Top 5 Blog Posts of 2016

27 December 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

I can't believe 2016 is coming to an end! Doesn't it seem like we were just ringing this year in?

I want to give you, our clients, a HUGE THANK YOU for your continued support of The Egoscue Method. Without you, there would be no Method (and we certainly wouldn't have clinics all over the world).

Personally, I wanted to thank you for reading, and then sharing, these posts with your friends and family. Because you shared our articles, whether sent through email or shared on Facebook or Twitter, hundreds of thousands of folks were reached and introduced to Egoscue.

In case you missed any of our top article this year, I wanted to share them with you today! Below, you'll find the Top-5 articles written this year on The Egoscue Method blog. I hope you enjoy them, and we look forward to interacting with you even more in 2017!

5. Eliminate the Pear Shape

My wife and I were walking along the harbor in San Francisco a few years ago when two ladies ran by. They were jogging, talking, and laughing, and you could tell they were great friends. This run wasn't anything new for them, and it seemed that they both were enjoying themselves. I think anyone would look at them and agree that they were both in shape. However, one of them had pear-shaped hips. I turned toward my wife and said, "That lady on the left runs every day, but no matter how far or fast she runs, she can't lose her hips. She can't get rid of her pear shape. She wakes up, looks in the mirror every morning and sighs, saying, 'Well...I guess I better go run again' but she can't figure out why her body never changes." READ MORE...

 

 

4. Don't Be an Optimist: The Stockdale Paradox

Up until recently, I had no idea who Admiral Jim Stockdale was and had never heard of the Stockdale Paradox before. But now that I have heard of Admiral Stockdale and his Paradox, I can’t stop thinking about it. More importantly, I can’t stop thinking about you and how it applies to your current situation. READ MORE...

 

 

3. 3 Simple Exercises to Eliminate Knee Pain

About 1 in 4 Americans suffers from knee pain, according to a 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Rather than ignore that wincing discomfort until it’s unbearable, see if you can ease the ouch with these three simple strengthening exercises from Sonima’s pain and anatomy advisor, Pete Egoscue. You may be surprised to find that the pain you feel in your knee is due to weakness and instability in other areas of the body. The exercises demonstrated in this video—sitting knee pillow squeezes, supine foot circles and point flexes, and sitting abductor press—build strength and mobility in the lower body, particularly the ankles, calves, and thighs, to better support the joints’ movements and thereby eliminate knee pain. READ MORE...

 

 

2. Becoming Pain Free - A New Web Series

I know that MANY of you are struggling with pain, and you feel there's no end in sight. If you're like many of our clients, the pain is starting to creep in to more and more aspects of your daily life. Not only has the pain impacted you physically, but it's starting to have an impact on you mentally and emotionally as well. Believe me, I know from first-hand experience how debilitating chronic pain can be. My struggle with back pain in the mid-90s wasn't just a physical battle for me. My pain was always at the forefront of my mind. It was all I could think about, and it all-but-consumed me mentally and emotionally. The question of Will I EVER be the same? was asked far too often. READ MORE...

 

 

1. Bunions: The Window to Your Hips

Ok, friends, let's talk about everyone's favorite topic: Feet.

I'm sure many of you think feet are totally disgusting. They smell bad (at least if you have three boys in your house like I do!), they look bad, and often times, they feel bad. Ever heard someone say, "my dogs are barkin'!" when referring to their foot pain? There's a reason why they make that analogy. I believe it's because barking dogs are loud, annoying, and the only thing you can concentrate on when it's happening.

Foot pain is no different.

Today I want to talk about a specific foot symptom--bunions. Those of you who have bunions know the pain I'm talking about. It's "loud." It's "annoying." And, it's "the only thing you can concentrate on." READ MORE...

 

Again, THANK YOU for supporting The Egoscue Method and this blog. I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for all of us!

QUESTION: What was YOUR favorite blog post of 2016?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can now follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

Three Exercises for Foot Pain

23 August 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Feet: There is rarely any gray area with them.

Rarely do you hear someone say, "They don't smell too bad." Or, "They aren't that ugly." Or, "My toenail polish is chipping off, but it looks ok."

No, with feet, it's black and white. You love them or hate them. The smell good or bad. They're pretty or ugly.

