Episode 60: The Race

In the news, we hear wheat farmers react to Bill O’Reilly’s suggestion that the United States government sponsor a “Beware of Wheat” public service announcement. New York City’s health panel considers banning large sodas…and more. We discuss what the meat industry is feeding cattle. Where does your Vitamin C come from? There was ‘anti-freeze’ in some cereals when they were pulled from the shelves. What does it mean when a product claims that it is ‘natural’ on its label? We talk about how Americans are spending their grocery dollars and whether the Paleo Diet could be the answer for the future. Finally, a new study looks at mental illness and vegetarianism. In Paleo Land, Marks Daily Apple tells us how we can potentially answer questions about the primal or Paleo approach. The Moment of Paleo is about The Race to the Bottom, as it relates to food. There are two After the Bell segments this week.

Links for this episode:

This week’s show sponsored by ManGrate and their fantastic $20 summer offer!

Read more

Episode 414 – Darryl Edwards – Movement and Play


We have our friend Darryl Edwards as guest on the podcast for Episode 414. Darryl Edwards is a Movement Coach, Natural Lifestyle Educator, nutritionist and creator of the Primal Play Method™. Darryl developed the Primal Play methodology to inspire others to make activity fun while getting healthier, fitter and stronger in the process. Darryl is also the owner of Fitness Explorer Training and author of several books including Paleo FitnessPaleo from A to Z and April 2018 best-seller Animal Moves  His work has been published in titles such as Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Elle Magazine, Men’s Fitness and featured on the BBC documentaries Eat to Live Forever and Doctor In The House.


Show Notes:

00:48 – Intro to Darryl Edwards and Primal Play
2:48 – Darryl’s career background, health history, and how he got into paleo
9:10 – What motivated Darryl to do a book and a certification and get into this work
15:38 – Incorporating movement and play-outs in regular life
17:16 – Structure vs unstructured activity for people and for kids
25:01 – Risk assessment for kids
28:06 – Overprotecting kids and losing resilience and risk assessment ability
31:00 – Where to find Darryl
32:55 – Movement Oncology – movement as medicine for cancer
35:00 – Underappreciated movement
36:51 – Thanks

Website: PrimalPlay.com

Certification: PrimalPlay.com/certification

Social Media:
Twitter: @fitnessexplorer
Instagram: fitnessexplorer
Facebook: @fitnessexplorer

Book: Animal Moves



Download a copy of this transcript here (PDF)

Paleo Solution – 414


Robb: Darryl, how are you doing, my friend?

Darryl: I’m very good, my mate.

Robb: Awesome. It was good seeing you briefly as always at Paleo f(x)™. It’s always two ships passing in the night at that gig, although I do usually about every 5 to 10 minutes I get a blast of wind as you and your entourage have somebody on your back and you go sprinting by, like 22 miles an hour, nearly max human speed unladen and usually have a large human on your back jamming by. What’s new? What have you been up to?

Darryl: Well, since the last time we spoke, which is at Paleo f(x)™, a couple of weeks back, now I was very happy to launch my Primal Play Movement Coach Certification Program in the US. So that was launched about a week or so before Paleo f(x)™. I’m really pleased about that. It’s been several years in the making. I launched in the UK late last year. It was just one way of me to really build on getting some ambassadors on board, those who resonate with my message and those who want to get people to reconnect with natural primal instinctive movements and have a lot of fun doing.

Robb: Well, it’s always awesome seeing you at these different events because you have a huge chunk of people waiting to get in on this stuff. The things that you’ve incorporated, they range from all of these different odd angle movements to some stuff that to me, from my eyes, look derived out of like Greco wrestling and judo, so all kinds of things, move your own body, figure out how to move somebody else’s body, how to respond dynamically in a play-based fashion to interacting with other folks. It definitely is a ton of fun, the stuff that you’re doing.

I do want to dig in a little bit about your history on this whole story because you have a really eclectic background. Primal health was not your first — you’ve literally lived like three or four lives already. Do you want to let folks know a little bit about that background?

Darryl: Yes. So I started out — my previous career was working with an investment banking as a technologist. I was one of a handful of people around the world who could work in a particular area. So it meant pretty much being on call 24/7, seven days a week, 16 to 18-hour days, getting phone calls throughout the night so I was very sleep deprived, very lucrative and my bank balance was extremely healthy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as healthy.

There’s so much you can take into your 20s and 30s. You can pretty much take an onslaught of abuse — what you do to your body, what you do being sleep deprived. I was privileged enough to have an annual health check, so the three and a half to four hours’ worth of tests and diagnostics telling you how you are holding out. One year I was told, “Actually, Mr. Edwards, we have a problem. We’re concerned about, you know, you’re pre-diabetic. You have elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. You’ve been anemic for a very long time.” I was suffering with chronic low back pain for almost a couple of decades. I was pretty much a mess. Hypertensive, so my blood pressure was something like 155, 160 over 110 on a regular basis.

So almost every time I went to my doctor, I was told, “Look, we need to get you on some meds, some statins, get something to reduce your blood pressure, get some metformin to reduce your blood glucose levels.” I was like, “Is there an alternative.” The alternative was really “We’ll give you something else.” I was like, “Well, okay, I’m concerned about the side effects. I’m concerned about the cocktail of meds. How long do you think I need to be on these for?” “Darryl, pretty much until the end of your days.”

I was fortunate enough to have read a book by Loren Cordain, The Paleo Diet, which I call a shelf-help book because they’ve been on my shelf for probably a couple of years by then, and I hadn’t read it. But there was something I remember on first pass about going back to basics. I recognized that if I was sedentary and I was eating pretty much whatever I could get my hand to and I wasn’t really thinking about what I was eating, I had to at least start off by doing that. I was like, if I’ve got high blood pressure and movement is one way of addressing that, if I’m highly stressed and again exercise is a good intervention for that, let me start moving.


So I joined a gym. I started getting active. I started seeing results in my health markers. My blood pressure came down. My cholesterol profile, lipid profile improved. It was all a very good start. Then I start to think to myself, “Well, okay, if I’m eating, if I’m moving well and I’m moving right and I’m moving better, I need to definitely start considering diet that I should go on.” I know you go back a long way, Robb, so the Zone Diet will mean a lot to you. I went to Zone initially. I just got fed up with having to pretty much be so neurotic about measurements. I can only have nine almonds rather than eight. I got to get those percentages right.

I was like, “I can’t continue to do this.” And then I was like, “Hold on a second, that book, that book, remember that Paleo Diet book.” There was something in there about a diet that we evolved, what we’re designed to eat, and that just made sense to me; that we had to move, we had to eat well in order to get to where we are today. Take the best of the past, blend that with the best of the present. It has to be a better way forward for myself.

So that’s what I did. Literally, within a few months, everything had been normalized in terms of my blood test results. I was no longer at risk. In some areas, it was optimal according to the clinicians who were working from me. I decided this is going to be me for the long haul. Unless something changes dramatically, I want to stay on this path.

