Movement as Medicine

Movement and Exercise programs can be designed to manage pain and dysfunction and have the power to be part of your healing process.

In addition to Athletic Performance, Functional Health and Performance is a leader in working with people to achieve their health goals.  This has included anything from body composition and fat loss to back pain and stress reduction.  Success has been in the form of integrating therapies such as Corrective Exercise and Strength Coaching, The Bowen Technique, Kinesio Taping, Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching and Functional Medicine.

Here at FHP we are looking at the future of effective healthcare that delivers results for the individual.  It is not about ticking boxes, jumping through hoops or anything political.  It is purely about how somebody best alleviates their pain, increases their energy, improves their movement and ultimately enhances their health and happiness.

"The goal of all human activity should be Happiness" - Aristotle

Integrative Healthcare Information for Patients

Are any of these related to your Health Goals?:

  • Back Pain and Joint Pain
  • Stress Management
  • Energy and Fatigue
  • Body Composition and Fat Loss
  • Blood Sugar Control
  • Respiratory and Breath
  • Enhanced Movement and Activity Levels
  • Sports Injuries

Do you want to achieve your Health Goal with the most effective methods?

Have you tried countless other methods/therapies without the long-term success you are looking for?

Do you feel like you are only treating the symptoms and now you want to get to the Root Cause?

Integrative Healthcare may be of benefit for you.  The model developed at Functional Health and Performance integrates several assessment and therapy methods in order to create a program that gets to the root cause, whilst working with your strengths to achieve your health goal:

  • Bowen Technique | Structural Integration
  • Corrective Exercise
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Individual Nutrition - Metabolic Typing/BioSignature
  • Functional Diagnostic Medicine
  • Practitioner Referral Network

Although dynamic and flexible here is a look at the step-by-step system used to achieve your health goals:

  1. Two-Hour Comprehensive Assessment
  2. Further Assessment Criteria to be completed and returned
  3. Feedback Appointment
  4. One-to-One Sessions incorporating;
    1. Individual Corrective Exercise and Strength Conditioning
    2. Bodywork - The Bowen Technique
    3. Postural alignment and Structural Integration
    4. Scientific Back Training and Core Conditioning
    5. Biomechanics and Movement Patterns
    6. Inflammation reduction
    7. Energy restoration
    8. Pain Management and Injury Prevention Strategies
    9. Recovery, Repair and Healing Strategies
    10. An Integrated Healthcare Practitioner Referral System
  • The following Assessments will be selected where appropriate:
    • Medical History, Injury and Health Appraisal
    • Postural Analysis
      • Quantitative measurement including Spinal Curvature and Weight Shift
      • Qualitative observation
    • Muscle Strength Testing
    • Muscle Length-Tension (Flexibility) Assessment
    • Functional Movement Screens
    • Core Function Testing
    • Structural Balance
    • Body Composition Measurement
      • BioSignature Modulation
      • Metabolic Type
    • Physiological Load Assessment
    • Adrenal Stress Index
    • Functional Diagnostic Medicine options

Information for Integrative Healthcare Professionals

The mission at Functional Health and Performance is to continue developing a model that integrates methodologies and therapies into a system that enhances quality and effectiveness for patients.  In my opinion this includes how we view the human form as an integrated system of systems, but also how we work together as different practitioners with different methodologies.  You may be wondering as a practitioner, how my field of expertise can integrate with yours?

FAO:  Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Bodyworkers, Bowen Therapists, Acupuncturists, Psychotherapists, Sports Coaches, Nutritional Therapists, 

  1. Exercise and Rehabilitation Paradigm Shift
  2. Applications and Mechanisms
  3. Methodology
  4. Case Histories

The following briefly answers the when’s and why’s of integrating Corrective Exercise and Strength Coaching into the healthcare model- The role it plays in enhancing the health and performance of our clients, what it can specifically achieve, when to implement and the mechanisms at play.

Exercise and Rehabilitation Paradigm Shift

 There is an important distinction to make between ‘Corrective Exercise and Strength Coaching’ and other modes of exercise, physical activity, cardio, bootcamps, classes, gym workouts and rehabilitation.  That is not to say it is better, it simply differs in its aim.

The Aim is to achieve enhanced health and performance relating to functional needs

In common with all effective therapies, the individual-specific method seeks to establish the person’s core values and goals and begin with Assessment of a holistic appreciation.  Success results from designing a conditioning program as a combination of these.  For example, if we assess then we can identify the correct level of exercise intensity for the program.  Anyone under substantial stress and in Adrenal Fatigue Stage 3 (exhaustion) should steer clear of a typical bootcamp style, as such physiological stress will create further load and imbalance on the body, leading to further breakdown of systems.

As scientific research and work of pioneers develops our understanding of how the body and mind function, exercise and movement therapies and programs must progress with it.  Gone should be the days of pounding the treadmill, aerobic exercise for fat loss, bodybuilding methods implemented for more functional goals and resistance machine industry dominance.  These methods will unfortunately fall short of reaching our ultimate goals and worse, cause injury.

