The Role Emotions Play in Chronic Pain

6 June 2017, 5:07 pm
Published in Blog

"WHY do I hurt?"

Obviously, in my line of work I get asked that question a lot. But, what is true is that the answers to that question often vary. Sure we see structural dysfunctions that cause pain--an elevated left hip causing right ankle pain, for example--but what if we dig a little deeper? What if your pain is directly tied to an emotional trauma or stress?

In my experience as a therapist, I've seen it too many times. Let me tell you a story to help explain what I'm talking about.

Judy (not her real name) came in to one of our clinics with debilitating shoulder pain. The pain had reared its head several months prior to her coming in, and she was--along with all the other experts she had seen--stumped. The shoulder capsule itself checked out fine. The rotator cuff wasn't torn, there was no impingement in the joint, and for all intents and purposes, she had a "healthy" shoulder...except for the excruciating pain.

She was a swimmer, and had been for some 25 years (she was in her 60s) and wondered if all that time in the pool had "finally taken its toll" on her shoulder joint. I didn't think it was swimming's fault (after all, she was swimming with both shoulders and had been for 25 years. Why would the pain just show up now, and only on one side?), so I set out on a journey to discover exactly why she hurt.

We sat in my office for about 30 minutes, asking each other questions. She asked about Egoscue and the role we would play in eliminating her pain. I asked about her condition and why she believed she hurt. The conversation of course went to swimming, and that is when she blamed her favorite sport.

"But, you've been swimming for 25 years. Why do you think the pain just started six months ago?" I asked.

"Well," said Judy, "I don't know. I guess I haven't thought about it like that. I just know that it has been hurting since January, and I assumed it was due to too much time in the pool. But, I've been able to swimg pain free for 25 years up until that point."

"So, if it's not swimming's fault. Why do you believe you hurt?"

"Well...I guess I'm not sure." Judy said.

"What happened in January?" I asked in an attempt to get to the real reason she was hurting.

"My shoulder started hurting!" Judy said with frustration in her voice.

"No, Judy. What happened? What changed in January. Away from the pool. In life. In your social circles. What happened?"

And that's when it hit her. Judy's face dropped and turned a bit pale in color as if she had just seen a ghost. She explained to me that she had just been through a very complicated divorce. It was an emergency situation and she told me she was literally married one day and divorced the next, and she had spent the last few months curled up on the couch in an attempt to cope with what was going on in her "new" life.

Bingo.

That's the real reason.

That's why she hurt.

It wasn't swimming's fault. She was in an emotional tailspin (rightly so), and trying to make sense of it all was having a profound impact on her physically. Although it's not my job to help Judy through the emotional side of things, it IS my job to help her discover the true cause of her pain. I fully believe that if we hadn't uncovered the emotional cause of the physical pain, there wouldn't have been enough e-cises in the world to fully eliminate her shoulder pain. I believe she would have gotten better, sure, but 100% pain free? I doubt it. Not if the emotional side of things hadn't been uncovered.

Don't believe me that the physical and emotional are connected? Think about the physical position your body takes when you're sad and depressed! Have you ever seen someone sad and depressed walking with a perfectly upright posture? I didn't think so!

We say it every day, but it bears repeating: The body is a unit. And I'm not simply referring to the muscles and bones. Everything is connected, and the sooner all the pieces of the puzzle are put together, the sooner you reach perfect health. You have to ensure that the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual sides of you are all working in sync. The better they are as a unit, the better you are as a unit!

QUESTION: Have you given any thought to the emotional side of your chronic 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. Also, join me (almost) every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST for "Egoscue LIVE!" on our Facebook page. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

Paddling Out to Surf

7 February 2017, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

I’ve never surfed, but I’d love to learn how to do it one day.

To me, it's a combination of so many different things: athleticism, balance, strength, beauty, control, power, grace, nature. When I watch surfers, I find myself in awe of what they are capable of doing. Even the bad ones are good, and I know that if I were to try, I would find myself way below the “bad ones”, at least initially.

I was talking with another Egoscue therapist the other day who is going through a very stressful time in her life. We were talking about all that was happening when she said, “You know…it’s kind of like surfing. You have to paddle out through the waves to reap the reward.”

