In Applied Functional Science®, we were taught how to identify where in the body pain was coming from. Not to be confused with where symptomatically the pain was being experienced. Symptoms are generally far removed from their root cause.
The key was to ask someone to perform the activity that was causing discomfort and pay close attention to the "bookends" of the movement, also called the Transformational Zone.
A Transformational Zone is the time at which the body changes direction and there are two phases: the "load" and the "explode." For instance, a golf swing has a backswing (load) and a follow through (explode), a right cross has a pull (load) and a punch (explode) and walking up the stairs begins with lifting your leg (load) and taking a step (explode).
My ability to help someone is proportionate to how well I understand what's happening in the Body in each of the two zones: load and explode. When the golfer pulls her club back, there are reactions happening throughout her entire body and it's my job to understand the difference between what should be happening vs. what's actually happening.
In that GAP between optimal and compensatory movement is where I do my work and when I can get each of the zones changing directions / working better (i.e. backswing and follow through), then the whole motion will get better. It's all about the zones!
Remember, the Transformational Zone or "zone" is marked by a change of direction.
You can apply this same concept to the emotional realm as it pertains to behavior change. Lets say someone has gained weight due to emotional eating. The typical prescription would say: Stop eating and start moving and you'll lose weight. Though, as with the body, symptoms (emotional eating) are generally far removed from their root cause (unprocessed emotional pain).
In this example, the eating is considered the "explode," the action that's taking place. So, a generous question would ask: What were you feeling just before you emotionally ate (this is the "loading" phase)? As you could imagine, there's a wide range of emotions being experienced just prior to any and all protective behaviors: from anger to anxiety, shame to guilt, jealousy to envy, sadness to depression, betrayal to abandonment, etc.
This is where the work needs to take place--right at this intersection between painful emotions and deleterious behavior, in the Transformational Zone. Don't think physical labor and the gym, think emotional labor and a warm conversation. Seriously, we need to stop pretending physical symptoms are best managed physically. The fact that culturally we even need to delineate between physical and emotional displays how much we've compartmentalized our 3-dimensional nature: MindBodySpirit®.
I predict as the health-fitness-wellness-life industry comes to understand a concept like this, we'll see a huge halt in the production of gyms and an increase in health and happiness lounges that support meaningful conversations and long-term transformation.
"The truth doesn't change, your understanding of it does." Gary Gray