🔊 No need to adjust your volume; that's just Dr. Yass, Founder of The Yass Method, and his passion for helping people with chronic pain!
Dr. Mitchell Yass talks with us about his method for diagnosing and treating pain by interpreting the body's presentation of symptoms and resolving them to normal function.
If you have been diagnosed with chronic pain, given medication, been sent for MRIs only to be told, "There's nothing more we can do" or "All we can do is manage the pain," this is the episode for you.
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Watch Dr. Yass PBS Special: "The Pain Prescription"
Interview with Dr. Mitchell Yass
*Text has been edited for clarity
Calla: Well, we love your passion. We love your passion. That was why we wanted to have you on here. So we're really, really thankful that you're here.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Oh, I appreciate any chance I have to spread the information. I assure you everything I say when you look at it is so logical, so pure, and it's understanding that it can't be disputed. And yet, when you look at what happens to people are literally coerced into surgery. They are never told they are never presented the information that says, well, from an analytical perspective, I can see that I need the surgery. No, the person says, Go get three other opinions. We're all gonna say the same thing. Whether it's true or not, as a rule, your friends are going to say, well, you should get it because everybody gets it. And so they ended up getting this thing, not because it was justified, but because they were pressured into it. And guess what happens when it doesn't work? Everybody walks away from the person. The doctor says, Oh, my surgery was perfect. A friend say, I don't know what to tell you. I thought it was the right thing. And where's the person left crippled? And there's no justification for this. Now, it's a little sick, that I'm the only one who seems to have figured this out. Trust me. It's screwed me up pretty bad mentally. But I come out on the other side, thank God, and I've gained my sanity, but
Leanne: I'm sure there's a surgery for that as well.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Probably Probably all the right medication. But this has to be made available. It just has to be.
Calla:Yeah. Well, I want to go back to kind of the beginning what what led you to become a physical therapist? I was on your newly renovated site and, and your About Me section it says it's been a 20 year odyssey of exploration and discovery to get you to this point. Can you kind of explain what that means?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Yeah. So to understand how I got here, you literally have to go back to my childhood, so I was the 99 pound weakling. The guy who got sand kicked in his face, very, very bad self esteem issues. I used to literally be panic stricken walking to high school for fear that I was going to be beaten up. And so it really affected me mentally. And I said, you know, I got to change myself or I'm not going to survive. And I said, What is the thing I hate about myself, and I realized it was how thin I was. So I decided I was going to try to lift weights from 19 to 26. I try. And I guess my metabolism was fast, and I just couldn't put weight on. And at the time I did whatever the guy does, he wants to get muscle mass, you look at Joe Weider magazines, Arnold Schwarzenegger stuff. Well, eventually, I said, I'm going to take a high school physics course, and apply physics to weightlifting, I'm going to understand four sectors, fulcrum, lever arms, kinetic energy, and literally apply it to what I'm doing to say, what is the right position, the end? What is the optimal position I should be in to push against the resistance. And over four years, I put on 40 pounds of muscle, I go from 160 pounds to 200 pounds? Well, at the time, I was in my first career, I was a project manager and construction. That's what I thought I was supposed to do. So as I got through that, five, six years into it, I kind of became disillusioned, I didn't see any enjoyment in doing it. So I quit that. And I found out about this thing called physical therapy. And I was like, you know, you get to work on people's bodies. But you don't have to go through the full extent of the curriculum, the education to be a doctor, to be a physician. I was like, this sounds good. By the way, physical therapy courses are the same as medical courses. We take anatomy, neuroanatomy, kinesiology, all the same stuff, right? So you're in the class, and you're learning it. And some of the stuff they're saying is just like, just doesn't really make sense to me. So finally, you get to the end of your education, which is where you're going to be you're going to do affiliation. So you're now for the first time you have someone in front of someone is in front of you saying, I'm in pain, I can't live my life, you need to make this better. And the average person takes their curriculum and says, Oh, the MRI said you have a meniscal tear. Well, we were educated to do this. Well, I just asked what I thought was the most obvious question when they were standing in front of me, could you just tell me what your pain is. And they would point, this is where my pain is. And when they pointed to where their pain was, it became obvious that that place where they were pointing, was not where the pain should be. If the MRI identified structural variation, what to create pain. So for instance, a person is told they have knee pain, they're complaining of pain around their kneecap, they get an MRI, and it says they have a meniscus tear, causing their pain because it was found for the first time at the time they're having their pain asserted to be the cause. So they say, okay, the cause of your pain is a miniscus tear. So there we need to treat that. The problem is, is that the knee joint is comprised of two joints, the joint between the thigh bone and the lower leg bone, and the joint between the kneecap and the thighbone. Well, the meniscus lies in the joint between the thigh bone and lower leg bone. So it can't create pain at the joint between the kneecap and the thigh bone. It is literally physically impossible and yet everybody in their mother has been told that the pain around the kneecap is coming from this meniscal tear. Well, if you understand that that can possibly be, you got to make a decision. Treat the meniscus like you were educated or treat the pain the person's having. And I start going and treating people's pain and I started recognizing Holy shit. Everybody seems to be describing muscular causes. And what an amazing opportunity. I just taught myself for years, how to strengthen every muscle in the body through the laws of physics. I think I'm gonna try and use that. And I start to use it and I'm talking about in my affiliations, and my first year graduating, and I'm getting people better in a treatment and two treatments. And I'm like, oh my god, I'm onto something. There is something real, this isn't in my head. I'm gonna follow this process out. And over the last 28 years, I basically enhance the understanding of the ability to use this to basically resolve 98% of cases of pain from head to toe. That's the answer. That's how it started at the beginning. And I've never deviated from it.
