e.g. I have much more resistance on my right side compared to my left side in this movement.
Interview with Sylvia Ferrero
Part 1 - ABOUT Luther's Professional Experience & ORIGIN STORY
Sylvia Ferrero: Luther, thank you so much for your time and your generosity, for being here. Now you get to hear how awesome you really are on the next level from outside perspective.
For over two decades, Luther Bryan Cowden has embarked on a personal mission to elevate the human body's self-healing potential. He's so much more than a personal trainer and a stretch coach. His work has empowered clients and members of his community from all around the globe with a multi-dimensional sensory experience that liberates and fortifies cells, intellect, emotions, and even the spirit through simple yet revolutionary flexibility and strength training techniques. His signature methodology is a life force activating fusion of ancient medicinal teachings, sacred sciences, and cutting edge fitness and wellness practices, which is what makes him the secret weapon to some of the planet's most prolific change makers and paradigm shifters of our time.
He's highly sought after. He's one of the highest sought after exercise coaches around. His A-list client roster includes Hollywood headliners, Olympic legends, pro-athletes, world renowned thought leaders and elite business executives, including one of my favorites, modern day Renaissance woman and media mogul, the legendary Ms. Oprah Winfrey.
However, some of his most near and dear accomplishments have been coming to the aid of human beings who have been severely injured or ill beyond what conventional medicine was capable of healing for them, and leaving them turning to Luther as a last hope to reverse engineer their physical pain and suffering back towards healing and thriving vitality. Hopefully, none of us will ever have to be in that place.
This movement rockstar is a fierce yet gentle force to be reckoned with when it comes to igniting the innate wisdom technology embedded within muscles and connective tissues and organs, and utilizing this as a gateway to accessing extraordinary health, peak performance and next level badassery. So please welcome ladies, one of my all time favorite exercise mentors of my own personal healing journey, Luther Bryan Cowden. Thanks for being here, love.
Luther Bryan: Thank you. Thank you for having me. Pleasure to meet all of you. Hello. Nice to see you. You sent me that write up and I thought, "Wow, I don't think anyone's ever written anything about me in terms of a bio." And I was impressed and appreciative of your words. So thank you very much for all of that.
Sylvia Ferrero: Ah, you're so welcome. Yeah, you've definitely impacted me on so many levels. Your work is extraordinary. I'd love for the ladies to get... I know a little bit about your story, but I'd love for the ladies here to get an experience from your words, through your heart, about your journey from where you were and what you used to do and to the work that you do now.
Luther Bryan: Yeah, sure. So I am not typical, like most personal trainers out there, who have a background with strength and conditioning or athletics or anything related to the physical body, quite frankly. In fact, I've mostly been averse to exercise throughout my entire life. And I would still say that's true, even though I very much enjoy exercising and health now, because of my practice. It's still something that is secondary for me. Initially, I was always very much into the arts, into theatre and singing in particular. And only went into my body because I was having some severe digestive issues in high school, around age 16. And I should have been able to eat anything at that age, but ultimately, I ended up having an ulcer, duodenal ulcer. And that I think was through a combination of things happening in my life, physically, as well as mental and emotional stress that I was under.
And luckily, I had a good doctor, a good Western doctor. And he asked me, he said, "Are you stressed?" And I said, "I don't know. I mean, I haven't really thought about it." He said, "You're 16 or 15, I forget, you should be able to eat nails at this age. What's going on?" And so, that I think opened my mind to, "Wow, stress is a factor when it comes to digestive health of all things." That's not something that had ever occurred to me. And there were some things that needed to happen physically in my life. And ultimately, I went through Western medicine to fix the ulcer. And that was pretty invasive, taking a stringent course of antibiotics and I forget what else.
And shortly thereafter, I started to learn more about my diet. And in fact, I found the ulcer to be quite a teacher because it was very clear to me that eating fried food was not a good idea. And other types of foods that I was eating, there was just no question about what I should eat. My body could only handle very, very clean food. And so from there, I did start to learn about how diet influences gut health and the bacterial levels and enzymatic activity in foods. And had I known that before, I maybe would've tried to have healed my digestive system through an approach with nutrition and other health modalities, but I just didn't know anything. So that's what got me interested in health.
And the physical part didn't happen until a couple years later. I was in college and I met someone at an airport who had told me about flexibility training and how it can affect the physiological health functionings of the body, which was new to me. Because I had known nothing about yoga or Chinese medicine or fitness or health or sports or anything physical.
And so I was like, "Well, what is this? I need to know about this." As soon as I heard about it, I was like, "Life changing moment." I was like, "This person has a message for me." And I'm very sensitive energetically that way. So I knew that I needed to pay attention to what this person was telling me. And he told me to seek out Bob Cooley, who had developed a flexibility training technique, and didn't know who this person was. So looked into it. And at that point, there was really no information out there about him or his work.
And so, I called him up and next thing you know, I'm going out to California to do a teacher training intensive, which I had zero interest in being a teacher. Physical trainer, zero, no interest whatsoever. But there was no book, there were no trainers. There was only the source. And he was working on his first book called The Genius of Flexibility, which came out a few years later. And so, I was like, "Oh, forget it. I'm not going to do all that." And got off the phone. And then that voice that had said, "Hey, you said you needed to know about this." I was like, "Ah, fine." So I went and talked to a couple friends.
Next thing you know, me and two of my friends drive out to California from Austin, Texas, where I was living at the time. And we did the teacher training intensive and still from that point, I was not interested in being a trainer. I was just doing the teacher training because it was the only way to learn. So I went back to Austin and I was living in a 100 person housing co-op at the time. And I was very involved with the community there. And I was like, "Hey everyone, check out this great work, let's stretch." And so, I started getting everyone together and we would work on each other. Let me work on your hamstrings so you can work on mine. So on and so forth.
And I had a friend, Susan, who said, "This is amazing work." She just couldn't believe it. And she had been a dancer her whole life. So she had done Pilates and gyrotonics and yoga. And she was at school, at the university, to be a physical therapy aide. And she had done just every physical movement modality under the sun. And she said, "You found something here." I'm like, "Yeah, it's pretty cool." She's like, "No, no, no. I've never experienced changes like this in this short of a period of time." I was like, "Yeah, it's cool." She's like, "I'm just telling you though, I've checked out a lot of things." I was like, "Okay, cool." She said, "You need to start teaching." And I said, "Oh no, no, no. I'm not interested in doing that. I'm just wanting to improve my health and my friends' health."
And I continued to do that and she kept egging me on until one day she said, "You know what? I talked to the owner of my Pilates studio. She loves the work and we already have people interested, ready to sign up for your workshop." I said, "My workshop?" And so, that's what started me teaching. And at that point, I had realized I was already teaching my friends. And so, I was already being a teacher. So I just had to get over my resistance and just start sharing. And before long, I opened up a studio and it just goes on and on from there.
So that's generally how I got started. It was a personal need in terms of my own health. And then it was something that I appreciated sharing with others, primarily because I thought it was fascinating to see people coming together to stretch each other. The interaction, I found to be very complimentary to the community based environment that I was facilitating and involving myself in. So I was very interested in the interaction between not just one and one, but sometimes it's three or four or five or six, 10 people working one person. It's very surgical that way. And so, I was fascinated with that more so than I was offering it professionally as a trainer.
And since then, I've gone all over the world. I've worked with some very interesting people and I've been in very interesting situations and still going with it after all this time. It's been my only occupation. It's pretty much my life. So I'm happy to share whatever you'd like to know. And I look forward to getting to know you all as we go through this together.
Sylvia Ferrero: Thanks so much, Luther. Thanks for a little sneak peek into your world. What an amazing journey. What a great hero's journey.
