• Sal Crispo

‘Surround the Dragon’


“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt


In my early years, I started my holistic health journey with fitness. I became a personal trainer and learned a lot from several mentors around the world. Today, I want to share an important principle called ‘surround the dragon’, I was taught by Paul Chek, who wrote the foreword in my book ‘One Habit At A Time’. Paul is a master of pain management and healing (just to name a few). I have successfully used many of the tools he teaches in his courses and I highly recommend them to aspiring health practitioners and trainers.

I often hear people with stories of how they used to exercise regularly until they got an injury which completely derailed them. There is no doubt about it, injuries are terrible and frustrating. You could be in a great groove and sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, they show up with a force. What do you do? First, try resting the area for a few days and see if it improves. If a week goes by after resting and there is no change (or feels worse) then you should get it checked by a medical professional to rule out anything major and get a proper diagnosis.

Of course, every injury is unique and will have a specific protocol for healing. With that said, doing nothing about it is the worst thing you could do. There is no reason to become sedentary because of an injury. If it’s a lower body injury, there are upper body and core workouts and activities you can do. The ‘surround the dragon’ principle means doing what you can while avoiding irritating the injury. It does not mean ignore your pain and push through it. This usually makes matters worse.

If you are in a state of system inflammation, where a multitude of muscles and joints are in pain, then you will have to be more careful and creative. Nonetheless, there will always be some form of exercise and activity that you can do to get you moving and feeling better. It can be walking instead of walking or swimming instead of playing a high-intensity sport. If you are an avid gym goer, you can drop the heavy weights (lower intensity) for a month or two and do much lighter weights at a higher rep range. Personally, I use this technique to heal tendonitis and it works like a charm (trust me, I tried both resting and pushing through the pain and nothing good came from either one).

If you go to a health professional, who understands exercise science for therapeutic purposes, then they can give you the exact protocol of exercises for your specific history, injury and needs. The best healing programs also involve other aspects of health such as diet, stress management and lifestyle habits. The more you can surround the painful issue (dragon) with supportive healing factors, the quicker you can heal and get back to being your injury-free self again. Actually, this holistic approach can help you discover things about your day-to-day behaviours that you may have previously overlooked. Whether it’s improving your diet, sleep quality and/or stress levels, positive changes in any of these will make you less susceptible to injuries in the future. The next time you have a nagging injury, remember this principle of surrounding the dragon.


Your V10 Health Coach,


Sal Crispo


P.S. If you are interested, I also make a coaching video for each of these posts on YouTube. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel so you do not miss out on any of the valuable content I share. Here is the link for this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg6lAag0tNk