Sheesh...Isn’t that SO true?

Life isn’t always easy.

This journey that we’re on isn’t always smooth. 

Life is full of ups and downs.

There is no doubt in my mind that you’ve faced rough times. As you have paddled through life, you have faced your fair share of waves crashing over you. For many of us, it feels as thought it's a never-ending cycle of waves.

I’ve been there, and, to put it mildly, it’s not pleasant. I'm sure that the vast majority of you reading this article have felt the waves of chronic pain crashing over you at some point in your life. Some days you feel horrible. Other days you feel not as horrible. Trust me, I know those feeling. I've dealt with chronic pain.

When you’re in the thick of it, when chronic pain is a minute-by-minute thought in your mind, your rough stretch seems unending, your pain insurmountable. The waves continually crash, you’re getting pounded, pushed farther and farther under the water, and you’re struggling just to catch your breath. 

And time and again as you’re paddling out, you see the wave coming your way and you think, “If I can just make it past this wave, it’ll be smooth sailing the other side!” But often times the reality of the situation is that as you crest that wave, you quickly realize there are three others behind it. Your struggle continues. And it is very real.

But, I’m here to tell you that your struggles can end. They're not insurmountable. Chronic pain won’t win. Today I want you to hear -- really hear -- that you’re enough. Today I want you to hear -- really hear -- your body is enough. 

Paddle on. Press through. Because only when you get on the back side of the wave can you turn around and see just how far you have come. And, only then will you be able to reap the reward for all of your hard work. Only then will it be smooth sailing.

But you have to keep paddling. 

If you feel like your battle with chronic pain is never ending, contact us today. We can offer help at one of our clinics all over the world, or we can help you from the comfort of your own home or office. Either way, help is right around the corner.

QUESTION: When have you felt the waves continually crashing down on you?

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!

2017: What Will You Choose?

3 January 2017, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

As the clock struck midnight this past weekend, many of us celebrated by popping open a bottle of champagne, singing "Auld Lang Syne," and kissing our significant other (or at least for some of you the person deemed most-significant at midnight!).

Many of us celebrated by waking up on January 1st after falling asleep on the couch well before the clock struck 12:00AM and watching the Times Square ball drop on our DVR.

Whichever way you celebrated, 2017 is upon us, and you have a clean slate. Now is your chance to start clean, to start over.

But I need to let you know that you don't have to start clean. You don't have to start over. It's true -- you do have a choice in the matter. You can choose to make 2017 the year you take action and live pain free, or you can choose to stay in your current condition, accept your health history as your health destiny, and keep on living a life full of pain and limitations.

Either way, the choice is yours.

Yes, that's right. Read that last sentence again if you need to.

YOU get to choose.

It's been said that life doesn't happen to us, it happens for us. It's a glass-half-full-glass-half-empty sort of thing. When we're faced with trying times, we can either choose to let them happen to us, or we can change our perspective and decide that there is a reason for which that particular thing is happening.

We either wallow in our sorrow with a woe-is-me attitude, or we stand up, stand strong, and decide that we have been given an opportunity to grow and improve. When faced with trials, it's an opportunity to learn from our experience. It's a chance to take control of the reigns and realize that we play a vital role in how our story ends.

For those of you unfamiliar with Pete Egoscue's story, he was presented with a choice, just like you are. After being injured in the Vietnam War, he was recovering in the hospital and overheard two doctors conversing about a soldier in the bed next to him. In the course of the conversation, one doctor turned to the other doctor and said something to the effect of, "You know...all of these soldiers in here have a choice: They either get better, or they die."

For Pete, that was his light-bulb moment. That was when he realized he could either continue down the path of pain and frustration, or he could choose to find a different way, a better way.

Obviously, it's clear which path he chose. He refused to accept the status quo. He refused to believe that his condition was permanent. And he absolutely refused to believe that his pain was all in his head, which is what he was being told after countless tests determined that "nothing was wrong" with his body. 

Sound familiar? I'm sure many of you can relate. If that sounds like your story, I want you to realize that you have a choice! You have options. But...you have to choose. You have to decide. Let's agree to make 2017 the year you decide. If you're looking for help, we have multiple options. You can see us in-clinic, we can connect on Skype or FaceTime, we offer Online Therapy, and Pete has authored several books. Basically, we have you surrounded! There are no excuses for you not getting help!

