We all have a story. Sometimes our story is embarrassing. Some stories are sad. Some stories are full of success. Some stories are empty. The point is…we all have a story and it is OUR STORY. My story is no different than many others. Life, death and taxes. Sometimes more death than life and other times more life than taxes.


I decided to do this one a little different than previous posts.  These are taken from the textbook regarding health and wellness, instead of a research article.  You will learn a part of my story.



  1. “Health is derived from the Old English term hal, meaning sound or whole. Health is essentially the purpose of Medicine”

We as a society are becoming confused with the terms healthy and lack of illness. To be healthy is to be whole. This is a huge change of perception and a paradigm shift that is still occurring in healthcare. We all know that there is not much money to be made in making someone “whole”, but we charge a ton of money for cancer care. The easiest way to determine how much money is being made is to look at the size of the building. Dave Ramsey says, the tallest buildings are either owned by banks, oil companies, or car companies. There are major profits in these businesses. I can’t wait for the day that the biggest buildings are owned by companies like Crossfit, Primal Blueprint, Barbell Shrugged, Paleo Solution, etc. I doubt that it will happen in my lifetime, but it would be nice for our society as a whole…to make it whole.


  1. “Medical professionals have experienced a shift in their health care paradigm perspective from one emphasizing illness to one stressing health, function, quality of life, and well being…The importance of supportive environments for producing lasting change cannot be overemphasized”

Again, when we are “sick” we go to the doctor to feel better. Doctors do a good job of treating sick people. If we are not “whole” like in the above statement, then we need to see a doctor because, because in essence we are…SICK! Think about this, can you say that you are WHOLE? That your life is great? If not, why not? Who in the medical field would be best to talk to about your emptiness, or sickness.

Personally, I have been to a psychologist and it was one of the greatest things that could have ever happened to me. I had a patient die in my arms. It is the worst experience that I ever had to experience and I can still see the patient and can recall the entire event until the point that I started chest compressions. I took lessons from that psychologist and applied them to life. That advice has completely changed my life. LISTEN TO ME! My life is changed because of that encounter…only for the better! As a society, we tend to stigmatize going to doctors or other professionals as less macho than handling things on our own. Look, I suck at fixing a car. I can put gas in the car and turn the key. After that, I am like the kid from the Christmas Story…OH FUDGE. People pay me to help them become healthier…whether this means to be pain-free or to move better, this is all part of becoming a better, less sick or whole, person.

I find that our profession is being asked to make this paradigm shift in the face of profit being made from treating illness. This is as much a personal business decision as it is societal ethical decision. We again need to see healthcare as a business and then we can understand why setting up fitness programs is not as profitable as setting up cancer treatment centers.

Getting back to supportive environments…Crossfit understands this. When talking to Crossfitters, the chief word to describe the “box” is community. This is why the model is so successful. They can sell you the workout, but anyone can do the movements…but not everyone will be inspired to do the movements day in and out alone in a garage.


  1. “…the National Academy of Sciences found that musculoskeletal disabilities in the workplace cost the United States more than $1 trillion per year in total costs”

HOLY CRAP! We are unhealthy! We get hurt daily. At any one point in time, there are 5 million Americans with back pain. This gets expensive. Think about how your not showing to work affects your co-workers or business as a whole. I know that if I call in sick to work and my patients don’t get seen, it costs me money, but it costs the business at least $1,000. I can’t afford to be hurt or sick.


  1. “A rising trend in poor health reported in the United States indicates an immediate need for preventive care in order to reduce medical conditions that lead to disability…a trend toward increasingly limited activity and poor health over the last decade”

Until we make health care and promotion of “whole”ness more profitable than sick care, I don’t see this happening. We as a society are becoming less healthy over time. This could have many factors depending on who is speaking. I hear groups say that it is the high-fructose corn syrup, it’s the GMO’s, it’s the gluten, it’s the technology, the lack of recess, the wussification of America. There are any number of reasons, but the result is still the same. We are becoming, in the words of Ravishing Rick Rude, a society “of fat, sick, lazy, overweight slobs”. God I wanted his abs. Secret man crush.


  1. “a variety of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors commonly developed early in life often lead to disability, chronic disease, and ultimately, premature death”

Basic stats reported in the media. The new generation of kids will be the first generation to not outlive the parent’s generation. WTF! Why are our kids more sick than we were/are? This should be enough to make every American sick and every parent take action. Kids should not be type II diabetic! Kids should not shy away from play! Dang it…I was always and continue to be the “big kid”, but I will play with the crossfitters, the powerlifters and the strongman groups and every once in a while I will go to the park and do the monkey bars, slide down the slide and run the bases. We need to introduce…no reintroduce…our kids to activities that don’t involve a screen. This is the type of lifestyle that will lead to “premature death”. It just got real.


