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- FR Lower Limb - Texas A&M University Medical staff private seminar Aug 4-7/14
- FR Lower Limb Cert - Toronto, Sept 19-21, 2014
- FRC Certification - New York @ Drive495 - Sept 27-28, 2014 ***SOLD OUT
- FR Upper Limb - Vancouver, BC, Oct 24-25, 2014
- FRC Certification - TORONTO @ Vaughan Strength & Conditioning - Nov 1-2, 2014
- FRC Certification - SEATTLE MARINERS & SAN DIEGO PADRES (MLB) Medical staff Private seminar Nov 12-13/14
- FRC Certification - ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (MLB) Medical staff Private seminar Nov 22-23/14

- FR Upper Limb Cert - New York @ PerfectStride Physical Therapy - PRIVATE COURSE - Jan 9-11/15
- FRC Certification - Portland, OR @ IMPACT - Jan 24-25, 2015
- FRC Certification - San Francisco, CA @ MoveSF - Feb 7-8, 2015
- FRC Certification - Vancouver, BC - Feb 21-22, 2015
- FR Upper Limb - Portland, OR, Mar 20-22, 2015
- FRC Certification - Connecticut @ Ranfone Training Systems - Mar 28-29, 2015
- FR Upper Limb - Chicago , Apr 17-19, 2015
- FR Lower Limb - London, England, May 2-4, 2015
- FR Upper Limb - Boston, MA, May 22-14, 2015
- FRC Certification - Dallas, TX @ Synergy Athletics - June 6-7, 2015

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Top 5 posts of 2013 as determined by you…

December 23, 2013

Hello everybody

Its been a busy and fruitful year at …and there have been many posts that seem to have resonated with those who follow

I would like to take the time to thank everyone for being interested in my work.  I very much enjoy sharing information, and my view points on this and other forums, and I am humbled by all of the support that I receive on a daily basis for doing so.

Here are the top 5 rated posts of 2013 as determined by you….enjoy, and happy holidays to all:

#1 – Do you WANT to be healthy?  —  People love controversy!! Funny enough, when I wrote this post, that was not the intention.  I simply viewed this as a promotion of healthy lifestyle…you be the judge.  This was by far the most viewed post which garnered over 150 shares on Facebook!

#2 – WHO AMONG US UNDERSTANDS MOVEMENT ??? — did I mention that people love controversy?  On this ‘rant/flow of thought’…I comment on some of the assumptions made regarding movement assessment, and question if it is really possible to begin with

#3 – Movement perfection vs. Load preparation….what happens when the sh?# hits the fan? — the title says it all for this video post.  Discussed is the concept of injury ‘prevention,’ and why many methodologies fall short

#4 – Discussing the role of lumbosacral control on scapular mechanics — This year I was fortunate enough to be invited to give an FR certification seminar for the medical staff of the Arizona DiamondBacks MLB club.  In this video post, I discuss how the lumbar spine can contribute to shoulder/scapular mechanics

#5 – A quick case for you…with the accompanying train of thought —  What did I learn from this post?  That more than success stories, people like to hear the though process behind clinical decision making…

Honorable mentions:

– Contemplating the use of direct vs. indirect research in manual medical practise.  Is your ‘science’ strong enough?

Discussing the benefits of NON-‘functional’ training




“Discussing the benefits of NON-‘functional’ training”

December 12, 2013

Functional Anatomy Seminars - Functional Anatomic Palpation Systems™ | Functional Range Release™

FRC FB Chalk header

I am sure that most will be puzzled by the title of this post. The reason for the confusion likely arises in the way many define the word “functional” itself… which I argue is the root cause of a common problem…

In an environment of conditioning professionals and manual therapists postulating that their method of training provides the most “functional” and “neurologically based” benefits whilst that of others are “non-functional” do so due to their “segmentalization,” we have all gotten caught up in the idea that tissue structure plays no role in movement capacity and injury prevention. It seems the ‘popular’ concept of the time is that “all things are connected” and that to train structures independent of function is NEVER necessary. However is this true? …or was the idea born out of a “my training is more complex (and thus better) than your training” struggle amongst the trend setters.

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“Why do I have this pain?”

December 9, 2013

It is commonplace in manual medical practice to be faced with the question “why do I have this pain.” The way in which this question is answered can represent a pivotal moment in the lives of the patient as the answer provided can shape their concept of musculoskeletal health for the duration of their lives.

Commonly, when faced with this scenario, manual therapists resort to the standard answer, which often involves producing a sequence of events that would, or so they believe, predispose one to the presenting injury. Common answers include muscle imbalances, anatomical variants (ex. short leg), cumulative trauma/repetitive strain, etc. The common theme amongst all of the suggested answers is that there is “something wrong” with the patient that requires “fixing.” Further to this, it is common for the therapist to continue care even in the absence of the original symptomology under the guise of “preventative maintenance.”