Part 2 - How To Use YOUR BODY As A Tool For SELF HEALING
Slyvia Ferrero: You know, you just touched on it a bit about it for a sec, when you were talking about self stretching and then stretching others and multiple people and multiple people stretching people. Can you dive us a little bit deeper into that world? Because most people when they think about stretching, they think of passive stretching or they think of yoga for flexibility. Can you share a little bit more about the difference between your form and how it different from even traditional strength training, because there's a strength component involved in your stretching technique?
Luther Bryan: Yes, absolutely. I'd love to talk about that. And that's a great question. I think when most people think of stretching they're thinking of the two things you mentioned, which are solo, doing it by yourself, and also passive. And I do teach people how to work on their own bodies, but the magic is really in assisted stretching, which we can talk more about. And then in terms of the approach, it's a very different approach compared to most traditional stretching modalities. Most traditional stretching is focused on the end range, which is, is when the muscle's in a very elongated position. And then at that point, most people are going to feel a little tug and they'll feel a little tight and a little pull, and most people have associated that feeling with stretch.
And so then they think, I just need to keep having this feeling and breathing into it and trying to get the muscle to go longer and then I'll be flexible. But that's not actually how it works. So, there is something that I think everyone could stand to do, which is to differentiate range of motion and flexibility. So, range of motion would be to move your body through space, to be able to bring your arm above your head and move your legs around and so on and so forth. Now, flexibility would be the ability to move your arms and body through space and legs through space, but to be able to functionally do that in every way possible.
And that would mean at any given point in the range, you would be able to for one, strengthen, which would be to start with the muscle elongated and then shorten the muscle or you'd be able to resist as an outside force overcomes you. And then you would also be able to stabilize at any point throughout that range of motion. So that comes down to resistance and tension. And so, functional flexibility would be not just range of motion, but range of motion plus the ability to use it in every way possible. And to get there, the technique is quite different than what most people are used to. And that instead of just relaxing, I teach people to utilize their tension and utilize their resistance.
So, in other words, when you go to the end of the range and you feel that tugging, pulling sensation, most people are trying to override that sensation with their mind, trying to get that to relax. Instead, I'm telling people to actually get it to engage more which seems very counterintuitive. And so, a way to understand this, is that most people are really doing a lot of addition, which means they're adding to the body. They're adding strength, they're climbing the hill, they're lifting the weight, they're increasing their endurance. They're adding their ability to do more. That's all fine and good, but what's missing in everyone's training is subtract, to remove.
And that happens during the negative phase of movement when the muscle's elongating. And what that means in terms of removal, is to remove dense tissue from the body. People are thinking of adding strength, fine, but there's dense tissue in the body that needs to be removed in order to truly add the strength. And that tissue is fascial tissue and that's a collagen type tissue that's in the body. It's like the white stuff on the chicken or the steak that binds the muscle together. It's the white stuff on the cadaver. And if you look at it in a live human being and see it from high magnification, it looks like a spider web like material. Strands that go in every direction, transport fluid.
And they're not just on the surface of the muscle, but they go from the surface of the muscle, through the fat, into the skin, which can create cellulite and stuff. And then through the muscle all the way down towards the bones and into the bones. And so this is the tissue that everything in your body is suspended in because one of its main properties is that it has resistance. And so the muscles are very contractile. The fascia is very resistive. So these are a couple of different forces inside the body that are the base of your biomechanics and functionality. And most people are doing way too much with the muscular component and zero on the fascial and scar tissue component. And so the question is, okay, well, how do you change that tissue?
So let's start by understanding what it is we already know. So if you wanted to strengthen, say I wanted to strengthen my bicep here, I would start with my bicep elongated, then put a weight in my hand that causes this muscle to contract. And then as it contracts, I can use my hand on top here to slow down my bottom hand, and so then my bicep shortens as it contracts. That's a basic bicep curl. Right? Everyone knows that. Now when most people stretch, they're just elongating the muscle and trying to go further. But instead, a better approach is to start with the muscle shortened, continue to resist. So in this case my hand keeps going towards my shoulder. And then now this hand is going to overpower my bottom hand. And so my bicep is contracting just like it was before, but now it's elongating and so it's getting stretched.
Now, what's happening during that phase of movement is that's when the fascial tissue starts to get pulled apart and break down from within your body and then get removed through the excretory organs. Whereas when you do the strength training part, the muscles tearing, and then it's rebuilding, asking for nutrition and becoming bigger, giving you more strength. So this would build strength when you overcome an outside force, everyone's doing a lot of that. Everyone's missing this phase, which is when you elongate the muscle under a load. Now everyone's getting that. So when you lift the bar, you're getting that negative phase, the centric contraction when you lower the bar.
Now, the key though is that you can withstand much more force during that elongation phase than you can during the shortening phase. And so there's more force to explore during this elongation phase, that's what's missing. So whenever you lift 50 pounds, it's much easier to lower it. Right? Much easier to lower the weight than it is to lift it. So that means there's more force to explore during that elongation phase. In fact, there might be 10 times the force. If you lift 50 pounds, you might have 500 pounds of resistance that you can sustain during the elongation phase.
And so what I specialize in is targeting very specific muscle groups that have an accumulation of dense fascia and scar tissue, starting with the muscle in a very shortened position. And then as the person resists, me and other people who are assisting will overpower the force that the person's providing. And so they're trying as hard as they can to pull their arm in or pull their arm across. And even though they're trying, they're getting overpowered. And so they're getting brought into the reverse of what they would normally be doing during strength training. Does that make sense?
Slyvia Ferrero: One of the things that really fascinates me is that you talk about using exercise as a tool for problem solving. And the body itself is a tool that's available for problem solving and how that can support our mental and emotional health. And you have this really unique blend of this cutting edge science, but you also bring so much of the sacred wisdom traditions into it. So, I'm just curious when you talk about utilizing exercise and all these amazing things that are happening with the body and what we're capable of doing with your modality, how is it that that carries over not just our physical health, but also our mental, emotional, and spiritual health too?
Luther Bryan: Yeah. I love that you asked that question because for me, I find the physical quite boring most of the time. Again, I'm not an athlete. So, I'm not so much trying to get that edge to compete or to perform optimally physically. That's actually something I've learned to do. So, for me, when I first started stretching this way, I realized, whoa, this is a physical sensation that I've never experienced. I've never tried as hard as I can to kick my leg down to the ground while three people overpower my leg and rotate it and bring me into a different position. I've never experienced that. And so, for me it was immediate. I was like, if I've never experienced something physical, this means there's a lot that I haven't experienced emotionally and psychologically, energetically as well.
And so, as soon as I stood up getting stretched, I felt lighter. I felt more energized. And what had happened for me is that, I had had the ulcer fixed through Western medicine in terms I wasn't bleeding anymore and stuff. So that was fixed. But I was burping a lot, like all day long burping, burping, burping. So I knew my diet was still not quite there. And I knew I was still having stress in my organs. And so when I started stretching, I started to initially feel like, Oh, I'm digesting food better. Oh, I'm not burping as much. Oh, I'm not going to sugar for energy because I already feel energized. Oh, I'm not overeating because I'm not afraid of needing calories for energy, I'm actually resolving the energy that was being wasted through my biomechanics.
And so, initially I was getting a lot of physiological health changes. But then what happened is I started to realize that I was a space cadet in terms of how I was being. I was very spacey in terms of my attention. And so, as I'm doing certain stretches, I would start to identify, "Oh, I'm not really resisting here. I think I'm generating tension here but I'm not." Or, "Oh, I thought I had more range of motion than I really had." Right? So I kept getting checked in terms of when I was getting stretched and then the same thing was happening for me mentally. I'm like, "Oh I have no idea what that person just said. I'm thinking about something completely different."
