The human frame is one of the most complex and unique systems on earth. The more it is studied the more we think we know about how it works, adapts, and recovers.
The Performance for Life Method™ has been assembled from years of clinical observation and studying the research to answer the basic question … Why?
For over two decades, Dr. John Downes has been a recognized name in the field of performance and sports chiropractic. His many years of practice, teaching, and working with world class athletes, led to the research and development of the Performance for Life Method ™.
Dr. Downes’ training and reputation have made him truly an expert and he is sought after worldwide to teach others with extremity adjusting certification programs not only in the US, but England, Ireland, Portugal, Central America and China. Because of his knowledge and finely tuned skills he has been asked to care for Olympic teams, professional athletes, and a multitude of collegiate athletes.
The common denominator for every athlete is how to optimize performance. This was the catalyst that led Dr. Downes to develop the Performance for Life Method™ – a standardized assessment methodology that enables practitioners to help every kind of athlete that comes to them for help- from the weekend warrior to the true professional and even those whose “athletic event” is everyday life.
What sets Dr. Downes’ method apart from others is that he brings optimizing performance to a new level by integrating biomechanical, neuromuscular, and soft tissue aspects of the human frame.
For years, as Dr. Downes was working with elite and professional athletes, he noticed that when clients presented with lower extremity complaints (primarily foot/ankle), they also exhibited instability or dysfunction in the opposite upper quadrant. In fact, the upper extremity in these athletes often showed marked asymptomatic weakness and soft tissue adaptations despite no history of previous injury.
After observing this phenomenon consistently for years, Dr. Downes realized he needed a different system of logic to match what he was seeing in patients. It was time to take chiropractic, and re-envision how to use it to address the kinetic chain dysfunction from a ‘global perspective’.
While exploring possible theories to explain the global compensation pattern, Dr. Downes uncovered a research article by Lephart and Fu which discussed the outcomes of grade 1 ankle injuries. In short, these researchers found approximately a 30% recurrence of ankle sprain to the same ankle, long after the initial ankle injury healed. They theorized that the underlying cause of re-injury was due to “residual proprioceptive deficit.” When a proprioceptive deficit exists, there was a resultant decrease in neuromuscular control and a loss of joint position sense in the ankle joint. It looked like the functional instability in the ankle perpetuated the likelihood of re-injury to the same ankle joint.
Dr. Downes applied Lephart and Fu’s single joint theory to his own ‘global’ theory based on central nervous system integration and motor cortex processing. What evolved was a new theory; Dr. Downes began to test the idea that a residual proprioceptive deficit could be integrated into the CNS and as a result of the inefficient processing by the brain, a relative disconnect or imbalance between the brain and the body would become evident. It was a new turn on the old adage ‘garbage in, garbage out!’ Corrupted output from the CNS would be expressed in the body as a decrease in neuromuscular control and a weakness. His research proved to be correct. Furthermore, failure of the CNS to efficiently control the body also showed up as soft tissue adaptations, called substitutionary global recruitment patterns. Dr Downes also showed that ‘global’ loss of efficiency often presented in a ‘reciprocal limb pattern’.
Dr. Downes set about using his PFL Method™ to help evaluate the CNS, as it is the lowest common denominator in both symptomatic and asymptomatic weakness in the body. What evolved was a standardized ‘global assessment’ method designed to ‘measure’ the level of a patient’s neurological efficiency. Dr. Downes also used his discovery in a revolutionary way, he not only used the assessment feedback but he combined it with the reciprocal limb syndrome hypothesis to create a program to find and clear the corrupted pattern for the patient.
The end result is Dr. Downes’ internationally recognized global thinking and assessment strategy known as the Performance For Life Method™.