There are so many things we can do for our health so that we can feel awesome and have more fun—not to mention age better. We live in a time of information overwhelm, so often we know about these things, but we don’t necessarily know how to implement them. That’s where I come in.
In case you missed it before, I’m Scott Davis.
I’m a doctor of Eastern Medicine, a movement therapist, yoga teacher, health educator, husband, father, explorer, and lover of beauty and nature who is deeply committed to helping you feel better.
I work with people who are interested in a holistic and integrative approach to their health. They want to move better, eat better, and rest better—as well as age well—but they need some support to do it. You can read my story below to learn more about how I work, how I arrived here, and why I want to help you. My official bio with my background and credentials can be found here.
MOVEMENT | Beyond the Yoga Mat
I have studied, practiced, and taught yoga intensively for twenty years and a great many of the amazing things in my life have come from it. And yet, the story I find myself currently in takes place beyond the yoga mat. It began six years ago when I got interested in other forms of movement—surfing, skiing, climbing, and running—and discovered that my body was, surprisingly, really unstable. In fact, any time I did stuff outside of yoga practice I would injure myself. I hadn’t really noticed from within the bubble of yoga that my body was actually quite fragile. Perplexingly, I discovered that there were lots of ways in which I couldn’t move well at all. I couldn’t run, my coordination was lacking, and my balance outside of well-practiced yoga poses was crappy. I talked to colleagues and teachers about how I’d get injured whenever I moved beyond the yoga mat, but none of them practiced anything else, so they didn’t have any insight. It didn’t feel right to be so vulnerable to injury though, so I began investigating. Why was this happening? What movements was I missing?
I immersed myself in learning about functional movement, which is the ability to move the body with proper muscle and joint function for effortless, pain-free movement that is bio-mechanically efficient. I dug deep into examining this broader spectrum of human movement. What I came to realize is that yoga had initially given me a good foundation, but I needed to keep building on that foundation to be a truly good mover.
In truth, I started being a geek about functional movement. Students were surprised to find that my classes were no longer based only on yoga and that they were being asked to do things like pull themselves across the floor and go outside to climb trees. A lot of my students felt resistant to trying these new ways of moving—especially since it made them feel like beginners again—and I realized that I needed to learn to build better bridges between yoga and other forms of movement to be a more effective teacher. Shortly after that realization, I began offering Functional Flow Yoga classes, building unfamiliar movements into familiar sequences. Bridging the movements in that way was really well received and students began to see how functional movement could complement their yoga practice and help them to avoid injury too.
I was psyched about teaching using this more multi-faceted approach that had re-enlivened my own movement practice, but at the same time, I knew I didn’t fit neatly into the yoga box anymore. I was turning forty and wanted to expand that box. As part of that expansion, I sold my share of the yoga studio I co-owned for 12 years and began planning for a sabbatical.
Now, I continue to build bridges between yoga and other movement forms. This plays to my strengths; I have always enjoyed finding the common ground between various traditions like Traditional Chinese Medicine and yoga. My aim is to create opportunities for movement that are as holistic as possible. I would like people to be able to do movement in a generalized way. I want them to know more about their bodies, how they work, how to prevent injuries, and how to incorporate more functionality. My approach has evolved to focus on how we can become more resilient and capable in life.
NUTRITION | Food as Medicine
I knew as a teenager that I wanted to be a doctor. I registered for pre-med at McGill University, but during my gap year before I started, I did the obvious thing a kid raised by hippie parents would do: I travelled to India where I was exposed to—and changed by—acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, and yoga.
When I made my way back to university—the copy of Healing with Whole Foods that had travelled with me through India still in my backpack—I quickly became disillusioned with the idea of being a practitioner of pharmaceutical medicine. My desire to help people hadn’t changed though, so I dropped out of pre-med and pursued a degree as a nutritionist instead.
As a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor (my second degree) I’ve continued to integrate nutritional therapy into my work. I believe that food is about relationships. Having a better relationship with food goes hand-in-hand with having a better relationship with the natural world. It means spreading our minds beyond the supermarket and thinking about where our food comes from and how we gain access to it. Food is also about our relationships to others and community. We connect with each other when we share meals. Food is part of our cultural heritage and ancestry. The better our relationship with food, the better it nourishes us. I believe that a person needs to eat according to their constitution. In general, real, whole food is for everybody, but what works best for our bodies is individual. Food is medicine that can be used to treat ailments or problems. My approach to nutrition also includes herbal medicine, whole foods concentrates, and super food supplementation.
REST | Unwinding Tension & Bringing Stillness to the Body
We are prone to want to do more stuff. I want to do more. I also often think I should be doing more. Don’t you? The reality is that we can do less harm and get closer to where we want to be by doing less, even though that sounds counterintuitive.
From when I was six years old to ten years old, my parents took me to meditate with a Japanese meditation teacher once a week. Mostly I’d just look around the room at the Buddhas and gongs and other various things, but it planted a seed in me and I became interested in meditation again when I was 18. It’s one of the things that I’ve come back to again and again and, for me, it’s a big part of rest.
Rest can be seen as anything that unwinds tension and brings stillness to the body. This sense of being recharged could come from restorative yoga or meditation, or from downtime doing things you love, like playing music, reading, spending time with friends, or gardening. These things don’t take more energy, they give us energy. The more room we make for them, the more alive and inspired we feel.
We all know that the digital age has affected our ability to turn off. It’s also affected our ability to concentrate and has become a common addiction. Another part of rest is having boundaries around how we use technology and taking time for digital detoxes when needed. Going on a year-long sabbatical with my family in 2017 has helped me to discover the sense of creativity and pleasure that comes from rest. It can take a bit of getting used to, but surrendering is so much better than crashing! Being well-rested then becomes a great starting point for getting things done.
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