Jaimie: Ryan, you are one of our newest faces at Invictus! Care to tell us where you are from and how you heard about Invictus?
Ryan: I am thrilled on a daily basis for having joined Invictus. I am from Vancouver, British Columbia and have been living in San Diego for four years now. I’ve been following the CrossFit fitness program and its philosophy for a couple of years and have always wanted to try it. Due to several severe rugby injuries over the years, I’ve had reservations about possibly worsening them with training, so I never took that step forward. As a Maximized Living chiropractor, I was selected and given the opportunity to work with some top athletes at this year’s CrossFit Games. After watching the success of the Invictus team at this phenomenal event, I became truly inspired and figured it was a sign to join. It was then that I asked myself, “How could I not want to train with one of the best gyms in the world that was literally ten minutes from my work?”
Jaimie: You are one of the head chiropractors at Element Wellness Center. How did you get into this field?
Ryan: I’m actually the owner of Element Wellness Center and the lead chiropractor. The chiropractic road all began for me when I was an 18 year old aspiring rugby player. During one of our games, I severely sprained one of my shoulders and developed an impingement syndrome. In every game I played after that, I endured a ‘stinger’ for at least 10-15 minutes to the point that my arm would go completely numb and barely functional. At the time, I was trying out for the Canadian National under-19 rugby team and the injury was going to prevent me from making the team. I went down the traditional route of medical doctors, orthopedic surgeons, and even a neurologist, and the only remedy seemed to be surgery. Surgery, however, would have prevented me from making the team and going on a one-month tour of Scotland. On a last ditch effort, I sought treatment from our team’s volunteer chiropractor and never looked back. I went through a care plan with him and have not had any relapses since. I was also selected for that rugby team that year, which ended up being a large stepping stone for much more competitive rugby in my future. At that point, I knew it was my calling to help people with chiropractic care.
Jaimie: It must have been an awesome experience to be a part of the Medical team for the Games! Other than discovering Invictus, what was your favorite part about volunteering at the Games?
Ryan: By far, my favorite part about volunteering at this year’s Crossfit Games was being able to work with such remarkable athletes. I’ve worked on NFL and NHL players before and I can honestly say that Crossfitters are the most functionally strong athletes out there! I couldn’t believe their power and mobility.
I was also able to meet a lot of the head CrossFit leaders who were all very gracious and appreciative that we were helping. One of my favorite people to meet was Kelly Starrett. I’ve known about him for a couple of years and have always been impressed with his philosophy of introducing the mobility WODs.
It was truly an amazing feeling to be part of something with such magnitude. I believe CrossFit is at a critical point right now and is ready to explode worldwide. The whole time I was helping the athletes, I saw cameras filming us, the blimp flying above, and media conducting interviews. We were fed “paleo” meals and coconut water. Even Reebok was generous enough to give us clothing and shoes.
Jaimie: As a chiropractor, what type of regular maintenance do you suggest for Crossfitters?
Ryan: To be honest, it’s hard for me to imagine myself not getting adjusted every 1-2 weeks. If I don’t, I’m certainly feeling it. I know that amount of frequency might sound extreme to some people, but if they could really understood the biomechanics and power behind an adjustment, I think it would make a lot more sense. Your spine was designed to protect your central nervous system that controls all function within your body. For example, there is no way you can perform a thruster without your brain telling each needed muscle what to do. Your brain sends thousands of messages down your spinal cord and out to your body every single time you do an Olympic lift. As you can imagine, you’d want those messages to be as clear and strong as possible. If you have a properly aligned spine, that is going to happen. Most people now, however, (especially those who have desk jobs and sit often) have spines that are far from where they are designed to be. With that comes lack of nerve flow and lack of performance in their body, whether it’s doing double-unders or any bodily function. Each individual adjustment is so powerful that studies have shown that your immune system immediately is boosted, you release the happy hormones (dopamine and serotonin), and most importantly, your nervous system immediately improves. When you start to get into a routine of regular adjustments, your body maintains these ‘reactions’ over time.
Jaimie: Awesome! I’ve definitely been noticing some great improvements in my life since I’ve been getting adjusted.
If any of our members are interested in trying the benefits of chiropractic adjustment, you can contact Dr. Ryan Hummel at www.elementwc.com / 619-523-9355. And don’t forget to high-five him and welcome him into the Sea of Green family the next time you see him in the gym!