The choice is yours.

QUESTION: What will you choose?

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!

The Elf on the Shelf Exercise Menu

13 December 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

I figured with this week's post we'd have a little fun! I mean, it IS Christmas time! And, as the song says, It's the most wonderful time of the year!

If you're a parent like me, every night as you're heading to bed, the panic hits you: We forgot to move our Elf on the Shelf!

If you're unfamiliar with the Elf on the Shelf, the Elf is said to be one of Santa's helpers. And every year, the Elf arrives at your house to help Santa manage his Naughty and Nice list. Every night, the Elf returns to the North Pole and gives his daily report to the Big Man. He always returns to the house before the kids awake, but he always seems to cause some mischief while he's at it. In our house, our Elf, Charles Butterscotch, has been known to string a zip-line across the living room, roll down the stairs while inside a toilet paper roll, perform snow angles in Rice Crispy cereal after pouring it on the kitchen counter, and even "poop" a Hershey's kiss.

He's quite the trouble maker (as are most elves)!

But recently, I saw something that made me smile. One of our clients posted a picture of his Elf actually doing something good, something beneficial. Yes, this Elf was doing Static Back and using a Rubik's Cube as his "Egoscue block." How cool is THAT?

Of course, it got me thinking. I started to wonder: What other e-cises could my Elf on the Shelf do? So, without further ado, here's what I came up with! And, just so we're clear, YOU can do these e-cises alongside YOUR Elf on the Shelf! By doing the following e-cises, your Christmas, and your Elf's nightly travels to and from the North Pole, will be pain free and much more enjoyable!

STATIC BACK

5:00

 

1.  Lie on your back with your legs up over a block or chair  so your hips and knees are at 90 degrees.
2.  Place your arms out to the sides at 45 degrees from your body with palms up.
3.  Relax your upper back and notice if your low back flattens to the floor evenly from left to right.
4.  Hold this position as directed.

 

STATIC BACK PULLOVERS

3 SETS OF 10

1.  Lie on your back with your legs up over a large block or chair, knees bent at 90 degrees
2.  Relax your legs, lower back and stomach
3.  Reach arms straight up above your chest, elbows locked and hands clasped together
4.  Now lower your hands down to the floor above your head
   • Do not contract your abdominal muscles, keep the stomach and lower back relaxed
   • Do not let your arms bend at the elbow, keep them straight throughout the e-cise (Our Elf is doing them wrong!)
   • If you are unable to lower your hands all the way to the floor behind you, go only as low as you are able while maintaining the straight arm position
5.  Return to the starting position and repeat as directed.

 

ASSISTED RUNNER'S STRETCH

1:00 PER SIDE

1. Kneel down in front of a chair or table you can use to stabilize and support yourself.
2. Place the back of your left heel to the front of the right knee.
   •Be sure that you are up on the toes of your right foot, with bottom of the foot pointing behind you.
   •Keep the left foot, right knee and right foot in line with each other
3. Keeping your hands on the chair stand up and begin bending over while rolling your hips back to place an arch into your lower back.
   •The heel of your right foot should now be on the ground.
4. Tighten your thighs (quads) while relaxing your upper body.
   •Keep your weight on the inside of each foot and keep your lower back arched.
5. Hold as directed on your menu.
6. Switch sides and repeat.

 

KNEELING GROIN STRETCH

1:00 PER SIDE

1.  From a kneeling position, place one foot out in front of you with your knee bent
2.  Interlace your hands and place them on your front knee
3.  Lunge forward
   • Keep the knee of the forward leg directly above your ankle
   • Push into your hands to move your chest away from your knee.
   • Your front leg should be supporting you as you are lunging forward
   • You should feel the stretch on the opposite/back leg
4.  Hold as directed on your menu
5.  Switch sides and repeat

 

STANDING OVERHEAD EXTENSION

1:00

1.  Stand with your feet pointing straight and hip width apart.
2.  Interlace your fingers together and reach your arms overhead, pressing your hands to the ceiling with palms up.
3.  Look up toward your hands and keep your arms straight, do not bend at the elbow.
   • Do not lean back.
   • Try to keep your arms directly overhead, not forward of your head, bring your shoulders down.
   • Relax your stomach muscles.
4.  Hold as directed on your menu.