Leanne: And I can attest to your message too, because I'm a personal trainer, most of my clients are in their 50s and 60s, and I went into it with a Kinesis degree, I got my NASM certification, but it's you know, it's, nothing's the same as when you actually get in front of people and start working with them. I was realizing every single person I was training had some kind of chronic pain. And their doctors were just telling them, take Advil, get this steroid shot, oh, eventually, you're going to need a surgery, but we'll hold off as long as possible. Just see how long you can take the pain. I had to take a corrective exercise certification. Just it's kind of the Cliff's Notes version of what your message is saying. Strengthen the weak areas, add mobility to the program. And it's amazing, amazing the results you can give people and the best part is when they forget about the pain that they came in to see you with.So I can attest to that. It's almost like I mean, it's not magic. There's obviously science behind it. But I'm just shocked at this isn't a core message for people because everyone's struggling with pain, it seems like.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Well, if you want to look at the numbers, 130 million Americans, roughly 1 billion people worldwide. Think of those numbers. There's no other medical issue that matches that depth of problem. And think about this concept. If there's a billion people worldwide suffering from chronic pain, you think they're just bad healers, they just somehow didn't get the right treatment but it's the right diagnosis, they definitely picked the right tissue to address it's just they haven't quite found the right way to treat and you think that's the answer. Clearly, there's a systemic problem. The systemic problem began at the advent of use of the MRI in diagnosing the cause of pain. Does everyone understand chronic pain never existed in the history of mankind. Chronic pain began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which was followed by the opioid epidemic, which began in the early 1990s. That's when this began. So you have to say to yourself, What changed? What is that the core of why chronic pain exists? Well, the answer is technology, automation, advancements in the way things are done to where not just retired people don't use their bodies as much as they should 20 year olds don't use their bodies as much as they should. Chronic pain isn't just an issue of sustained pain for a specific age population. It's the entire population from the 20s to the 90s. So you have to say why the answer is because automation let the lack of use of the body to where when you do want to try to use your muscles, they're not prepared. So they strain and elicit pain, you then go on seek care through the medical system, which uses MRI, to construct structural variations. By the way, I hope everybody listening realizes the muscular causes responsible for 98% of cases cannot show up on MRIs. And there are no medical specialists educated or trained to identify this. So you get treated for a specific tissue in the acute phase, which happens to be the wall tissue, which allows the true tissue in distress to remain in distress, eliciting your pain, basically indefinitely, which is the description of chronic pain. It is an oxy moron, those two words should never go together. Pain should always be resolved. In the acute phase, if you get the right diagnosis, the right tissue and resolve the distress of that tissue.
