WELCOME MY FRIENDS.
It has come time for me to say some things, share some ideas, and to tell some of my stories before this nutty ride we are all on expires. None of us knows when our ride is going to come to a sudden cosmic halt. In the first half of my life I lost some good friends. The sad thing is, at a young age we don't really know what a good friend truly is, they just leave us with a feeling. At a young age friendships are more about "feelings" than they are about a cerebral relationship, one we learn to evaluate and put value upon. However, when memories of friends stick with you three plus decades later, one has to wonder if they weren't the real deal. These fellas were far too young to go so early in their lives and I know they still had stories to share, journeys to experience, and value to add to this world. So now, as each year passes, it feels even more urgent for me to share just in case my number gets called earlier than expected. So for those of you caring to listen, pull up a comfy chair, lend me your sensory organs and your mind and let me share some things I ponder and enjoy.
You may find yourself asking, why this website ? What is the point? Well, to be honest, I am not exactly sure. There has been a long percolating pull to do this for some reason, and I have learned not to dismiss these "pulls" for too long when they come, especially when they persist. I fear these kinds of things may be an opportunity lost if I do not act. Admittedly, the process to act on this particular pull has been slow. It has been several years of heel dragging and getting comfortable with the process of sharing -- of struggling with the feared appearance of "look what I wrote, or look what I painted or here is what I think" with the attached fears of unkind scrutiny and opinion. This has been the prevailing hesitation in this whole process, but my introverted skin has thickened now and if this site can reach one young or old mind in any way then it was all worth the work and worry.
The turning point for me was during a dialogue with a friend, one that reminded me of the early childhood principle we all learned, the principle of sharing and the goodness that sharing offers everyone. My friend, a musician, reminded me of the sadness and loss to us all of a musician who plays only for themselves and never shares their music. The further I thought about this sharing perspective, the more I understood the practice of all of the arts. Art is an act of passion and expression for the artist but its value to society comes in the sharing. There is a quote by Leo Tolstoy that I share here on this website at the beginning of my "Art Blog" that explains that concept the best. How different would the world be if Picasso, Sting, or Mozart had hoarded all of their work and never made them public ? I am not sure why this was just a mental road block for me, perhaps it is merely because I was fighting judgement of my novice meanderings because as an introvert we do things inward for ourselves and sometimes fear judgement. I am learning that in order to experience life more fully, one must step outside one's comfort zone, and when done with conviction, one's life may truly begin at the edge of that comfort zone. I am also learning that one can never know how a simple story might reach, teach or inspire others to do greater things.
On a more inward note, I have a great fear of spending my last days wondering, wishing and regretting those things which I should have attempted to undertake on my journey. The reader will see this recurrent theme in my writings. That fear and curiosity fuel me to ponder all of the arts. A journey into many of these previously ignored voids was necessary for me in an attempt to understand myself and begin to make better sense of this crazy world and myself. Hence began this path and some small bits of that voyage are reflected here. It is with great angst and uncertainty that I put myself out into the world like this where my most guarded and intimate thoughts and efforts are exposed to both kind and harsh scrutiny. But again, what if that is part of what is necessary to attain a more enlightened state ? What if my meager voyage here is merely a vessel to spark some other person's grander discoveries ? This is why I am extending myself here and it is one of the reasons I continue to teach. Whether it is standing in front of dozens or hundreds, or in a teleseminar on the web, extending myself is a most uncomfortable thing for me but I think that is where the good stuff in life is hidden. Who knows, but for me, right now the risks in all this seem worth the offering.
I am going to trip over many things here, but what you will find on this site is mostly a self evaluation of my thoughts and things that inspire, scare or intrigue me. I have merely decided to share these things I have produced -- because perhaps in sharing I can reach someone else with similar questions. The crazy Hunter S. Thompson has a great quote that hits home for me. The quote is here at the top of the "Writings" blog -- it is on the self evaluation process, it is a reminder for me to keep seeking.
It is also my greatest hope that this simple venue, with my meager offerings here at the edge of my comfort zone, might inspire the imagination of others and perhaps things more grand than anything found on this unvarnished website.