Fast forwarding on, I then decided I had to do anything to get out of banking. I had to change my career. So I started out in the music biz for a while. I recorded an album. It took about three years to record. It was nominated as one of the top albums of 2005 by BBC Radio 1 in the UK. I toured a bit. I had a number one video on MTV in Latin America, of all places. Fortunately for me, now I can say, is that the record label went bust. So my music career kind of fizzled out, very promising but didn’t work out. But thank goodness it didn’t work out because I was spending time in the studio overnight. I was still making poor health decisions around that time.

So I decided to cross train, nutritional therapy, become a personal trainer. And then I realized I could no longer stay within the banking environment and really do this justice in terms of educating other people. I found I was able to maintain good health. But in order for me to really sell this message, I’ve got to remove myself and really dig deep and really immerse myself into this lifestyle.

That’s pretty much a summation of what I did way back then. And then for the last, when I quit banking in 2011, this is what I’m doing up until now, kind of figuring out what I wanted to do with my newfound passion for life and zest for life and how I could…

Robb: Okay, folks, we’re back. We had a little bit of connectivity issues. Darryl, you were unpacking your history ranging from a pretty interesting tech-based background in banking to a super cool but short-lived music career. But in the process of all that, you discovered you had some serious health issues and really used movement and play as kind of the primary intervention, clearly also with an ancestral diet background to kind of augment that whole story. You’ve been in this space a long time now. What motivated you ultimately to do both a book and a certification? Both of those things are daunting amount of time and resources. What lit a fire under you to do that?

Darryl: I suppose it was when I got contacted after a couple years of my blog. Two, three years of my blog, I got contacted by a publisher in the US to write Paleo fitness. That was the first time, you know, there hadn’t been any books really digging deep on the movement aspects of Paleo. It was mainly a focus on diet and nutrition. That got me really thinking about how important movement and physical activity was from a health perspective, not just getting into shape, not just getting fit but how movement is part and parcel of our progress, of ancestral history, so to speak.


A few years on from that, I also recognized that the elites when it comes to fitness I kind of catered for, fitness tends to be for fit people by and large. There were so many barriers to entry. It means that most of us are happier to spectate than to participate. When we had the Olympic Games in London in 2012, there’s always this talk about we want to leave a legacy behind of people are going to become less sedentary, less physically inactive because they will be inspired by watching these superhumans move.

Unfortunately, what happened is participation was actually dropped post event, and that’s been the case for any Olympic Games. There’s always excitement and fervor around “Oh, my goodness! I’m not going to join my local gym. I’m not going to become a rower because I’ve just seen my team win gold,” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But there’s something about exercise and something about getting fit which doesn’t sit well with our DNA. We’re designed to conserve calories, right? We had no idea where our next meal is going to come from. So for us to optionally burn calories, for us to recreationally burn calories, we need to be usually well fed. It means successful hunt. We can dance around the fire and dance and enjoy ourselves because we know we’re good for now.

And then you go places in a 21st century setting whereby where our environment is engineered for convenience. It’s engineered to make us more sedentary, to feel more comfortable about that sedentary lifestyle decision. We need a really good reason to get off of our armchair, to get off the couch. For some, we’re motivated enough to go, “Right, I need fitness. I need to join my gym. I need to get moving because I know it’s beneficial for me.” But a lot of us are like, “That’s not good enough for me.” You know what I mean? I’d rather sit back and watch reruns of my favorite show on Netflix and be fed grapes by my partner, hopefully. That seems more appealing to many.

So for me, the light bulb moment was what can I do to ensure I’m motivated for a lifelong relationship with exercise and movement? Not just a brief fling, not just a one-night stand. But how can I make this a lifelong commitment? Because we all have a love affair with exercise, right? We go through periods of real excitement, real enjoyment and engagement. We’re telling your friends about our new relationship. “Hey, I’m just doing this exercise class. You’ll love it. You’ve got to…” you know. And then weeks later, some of us ditch it. So how could I marry my need for movement, my need to actually move in a way that was natural and primal and instinctive, but also make it engaging and fun, less pain and punishment, more pleasure and play based?

So that’s how Primal Play came about. It was like play isn’t just having fun and enjoyment. There’s something very serious about it as well. We need to become very strong, fit, fast, capable individuals functionally. But if we can enjoy the process and not just think about the goals, we’re more likely to be motivated, we’re more likely to engage with other human beings, we’re more likely to realize that we’re social beings. We should be interacting with each other when we exercise. We should be able to take on board all of the influences that we’ve had to get us to where we are now.

As you mentioned earlier, some of my work with Primal Play can look quite combative. It can look as if it’s inspired by martial arts or wrestling. As kids, we’re playful, right? There was rough and tumble. No one taught me how to play fight with my brother. No one said that my bed couldn’t be like a dojo, right?

Robb: Most of the time they’re telling you it’s not and don’t jump off the top rope and drop your elbow on its head.

Darryl: Exactly. I remember the wardrobe — my brother and I shared a room — the wardrobe used to be something we would jump off onto the bed and get all sorts of mischief. I suppose I want to take the best of all of those experiences where my gym was my playground. My playground was the world around me. Sometimes that was my bedroom. Sometimes that was my living room. Sometimes that was out at my local park. That exploration, that zest for finding out about myself and the world around me, I wanted to recreate that, reengage with that as an adult.


That was really what Primal Play was about: taking play in its purest form, in the form where you can actually exceed any limitations that you have physically. It’s not just about running around in the grass and having fun. I’m like, I want to be really strong. I want to be superhuman. Whatever that is for me, I want to find out what my kryptonite is. What are my weaknesses? I want to work around those. I want to avoid those if I have to. I want there to be a reality about what I want from fitness.

I want to be able to help other people. I want to be able to defend myself. I want to be able to get myself out of difficult spots. I want to be able to make sure that I can carry — I flew back from the US yesterday and I hate not having carry-on luggage, right? So on this occasion, I had four bags, I had to check something in. If you saw me when I got my bag and I was walking, I was on my way home and I was like, “I’m not going to get an Uber.” I was like, whatever it takes, I’m going to take public transport. I had to walk maybe a mile from my local — three quarters of a mile maybe — from my local tube station, metro station to home. I was like stopping every 30, 40 meters. I looked like I was heavily laden, right?

Robb: Because you were.

Darryl: Yeah. It felt fantastic. I’m doing a farmer’s carry of like a huge backpack on my back. I just felt so many people would avoid this experience because I’d say it’s just too much like hard work. I made it a challenge for myself. That’s where the playful aspect came in. I was like, yeah, I feel like I’m on the moon now. Unfortunately, gravity is really having an effect on me, right? I feel like I’ve got a spacesuit on, but it feels like a spacesuit made of lead. I’m hoping that I see somebody that I know who is offering to help me, but it’s not going to happen. I was going to get home and then I can rest.

Creating that scenario, which meant that I wasn’t going to take the convenience route, meant that I got my workout in quotation marks or my playout, more correctly, just on my way home from the airport. So yeah, there are so many things we can do to add more movement minutes to our day.