So I started to catch when I was becoming more spacey in terms of my thinking. And so I started to realize as certain muscle groups were improving in me, my behavior and my ability to be with people emotionally or to be more clear thinking in terms of my own functionality started to improve as well. And so then it became a process for me to become a better person, quite frankly, more functional person, as opposed to just having a better body I started to use my body as a tool to affect these other parts of myself, which I was quite frankly more interested in developing than I was my physical body.
Part 3 - Micro Workshop: Functional Flexibility to HEAL MUSCLES
Sylvia Ferrero: Luther you're an encyclopedia of information. We could just have you here for days. And what I really love is that you've got the physical, the mental, the emotional, and even the metaphysical. Ladies, if you have questions around that in terms of energy and all the things in that direction as well, Luther's got some superpowers in that direction as well when it comes to the body. But what I was thinking, and you tell me Luther what feels most aligned right now, some of the ladies have questions and I'm actually wondering whether some of these questions might also be answered by you taking us through some movements.
Luther Bryan: That sounds good. I think what would be good would be to give you all an experience of doing this on your own. So you could have a more physical base to ask whatever questions you want from there. So there's two concepts I could show you. Does that sound good?
Sylvia Ferrero: Sounds amazing. Yes.
Luther Bryan: Okay. So let's go over a couple concepts and let's use the same example that I just showed you for your bicep so that way you can experience it on your own. So if you start with one arm elongated. So in this case the bicep's in an elongated position right? It's long. So now we're going to use our other hand, it's going to go on top of our palm. I'll do it this way so you can see. I'm going to use my top hand to slow down my bottom hand as it comes up towards my shoulder. Now notice I can use one finger to slow down or even stop my bottom hand. So if we start elongated I can use one finger, it doesn't take much force to strengthen my bicep. Very easy, I can do it with one finger.
And that's what we do when we strengthen. We start long, contract the muscle, overpower the force, shorten and repeat. So now let's keep doing what we were doing with our bottom hand. It's going to continue to pull to towards our shoulder. Now let's use the top hand, it's still on top to overpower that force and bring our hand away from our shoulder. Now notice this one finger can no longer overpower the bottom hand. My whole hand can't do it. See there's a difference in terms of the amount of force during the elongation. So you're going to have to use a little less force in order to get some motion. But the idea here is to start with the bicep in a short position, pull in towards you with your hand, use your other hand to overpower that force. So now your bicep's contracting, and then as it contracts you overpower that force with your top hand.
And so what's happening there is you're stretching the bicep, it's just under a load. And let's just keep doing this, let's do five or six reps on our bicep here. Just keep pulling in and then overpowering that force. Again pulling in and then overpowering that force and elongating. And then after you've done a few reps, why don't you just take a little break and then maybe move both arms around and see if you can identify a difference in terms of your left arm and your right arm. You might feel lighter, you might feel more energized, you might be more aware of, "Oh, I need some work up in my shoulder," or, "I feel this here." But a lot of things are going to come up. It's a huge database you're tapping into as you do this. So that's the main concept which is stretching is not just about holding a stretch. It's about movement as well.
And it's not just about relaxing during the stretch, it's more about generating tension and using resistance. And so those are two concepts that are important. There's another one that's important, which is the role of balance. Which means in order for my bicep to really get stretched, my tricep has to be able to shorten, right? And so if my tricep can't shorten then this will never stretch. And the fascial tissue and scar tissue accumulates on the posterior and lateral outside and back parts of the body. So let's do the same thing we just did except let's go after our tricep now. So now instead of having our hand on the inside of our arm, we'll put on the outside right? So we wanted to strengthen our tricep we'd start with this elongated. My hand's going to push away, I'm going to use my other hand to slow that force down. And now our tricep is getting strengthened. Once again we would start long here, apply force, overpower that force with your bottom hand so your tricep shortens.
That strengthens that muscle. Once again long to short for strength. And this is the phase of movement everyone's missing. Keep pushing down now and use your bottom hand to overpower that force and bring your wrist up towards your shoulder. So again your wrist is continuing to push out away from you as you use bottom hand to overpower that force and bring it in towards you for the stretch. And this is the one that everyone needs a lot of work on, many reps for this. The strength will happen more naturally as this gets more flexible. And so now we just stretched our tricep and our bicep. And now you might feel, "Oh, I have some more sensation back here. I'm a little bit more aware of the back side of my shoulder, back side of my arm. Oh, it feels a little bit better in my bicep." Even though we didn't work on the bicep. That's the role of balance in the body. And my approach is very much based on principles from traditional Chinese medicine. So the balance is a huge part of everything in terms of my approach to the body.
Sylvia Ferrero: Anybody else break a little sweat there? I felt my temperature rise a little. And I was like, "Luther, you're jacked." The biceps pop out. And this is what you do for exercise.
Luther Bryan: Yeah. I've never been into strength training. So all this came from working on other people. So the strength gains that I've gotten have been from moving many people's legs and arms for many reps for many years and I get a lot of strength training from doing that. And as you can see when you do this, it's not a very passive activity. And so the idea here is that everyone has tenseness and everyone has resistance and we all have too much of that in certain areas of the body. And we all would like to feel more comfortable and relaxed.
And so then the question is how to do that instead of actually kind of convincing yourself to drop the tenseness, breathe in to relax, drop your shoulders, sit up straight. No, no, no, get rid of that stuff. Spend it. And you can spend it by actually engaging it. It's like one of those locks where you can't pull the lock to unlock it, you have to squeeze it more and then it releases. It's kind of a similar concept here. You go in and you use more tension, more resistance, and then afterward you get to feel more relaxed and you get to feel that throughout the day as opposed to just in your one hour massage or your one hour yoga class. It's building a foundation of sustainable flexibility.
Part 4 - Q&A: How to Avoid Hip Replacement Surgery & FIX HIP PAIN
Sylvia Ferrero: I want to bring the girls on because you're getting some comments here, Luther. "I'm, well, amazing and let's do that again," awesome, Simone and Deanna was like, "It makes me aware that my body needs a lot of work."
Sylvia Ferrero: We're all there, love, for sure. Some of the ladies, I know some of you had sent me some questions beforehand and so I'm going to just jump on you first here. Tara, did you want to unmute, love? You can ask Luther whatever it is you'd like.
Tara: I would love to. Can you guys hear me?
Tara: Awesome. Hi Luther, thanks for everything. That was incredible.
Luther: Sure, my pleasure.
Tara: Yeah, my question is, I have a hip that since birth always seems to want to pop out or kind of pigeon-toe me. I was wondering if you have some stretches or some advice for helping the muscles, because it often feels like I get tight up my lower back from compensating muscles from maybe an alignment, not being totally right. What can I do now before maybe going to a chiropractor and doing something more structural in the long term?
Luther: Thank you. Yes, great question. Definitely, that's something that can change. Essentially what's happening with everyone is, you have the muscles, you've got the bones and you've got the fascia. You have other tissues, but these three are important because most people are just thinking muscles and bones, right? Now fascia has become, in the past few years, fascia has become kind of a keyword. When I first started stretching there, was no talk about it.
What's happening is, the bones in everyone are out of their natural resting positions. Everyone is in substituted positions and that is because there is an accumulation of dense fascia and scar tissue in very specific muscle groups. That's across the board and it's also specific to the individual. Across the board, everyone I've met has very tight hamstrings, which means that the femur is going to be rotated in a non-optimal position, which is going to cause, depending on how it's rotated, it's going to cause a certain predictable type of problem. Either a hip joint problem or low-back problem or maybe in the knee or the foot.
So, everyone needs work on the hamstrings. Each person has very specific muscle groups that they need targeted based on their conditioning, based on their genetics or some kind of traumatic event that they've gone through that they haven't processed physically and perhaps in other ways as well. In terms of adjusting the bones, yes, you want to adjust the bones. You want them to be in their natural rotations, but the question is, "If you get them adjusted, how long do they stay there?" Usually what happens is that the forces that caused those bones to initially be substituted, they don't come back, they're already there, so before long after the bone has been adjusted, it gets brought back into that default position. What needs to be addressed is the tissue that's causing those bones to be out of alignment.
