Category: Applied Functional Science
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In his second podcast for Gray Institute, Dr. Gary Gray talks with Dr. David Tiberio, Dean of the GIFT program at Gray Institute, about What is Applied Functional Science®?

Listen to the 23 minute podcast by two innovative doctors of physical therapy:


Learn more about Applied Functional Science® on the Gray Institute website.

What is Applied Functional Science®

Applied Functional Science® is an important topic. As you know, over the last 40 years we’ve [Dr. Gary Gray and Dr. David Tiberio] been documenting and sharing our unique philosophy on how the body moves. As a result, we were challenged to give a name to our collection of information and content that is such an integral part of the Gray Institute® today. It’s from these beginnings that Applied Functional Science® (AFS) was born.

Why did We Develop AFS?

Dr. Gary Gray: I’m sure I may remember this, but actually I think we’ve used it so often that I’m not really sure of the origin of it.

Dr. David Tiberio: Certainly if you start in the middle – Functional – we knew that a lot of the information out there we did not consider functional. We had some litmus tests of function based on how we saw the body moved, and so, as we applied these litmus tests to our own work as well as others, we said, what do we believe in? We said, it has to be functional, it has to be practical – in other words, we need to be able to apply it to every day activities and situations – and it certainly has to be based on the science of how the body moves. And so if you take that it’s practical, that it can be applied to every day activity, and it is based on the truth, we came up with Applied Functional Science®.

AFS is a Combination of 3 Sciences

AFS is a way to treat all patients or clients. It combines the knowledge from three fields of science into its own principles.

  1. Physical Science – Obeying the laws of physics.
  2. Biological Science – Understanding the human body.
  3. Behavioral Science – Considering the drivers inside the body that affect movement.

Dr. David TIberio talks about his anxiety when faced with a new patient [before AFS], “I didn’t know enough. I didn’t have enough in my brain already to meet the challenge…that I was going to see represented in this client who is just seeking some help.”

The AFS practitioner doesn’t need to worry about this.

Dr. David Tiberio: It’s not that we have to know everything ahead of time, it’s that we utilize movements in order to have that person show us what their body can do. We ask functional questions through movement and we watch and see how the body answers those questions.

Why AFS is Different

Dr. Gary Gray points out how AFS give the practitioner an advantage when examining and treating patients or clients.

Dr. Gary Gray: The practitioner literally goes, “I can tell you why I’m doing this.”

I can tell you why I don’t lay somebody lie down on their back and have them lift their leg up. I can tell you why it doesn’t make any sense, according to the science of human movement, to put somebody on all fours and have them point their hand out or point their foot back. It makes absolutely no sense to have somebody reach behind their back and look at an isolated motion of the shoulder.

Certainly those are tests, but if we look at the truth of human movement – how the body really moves – and the science of Applied Functional Science, and it drives the strategies, all of a sudden we’re doing things because they make sense to us, not because somebody told us to do it or it was just part of something that we learned.

Thanks for Listening!

Thank you for listening to this Gray Institute podcast. We appreciate your interest, and we’d like to hear from you. Let us know what topics you’d like to hear more about from Dr. Gary Gray in the comments below!

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