So...after finishing this menu of exercises, what is different to you? Do you feel more balanced? Do you feel less pain? Do you have better range of motion? Well guess what? Although he might not say it, your Elf feels better too!

QUESTION: Which of those e-cises was your favorite?

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!

Training an Elephant (and the Link to Chronic Pain)

27 April 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Do any of you know how circus elephants are trained?

I had no idea until I was listening to a podcast the other day. When baby elephants are brought to the circus, they’re wild. Obviously, they’re meant to be wild. But do you know how they’re trained? First, a giant stake is driven into the ground. Then, a giant chain is dropped around that stake. Then, the elephant is shackled to the chain.

As you might guess, the baby elephant isn’t happy about this, and he struggles and struggles, thrashing back and forth, until he realizes that he can’t escape, and he finally gives up.

Fast-forward 20 years, and think about how an adult elephant is restrained. An adult elephant is restrained with a small stake and a tiny rope around their ankle. It’s simply tied tightly enough so the elephant feels the pressure.

Because of the restraints placed on the elephant at a young age, he now, for the rest of his life, believes a lie.

Of course, as I was listening to this podcast, I was thinking of YOU. I was thinking of me. I was thinking about what we were told in the early stages of our pain battles. I’m curious—what lies are you believing about your current state of health?

I believed the lies.

I believed I was broken.

I believed my health history would become my health destiny.

I believed I was out of options.

I believed I was hopeless.

Can you relate? I’m sure many of you can. You’re close to giving up. The future looks bleak.

How many of you feel restrained due to your health? Perhaps you were told, early on in the process: Don’t run! Don’t bike! Don’t swim!

Sound familiar? You’re the baby elephant being told, “Don’t move!”

And guess what? Sooner or later, you’ll do exactly what the elephant does…you’ll stop moving.

But, look around. Look at what’s holding you back. It's time to realize that it’s only a tiny rope tied to a tiny stake! Break free of this motionless life that you’ve adopted! Loose the chains, pull out the stake, and be wild again!

Ready to break free? Contact us now to find out how Egoscue can help! You can also see if there's a clinic in your area (if there isn't, we can see you via Skype or FaceTime)!

QUESTION: What have you believed about your condition that might not be true?

Thanks for reading and sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy--just click below)! As always, don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. And, you can follow Pete on Twitter as well as myself.

How Determined are YOU?

2 March 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” — Vince Lombardi

I had an interesting conversation with a client the other day. She is, like most clients, fighting the negative voices in her head that are asking things like, “Is Egoscue the right place for me?”, “Is this working?”,  and “Can my body heal?”

While she didn’t come out and directly ask me those questions, she did ask…“How long does this process take?” 

It’s a question that we get asked all the time. Fortunately, as I’ve grown as a therapist over the years I’ve been able to better interpret what they client was truly trying to communicate. When she asked me that this morning, what I actually heard was, “I’m scared.” I believe that she is scared that her body won’t heal. That her body can’t heal. As we start to unwind her body, we are waking up some muscles that haven’t worked in a while, and she’s experiencing some new aches and soreness that she isn’t used to feeling and is currently interpreting the new pain as “bad pain.” While I don’t typically label pains as “good” or “bad,” I know how easy it is to do. We have been conditioned to respond with a big ol’ “UH-OH!” at the first onset of an ache or pain. It’s a similar response when we see the “check engine” light come on–“UH-OH! Surely my engine is on the brink of exploding as I’m driving 80 MPH down the highway!” But what if it’s not? What if it’s something simple, like “new muscle work”? What if, like in my Honda, it’s simply an indicator that you didn’t tighten the gas cap hard enough?