While I understand "feet" probably isn't the most popular topic I could write about, I also understand that many of you are dealing with foot symptoms. Your feet might hurt, maybe you have corns or callouses, or perhaps you have bunions. What I also know is that feet give us an incredible glimpse at what is happening throughout the rest of the body.

Want to see for yourself? Stand up, right now. March up and down a few times, and let your feet hit wherever they want to hit. Now, take a look down. Do your feet point straight ahead? I mean really straight ahead?

I didn't think so. I'm guessing they point out to the side, and they most likely aren't pointing our equally. If you were standing on the face of a clock, maybe your left foot is pointed at 10:00 while your right foot is at 2:00. Or, if you're like the majority of clients we see in our clinics, it's more like 11:00 and 2:00, or 10:00 and 1:00. There is something off about your foot direction.

What we at Egoscue know is that your body has compensated and adapted to its surroundings. And, we know that it's reacting perfectly. Your body is counteracting and counterbalancing structural dysfunctions that are found away from where the actual symptom is. For example, you have noticed you have one foot that points out more than the other and one shoulder that is rounded more forward than its partner on the opposite side. Maybe you've noticed that the waistline on your shorts always seems crooked.

It's crucial we remember that the body is an action-reaction organism. If you touch a hot burner, it hurts, and your body responds accordingly by quickly pulling your hand away. The same is true with other types of bodily pain. In this example, foot pain, your body has adapted perfectly. Your foot pain, or callous or corn or bunion, is nothing more than a signal. Interpret that signal...and you're well on your way to being symptom free. Ignore it...and you're on your way to a cascade of symptoms, most likely elsewhere in your body.

The direction in which your feet point tells us all we need to know about where the therapy focus needs to be if we want to get to the root cause of your foot symptoms. Your feet pointing anywhere but dead ahead alerts us, the Egoscue therapist, that your hips aren't functioning properly. The hips are the joints in charge of getting you from Point A to Point B, not your feet. They hips are the catalyst for all movement. Your feet are simply the passengers. They'll do what the hips tell them to do.

If you have bunions, corns or callouses, walk around your house barefoot and notice that those pressure points are the exact same places where you make the most contact with the floor. And, notice that you weight-bear more on the side where the bunion, corn, or callous is or where your bunion, corn, or callous is worse. If we do nothing more than balance out your hips, your feet will, quite literally, fall in line, and those pesky foot symptoms will be a thing of the past!

So let's get going! Let's work to reengage your hips while simultaneously returning function to the hip, knee, and ankle. Do the following three exercises daily, and in order, and begin to feel what life is like without foot symptoms!

SUPINE FOOT CIRCLES & POINT FLEXES

 

1.  Lie on your back with one leg extended and the other leg bent and pulled up toward your chest
2.  Clasp your hands behind the bent knee
3.  Keep the foot on the floor pointed straight up toward the ceiling and your thigh muscles relaxed
4.  Circle the lifted foot one way for the indicated number or repetitions, then reverse direction for the same number of reps
   • Make sure the knee stays absolutely still with movement coming from the ankle and not the knee
5.  For the point/flexes, bring the toes back toward the shin to flex, then reverse the direction to point the foot forward for the indicated number of reps
6.  Switch legs and repeat

 

STATIC EXTENSION POSITION

1.  Start down on the floor on your hands and knees with your major joints aligned (i.e. shoulders directly above elbows and wrists, hips directly above knees).
   • Hands should be placed shoulder width apart, palms flat with fingers pointed straight ahead.
   • Arms must remain straight, elbows locked.
2.  Walk your hands 4-6 inches forward and then move your upper body forward so that your shoulders are again above your wrist but now your hips are forward of your knees 4-6 inches.
3.  Relax your low back allowing it to arch with the movement coming from the tilt of your pelvis.
4.  Collapse your shoulder blades together and drop your head down.
   • Your shoulders should be directly above your wrist.
   • If your low back begins to hurt, back your hips up toward your knees; this will make the exercise a bit easier.
5.  Hold as directed

 

SITTING KNEE PILLOW SQUEEZES

1.  Sit in the middle of a chair with your feet pointed straight ahead, 4-6 inches apart.
2.  Place a pillow between your knees.
3.  Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back and hold this position throughout the e-cise.
4.  Squeeze and release the pillow with your knees.
5.  Repeat as directed

QUESTION: Why do you believe that you have foot pain?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well.