I will leave you with a quote that regularly rattles around my noggin, "If you are willing to live at the edge of your comfort zone, your life will start at the edge of your comfort zone." -Jason Silva
Welcome to my offerings my friends.
Below you will find my professional bio. It is also on my business website: doctorallen.co
My goal is always to provide the highest standard of care to my patients as they seek answers to their neuromusculoskeletal problems. I have been practicing for the better part of 2 decades in the field of conservative treatment of the neuromusculoskeletal system. I believe my training is what has set my practice apart from others in the field. Since the founding of my educational company "The Gait Guys" my approach is gaining greater recognition. My writings and teachings are now reaching doctors, therapists, coaches and trainers in over 80 countries and many in the fields are taking my course work from online educational establishments. This work can be seen in my daily writing on my blog, thegaitguys.com as well as on my YouTube Channel (The Gait Guys), my podcast on iTunes and the Facebook page of the same name. Please find some more detailed information below, it may help you to understand why you have been referred or recommended to my office.
Here is my Bio, or, what I like to refer as "a history of my education and why I might be able to help you get some answers to your problems".
I am a Diplomate of American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists. I am a 1995 graduate of the National University of Health Sciences and prior to that graduated with my first bachelor of science degree from the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) in kinesiology. My second degree was achieved in Human Biology while continuing my chiropractic studies. I am a postdoctoral instructor with the University of Bridgeport Health Sciences Postgraduate Education Department and a postgraduate instructor with OnlineContinuingEd, LLC, In addition to my "more regular" clientele base, I also work with a broad base of patients including Olympic, professional, para-professional, collegiate and All-American athletes including sprinters, distance runners, swimmers, marathoners, Ultramarathoners, gymnasts, dancers (ballet, modern, Irish and ballroom), mixed martial artists, football, wrestling, baseball and Olympic distance, Sprint and IRONMAN tri-athletes. I am presently really enjoying a close relationship with the Second City Track Club and their Olympic hopefuls. (www.secondcitytc.com)
I am a board certified Chiropractic Orthopedist; achieved through a three (3) year in-house resident trained program in chiropractic orthopedics through the National University of Health Sciences with additional extensive training in functional neurology. I am currently enrolled and studying in a Post-doctoral functional neurology program through the Carrick Institute. In the recent past I have been an adjunct faculty member with the Lincoln School of Post-Professional Education and an instructor in advanced orthopedics and functional biomechanics at National University in Lombard, Illinois. I now focuses my teaching towards web-based live teleseminars so that I can reach a broader international audience. I embrace the future of teaching. via the internet, where anyone around the world can tap into educational resources. Embracing this forum, in July 2009 I signed on as online internet educational professor on the website www.onlineCE.com with my teaching colleague Dr. Ivo Waerlop a chiropractic neurologist. Together our blend of neuro-orthopedic approaches to injury and disorders offers us a unique platform to teach from. We continue to add internet iTunes PodCasts, and YouTube videos as well as our weekly blog writing to our educational repertoire in the hopes of spreading our knowledge and clinical experiences far and wide. I am an occasional lecturer/speaker for many fitness, coaching and healthcare companies and associations. I am a former chiropractor for the Chicago Joffrey Ballet professional dance company, former physician for Newman/Haas Indy Car Race team (the late actor Paul Newman) and on occasion the Team Physician and consultant for private athletic teams and individuals. I work seasonally with numerous high schools and colleges treating their athletes who complete in various sports.
For some samples of my additional work, head over to my YouTube Gait Guys Channel (see "Teaching" tab above) or The Gait Guys Blog on Tumblr to sample snippets of my lectures at the university level. Presently, I spend much time with my web based venture "The Gait Guys" in publishing active research on gait and human biomechanics, functional rehabilitation, neuromechanics and sport-specific training. I am a co-author of the textbook, "Pedographs and Gait Analysis: Clinical Applications and Pearls" and I have written articles for numerous health and fitness magazines. My practice is heavily referral based from Chicagoland and Tri-State area orthopedists, internists, chiropractors, physical therapists, pilates instructors and personal trainers.