What a lot of our clients forget is that no one said that getting pain free would be painless. As the body changes, you just might wake up some sleeping muscles. And, some of those sleeping muscles might be more along the lines of sleeping giants. They might hurt, and you might get mentally and emotionally “knocked down,” but how will you respond? Will you get back up? Will you do your menu again the next day knowing that you were sore and hurting today? Keep those words from Coach Lombardi in mind when you start to hurt. Instead of giving in to the fear, take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask, “What’s my body trying to tell me?” Just like the indicator light on your dashboard, your body is alerting you to the fact that something isn’t quite right. The good news is that it could be something as simple as tightening your gas cap!

If you need some inspiration to get back up, watch this video of Heather Dorniden (she’s married now and is Heather Kampf) as a member of the University of Minnesota track team. I bet she’s glad she got back up…

 

 

QUESTION:  Have you been knocked down during your Egoscue journey? More importantly…did you get back up?

As always, thanks for reading and sharing (it's easy--just click below!). And, don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Pete and me on Twitter as well!

"Just Like Riding a Bike"

16 February 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

First of all--WOW!--thank you for those of you who read, shared, and interacted with last week's post, "Don't be an Optimist: The Stockdale Paradox" (and it was a LOT of you)! For those of you who didn't read it, take a few minutes and do so now. It will definitely help set the backdrop for today's post.

Today, I want to introduce you to Destin from Smarter Every Day. I ran across the following video from him, and I knew I absolutely had to share it with you. Watch it, and then I'll tell you my thoughts below.

 

 

The reason I loved this video was two-fold. First, I found it fascinating how much Destin struggled with riding the bike. To watch him struggle with the "new" bike but also struggle when he returned to the "standard" bike blew my mind. Second, and most importantly, I learned a very valuable lesson. I learned that your body not only takes time to change, but so does your mindset.

We Egoscue therapists tell you on your first visit that your pain is due to poor posture. We, no doubt, do an incredible job explaining the posture/pain connection, talk through your posture photos--clearly pointing out your structural deviations--and jump right in to your therapy appointment after seeing you nod your head in agreement.

You tell us that you understand the posture/pain connection, but do you really?

Personally, after watching Destin's video, I'm not convinced you do.

And, if I'm being honest, your actions certainly tell me differently. Five weeks into therapy, you get an MRI on your painful shoulder (Surely there must be something else causing my pain...). Three years later, you have surgery on your knee (They're just going in to "clean some things up..."). Fifteen years later, you're having your hip replaced (It was just too far gone). 

You see, you believe that there is something else responsible for why you hurt. You told me you believed in the posture/pain connection, but you really didn't. And, your lack of understanding isn't your fault. No, quite the opposite.

Your lack of understanding was my fault. I failed you.

I explained the posture/pain connection to you on your first visit to the clinic. Perhaps we talked about it a few more times throughout the therapy process, but, I didn't talk about it enough. In essence, I gave you Destin's "new" bicycle and let you ride it a few times. You told me you "got it" and knew how to ride it, but you really didn't. The truth is that you couldn't hardly even balance on the bike, let alone ride it. I needed to give you that "new" bicycle over and over again. You needed to be reminded on a monthly, weekly, daily basis that your compromised posture is to blame for your pain. Regardless if the pain is in your shoulder, knee, or hip..they ALL have the same cause. They're all connected.

To relate today's post to last week's post, I shouldn't have placed a timeline on you to "get" what I was telling you. I said your posture is causing your pain, you nodded in agreement, and I kept right on going. I knew how to ride the bike--I take the posture/pain connection for granted--and assumed you did as well, but you acctually had no idea. Not only that, but I failed to recognize that you hadn't even seen a bike like this before, let alone ridden one.

I loved what Peggy, one of the blog commenters, had to say about the Stockdale Paradox:

"…if Stockdale prevailed, what is in me that might feel as tho' I might never be pain-free (long term pain = prison camp)? Thought patterns are hard to change sometimes when they have been long-lived. I do believe in change ... not sure about the hows."

I'm going to guess that Destin, on at least one occasion, thought to himself, This is crazy. I'm NEVER going to learn to ride this bike.

His thought pattern was hard to change.

Yet he didn't give up. Just like Admiral Stockdale, Destin had faith that he would prevail, regardless of his circumstances.

