April 11, 2023

There are three pieces to the transformation model. They are: 1. The psychological/mental game 2. The tactical game and 3. The action game. Sometimes a very simple action embodies all the pieces and brings results that are amazing.

Harry was a guy I knew many years ago. He was extremely heavy (5 feet, 11 inches, 325 lbs). His conditioning was so bad that when he walked up the stairs he had to stop half way up and just breathe heavily before he could go on. I don’t know what his numbers were, but they couldn’t have been good.

One day he decided he wanted to get in shape. He decided he would lose one hundred pounds and be able to run five miles. He stopped eating snacks out of mealtime. He quit sugar. And he decided to exercise. But here he had a problem. Everything hurt and he couldn’t bend over easily, let alone do pushups or sit-ups. He thought about it for a while and decided he would start by running. Here is how he phrased it, “I can’t run a mile because I will die. So, I will run to the first telephone pole. I will do that every day until I find it easy. Then I will run to the next telephone pole, double the distance, until that becomes easy. I will keep increasing it until I can run a mile and not feel like I will die. I will put no time limit on this. I will keep doing this until my weight is where I want it and I can run easily for five miles.”

And this is what he did. It took years before he could run five miles – three to be exact. He lost over one hundred pounds. He runs up his stairs and eats well and is happy with his life.

Notice that this one insignificant action embodied all the pieces of transformation. He decided what he wanted to accomplish-Game 1. He chose an activity with no time constraints that would create his goal -Game 2. And he acted every day with the tactics he chose until he reached his goal-Game 3. Lately he’s chosen another goal – to run a marathon. I will let you imagine the game pieces for yourself that he might employ.

What transformation to an exercising person do you choose? What pieces of the game can you activate to bring your goal into reality. Remember even small, seemingly insignificant actions can accomplish amazing transformation. Start today.

We will be talking more about the 3 pieces of the transformation game in the future.

To your transformed life,


For even more help in your transformation, you can go here.

Website: www.learnpainfree.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdzD-KKMRyPzmQ51nnjekFQ

read more

April 4, 2023

In my last post I gave you a method for focusing, even if you have distractions. This way is basically to decide what your desired outcome for actions are and then to keep bringing your focus back to your task when you are distracted. This method works and over time your focus times becomes longer and longer. Distractions become easy to handle as you learn to monitor your mind’s content and deal with negative thoughts. It works if you work in blocks of 60 to 90 minutes a session with decent breaks. If you use techniques like NonSleepDeepRest for your break, then it works even better. I will write more about NSDR in a later post.

Sometimes, this method seems edgy. It has a hard edge because it seems to be a battlefield between your conscious desires and your unconscious chaotic thoughts. So, if you have a day where your focus is overwhelming you with thoughts of conflict and angst there is another method. This method is brought to you by the HeartMath Institute.

The HeartMath Institute was founded in 1991. By 1991 there was a large body of work on the brain and heart that was changing the way people thought of both. Cognitive scientists found that there were a significant number of neurological cells in the heart, not just in the brain. In fact, there are so many cells that the heart is now viewed as having a second brain in it. We found that the heart processes data and sends it to the brain not just the brain sending things to the heart. It is a two-way street and by studying the signals generated by both brain and heart they found that you can reduce stress and generate good focus by getting the heart and brain to sync together. This is called coherence. If you are stressed the signals in the brain are out of sync with the heart. If you do a technique to bring the heart and brain into sync, then stress is reduced and focus is improved.

Here is how to do this. Start breathing into your heart or near it. Focus on the center of your chest behind your sternum. Feel yourself breathing into your heart. Concentrate on this as your breath slows down. Feel yourself slowing down and focus on your heart. After a couple of minutes start generating positive feelings like love, care, compassion, or gratitude. Keep feeling this as you keep breathing into your heart. Now, radiate that feeling to something outside of you; another person, a task you are excited about. Spend a few minutes until the feeling is locked in. Keep breathing and radiate that feeling to what you want to work on. If you start to feel stress or you start to lose focus, just start breathing into your heart again and go back to the feeling that you are locked in to. This technique is called the Lock In Technique. Give this a real effort. It will help your cognitive ability and increase your focus over time.

There is much in the HeartMath Institute work. To help you master this material they are offering a free course as an introduction. I’m giving you access here. There is no obligation. Just click on the link and sign up and go through the course. Your focus will thank you!

Try The HeartMath Experience that HeartMath Institute is gifting for these challenging times…..


…….put this URL in your browser, go halfway down the page click get free access. Enter your name and email you’ll get a registration code……I think you’ll enjoy it.

