Neuro-centred personal training: How do eyes and brain interact with movement?
Copyright Luise Walther
Working with a small monitor rather than a poor office chair is often the reason for back pain. Luise Walther, neuro-centred Personal Trainer explains the interplay in an interview.
FIBO: Neuro-centred personal training follows the credo “exercise starts in the mind”. How can neuro-athletics best be described?
Luise Walther: Neuro-athletics views training and exercise from a different perspective. Here, bio-mechanics with muscles, tendons, joints and bones are not centre-stage. Instead, the brain and nervous system are the centre-stage of movement, hence, the system that controls movement and issues the decisive impulses.
FIBO: Does this mean that I can simply block out pain?
Luise Walther: No. Pain is a multi-factorial and a very complex issue. Pain is generated in 12 different areas of the brain. This means that you can induce change in all of these 12 areas. By means of a new assessment of pain alone pain can be modelled and overcome long term.
FIBO: How does this re-assessment of pain work in practical terms?
Luise Walther: My back-pain clients tell me they suffer from back pain continuously. And here I dig deeper. Did you also feel this pain in the morning when brushing your teeth or making your coffee? Such questions encourage people to consciously think. Their perspective of pain perception changes.
FIBO: Aren’t neuro athletics something just for professional and competitive athletes?
Luise Walther: I distinguish between the terms of neuro-athletics and neuro-centred training. Neuro-athletics means the discipline-specific preparation of competitive and top sportspeople for competitions. In Germany this field is dominated by Lars Lienhart, who works as a neuro-athlete and athletics coach.
FIBO: So, in neuro-centred training athletics play a subordinate role.
Luise Walther: Correct, here the training aspect is in focus. Neuro-centred training deals with the interplay of movement, brain and nervous system and is therefore suited for everyone. Be it a single parent, father, a manager, an office worker: In all of their walks of life they have to deliver top performance.
FIBO: What is centre-stage in your neuro-centred personal training?
Luise Walther: Due to my own story with two emergency slipped disk operations I focus on pain management. Although my belly and back muscles are well trained, stretched and mobilised I was permanently in pain. Until I understood that pain and movement both originate from our brain. Eyes, equilibrium organ and breathing interact and influence pain. Understanding these correlations proved a huge relief to me. I am now completely pain-free.
FIBO: Is neuro-centred training also suitable for prevention ensuring you don’t forget the perfect movement sequences and interplay of systems so that no pain is caused in the first place?
Luise Walther: Definitely. Prevention is ideal. The training of your eyes, balance, breathing and movement and their interplay prevent pain from emerging from the outset.
FIBO: What are your patients’ typical diagnoses?
Luise Walther: Everything ranging from Alzheimer’s, ADHS, and Parkinson’s to orthopaedic disorders. At present, I am also working with some post-Covid patients on improving their breathing. Many of my patients suffer from back pain and stress. Here, I find it very easy to explain the big picture and share exercises for every-day use online.
FIBO: Neuro-centred training can also be done online?
Luise Walther: Since the first lockdown I have worked online a lot. Customers’ willingness to go digital has increased. The benefit is a larger target group. Customers from all over Germany can use my online offering.
FIBO: A win-win situation for you and your clients.
Luise Walther: I often notice my clients’ attention is different online. At physical 1:1 trainings I provide assistance – online clients do everything by themselves. Although I don’t touch them their pain decreases and their movements improve. This shows them the most important training success: you can “call up” this condition yourself at any time.
FIBO: Is neuro-centred personal training considered the last resort if orthopaedic therapists and physiotherapists no longer know what to do?
Luise Walther: Most of my clients have tried every trick in the book – consulting physiotherapists, osteopaths and natural healers. Which is not to say this is wrong. But when respiration is constrained or eyes signal stress and tension, weekly physiotherapy sessions are of no avail. You have to lay the foundation for physiotherapy to get results. This means, neuro-centred training is not a replacement but an addition that opens up new perspectives.