Applications and Mechanisms

We now have the ability to effectively apply exercise programs to improve the function of:

  • Neuro-Musculo-Fascial-Skeletal System
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Immune System
  • Digestive System
  • Hormonal System
  • Detoxification System
  • Oxidative/Energy System

As we are a system of systems, which all influence one another, Corrective Exercise and Strength Coaching can be applied to many client need’s, including:

  • Chronic pain: When the aim is to reduce inflammation to manage chronic pain, then the style of exercise selection is of paramount importance.  Certain programs will serve to further increase inflammation, whilst others will serve to support the inflammatory process, enhance repair and create a healing environment.

When pain is chronic, has a postural influence, caused by muscular imbalance or if compensation patterns have developed then programming can help re-wire the software and the motor program.  Tight, facilitated muscles can be lengthened and weak, long muscles can be strengthened for greater function.  Optimal posture can be restored and dysfunctional movement patterns can be assessed then corrected.

  • Stress: The body considers stress as any load put on it (chemical, electromagnetic, physical, toxic, mental, emotional, nutritional, parasitic etc).  If the goal is to improve an aspect of health then it is important that exercise does not represent another negative stress or load.  Programmed carefully, we can be ‘Working IN’, not working out.  Hence a powerful affect on the Autonomic Nervous System and balancing of the parasympathetic (rest and digest) and sympathetic (fight and flight) branches.
  • Weight Management: Many people have the goal of changing their body composition, whether that is reducing body fat or increasing lean mass, both, or other.  In relation to another exercise myth, it is not quite as simple as calories in versus calories out – this notion has no regard for factors such as biochemical individuality and hormonal profiles.  Fat loss will be achieved by following exercise programs that; do not break the body down, improve growth (protein synthesis), increase insulin sensitivity and enhance the health of all the body systems.  Adipose is an essential tissue with many roles and is misunderstood and misrepresented – we need to get healthy to lose fat, not lose fat to get healthy!
  • Energy/Fatigue: As described above, exercise can be designed to cultivate energy and be anabolic (growth) as opposed to the conventional method of catabolic (breaking down).  Using energy exercises and principles shared with Qi Gong and Tai Chi, corrective exercise can support the body in healing.  When we understand the physiology behind exercise, we can use it effectively and therapeutically to restore natural processes and rhythms.

 Exercise and Hormones Example

Thyroid hormone production tends to stop during exercise due to a fall in blood sugar, increase in free fatty acids, and a rise in cortisol, and adrenaline. A healthy individual can restore T3 production after exercise; a stressed, aged, and/or undernourished person cannot. Aerobic exercise more so, but overexercise is contraindicated.

Thyroid hormone is also needed to covert cholesterol to steroidal hormones like progesterone. Rises in cholesterol are often due to thyroid issues and a resulting fall in the metabolic rate.  Overexercising will not improve cholesterol levels or promote production of steroid hormones (growth) like progesterone. 

Stress, aging, and overexercise also increase aromatase activity creating more oestrogen.  When unopposed by progesterone, oestrogen has anti-thyroid effects. Therefore given that women have more estrogen and higher amounts of free fatty acids in the blood compared to males they may be more prone to low thyroid and weight gain. Incorrect exercise can exacerbate this issue. 

Finally, since thyroid hormone activates the metabolism of the liver, the anti-thyroid action of increased estrogen leads to the accumulation of more estrogen and endotoxins leading to a sticky situation and a backed-up liver. 

  • Athletic Performance: Conventional methods of athletic training are heavily focused at the top two tiers of the illustration below – technique and skills.  Whether the athlete is suffering injury, burn-out or any other barrier to success, the question to ask is whether they have built a foundation of function?   

The impact this has on performance is greatly underestimated.  Corrective Exercise and Strength Coaching aims to somewhat regress to progress, thus creating a foundation, which includes:

o   Functional Movement Patterns (Squat, Bend, Lunge, Push, Pull, Twist, Gait)

o   Posture and Structural Integrity

o   Functional Core

o   Full flexibility Profile

o   Complete Orthopaedic Profile

o   Pain Free

o   Catabolic/Anabolic Balance

o   Parasympathetic/Sympathetic ANS Balance


How can Healthcare Professionals and your Patients Benefit? One-to-One is available for those who require assessment and tuition.  Resources such as Special Reports, Articles, Websites and Books can be advised for your patients and their goals.  Online Programs are being developed for those who want the detail and principles of one-to-one but without the cost.


  • Postural Analysis (Quantitative/Qualitative measurement)
  • Muscle Strength Testing
  • Muscle Length-Tension (Flexibility) Assessment
  • Functional Movement Screens
  • Core Function Testing
  • Structural Balance
  • Body Composition Measurement / BioSignature
  • Medical History, Injury and Health Appraisal
  • Physiological Stress/Load Assessment
  • Adrenal Stress Index

Program Design

One to One Coaching

Home Programs

Online Programs

Healthcare Practitioner Reports and Feedback

Case Histories

Low Back Pain and Sciatica

Client with a desk-based occupation presented with constant ache (5/10) in lower back and intermittent sciatic pain (10/10) down their leg when walking.  Assessments highlighted postural issues (anterior pelvic tilt), weak core muscles and extremely tight hamstrings. They were given a home program of corrective stretches, core conditioning and scientific back training.  After 1 week the ache was down to 2/10 and sciatic pain was less frequent and intense (6/10).  Following Phase 1 (4weeks), there was only occasional lower back ache at 1/10 and no occurrence of sciatic pain.