A small word about positive feelings. We use words like love, compassion and caring as if we all understand what they mean. If your idea of love comes from the drama/trauma love of the movies, you will not access positive feelings. These terms must be defined by you. I could give you my definitions of love, compassion and caring but they won’t necessarily work for you. Take some time to give your personal meaning for these words. It makes a difference to what happens in this technique. Good luck.

For even more help in your transformation, you can go here.

Website: www.learnpainfree.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdzD-KKMRyPzmQ51nnjekFQ

read more

March 28, 2023

As I said in the previous post Sir Isaac Newton was a master of focus. He was reputed to be able to focus on one thing for hours at a time. According to him, it was that power that let him create the mathematics that could describe motion and physics that dominated science for 219 years. But like most geniuses he didn’t describe his methods. We mere humans always must figure things out for ourselves because, like Newton, they use what they learn to discover or create what they want. They don’t care to explain about the methods they discovered that might be more useful to the rest of us.

I’m going to go into this but let’s spend a minute and ask, “What does this have to do with exercise for pain prevention?” One of the blocks to exercise is your motivation or lack of it to exercise. We’ve been talking about this, and I’ve given you some exercises that will help you find that motivation. BUT…our inability to focus on the tasks at hand will always get in the way of being motivated. Our attention drifts from our target for a moment and the next thing we know we are dreaming about that girl we saw walking down the street! This means that we need a mechanism to bring us back to the task at hand.

Here are some steps that will help you focus.

  1. First you must have something to focus on. This means you must have a desired outcome or a goal you want to accomplish. Without something to accomplish focusing becomes an empty habit.
  2. Next, when you start your day, you must break down that big goal into smaller goals. If your goal is big and might take a year, you break it down into pieces that are one-month goals; then one week and finally a goal for today.
  3. Estimate how long it will take to accomplish that goal today. If it is more than 1 hour break your focusing (work) session into 90-minute pieces.
  4. Now you have a goal for the next 60 to 90 minutes. Start focusing on the task at hand. You will probably be able to focus for 10 to 15 seconds before a distracting thought comes in. Don’t be discouraged. Acknowledge that distracting thought and bring your mind back to your task. If the distracting thought is something you think you must do tell yourself, you will do it later. Stay on task!
  5. Get used to the fact that your unbroken focus is short and learn to accumulate these periods of time to accomplish the task at hand. As you practice this method those periods of time of focus will expand as you learn to shunt the distracting thoughts aside before you even know they are there.
  6. After your 60 to 90 minute session take a break. I don’t mean watching television or surf the net. I mean work on some of the less demanding of focus things on your to do list. Make sure that the break is at least 30 minutes before you do another 60-to-90-minute focus session.

The real key to making this work is the ability to monitor your thoughts. Being able to monitor the thoughts that keep you from putting your energy into what you are doing is life changing. Distracting thoughts, especially negative ones, suck the energy out of your life.

For example, I do an exercise set called Slow Burn. It’s a method where you move extremely slowly to exhaust the muscles you are trying to make strong. You only do the set once or twice a week at most. On the days I do the set as it comes close to the time to do my set I am flooded with negative thoughts. “I’m busy today. I can do it tomorrow.” “Does this stuff really work?” “I’m tired right now. How about I wait a bit.” The messages change but I know I can’t follow them. As I move into the workout my energy comes up and even though I’m very tired at the end I move to my next tasks with positive energy. I should say that I exercise every day of the week, but it is this set that triggers the most distracting thoughts, and I must work hard to counter these thoughts.

May your days be filled with focused high energy thoughts and deeds.

For even more help in your transformation, you can go here.

Website: www.learnpainfree.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdzD-KKMRyPzmQ51nnjekFQ

Or you can use my book for more details on posture and becoming pain free:  https://amzn.to/3OpWyM9

Or you can email me for help or consultation.

read more

How Long Can You Focus on Something?

March 21, 2023

I suspect that most of you will say something like, “Oh, 15 or 20 minutes”.  Let’s do an experiment.

Choose something you can focus on. It could be as simple as looking at a picture or watching the second hand on the clock. Start your clock function on your phone and choose the stopwatch function. Now focus means concentrating on one thing to the exclusion of any other thoughts. When a thought other than what you are concentrating on appears that is the end of your focus. Start concentrating on what you are focusing on and start your stopwatch. When you get that stray thought in your consciousness, like, “I’m thirsty or I’m hungry. I could use a coffee” your focus is broken. How long did it take?