Leanne: I want to know for our listeners, you talked about the four primary ways that muscle causes pain. And can you talk about those and why they wouldn't necessarily show up in an MRI.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Sure, absolutely. So let's go through, I'm going to give you specific examples of people that I've treated. And this is the situation they find themselves, I'll show you the path that they ended up going into going through the medical system versus my system, the average person who gets paid right here in the upper tract. Let's say you know, you're obsessed with your iPhone or your iPad and just can't stop looking at it which is, you know, become the way of now. Everybody, right? So it kind of looked at me from the side. What happens when I do this, I ended up bringing my head forward. So what happened was the natural way the body works is that way that the head should be supported by the cervical spine. By creating this forward head posture. It's creating a load that wasn't designed to work so certain muscles that support the shoulder and shoulder blade which also then connect the shoulder blade to the neck and the head overworking breakdown. Ultimately, this muscle is taking below beyond what other muscles should be taking but aren't. And that's why it strains in elicit pain. How would you know it's muscle? What would be one of the corroborating facts other than I have pain right there? Well, what if I was to press right on that spot? And clearly, I'm not pressing on your spine, right? I think everyone acknowledges I'm not on your spine,
Leanne: between the neck and the shoulder.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: So I press on this spot. And you say, Oh, yes, yes, that's it. That's my pain. That's cool point tender pay, which is to say the tissue I'm pressing on, is the tissue eliciting my pain. Now, if that was public, through me, a guy who understands muscle and the recognition of a mechanism, then we're going to treat you by addressing the particular muscles required, you're going to do strength training, cause the particular muscles that are weakened without the greater resistances, thereby getting them strong enough to have a greater force output than the force requirements of your activities, and your pain free or fully functional. If you delusionally, enter the medical system, this area is considered part of the cervical spine. So you're gonna get an MRI, and it's gonna find a herniated disc in c4 and c5, and they're gonna say this is coming from that. Now, if that were true, where would I have to press to incite spine? That's right, I have the press on your spine at the C four or five level and you say, Oh, I just felt that dude, there? Well, you could have anybody you want for the rest of your life press on your seat belt by the area, and you're never going to feel that shoot there. Because it's not referred it's point tender, which proved that the tissue I was pressing on, which happened to be a muscle was the tissue in distress. So that poor person upon getting traction, and going for physical therapy and getting chiropractic adjustments and taking prednisone and all these other things will be pulled, you need a laminectomy which is taking a piece of the bone away, and that's not gonna work. Oh, I'm sorry, you're gonna need a fusion. And that's one level of fusion. Oh, that didn't work out, no problem will go to a two level, three level. Oh, that didn't work. Okay, well, now you got to go on pain medicine, because I don't know what else to tell you. So you're going to be on pain management, which is synthetic heroin. So you get addicted to that or you say I get sick from that. Okay, what's left for you? There's nothing we can do for you. So that person ends up living with pain for the rest of their life, never having life. Why? Because nobody in the medical system could recognize the most blindingly obvious issue that they just strained a couple of muscles. That's the way the system works.
Leanne: That point tender pain you're referring to? Is it also called a trigger point. Have you heard of okay, good,
Dr. Mitchell Yass: good trigger point. So people like to use that phrase. trigger point just means that there's a high density of pain receptors in a spot. That's why it triggers pain. Okay, you're into muscle, which is good. So let's talk about muscle. Let's talk about what a muscle looks like normally, and what a muscle looks like when it's strange, because this will answer that question, because there are doctors, whose main purpose is to inject saline solution into your trigger points. So that is the one area of the medical field that believes that muscle can be the cause. But their answer is injecting saline solution into it. So they're never going to address the issue.
Leanne: What would injecting saline solution do?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: They think it diffuses what you just described. It diffuses the trigger point, But there's a reason that the trigger point developed, right? So diffusing it what does that mean? Unless you resolve the cause of something, the symptom always returns. So you could go to a massage therapist from here to eternity and they could break that knot up. But guess what, you see that muscle was needed for function. You kind of didn't resolve your muscular deficits yet. So take a wild guess what's gonna happen. It's gonna be strained again, and the trigger point returns. So you have to understand what happens our muscles basically comprised of two proteins called Actin and Myosin, and under an electron microscope, literally, one looks like this billion golf balls and what looks like a billion golf clubs. The golf club grabs the golf ball and pulls, grabs and pulls. So you have a billion golf balls grabbing the billion golf clubs. It's called the sliding filament theory, so when I go like that, and I go like that, what you're seeing are the golf clubs grabbing the golf balls and shortening, well, that's obviously going to create a lot of irritation. So you need a fluid and lubrication, it's called sarcoplasmic. So that's the way the muscle works. Now, every one of your joints, has joint capsule surrounding it and ligaments, and they actually have the kind of receptors on there. So gravity is pushing down on you. And these receptors can sense how much force is applied for you. So when you go to lift something where you stand, it's not magic, that your body knows how much what's being applied to you, it's reading it, all muscles have these little springs in them. And they measure how much force or muscle can create. So the reason you stand when you want to stand and not jump or fall is because the receptors in your joint capsule of seeing outward force being applied to you, the springs are measuring how much they're pushing up. And when they're equal, you stand. That's why you stand. It's because you literally have these two measures occurring, it's not, emotion, it's not mental, it's mechanical, it's really happening. So when you go to do something, let's say you need to have your head held up, but you're going to reach for something. If the brain senses that this spring is measuring not enough force output in the muscle, compared to the force of gravity that you have to push against, it thinks you're gonna tear the muscle. So the brain says I can't let you tear the muscle that's suicide. So it takes the fluid that was acting as a lubricant to converts it to Elmers Glue, it binds the fiber together. When you bind the fiber together, the force output of the muscle cannot be as great as it is. So straining the muscle is the body's attempt to prevent against airing a muscle, the development of the knot or the trigger point, whatever you want to call it, is occurring because the body is saying I need to keep that muscle less forceful, so much so that it won't create a force that can lead it to tear because I know its requirement is greater than what it can do. So what you need to do is you can go through the process of massaging, or you know they have these Thera guns now and the rolling is a billion dollar business, I got all that concept. It's nice to make money, God bless everybody. But what do any of those things due to the core issue? How is your brain going to sense that the force output of that muscle is greater than the force requirement that the activity so that it doesn't think it's going to tear, you got to cause the muscle to adapt to greater and greater resistances, you got to cause the muscle to get stronger. Finally, at that point, the spring in the muscle says I got this, you don't have to worry, I can do the activity, you're not gonna have to worry about retearing, you don't have to strain me, I maintained perfect quality of my muscle and when good to go. That's the essence of what's happening in the body every time someone has been associated with muscle. There is a legitimate mechanism of understanding forces that are occurring in your body. Every one of the things I talk about are based on empirical learning. So I told you I made this up literally as I'm graduating, and I have nothing to go on based on theory. So I said, Well, think of this. Let's say that your quad is weak, you strained your quad. I checked the plot, if I present you a quad, it's painful. If I muscle tested, it's weak. And if I flexibility test it's short, and I found that that was a factor in let's say someone having knee pain, so I massage the knot that you described the trigger point, and I melted out I literally feel within my fingers that there is no more not there. I then press on the muscle, it's not painful anymore. I check it's the less output it's greater. And I check its flexibility and it's greater. And I said I don't understand what the hell did I just do? How do they make muscles stronger and more flexible, and I didn't stretch it to strengthen it. So I had to come up with a theory because people coming in the door. I gotta keep trying to treat them. And I want to know that what I'm doing is right, so I created this theory. And it's irrefutable, it literally will be replicated every single time I do it.