Bunions: The Window to Your Hips

10 May 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Ok, friends, let's talk about everyone's favorite topic: Feet.

I'm sure many of you think feet are totally disgusting. They smell bad (at least if you have three boys in your house like I do!), they look bad, and often times, they feel bad. Ever heard someone say, "my dogs are barkin'!" when referring to their foot pain? There's a reason why they make that analogy. I believe it's because barking dogs are loud, annoying, and the only thing you can concentrate on when it's happening.

Foot pain is no different.

Today I want to talk about a specific foot symptom--bunions. Those of you who have bunions know the pain I'm talking about. It's "loud." It's "annoying." And, it's "the only thing you can concentrate on."

Yet, years ago, you had no idea that what you were experiencing at the base of your big toe would become what it is today. Innocently enough, you noticed a "bump" on the inside of your foot. Slowly and gradually over time, that bump became more prominent, and as it grew, you noticed your big toe started a directional shift toward your other four toes. Your shoes started fitting differently, or not fitting at all, and the pain started slowly creeping in. That's when you realized that your little "bump" from years ago was now a full-blown bunion.

In order to address the bunion, many of you have gone the surgical route. Some of you have commented that the surgery helped, all of you noted how painful the recovery was, and many of you have seen the bunions return after all is said and done. If you fall in that last group, or if you're contemplating surgery and are curious about why the bunions returned, then this is the post for you!

The short answer to why the bunions returned is that the focus was on the effect, rather than the cause. You went to the site of the symptom, rather than the source of the symptom. In the Egoscue world, bunions make our therapists' job extremely easy. Bunions tell us exactly what is happening at the hip. More accurately, they tell us exactly what isn't happening at the hip. Like the title of this post says, bunions are the "window" to your hips.

Very simply, our clients with bunions always have a hip dysfunction that accompanies them. The hip is exactly where you need to look if you're searching for the cause of your bunions. Now, let me explain why bunions form (I actually talked about the cause last week when I went on Facebook Live).

When you take a step, you're designed to flex at the hip, pick your foot off the ground, and have there be enough room for your foot to clear the ground, swing forward, and come back down, striking the heel, then the ball of the foot, and then coming off all five toes, before starting the process over again with the next step. As your foot starts to leave the ground, it should look something like this:

 

However, for those of you with bunions, the necessary hip function just isn't happening. The hip isn't flexing properly, which means there's not enough foot clearance, and the body has to adapt and compensate. As a result, the leg swings out and around (it circumducts), rather than swinging straight forward, and the foot everts (points to the side). You land on the outside of the heel, continue to the outside of the foot, before rolling the weight across the foot to the the big toe. Your big toe now becomes your last point of contact with the ground as you propel yourself forward. And it's that exact repetitive stress and friction that causes your bunion! As your foot starts to leave the ground, it will look more like this:

 

 

The cool thing is that your body knows this foot strike isn't correct and begins to protect itself by building up a bony "blister." Continue that dysfunctional gait pattern over the next several years, and--poof!--you have a bunion! You might feel like it popped up overnight, but the reality is that it took years to form. What's true about the body is that it gives us various warning signs that it's out of alignment and out of balance. Perhaps you get daily migraines or struggle with back pain. Maybe you have limitations at the gym--certain lifts you can't perform, or you get winded easily. Or, because it's the subject of this post, maybe your bunions are your body's warning signal. 

Remember, to get to the root cause of all of these symptoms, it's crucial that we take a step back and look at the body in its entirety. We have to keep in mind that the foot bone's connected to the leg bone. So, YES, that means your bunions are connected to your migraine headaches, and everything in between. All of your symptoms have the same cause, your misaligned body. Fix your posture, and fix your symptom!

QUESTION: What have you been told is causing your bunions?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Pete on Twitter, and you can also follow me there as well.

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Pete on Twitter, and you can also follow me there as well. - See more at: http://egoscue.com/blog/item/142-becoming-pain-free-egoscue-sonima#sthash.YpHWD8kQ.dpuf