A few weeks ago, we were very fortunate to have an opportunity to host Ron Hruska teaching the Cervical-Cranio-Mandibular Restoration course at our training facility Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ.
Prior to this most recent course I had taken Myokinematic Restoration (twice), Postural Respiration (twice), Pelvis Restoration, Impingements & Instabilities (I&I), Advanced Integration, Postural-Visual Integration, and sat for the PRT, since first diving into PRI in 2010. I tend to take courses for one or more of three major reasons:
The CCMR course really satisfied all three criteria, and frankly, I left feeling like I should have taken the course a year or two earlier. Working in a training setting that deals with a lot of hockey players, I took my first course as a means of finding better information to prevent common hip injuries. I continued taking courses because I left each course with a sense of there being more to the picture. Simply, I could tell there was much more to the picture than the musculoskeletal system, and while I heard things like “it’s all neuro” in I&I, I didn’t feel like I appreciated the full concept of how integrated the patterns taught in the introductory courses are with every other bodily system until the CCMR course.
A few take homes from the course:
1) There are cranium and jaw correlates to the pelvis. In CCMR, you’ll hear Ron say things like “you have iliac bones in your head, and you have temporal bones in your pelvis.” Often times these analogies are meant to make you think (can you follow him down the rabbit hole?), but they’re also great teaching tools. If you feel comfortable with the myokin material, you’ll be able to track the CCMR course material, even if you don’t feel as comfortable with the anatomy of the neck and head.
2) The patterns taught in the introductory courses are body wide. If you think of everything in terms of gait patterns, it’s easier to appreciate how a change in foot position may change shoulder range of motion, as each phase of the gait cycle is associated with changes in musculoskeletal positions throughout the entire body. This explains why a cue like “find your left heel or right arch” may improve right HG (shoulder) IR. Relevant to the CCMR course, it’s important to recognize that these patterns don’t just stop at the thorax; they continue up through the neck, cranium, and jaw. As with the above example, this helps explain why changing a bite may influence loading through the foot. Ron discussed several examples of how a sub-optimal bite can influence body wide patterns and how simply interrupting the sensory input from this bite can shift the entire system. There are clear correlates here to foot orthotics. The goal is to find the primary driver for any given individual’s pattern and address that. The CCMR course provides a few new assessments, manual techniques and exercises to help find and address top-down drivers, but it also provides a new perspective on how to view the entire system.
3) PRI, as a whole, is heavily based around controlling autonomics and sensory input. There are several reasons why someone may get “stuck” in a pattern. In my mind, the more obvious ones are pattern overuse (e.g. sitting at a desk shifted into your right hip for 8 hours a day for a decade), and injury (e.g. a left ankle sprain may cause someone to shift their weight to the right). Maybe less obvious is the idea that any trigger that shifts someone into a chronic pattern of excessive sympathetic tone could also result in them being stuck in a pattern. This could be a sub-optimally functioning visual or auditory system, insufficient sleep time or poor sleep quality, excessive work/relationship stress, etc. While I haven’t heard Ron say this directly, I think you could justify taking steps to improve someone’s sleep as a “PRI program”. Maybe more holistically, failing to address prominent lifestyle triggers may be hampering the individual’s progress within a rehabilitative or preventative program.
Of all the PRI courses, this one gave me the best perspective of PRI’s evolution and the totality of integration in which they’re viewing the human system. If you’re on the fence about taking the course, I would strongly encourage you to register. CCMR is more than a head/neck/jaw course; it’s an integration course, and in my opinion, one of the best ones they offer!
To your success,
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Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.