The GI Tract and Your Golf Swing

It is no secret that golf is a huge passion of ours. We have had the opportunity to work with some of the top PGA Professionals, Swing Coaches, Directors of Instruction and trainers at some of the top public and private courses in Ontario and across the country. 

As well, we are never satisfied with our current assessment and treatment processes and techniques. We are always asking questions to challenge our current thought patterns and always investigating further.

A few weeks ago our in-house Osteopath, Daniel Snider, was collaborating with the golf team looking at elements of Brandon McLeod, the Director of Instruction from AIM Golf Academy swing! Yes, that's right, even Directors of Instruction train using our protocol! 

Follow along to see what we found out! 

"I met Brandon for the first time while he was working with Adam in the Golf Simulator training lab in the Markham clinic. Brandon McLeod, the Director of Instruction from AIM Golf Academy, had said that he and Adam were working on some visceral therapy to help with his ongoing GI (gastrointestinal) distress.

He stated he has a long history of difficulty with bowel movements including changes in smell (recently worse than usual). This made me think that there may be a malabsorption issue in the digestive system. This is something that needs to be determined by stool testing in a lab.

I did a quick osteopathic visceral assessment on Brandon as he was lying down on his back. I placed my hand on his abdomen and felt for any specific tensions, pulling, pushing or general dysfunctions.

Immediately, I was drawn towards the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine that connects to the stomach where nutrients are absorbed). This area was very tense. There was also residual tension between the liver and the stomach.

Anatomy Note: The duodenum wraps around the head of the pancreas. One of the functions of the pancreas is to produce pancreatic juice with mixes with bile from the gall bladder in the duodenum. This fluid helps break down fats.

Since I didn’t have much time, I did a modified version of the technique called the digestive triangle that helps reduce the fascial tension and adhesions in this area. In doing so, this also releases some of the tension between the stomach and the liver.

Brandon re-tested his golf swing. He immediately noticed a positive difference. Using the pressure mat in the golf performance lab, Brandon was able to rotate his body with greater ease and shift his weight to his heel (instead of being on his toes, where he always was). He couldn’t do this before! 

The liver represents the axis of rotation for the thoracic spine. This shows how tension and binding in the digestive tissue, regardless of the cause, can have a significant biomechanical impact and impact your athletic performance!"

Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, Certified Athletic Therapist

Now coming from Brandon's perspective, as a Director of Instruction, this was eye-opening! 

"Following the 'digestive triangle' that Daniel used to address some of my GI issues, my discovery in my golf swing was also that my timing was better! So, not only was I able to get into my heel better than my toes, but I was also able to get there sooner. Which I had been trying to do with testing over the course of the last year.  

After videos upon videos of always into the toes, and late going to my lead side into impact.... I was at a loss... 

Since Adam and I started and now Daniel jumping on board with my stomach I was finally able to get to those spots and on time.  

After adding in some new drills into my practice session, I’m able to perform it better and better now! 

But in a more important part me, is my bowels work so much better and hence my quality of life from day to day is obviously much improved as well! 

The feeling for me during treatment with Adam and Daniel is when they are on the spots I want to vomit, it can be intense for some parts of treatments as well. The next day however, I feel very light on my feet and much better core connection. My mood is also much better as well the day after treatment.  Noticeable grumpiness in my mood and I become more irritable just in general as well when my bowel movements regress."

Brandon McLeod, the Director of Instruction from AIM Golf Academy

So, its safe to say that while the 'digestive triangle' approach is intended to address GI issues, the impacts of finding the root cause of our clients symptoms are so widespread! 

This is the reason why we have Sport Physios, Pelvic Health Physios, Osteopaths, Athletic Therapists, Athletic Trainers, Massage Therapists and subject matter experts on our team! We collaborate with the best therapists in Markham and Aurora in order to see our clients succeed in daily life and in sports!

So while you may be having issues rotating, getting in to your heals, with weight transfer or becoming handsy in your golf swing... the true cause of your inability to create a long term sustainable efficient swing may be more deeprooted elsewhere!

We dare you to come find out!

We provide Physiotherapy for Golf in Markham and Aurora! 

Click here to book your AIM Golf Assessment at Honsberger Physio+ today! 

Orthopedic Rehabilitation
105-675 Cochrane Drive, Markham, ON L3R 0B8 P (905) 940-2627 F (905) 940-3136 HONSBERGER@HONSBERGERPHYSIOPLUS.COM
81 Temperance Street, Aurora, ON L4G 2R1 P (905) 841-0411 F (905) 841-7311 AURORA@HONSBERGERPHYSIOPLUS.COM