Combining a broad spectrum of past sport experience, and in the most recent decade, working with athletes and professional artists of all levels and many disciplines has enriched my knowledge and understanding of the body and its function and malfunction. To best treat an athlete, one must know their sport intimately. Knowing what the sport and its demands "feel like" helps to treat its classic injuries. To this end, in recent years i have undertaken the active study of what I considers some of the most difficult motor skills and athletic endeavors. In 2009 I began what would turn into 3 years of understudy in ballroom dance (Intermediate Bronze in 9 smooth and latin dances) under gifted Nationally recognized instructors. From this I learned what I had hoped, the complexities, coordination and strength necessary in the lower limbs to perform the often under-appreciated complexity of professional dance as well as the art of silent body communication. As I will often share when asked, "There is a reason dancers have the bodies we see. Dance is why they are some of the best athletes in sports today, even outside of dance. They have unparalleled strength, rhythm, grace, posture, speed, flexibility, body awareness, endurance and more. What more would an athlete want ? ! Some of the greatest athletes of our time have quietly studied dance behind the scenes to gain an edge over the competition." I have also embraced the study of formal authentic pilates and more recently several years of understudy in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (school link and video link) under a lineage of the famous Gracie family. Through these undertakings I have achieved an even higher appreciation and insight into the complexities of human movement, biomechanics and the subsequent physical problems that arise from body asymmetry through these mediums. These studies have no doubt afforded me higher clinical insights into injury, body movement flaws and the treatment of sensory-motor impairment.
In early 2013 The Gait Guys revamped their blog coalescing their YouTube Channel, their Blog, Podcasts, DVD and teaching programs, and their Social media sites on FaceBook and Twitter. WikiGait.com (wikigait.wordpress.com) is his next project in The Gait Guys line, another social media spin purely on the medical and biomechanical side of The Gait Guys.
I live in the suburbs of Illinois and enjoy writing, music, podcasts, documentaries, painting, Brazilian jiu jitsu, gardening and reading. My writing and artist site can be found at www.shawnallen.net (there is a tab link above). I am an information junkie of sorts. For me, everything seems to circle around learning new things, gathering and processing information, and then repackaging it into forms to help my friends, patients, athletes, colleagues, teammates and the world through my social media sites. I grew up playing most sports, from baseball, fast-pitch, golf, competitive swimming, basketball, football, cross country running, track and field and street hockey in my birth land of Canada.
In 2006 I completed several courses, training in PRRT (Primal ReflexRelease technique, www.theprrt.com) a growing technique for reducing reflex trauma-based pain, INMAS (Integrated Neuromuscular Acupoint System) a newer method of incorporating the principles of pain management acupuncture with Western medicine pain management methods under the study of world respected Dr. Yun Tal Ma (see link on this website for this non-traditional "Western" chinese medicine acupuncture) , and a 10 month internship course in MAT training (Muscle Activation Techniques) one of the fastest growing and powerful therapy techniques in professional sports for restoring muscular balance, strength and function to the human frame for the purpose of treating pain and improving sport performance. (To be clear, although he completed all required course work, I chose not to "test out" from the course in MAT, thus I am not officially certified or recognized by the MAT organization and may not be found on their website. I insist on being clear about this unofficial certification status with the MAT organization so as to not misrepresent myself in the community. I my humble opinion, in assimilating the MAT work into my own educational experiences, I have advanced many of the principles to a highly productive and useful place. After all, that is the goal of education, acquiring, assimilating and expanding our methods to a higher means. To be more clear, many organizations have ongoing financial membership obligations and oversight to maintain certification.. As with most things, he is less concerned about the letters behind his name, and more focused on acquiring the knowledge. My decisions not to complete the final examination process has no bearing on my complete respect for the technique as evidenced by my widespread use of MAT and my ongoing personal evolution of it in my practice. Greg Roskopf is a visionary, no question, and I have the highest respect for his work and the evolution of the MAT programs. My goal was to learn the information so as to assimilate it into my own techniques and methods to evolve his own methods that best suits my patient and client needs. Dr. Allen highly recommends the MAT program for all medical professionals, therapists and coaches-trainers, and to that end I wish to be more clear, do not mistaken MAT for Douglas Heel's "Activation" program, these are not one in the same. To this end, in order to expand my current knowledge in regards to manual muscle techniques and biomechanics of movement I attended several private seminars in 2008 by Dr. Graig F. Buhler, DC (chiropractic physician for the Utah Jazz professional basketball team and founder of ChiroMAT Technique which is the body of work from Drs. Alan Beardall and Buhler). Dr. Buhler's Advanced Muscle Integration Technique (AMIT) is based on advanced concepts in the neuroproprioceptive inhibitory adaptive strategies used by the body following an injury. It provides practitioners a tool to efficiently identify and correct biomechanical imbalances that can lead to chronic pain and/or injury. This approach directs efforts at correcting a cause rather than simply addressing symptoms.