For most people it is between 5 and 10 seconds. It is almost impossible to focus for more than a few minutes without training and practice. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have great powers of focus. Measure it and be aware of your distracting thoughts and distracting things in your background.

The ability to focus for long periods of time is the heart of genius. Sir Isaac Newton, the great physicist, often said that the reason he was so good at what he did was that he had learned to concentrate for long periods of time.

The point is that it is necessary to learn how to focus well and not be distracted. Even if you get distracted for a few seconds go back to focusing on what you were working on. Push your limits every time you work on something. Develop a kind of reflex that shunts distracting thoughts to later. When a distracting thought pops up say “Later” and go back to your focus. Gradually your focus will improve.

Remember you have 2 to 3 thousand thoughts per hour that are trying to invade your consciousness. Learn to shunt them elsewhere. Especially minimize the thoughts that say, “I need a break. I’ll watch some TV.” Those seconds you can focus on are precious. It only takes a second to decide and start a monumental task. Cherish your focus times and cultivate the skill to focus.


For even more help in your transformation from pain to a pain free life, you can go here.

Website: www.learnpainfree.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdzD-KKMRyPzmQ51nnjekFQ

read more

March 14, 2023

I assume that you did the exercise I gave you last week. You should have a list of phrases that popped up while you went through your day. And I hope you have some patterns you’ve identified. What I mean by this is things you say to yourself when things are hard, like at the beginning of a task.

Let’s list some common phrases you might meet under pressure.

  1. This won’t count -it doesn’t matter.
  2. This is just too hard.
  3. You aren’t good enough. Let’s relax.
  4. If I fail in this people will think I’m not good enough.
  5. For all this effort I won’t get much.
  6. Don’t let anyone know I can’t do this.
  7. Do it later. Let’s play now.

These are common thoughts our minds kick out for most humans. You probably have more but I bet you have some of these, especially 1,2,3 and 7. If you don’t have any of these kind of negative thoughts then you aren’t the usual human. If that is the case then understanding motivation may not be a necessity. If you do have motivation issues that is if you want to do something and you are being frustrated then I suggest you haven’t heard that voice in your head. Monitoring your thoughts is a skill  that requires effort and honesty. Keep monitoring yourself. If you do this regularly you will become sensitive to these negative thought and will hear them without the alarm.

If these thoughts exist for you what do you do about them.

I suggest simple counters that are rational and deal with the negative thoughts which are really negative emotions. Here are some counters.

  1. Counter: Remind yourself that power of will is generated by working with small units of time and effort. One small step is all you need take to multiply the power of your will.
  2. Counter: Something being hard is just a judgement not a truth. The hardest task starts with one small step, one small task. Focus on the now.
  3. Counter: When this pops up remind yourself that the average person can do extraordinary things if he breaks it down to small tiny tasks and focuses on them.
  4. Counter: No one can discredit me except me. Just focus on the task.
  5. Counter: Worrying about the reward is putting the last step first. You define your goal, break down the goal in bite size pieces and concentrate on the pieces.
  6. Hiding your lack of skill or knowledge or pretending you have knowledge prevents you from getting the knowledge. Learn to say to this thought that I don’t have this skill, but I can get it!
  7. Probably the worst negative tape of all. Remind yourself that all you have is time and energy. When this tape pops up say, “If I get my task done, I can do this other thing that I love with no guilt. My future relies on me using my time productively.”

There are other counters that work better for you. Try to come up with them. It is fun. Remember; you are trying to multiply your will power by using your energy and time intelligently.

Learn to Monitor your thoughts. It will change your life.

To a life of awareness.


For even more help in your transformation, you can go here.

Website: www.learnpainfree.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdzD-KKMRyPzmQ51nnjekFQ

read more

Now, let’s get back to obtaining the motivation to exercise daily.

We all have peaks and valleys in our days and weeks. Some weeks our energy is high and all the things we want to accomplish flow easily.  Some weeks our energy is low, and we have to rely on our will to push us through towards our goals.

When we are in the low energy state or even medium energy it just seems harder to get things done. What is the solution to handling these states?

What do most of us do in this situation? The usual solution is to ingest more caffeine. Coffee or tea gives you a bit of a rush and is often enough to spike your energy enough for you to do what you need to do. Sometimes we distract ourselves with a video or a video game that tends to wake up our brain. The modern solution is to use our phones to talk to others and get a ‘high’ out of that.

The issue with these solutions is that they are short term fixes that don’t address why our energy state is lower today than yesterday.

