It was a high honor for me to teach the updated Impingement and Instability course for the first time at Pro-Active Physical Therapy in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Preparing for this course over the last couple of months with Ron has been one of the more exciting and inspiring times in my career. I showed up on the first day of the course wearing a purple dress shirt, a color I have never worn for a PRI course in all my years as a presenter.
You may know that purple is the signature color of this institute, for many intriguing reasons. The color purple represents passion. It also represents royalty, and the institute’s longstanding acknowledgement of cortical function as the true king of human movement and performance. Wearing purple to this new updated Impingement and Instability course represented my newfound commitment to principles I have heard Ron talk about for nearly 20 years, but have not fully understood until I came to appreciate how he organized the new material in this updated course. I wore purple to declare that I am “all in” on concepts that I now realize have always guided Ron and that truly make this institute what it is, a neurological institute.
We began the first day exploring the intriguing and powerful concept Ron has termed “functional cortical dominance”. On the surface it seemed like a novel concept. But in retrospect, it didn’t seem new at all, having listened closely to Ron develop and define this concept at essentially every Interdisciplinary Symposium since the institute started having them. We discussed sensory input from both sides of the body to both sides of the thalmus and midbrain, and the magic of the corpus collosum when assessing the pre-patterned sense our bodies and brains experience before they become a pattern. We also discussed the concepts of interoception, egocentric sense, esoteric sense, corporeal sense and compression sense to round out a truly “mind-blowing” sensory morning.
And then our learning took on a new dimension when we brought Hilary O’Conner, PT up front for an exploration of some of these new concepts. Thank you Hilary for being willing to demonstrate your lack of intuitive sense on and for your sinister side, your inability to perceive your non-routine hand when standing on your routine leg and your inability to sense compression, centering and grounding on your incorporeal side because you lacked the necessary compressive sense across both of your scapulas. And all of this made it difficult for your hands to direct properly sensed and sequenced forward locomotor motion (a dynamic integrated full body sensory experience I used to inadequately refer to as mechanical gait).
Wow, really? Did I just say all that? We need to take a serious time-out at this point and state the obvious… this post sounds more like Ron Hruska than Ron Hruska himself as I look back at what I’ve just written. But the way he has designed the new course content really helps me appreciate more clearly what he has always been trying to convey to persistent and loyal PRI learners like myself. And he advanced my understanding of sensory integration and cortical function, without losing any of the longstanding content we have all come to appreciate in the Impingement and Instability manual, making the old material look quite new. Pretty cool Ron. Two words… patient leadership.
With many other things that could be said about the updated Impingement and Instability course, let me just summarize this course write up with the following. It’s a personal testimony in the form of a question posed by a very attentive and intuitive course attendee on the morning of the second day. Ben Hendricks, PT raised his hand and asked, “Is it possible that a person could feel more grounded on the left side just by listening to your presentation yesterday?” All I could do was smile and laugh as I looked around the room and saw the concepts sink in just a little further. From Ben’s written evaluation survey at the end of the course, I share the following: “Mind blowing! I was able to go to my left leg for the first time, just by listening to the lecture. Afterwards, by hearing to get onto my left leg over and over during that first day of lecture, and going back to the right leg felt different, as if I couldn’t go there as good as before. It doesn’t get more neuro than that.”