Hocus Pocus or Strong with the Force? What you need to know about 
Mindfulness & Chronic Pain

Written by: Kevin Murray


When someone asks you to be more mindful, what are they actually saying? Is it a request to be more polite? Hold the door open for those you don’t know? Remember your please and thank-you’s? Not quite… While the aforementioned are respectful and conscientious, practicing mindfulness goes beyond the realm of external exchanges.

In fact, Stuart Eisendrath, a medical doctor and professor of clinical psychiatry at the UCSF Depression Center explains that mindfulness takes place when someone is paying attention, deliberately and purposefully, on the present moment in a non-judgemental way. Succinctly put, mindfulness means focusing ones’ attention in this present moment and letting go of the future, letting go of the past, and being aware of what’s present right now.

The Department Store Approach & Complex Pain Problems

Written by: Kevin Murray


The Small, Medium, Large concept to clothing that all department stores embody seems like a straightforward, pragmatic approach to sizing. If the article of clothing fits, you’re golden; If not, you’re either going up a size, or down. But what about those that fall between the cracks? Or above, or below those labels?

I constantly run into this predicament. Sometimes a small is too tight. Other times a medium drapes off my shoulders, which was a good look for me in the 90’s with skateboard in hand – not so cool anymore. I often wish there was a size “smedium”, right in between at that “sweet spot.”

Perhaps you can relate… maybe your frame deserves a “marge”, right in between medium and large.

The Movement Variability Matrix

Written by: Anthony Carey - Courtesy of American Counsel on Exercise

If I were to ask you to show me a lunge, a push-up or a squat, I would bet all of the money in the world that 99.9 percent of those reading this would show me the exact same versions of those exercises. Although you would be completely accurate in what you demonstrated, you would also be demonstrating what I believe to be a blind spot that our industry has when it comes to program design.

That blind spot is preconceived definitions of what each of those exercises (and many others) look like and how and when we would or would not use them.

The Movement Variability Matrix (Figure 1), which we use at Function First, based in San Diego, Calif., aims to address that blind spot. The Movement Variability Matrix features “ingredients” that can be added, subtracted or combined to modify a given exercise for the purpose of progressing, regressing or simply adding needed variability with similar demand. The Movement Variability Matrix can also be helpful in recognizing the variables of any given exercise and evaluating their impact on client success.


Figure 1

[Last Day] Which one of these are you?

Understand pain - Design powerful exercise programs - Successfully guide your clients back to pain-free living

You’re either:

  1. Ready for us to close the doors of enrollment and move on.
  2. Already waist deep into the online curriculum content.
  3. Waiting for the very last minute because you love living on the edge like that!

We’re reminding you again because we feel it’s THAT important for you and your clients in pain!

The Pain-Free Movement Specialist Online Curriculum closes today. You only have a few more hours to enroll and revolutionize your capacity to help those in pain.

You can enroll right now here.

Online curriculum

Our PFMS family is growing… From Canada, to France, Italy, United States, Singapore, Australia, South Africa and Portugal.

These elite professionals understand that pain is complex and goes far beyond “tight” and “weak” muscles. They’ve entrusted the Pain-Free Movement Specialist curriculum to set them apart from the rest.

Will you join be joining us? Just a few more hours to order. Buy the Online Curriculum now.





Kevin Murray, BSc

Movement Masterminds – CEO
Function First – Director of Education

P.S. You’re going to love this course. And if you don’t after 14-days, we’ll give you your money back. There’s no risk. Register now before the course closes.

P.P.S Here’s a link to our 5 most FAQ’s regarding the online curriculum.

Can Your Eyes Contribute To Neck Pain?

Written by: Anthony Carey

Tight and weak? Need to ‘fix’ your muscle imbalance? If you think that paradigm is going to help them, this research review article is sure to change your mind. This article highlights one of the many considerations that we employ when designing an exercise program as a Pain-Free Movement Specialist. These tools need to be part of your mission, enrollment is open now until this Friday. Don’t miss this opportunity to start today!


Chronic pain is complex, resulting from many inputs processed through the nervous system and the brain. As humans, we rely heavily on our vision to assess and navigate our environment and maintain balance.

Visual references are also one type of input the brain relies on to determine a potential threat to the organism. For example, have you ever found a bruise on your body that did not hurt until you noticed there?

bogus vision article

For those suffering from chronic neck pain, vision provides a great deal of feedback about cervical range of motion along with the mechano-receptors in the joints and soft tissue. The endpoint a person sees when turning his or her head and experiencing pain combines with a cluster of other information occurring at the same time to form the neuro-representation of the pain experience in the brain, or what Melzack (2001) calls a “neuro-signature.”

We Just Opened Our Online Curriculum

Enrollment closes this Friday @ 11:59pm PST

We Are Live!