This description is riddled with problems. What if the patient does not perform repetitive tasks that can explain the problem? What if the patient is a well-tuned athlete that doesn’t have “imbalances” (what ever that means)? What if they do not have any overt anatomical variants, etc. This “problem” is often overcome by the practitioner by claiming/inventing an overly complex reasoning that is unfounded by science. Your ‘x’ muscle is ‘inhibited’ which is leading to the ‘facilitation’ of ‘y,’ causing pain in ‘z.’ Whilst this ‘x+y=z’ explanation may indeed be causative (of course there is no real way to know in absence of evidence…especially as many of the utilized ‘buzz’ words have very, very poorly understood explanations at best), there is an easier, more accurate answer that can be used. Namely….because you are human.

Possibly unknown to some, the process of evolution is not believed to be directional towards an optimal state. It is not the best traits that survive; it is only those that conferred advantage against environmental pressures that are present. The bi-pedal posture for example is believed to have come about from an energy conservation standpoint. Humans were able to get more travel out of less energy demand. Never in this equation was factored what standing upright would do to ones musculoskeletal well being. Further to this, most recent innovations such as chairs, shoes, cars, laptops, desks, etc., were never factored into the physical evolutionary process. Thus while the species is still getting used to this new development (‘new’ from an evolutionary sense) of bipedal locomotion, the rapid implementation of these types of innovations means that the body really has no idea how to deal with them.

What does this mean in terms of our original question of “why do I have this pain?” It means that it is most accurately answered by re-phrasing the question and directing it back at the origin…. “what have you done to prevent this pain from occurring?” How have you physically prepared your injured tissues to withstand the stress of sitting in a chair, working on your computer for hours on end, driving a car, etc.

I do not mean to pass blame onto to the patient seeking advice. If anything, I am questioning how we as manual practitioners, who are supposed to experts in musculoskeletal health, are not more active in informing our patients, and the population as a whole, as to the various predispositions that we have to painful conditions (low back pain, neck pain, headache, plantar fasciitis, patelofemoral pain syndrome, etc.). Further, why are we not in the habit of prescribing exercises to mitigate these problems (notice I didn’t say ‘prevent’ as this is often not possible) even in absence of symptomatology?

IMO – conferring this understanding that “it is not our right to live pain free” would also do well to encourage life long physical activity as truthfully, our physical bodies still think they are in the forest hunting and gathering food. In this context, patients begin to understand that the body desires constant motion and physical activity, and although not possible, perhaps they will realize that they need to actively, and consistently work to decrease pain and maintain function.

— Dre


Private FR® Release UPPER LIMB seminar scheduled with the therapy staff of the Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)

December 5, 2013

Phillies ad

Functional Anatomy Seminars is proud to announce that we will be holding a private Functional Range Release (FR)® UPPER LIMB certification with the Philadelphia Phillies (MLB) Medical staff February 4-6, 2014

FR Release® …now being used by the therapy staffs of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Rockets, Chicago Cubs, and soon by the Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, and Texas A&M University

Upcoming dates:

FEB 21-23 – SPINE – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MAR 21-23 – LOWER LIMB – Portland, Oregon, USA

APR 11-13 – UPPER LIMB – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MAY 2-4 – SPINE – Boston, Massachusetts, USA


A review of the Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)™ system/seminars….

December 4, 2013

This past weekend we held an FRC certification at Vaughan Strength & Conditioning in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Below are some pictures from the event, as well as a link to a review written by one of the participants.


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Nerves are made of biological tissue…

November 28, 2013

FR Release® treatment tip of the day:

Nerves are made of biological tissue.

Although this statement may seem obvious at first it apparently is one that we all must remind ourselves about when critiquing claims regarding treatment of neural “entrapments” (the word entrapments is in quotes because this word is a very poor choice imo…save that one for another day).

We have all heard of that ‘interesting’ case of a miraculous treatment intervention that completely observed a patient of chronic neurological symptomatology in a single visit!! Why would this be miraculous? Because, to repeat, nerves are made of biological tissue. As such, if a nerve is subject to a compressive or tensile force for a prolonged period of time, or more commonly (and more accurately) increased friction/irritation along the course of its movement leading to an inflammatory reaction, neural damage will occur which PRECEDES the onset of neurological symptoms. Thus upon detailed histological examination one will find things such as myelin sheath damage, inter neural scarring/fibrosis, inter neural swelling, etc, leading to the onset of symptoms. Therefore…if one were to say that a single treatment visit absolved the patient of their neural symptoms, then they are claiming that they somehow caused the immediate and spontaneous healing of the damaged biological tissue…a feat that has never been witnessed in the long history of the planet.

I believe that this whole idea stems out of a very dangerous scientific analogy that is propagated through out the manual therapy community. Namely, that the brain is a ‘computer,’ and that nerves are ‘wires’ on some sort of switch board.

To deal with the first analogy, the brain DOES NOT function like a computer…if anything the computer was designed to function ‘like’ a brain (which came first after all?). Further, as we know very, very little about how the brain really functions, the design of a machine to mimic its workings at MOST only contains a mild resemblance.