Leanne: And is that because once you massage out that pain point, they're not perceiving it as painful anymore so they're able to put more force.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: So remember we talked about that that glue binds the fiber together, it's bunching the fiber. If that's what you feel, it's harder. The knot is harder. Well, pain receptors run along the length of a fiber. So let's say that a muscle fiber was supposed to be this long, and it has pain receptors on it. Now I bunched the fiber up, didn't I just take those pain receptors and concentrate them it was polar area. Yeah, that's what ignites pain. So if I then massage it, and then suddenly release it, I just brought it back to its optimal length again. And therefore the 10 A receptors are diffused. And well, if I press on the muscle, it doesn't elicit pain.
Leanne: And all that just takes seconds and minutes.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: It's seconds.
Leanne: So a lot of the stuff you're doing is via zoom, now, are you getting the person to do this on themselves?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Oh, so Okay, so that's okay. The next point is, is it required to achieve the goal of the method through massage? The answer is no. And the reason is, because what is at the core of why the person's having their pain, the force output of the specific muscles eliciting the symptom is less than the fourth requirement. So as long as I achieve that, through progressive resistance, they will eventually get a force output which is greater and stop the brain from thinking that it needs to strain in the muscle. So massage is like putting the method on steroids and speeding the process up, but it is not a requirement to resolve pain.
Leanne: So it's mostly low level resistance training to get that?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Well, I wouldn't say low level.
Leanne: I guess low level as in, not lifting a ton of weight.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: So in terms of the resistance is used, you have to use what is known as the for perceived exertion. Everyone always asked me the same question. I'm gonna do a session with you what color band should I buy? I don't, there is no, it's it's any band, any band you want, what we're gonna do is we're gonna use it in a mechanism that develops the right resistance view. And that is to say that you're gonna do 10 repetitions. And at the end of the 10 repetitions, I'm gonna say, How hard do you think this is zero to 1010 feels like you're going to tear a muscle zero feels like nothing. Eight is the equivalent of if I said, Could you do an 11th? Or 12th? You'd say yes, but that would be pretty odd. Five feels like if I said, could you do 15 or 16, you would say yes. So we start with an exertion level of eight, eight represents 80% of your maximum effort, it has been established that at 80% of your maximum effort, you can get the most amount of strength with the least chance of injury. So you're going to stay with a set resistance that you established for the exertion level of eight, you're then going to use that. Your muscles are gonna know that they're going to get stronger, but that exertion level is going to go down to five. Once it's gone down to five, it's a representation that at that set resistance, your muscle was adapted, so much, so you can now get it to apply to greater resistance. So now you're either going to move two inches away from the attachment point to the door, where you're going to shrink the size of the loop two inches, and you're going to bring the exertion level up to eight, you stay there with that set resistance until your muscles adapt, you go down to an exertion level of five, you increase the resistance again, that is the basis of progressive resistance.
Leanne: And that that sounds like physical therapy at its purest, I mean, physical therapy is movement therapy, right?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Yes
Leanne: I guess I, I feel like a lot of doctors. Their answer is to restrict range of motion and restrict the exercises that you're doing. But then they send them to physical therapy and they're taking them through ranges of motion and doing specific movements.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Right.
Leanne: So what makes this so quick for people to respond?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: So go to the American Physical Therapy Association website, you're going to see that it describes physical therapy as palliative care. Palliative care means that it is not designed to resolve the cause establish result and cause a pain. It is designed to minimize symptoms just as massage and acupuncture. So that's number one. Number two, show me in the doctorate level physical therapy curriculum where Weightlifting 101 is try to show me.
