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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Chek Diet’

Interview with Leigh Brandon (Chek Practitioner – BodyChek)

Monday, April 12th, 2010

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This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Leigh Brandon one of the leading Chek practitioners in the UK.  Leigh has been involved in wellbeing for a number of years and has held a wide variety of positions within the industry.  He has a great outlook on how to improve wellbeing and has his own consultancy BodyChek which is well worth a look.

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TG: Hi Leigh, thanks for being interviewed.  Could you start off by telling us a little about your background in the wellbeing industry?

LB: Sure! I started back in 1996 having completed a Certification in Health/Fitness Instruction and Personal Training with the ACSM. Soon after qualifying, I helped a friend of mine with her training and she went on to win the Danish Ms Fitness title in 1997. In 1997 I went to off to Australia and worked as a personal trainer in Sydney and then in Perth. In 1998, I returned to England and worked in a leisure centre in Hertfordshire with a team of freelance trainers. After two years I felt I needed to work in an environment that was more conducive to developing my skills and so I joined Holmes Place Health Clubs in 1999. It was there I first worked with a CHEK trained professional which dramatically changed the way I worked. From 1999 to 2004 my position at Holmes Place went from personal trainer to personal training manager to regional personal training manager to fitness manager to academy trainer. The last two years was spent training the personal trainers and managing the personal training business for 18 clubs across the UK. I continued to see a small number of clients during this time. In 2001, I took the CHEK Level I Certification and it turned my view of exercise upside down.  From that point I began working with back pain patients and was very successful straight away helping people to eradicate their pain. In 2004, I started my own company BodyCHEK.  Today, I incorporate a number of different skills into my work. These skills include holistic lifestyle coaching, metabolic typing®, functional diagnostic nutrition™, golf biomechanics, strength and conditioning, BodyTalk™ and sports massage. Most of my current clients come to me to help them with low energy, digestive disorders or chronic injuries.

TG: You are a Chek trained professional, can you tell us a little about this and how you approach things differently to the average personal trainer?

LB: The main difference in how I work compared to a personal trainer would be the assessment and programme design procedure. Before I see a client they are required to complete a whole series of questionnaires which take 10 days to complete. When I receive the questionnaires, I analyse their answers, beginning to build a picture of what might be the cause of their health challenge. I then print a graph showing me which systems are our of balance and require attention. I then prepare potential strategies that the client will need to follow to be successful. During the initial consultation, I spend 90 minutes goal setting, understanding the clients’ core values, understanding what has caused their problems and agreeing a plan to help them be successful. A two to four hour physical assessment is carried out, which includes postural assessment, length-tension relationships, movement assessment, and assessment of breathing, vision, vestibular function, upper cervical spine, viscera and mental/emotional issues. The length and complexity of the assessment process is vital as the body is a system of inter-related systems which can all affect each other. This is followed by the programme design which takes me about 2 hours. My clients are then coached to follow an exercise, nutrition and lifestyle plan and given any specific referrals that I feel are necessary to achieve success. I refer about 90% of my clients to allied health professionals. My clients are given a 15 page manual and a DVD with all their stretches and exercises on so they do not need to have weekly exercise sessions as most clients tend to with a personal trainer. My clients are re-assessed every 4-8 weeks and I tend to see them every two weeks for a 30 minute coaching session (in person or via the internet) to ensure they are able to incorporate all the necessary lifestyle changes into their busy lifestyle and to help them overcome any challenges.

TG: You are also a Function Diagnostic Nutritionist; can you tell us a little about how you use this to help your clients?