Now, this is where you see a lot of physical therapy come in and a lot of personal training where they think, "Okay, well, let's strengthen the abdominal wall. Let's strengthen these muscle groups and let's strengthen this. That way those muscles can continue to keep the person in the proper position. Then let's try to get the person to stand up straight." No, no, no, no. That doesn't really work.
The reason for that is because the muscles are very high, they spend energy and they need energy. We would have to be eating... For example, if we didn't have fascial tissue, we'd have to be eating all day long because the muscles would have to be contracting all the time just to keep us in one position and move us through space, right? So, instead we have this fascial tissue, which is like a resistance matrix in the body. All these strands are going in every direction. Whenever you make a movement, your muscles contract and then when you're done with the movement, the fascia is like a spring, brings you right back without requiring energy because it's not contractile. It's not wired to the brain for contraction, it resists. That way the muscles can do the movement and then the fascia can kind of do the sustaining as well.
In the case of your hips, there's probably a couple muscle groups where there's just too much dense fascia. Because the fascial tissue has way more force than the muscles, there's no amount of strength training that you could ever do that would actually change that permanently. You can adjust the bones, but that fascial tissue is going to pull that tissue right back out or pull that bone right back out.
We'd have to identify where in your body there's an accumulation of that tissue. You can't feel that. That's the other part of this which is very, quite interesting, which is that most people's attention goes to what they can feel. Usually it means it doesn't feel very good and then they're trying to get that area to feel good.
"Oh, I feel tense here on my hip flexors. How do I stretch those out?", "Sure, those need to get stretched. Everything in the body needs to get stretched, but what about your hamstring on the other side?", "My hamstring's fine. I don't feel that.", "But whoa, whoa, wait. Why don't you feel it?", "I don't know why, but I feel this and it hurts." I'm like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. But why don't you feel that?" They're like, "Why does it matter? I feel..." and I'm like, "We need to get you to feel this."
Once you start to go into those areas in your body where you don't have feeling, where you feel like you don't need any work, you'll start to identify, as you keep removing the dense tissue, that that's actually the source of your tight hip flexors or that's the source of the thing that you've been conscious of. Then becomes a process of finding in your body where you have a lack of feeling, a lack of sensation, a lack of awareness. Then working on that area, even though it seems like a complete waste of time and then seeing if that gives you results. Usually what'll happen is, you start to realize, like someone said, "Oh, this makes me aware of how much more work I need on my body." You start to become aware of that in that area.
You find that in your body through where there's a lot of force and oh, where there's not a lot of sensation and where there's a lot of force. When you're working on your body, you can go through eight major muscle groups in your lower body. So, it's not too complicated. You don't have to even remember the names of the muscles. You can think of the body as having eight different zones. Then you find one of those eight or two of those eight that have a lot of force and not very much sensation. Then you keep working on those and then what happens is, as you're stretching, sometimes you'll hear your bones adjust.
What's happening in that case is that you're meeting the match of the fascial tissue. That fascial tissue has hundreds and hundreds of pounds of resistance and it has the hold on your bone and is keeping your bone rotated. As you start to use force and resistance and tension and then moving as you do that. That fascial tissue starts to meet its match within your body and then it starts to break apart and then your bone will adjust. Over time, you'll have made enough change to reach critical mass so that your bone no longer gets pulled into that substituted position.
It's very funny, because at that point, most people forget they ever had the problem because they're onto the next thing. Someone would be like, oh, they come in for a session, they'll be like, "Oh, can we work on my hip or whatever?" They've been saying that for months, right? Or weeks or whatever. Then they come, "Can we work on my shoulder?" I'm like, "Sure, how's your back?" "What do you mean 'how's my back'? It's fine, I just need to work my...", "But your back used to...", "Oh yeah, that's fine." They completely forget they've ever had it, even though they've had it for like decades.
That's an important concept, which is that the body can repair and it can change. You need the proper forces a lot. You have to address the substitutional courses in the body. Send me an email and then we can identify which muscle groups in you need that. There are very specific self-stretching exercises that you can do and assisted stretching exercises that you can do to change that.
Part 5 - Q&A: BULLETPROOF KNEES by Treating Scar Tissue
Sylvia Ferrero: ... the knee. Ericka, did you want to jump on and ask a question at all? Was it you or Steph that had asked?
Ericka: It wasn't me that asked the question, but certainly because I've had five knee surgeries and lots of knee challenges, when I touch my knee, I still get emotions that come up. I'll just start crying and images come and that sort of thing. So there's emotional trauma. And then there's also the fascial tissue from the scar tissue from the plate and screws and stuff like that put in. But I guess in the traumatic event, the fascial tissue that's kind of over that, how do you, I don't know, massage it or loosen it out or stretch it? Or what's kind of the piece where then the fluid starts going through there where it doesn't all get jammed up? Because I still feel like after all these years and working with lots of people, it still gets jammed up. I don't know. I guess maybe I'm looking for the one key that unlocks it all.
Luther Bryan: Yeah, that's a great question. I'm sorry to hear about your knees, but the good news is that you can have more stability in your knees. And there are a few things you brought up, which are very important and one is trauma. And so the question for a lot of people is, why do we have all this dense fascia? Well, I think part of it is evolutionary. We're still dealing with eons of traumatic events just from being humans, and it's being stored in our bodies in this tissue primarily. And so we have generational stuff coming through the bloodline, and culturally, we're sitting at a desk from a young age. There's certain cultural things which are in place which are causing that. And then each person has their own personal experience as well.
And the fascial tissue seems to be housing this trauma for whatever reason and in whatever way. And it shows up whether a person's aware of it or not. Sometimes we work with a person. Have you had any injuries? No. Then fine. And then we're working on a certain area of the body. We hit some area where there's a ton of force. I'm like, "Whoa, what's going on in here? There's some scar tissue." And then as we start working on that area, they're like, "Oh, I was jumping over a fence as a kid and I cut myself on the barbed wire," or certain things will start to come up in their memory. And so then there's a disassociation or depersonalization that the person's had with that part of themselves. And what happens is as we start to go into the body and change that, the event comes, it surfaces, but it's very non-invasive because I can only stretch the person to the degree that they're participating with me. And so I'm not doing it to them.
In fact, actually, they have to become skilled at getting stretched. So it's very different than massage where the person just relies on the massage therapist to figure it out. It's like, "No, no, no, if they don't know how to breathe properly, if they don't know how to generate tension, if they don't know how to resist, if they don't know how to analyze what's going on, if they don't know how to make the movement and position themselves, we're not getting a result." So my job is actually not to just figure out where it's at, but to actually give them the tools to figure out how to change that.
Now, when most people are trying to change dense tissue, they're usually doing it from outside in. And so through massage, for example, if the massage therapist is feeling, they're finding an area where there's dense tissue, and then they're using their force externally through their hands to go into your body to break up the adhesions from the outside in. And that works to relieve tenseness in the muscle, but I haven't seen that change fascial tissue. And a couple friends of mine, Nick and Bob, worked with the leading authority of fascial changes in terms of surgery who's the one that identified what it looks like under high magnification. And he uses a special scalpel to cut out dense fascia and remove it from the body. It's that tough. So massage doesn't really break up tissue that's that tough.
And besides that, even if it could, a lot of this dense tissue is deep down, talking like bone level. And so it would just tear you up to try to get in there with your fingers. It'd be way too painful. So there's got to be another way to apply force to that tissue that doesn't require surgery and doesn't require pushing through the muscular tissue. And that, I haven't found another way to do it other than utilizing what we just went through, which is to resist and then to use that force internally to match the force that is already being exerted internally. And then we saw it on an endoscope. It started to break apart and then be removed from the body.