Robb: That’s awesome. When I think of exercise and I think a lot of other folks, it’s like three sets of 10 on some exercise or something like that. Man, if you want to kill the joy of doing something, have kids try to do that. They’re done. Immediately, they’re done. But what if they want to play? I’m just thinking about Zoe and Sagan, like we have a little bit of acreage and we have goat houses to climb on and trees to play in and all the stuff. They will just wear themselves down to enough doing that. We just put up some kids’ gymnastics rings out in the tree and a climbing rope. Zoe has been like, “Dada, I want to climb up that rope all the way to the top.” I’m like, “Well, we need to do some training for that.”

We do each day, I’m like, “Okay, we’re going to do three sets of five and then we’ll go out and play.” We do some body rows on the rings. But because she’s got kind of a goal and because I don’t make it an hour-long session, we just do this every day and we try to increase the benchmarks a little bit. Both girls basically have a chin up now and all that type of stuff, which is awesome. When they see something that they can’t do and they want to do, then like, “Dada, how do I do that?” I’m like, “Oh, we need to do a little training to do that.”

So it’s interesting, because we’ve been able to keep so much play-based elements to this, they’re motivated. They get that kind of dopamine hit from doing that exciting open-ended stuff. But then also when they’re like, “Man, I want to do that,” then I’ve got a little bit of a carrot to dangle as far as, okay, here’s a little bit more structure, just pulling out of basic strength and conditioning, linear progressions and all that type of stuff to get them stronger or more mobile or explosive, whatever the deal is to be able to do the things that they want to do.

My understanding is you have a lot of that flavor of things in your certification, that we’re trying to get folks to just be as open-ended and broad as possible in their basic movement palette. Let’s say somebody wants to figure out how to walk on their hands or do a handstand pushup for some specific purpose, then you’ve got some more granular progression-oriented stuff to get them there. Can you comment on that push-pull between structure versus open-ended? Because clearly if you want to become a world champion tennis player, like you’re going to do a shitload of serves and backhands and it gets boring at some point. We don’t necessarily want everything to be like that, but also there needs to be a little dose of that to be able to make some progress in these more open-ended activities.


Darryl: Yes. I mean, that’s a really good point. I suppose taking back to the tennis player, humans are designed to be generalists of movement, right? In terms of the animal kingdom, we’re pretty poor at any particular domain of fitness or movements, for example, movement pattern, for example, if we compare ourselves sprinting to a cheetah, we’re a waste of time. Even while sheep can run faster than Usain Bolt, right?

Robb: Right.

Darryl: We’re not that strong. Ants can carry up to 100 times his body weight compared to even the strongest of lifters as humans, pretty poor. You could go across the entire animal kingdom and pick out examples where we don’t really fare well in terms of specialists. But as generalists of movement, we do extremely well. We’re jack of all trades. I can sprint. I can climb. I can jump. I can crawl. We are better at covering all bases. So sometimes the penalty of focusing on just one skill set, just one domain means repetitive stress injuries. We’re more likely to be demotivated because of that.

I’m trying to cater much more for general preparedness, I would say, rather than looking at a particular skill set because there are already many systems which can cater for that. If I had the elite tennis player who wanted to work with me, I’d be like, “You know what? When do you have the most fun playing tennis?” They may say, “When I’m having rallies with my partner.” I’m like, “Okay, that’s what we’re going to focus on. Let’s have you and your partner having the best rallies, longest rallies possible, pull out the most amazing movements you can, and that’s going to become more engaging for that individual. It’s taking them away from the mindless drills and taking them more to a mindful approach to getting to that kind of flow state.

I’m not averse to building specialism or skill. We all know about the specific adaptations, imposed demands as kind of set approach to developing a skill set and a fitness set. We know about overload principles about linear progression as we do with nonlinear progressions. I’m trying to cater for the people who hate to exercise for one. I’m also catering for those who need to broaden their scope a little bit from whatever their specialism is. If you cover a wider brace, you’re more likely to become stronger, more flexible, more my mobile of whatever you really want to do. Do you understand?

I think you can have both, but there probably needs to be somebody taking a step back for those who are only focusing on the peak of their pyramid. I want to have the fastest serve on the planet. I want to smash Rafael Nadal when I face him. You’re going to have somebody who’s like, “Just give me an excuse to get off my couch because at the moment, I’m finding it really difficult to maintain a movement practice.” So very broad, very inclusive, very gentle movement patterns.

Anyone who’s done my sessions, oftentimes they’re very surprised. Those who are probably the most physically literate, who believe there’s nothing that I could show them because like, look, if you saw my training program, Darryl, even looking at my training program would probably intimidate you. I’m like, yes, spend a few seconds with me playing this game, and you’ll see that you’ll be challenged in ways that you didn’t know were possible, without patronizing you or me, because our bodies, you know, sometimes recognizing the unknown and being challenged by the unknown, that’s what’s daunting, that’s what’s challenging.

So for your daughters, for example, when they see that tree and they decide, “You know what, Dad? I would love to climb that tree,” and you’re saying, “Okay, kid, I’m going to give you some guidance here. I’m going to give you some of my wisdom.” But part of them is still saying to themselves, “But, Dad, you know what? We need to try some of these out ourselves.” You know what I mean. “We need to work out our own kind of level of risk assessments. We need to work out on our own levels of fear. You can be a safety net, Dad, but let us give this a go a little bit.” So you do need that combination of open and unstructured and unsupervised at times like the parents aren’t watching. You also need at times where it’s like, “Look, kids, I need to be here to show you a better way of getting there, of how you can stay safe and secure.”

So yeah, we need a combination of both. You don’t want your kids just running around, doing whatever they want to. But at the same time, we all know the dangers of helicopter parenting, right? We all know the dangers of not letting our kids develop some resilience on their own. We set them up for danger later in life.


Robb: Yeah, you do. It’s a constant push-pull for us because we try to let the kids go outside and maybe not see them for a couple hours. We just listen like, okay, nobody screaming, so I guess it’s all good. But I tell you, there have been so many times where like, “What are those kids up to?” They’ve been really quiet for a long time, which usually means that they’re into something that they know they shouldn’t be into. I’ll walk outside and they’ve taken literally a little red wagon, and then we have a couple of lawn chairs for kids and stools and benches. They have stacked this thing eight feet high. It is the most precarious jumble of danger. They’re doing it out in a bunch of rocks. I walk out and look at it and I try not to freak out but I’m like, “That is super cool. Could we maybe do that on the grass instead of all those boulders?” If you do fall off, it’s probably still going to be a broken arm, but it’s probably not going to be like a split-open head because my thing is always like, okay, trip to the immediate care would suck. Trip to the emergency room with mediflight would really suck. That’s kind of my cut-off like, okay, we’re looking at a mediflight option here, so I don’t really want to go down that road.

You raised a great point. I’m really glad you mentioned that risk assessment program. There’s a risk assessment part of that. There have been some great studies in the past couple of years where kids, and people in general, they learn risk assessment first via movement, and then the brain extrapolates that to the rest of our life. So if we had people who are unable to figure out, oh, is it a good idea for me to take my whole paycheck and go gamble it away? If they never learned risk analysis via movement, we really can’t expect them to have risk analysis in other more intangible areas of their lives. We’ve done a disservice trying to make things so safe.

