As a football coach and team doctor at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park, Illinois, Dr. Tom Nelson spent 4 years learning how to integrate therapist Douglas Heel’s Be Activated techniques into a team sports environment. The result was a greater focus on self activation. What makes activation so powerful is the instantaneous effect it has on the human body – with a breath and a touch, tension decreases and concentration and balance improve. The result is better focus, body awareness, and fewer instances of injury. And because each individual athlete can self activate, it scales easily for use by teams. A few of Dr. Nelson’s methods for applying Be Activated philosophies in a team sports environment:
- Athletes activate themselves – or one another. Each member of a team becomes accountable for their own core activation during practices, workouts, and games.
- The Stick makes it simple. Dr. Nelson developed The Self Activation Stick; this simple tool makes it easier to stimulate pressure points correctly. He found it provides advanced leverage even when there are limiting compensations within an athlete’s body.
- Doctors, Strength Coaches and Athletic Trainers reinforce. Leadership from ATs and coaches trained in Be Activated ensures activations are being done correctly and consistently by the whole team, and helps to identify causes of weakness or muscle strain in individuals before they result in injury.
- Breathing is key. Dr. Nelson also builds diaphragmatic breathing habits into team routines, ensuring teams stay in sync and movement always starts from the core. For example, during team practices, every play or drill should start with a belly-breath before the athletes explode into action.
Going in for an activation with Dr. Nelson the day before the ACT was one of the best decisions I could have made. The increase in my breathing and visual awareness helped me to stay focused and relaxed during the four hour long testing period. I went up 4 points from my previous scores. I can’t thank Dr. Nelson enough for his help in building my future.
After investigating the SAT process, I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Tom. Looking back, I was skeptical for sure, but was willing to try anything for the sake of improvement. I distinctly remember the muscle-testing results before activation, and then seeing them after. Immediately after activation, I felt loose. There was no tightness, and I felt peaceful after “belly breathing.” The next day we had an invitational race, and I felt the best and was the most focused during that race. I ended up finishing 5th, right behind some of the nation’s best runners, 7 seconds off my personal best. I became a believer as the results were seen immediately for me!
In November of 2014 I was diagnosed with mononucleosis and the parvo virus. The severe pain caused me to miss the whole 3rd quarter of school and my whole wrestling season. My days consisted of therapy, specialists and hospital testing. I was referred to a pain doctor, as at this point I had zero quality of life. He referred me to Dr. Thomas Nelson for a new type of manipulative therapy. At my first visit with Dr. Nelson, he explained what he does and he started treatment. When he was done I jumped off the table and I was able to run without pain for the first time in 3 months. The work Dr. Thomas Nelson is doing is amazing and a breakthrough that should be known to all. I’ll be forever grateful to him. I have my life back!
Self Activation helped me recover from an ankle injury, drastically increasing its stability. It helped to clear my mind and improved my focus on the court. Following my activation sessions, I have found that my play quality has increased dramatically. I have experienced a much higher quality of life, both on and off the court, thanks to daily Self Activation.
Before activation, I found myself injury prone as well as very inconsistent during my practices for track/cross country. I suffered from inconsistent practices and pained muscles and joints, but after one session of activation with Dr.Tom, I felt brand new, refreshed and explosive. I went from not qualifying for top seven my first cross country season to being the #1 runner the following year for both seasons, being an individual state qualifier and school record holder for the 1600-3200. Activation has truly changed the way I run and compete and it’s a great tool for any athlete. I activate every day before anything I do, whether it’s mental or physical.
I walked into Dr. Nelson’s office unsure of what to expect – and left completely amazed. The ankle pain I had been dealing with for nearly a year and a half had completely disappeared. I was in my first ballet class since my appointment with Dr. Nelson when suddenly, something in my mind just clicked. I was able to find those muscles my teachers were always talking about.
I was a former collegiate and professional hockey player. During my career I suffered 3 concussions in 9 months. Despite resting and allowing ample time for normal recovery, I continued to have tightness in my neck, headaches, and eyesight issues. Shortness of breath was a common occurrence. My family and friends even noticed a difference in my behavior and a decrease in my level of sharpness. When I met with Doctor Nelson I experienced immediate results. He fixed a disconnect between my brain and muscles so that I could perform tasks that required using multiple signals. Through his activation therapy, the tension in my neck and upper shoulder regions is gone and I no longer have headaches. My vision is more acute and my ability to focus is back to normal. I have become more positive, energetic, and upbeat.
In my last football season I suffered a Grade 1 sprain in my left knee. I was unable to play with it until I went to Doctor Nelson. After my activation I felt like a new person; I was able to play the next week and I felt just as good as new. The Activation Process and Doctor Nelson have impacted my life tremendously. I Self-activate to stay balanced, strong, focused and to avoid injury. Plus, it puts me one step ahead of the competition. Buffalo Grove HS, Class of 2017, Football and Baseball