LB: Yes, sure. Many people have ongoing problems for many years and often times their Doctor is unable to find out what is wrong with them. Using Functional Diagnostic Nutrition™ (FDN) I become a detective for the body. My job is to find out the ‘cause’ of their health challenge. I use saliva, urine and stool tests to establish my clients’ hormonal levels, oxidative stress levels (free radical damage), liver stress, and whether they have ‘leaky gut’ or any fungal or bacteria overgrowths or parasite infections. I then help my clients normalise their hormones, support the cells and liver, repair any leaky gut and eradicate any infections using a combination of specific nutritional, lifestyle, supplemental and detox protocols.  It’s all about addressing the cause of the problem and not treating the symptoms.

TG: How do Metabolic Typing® and FDN™ help clients who are looking for weight loss?

LB: That would be a good title for a book, but I’ll try to keep it brief! Weight loss is such a complex subject. It’s not just a matter of consuming fewer calories than you expend. The body is controlled by a number of fundamental homeostatic control  systems (FHCs). When these control systems are working effectively or are ‘in balance’, you have health. When any of these systems are out of balance, then compensations occur and the body is pushed out of balance. One of the symptoms that can occur is excess body fat. Metabolic Typing® recognises 10 FHCs. Two of the three primary control systems are the oxidative system and the autonomic nervous system. In each of us the oxidative system or the autonomic nervous system is dominant. In a minority their ‘dominance factor’ switches between the two systems. What this basically means is that based on your metabolic type®, you can eat a specific diet that will help to balance your FHCs by supporting the weaker side of either your oxidative system or the autonomic nervous system. Balance your FHCs and your body weight normalises. However, there are other FHCs. Another is Steroid Hormone Balancing (SHB). Of particular importance is the balance between Cortisol (stress hormones) and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the precursor to your sex hormones. It is well established that there is a link between a person’s Cortisol/DHEA ratio and the function of a number of crucial systems in the body. If the Cortisol/DHEA ratio is out of its optimal range it will affect fat and protein metabolism, endocrine function, detoxification, immune regulation and carbohydrate metabolism which all effect body fat levels. The Cortisol/DHEA ratio is affected when there is excessive long term stress on the body. FDN allows me to establish where the stress is coming from. It could be hidden internal stress like parasites or external stress like the chemicals in someone’s cosmetic products or a combination of many internal and external stressors. So I follow a process to help people reduce body fat. I get them to eat the right foods and eliminate the wrong foods for their metabolic type. Get them eating organic food. Fine tune their ratios of fat, protein and carbohydrates at each meal, introduce high quality appropriate supplementation, identify blocking factors (stressors) and optimise enhancing factors like getting to bed on time, meditating and getting time in the sun. I teach my clients that you get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.

TG: What are the first three things you tell an individual to do who is looking for weight loss and why?

LB: What I don’t do is tell the same thing to every body. We are all different and the reason one person is overweight will be different from the next. It really depends on the wrong choices that people are making. Someone might be exercising well, but consistently putting on weight. It wouldn’t make sense to tell them to do more exercise. You have to find the ‘blocking factors’ and help the client to overcome the ‘blocking factors’. I’ll tell you what I believe is the most important factor, ‘the mind’. Thoughts become things and if you are always thinking about being fat or losing fat, you are giving energy to being ‘fat’. I could get quite deep here, but suffice to say, it is our unconscious minds that run our behaviours 95-99% of the day. These behaviours are set up in the first seven years of life and remain in place for life. Unfortunately today, many people have an unconscious behaviour pattern that leads to ill health of some sort. There are a number of ways in which someone can re-write these behaviour patterns. I use a number of techniques including BodyTalk™, art therapy, poetry and meditation. Clinical hypnosis is very effective too.

TG: What are the common issues you find with overweight clients?

LB: There are few. These are generalisations, but my observations have shown most of the factors below to be true in most overweight people I have worked with. I find overweight clients don’t know what makes them truly happy. They do not know what their purpose in life is and they often times do not have big goals to achieve in life. As Paul Chek says, “If your dream is big enough, you don’t need a crisis”. I also often find that they were either abused as a child or found they got more attention as a child if they were sick, so they have what’s called ‘an illness currency’. They also tend to go to bed too late and are always stressed and take little time out for themselves. Many are workaholics and dislike being on their own in a quiet environment. They also have a strong dislike for themselves. They often are dehydrated, eat too many carbohydrates, have a number of food sensitivities, have Adrenal fatigue, often have leaky gut and a fungal or bacterial overgrowth and/or a parasite infection

TG: What kind of strategies can you put in place to overcome these?