Leanne: There isn't?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: There isn't. That is correct. There's no such thing. Nothing has nothing to do with that. So then the next step is that what do you typically need? Certainly in the United States, to go through a physical therapist, you need a prescription a referral. The referral is from a neurologist or an orthopedist. How did they get that diagnosis? Oh MRI, which found what? A herniated disc, stinosis, arthritis, and meniscal tear, a structural variation. So they refer you to physical therapy based on a diagnosis which came from an MRI which could only find structural variations. Remember muscular causes don't show up. So you go and you're told to get physical therapy for a meniscal tear, a tear of the meniscus. What's the physical therapist going to do about the meniscal tear? Is he going to do a seance over you? Is he going to light candles? What exactly do they plan on doing to make the meniscal tear go away? Nothing. They're going to give you some generic nonsense exercise, which has no level of progressive resistance involved. And if you went and you saw 15 people, but you'd see 15 people doing the same exercise. So what they're doing is basically baseless calisthenics. Which don't work, which Oh, that's right. When it doesn't work, send you back to the orthopedist. He says, We tried something conservative, I say, we did our best. I know I'm a surgeon, but I don't like doing surgery. I just happen to do this for a living. So we tried everything to stop the surgery, but it didn't work. So are you willing now to get the surgery? So physical therapy is basically the default mechanism to justify surgery. That's the reality of it.
Calla: And then they send you back there after the surgery.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: That's correct. And it didn't work again. And guess what? angles on the left think? Well, in three or four months, it's now your right knee. Yeah, because post surgery, you have swelling and pain, which is limiting your weight bearing on the left. So now you excessively weight bearing on the right, strain the muscles around the right knee. Now you're having right knee pain, guess what's gonna happen now. About rupture, governments will tear on the right. Oh my God. Now you need surgery on the right. All of that doesn't work. And now you've got pain on the left side again, because now you've screwed your right side up for muscles. Now they're gonna do one of the hip and they're gonna find your bone on bone. Now you get a hip replacement. This preposition of alternating side pains, all alternating joint pains is constant. It is a constant globally. And you have to understand the mechanism that's going on. And the answer the sickest perverted part of this whole thing is, ask anybody about their pain. And they are going to say, when I stand, when I twist, when I bend, when I reach, when I kneel, I have pain. but as soon as I sit down, I don't have pain. So answer me this. Is stinosis of the spine, which the word stenios really means narrowing, Don't get afraid of the word, it just means shrinkage. Don't have a heart attack as the word is to those which is their intent, by the way, someone hears the word spondylolisthesis, you think you just died. Just hearing the word makes you die, Right? Spondylolisthesis means that the vertebrae shifts front to back a little bit. Well, guess what? I could show that happening in as many people without pain as with pain. So why do you think because it was found while you're in pain, it wasn't. It doesn't. It's meaningless. So the key is to use scary phrases, not attempting to explain it in a laypersons way. And because it's found for the first time at the time you're having your pain that becomes a cert by the way, you know what that's called correlative theory, junk science. So, I opened my front door, when the sun rises, I could say opening my front door causes the sun to rise, and I could have you both come to my house. And I'm gonna open my front door and you're gonna see sunrise, and over the next six months, I'm gonna have coffee for you can come over. And every day, I'm gonna open my front door, and you're gonna see that sunrise. This guy's God. He must be God. He can make the sunrise.
Leanne: How do we get this guy on our podcast?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Incredible, right?
Calla: How lucky are we?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: You see the insanity of that? Well, that's the essence of this. So my answer to you is, Would an MRI show for the first time that you have two elbows when you have pain? You do have two elbows? I think you both do. Yeah, checking. Yep, two elbows. So you have two levels when you have knee pain. Two elbows is the cause of your pain. I suggest you have your elbows.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: That's the same logic. Same exact logic. That's how sick this is. You can see obviously I get enraged.
Calla: Hadn't noticed.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: You must understand, This is blindingly obvious stuff. You can't deny this, you can't dispute this. It is a fact that the MRI is used based on correlative theory. And I'll give you the other side of this. The theory is that herniated disc cause pain, herniated disc cause pain, everyone in the planet if you said, hearniated discs cause pain, the planet would say, yes. Right. So, if that's true, then what should you find in people who don't have a perfect spine, no herniated discs. That's weird, because by 1994, 30 years ago, they did studies, the first study ever on people with no back pain, and 70% were found that herniated or bulging discs .
