Watch him work for just five minutes and you’ll never look at these rehabilitation experience the same. I’m joined today by one of most sought-after in house rehabilitation specialists here at NeuFit HQ, Steve Haldemann.
A trainer and strength and conditioning coach all of his life, Steve was a competitive bodybuilder when he suffered a bad motorcycle accident. Using the Neubie technology and his tenacious attitude in the gym, he was not only able to come back but win his next bodybuilding show. Listen as he describes how his passion for helping people who have been told they have no hope combines with the technology and techniques employed at NeuFit to create amazing outcomes for very challenging situations.
[Garrett salpeter] 0:18
I’m Garrett saltpeter. And I believe that the most powerful and transformative way to help people recover from pain and injury, heal from trauma and reach their highest levels of fitness and performance is to focus on the nervous system. In this podcast, we’ll share knowledge from the frontiers of neuroscience and inspirational stories of how applying that knowledge has empowered people from all walks of life to heal, adapt and grow. Welcome to the new front undercurrent podcast. Steve Haldemann.
[Steve Haldemann] 0:48
Thank you, Garrett. Glad to be here.
[Garrett salpeter] 0:50
So Steve, and I get to I should rephrase that I have the privilege of getting to see Steve on a regular basis because Steve and I work together here in Austin, Texas at the new fit headquarters facility.
[Garrett salpeter] 1:05
And it’s a real treat to be able to sit down and chat with Steve. So I’m excited to share this experience with everyone listening. Thank you for being here. Glad to be here. Can you please tell us just a little bit about your professional career before we met because you know, we met a few years ago and you have a whole lot of experience before?
[Steve Haldemann] 1:25
So for sure. So I got my start as a strength conditioning coach at Texas a&m. Primarily I dealt with the football athletes, but I also in addition dealt with Track and Field men’s and women’s tennis, golf, a couple other minor sports volleyball. Basically just strength conditioning protocols way back in the early 90s. We used periodization programmers, get them strong. I did a lot of things then that now I realize maybe not might not have been so good. But you know, we learn as we go along all through that academically.
[Steve Haldemann] 1:58
I got a master’s in science and kinesiology. Went out into the private fitness world and worked in a as an athletic director at a health club, running their fitness programmers. And then I got out of all that stuff and getting scooped out in a structured way bounced around, did that. But then I came back to the United States and came in contact with an organization called muscle activation technique. And that deals with muscle inhibitions and under illogical dysfunctions from a manual perspective. And I’ve probably done that now for about 10 years, I want to say that I’ve been doing that. And I’ve had quite a bit of success with that dealing with muscular imbalances, muscular inhibition, tightness, weakness, neurological disorders on through the through the gamut.
[Garrett salpeter] 2:46
So can you just give everyone a little rundown on kind of what an MA T session looks like? And this is, you know, this is the main bulk of your work for the 10 or so years before we met.
[Steve Haldemann] 2:56
Yes, so pretty much what ma t does with is Ma T equates tightness with weakness. Whereas what I’ll do is I’ll lay someone on a table, and they’ll do a comparative analysis of motion of each of their limbs, their arms, their legs, and I’m looking for tightness or discrepancies in motion. When I come on something that tight that tells me that that musculature is contracted, desperately trying to protect whatever joints that it crosses. And basically, then what I would do is based on that information that I gathered, from there, I would do some applied Kinesia logical muscle tests, basically, to see if the muscle is weak neurologically or strong.
[Steve Haldemann] 3:35
And if it’s weak, then I would try to positively affect that by going to the origin of the of the muscle and the insertion and applying a little pressure and cross friction with my fingertips. And what I would try to do there is excite these things called mechanical receptors, which send that signal back to the central nervous system, because it’s just as we talked about at New fit, it’s a feedback loop that’s interrupted its communication system that’s interrupted. And I would get that communication up and running. Then I would take them from that to the traditional gym floor setting and reinforce what we just done, be it you know, for your back, your shoulder, your leg or knee, whatever, whatever body part that we’ve been working on and try to strengthen that up. And that’s pretty much what I did until you came and found me and at the personal training studio I was at
[Garrett salpeter] 4:27
That’s right. So the first time we met we were actually doing a session on your leg,
[Steve Haldemann] 4:32
Right? That’s correct. That in 1998 I was involved in an automobile accident that broke with my legs. It took my left foot and tore it back to the Achilles hold it on. I spent six months in a wheelchair to me four different surgeries, plates, pins, bone grafts, rods, screws, took me another year to learn to walk again. So that my interest in neuromuscular rehabilitation is not simply professional. It’s also a very personal interest. And selfishly everything that I’ve learned and found out, I’m selfishly, third and found out to help me. ‘
[Steve Haldemann] 5:10
And nobody else can get benefit from that. But it’s all to all to benefit me. And since that accident, I have been on a quest nonstop to find different modalities and different ways of approaching my injury. Because when the physical therapists asked me, if I thought I knew so much that I think I could do better than them. Well, I thought for a little bit, I thought, yeah, I think I can, I think I can. So and I think what we’ve kind of created here is a, it’s quite good alternative to the traditional therapy like that.