God, it’s so hard because if one of my kids broke their neck or something and, God forbid, died or something, it would be a crushing, life-changing event clearly. But there’s also this other piece that it’s like those are low likelihood events. We try to risk mitigate as best as we can, again mediflight versus trip to the immediate care and then just let the let the cards fall where they will. That’s so much why I appreciate what you’ve been doing both with your books and just general education and now with the certification because we definitely need to give people the skill sets to be able to start rolling this stuff out because it’s kind of have been lost. But also just the permission, it’s like, it’s okay, there is risk involved with this. We can do this in a smart way and then we go from there. The overall rewards both in quality of life and joy and the building of community, it generally is a massive return on investment.

Darryl: Yeah, I mean, I totally agree. I’m just going to share this statistic review. There are more kids who are admitted to ER falling out of bed now than a generation ago who would be falling out of trees. I mean, imagine that. The kids can’t even fall out of bed. I’m not talking about bunk beds. I’m talking about your standard everyday bed, right? So kids are just so protected and surrounded by fluffy cotton balls in a lot of aspects of life that they are paying the consequences. So there’s a greater risk, in my opinion, having this overly safe, secure world where they have no perception of danger, because then when they are navigating their bed and deciding “Oh, wouldn’t it be a great idea to jump off?” they jump off and twist an ankle because they have no idea what landing from a jump is like. They’ve never been given that opportunity.

I want to maintain my big kid persona for as long as possible. I do want to climb trees. I recognize that I am constantly risk assessing. Will this tree take my weight?

Robb: The YouTube is full of examples where it did not take their weight.

Darryl: Yeah, exactly. So it’s like, hold on a second. I need to become more sensible in some respects at managing and mitigating risk, not to be careless, not to be frivolous. That’s what we want to be giving our kids, right? It’s not like just be carefree and careless and don’t really think about the consequences. No, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You want to be able to safely risk assess in all aspects of life. That initially starts off with a child learning how — I mean, imagine a child learning how to walk. They recognize every time they get up and they start waddling, they may fall. The likelihood is they’re going to fall. But the drive for them to continue to progress with walking is more important than the risk for them of falling, right? They recognize that they have to, there is a cost, and that inspires them to progress.


We need that as adults as well. Einstein said the highest form of research is play. It isn’t work. He realized that creativity and exploration actually leads us to achieving more. That’s what got us to explore the world, right? It got out of the savannahs of Africa to populate the entire planet. So I’m inspired about play theory and the health benefits of physical activity combined with play to ensure that, hopefully, most of us will have a reason to do so whether it’s kids of four or kids of 94.

Robb: Right. That’s awesome. Well, Darryl, let folks know where they can track you down, the book, and then also information about the certification.

Darryl: The best place to get hold of me is on my blog, primalplay.com. If you search for me on social media, I’m known as The Fitness Explorer or @FitnessExplorer. My latest book is called Animal Moves. It’s really about us training like animals to become more human. So taking that concept of looking at all the movement patterns that animals engage in and recognize that humans should be doing all of those and to become more human, to become more adept and physically capable and more functional.

Finally, my certification program, if you go to primalplay.com/certification, you’ll have all the details there and how you can become a Primal Play movement coach. I’m looking to really connect with those where this message resonates with them. If you want to encourage their families, their communities, those who they have any interactions with to move more and to recapture it into a movement that they had as kids, as children. That’s really the best place to get hold of me. Google is now my number one friend. If you search for Darryl Edwards on Google, Google will say, “Hey, this is the guy you want to see. This is the guy you want to connect with.” So yeah, thanks, Google.

Robb: Awesome. Well, I will make sure to get all of that in the show notes. Before we wrap up, any other whistle stops? You just got back from Paleo f(x)™. Are you going to be doing any other events either in Europe, the US, or are you homebound for a little bit working on stuff?

Darryl: I’m going to be doing a few events here in the UK. There’s a few lifestyle conferences and those promoting physical activity which I’m going to be engaged in. In terms of my US dates, I’m going to be next doing the Ancestral Health Symposium in Montana in July. So I’m looking forward to that.

An area that I’m specializing in at the moment is looking at something called Movement Oncology. It’s something that I thought about looking at not only movement for prevention of cancer but also therapeutic interventions. So it’s a burgeoning field. It’s something that I’m really passionate about. I, unfortunately, lost my sister a couple of years ago to cancer. Anything that I can do to contribute to somebody dealing with cancer and what they can do from a movement point of view as medicine, that’s what I’m researching actively now and that’s what I’m looking to promote as a way of educating people about the power of movement and movement is medicine.

Robb: That’s awesome. To your point, it’s a burgeoning field, but the preliminary research is really, really interesting; that folks that maintain a good physical activity process during treatment seem to have much, much better outcomes, better quality of life. Man, props to you for getting into that.

Darryl: Yeah, for sure. For example, if you made the decision to have chemotherapy, which can be the most successful treatment pathway for some types of cancer, you’re less likely to have nausea if you undertake quite intensive exercise regimen. It’s very prescriptive. It isn’t just like get your 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity. It tends to be very prescriptive. Do ten minutes of this, do five minutes of this high-intensity protocol, do resistance training four times a week. It tends to be very prescriptive, but the outcomes, the health outcomes is far more favorable, less chance of progression of the disease, less mortality rates if you have this kind of physical activity intervention.

I’m very excited about it. I’m digging deep and delving in deep and find opportunity to speak about it to many people. So look out for that if you are at AHS later in the year.


Robb: Awesome, man. Well, can’t wait to see you again. I’m really super stoked for all the amazing work you’ve done. It’s just amazing contribution to this ancestral health scene movement. It’s funny, like people will just keep iterating and iterating and iterating on protein, carbs, fat, but the movement piece is still just an underappreciated, underexplored part of this. It’s a non-negotiable feature. It’s got to be part of this whole story. Just thank you for the hard work you’re doing and making it fun and accessible and also bringing some rigor to the whole process so that really it’s accessible to anyone.

Darryl: Yeah, I appreciate that, Robb. I’m really grateful because I remember when we first met, you’re always an individual who kind of said it isn’t just one thing. You can’t just focus on food because you have to incorporate movement. You have to start thinking about your sleep and quality of sleep. You have to start thinking about mitigating stress, managing stress. I was very fortunate, that’s what I realized that I had to do. You can’t outrun a poor diet, but you also can’t eat your way out of a sedentary lifestyle, right? You can’t be an insomniac and expect that your perfect diet is going to make you healthy if you’re not sleeping well. So yeah, it’s important that we go back to basics and realize nature has given us a prescription for better health. We need to pay attention to nature. Avoiding nature is often to our detriment.

Robb: It is always to our detriment unless we’re talking about mosquitoes and malaria. In that case, I’ll —

Darryl: Yeah.

