The Importance of Minimal Dosing

1 November 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Imagine with me for a moment: You're working away at your desk when you feel a headache coming on. You're up against a deadline, and the last thing you need is to be derailed by pain. Feeling the time crunch, you reach for the bottle of Advil, pop a couple in your mouth, flush them down the hatch with some water, and you continue pounding away at the task in front of you.

I'm certain all of you can relate to that scenario. Maybe you haven't been under the pressure of a deadline, but you and I have both reached for the Advil a time or two in an attempt to ward off a headache.

But, here's my question: Why do we only take two Advil? If two are good, wouldn't 10 Advil be better?

If course not! We take two Advil, because two are enough!

Obviously there's a minimal dose of Advil (or any other painkiller for that matter) that does the job. At a certain point, your system can't handle any more, and an excessive dose can work against your body and be harmful to you. Taking 10 Advil makes ZERO sense when a minimal dose works just fine.

I believe the same is true with our body (and our workouts, as I'll explain below). In my experience with Egoscue, the best menu I can write you is the one you do every day. I could write you an unbelievable menu that is 15 ecises long, but if you don't do it, it's no good for you. On the other hand, I can write you a menu that is five ecises long that gets done daily, and it can have a profound impact on your body.

With Egoscue, there's a cumulative effect. Just like the saying, "A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing," Egoscue works in much the same way. We have to give our bodies "a little bit of something" every day to combat the ill-effects of our (mostly) sedentary nature. We struggle with chronic pain, because our bodies have become structurally compromised. They are motion-starved!

Last week on my Facebook Live broadcast, I gave you all homework. Your assignment was to do lateral bear crawls once per day. That's it. Bear crawl, sideways, the length of your hallway, and then come back to where you started. For those watching the broadcast, it sounded like a simple assignment, and honestly, it was. I wasn't trying to overload your system. I wasn't trying to break you down. I was simply giving you a minimal dose of movement. I was giving you a "little bit of something" to break up the monotony of sitting. I was giving your body something new, something it (most likely) hadn't done in a long time, if ever.

Notice I didn't assign those bear crawls eight times per day. I didn't even give them to you three times per day. I simply wanted you to go down your hallway and come back. Why? Because it's a minimal dose. Once per day simply gets the engine started. All I wanted to do was introduce the movement to you. Now, my guess is that you did them more than once per day on occasion. I'm going to assume that your body started enjoying the new movement, craving the new motion, and you happily obliged.

My goal with the bear crawls was to simply get you moving a little bit more, and get a little bit of "buy in" for when the next assignment comes around. Similarly on the therapy side of things here at Egoscue, I won't write you an ecise menu that's 15 ecises long on your first visit, when I know you're pressed for time and you're trying to work this new regimen into your daily schedule. I know that your compliance will be much greater with a shorter menu (minimal dose) that you do daily.

We at Egoscue have a saying when it comes to fitness and working out out that "anyone can make you puke." What we mean by that is you can attend any group fitness class and be pushed so hard that you throw up, but is that really the goal? Does throwing up mean that you accomplished your goals of getting in a good cardio workout and increasing your heart rate? Just because you puked, are you really better off than the person beside you who didn't throw up?

Maybe you are...but maybe you aren't. What if you could accomplish your goals without puking? What if you could breathe heavier, have your heart rate climb, and have lunch stay down. What a concept!

That's exactly what happened to Jason Glass (who first taught me about minimal dosing at the 2016 World Golf Fitness Summit) when he experienced The Patch for the first time. If you haven't had a chance, listen to the interview he did with my colleague, Brian Bradley. After you've finished listening to the interview, watch what Jason experienced on The Patch:

Did you notice that Jason's heart rate got to 164, yet he and Brian were essentially walking The Patch? They weren't running all over the place and doing work until they puked. This entire workout lasted about 15-20 minutes. Basically, what you see in the video is how long it lasted.