[Steve Haldemann] 5:45
But I struggled for about a year to learn to walk. And then yeah, I learned to walk on got back to it. And through MIT regained quite a bit of strength and function in my leg. But then when we found when we when I found you guys all once again, it was purely egotistical, it wasn’t anything to do with my with my injured leg, it was I was prepping for to go to some bodybuilding shows. And because of my injured, my left leg was discernibly smaller than my right leg. So I simply wanted to make my left leg much, much bigger.
[Steve Haldemann] 6:23
So and I came here, and the first time I got on the machine, I knew that that was Wow. So within, I believe it was about eight weeks, it took me and I take all eight pads and put on my leg. And pretty much I wouldn’t suggest it, I was a little bit too aggressive. But in that timeframe, I put an inch and a half on that thigh. And after that, I went to a local bodybuilding show and one that one went to another one in Dallas and one that one and then went to the universe and then got seven than that one. So all kind of a one a wheel who was kind of bummed up. So but I felt really confident about that about going in front of people that were basically trained to look for such things and skimming it on bottom. So that made me maybe quite happy doing that. But that was one thing, how I how I came about that.
[Garrett salpeter] 7:15
Awesome. Yeah, I remember that I got to work with you personally. It was a great day day that will go down in history. Yes, it was it was.
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[Garrett salpeter] 7:56
To the show. And then obviously, we’ve been working together professionally since then. And you saw a lot of overlap between your ma t work and what we’re doing a new fit and the same type of neurological approach. It was one of the few experiences we both had, where we just meet someone who’s kind of, by default, speaking the same language.
[Steve Haldemann] 8:15
Exactly, exactly. It’s like you’re, you’re talking something that no one understands what you’re talking about. And obviously, you come across the lingo. Yeah. Hey, that’s it. You’re saying what I say kindred spirits? Yes, so it was. And as far as the combined together, my problem with him, it always was how I would reinforce it that I could get the pathway open. But then I was always faced with taking someone on the gym floor, and going through traditional movements to strengthen them, which does work.
[Steve Haldemann] 8:45
But it also runs the risk of as soon as you get someone off that table with newly fired up and not knowingly weak muscles, to try to reinforce them that you have a really high risk of everything much going wonky again. And that’s when I found that the newbie in the new Fit System fit perfectly in meshed with that completely solidify that on the table, so that when the individual did go to stand up, everything was completely solid as if they had been in the gym for hours doing the traditional resistance training, but yet without the corresponding risk involved and everything going south on that. And that’s what’s really, really made the progress just quite frankly, through the roof. I have quite I’ve seen some things that that I wouldn’t have believed would happen until I actually seen them.
[Garrett salpeter] 9:38
Well, let’s let’s get into that. First, let’s just kind of so everyone understands the whole story. So you had been doing MIT’s manual techniques to help activate or turn on or facilitate muscles. And then now we’re doing here similar there’s certainly some overlap. You know, we may work on different spots or things are slightly different, but so same type of thing, you’re helping providing manual input to alternative muscles.
[Garrett salpeter] 10:04
And then this addition of using the newbie is helping things helping those benefits stick a lot longer reinforce it amplifying and accelerating the overall process, recovery process rehabilitation process. And so come with that, you know, combination that added tool in your toolbox. What are some of the top of mind or those best success stories or the places where you’ve had the biggest impact from over the last few years?
[Steve Haldemann] 10:33
Quite a lot. We’ve had one lady we had had a traumatic brain injury Amy and clay ball I believe you remember her all when she originally came to us she had had, I want to say that had been going on for maybe like 12 years. And she had extreme difficulty just walking, moving, and moving around difficulty speaking. And we worked on her and I mean, she walks her and her ginger just got through sending me a picture of her on a bicycle bicycle thing. I mean, I never thought that would have when I first met her in first interviewed her and learned about her case. You know, I didn’t know if there was much we could do about it at all.