Shin Splints

Fell Runner, 29yrs old, having suffered from Shin Splint pains for 15yrs.  Following one Bowen session the pain was eliminated and inflammation reduced.  Assessments identified muscular imbalance at the hip and a dysfunctional core. Which was evidently causing overload at the lower leg during running gait.  At the end of Phase 1 of their corrective exercise program they were out road running pain free.  Following Phase 3 (3months) they were back fell running pain free for the first time in 15yrs. GN

Weight Management | BodyFat Reduction

Client aiming to lose bodyfat % and increase lean mass and strength.  Assessments identified fat distribution around abdomen (related to high stress), overtraining, injury, emotional stress, hormonal imbalance, food intolerance and toxicities.  Integrating nutrition, corrective exercise and strength training was successful over 7months.  Abdominal bodyfat reduced by 50% of the original measurement. Overall bodyfat reduced from 22% to 14%, body weight reduced by 19lbs and lean mass (muscle) increased by 7lbs. DT.

Chronic Knee/Joint Pain

Female (32yrs) suffering with Chronic (2003-2010) Right Knee Medial pain at 4/10.  Corrective Exercise and Strength training implemented alongside successful Bowen Technique treatments.  Assessments identified many interesting structural deviations such as a left weight shift away from the painful right side, trunk rotation, forward head carriage, pronation through ankles and shoulder girdle tilt.  Movement screens illustrated a Squat deviation (again away from the painful right side), limited range of motion, a dysfunctional core and inverted breathing pattern.  Flexibility imbalances were identified between left and right muscles along with poor endurance of postural muscles.  Although we are not expected to be symmetrical beings, this information was used to formulate a program that promoted structural balance, movement efficiency and functional capacity.  Within 2 Phases of Corrective Exercise client was pain free and over 4 Phases they progressed to further goals such as fat loss, energy and fitness. AB.

Fatigue, Energy and Anxiety

Male (30yrs) initially describing dealing with anxiety, fatigue and persistent aches and pains.  In-depth history and health appraisals highlighted moderate physiological load (stressors) in the area of adrenal and glucose regulation, suggesting dietary challenges and other causes of stress such as overtraining and gut health.  Over the next 6months the focus was on restoring autonomic nervous system and steroid hormone balance – reducing causes of high stress and enhancing body’s ability to repair, heal and grow.  The key was to shift the previous catabolic tendencies (breaking the body down via evident overtraining) to anabolic methods that build and recover.  Client’s dedication was evident in adhering to 3-4 sessions per week, each week, each month without fail.  Phases began with a focus on Energy/Zone exercises that serve to Work-In as opposed to Work-Out and succeed in providing the body with resources and energy.  Phases then developed to enhance structure and movement and sports specific conditioning.  The client is now able to maintain high energy levels, free from fatigue and has made significant advances in their anxiety levels.  In addition, bodyfat reduction and lean mass increase goals are being achieved along with living without unnecessary aches and pains.  They are also able to design exercise programs and apply the principles in order to support their body/mind in the right way at the right time. SH.




Alfieri, R.G. (2001). Functional Training. GetFitNow.

Boyle, M. (2003). Functional Training for Sports. Human Kinetics.

Chek, P, (2004). How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy. Chek Institute.

Chek, P (2004). CHEK Report Issue 3.  Posture: The Chek Approach. CHEK Institute.

Chek, P. (2008). CHEK Exercise Coach Certification. Chek Institute.

Cook, G. (2003). Athletic Body in Balance. Human Kinetics.

Dalcourt, M. (2006).  Program Design. Lecture at FitPro Convention 2006.

Earls, J. (2008). Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians Workshop. Edinburgh Napier University.

Hedley, G. (2008). Human Anatomy Dissection Workshop.

Hoffmann-Smith, K.A., Ma, A., Yeh, C-T, DeGuire. N.L. and Smith, J.P. (2009). The Effect of Tai Chi in Reducing Anxiety in an Ambulatory Population. Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine. V6, Issue 1.

Parore, L. (2002). Power Posture. Apple Publishing.

Poliquin, C. (2008). BioSignature Internship Course. PICP

Scmidt, Richard and Lee. (1999) (3rd Edition). Motor Control and Learning. Champaign IL, Human Kinetics.

Siff, M. (2003). 6th Edition. Supertraining. SuperTraining Institute.


Part of the Team at the Pioneering 'Northern Integrative Health Practice'

Northern Integrative Health Practice

design newcastle

Coaching and Therapies

Corrective Exercise and Strength Coaching

Athletic Conditioning

The Bowen Therapy Technique

Metabolic Typing

BioSignature Modulation

Contact | Location


Gym and Clinic Facilities across Newcastle, Durham, North East UK.

Contact Form