Since I first became a CHEK Practitioner back in 2001, I have been able to help many clients overcome injuries and pain. Often times, these clients have previously tried one or more other treatment modality and have been unsuccessful.   I have been particularly successful helping people with injuries to the lower back, knee, shoulder and neck. So why is it that I have been able to help people with these problems when other treatments and modalities haven’t worked?  

The answer is a simple one. It’s down to the training I have received and the system I use. One of the greatest things taught to me by Paul Chek, the founder of The CHEK Institute is the “Reflex Survival Totem Pole”.

Totem Pole   The Reflex Survival Totem Pole (which was devised by Paul Chek) gives me a road map to follow which leads me right to the cause of an injury. Other forms of injury rehabilitation either just treat the symptoms or have a much harder time finding the cause. This is why we often see people and athletes struggling to overcome an injury, have recurring injuries or a string of seemingly unrelated injuries.

The Totem Pole highlights the order in which the human brain prioritises the different systems in the body in relation to human survival. The more important a system is, the higher it is on the Totem Pole.

For instance breathing is at the top of the Totem Pole because after three minutes without oxygen, brain cells begin to die and after five minutes irreversible brain damage occurs. Also, breathing includes the sense of smell which would have been the most effective way of identifying and avoiding predators for developmental man living in the wild.  

Faulty breathing can cause postural distortions (which can lead to injury) and alters the body’s pH balance which can affect internal organs and muscle function.   Next is the jaw or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and in particular jaw mechanics. In human developmental years, it would have been crucial for our bite to be straight otherwise our teeth would wear down whilst chewing. In those days if your teeth wore down, you couldn’t chew and you would starve to death. There weren’t any blenders or protein shakes in those days and meat was always the food of choice.   Next on The Totem Pole is vision. For obvious reasons, vision would have been crucial for hunting, gathering, making shelter, finding a healthy mate and avoiding predators.  Vision comes after the jaw because your family or tribe could have provided you with food and sheltered you from danger, but without being able to chew, you would be doomed.

Stay tuned for Part II when I will further explain the Reflex Survival Totem Pole and how  it helps to uncover the cause of injury.