Dr. Mitchell Yass: That's right, 70%. But somewhere later on, they do a study and ready for this one? Over the age of 60 Those people who have no back pain 93% are found to have degenerative disc disease . 93%. So, think about this, you have pain. And they do an x ray. And this is a really common diagnosis. Oh, we found degenerative disc disease, you need to get that treated. So now knowing what I'm telling you what sounds possible that you have this morphed bizarro world degenerative disc disease that causes pain that's different than the other 93% of people with degenerative disc disease, that it doesn't cause pain? That's one possibility. Or the possibility is that you're one of the people that basically what they say 93% of the people who have pain, it's actually 93% of the population have it. whether you have pain or don't have pain, whether you have brown hair, or blue eyes, are six foot or five foot roughly 93% of the population have it, and the pain you're experiencing is simply another tissue that is approximated to this find. Which do you think makes more sense?
Leanne: The later.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Clearly, It's the latter. How did someone justify that there's a more special type of degenerative disc disease that causes pain, when 93% of people who don't have pain have it. It doesn't make any sense.
Leanne: I wanted to clarify something because you talked about the benefit of massage but you kind of laughed at the foam rolling industry. Are you anti foam roller? How would you use it?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: I'll put it to you this way. I don't give a shit. If you use crap to make it go away. I am not a masochist. I do not think that people should be in pain. But you can't sell a product and try to justify that it's resolving the cause of the problem. Don't sell people on electric stem units. Stop the bullshit. You're not helping anybody.
Leanne: So you're saying they're just band aids essentially?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Fix it. I can have you better in two weeks. Screw the stupid foam roller or any of this other crap. Would you like to not depend on that for the rest of your life? You know, many people have bought $10,000 beds.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: And all I had to do was resolve an imbalance between that quads in their hamstrings. And they're at a pain so much for the $10,000 that they pissed away. I'm a scientist you must understand. I am a scientist above my head, you will always see the words "establish cause, resolved cause," That's the only thing you should care about. That's what the system should be based on. While you're having pain, do whatever the hell you want to minimize it but shit get out of pain in the shortest period of time.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Don't keep using the thing that minimizes the symptom as the idea that you've done something to benefit it. I just had this fascinating discussion with a cousin who hurt herself and she fell. She hurt her but, she then goes to the doctor, the doctor is obviously completely lost and gives a prednisone. Which by the way is the inflammatory screw up every one of your organs taking that pretty standard time gave her a shot nothing works sentences with every one time the guy destroys, destroys the actually manipulated her in some way which she left crippled. And I said by the way, when the when you left did the guy say How you feeling? If I treated you? Wouldn't you think the logical question at the end of the treatment would be? Do you feel better?
Leanne: Yeah, the only question.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Never asked. There wasn't a nurse. She just looked literally crippled. So she comes out and as she's telling me she's like unending levels of believing something. And she actually said the words to me. And I was actually stunned when she said, I don't know if I'm getting better. What a fascinating, fascinating question. I don't know if I'm getting better or not.
Leanne: So I think that's very common.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: This is like perverted. This question. If you really get to it, you will understand why nobody gets better. Because all they're seeing is, is my symptom, intensifying or diminishing. That's what they're looking at. I say, symptom is the result of a tissue in distress. If you think you're getting better to find the tissue and define the intervention that you're using to make the distress of that disc go away. Taking aleave, what's the tissue in distress? None?
Leanne: Well, your liver now.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Well, in a short period of time, you're damn right. But do you want to understand why chronic pain exists? Its not just on the people providing the service that don't know what the hell's going on? It's the sociological programming that has convinced people to simply think, is the pain intensifying or getting worse, the pain is diminishing, I'm getting better. No, it's not. You're simply finding basking mechanisms to minimize it. That's all that's happening. The tissue in distress is still eliciting the distress signal. So let's say I, I don't know severed the nerves to your neck, the head, and you can't feel pain. And I light you on fire. Can you feel you're on fire? You would have no idea. But you're gonna die from big on fire. So let's all try to wrap our heads around the idea that pain is part of the body's feedback system that allows you to be aware that something isn't working the way it's supposed to. And guess what it is that tissue that's not working that's eliciting your symptom? It's not a general symptom. It's a symptom from that tissue. So every time you have the symptom, you feel anything. If you want to be smart, protecting yourself you from now on say, oh, something's not right. What does this mean? What tissue would be in a position to create that symptom? So I could determine is there distressed? And do I need an intervention? I mean, I could go to the most simplest point, why do you sneeze? Why do you sneeze? An antigen has entered your nose. And so you get an itch which is the mucosal lining, to create awareness of distress that an antigen has entered. And the symptom of itch ignites an intervention, you sneeze. So you don't just these arbitrarily, you sneeze for a reason.
Leanne: I honestly never knew why we sneeze.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: That's the answer. So you actually have sensory aspects in your nose. That's how you get oxygen into your lungs. So it has to be a very protected area. So if anything enters there that shouldn't be there. It ignites the senses, the creative sense of itch, which makes the nose then sneeze. That's how the body works. So paint anywhere is the same no *inaudible* sensation, none. What doesn't matter.