Robb: But other than that, yeah. Well, Darryl, again, thank you so much. We’ll get all those links in the show notes. I can’t wait to see you again in real life.

Darryl: Yeah, for sure. Give my regards to Nikki, Zoe, and Sagan as well. It’s been a pleasure to see you again, Robb.

Robb: I will do that, and we’ll talk soon.

Darryl: Cheers. Take care. Bye-bye.

[0:37:08] End of Audio



Keto Masterclass

The keto diet is one of the most effective ways to shed fat and improve your health. Keto Masterclass helps you start keto right, step-by-step, so that you can be successful long-term.

Learn More


Wired-to-Eat-RenderDon’t forget, Wired to Eat is now available!

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks

Read more

Episode 61: Balancing Act

This week we talk about nutrition, fermented foods, calories, almonds, supplements, and much more with Diane Sanfilippo of the Balanced Bites blog and podcast. Diane is releasing a new book called “Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole Foods Lifestyle.”

Links for this episode:

This week’s show sponsored by ManGrate and their fantastic $20 summer offer!

Read more

Episode 62: Mythbusters

We cover a lot of ground this week. Everything from drug advertisements, to food myths about calories and beef. We talk about diet soda makes people fat, and the favorite foods of U.S. presidents. In the Paleo Land segment we talk with my daughter, Ayla, about 2 of her Paleo books: Paleo Pals & Eat Like a Dinosaur. After the Bell, we have an excellent clip featuring Gary Taubes and another featuring a family of 11 who lived in a small RV, having dropped out of ‘normal’ society.

Links for this episode:

This week’s show sponsored by ManGrate and their fantastic $20 summer offer!

Read more

Episode 415 – Bill Parravano – The Knee Pain Guru


For Episode 415 we have guest Bill Parravano. Bill is “The Knee Pain Guru”. He has over 25 years of martial art and bodywork experience understanding movement and tensions patterns that lead to physical pain. Bill believes the nervous system holds the keys to the body’s healing. It bridges gaps between what we currently know and the infinite number of possibilities for the body to heal in the realm of what we don’t know. This combination creates the shortest distance between a life riddled with pain to a high quality fully expressed physical life.

Listen in as we talk all about knee pain and knee health.

Show Notes:

00:48 – Pre-intro/Summary
1:57 – Introducing Bill Parravano and Bill’s background with Knee issues
4:26 – Studying different styles of bodywork – Orthobionomy and Systema
6:34 – Tension patterns
8:44 – How paleo came into play with Bill’s strategy
11:38 – Diet vs surgery for back and knee issues
14:30 – Meniscus tears, unnecessary and necessary surgery
15:45 – The difference between mechanical dysfunction and pain
16:48 – Bill’s process of starting with someone with knee pain
20:30 – Bringing awareness to the basics
25:21 – Conventional pain management vs getting to the source
26:25 – Common deficiencies and imbalances that are causing knee pain
31:30 – How to keep from getting knee problems, and gross motor movements vs intrinsic movements
37:50 – Where to find Bill


Website and 7-Day Knee Pain Reduction Challenge: https://www.thekneepainguru.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheKneePainGuru
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVlHprd8eMf5jhmSzZtu8Sg




Download a transcript of this episode here (PDF)

Paleo Solution – 415


Robb: Hey folks, six listeners can’t be wrong. Another edition of the Paleo Solution Podcast. Today was a fun podcast and definitely a departure from the usual kind of protein, carbs, fat deal. Bill Parravano on. Bill is a guy that I’ve known for quite some time and we– Apparently, we were each following the other’s work kind of from afar and then we were kind of introduced to each other when our social Venn diagrams kind of overlapped.

Bill is a knee pain expert and he arrived at this from being a high level judoka who suffered a pretty significant knee injury. Then embarked on a process of learning how to effectively deal with knee pain. It’s quite different than what you would get out of maybe the standard physical therapy scene or orthopedic scene, but it’s fascinating stuff. I’ve got to say, the feedback that I’ve had from folks that I’ve referred to Bill has been quite good. Check this one out from Bill Parravano, the knee pain guru.

Hey Bill, how are you?

Bill: Good sir. I’m doing great.

Robb: Hey man. Thank you for accommodating my hectic schedule. We’ve been trying to do this since basically spring of this year. We finally made thing happen and super, super stoked to talk to you. I have had a variety of orthopedic issues including some knee issues over the course of a powerlifting career, a Thai boxing career and now my old dude jiu-jitsu stuff. Bill, give folks a little bit of your background before we launch in specifically with some more details. Give them a little bit of a broader background for you.

Bill: Got it. I got involved in the whole knee pain shtick as a result of dislocating my left knee four times. I used to be involved in judo. I traveled and competed internationally back in the ’90s. Then December ’98, got invited to go skiing and did a faceplant. Well, I was with skis on and ended up partially tearing the ligament in my left knee. Thinking I was invincible, I continued over the next several months to dislocate my left knee three more times in volleyball, judo and then finally softball.

In that last shred of ligament, ACL, that I tore in my left knee out. Finally, got to a place where I was like, “I should probably go to the doctor and get this checked out?” Went to an orthopedic surgeon for the University of Louisville, the sports teams, Dr. John Ellis and he did the testing on the knee and he’s like, “Yeah, we could do an MRI, but the ACL is gone.” Scheduled for surgery a month later and had reconstructive surgery on the ACL, the ligament in my left knee and they took out two pieces of meniscus.

Well at the time, I owned a computer business and competed in judo, and now I had this knee thing that I wanted to figure out just so I can get back out on the judo mat and throw people again. That was the big thing that I wanted to do. That kind of launched me in a really different direction in my life where I started studying different modalities of body work. One that I really sought after was an osteopathically-based style of body work called ortho-bionomy. Ortho-bionomy was founded by a British osteopath who is also a judo instructor.

Robb: Oh, interesting.


Bill: Yeah, I know. He took a lot of principles of judo and applied it to an original osteopathic concept and developed an entire style of body work. That piqued my interest in terms of area of study. Simultaneously, I started studying a Russian style of martial art called Systema which had a huge emphasis on breathing movement and relaxation, as well as strengthening the tendons, ligaments and fascia in the joints. It was a combination of those things that I started pursuing just because, one, I like learning and, two, I wanted to get back throwing people.

That was 19 years ago. I kind of went headfirst into it with all of that and studied for about three or four years parallel, like thinking the Systema and ortho-bionomy were talking about two different things. Because one is a subtle gentle style of body work that functions with the body only in a position of comfort and the other is a very– Systema focuses on increasing awareness, but can also be very brutal in some respects as many martial arts can be with a huge healing component to it.

There was one point where I realized they were both talking about the same thing of the opposite end of the spectrum meaning you had– They were talking about the nervous system. They were talking about neurological responses that the body takes in and then it converts into some sort of tension pattern in the body. Taking your powerlifting, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, each of those require different types of tension patterns in order to function in the different capacities which your body wants to show up.