  1. “According to the National Wellness Institute (it does exist), ‘wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence’…wellness in an active, lifelong process…integrates mental, social, occupational, emotional, spiritual, and physical dimensions of one’s life”

Wellness is actively seeking out a successful existence. Let that one soak. Our time is precious and our time is relatively short all things considered. First, congratulate yourself…you are still here. Many are not. Many have lost the fight of existing. Personal story: My brother died of a drug overdose about 8 years ago. Purposeful or accident…only one person knows for sure and we will never know the answer. Why does it take death to put things into perspective. Every morning we wake up we have a choice. Do I want to be an active seeker of a successful existence, or will I allow external forces to manipulate my being and time. There are many cogs in the wheel of wellness, but even I focus only on a few spokes at a time. We can’t all be perfect. With regards to the mental, I used to be such an OCD person. My psychologist told me that I lived my life so compartmentalized and each compartment was perfect. It was good that way, but life sucked. When I started incorporating more than just reading medical journals, life improved. When I started taking advantage of the social aspect life blew up…in a good way. Loving family, friends that I would jump for at the drop of a hat (out of love, not fear), spending less time on social media and being more social in life. Time is short. I have been a meathead for the past 15 years and focused so much on the “physical dimensions” of my life that it overpowered the other dimensions. I remember working at Sam’s club (8298 represent) and being so engrossed in school, work or gym that I was inept socially. I couldn’t have a conversation unless it revolved around one of those three topics. I was so far removed from any culture, either pop or otherwise that I was socially uncomfortable.




I will continue to edit this post over time, as this chapter requires more time devotion than previous studies.

Excerpts taken from the following:


Thompson CR. Prevention Practice: A Holistic Perspective for Physical Therapy. In: Prevention Practice: A Physical Therapist’s Guide to Health, Fitness, and Wellness. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Incorporated:2007.

Author: Dr. Vince Gutierrez, PT, cert. MDT

After having dedicated 8 years to growing my knowledge regarding the profession of physical therapy, it seems only fitting that I join the social media world in order to spread a little of the knowledge that I have gained over the years. This by no means is meant to act in place of a one-one medical consultation, but only to supplement your baseline knowledge in which to choose a practitioner for your problem. Having completed a Master of Physical Therapy degree, the MDT (Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy) certification and currently finishing a post-graduate doctorate degree, I have spent the previous 12 years in some sort of post-baccalalaureate study. Hopefully the reader finds the information insightful and uses the information in order to make more informed healthcare decisions. MISSION STATEMENT: My personal mission statement is as follows: As a professional, I will provide a thorough assessment of your clinical presentation and symptoms in order to determine both the provocative and relieving positions and movements. The assessment process and ensuing treatment will be based on current and relevant evidence. Furthermore, I will educate the patients regarding their symptoms and their likelihood of improving with either skilled therapy, an independent exercise program, spontaneous recovery or if the patient should be referred to a separate specialist to possibly provide a more rapid resolution of symptoms. Respecting the patient’s limited resources is important and I will provide an accurate overview of the prognosis within 7 visits, again based on current research. My goal is to empower the patient in order to take charge of both the symptomatic resolution and return to full function with as little dependence on the therapist as possible. Personally, I strive to be an example for family and friends. My goal is to demonstrate that success is not a byproduct of situations, but a series of choices and actions. I will mentor those, in any way possible, that are having difficulty with the choices and actions for success. I will continue to honor my family’s “blue-collar” roots by working to excel at my chosen career and life situations. I choose to be a leader of example, and not words, all the while reducing negativity in my life. I began working towards the professional aspect of the mission statement while still in physical therapy school. By choosing an internship that emphasized patient care and empowering the patient, instead of the internship that was either closest to home or where I knew that I would have the easiest road to graduation, I took the first step towards learning how to utilize the evidence to teach patients how to reduce their symptoms. I continued this process by completing Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy courses A-D and passing the credentialing exam. I will continue to pursue my clinical education through CEU’s on MDT and my goal is to obtain the status of Diplomat of MDT. Returning back to school for the t-DPT was a major decision for me, as resources (i.e. time and money) are limited. My choice was between saving money for the Dip MDT course (about 15,000 dollars) and continuing on with the Fellowship of American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) (about 5,000 dollars), as these courses are paired through the MDT curriculum or returning to school to work towards a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. I initially planned on saving for the Dip MDT and FAAOMPT, but life changes forced me to re-evaluate my situation. The decision then changed to return for the tDPT, as my employer paid for a portion of the DPT program. My goal for applying to and finishing the Dip MDT and FAAOMPT is 10 years. This is how long I anticipate that it will take to finish paying student loans and save for both programs, based on the current rate of payment. I don’t know if I will ever accomplish what I set forth in the mission statement, but I do know that it will be a forever struggle to maintain this standard that I set for myself.

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