Leanne: So obviously, there are situations where people would need surgery because the joint is deteriorated or something is not working. Well, do you think that's because the muscles have been pulling at that joint or the joint hasn't been functioning properly because of the muscles over a long period of time?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Did you study for this or something?
Leanne: Well, I'm asking for myself, I've got so many clients.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: And this is what people don't understand. So the body was designed. Let's say we look at the knee. Here's your femur is your tibia, and the body designed it to that 100% of the surface area of the femur sits on the tibia 100% of the surface area absorbs 100% of the force of gravity running through my knee, right? And it's designed that way. So if you sustain that, then the structure works as it was designed evolutionarily. Right? It worked perfectly. But let's say your quads end up being a little bit stronger than your hamstrings, your quad is attached to the front that might shift the femur slightly this way. So now let's say have 90% of the surface area absorbing 100% That of course, that doesn't sound like a good place. So with that 90% Integrating force and it was designed to it's gonna push more. And what's it going to do at the ends of bones are white cartilage, and that's supposed to absorb the force of the joint? Well, the hyaline cartilage has a greater force than it's required to, because there's less surface area taking a greater force, so it wears down. When Hyaline cartilage is worn down, bone is exposed. Once bone is exposed, you have the osteo, arthritic opportunity to develop two possibilities either the bone continues to wear down as in loss of the curvature of the head of the femur and the hip joint, let's say, or you have hypertrophic bone growth of bone spur, a bunion, you see excess bone developing, it's developing, because the forces are not equalized as they should be. And there's a high concentration of force on an area that it shouldn't be. So the body says, I can't let that happen. You're going to fracture bones, what am I going to do? Create more bone. So you either get bone breakdown, or both. That's what a bunion is. Right? Now, let's go to The Yass Method versus the wonderful world of medicine. What are you going to get? If you have a bunion, you're going to get a bunion a shave it? Yeah, they're gonna shave that. Now guess what, in two years, it goes back, what do you need? Again, that's right up on your neck. And then in two years, you're going to need it again. And this goes on and on and on.
Leanne: Have bunions also been caused by the form of our shoes being too narrow?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: I mean, that could that could be a factor. If you're applying too much of an angle where you're putting them together. What are you doing, you're decreasing the natural surface area of old five balls of the feet that is supposed to absorb the force as you're pushing off your foot when you're going to take a step forward. But this is primarily the answer. So if you want to stop bunions from ever occurring, or if you want to stop it from progressing, strengthen the glue made the hip muscle and the muscles that support the arch of the foot. And simply by doing that, you will have your foot weight there directly under the hip. And you will have all five balls of your feet supporting you. You will never develop a bunion again. Oh, by the way, one little point about the the genius that's telling you it's the bone itself. Well, the person who weightbares has pain when they step on that foot, right? But what happens when they sit down? Is the pain still there? No pain. So what is it telling you? Is it the bone? If it was the bone, it would be 24 hours a day, seven days a week, right? It's not the bone, it's the forces applied to the bone. That's what you have to understand. Change the force issue you change, you address the cause, and you don't have the pain there anymore.
Leanne: So for The Yass Method, yes. Can it be applied for maintenance after somebody sees you initially?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Absolutely. So people people always say to me, How long do I have to do these exercises? How long do you plan on brushing your teeth? How long do you plan on taking the shower? Yeah, how long do you plan on eating? I'm confused. I don't understand. You have no problem maintaining your health, your teeth, your hair, your skin? Oh, "let's read every day" everybody. We've got to keep our brains strong.What about the neck down? What's that? What? neck down? What is that? What did what he thought? I don't know. What is it? I only know my brain. I only know my face. Whats that thing? A body. It's as if the thing doesn't exist that you know, the theragun it just I was born with it. And it's gonna do what it's gonna do. And if it breaks down, I'll just get someone to fix it. Okay, if that's your choice. I hate to tell you I'm 60 years old. I put 60 pounds on I was 160 pounds. I'm going to 225 pounds with a 34 inch waist. I could squat 405,l five straight leg deadlift 405. I bicep curl 80 pound dumbbells. You want a tree moved? You just say where do you want it and when. I'll move the tree for you. You don't have to worry about that.
Leanne: Is that your other business?
