What Type of Movement Specialist are You?

Within all the professions that are considered Movement Specialists, some might be categorized as practitioners sought out primarily when there is pain or loss of function. Pain is a starting point and resolution is the goal.

Another group might be thought of as those that train to improve and enhance existing function.  Preventing pain is the goal, but pain may occur as training progresses.

In either case, the loss of function (dysfunction) creating the pain must be addressed.

In either case, the Principles and Strategies of Applied Functional Science® (AFS) are the same and provide the basis for selecting the movement techniques / exercises.

Offer a Solution to Pain & Patient Dysfunction

Practitioners of Applied Functional Science® have the movement “tools” to not only identify dysfunction at the source of the pain, but more importantly to identify asymptomatic dysfunction at other locations in the body that is causing the pain.

At the Gray Institute we call these asymptomatic causes “probable suspects”.  Gary Gray calls this the S-C-C model of practice, and he implores us all to become biomechanical detectives.

Attention must be directed at the Symptoms, the Compensations, but most importantly the Causes. 

More often than not, the CAUSE of the symptoms is not in the tissue that is experiencing the symptoms.  Relief from symptoms is certainly important to the client, but identifying and eliminating the asymptomatic causes is the only way to allow that person to return to, or enhance, their previous level of function.

Identify Patient Dysfunction Quickly

The most efficient way to identify the asymptomatic dysfunctions (and effects on the symptoms) is to employ global movements that elicit interactions between the different bone, joints, and muscles. In AFS this is the Chain Reaction Principle.

Tasks are created that utilize different body segments to drive the global movement.  In AFS this is the Movement is Driven Principle.

The practitioner analyzes how the driven movement is decelerated and then accelerated.  This is the Load and Explode Principle.

These movement tasks are created for all three planes.  This is the AFS Principle of 3D.

The Principles of human movement described above (and others) form the basis of strategies for identifying dysfunction.

With so many possible CAUSES, the challenge is great.

It becomes obvious that movement practitioners need a simple strategy to allow the body to show us where it moves effectively and efficiently, and where it does not.

3DMAPS was created for just this purpose.  3DMAPS incorporates all the Principles of AFS to utilize movements that challenge the body while making it difficult to compensate for and hide the asymptomatic dysfunctions that we seek to identify.  3DMAPS integrates with and complements any assessment program.

Chain Reaction

Six global movements (called chains) are created using the feet to produce a lunge while the hands are driven to create arms swings.  Two movements for each plane, driven by the hands and feet, create a Chain Reaction that identifies the amount of available motion in the different joints that the body can, or is willing to, incorporate into the global movement (Mobility).  Then the chains are “tweaked” to determine if the body can control the motions during the load and explode (Stability).

Solution to Patient Dysfunction

At the Gray Institute, one of our favorite maxims is: “the test is the exercise and the exercise is the test”.

Once the dysfunctions (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) are identified, the same global movements are strategically tweaked based on the relative success demonstrated during the 6 chain movements.  Different tweaks have been utilized to create a series of progressions that serve as the basis of the Performance Training System of 3DMAPS.

Help Clients Identify & Overcome Pain

The techniques presented in Gray Institute’s Applied Functional Science courses (including Chain Reaction & 3DMAPS) allow Movement Specialists – Physical Therapists, Strength & Conditioning Coaches, Personal Trainers – to identify patient dysfunction.

Interested in Learning More?

Our Content Library allows you to view over 65 videos by Gary Gray and others on the principles of Applied Functional Science. View our AFS channel (to view these videos, please log into your Gray Institute account or sign up – we’re offering a free 30 Day Trial!)