[Steve Haldemann] 11:19
And that’s one of those things is went oh my goodness, what a powerful tool. And that would be that would be probably one of the top ones that if that have come to my come to my mind, we’re actually I didn’t even know if we could get her up and walking but yet there she was. She’s up and walking. Another individuals a guy named Kent Lance, who I see quite a bit who had, he had had a bad chemotherapy session that gave him some severe neuropathy, that for a man of his age begin to his body just begin to curl in on itself. And we have added two inches to his height since we began to and it’s only because now he’s able to stand up straight. And like I stretched it out. He’s just seemed to stand up straight because of musculature was what was contracting, pulling him down. Um,
[Garrett salpeter] 12:12
GC Nano. So some complex neurological brain and neuropathy cases. And then you see the wide I mean, you’ve worked with kids, you’ve worked with athletes. That’s the whole kind of range, right?
[Steve Haldemann] 12:23
Yeah. I mean, professional athletes down to I mean, small children down to me the Newman’s pick disease that was which no Andrews, I mean, that was a very severe neurological disorder. A lot of things. I got to go, what is that when we look it up? Okay, that’s what that is.
[Garrett salpeter] 12:43
That’s like one in over a million. Yeah.
[Steve Haldemann] 12:47
I mean, and we rested that. I mean, that’s been it didn’t get any worse. But it stopped from progressing. And I mean, normally that normally those children don’t make it to adolescence. So that was as well, as we
[Garrett salpeter] 13:03
Just saw on that one. I mean, they’re doing a lot of different just want to want to be clear that we’re not using the machine to treat and that type of thing. Just to help restore function, improve gait and things like that. Yeah, it
[Steve Haldemann] 13:16
Was definitely an agenda. We have that we work in conjunction with many other modalities for some of these really complicated, complicated cases, because it
[Garrett salpeter] 13:25
Is one of those things?
[Steve Haldemann] 13:26
No, it’s true. It’s true. So yeah, I don’t want to, I don’t want to make it like that. But yeah, many times with all these with a lot of people I see they see many specialists. And many times by the time they’ve seen me, they’ve kind of been through the medical wringer, so to speak.
[Steve Haldemann] 13:44
And it’s just it’s a really good feeling to actually truly to help someone and to help them achieve something where they thought because someone had told them that it was impossible that that was just the way it was going to be. And to tell them that know that it doesn’t have to be that way.
[Garrett salpeter] 14:00
You mentioned a few people who have given us some permission to share their names and stories and stuff. One that I won’t mention by name just because I don’t know if we have permission to use it or not. But the woman who had had speaking issues vocalization problems and something exactly,
[Steve Haldemann] 14:16
And she had lines disease that had affected her hypoglossal nerve and had her basically she lost control of her tongue to her tongue would fall out of her mouth. She could choose to eat, she couldn’t go a restaurant. She couldn’t speak very clearly. And we worked with her for about a year.
[Steve Haldemann] 14:39
And so much so that she spoke fine. She could speak fine. She can keep her tongue in her mouth. It sounds like she kind of has a lisp now, but we weren’t so good that she purchased a machine she was moving and she wanted the class and she was leaving from here to go to somewhere else. And yeah, and in bulk the machine went through her whole class and still uses this. And it’s changed her life because I mean, that’s something that you don’t really think about like your tongue. But I mean, if you can’t get out of your mouth and you can’t even swallow and chew and eat, that’s pretty. That’s pretty functional. Yeah. So yeah, big
[Garrett salpeter] 15:19
Deal for quality of life. Yes, it is. Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, Steve, let’s see anything else anything else we need to, to add here to get across to our listeners
[Steve Haldemann] 15:30
Or listeners I this is this is this is really. It’s quite a fascinating, fascinating tool. And it’s, I’m really glad to be part of it. And it’s nonstop growing. And I’m basically learning and we’re learning new things every day.
[Garrett salpeter] 15:47
Amen. That we are. Well thank you for being a part of our, our laboratory here where I know you have tremendous creativity and imagination, some of the things even the treatments with this woman and her hypoglossal and other cranial nerves and some of the things that you worked on there were fabulous, and you know, you’re creating amazing outcomes. And thank you for the amazing work you’re doing.
[Steve Haldemann] 16:10
I do glad to be here. Thanks. Yeah.
[Garrett salpeter] 16:13
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