Dr. Mitchell Yass: That's it. You want to be like me, you got to do the work. You want to be fragile and be ready to collapse every time you have to take a step. Everyone has a choice in life. You got to choose. All I can tell you is that the sociological mindset that the medical system is there to provide you health is absolute insanity. Pure lunacy. I always describe the four principles of great health. Exercise Diet, Proper Sleep and Stress Reduction, you do those types of things. When you end up with a kidney stone, you see it as kidney, what you don't realize is that the elements of disease somehow lead to your body and just fester indicating, you want to stop the kidney stone, you want to stop the pneumonia, you want to stop stenosis of the mitral valve, stop disease from entering your body. Follow the four principles and stay healthy. That's what we want to try to get to people. So my answer is, by the way, so one point I know that everyone's thinking is I'm gonna ask people to exercise every day. That's not true, it's only three times a week, these exercise is only three times a week, this is a plot that the fitness industry doesn't quite get. But the idea is that when you're doing that exercise, you're creating micro tears in your muscles, you're not making muscle when you're lifting weights, you're breaking muscles down. The next 24 to 48 hours after that is when you actually have the building, an inflammatory response develops, and you have proteins being taken from the blood and then brought into the muscle and more muscle is created. That period of time is not a time to try to strengthen the muscle because it won't be able to create force, it is sore, and it will not have put this excess swelling in the muscle, because it's healing. So that is not the time to try to strengthen. And that's why I tell people everybody has said you read the workout Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, but you do not work out every day, the healing portion of strength training is equally as important as the breaking down of muscle, it is critical to understand this. So this is 28 years out. Now I've been doing this, if you said just before I graduated, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" wellI said I didn't have one or two physical therapy facilities, have a wife, and a good number to live a happy life. I have been thrust into this. Probably because my father when I was a boy taught the analytical thinking. I knew logical thinking. I knew electricity. At eight years old, I had a very bizarre childhood. Like you're taught one plus two is three and one plus three is four. They would say "Mitchell, N+1. What does that mean? What is n plus one? It's the theoretical basis for adding one to any number, you must know that. Now, , that's n plus one, apply that to every single aspect of life. That's the way I was taught, you must understand the theoretical basis for everything, to understand how to apply it if it's not given to you. So that was going to be my life, in whatever area I ended up landing on. That's my mindset. That's what I was taught as a child. And so the thing that keeps me going first off, is I have treated like 15,000 people. And for the average person, By the way, I'm talking not just you had an ankle sprain. I am telling you, hundreds of people have come to me, literally saying to me, standing right in front of my face saying, You are my last resort. If you do not resolve my pain, I'm putting the bullet in my head tomorrow. I'm talking about hundreds of people have literally walked up to me and say, This is it. I will not live another day.
Leanne: No pressure.
Dr. Mitchell Yass: Yeah, you have to recognize how sobering it is. When someone someone walks in your door, you don't know what they are, what they who they are, what their story is, when they walk in, and someone says that to you, you are scared out of your mind. And you're so afraid that they're going to ask you about something you don't know about. Because God forbid, you would say I don't know. And that person kills themselves. You just don't want to be a part of that. So I always took the attitude, I don't care what they say to me, I'm gonna say, come back in two days, and I'm going to do whatever I got to do to figure out what the hell's going on, and come up with a theoretical basis, explain it to them and try to utilize it. And thank God, I was always right, thank God I was always in protection. The good news is, is that it drove me in a way that the average person isn't to learn. So I have been obsessed with learning, obsessed with it. So I always have that at the back of my head, no matter what if I don't fix another person. At least over 28 years. I've done this, but I say to myself, you've looked at it every way you've tried to prove you're wrong. I myself have tried to prove I'm wrong. I don't want to be in a position to be put out there and then say, Oh my god. Well, you didn't think this through fully. How embarrassing. You're gonna have to walk away now. And I've done everything I can, and there's nothing wrong. This, I affectionately call this thing that sits around me. And it's not a let's be very clear. I'm just a guy who was given the ability to learn and develop this thing that exists. It is the truth. I describe it affectionately as the truth. I think I was meant to do this. There is no bigger health issue in the world, this just straight out is. And you have to understand when they talk, you don't want any of these news stations that make up the suicide rate is increasing the level of it of depression, is it and it's and it's due to COVID? What about before COVID? What about the 10 years prior to COVID? The suicide rates have gone astronomically, grown astronomically depression, all this stuff. Look at the advent of all the frickin depression drugs that exists. You need demand to want to make drugs. So the demand has grown exponentially, which is why you see this happening, right? Well, it's because people are stuck. They're lost. They don't know what to do. And so I don't, do I walk on how to walk, you can't walk away, you got to just keep pushing. And why do you think im on your podcast three months ago, I didn't know about my kids. It just so happens that a lady that I'm treating, who happens to have a master's degree in business and a specialty in in social media says you know what? You want to get greater people to know that you exist, you should become a guest on people's podcast, because they already have their listener base. And you could go on them like, what does that mean? How do you do that? What do you mean? And so I say, Okay, you want to be on podcasts, make podcasts happen, find a way and I just Google, Google, Google, Google, Google, and I find these different mechanisms and poof that happens. So I think if you really believe in what you're doing, you're doing it for that reason. And maybe you are so strong, you were chosen for this, maybe your personality is so strong, that a person who's weaker than you would walk away from this. And those people that you are treating or helping are fortunate enough that you're so strong that you will not give up because you believe so strongly in what you do. I believe in that concept that God gives those that are strong enough the battles that they're asked to fight because they're strong.