Well, sometimes, those tension patterns can actually be dysfunctional in a way that irritates the nerves in a certain area of the knee, the hips, the lower back, the ankles, the feet, the neck, the shoulders and it creates a kind of a cascade of responses that the body is in as a result of moving into a sympathetic neurological state that sets up the conditions for the body to– It’s not sustainable for the body. The body breaks down, you’re looking at a lot of other issues that happen as a result of this dysfunctional tension pattern that is manifested in the body.

I studied, I’ve been studying pretty much ever since in some capacity where I got certified in both the United States and in Europe in ortho-bionomy and I became an instructor of Systema back in 2004-2005, somewhere around in there. Just been kind of my kind of my deal, just enjoy it, enjoy learning about the body in learning about how to essentially unlock what is keeping the body stuck in this dysfunctional tension pattern.

Robb: Awesome. Awesome. We have some interesting overlapping Venn diagrams of folks that we have in common which is really quite, quite interesting. How did this kind of Paleo ancestral health concept get on your radar and how is that kind of woven into your overall strategy in addressing knee pain in particular?

Bill: Yes. It was 2010, at the time, I was living in Louisville, Kentucky. I was training at a CrossFit gym there, more along the lines of strength training that I was really getting into. One of the trainers there, a Quinn Henoch, physical therapist, had suggested– I was getting to a place where I was hitting a wall in my training. The coaches there were like, “Well, send me what you eat for a couple of days.” I put it in there and they’re like, “You’re not eating enough protein.” I was like, “Oh. Whoa.” That was kind of a big aha for me and that’s where the whole Paleo thing.

Listening to your podcast, I was pointed from– Derby City CrossFit. They pointed me in the direction of listening to your podcast and I was kind of going, “Whoa, this makes a lot of sense.” This whole concept of inflammation and getting away from breads and just a lot of the stuff that contribute to systemic inflammation in the body. Kind of put that on the forefront, I was studying that, I got into your– Got into listening to Loren Cordain. You had was The Paleo Solution was the first book, correct?


Robb: That was my first book, yeah. Yup.

Bill: I read The Paleo Solution and had such a dramatic difference in how my body felt, how my body performed, just the allocation of everything just improved. I was like, “Whoa, this is good stuff.” Realizing that when the body is in a perpetual sympathetic state, a sympathetic response due to pain, inflammation is a natural result of that. If you can add in the component of this reducing systemic inflammation by tweaking your diet and eating more proteins and good fats as a way of reducing systemic inflammation, it was just enhancing the clients that I was working with.

Robb: Totally, totally makes sense. I’m on the board of directors of an orthopedic, a clinic that started out as an orthopedic clinic, a bunch of orthopedic surgeons that really started looking at the evidence-based medicine in a pretty critical fashion and it mainly pertaining to low back injury and potentially low back surgery. But when they really started digging into the literature and they looked at five and ten-year outcomes for surgery versus non surgery, it seemed like the people not doing surgery were often generally doing better. It was not even a placebo effect on the surgical side, there were all kinds of problems there.

They endeavored to figure out a system that would keep people out of the surgical queue as much as possible and really saving that for the option of last resort. It was through the kind of the course of time that they got interested in lipidology and metabolic issues, but they still have a very busy orthopedic element to the to the whole clinic. The integration of this kind of lower carb, Paleo, anti-inflammatory way of eating has just been a game changer for them. It’s interesting. I guess, we’re always looking for confirmation bias and there we have a little bit more.

Bill: Well, they have a similar study with knees, with meniscus tears as a result– Or looking at function of the knee, pain in the knee, whether you have surgery or not with the knee. They’re coming up with very similar results as to what you just shared regarding the back.

Robb: I seem to remember some of those where they did a pretty slick deal, where they would actually do an incision on the outside, like standard incision, like they would do prior to the full scope and pulling stuff out. It was as blinded as you could possibly do and there was effectively no difference between the two groups in general. I remember posting that study a couple of years ago. One of my pals in the jiu-jitsu scene, he’s a skier and does jiu-jitsu, but eats horribly. But he’s like, “Oh, I can totally handle it.” But he’s had just this laundry list of knee and shoulder issues.

Man, he was angry at me for posting that because he’s like, “Well, it helped me.” I was like, “Mainly when you had surgery. You just took some time off,” because the guy will do like three days and stuff like that. He’s phenomenal, but I think he kind of burns the candle at both ends and he’s still pretty young. He can kind of get away with the shitty diet, but not really. But man, he was angry at me when I posted that study originally.

Bill: I think there’s a lot of unnecessary surgeries. I think we’re both agreeing on that. Not all meniscus tears are created equal. You can have this bucket-handle tear that flaps over and locks the knee up. In some cases, surgery is necessary to kind of get you back into some level of function again. But sometimes, you could have a one millimeter tear in the meniscus and you could have a bucket-handle tear that’s measured in centimeters that flaps over and locks up the knee and they’re both meniscus tears.

But a lot of times, there isn’t distinctions made as to the degree of tear or the location of the tear or the direction of the tear in considering the outcome that we’re both talking about. They kind of do this blanket across the board and to be honest, the doctor does a surgery, they’re getting paid. It’s in their best interest to surgery.


Robb: Oftentimes, the patient wants the surgery. They think that it’s going to be the quick route to getting over this thing. There’s a push full on that for sure.

Bill: Let me make a distinction and this is a huge distinction I need to make when I work with clients is the difference between a mechanical dysfunction like a meniscus tear and pain. They’re not the same. You could have a meniscus that’s torn and the person has no pain. You can have a knee that is “normal” as seen on an x-ray, a CT scan or MRI and the person is in utter agony.

You have to make that there’s like this overlap, go back to the Venn diagram, you have this overlap where you can remove the mechanical dysfunction through a surgery, but the surgery is not going to get rid of the pain. It can actually make the knee worse in many cases. I just want to make that distinction as it’s important as we move forward in this call today.

Robb: Bill, somebody reaches out to you, they have some knee pain, what is kind of the process that you go through with that? My skills in these areas are very, very limited, but when I’ve worked with people in the past like in a physical therapy-type setting, oftentimes, people would have a philosophy of starting with the feet and then the ankles and kind of working their way distal to proximal and try to figure out if there’s something downstream that’s leading into this. Some people will start with that, go through the knee then look at hip and even low back function, trying to get a little bit more of a holistic picture. How do you tackle that process?

Bill: Well, think of it like we want to shut the vacuum off so we could hear the water dripping as an analogy. Meaning, we have to go to the area of the knee or the body that’s screaming the loudest. Think of it like you would– My daughter is five, she falls, she hurts herself and I need her to point to where it hurts. It sounds like super rudimentary and like basic, but we have to address what’s screaming the loudest first and create comfort in that area of the knee or the body that’s screaming the loudest first in order to be able to look at what may be other areas in the knee or upstream and downstream that you’re talking about.

I look at it strictly from a neurological pain perspective on how can we get the pressure off of the nerves in the area of the knee that is screaming the loudest. Working with clients, it would be like, “Okay Robb, you do squats or you do jiu-jitsu or you do Muay Thai, where in your knee does it hurt? Does it hurt in the kneecap? Does it hurt above the kneecap like a patella femoral type of syndrome? Does it hurt below the kneecap like a patellar tendonitis type of situation? Is it on the inside of the knee at where the knee bends or above and below or maybe outside of the knee above and below or the back of the knee like a baker’s cyst?”

