to accept that these limitations have now become your “new normal” and this might be as good as it gets. Personally I know this story all too well because this is basically how I felt for years.
It’s been 12 months since I discovered Foundation Training. It seemed like last month when I was in front of this very computer checking out Foundation Training for the first time. I had just returned from a consultation with a spine specialist because I had become so frustrated with my back pain and its limitations. Thankfully before I left the doctor’s office he recommended that I give this new exercise system called Foundation Training a try because it’s supposed to help with back pain. Looking back, I’m very grateful that Dr. Jackson didn’t just try to immediately sell me on invasive back treatments like cortisone injections or surgery like so many doctors tend to do these days. I remember watching the interview with Dr. Mercola along with Eric’s Ted X presentation and thinking how much everything I was hearing made SO much sense! It was definitely a light-bulb moment. Almost immediately I bought the book and DVD and starting doing the basic YouTube routine right in front of my computer, disc bulging and lower back arthritis in full flare-up mode. I also remember having a sense of excitement and hope soon after performing a couple of very shaky Founders because I could immediately feel what was happening. This was the first time in years that I actually felt like I was able to properly engage my back and deep postural muscles with confidence and not be afraid of injuring myself. I found it amazing that these simple "looking" postures could activate so many muscles at the same time. I struggled with the exercises for the first week, but after that it really didn’t take much longer until I noticed the disc wasn’t bulging anymore and the daily chronic arthritic pain was disappearing. Of course at first I was skeptical and thought I was just having some of those rare “good” days, but I quickly realized that the pain was going away for a reason and that I had finally discovered something profound which would help me return to my old self.
Along with my newly integrated Posterior Chain I also had a renewed sense of self and a desire to share Foundation with others. I noticed that Foundation had recently started their certification program, so a few months later I decided to dust off my Sports Medicine degree and get back to my personal training roots. I flew all the way out to LA and went through the 4-day certification and properly learned about the philosophy, principles, techniques, and exercises that make up this life-changing program. Despite having an education and background in exercise I quickly realized there were many small details and nuances that simply couldn’t be learned on my own. It felt so good to be physically and mentally challenged and exhausted at the end of each day. Eric and the entire Foundation Team were incredibly knowledgeable and couldn’t have been more helpful and accessible. Plus I also met so many wonderful people in my certification class that I now consider friends and colleagues. Ironically, when I received my certification on the final day it just happened to be my birthday. Maybe it was a re-birth of some sort. Coincidence?
One year later and here I am with virtually no back pain, much better posture, and stronger and more flexible than I’ve been since college. That chronic low back/ upper pelvic arthritic pain that was a result of severe disc degeneration in my lower lumbar spine and was so bad during the winter months, is now gone. I almost never feel that pain anymore! While my disc still bulges every now and then, I understand that my body and spine are still adapting and evolving to all of the positive changes. Now when wake up I no longer wonder how I’m going to feel that day. The “good” days are plentiful and back to feeling genuinely good, and the bad days are far and few between. I feel like a functional and productive human being again. Not only capable of performing daily tasks with ease but also exercising and being active again, and no longer fearful and apprehensive. On the cover of the Foundation book it says… “Redefine you core, conquer back pain, and move with confidence.” Today I realize that is not just a tag line to peak interest and sell books, it’s actually genuine and very attainable and describes perfectly what you can achieve by incorporating Foundation into your life.