Ep 132 – Healing Through Functional Movement with Dr. Amy West

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“What does good movement mean?  And what are the principles of good movement?  And sometimes people have a hard time articulating that, physiatrists, physical therapists included.  Because we focus a lot on, “is this person strong, do they pass these strength tests?”  But we don’t look at that necessarily from a more central nervous system standpoint of how is this person moving, what is the coordination and neuromuscular involvement in certain tasks. Even in physiatry that’s a bit of a novel concept, surprisingly.” – Dr. Amy West

Dr. Amy West is a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation specialist, also known as a physiatrist.  This little-known specialty treats a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the nervous and skeletal systems by focusing treatment on addressing root causes and restoring function.

Dr. West is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, and she completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.  During her time in medical school, she also earned her Master’s of Education with an emphasis on video technology and medical education.

As a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and active participant in the CrossFit Health movement, Dr. West sees many parallels between the medicine she practices in the clinic and the CrossFit methodology she sees practiced in affiliates.

I was excited to chat with Dr. West at the Winter Classic to learn more about how physiatry can be used to bridge the gap from acute sickness to wellness,  and to hear how she explains her pro-CrossFit viewpoint to critics in medicine.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Dr. West’s career prior to medicine, and the driving factors that led to her career change
  • Why she chose to pursue Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry
  • Dr. West’s athletic background and how she became involved with CrossFit
  • What is PM&R
  • How PM&R works alongside physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • How physiatry focuses on root causes and functionality
  • The parallels between physiatry and CrossFit
  • How Dr. West overcomes the stigma against CrossFit within the medical community
  • The opportunities she sees to bridge acute rehab/sickness and wellness
  • What her practice is like, and how she incorporates CrossFit-type practices with her patients
  • Her response to people who think they “can’t do CrossFit”
  • How Dr. West navigates the strained relationship between the NSCA and CrossFit, and how she thinks the recent ruling against the NSCA will impact the fitness community
  • The challenge of corrupt research studies
  • Three things Dr. West does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. West

You can follow Dr. West on Instagram and Twitter.

Links:

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If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

 


Ep 131 – Dave Castro on Changes in Life and the CrossFit Games

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“I’m still the Director of the Games.  I’m still Director of Training, also.  I still have that responsibility to conduct it.  I still have a lot of freedom to conduct it the way that I see… the direction that I want that event to go.  I was still in a very good place.” – Dave Castro

As Director of the CrossFit Games and Co-Director of Training for CrossFit Inc, Dave Castro has witnessed the growth and evolution of CrossFit from a grassroots fitness movement to a worldwide professional sport.

Dave served as a Navy SEAL from 1998-2010 and first caught wind of CrossFit in 2005 when he started following CrossFit.com to support his training. By 2006 he had begun training at the original CrossFit HQ affiliate in Santa Cruz, CA and was soon helping out at Level 1 seminars.

The following year, he hosted the first ever CrossFit Games competition at his family’s Ranch in Aromas, CA. Since that time, the CrossFit Games has grown exponentially into a professional sport under Dave’s direction.  He has been there every step of the way, devising tests that select for the fittest man and woman on earth and programming events at all 13 editions of the Games.

In his second visit to the podcast, Dave and I sat down at CrossFit HQ following an MDL1 Seminar.  Our last show was in May of 2016, so we had a lot to catch up on!  We talked about the positive changes he’s witnessed as CrossFit transitions its focus to CrossFit Health, his reflections on the 2019 CrossFit Games, and why he’s okay with not being everyone’s friend.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Dave’s life has changed since we last spoke in 2016
  • His intentional choice to keep his family out of the limelight
  • Dave’s role in the transition and changes that CrossFit underwent in 2019
  • How the CrossFit Games team has changed
  • Some of the positives that have come from the changes to the CrossFit Games season
  • Why he says Greg Glassman saved his life
  • Why Dave doesn’t pay attention to Sanctional events
  • His goal for the CrossFit Games
  • His thoughts on preserving the integrity of the sport through drug testing and more intense scrutiny of videos
  • Dave’s reflections on the 2019 CrossFit Games
  • What Dave’s process for programming for the Games looks like, and how that process has changed with the shift in the Games season
  • His reading habit
  • Dave’s thoughts on the move to Madison
  • His thoughts on being a polarizing figure in CrossFit
  • The importance of upholding high standards in himself and in others
  • What Dave’s fitness routine and daily routine is like these days
  • His perspective on the CrossFit Health movement
  • Three things Dave does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can follow Dave on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Links:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional