In life, it can be easy to fall into bad habits. An injury may lead to a limp, the limp creates bad posture, and that bad posture becomes habitual.
Or it can be subtle–a small change in movement compounded over decades eventually results in other problems, injuries, or chronic pain.
Conventional medicine will focus on treating those conditions through drugs and surgery, but finding the cause requires deeper investigation. It also requires that the patient get involved, make changes, and let time and the body’s natural healing ability do their work.
Bill Boland, creator of the BodyFix Method, works at that level. Along with his team, Boland uses a hybrid of physical therapy techniques to treat the root causes of pain, imbalance, and problems in the muscle, digestive, or nervous systems.
“The basic position that we take is that you didn’t get here overnight. This didn’t just happen,” said Boland.
Our biggest problem as a society, he says, is the inability to look beyond the immediate problem and invest in the real cure.
“There is no quick fix, it is a mindset … it’s a lifestyle change. And you have to think about it in those terms.”
If you do, there is a solution.
Wisdom Borne of Experience
Boland is 75 years old, with energy that many in their 20s would envy. However, he wasn’t always this way. Twenty years ago, after being an avid athlete and runner all his life, he was in a lot of pain and struggling to even walk.
Unable to find relief but unwilling to accept that quality of life, and armed with a background in biology, chemistry, and kinesiology, Boland spent two years learning to treat his own injuries. He traveled the world and met with top bodywork experts, took courses, and got certified in a range of methods—all the while working to heal himself.
He learned legacy methods from people who believed they had the one true treatment. But Boland believes there are different pathways to health and that different scenarios require different approaches.
“I took the position that I don’t have all the answers, but that there is no one path. There are many roads to the truth,” he said.
The BodyFix Method
The BodyFix Method draws on various techniques and therapies to treat the whole body.
For example, to help the body return to its ideal postural balance, Boland and his team apply neuromuscular and osteopathic techniques, muscular re-education techniques, and corrective posture techniques, as well as methods from myofascial release therapy, yoga, Rolfing, Pilates, and just about anything else they know of that can help. As long as the goal is achieved, it’s all fair game.
A first step in the Bodyfix Method is filling out a questionnaire, either online or in person. Clients then get 360-degree photos of the body that reveal imbalances. The photos are used in conjunction with the questionnaire to inform a personalized care plan.
The first visit is usually two hours, but sometimes longer. The goal is to get to the root of the problem, and no stone is left unturned. An ankle sprain in high school may seem irrelevant, but it all adds up, notes Boland.
And as much as Boland’s team plans to relieve the immediate pain or injury, and even though clients are likely to feel the difference after just one session, that is not the focus, he said.
At the core of the treatment is a set of personalized exercises designed to help the client relearn how to properly move the body to address core issues. Boland and his team are essentially medicinal personal trainers.
In Boland’s words, they “teach new patterns to fix old patterns.”
A Patient’s Journey
Bernie Gans, 61, arrived at the BodyFix office for his scheduled appointment. He first came three years ago because of chronic issues with his left knee—debilitating pain that didn’t allow him to stand for more than a few moments. A friend recommended that he see Boland, and the results have been dramatic.
“I was just about wheelchair bound. I’d had three different knee surgeries; I had been to a few different physiotherapists and pain management people. I met Bill, and over time, I got better. Now I can go on a treadmill for 20 minutes and I can walk around basically pain free,” Gans said.
He visits the office once or twice a week, and the rest of the time he does the exercises on his own. He said the exercises are very easy to do, and he does them every day. He even does extra on the weekends because he enjoys them, and they enable him to have the quality of life he appreciates—without pills, surgery, or a wheelchair.
Gans is still too young to quit his job, though Boland advised it would permanently solve his problems. Instead, Gans needs to be aware of the impact of his work and balance it with his prescribed exercise.
“Pain happens when we are not paying attention,” said Boland.
“We need to be aware of the changes and effects that are happening to us from the things we have to do. There is always a cost benefit.”
But unlike what our culture has taught us, Boland doesn’t accept the notion that age will inevitably make people stiff, slow, and accident prone, nor that surgery and narcotics are the only ways to treat pain and keep a half-decent quality of life.
Gans is a certainly grateful to have his life back. He just returned from a vacation in Napa where he was able to walk up a hill to have lunch with a friend–news Boland was happy to hear.
“This is what you are entitled to,” said Boland.
For more information, visit BodyFixMethod.com
247 3rd Ave #503
Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.