And so in terms of your knees, every joint in the body is controlled, so to speak, by one of the major muscle groups. And so for the knees in particular, there is an association with the central hamstrings, the semitendinosus, and also into your piriformis, into your glutes. Those muscles would need to be targeted, and we would have to identify which vector and probably in the flexion/extension vector, but primarily we'd have to do some adduction/abduction to get you stable in your hip girdle. We do a lot of these types of movements to get you stable in your hip girdle. Then we'd start doing some flexion/extension movements to get into your glutes and into your hamstring.
And as we started to identify where in your hamstring it's really tight, we wouldn't even need to touch your knee. Your knee can just be initially passive. And then we're just grabbing your thigh from above your knee. You're kicking into someone's thigh and they're lifting your thigh up towards your chest. You kick down, they lift your thigh up towards your chest, you kick down again and again and again. And that's getting from above your knee, to your hamstring, to your glute, to your low back. You start to work on that pelvic region, get the abductors/adductors stable, get the flexors and extensors flexible. Your femur will start to unlock in terms of the twist.
And so what that means is you're not just decompressing your knee so that the tendons and the ligaments aren't under so much stress, that's important, but more importantly is that you're changing the rotational hold that has been on your knee. Otherwise, you can repair the tendons, you can repair the ligaments, but the forces that cause those ligaments and tendons to be compromised initially are going to show up again. And then if you get the whole joint replaced, you have a really strong joint, then all those forces, they're not going to be able to destroy the new joints. So they'll go to the next joint. You'll start to have an ankle problem, or you'll start to have a hip joint problem. And so that's why you see people who have consecutive surgeries, by the time they're 85, the surgeons can't replace any more of their joints because the initial forces were never dealt with.
And so that can all change. And so what happens is as you keep doing those repetitions, it's not like muscle building. It's not like weight training where your body builds this muscle. And then if your body uses it and needs it, it keeps it around. But if it doesn't need it, it's like, "I'm not feeding that muscle. Get rid of that." And then you lose all your strength, right? It's not like that when you change the fascial tissue and the scar tissue, it's more of a permanent change, which is really hard for people to understand and believe. But that's how it works. When you match the force that's caused the destruction in your knee and you exceed the tensile strength of the dense fascia and scar tissue, that force does not come back. And the reason it doesn't come back is because for one, the body has literally remodeled that area and has removed the dense tissue. But also is that during the process, a person learns what it is that got them into that problem to begin with. And it might be something emotional. It might be something psychological.
Oh my God, I've been trying to trust people by giving them authority. And this whole time, I've been missing out on my own authority or whatever it is psychologically, emotionally shows up. You're learning as you remove the trauma what it is that was missing. Not so much that what you did wrong. It's more like, "Oh, I didn't have this certain behavior developed in me. And so I was literally weak at my knees all day long every day." And so my tendons and ligaments were holding on for dear life. And so the changes that happen physically are permanent. And then the behavioral changes sustain the way of being that's associated with a more higher vibration or a more healthier way to function.
Yeah. So that can all change. And I know it's scary when you're working on an area that's injured because it's not so stable. So you just work on the areas that are able to be moved and you'll see that ultimately, your knee will become more stable. And then the rotations of your femur and your lower leg will start to change as well, decompressing your knee. So even if you've lost cartilage or lost whatever, you don't have to lose anymore. And then as long as you don't want to go downhill skiing or something, you should probably be fine. You know what I mean? And even if you want to go downhill skiing, you might be fine. You just have to make sure that you can handle all the different vectors.
Part 6 - Q&A: How Much Exercise Do I Need To FIX NECK PAIN
Sylvia Ferrero: Heather, did you want to pop on? You had some great questions here. You're going to unmute yourself, love. How're you doing?
Heather: Hi. Thank you. I guess what I didn't know because you don't know until you know, is that I had severe neck trauma for a very long time and I was just in excruciating pain where I couldn't even look sideways. And so I started working with a chiropractor, and with him, then after a while, I started implementing massages through the massage therapist. So a lot of my pain is at the point where your spine meets your back. And I just started working out with resistance bands to strengthen these back muscles, is what my doctor told me to do.
So I started doing that and it's just so much pain. I mean, it's excruciating after every workout. He's kind of answered it. I'll email you and ask you what I should work on back there to strengthen that. But then what does that look like when you're... Do we do it for 40 minutes a day? Do we do the stretching multiple times throughout the day? How does that look when we are stretching ourselves at home?
Luther Bryan: Mm-hmm (affirmative). All great questions. Well, I will say that in terms of the frequency, that's something that you can customize for your own desires and you could do a flow, which is to go through all the major muscle groups in the body. And you could do that in 20 minutes. If you're very disciplined, you might wake up every morning and do that. I'm not very disciplined. I'm learning to be that way physically. Typically, what I do is I like to dance throughout the week and as I'm dancing, I'm stretching as well. So I'm doing a little bit of both. Yeah, there you go. And I also sometimes have been like, "I haven't really dug into myself." Like last night, I spent a couple hours working on myself in certain positions, certain muscle groups. The best is when I have other people who can find my blind spots because there's a lot that I'm unconscious of and have other people on my case and they're like, "You need this. We're going to do this." I'm like, "Okay. Okay. Okay." So that would be ideal if you have someone that can do that.
And then in terms of your neck, most of the stuff happening in the upper body is coming from the lower body because we're upright creatures, were bipeds, but if our true posture was being shown without our mental control, we probably look a little bit more like... And all these weird positions. And then since we can adapt, we stand up straight and we look like upright citizens. And so what's happening is that everyone's hamstrings need a lot of work. And until those get long, there's going to be substitution at the pelvis, and the pelvis is going to be too tilted interiorly, it might be too tucked under. One way or another, there's going to be a lot of substitution at the hip girdle and then the pelvic girdle. And then the base of the spine is then going to try to either hyper-extend or hyper-flex. And then there might be some twisting if they have scoliosis. All the spine is just trying its best to sit on an unstable base. And then in the cervical spine in particular, that's getting more towards the extreme.
And so ultimately, the hip girdle needs to be stabilized, the hip flexors and hamstrings need to be stretched so then the pelvic girds more stable and you'll have more abdominal support. And then you could also target these muscles in the back side of your shoulder. Like one you could do is lifting your arm, wrapping, and then just bringing your arm down and across. My arm keeps lifting, bringing your arm down and across, and that's going to target your upper traps and it's going to target posterior deltoids in the back side of your shoulder. Continue to lift up with my arm and then pulling down and a cross with my other hand.
And then when you're doing this, you have to figure out, which vector is the one that's tightest? Is it tighter when you go across your body or when you go more up and down? Where does it feel like there's a lot of dense tissue, it's harder to move? And that's going to give you a pinpoint into a very specific muscle groups in your upper body. And you can go through all eight muscle groups and figure out which ones really targeted the areas that you really needed to address. And is it giving you the result that you really want? If so, then you might be able to problem solve it through your upper body, but you'll probably find that you need to also work on your lower body. So that can all change.
Heather: Thank you so much for that. I was focusing up top and not enough on below. So I'll have to incorporate that more too.
Luther Bryan: Yeah. And remember, they're going to always teach you to do strength training at physical therapy and in personal training. Nothing wrong with strength training, but it's not what I'm trying to get the message across here. It's the reverse, it's during the negative phase when you're overcoming that outside force. No one's getting enough of that phase of movement. That's not muscular, that's fascia. That's the phase. The strength is actually built on top of flexibility. So if you don't have flexibility, you're only strengthening 40% of your optimal strength. You have to actually have a base to strengthen. And then once you remove all that dense tissue, you've renovated the house. The house doesn't need to be renovated every weekend. It just needs to be renovated once. And so now you've got a new house and you're still going to need to stretch in order to keep it clean. Clean the house every once in a while, but it doesn't have to be renovated.