I need to know where the knee is screaming the loudest, where your attention is drawn to and begin to create comfort in that area of the knee first and foremost. That begins to shift the neurological state from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state, allowing cooler minds to give feedback if that that makes sense. Because in a sympathetic state, the amygdala which runs the whole sympathetic show is screaming and there is not a whole lot of rational thought in that place. The person is just like, “Oh, my knee is in pain. I just wanted to get out of pain,” which is why so many people would go for a knee surgery when they don’t necessarily need it. They want the pain to go away. They don’t necessarily want the surgery. They just want the pain to go away.

If we get the pressure off the nerves in the knee and create comfort, shifting a neurological state to a parasympathetic state, now all of the mechanisms for the body to begin to heal what’s going on in the knee are there on line. It is like when you when you change your diet, you’re essentially, when you reduce the inflammation, you’re switching the body from a sympathetic state to a parasympathetic state which speeds up the recovery.


Robb: Bill, recently, I listened to STEM-Talk podcast. I’m not sure if you follow Ken Ford and the IHMC STEM-Talk podcast, but they had talked about these SPM, specific pro-resolution modulators. It was a new concept for me, but the fish oil seems to play a really important role with that. I’m blanking on the guy’s name, the professor that they had on. But he uses some very low-dose aspirin as well, like 20 milligrams of aspirin, like taking a baby aspirin and cutting it in quarters along with some fish oil in it.

It seems to ramp up this kind of pro-resolution process because we need some degree of inflammation on the front end to kind of initiate the healing cycle on the back end. What do you do to kind of facilitate that process? That’s kind of the first question. The second question, there’s been some debate in the Interwebs that even though a ketogenic diet is clearly, it’s very, very powerful in suppressing inflammation, like it down regulates the inflammasome pretty powerfully, there’s some argument that it may suppress it to such a degree that we’re not getting that resolution process on the back end.

Are you doing anything to try to goose that stuff on the one hand? Then what are your thoughts around the ketogenic diet potentially being stymieing the overall recovery process on the back end?

Bill: I think you might be talking above my pay grade.

Robb: Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

Bill: I don’t go that deep into the nutrition aspect. Some basic things, a lot of times will help people tremendously. I’m looking at the client’s awareness and experience of getting the pressure off of the nerves and feeling the shift from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state. That’s like the cornerstone of my approach.

If I can get their awareness there, which looks like people resting a little bit more, enough eating themselves up, if that’s where my focus is on tooling my marketing and my website, my emails to bring people’s awareness to that shift of what they notice, I think like all of that stuff, as far as like microdosing with aspirin and if there’s science behind that, I’m an all in support of that.

However, I think I’m– Way back with some of the people with knee pain, like more in kindergarten that we could get, we can get some real basic stuff going and get some big results. If they choose to continue down that path and go to the level that you’re talking about, I’m all in support of that. That’s why I’ve referred people to you in your program and things like that because that’s not the area where I lead with and the forerunner with or keep up on the latest technology with.

Robb: No. That makes sense. Again, this is very new stuff for me. I think you raise a really critical point there that at best, that is me literally the icing on the cake or maybe some sprinkles on the icing of the cake. It is not, not the cake, like reducing that sympathetic state, getting people generally out of that that kind of pain cycle. This is some of the interesting benefit I believe as I’ve read research on just recovery from a surgical intervention or even from something like a back injury.

A pain medication short term can make a lot of sense because the person isn’t in such dire agony that the body actually starts dealing with that, that recovery process. But if they’re really hurting quite terribly, it can really stretch things out much, much further. Getting that person to just a generally comfortable spot is clearly going to be a huge win and then some of these other techniques like stem cells or SPM modifiers and stuff like that. Again, I would definitely stick that in these sprinkles on the frosting that’s on the cake at best.


Bill: Right. What I would caution anybody listening to this podcast is understand that when you have the conventional medical approach is one of pain management. They don’t understand how to get a person out of pain and keep them out of pain. I don’t believe that they’re looking deep enough into the body as to what is the source of the pain that’s causing this cycle, that’s happening. If you just look at from a conventional approach of a pain management, you’re kind of like a hamster on a wheel. It’s not getting to the source of the pattern that contributed to the meniscus tear or the arthritis or whatever diagnosis it is, it’s not getting to the source of what is contributing to that.

Robb: Bill, if you were to order out deficiencies that people are bringing to this situation that is bringing about knee pain, and I know that again, it can be a zillion different things, it could be patellar related, it could be related to interior articulation elements within the knee and what have you, but do you see this mainly being, say, a weakness issue, an overused issue?

Or how would you bucket different folks out like who is coming in and they’ve got a quad hamstring and balancers, they’re just generally weak or they have not been taking that knee past a 90 degrees flexion under load for ages and then when they get exposed to it, they have a problem? What are some of the primary failure points that are leading folks into this situation of having knee pain?

Bill: That’s a good question. I would have to say an imbalance. However, not in the way that you’d think. Immediately, when someone says, “Well, there’s a quad hamstring imbalance or there’s some other imbalance in the knee,” the conventional thinking is, “Well, let’s strengthen it. Let’s strengthen this weak.” Well, when you’re looking at it from a neurological response and a sympathetic, the body kicking in in a sympathetic state, something doesn’t go from being balanced to being weak, it goes from being balanced to something pulling too tight to protect the knee from getting injured further.

It’s like instead of raising the bridge, we got to lower the river. That person that has the imbalance goes into an exercise regimen or physical therapy and they’re strengthening the hell out of their knees or their legs to bring back the balance into the leg. Well, what they’re doing is they’re reinforcing a dysfunctional tension pattern displayed as signaling from the sympathetic nervous system. This leads to the joint binding tighter together, that the joint– The knees will feel tight. Clients will say, “I feel like there’s a band around the front of my knee or the joint feels thick or sore or painful or burning or shooting.”

What ends up happening is when we have that neurological response that’s binding down on the joint, the synovial fluid in the joint gets squeezed out, which causes more pain, more rubbing, more irritation. The joint essentially gets dehydrated and that is your diagnosis of all arthritis. All arthritis is dehydrated joint.

When you talk about martial artists that did the kick when they were 13 and they ding their knee in some way and they’ve had that feeling in their knee ever since and they think that’s just normal or that’s just what happens is that you’re inevitably going to have arthritis when you get older, that the joint is going to wear away.

It’s a foregone conclusion that a knee replacement is going to be inevitable. It doesn’t matter who you’re talking about, martial artists or otherwise or what the diagnosis is, it’s still the neurological response that we’re looking at. It’s causing the imbalance to be created the joint to bind down, the joint to dehydrate and the joint to wear faster.


Robb: Totally makes sense. That totally makes sense.