Regarding the ‘nerves are like wires’ analogy…they are not…period. If you were to hammer a nail into a wall, and that nail contacts a wire, that may in fact lead to the wire not transmitting current and hence its function will cease. If one were to remove the nail (assuming no significant damage was done), the function may spontaneously restart. Why? Because wires are NOT made of biological tissue, and hence, do not require time to heal…Nerves on the other hand, when subject to irritants (pressure, chemicals, tension, etc) do not spontaneously begin to function normally the moment the irritant is removed. No matter how much one thinks their treatment got to the ‘root of the problem,’ post treatment, the fact remains that the damaged tissue, resulting from said irritant, need time to regenerate, heal, and function normally.

From what is mentioned above, what is the actual “tip of the day?”….there are a few actually:

– Scientific analogies do not represent reality
– Nothing known to science leads to immediate healing of biological tissue
– Do not expect true neurological symptoms to immediately resolve when the irritant is removed. Healing time is required.


Discussing mobility longevity, connective tissue remodelling, and movement

November 20, 2013

This footage was taken at an Functional Range Release (FR)® Upper Limb certification seminar with the Chicago Cubs MLB medical staff.  In it, Dr. Spina discusses various concepts pertaining to the long term histological remodelling of soft tissue structure and how soft tissue therapists should remember to focus on long term movement goals.



Interview by with Dr. Andreo Spina

November 11, 2013

In this interview we cover many, many topics regarding the FR Release system and my views on soft tissue release/rehabilitation ….which are one in the same truthfully.  The answers are ‘long-winded’ but in my defence the questions that were asked of me required them.  Please enjoy…

“If I were to show you a magnified tissue slide of a tendon ‘inserting’ into a bone and asked you to draw a line distinguishing where the change occurs you would not be able to do so. You would simply be able to say that on one side of the slide the composition of cells, fibers, and ground substance looks more “tendon-like,” while on the other side it looks more “bone-like.” Thus the distinction between the two exists as a gradual progression/change in composition. In this light, ALL body tissues are not only connected…they are actually all different expressions of the same substances.”








Movement perfection vs. Load preparation….what happens when the sh?# hits the fan?

November 5, 2013

Filmed at this past weekends #FRrelease Spine certification in Vancouver, BC…



Testimonial on Functional Range Conditioning

October 30, 2013

From FRCms Scott Tribby…

“The first exposure I had to FRC and Dr. Spina was a short video clip of him performing some weird lateral lunge/crawl-like movement while holding a kettlebell. My first thought was “holy sh*t that’s awesome”, and the second was “I want to know what that guy knows!” Like many of you, as a strength coach I’m always looking for new and innovative ways to train that will yield greater results, both for myself and my clients. Many of us enjoy pushing our physical limitations to one degree or another, and so are drawn to demonstrations of advanced and difficult movements, feats of strength, acrobatics, etc. While definitely impressive, to the casual observer they are so far beyond attainability that they would never consider employing any of the training techniques those individuals used to get there. They view themselves as lacking the prerequisites and/or abilities to ever be able to perform such feats…and many are not interested in being able to in the first place.

Many people will first encounter FRC through a video similar to the one I saw, with someone performing one of the Flows or other complex movement drill. Mistakenly, this is what they will think FRC “is”…indeed, I have spoken to a number of individuals who’s first impressions were that it was related in some way to MovNat or Animal Flow. I quickly assured them that this is not the case, that FRC is rather a set of principles and techniques designed to be able to prepare your body to perform such movements safely and effectively. FRC is all about MOBILITY (defined as flexibility + stability), and the Flows and similar movements are simply the EXPRESSION of that mobility.

As strength coaches, trainers, and therapists we deal with populations that have a varying degree of abilities, limitations, as well as goals. These clients will both need and want to express mobility in a myriad of different ways…from athletic competitions and recreational activities to just normal every day endeavors. Regardless of their starting points, end goals, training age, biological age, physical limitations, etc, the one thing they need to know is the FRC IS FOR EVERONE! The basic foundation, CARs (as well as PAILs/RAILs), can literally be performed by anyone…they do not need to have mobility and strength levels that are “off the charts”. As long as they can move, they’re in.

At Ranfone Training Systems we’ve been implementing these foundational principles and techniques to vary degrees with clients over the past few months. The feedback we’ve received has been nothing short of outstanding, here just a couple of examples: First, a collegiate hockey player with severe hip FAI syndrome symptoms who was told he needed surgery. Instead, he embarked on an aggressive rehab program followed by strength and conditioning that included FRC methods, and is now pain free and performing better than he ever has. Second, a middle-aged client with a long history of back pain. This client has been training with us for the better part of a year with both successes and failures in terms of his back health and performance. After just a few sessions of nothing but FRC methods and additional movement drills, he reports feeling better than he has in a long time. Needless to say, we are excited about the ways in which FRC can and will be used with our client base.”

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