78: Pain Science Insights on Performance: Expert Insights with Marnie Hartman

We don’t all strive for elite physical performance, but we do all place demands on our bodies. Some of the internal signals that we receive as a result could be interpreted as pain, so how do we know when we should push through and when we should pull back?

We have talked in previous episodes about the complex phenomenon of pain, and how deeply enmeshed our perception of pain is with our beliefs and previous experiences. Today that conversation continues with host Rachel and returning guest and Doctor of Physical Therapy Marnie Hartman.

In this episode, Marnie and host Rachel explore what neuroscience can teach us about physical performance. Listen in as we discuss the importance of bringing curiosity and playfulness into our physical pursuits, choosing to question our assumptions, and learning to listen deeply – but with discernment – to our internal signals.

“It’s not about the performance. It’s about the learning that you get to take from your mat into other areas of performance.” – Marnie Hartman


“A huge thing is remembering what your experiences have been in the past, both positive and less desirable…and remembering that we’re not there now.” – Marnie Hartman

Show Notes:

  • Defining physical performance as how our bodies interact with the environment [4:56]
  • Athletes’ relationship to pain [7:38]
  • Sensory science 101: perception, interoception, nociception [9:38]
  • Nociceptive signals in physical performance [13:56]
  • The magic of training: creating a gap between signal and response [17:49]
  • Recognizing and reframing less desirable experiences in the past [22:59]
  • A case study in context and the impact of stress [27:35]
  • Learning to discern our internal signals [31:35]
  • Choosing to bring that awareness into physical challenges [36:31]
  • Having our assumptions reflected back to us [40:12]
  • Playfulness unloads our stress cup [48:22]
  • Exploring the role of yoga practice [49:55]
  • How our “patterning” can become an obstacle to overcome [58:42]
  • Final thoughts and resources [1:02:21]

Links Mentioned:

Body IQ PT | LinkedIn | EmailYoga Medicine® Online Guest Teacher

“I really think of our life’s vocation, how we spend our physical time in life, as part of our performance.” – Marnie Hartman

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