Enrollment to register for the Pain-Free Movement Specialist Online Course has begun. There’s a
4-day window to register and receive immediate access before registration closes.


  • You struggle with thoughts of making your client’s pain worse.
  • You want to understand your client’s fears & psychological barriers towards movement and pain.
  • You wish to effectively and accurately explain pain to your clients.
  • You desire to understand advanced biomechanical and anatomical principles.
  • You aspire to design powerful corrective exercise programs with confidence and precision.

The Pain-Free Movement Specialist online course is loaded with the answers you seek, BUT it’s only open for a limited time – closing Friday at 11:59pm.

Don’t worry, in addition to the online content – both ‘Corrective Exercise for Powerful Change’ dvd’s and Anthony’s book The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method To Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder and Joint Pain are all included – at no extra cost!

Begin your journey towards Corrective Exercise Mastery with 6 jam-packed Modules right now.
Register here




Kevin Murray

Movement Masterminds – CEO
Function First – Director of Education

P.S. Here’s a link to our 5 most FAQ’s regarding the online curriculum.

The body may say “that’s the way we need to move
right now.

Thank you to all of you who commented on last week’s post on MRI results and their correlation with pain. The post was shared extensively on social media – no denying fascinating research.

The video above is a snippet of a presentation Anthony did at ‘Meeting of the Minds’ in London where he discusses how Dynamic Systems Theory applies to movement.

The chaotic nature of the human organism is something that we all have to begin to appreciate regardless of the type of clientele you work with.  It’s time we stop trying to isolate individual cause and effect for our assessments and consider the broader picture.  Your clients/patients are counting on you.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Dedicated to creating lasting change,

Kevin Murray
Movement Masterminds – CEO
Function First – Director of Education

P.S. We are getting ready to make the PFMS Level 1 available again. Keep your eyes out for the announcement.

Going Beyond Biomechanics with Chronic Pain Clients’

An interview with Anthony Carey about psychology & pain

Your client is in pain, but their movement efficiency is exceptional… What then do you do?

There are many dimensions of chronic pain, and multiple ingredients that feed into the pain experience. In this interview, Function First CEO and Movement Masterminds faculty educator Anthony Carey shares the latest on pain science and how understanding biomechanics alone is no longer enough…

Watch the video

Anthony elaborates on the depths that chronic pain can reach, and how we MUST go beyond the biomechanical lens and expand our capacity to better understand the psychology of pain.


Kevin Murray
Movement Masterminds – CEO
Function First – Education Director
2012 CSEP CPT of the Year


Is There a Right or Wrong Way to Squat?

Written by: Derrick Price - Courtesy of IDEA Fitness Journal

Ex Rx: Could the traditional advice for this exercise mainstay be leading your clients astray? Research provides answers.

“Hey, keep your knees behind your toes when you squat!”
“Deep squats are bad for the knees!”
“My doctor told me I should not squat anymore.”
“You should never let the knees cave in or out during a squat.”

Chances are you’ve heard this advice and maybe even given it to your clients. I know that for many years in my career I’ve been guilty of making similar recommendations to clients from all walks of life. The problem is, where did this advice come from? Is it valid and who is it valid for? What principles should we follow when doing or teaching one of the most popular exercises on the planet?

This article will share much of the latest research about the science and application of squats and will help separate fact from myth. I’ll then explore squat training fundamentals and provide strategies for personalizing squats so they match clients’ abilities and goals.

3D Weightlifting with ViPR

Written by: John Sinclair - Courtesy of ViPR Blog

Have you ever asked yourself how traditional Olympic lifting translates into the specific biomechanical/connective tissue needs of the athlete? As Movement Masterminds & ViPR Global educator John Sinclair articulates/demonstrates in this latest blog, ViPR allows any athlete to expand beyond the realm of traditional Olympic lifting patterns into an environment that’s 3 dimensional. An environment that can truly mimic the kinematic & tissue demands of any sport. Thanks for the info Johnny!

The benefits of Olympic weightlifting and the popularity of the sport have grown tremendously since I started learning the snatch and clean & jerk back in 1994.

I remember how painstakingly challenging this was as a rookie. It was by far the most frustrating skill to learn, since it required strength, power, precision, timing, and motor control (all at the same time). It was also a bit nerve-racking as it meant that, as soon as I got more proficient with the lifts, I had to add more weight! Yikes.

CLICK HERE: Weightlifting with ViPR – Video 1

CLICK HERE: Weightlifting with ViPR – Video 2

I have been coaching, programming and participating in weightlifting now for almost 20 years. In that time I have learned a ton from lifting tonnes. I have tried different methods, found what works for me, and even been able to enhance some competitive lifters. The most astonishing revelation I came up with happened just last year. It was during my stint as the fitness director at Midtown Athletic Club in Weston Florida.