The “To Be Continued” Affect

Written by: Kevin Murray

We’ve all been there, intensely wrapped up in a television show wondering how the main protagonist is ever going to get themselves out of their seemingly impossible predicament. When all of a sudden the clock on your wall catches your periphery and you realize “wait a minute, the hour’s almost up… I’m going to have to wait till next week’s episode to find out what happens aren’t I?”

And then you see it… The three most frustrating words to come across your television screen:

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

The therapeutic benefits of Skateboarding begins @ 1:20 minute/seconds of video 


What Skateboarding Has Taught Me – A Biopsychosocial Perspective

Why do we learn algebra?!? We have no intention of f*cking going there!’
Billy Connolly

Skateboarding has been my ultimate teacher… The one teacher that stands out the among the others. Skateboarding has taught me:

  • how to deal with all kinds of authority figures.
  • how to appreciate a fresh pair of sneakers.
  • how to obsess over something and put in the effort to accomplish the outcome.
  • how to clean every cut, scrape and road burn known to man.

But most especially, skateboarding has taught me how to overcome failure.

Skating requires IMMENSE dedication towards the goal or outcome, and the road to success is paved with copious amounts of bruises, road burns, rolled ankles and failures.

When am I actually going to use this?
– said every kid in class staring out the window labeled with “Attention Deficit Disorder”

But to kids labeled with various conditions, (specifically ADHD, Dyspraxia, high-functioning Autism, Asperger’s syndrome and sensory processing disorder,) skateboarding offers a domain of biopsychosocial (BPS) prosperity, contributing to an up-regulation of coping skills that help to regulate: emotion, cognition, behavior, physiology, and variable environments. The BPS dividends that skateboarding provides children, youths and even grown-ass adults are boundless.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 11.10.37 AM

And in the context of chronic pain and working with clients in pain, a BPS approach expands beyond a purely biomechanical domain and dives deep into a 3-dimensional realm of education, adherence and sustainability. Education revolving around pain science, identifying personalized avenues’ towards meeting each clients unique wants & needs, and promoting feasible strategies that reinforce individual autonomy and mastery are just a few BPS ingredients that can truly yield 3-dimensional prosperity for your clients, patients and athletes.

At the 3:08 mark – Dr Daniel Sutton identifies a smorgasbord of highly beneficial BPS aspects that skateboarding provides.

I wonder what would happen if we used the word ‘Different’, rather than ‘Deficit’ when describing ADD? And what would happen if we dropped the word Disorder all together?

Instead of “Attention Deficit Disorder” you get “Attention Different”.

Provide an environment where skateboarding is an option for children and adolescents and watch first-hand just how righteous and effective being “Attention Different” can be!

Written by:
Kevin Murray M.A (pending)
Movement Masterminds – CEO
Function First – Director of Education

Compartmentalization & Chronic Pain

Written by: Kevin Murray


When an individual’s identity and belief about who they are is based around their capacity to be active and athletic, we can predict his or her fears. So what happens when chronic pain no longer permits an active lifestyle?

What happens next is an internal dialog of perception and meaning begin to take root… and how well one can direct their own thoughts, beliefs, emotions and assumptions becomes significant.

Compartmentalization is an unconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance.

The question then becomes “what is Cognitive Dissonance ?”and how does chronic pain fit into the equation?

[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.