You and Destin are more similar than you might think. You believe you can ride the bike; You just have to be taught how. It's the same thing with your body: I know that you believe you can eliminate your pain and get your life back. It's up to us as Egoscue therapists to teach you how. It's crucial that we continually remind you of the posture/pain connection. We have to continually educate you about how to take control of your health back into your hands.

We know thought patterns are hard to change, especially when they've been that way for a while! But, it's time you learn to ride the "new" bike. Don't worry, we'll be right beside you.

QUESTION: What was your takeaway from Destin's video?

As always, thanks for sharing (it's easy--just click below)! If you have specific questions about your pain, contact us today! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. And, you can follow Pete and me on Twitter as well!

if Stockdale prevailed, what is in me that might feel as tho' I might never be pain-free (longterm pain = prison camp)? Thought patterns are hard to change sometimes when they have been long-lived. I do believe in change ... not sure about the hows. - See more at: http://egoscue.com/blog/item/132-stockdale-paradox-egoscue#sthash.lYJkhcCd.dpuf
if Stockdale prevailed, what is in me that might feel as tho' I might never be pain-free (longterm pain = prison camp)? Thought patterns are hard to change sometimes when they have been long-lived. I do believe in change ... not sure about the hows. - See more at: http://egoscue.com/blog/item/132-stockdale-paradox-egoscue#sthash.lYJkhcCd.dpuf
if Stockdale prevailed, what is in me that might feel as tho' I might never be pain-free (longterm pain = prison camp)? Thought patterns are hard to change sometimes when they have been long-lived. I do believe in change ... not sure about the hows. - See more at: http://egoscue.com/blog/item/132-stockdale-paradox-egoscue#sthash.lYJkhcCd.dpuf

Why Bracing Doesn't Work

4 February 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Ankle braces, back braces, elbow braces, wrist braces. Need I say more? Throughout our clinics, we see a LOT of them. And, I'm sure you see them everywhere you go as well.

They're at the gym. Your co-worker is wearing one. You've noticed them on folks walking down the street. We are surrounded by them. And, why wouldn't we be, when we have them for basically every joint in the body?

Most folks are told, either by their health practitioner or the TV commercial they watched, that their sore, aching joints need to be braced. They need stability. They're weak and can't do their intended job on their own.

But is that true? Is the body really that weak?

The short answer? No, it's not.

Our joints are incredibly stable, incredibly functional. Our joints allow us to run, jump, and climb, cut left and right, and stand up out of a chair. They aren't "fragile," far from it actually, even though we've been led to believe they are.

However, when we brace a joint, when we offer outside assistance, we provide artificial (and only temporary) help. It's the same thing that happens when you break your leg and get a cast put on. With a broken leg, obviously that bone needs outside help. It can't stabilize on its own. In a situation like that, the cast is necessary. But think about what has happened to the muscle when you take the cast off. Your muscles have atrophied. They haven't had to work for the six to eight weeks that the cast has been on, because the cast was doing the work!

The same thing happens when you wear your brace. The brace is doing the work, rather than the muscles that are surrounding the joint. So, when you take your brace off, you've actually made those muscles weaker than they were before! In an attempt to provide stabilization, the exact opposite is happening. The muscles are becoming weaker and the joint more unstable as a result.

Wearing a brace is simply treating the symptom. It's doing nothing for the actual cause of your pain. Let's do an experiment--before you get in the shower, take a look in the mirror. Look at your load joints--shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles--and find what looks "off" about them. Is one shoulder higher than the other? Is one hip rotated more toward the mirror? What about your knees? Which way do they point? Are your feet pointed in different directions? Which foot has more weight in it?

If any joint in your body is "off" as you look at it in the mirror, you're getting closer to finding the source of your pain! When the body deviates from its design blueprint, pain is the warning signal it sends. We can't brace the pain and simply mask the true cause. Living pain free starts by returning the joints to their proper position. While bracing might help in the short-term, it is certainly not a long-term solution.

If you have specific questions about your pain, contact us today! Don't wait any longer to get rid of whatever kind of brace you're currently wearing!

QUESTION: Where were your joints when you looked at yourself in the mirror?

Thanks for reading and sharing our posts (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 me on Twitter!

Your Pain is Genetic...Right?