At that point, you can develop all the strength you want, but it's out of order. The doctors and... And I'm glad that they're teaching you to work on these muscle groups. It's a start because most people would think, "Oh, the person's too tight in the chest. Got to open up the chest." So they're starting to get the idea that these muscles in the back need to be worked. They're just needing to know more about the fascial component and the negative phase of movement. Not the strength movement, but the stretch movement.
Part 7 - Q&A: Rotational Movement to Stretch Muscle & HEAL JOINTS
Sylvia Ferrero: So on that note, we have got a couple of other amazing personal training movement specialists here. We've got Tiana, we've got Kathy Donato, who's one of the top trainers over at Animal Flow. She's a Master Trainer there. We've got Kika Mila who's a Master Trainer over at Muscle Activation Techniques. And then we've got Melanie who's the Head Trainer over at one of the top obstacle course training centers here in Southern California. So we've got amazing fitness people in here. And I know Kika had a question. Kika did you want to jump on?
Kika: Hi there. It was just in regard to discussing the knee. I really enjoyed talk about the hips as being a component of the knee. I love that. You talked about hip flexion, hip extension, hip abduction, adduction, in order for the stretching components. Do you do rotational stuff as well, or is it only in those two planes?
Luther Bryan: It's a great question. I love the technical questions. So yes, the rotational component. I did not mention. And the reason I did not mention that is because it's the most sophisticated vector. And it's really built on top of the other two. So I think of adduction abduction as the base, flexion and extension as the oppositional vector that comes in to create a quadrant. And then the rotational vector gives the depth and it gives the movement that gets deeper into the joint in particular. And all three vectors are very important, but the rotational vector is the most sensitive to having the correct amount of force, the correct amount of range and so on and so forth. So typically when I'm working with someone, I'll start by doing assisted stretching just on their hip girdle. So they'll push out with both knees, bring both knees together, pushing out both knees, bring both knees together, adductors, squeezing with both knees, bringing them out, squeezing in, bringing them out.
And then after that, I'll be like, okay, what's going on in the hip, flexion extension. Okay. And then it's about moving all three vectors together. And that's when it gets really sophisticated, which is why I could use, four or five people assisting me when I stretch because the adduction abduction flexion extension vectors typically have a lot of force. And even the rotational vector can have a lot of force. So I could have two people on each of those vectors. And then it's a matter of timing. When do we need more adduction? When do we need more flexion? Oh, we need more rotation. And then, as you do that, we're starting to find very specific pockets of scar tissue and dense fascia that you otherwise would not find by just doing adduction, abduction, flexion, extension movements.
So to train someone, to actually feel through all three vectors and target the timing and the number of reps and the speed and the duration and the angle and all that stuff takes a few years of dedicated practice, internship based work, working with a variety of conditions from physical knee problems to Parkinson's to all sorts of other things. And then you'll start to see more patterns in terms of what each problem is associated with. In terms of the knee there's usually a torque happening at the knee, which is a very rotational based phenomenon. And ultimately though, if you tried to go in and do the rotational, it would put a lot more torque on the knee because if there's a knee problem in particular, there's a scar tissue going on. And scar tissue is interesting because fascial tissue by design already has more force than the muscles, but the scar tissue is like a foreign object inside the body. And it has tremendous amount of force. I mean, it's just unfathomable, and you would think that, I could be working with a 10 year old or 12 year old professional gymnast, female, and she could have so much scar tissue from certain things that it takes several strong people to lift a young person's leg up if they've been professionally training in a way that's caused problems.
And so with scar tissue, it takes finesse because it has so much force that it doesn't just exceed the...you have to exceed the tensile strength of the scar tissue, but that could exceed the capacity of the joint structure. And so, normally when I'm stretching someone, I'm looking for the path of greatest resistance, and then it's like, ah, this is where it's at. It's right on it. Yeah. But if you hit scar tissue, you're getting the path of resistance which isn't just from the scar tissue, but from the joint itself, it's too much compression in the joint. And so then it's like, ah, we found the scar tissue. Yes, we need to work on that, but we've got to find another way in because the joint can only handle so much. And so usually that means going back to the simple adduction abduction movements, allowing those vectors to be more stable and then the joint becomes less compressed. Then you go back in with the rotation and then going back and forth like that. It's a great question.
Kika: Thank you.
Part 8 - Q&A: HEAL INJURIES FASTER | Tissue Health Is Key To A Healthy Body and Mind
Sylvia: EM did you want to pop on love? You had a question here.
Emily: Hi so, oh my goodness. This is so great. Thank you so much, Luther. I have been intently asking the universe for some answers and really grateful for a lot of what you've said.
I've been working through a physical injury and I've been going at it from every angle; from spiritual, emotional to old traumas and all of that. And the other night I just had a complete meltdown. I was like, there has got to be a way to you know, heal in an instant type thing. And for the first time in my life felt, that it might actually be possible. I've had these really interesting dreams these last couple of nights, but I really strongly put out the intention to start receiving knowledge and something about how you're relaying this.
Although you're talking in specific terms about movement, I'm really feeling the sense of possibility in you and the work that you do. I will definitely be emailing you, but I also really want to thank you for listening to those voices back then and trusting yourself on it. And also the women that have asked the questions in the way they've asked them, because it's good to get that sort of community healing happening in groups like these. So I'll definitely be in touch I'm so looking forward to being out of pain, but I know there's wisdom in it. Something Sylvia's always encouraged as a friend, and mentor of mine so yeah, just wanted to jump on and say, thank you and show my appreciation.
Luther: It's my pleasure. I think for people, I want them to know that tissue health is key for health in terms of your biomechanics, in terms of your organ functioning, in terms of your emotional and, spiritual and psychological health.
The health of the tissue is a key to that that has been overlooked and not identified. And so most healing that people know is possible, is possible if they get their tissue health improved. The best way I've found to do that is to use force like we've been describing to identify, where there's too much force and then remove that dense tissue and then the limb flow can come through. Then the cerebral spinal fluid can go through the spine, and the rotation can happen at the joint structure, and the immune system can send whatever cells it needs to.
Then the oxygenation happens through the bloodstream and then the venous blood flow increases then the need for caffeine decreases and the addictions decrease. And all of those things are possible. It's just that the tissue health has to be addressed and so I want that for you in particular. As you identify how to change your tissue in very specific ways, you should start to see some of those chronic health problems. I haven't seen anything where there are some chronic health problems that need immediacy. So it might be a little late down the road to change it in the timeframe that a person's really expecting. I've also seeing people who are really far along with some chronic issues. Some of the things that people are dealing with are very easy to fix, low back pain, neck pain. Some of those are so easy, it's just ridiculous that so many people are suffering with those types of things.
Then there're chronic problems that each person has. But even if it's chronic, the sustainable changes keep building upon, it's a very cumulative effect.
So you can get an immediate change, which hopefully everyone felt from doing this. Then it's about an cumulative effect on certain areas of the body, which then usher in the health. Cause the body's always healing itself, other than cartilage, most tissues in the body are regenerative. So even if you've had severe organ damage, I've seen people, who've had scar tissue in their bladder from bladder cancer procedure. Those types of things can change. The scar tissue in the organs can be removed as well. So I've seen some very amazing things occur when people address the health of their tissue.
Sylvia: Anybody else get chills and want to just jump up and down from that last part? My body's just getting happier and healthier just listening to you, Luther. Thank you so much. Great. Well just your energy Emily, thank you so much for that.