The ultimate solution is raising our state to one of high energy. So how do you do that? You must ask some questions of yourself. Did I get enough sleep, and did I sleep well? Did I drink a lot of caffeine before bed? What kinds of things have I been reading or watching? Are those things inspirational and positive or are they violent and negative?

There are many ways to raise your energy but the first thing you must do is learn to listen to the voices in your head!  What goes through your head when you are working or starting to work on something? Or what does that voice say when the alarm goes off to do 30 minutes of exercise? Most of us don’t hear that voice but it is there, and it is either spurring you on or dragging you down.

The first skill you need is monitor skill. One of my first teachers on this used to say that you should pause and check in with yourself at least once an hour.

Here is an exercise you should try. Get yourself a small notebook. Set your smart phone to give you an alarm every hour. I use an app called BlipBlip that lets me choose a sound that I hear every hour. Take a moment when the alarm goes off what are you thinking? Write it down! If you do this for a few days two things will happen. 1) You will be amazed at how much negativity is in your thoughts, 2) you will start becoming more aware of that voice in your head, and 3) you will start identifying patterns of things you say to yourself – most of them negative.

Monitor skill is the first skill you need to create a mindset that lets you do what you want all the time. Please do this. You will be amazed at what you find as you learn to hear the voice in your head.

The next time we meet I’ll detail some of the more common messages that we hear in our heads that keep our energy low and ways to handle those negative messages in a constructive way.

To a good week and a life of movement.


For even more help in your transformation, you can go here.

Website: www.learnpainfree.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdzD-KKMRyPzmQ51nnjekFQ

read more

Can a Simple Exercise Change My Life?

February 28, 2023

We’ve been talking about motivation to exercise. For many of you the question pops up, “Can a simple set of exercises really affect my life and pain?” Here’s a personal story that shows that it can.

My father died at the age of 94 in 2019. This was longer than most people expected him to live. When he was 65, he had a big heart attack. A few months later he had a quadruple bypass surgery. His recovery was slow, and he was in a lot of pain. He was weak. Before the surgery he’d walked but didn’t do much else. When he was younger, he had exercised but it was sporadic.

By this time, I’d been doing martial arts for a long time. I went to visit him at one point, and we discussed his situation. “I’m so weak,” he said, “and I’m afraid I’m going to die soon.”

“Would you like to try something else?” I asked.

“Anything,” he replied.

I started him on a diet that he followed for the rest of his life. And I taught him a simple QiGong exercise called Swimming Dragon. It’s a simple exercise, subtle, but simple that came from the Shi family in Shanghai. I learned it from Dr. Shi and his daughter Melanie. I still do it to this day. For my father, I taught him the exercise and critiqued it until he did it well. I told him he needed to build up to 20 rounds a day (Each round takes 1 minute). He did this and for the rest of his life he did it every day.

When he would have a hospital trip he’d recover and then build back up to the 20 rounds a day. The other day my brother told me a story about my father coming back from a hospital trip where his weakened heart was causing problems. My brother called him on the phone and asked how he was doing.

“Pretty good, ” my dad replied. “I’m up to about 1/3 of full strength.”

“How do you know that?” my brother asked.

“Oh, easy. I normally do 20 rounds every day. Today I could do 7 rounds. So, I’m about a third of the way to full capacity.”

My brother was really impressed.

Now you are going to say that one exercise couldn’t do all of that. In fact, this is a very powerful though subtle exercise. It makes the spine more flexible. It teaches and creates good posture. It strengthens the legs and instructs you how to move with ease and grace. My father never had the problems with postural problems after using the Swimming Dragon.

I’m not trying to sell Swimming Dragon to you. I’m showing you that if you pick a good routine that strengthens posture and breath that joint and back pain will disappear.

My father came from the WWII generation. The life expectancy of guys who went through the war was bad. His four best friends all died a lot younger than Dad. His best friend died at the age of 52. All of them went through the war and they all had bad experiences that cut their lives shorter. My Dad had decent genes but the damage he did his heart was decreased by the daily exercise and diet he followed.

Pick something good that will sustain your posture. There is yoga, qigong, tai ji or other gentle martial arts. But do it every day. If you need help finding good teachers in these domains write me and I’ll send you to good people.

To your health.


For even more help in your transformation you can go here.

Website: www.learnpainfree.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdzD-KKMRyPzmQ51nnjekFQ

read more

My Daily Routine

Glad you came to my site. What I'm offering here is a video routine which will keep your joints limber and young. If you add your email then you will get access to the video. Enjoy being Pain Free!

You have Successfully Subscribed!