20 October 2015, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Obviously genetics play a huge role in making you, well..."you." We all have DNA from our parents that has woven itself into what we see when we look in the mirror. Our genetics determine whether we are tall or short, have brown hair or blonde hair, or have blue eyes or hazel eyes. Yes, our genetics make us unique. But our genetics also make us little carbon copies of our parents. My oldest son is a spitting image of me. If you put our baby pictures side-by-side, it's tough to determine which one is him and which one is me. He's simultaneously unique, yet a copy of me.

But what about chronic pain? Does chronic pain fall under the genetic umbrella?

We get clients in our clinics every day who are battling hip pain just like their mother, have the exact same back condition that their uncle has, and have consulted with the same knee replacement doctor who their dad used. They chalk their current condition up to "bad genes" and don't think another thing about it.

Yet for every client who walks in believing their hip pain is their mother's fault, there is another client who doesn't have any family members with a history of chronic pain.

I was one of those. I was the first person in my family to be diagnosed with a bulging disc in my lumbar spine. Actually, now that I think about it, I still am. No one before me had a "bad back," and no one has had one since then. And, I don't believe my kids will have back pain, simply because I had it.

At the end of the day, I just don't buy that simply because your relatives dealt with pain, you're destined to deal with pain.

So, why don't I buy the so-called genetic link to chronic pain? I don't buy it, because the body is a living, breathing organism. Whatever symptom you're currently experiencing is a condition, and conditions are changeable. I've seen far too many clients who have assumed their pain is linked to their family members' pain, rid themselves of their symptoms and get their lives back. They took control of their health, gave their body a chance to heal, and it responded accordingly. Remember, the body is in a constant state of renewal.

And, for those of you who still don't believe me, let's assume that pain is genetic. If you knew that pain was coming your way, simply because someone you're related to dealt with it, wouldn't you be better off with Egoscue as part of your life? Having a body that is balanced and moving efficiently can only benefit you, long-term.

If you have questions about whether Egoscue can help you eliminate your pain, contact us today!

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on the genetic link to chronic pain?

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Fighting "Dysevolution"

9 September 2015, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

We all know that things evolve. People, animals, we all adapt. We make the best of our surroundings. We tend to stick with things that we discover are of benefit to us, while we dump other ideas that have little-to-no impact on our lives. The wheel, for example, has proven pretty important. Google+, on the other hand...where did that go?

Adaptation is a part of life.

It's a part of being alive.

However, you might not have heard of the term "dysevolution." I certainly hadn't until recently, when I stumbled upon an article from Discover magazine. Harvard researcher (and all-around advocate of motion, specifically barefoot running) Daniel Lieberman suggests that modern-day humans are dysevolving, and at a fairly rapid rate. And, as a result, we are now faced with "mismatched" disorders and conditions that our ancestors never dealt with. Things like diabetes, back pain, asthma, and hypertension are all common mismatched disorders that were once unheard of.

You see, we're designed to move. Movement is key to our metabolic system staying at a high rate. The higher the metabolic rate, the healthier the individual. However, the more sedentary the person, the slower the metabolic rate, and the sicker the person, including those illnesses Lieberman describes as mismatched disorders.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had no history of diabetes. They all slept well, and in fact, naps were a common occurrence as a way to storehouse energy for hunting. They lived, by and large, fairly healthy lives. The reason? Movement. They had to stay in motion or they died. They would literally starve to death. They had to go out, kill it, drag it home, and eat it in order to survive. The byproduct of all that movement? Their metabolic system was firing on all cylinders. And, they were generally healthy.

The article's author states that our bodies are maladapted for modern life, and I have to agree. Our modern, largely sedentary, lifestyles are wreaking havoc on our bodies. Of course, life isn't all doom and gloom. We have better technologies, medicines, procedures, etc. But we also have fewer P.E. classes, less recess, and fewer motion breaks throughout our work day.

It makes me wonder if those technologies, medicines, and procedures aren't creating worse motion habits and patterns, making us sicker, rather than healthier. Sadly, I believe our diminished motor patterns have a chance to override all the so-called advances we have made in the health and wellness industry.

It's time we get up, get moving, and get healthy! We have to reverse the dysevolution process!

QUESTION: How much do you move throughout your day?

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