LB: Most of the answers to the previous questions give you your answer. To put it in another way, I help my clients to put the ‘Foundational Factors of Health’ in place. The six factors are: Positive Thoughts, Breathing, Hydration, Nutrition, Movement and Sleep. These are controllable lifestyle factors that each of us needs to put in place on a daily basis as a foundation. I tell my clients that building a strong, healthy, energetic body is like building a skyscraper. The stronger the foundations the taller and more resistant the skyscraper will be. A skyscraper without strong foundations in doomed to failure.

TG: What do you feel that the NHS should be doing to combat the obesity problem in the UK?

LB: That’s a big question! I’ll try to keep it short. The first thing is that people need to take responsibility for themselves. Before people can do this, they need correct information. The public need to be educated on the truth around subjects such as nutrition, not the ridiculous food guide pyramid which we know makes people fat and unhealthy. Organisations such as the Price Pottinger Nutrition Foundation and the Soil Association should be used to educate people. I believe that ALL chronic degenerative diseases (obesity is one of them) should not be treated by tax payers’ money. I believe the NHS should be called ‘The National Medical Service’ (NMS) and provide emergency, paediatric, obstetric, congenital, accident and emergency and geriatric care paid for by the tax payer. All chronic degenerative diseases should be the responsibility of the individual. If someone chooses to live an unhealthy lifestyle, then they need to take responsibility for that. If they are overweight, they can either hire a health coach or pay for medical care. It may sound harsh, but you can only heal yourself and before you can heal yourself, you need to take responsibility for yourself. I also believe that Doctors should be paid on the improvement of health of their patients. A suggestion might be a basic salary of £30,000 per year with a bonus of £100,000 per year. The bonus would be performance-related based on the level of health improvement of their patients. This would shift the current focus from ‘waiting times’ to ‘actual health’.

TG: What can the individual do to ensure that they are eating good quality foods?

LB: Buy organic! If they live in the UK, buy Soil Association approved organic. The one exception would be fish. I suggest buying ‘wild’ fish, not organic because organic fish are farmed and fed unnatural feed, even though it is organic feed. Also, when buying meats, ensure it is free-range and when buying beef ensure it is grass fed only.

TG: Tell us a bit about what the future holds for you Leigh?

LB: Well, I’m certainly going to continue to live my dream by helping people to achieve healthier, happier and more productive lives. I have a few ideas about writing some more books and I will continue to teach for the CHEK Institute. Playing tennis is my passion outside of work and I’m happy with my game right now. I am currently working with a few young tennis players and I hope to do more of that in the future. I also have a dream to open a natural, holistic health centre to help people to take control of their health following cancer surgery.

TG: Thanks for your time Leigh, and we wish you all the best for the future!

My pleasure!

Paul Chek: The Dirt Facts

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Hi all,

I would like to share with you some footage of a lecture by a very well respected individual, Paul Chek of the Chek Institute. Paul is a US based specialist in health, high performance and corrective exercise. He is constantly researching and developing his knowledge, which has allowed him through his industry training programs to help in the development of high caliber personal trainers across the world. Look out for a review of Paul’s new book, How to Eat Move and Be Healthy over the coming weeks.

The videos that I would like to share with you are all about nutrition, i have posted up the first three parts, if you would like to see the rest have a look at Paul’s Youtube Channel (link at end of this post). These really are the Paul Chek Diet!

To see the rest click here. Or to find out more about some great of Paul Chek’s awaome courses, books and DVD’s click here.

TOM