The human frame is one of the most complex and unique systems on earth. The more it is studied the more we think we know about how it works, adapts, and recovers. The Performance for Life Method™ has been assembled from years of clinical observation and studying the research to answer the basic question … Why? These instructional  modules are written to inspire thought, stimulate questions, and share some insights that may answer your specific questions regarding performance, endurance, injury, and recovery. They are written and presented with a common language of understanding at the core. There are enough mysteries in the world that can leave us wondering; perhaps the Performance for Life Method™ can meet your need to remove the mystery of creating a logical approach to assessment, language and clinical management, that is foundational in its approach and revolutionary in its application and has nothing to do with pain. I hope you enjoy this training and join me in this lifelong process of discovery. jd

Dr. John Downes


Syllabus for Online Training

Module I

In Module I we discuss the challenges in the healthcare industry with so many disciplines having their own unique terms or language; yet often seeking the same or similar outcome of improved performance, resistance to injury, and improved recovery for our patients. Module I frames the learning objectives of PFLM™ by challenging you to listen to the concept and logic before deciding your opinion. Leaps of logic and extrapolation of research will be clearly identified.

Learning a language begins with recognizing what you know and then what you need to learn to clearly understand and communicate. The PFLM™ language is no exception; thus you will assess what you know and then through the challenge of mental neutrality you will be asked to discover an underlying premise and language for assessment and logic that will establish new boundaries in your clinical management.


Module II

In Module II we have to start our logic and assessment somewhere on the human frame, so we start at the foundational base or literally where the body meets the road with the lower kinetic chain, starting with the foot and ending with the lumbopelvic hip complex. The goal is to examine three components, neurology, joint movement, and soft tissue; their interrelatedness and the effects of dysfunction on the local, regional and global levels. When you consider the lower extremity think all mechanical, any muscle will do, and forces are transmitted toward the core. Adaptation locally will produce global change that is most easily seen in pelvic shift and secondary upper body adaptations. Spontaneous failure of a rotator cuff three to six months after a lower extremity injury may be a direct result of global adaptation to an imposed and sustained proprioceptive deficit.


Module III

Module III turns your attention to the unique design of the upper extremity complex, its components, adaptability and potential for injuries. The soft tissue provides both stability and function so when you consider the upper extremity think suspension, suspension, suspension with infinite options from the scapula to the glenohumeral joint and limited options from the elbow to the wrist and hand. Recall the number of times you have looked at rotator cuff injuries or elbow injuries that were seen as ‘overuse’ and wondered why now and why here? How about that tight burning aching sensation from the mid-back to the base of the skull? How about swimmers that have chronic shoulder complaints and low back pain? Adaptations move from the core out, proximal to distal. Remember proximal stability for distal mobility is key to understanding the upper extremity performance challenges and the effects of a proprioceptive deficit.

Module IV

Module IV combines what we know about anatomy and function with our concept of corrupted signals in the nervous system that create aberrant coupling patterns and decreased efficiency as the foundation to introduce the actual assessment methods that match the language. This module introduces Global Mechanical Assessment (GMA) as a straightforward field test to identify global neurological imbalances that are neither pain driven nor typically pain expressive. GMA is the basis for the statements, “If you can’t find it you can’t fix it, or could you? How would you know if you can’t or don’t do a pre-test and a post-test?” Before we can apply this new language we have to establish the criteria for the words; thus the assessment criteria is critical. Introduce yourself to a foundational assessment method that may revolutionize the way you look at your clinical criteria and management protocols. Understanding what is common domain, clearly useful, and completely beneficial, and what may be the missing piece in your assessment that will allow you to integrate all of your findings into a very clear explanation involving neurology, joint movement, and soft tissue. Performance dictates all three components are optimized and this module can provide the pathway of assessment, language and logic.

Module V

Module V completes the PFLM™ by addressing what to do after the individual is in the best position for new information patterns to enter the neuromusculoskeletal complex. The process is called System Restoration Strategies because restoration is quite different than rehabilitation. Restoration is a global approach to optimizing the patient rather than returning one area to a presumed fully functioning level. System restoration is both obvious in logic and difficult in achievement. The human frame is always changing / adapting and aging. Finding the base to build from and the pathway to follow is rewarding when the patient is able to withstand more and more perturbations / surprises without breakdown or setback. Provide the patient with logical and sustainable methods from experts in the field of performance by combining the Global Mechanical Assessment (GMA) with other assessments and conditioning protocols to clearly language goals and expectations for success and optimum performance for life.