Part 9 - Q&A: Train The Body To EAT TO HEAL | Functional Flexibility for HEALTHY ORGANS
Sylvia Ferrero: ... that. Lara, beautiful, do you want to unmute. I know you had a question about [inaudible 00:00:06] or whatever else you want to jump on. And Cat, I don't know if you had a question, but you're next.
Lara: Hi, thank you so much. Thank you, Sylvia. Thank you, Luther. This has been so amazing. My question actually has to do with diet. So I don't know if it's multiple food sensitivities or what it is today. But years ago, I was diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome and was sensitive to all these different kinds of foods. And since then, I've been on this journey of healing, and I have always felt like I'm not going to have that complete healing until I'm supposed to have this perfect diet because I have Hashimoto's.
So there's this whole idea of my health is waiting at the end of this perfect diet that I have to do for God knows how long. And I'll try it, and I'll fall off the wagon. I'll try it again, and I'll fall off, and it's just very difficult. So I guess I'm wondering how much food when it's not bad food. I'm talking about cheese. And I know some people [inaudible 00:01:22] that's bad, but not necessarily junk food like cookies and chips and stuff. But I mean like dairy or even gluten that sort of a thing. How much does the food contribute to overall healing if, let's say, I were to go through this whole stretching process and kind of heal the physical things that are going on.
Luther Bryan: Yeah, that's a great question. Nutrition is key. It's a big part of tissue health. But a big part of nutrition that is not talked about too much is you can put all of the best foods in your body, but if your organs aren't functioning, they're not going to absorb that food properly. So you could put in the best organic this, the best high nutrient that. But if your gallbladder's not released. If the bile's not being produced, or if the small intestine's not getting the proteins, or the large intestine's aren't absorbing the water, or whatever is happening with the organs, then all that nutrition's not really getting absorbed. And so then it's like you have to be perfect with your diet, which is not really... that's not really the solution, right. I do think some things with diet are important to consider.
I personally stopped eating gluten. That was one of the first things I did, and I found that I was able to digest foods much better. In terms of cheese, I like eating raw goat cheese, raw sheep cheese. So there are certain considerations that I make in terms of my diet. But typically, it's really the health of the organs that's at play when it comes to anything that's going to require a very, very strict diet. You want a combination. You want a combo approach. And so, there are specific muscle groups that you can target that can facilitate more and better functioning in organ health. And a lot of that is you can look into traditional Chinese medicine, and you can see the meridians and where they run through in very specific muscle groups.
And then, if the large intestine, for example, is an issue, you might try stretching out your upper traps. And that way, instead of using pressure or needles to affect the energetic channel that is associated with that organ according to traditional Chinese medicine principles, you're using instead leverage to target those muscle groups with force, which then changes the configuration of the muscle in the fascia, which then can allow more energy to move through your body to affect the organ.
Also, when a muscle group is tight and full of dense tissue, not only is it affecting the energetic pathways through the body, but it's literally putting pressure on the organ, right. So if there's a muscle group in your lower body that's rotating your thigh, causing substitution in your pelvis, it's literally putting pressure on your bladder. So no wonder the person is having to urinate five or six times a day or a night when they're sleeping or whatever. And the same thing can be said for the stomach and the pancreas, and all of the digestive organs. And so, identifying which organs are under too much physical pressure would then allow you to change the muscle group associated with that pressure, which then takes pressure off the organ. So then the blood flow can go through, and there's more oxygen, and there's less tenseness.
And then the organ can function more optimally. So you could look into Chinese medicine. Look at the digestive organ meridians and see where those run through in your body and then stretch the muscle groups associated with those. That's one approach. And then also, just from a biomechanical standpoint, try to feel where in your torso you're feeling pressure perhaps, and identify how you can use your legs and arms as levers to affect that part of your torso to give more space for your organs to do what they need to do. And then that combined with... I think there is something to be said about anti-inflammatory foods. Healthy oils are crucial and healthy proteins are crucial. Balance of carbohydrates is a very important factor. And staying away from chemical intervention food, modified foods, I think is an important thing to consider.
And all of that should be a little bit more... it should be much easier instead of it being... I think there's power in doing juice fast and all sorts of nutritional interventions, but it's more of an extreme approach. Oftentimes what happens with a person, they can come in and their toxic is crazy. They're drinking six or seven, eight cups of coffee a day. They're eating sugar. They're totally inflamed. And what happens is no problem. You're addicted to potato chips. No problem. We're just going to keep working on these muscle groups. And then, before long, they're like, "I can't stand wine anymore. I can't stand it. I used to have to drink it in order to relax. And now it's giving me a headache." I'm like, "Yeah, your body's probably not wanting whatever that's in the wine that's causing problems, right."
And so then the person's diet becomes more natural in terms of their approach to it. Instead of it being, "I read this book, and I read this book, and I read this book, and this book says this and this." It's more like, "My body wants apricots right now. I don't know why. I never get..." You start to have more of a feel for healing through whole foods and also through your intuition as opposed to it being formulaic. And so then it becomes more natural, and you can still eat some bad ice cream every once in a while. And you're going to have some bloating and stuff, but it's not going to knock you off for the rest of the month. You should be more adaptable that way. And that's been my experience and what I've seen in a lot of other people too.
Part 10 - Q&A: Hypertonic PELVIC FLOOR & Stress Incontinence Exercises | Hip Girdle
Sylvia Ferrero: Kath, did you have a question love? Do you want to unmute? And then I know Laylee was going to jump on.
Kathy: Hello. Thank you, Luther for all this great info. Yeah, this is great. You've touched on a lot of things that I did have questions on, but one thing I do want to say that I'm super interested in the fascia tissue and I'm learning a lot more about it through you, something through stretching. I mean, this technique is actually teaching me a little bit, so now my curiosity, the light bulbs are going off in here. And also another thing that I've been really interested in is the pelvic floor. And you kind of like, with hypertonic and also stress incontinence. So you kind of hit that a little bit about hitting the bladder and the fascia. So can you add anything else to that because I'm both ends on the hypertonic and also stress incontinence.
Luther Bryan: Yes, absolutely. So the lateral hamstrings are an important muscle group to stretch for the bladder. And that is one of the tightest muscle groups in everyone around the globe. That's the muscle group that has to really extend your pelvis to be in an upright position. And so most people need that muscle group developed just because we're still learning how to stand up. And also we're sitting for long periods of time, any kind of isometric position, whether, now they do standing desks, which is like, okay, we're not sitting, but that's still just one position. So any static positions are going to put stress on that muscle group. And so that one needs to get stretched. And as that becomes more flexible, I've seen a lot of people who've had incontinence or any problems with the bladder start to not have those issues as much. And so I would definitely recommend that. But typically to get to that muscle group, there's going to be some hip girdle, more adduction abduction movements that need to happen in order to stabilize your hip girdle so you can actually get the flexion stretch happening when you flex your thigh, get that hamstring to really stretch all the way deep down into your glute in your glue max and all that stuff. And then that won't have to be something that you deal with in terms of the organ, you should be able to identify more sensation in this muscle group and as that becomes more flexible, then the organ gets to calm down. I mean, I tell people, oh, if you're going to stretch one thing, stretch the hamstrings, but really getting your pelvic floor more stable before you stretch your hamstrings is really key. And so a lot of those types of movements would be, a simple way to do it would be like you're laying on your side and then you just lift your knee and then you push your knee down to the ground and lift your knee, push your knee down to the ground. And so then that's going to target all your IT band on the outside of your thigh. And then you do the same thing for the inside, you squeeze both knees together and then bring your knees out to the side.
So on my website, I think there's a pelvic tilt sequence that I created. So if you look at the pelvic tilt sequence or pelvic floor, I don't remember what I called it. You should be able to try some of those exercises and see if that helps you with your pelvic floor. And then from there you would know that it feels better because your sacrum would feel like it can move a little bit more. You would also feel a little less flex in your pelvis, a little bit more extended in your pelvis. You might feel a little bit more rotation in your femur, in your hip joint.
