Our 3-day Yoga Source conference is less than a month away! To give you a sneak peek into all the great workshops and experiences we have in store for you, we’ll be posting a new Q&A with one of our fantastic presenters each week leading up to the conference.

This week we’re featuring Rick Olderman, MSPT, CPT and author of the Fixing You book series, who will be traveling from Denver, Colorado to present TWO engaging and informative workshops:

Headaches, Neck & Shoulder Pain
Saturday, March 12 | 10-11 a.m.
Yoga Nook @ Fifth

Running Better, Healing Faster
Sunday, March 13 | 8:30-10 a.m.
Yoga Nook on Cochran

See the full conference schedule and register online today!

Tell us a little bit more about your background and why you became interested in somatics. 

As a physical therapist, I’m fascinated by chronic pain and nagging injuries. Our bodies are designed to heal — then why don’t they? Although this seems obvious, I’ve always believed chronic pain must happen from how we are using our bodies (and brains).

But if you look at most treatment systems out there, they are not based on principles of movement. Somatics is, however, and has been an enormous tool for me in understanding how the interplay between body and brain create pain, and fix it.

My therapists and I apply somatics to biomechanics and behavioral corrections, which completely elevates our outcomes with patients. Somatics has helped me see my patients more wholly, and has widened my realm of perceptions of possible problems. It truly has made me a better physical therapist.

Why did you decide to present workshops on Headaches, Neck & Shoulder Pain and Running Better, Healing Faster? What are you looking to offer attendees? 

In my practice, I see a lot of upper extremity and neck pain, as well as headaches, in yoga and Pilates practitioners. In general, we’re very successful in fixing these issues. It typically comes down to having a deeper understanding of how the upper extremity system works. This hinges, literally, on scapula function.

Yoga instructors already have such a great degree of body awareness and education that they grasp these concepts rapidly and are then able to help their own clients.

My intention for the Headaches, Neck & Shoulder Pain workshop is that attendees leave with a greater understanding of how the shoulder girdle creates neck pain, headaches and even other problems like thoracic outlet syndrome or common shoulder or elbow pain. This understanding will use somatic elements where possible.

I love to offer clinics about lower extremity injuries and running because running is popular everywhere, and running injuries are common. The leg and pelvic system is fascinating, and is the foundation of our movement paradigms. So having a more complete understanding of how we move and how that relates to pain carries over into understanding back and even neck pain. Often solutions are very simple.

Runners are a very educated population too, and are eager to learn more to become the best they can be. Their enthusiasm for the information I present is very satisfying to me.

My intention for the Running Better, Healing Faster workshop is for attendees to leave with a clear understanding of key concepts involved with most running injuries I see. These will include understanding how femoral retroversion or anteversion influences the hips, knees and feet, and how the feet influence issues up the chain too. I’ll also present a novel fix for posterior chain tightness.

How have you applied somatics in your line of work? 

I apply somatic thinking and interventions to every patient I see in my clinic. One of the things I love about somatics is that it can be applied to so many ideas. The spectrum of issues that I deal with in my clinic can fall between purely physical at one end and purely psychological at the other. Somatics allows me to work at both ends and everywhere in between.

If there is one thing you would like attendees to take away from your workshops, what would it be? 

My goal for both of my workshops is that attendees leave with a deeper, practical understanding of how movement systems in our bodies work together to unlock pain. I use hands-on learning techniques to drive these points home because I want everyone to be able to use them immediately with their own clients.

Check back next week for a new Q&A with another Yoga Source presenter — or subscribe below to get updates in your inbox.


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