Bill: Yeah. That’s the thing. I need to educate my clients on essentially that that the earth is round. Because they’re coming at it from this place, “Well, what exercises do I need to do? What do I need to strengthen in order to bring the balance back into my knee, so my knee doesn’t hurt?” But in actuality, the more they exercise, the worse their knee is going to get faster.

Robb: Until they get that kind of underlying pattern addressed.

Bill: Until they address the pattern and switching the neurology in the knee from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state by creating comfort day in and day out, multiple times per day to begin to understand and trace back upstream or downstream from the knee as to where what’s really going on.

Robb: Right. Bill, with that said, what are some things that folks could do just day to day to try to stay out of the knee problems? Again, I know that there’s a ton of different knee problems. But clearly, on the one hand, just fundamentally, like the molecular basis of life like eat a pretty good diet, get some good sleep. But then from there, what movements, what activities you feel like are maybe disproportionately beneficial for the knee in general or is it a really situationally specific story where some people should be doing this, some people should be doing that?

Bill: Gosh, that’s a really great question. Let me think about that. When I talk about getting the pressure off of the nerves, I’ve had a real challenge in my marketing, in my business as to what the column because it’s not strengthening and it’s not stretching. What we’re essentially talking about is the intrinsic movement in the joint. The knee joint has a gross motor movement which is extension and flexion. Pulling your heel to your butt, extending your leg out straight. That’s a gross motor movement.

But what nobody talks about is the intrinsic movement of the joint which is slight rotation, slight side to side, slight forward and back, slight apart together movements of the joint. That’s when the body locks on in a sympathetic state and it impinges the nerves in those tiny planes of motion that then cause the pain. Most of your PT is looking at how can we strengthen the quads, the calves, the hamstrings, the glutes, the hip flexors.

They’re looking at gross motor movements when the problem lies in an intrinsic movement of the joint. You can stretch, you can do yoga type-stretching, regular hamstrings quads and things like that which is beneficial. It’s all good. I really like Kelly Starrett’s approach. I think it’s good. However, I don’t see where they’re talking about that intrinsic movement that is getting the pressure off the nerve. To directly answer your question, it would almost be specific to what’s going on with the knee.

Robb: Got you. Got you.

Bill: Ido Portal has some phenomenal stuff as far as like sitting in a squatted position for a long period of time and stretching from that place. I think that type of work is phenomenal. I think as I mentioned before, Kelly Starrett, he has some amazing perspectives in terms of how that works. Ultimately, the level that I’m talking about, the level of scrutiny and discernment we’re looking at in the knee joint comes at a felt level, a felt sense of what pain is and what pain is not, what tightness is and what tightness is not.

Unfortunately, when we’ve gone through days and weeks and months and years and decades of pushing the body and ignoring what the signals that the body is giving off, it kind of leads us down this road where it’s like how to get out of that place and how to lead the body out of that stuck place of knee pain is going to be really difficult to feel unless you start giving it a contrast of what comfort is as it relates to what the knee is experiencing.


Robb: That makes complete sense. Yeah. Ido is a good friend of mine and I’d followed him for ages. He’s had such a fascinating synthesis of kind of methodologies out of kind of more traditional physiotherapy circles; capoeira, circus, gymnastics training. He is one of the first people that showed me some methodology like doing rotational squatting movements to load the meniscus in kind of a non-traditional way because we get so fixated even on super good movement patterns which is great.

But then if you’re hiking or wrestling or something like that, when your knee goes at– Your knee, your hip, your shoulder, all these other things, it’s when they start deviating out of that ideal movement pattern and ideal loading pattern that problems occurred. Why not progressively overload some of those tissues in a way that’s, again, safe and progressive and both get the neurological system comfortable with that, but also get the tissues conditions for some loading and those kind of non ideal but going to happen situations.

Bill: Yeah. I mean, completely. Most people, even if they don’t work out, what type of surface are they’re walking on? Concrete, it’s asphalt, it’s wood, it’s all flat surfaces. The neurology of the body gets adapted to a flat surface. How do people injure themselves? It’s some kind of freak step. They stepped off a curb, they stepped in a pothole or something like that. Some movement, that’s kind of like you were saying twisting, turning a little bit and the body doesn’t know how to adjust to that. The joint is dehydrated, the meniscus is dehydrated, which makes it even easier to tear.

Robb: Totally makes sense. Well Bill, I love your work. Again, it’s fascinating, the similar the social Venn diagrams that we have and the folks that we have in common. Have been a huge fan of your work for a long time. Let folks know where they can track you down on the Interwebs. You’ve written several books and manuals on this topic, let folks know about that stuff.

Bill: Yeah. I put together a seven-day knee pain reduction challenge which essentially educates– It brings that awareness where I give them one stretch that they could begin working with and bringing that awareness to the intrinsic movement of the joint and experiencing relief and noticing that neurological shift from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state. They can go to thekneepainguru.com and they could sign up and take a short assessment and they go through seven days of training that essentially shows them how to notice these subtle shifts in their nervous system and get relief in their knee joint.

If they do notice that, then I would say, hey, get into one of my other programs where I work with clients individually and in group formats to take them further to be able to help them, educate them, walk them down that path of what do they need to do, what are the subtleties and nuances of getting out of pain so you can enjoy your life instead of worrying and thinking about your knee all the time.

Robb: Awesome. Bill, what’s your favorite social media hangout these days?

Bill: Uh, Facebook.

Robb: Facebook. Okay. Okay. God bless you. Oh man.

Bill: Well, no. Again, that’s why I say uh. Relatively speaking, it’s Facebook, but that’s not to say I’m very social on social media.

Robb: Okay. Okay.

Bill: It’s one of those things that I– Yeah, I shy away from that because it gets to be a little bit of a circus.

Robb: But if folks go to thekneepainguru.com, they can find how to track you down on the occasions that you are on social media and then they can find out your other offering sir.

Bill: Yeah. Yeah. YouTube is a real good one. I got a YouTube channel where videos about different topics.

Robb: Awesome. Well Bill, again, thank you for being on the show and thanks for being accommodating with the schedule. It’s been a little bit of a circus on sounds like I’m both of our ends putting this together, but I’m super stoked that we finally made it happen.

Bill: Yeah. Robb, thank you so much.

Robb: Okay. Take care. We’ll talk to you soon.

Bill: Okay.

Robb: Bye-bye.

[0:40:32] End of Audio



Keto Masterclass

The keto diet is one of the most effective ways to shed fat and improve your health. Keto Masterclass helps you start keto right, step-by-step, so that you can be successful long-term.

Learn More


Wired-to-Eat-RenderDon’t forget, Wired to Eat is now available!

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, iBooks

Read more

Pumkin Spice Loaf Cake

(recipe by Samantha Akoubian) Paleo, vegan, and refined-sugar-free, this Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake is a fall treat you can feel good about eating! Filled with fiber, healthy fats, and collagen, it has all the right ingredients to keep your gut health and blood sugar in check. Best part? It tastes just like pumpkin pie meets cinnamon raisin bread! Ingredients 1/2 cup coconut flour 1/2 cup almond flour 1/3 cup flax…

Read more