And then from there you would want to start working on hamstring stretches to affect your bladder more directly. And I think everyone could use both that and the lower back pain sequence, that would also help the bladder. So it's the same muscle groups associated with low back that would help with that. And then you'd have to figure out which of those exercises work for you. And if they don't find a variation that does, and then create your own sequence and then just start doing that on a more regular basis and you should start to see results.
Kathy: Thank you. And also there's a really important question. So on your website, does it have your next workshop?
Luther Bryan: Thank you. Yeah, it's a good question. I'm very much looking forward to that. I've in the past have done multiple certification trainings throughout the year. And those aren't just for people who want to learn how to do it for a living, but just a way for people to learn how to do it for themselves. And I'm very excited about doing that. I don't have anything planned whatsoever at this point. I'm focused on creating a dome for me to stretch in and also filming new material to reach more people. And then from there, traveling, doing workshops in different places and doing more private sessions as well, I'm looking forward to all that happening. So I don't have any dates, but if you sign up for my newsletter on my website, I'll definitely announce it on there once that happens.
Sylvia Ferrero: Kathy's out in South Florida Luther, so we're going to South Beach.
Luther Bryan: I was just talking to my friend who is in Florida right now. And I was just telling her yesterday, I was like, maybe I should come out there because my parents were also out there. So hey, if you want to help organize a workshop or something, reach out to me and we can figure that out, we can do something like that.
Part 11 - Q&A: How to STOP PEEING AT NIGHT + Sexual Organ Health & Women Hormonal Balance
Sylvia Ferrero: Good job. Laily, you had a question sweetheart.
Laily: Kathy, you asked about the pelvic floor. My ears perked up when you said something about peeing multiple times. In the middle of the night I pee like four or five times and is that something that's relevant to what we are talking about?
Luther Bryan: Yeah, absolutely you don't have to have that problem. I've seen that change. A lot of the things that people initially experience once they start stretching or getting stretched are energy levels, digestion, sleep, which includes not having to get up to urinate, sex drive. Yeah, all of that can change and again, for the lateral hamstrings to help with the bladder and the sexual organs can be affected primarily through the psoas major in the central hamstrings balance in getting those to work more effectively. The psoas in particular is an important muscle group if the person's needing some type of emotional change, which could show up as they're holding their breath when they're stretching, they're not breathing naturally, and they're either trying to force themselves to breathe, which doesn't quite work or they're holding their breath, which obviously doesn't work.
And then if you stretch out the psoas major, it starts to allow the person to breathe more hormonally, which I think is an important thing for all people but I think women in particular are more conscious of the hormonal effects on the body. So, I think it's an important thing for women. I was just talking to my friend about it in terms of her cycle and so on and so forth, there are specific muscle groups that can help with the uterus and also hormonal balance inside the body. So, all of that can change and improve. Yeah.
Laily: Thank you so much for your time. Sylvia, thank you for bringing this gem to us. I'm seriously so grateful to be in this space and just thank you. Thank you. Thank you for just like raining so much love and light and hope for all of us, I feel at least very [inaudible 00:01:49]. So, thank you again.
Luther Bryan: Well I'm grateful to Sylvia for getting me here because I always love sharing and to see people who are so appreciative, it's a match.
Part 12 - Q&A: Stretching for Flexibility & Bodywork for Beginners | MOVEMENT AS MEDICINE
Sylvia Ferrero: ...jump on. Becky, did you have another question or did we answer it?
Becky: Hi, thank you so much for allowing me to be here. Kathy invited me last night and I jumped on it. I was curious about future workshops or upcoming workshops, because I'm officially fascinated by all of this. And I've been a long time believer of fascia and emotions all being attached to either pain or injury, or whatever else is going on in your life. And I've had some experience with... Fortunate to have a very good friend who is an energy healer, who is also into body work and has been a personal trainer and in this industry for 20 years. And she's helped me, dramatically, through a lot of this sort of thing, except without the stretch. So I'm fascinated by adding this stretch and movement aspect to just overall health in general, physical, mental, emotional, all of that good stuff. So I'm just excited to be introduced to this methodology, and I can't wait to explore it some more. So, thank you.
Luther Bryan: Pleasure. I'm very much looking forward to getting back in-person with people, and there's nothing like getting stretched, right? So a lot of what I explained, it sounds cool and stuff, but until you get stretched, you just got to experience it. And that happens in-person, and it doesn't really take much skill, which is one thing I find fascinating. So I can get mom and pop who know nothing about their body, nothing about health or fascia, and then they can learn very simple movements, assisted movements that they can help each other out with that will make a world of a difference. And then, if they have something that's more complicated, they need to get someone who has skill and training, of course.
But there are very simple assisted stretching movements that I like to teach in workshop formats. And also, I like to teach simple self-stretches that target each of the major muscle groups in your body. So that way you can know how to stretch and strengthen every part of your body, whether you're doing it by yourself or with another person. I think that's a great thing to do. And I'd love to get in-person with you all and go through all of that, it'd be great.
Part 13 - Work with Luther Bryan | 1-MONTH FREE Functional Flexibility Training
Sylvia Ferrero: Thank you Luther. Well it looks like we have a south Florida workshop coming up with Luther and I can set up one here in San Diego too, so. And then you're based in Santa Barbara, right? So, we can come and visit you, so [crosstalk 00:00:11]
Luther Bryan: Yes, I'm in Santa Barbara and I go back and forth to LA, but Santa Barbara is where I've been for the past several years. Yeah.
Sylvia Ferrero: Well we want to go to your dome. Come on.
Luther Bryan: Yeah. Yeah, it's getting there. Thank you so much. I would love to come down to San Diego. I lived down there for about six months years ago and I was teaching some classes I think at a dance studio. And so, yeah I would love to come back there and connect with you all that would be fun.
Sylvia Ferrero: Dancing's going to have to be mandatory for your workshop just FYI.
Luther Bryan: It's so funny. It's-
Sylvia Ferrero: Just planting seeds.
Luther Bryan: I've been feeling myself going that direction, we'll see what happens. It's always been something I do personally but yeah, if you want to get together and dance, I'm down. Sure.
Sylvia Ferrero: Yeah. A little ecstatic dance to see how our body moves after. We'll do one set body and then we'll do the other and see what happens. We'll be dancing in circles.
Luther Bryan: I like that idea.
Sylvia Ferrero: Bunch of tornadoes on the dance floor. All right ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much. Luther, is there anything else you wanted to close out with before you set us free into our liberated bodies?
Luther Bryan: Well I will say that I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to hang out with you all and speak and I'm happy to share whatever you would like to know, please ask. We went over some of the basics, which is the need to resist and generate tension while stretching and how stretching is more of a movement based activity, not just an isometric based activity. The need to remove the dense tissue is important and the ramifications on your health in all ways is a useful thing to know. There is so much more we could go into in terms of the intricacies of movement and energy and Chinese medicine. And also there's a way to walk on the hamstrings, which is like a great way to get blood through the hamstrings, it's called mashing. It's kind of like a technique to get blood flow going.
Luther Bryan: So, there's a lot more that I could share with you, but I think this is a good start. I like that we kept it personal to your interest and some of the concerns you might have and again, send me an email. You can check out my website, has a subscription portal where you can learn a lot and workshops to be happening soon near you and reach out to me if you've had any questions.
Sylvia Ferrero: Sweet. Awesome Luther. I'm going to stay on with you just as we let these ladies off. Ladies, thank you so much for joining and we'll catch you on the next one. We'll share the replay with you ladies in a couple days. All right, sweethearts. Bye. Thanks for your amazing energy.
Speaker 3: Thank you.
Sylvia Ferrero: You are so welcome.
Speaker 4: Thank you so much. Bye.