Methods of treatment are scientifically based and researched. Legitimate data is continuing to emerge to expand in support of AMIT theory and practice. This approach can be used to provide long-standing relief from many common muscle/joint related issues, allow for faster post surgical recovery, prevent injuries, improve sport performance and enhance current exercise programs. It has been utilized with impressive results in my office and in the arena of professional sports.
"Dr. Buhler and the ChiroMAT (AMIT) system is the single biggest reason I was able to play 19 year in the NBA. My body was maintained at a high level of balance which helped me avoid the impact of injuries so common in the league today. The impact has been as great for my family as it was for my career." --John Stockton
Sidebar about MAT and AMIT (from Dr. Buhler's 2009 website): Dr. Craig Buhler (AMIT) and Greg Roskopf (MAT) have worked together for 10 years in conjunction with the Utah Jazz and the Denver Broncos. From the challenges that they were faced upon working together, they were able to enhance each others thought processes in regards to understanding the mechanisms behind athletic injuries. From their relationship came a new paradigm for evaluating and treating biomechanical imbalances that lead to injury. Each went on to develop specialized programs specific to their area of specialty. Greg developed Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), a biomechanically based program designed for trainers and therapists, while Craig developed AMIT, a neurologically based program designed for chiropractors. Although these programs are different, they both evolved through a similar philosophical foundation. AMIT and MAT are separate programs, however, Greg and Craig are working together in taking the steps to spread their philosophies across the country. These two programs are taking human performance to the next level.
In 2005 i was instrumental with Dr. Waerlop in jumpstarting The Pedorthic Consulting Group, PCG. This company was dissolved in 2006 to morph into the Homunculus Group. PCG helped grow Xtreme Footwerks, Inc. We continue to support of the lab for our occasional orthotic needs. Xtreme Labs is a specialty orthotic lab that continues to produce highly customized orthotics for forefoot and rearfoot variant types whereby typical orthotics seem to fail such foot types in the correction of pain and biomechanical faults. In 2007 I was approached by the CEO of Vibram USA, a subsidiary of Vibram Internation, and proudly accepted a position asBiomechanics Consultant for Vibram USA to assist them in product research and design (www.vibram.com and www.vibramfivefingers.com). I continue to work with many other companies in the footwear field, and I would be happy to discuss my work and experiences with those companies if it pleases you.
In early 2007 I attended an intimate intense seminar put on by Dr. Pavel Kolar from Prague, Czech. Dr. Kolar was taught by Professor Karel Lewit and the late Professors Vaclav Vojte and Vladimir Janda, the brilliant European grandfathers of manual medicine. His teachings focus on a new method of intrinsic locomotor system stabilization which has spawned a new manual approach (DNS) to activate the intrinsic system and achieve exciting levels of improved function in a remarkably brief period. Based upon the principles of developmental kinesiology, the neurophysiological aspects of the maturing locomotor system on which the Prague school was established, these techniques are expanding the scope of clinical options in an exciting new direction. I am proud to offer my best understandings and interpretations of Pavel's work and incorporate them into my other manual medicine offerings for you, my patients