If you're struggling with chronic pain, you might not be ready to get on The Patch (nor would I recommend it), but my point remains the same: Whether you're doing Egoscue or Patch Fitness, there's a minimal dose that gets the jobs done. Like the old saying that I mentioned above--I'd rather you do a little bit of something than a whole lot of nothing. If you're struggling to get your Egoscue ecise menu in each day because it's too long, communicate that with your therapist! Believe me, they want to know that information! It's crucial that we find the minimum dose that works for you!

QUESTION: When it comes to your Egoscue ecise menu, what have you found to be your minimal dose?

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!

Hope is Not a Plan

20 September 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

It's not often that I find myself speechless. If you doubt that those words are true, tune in to our next installment of "Egoscue LIVE!" and see for yourself (our broadcasts happen every Thursday at 2:00 EST on both the Egoscue Method Facebook page and through the Egoscue Method Twitter account via Periscope).

Yet, recently I was stopped dead in my tracks. I was talking to one of my best friends the other day when he uttered those five simple words. We were talking about a project he's working on and what his timeline for it is.

"Well..." he said, "I'm hoping to..."

His voice trailed off as he stopped mid-sentence.

"No," he continued, "...'hope' is not a plan."

Whoa! My mind. Was. Blown.

I couldn't speak. Honestly, I couldn't even track with what he was saying after that. I was so mesmerized by his words.

"Hope is not a plan."

How many of you are guilty of hoping for things but not planning for them? I know I'm guilty of it.

I hope to go on vacation.

I hope to retire one day.

I hope to go the the gym this week.

Or, how many of us would plant a garden and simply hope it grows? None of us! You plant your seeds, water them daily, pull weeds as necessary. You have a plan, and in the end, you have something to show for it. Perhaps you have beautiful flowers. Maybe you have food to eat. Regardless of what your labor produces, you succeeded by knowing exactly what to do and when to do it.

The same can be said for your chronic pain. If you simply hope it'll go away, that's not a plan. However, I know exactly where you can find a plan. You see, that's precisely what we do at Egoscue. We help you develop a plan. It's like you're the tourist, and we're the tour guide. You have an idea of where you want to go and what you want to do, and we simply help you get there. We will walk along side you, support you, guide you. Sure, we'll hope with you, but we'll also plan with you! And the key is in the planning.

So, next time your back hurts, or your knee flairs up, or you have a headache in the middle of the afternoon, don't just hope it'll go away. Take action and start planning! Only then will you see the results you're wanting to see.

It's time to ask yourself: Are you simply hoping to be pain free? Or are you planning to get pain free?

Whether you're wanting to be pain free, grow a garden, get a better job, or read 12 new books each year, you have to have a plan. If you need a little assistance with your plan, contact us today! You can also reach out to your closest clinic. Of course, if you already know that Egoscue is the right plan for you, schedule your appointment NOW!

QUESTION: So...which is it? Are you "hoping" or planning

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.

Cerebral Palsy and the Power of the Body

14 September 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

If you've spent any time at all around The Egoscue Method, I'm sure you've heard a number of cool testimonials. Or even better, l hope you have your own remarkable testimonial because of your work with Egoscue and you're able to share with others how the Method has impacted you and your life. If not, that's ok! Keep working toward your goal of being pain free and regaining control of your health, and soon enough you'll have your own story to tell!

Today, I want to share with you one of the coolest clients I've had the honor of working with--a teenage girl with Cerebral Palsy

For those of you unfamiliar with Cerebral Palsy, it is a condition that impacts brain and nervous system functions, such as movement, thinking, seeing, etc. Lesions on the brain impact and impair muscle function.

To give you a brief anatomy lesson, muscles can be classified as tonic or phasic. Tonic system muscles are your "flexors"--similar to when you're in the fetal position. These muscles flex, adduct (bring something closer to your body), internally rotate, etc. These muscles and their function are innate. You don't have to think about pulling your hand closer to your body after you place it on a hot burner...it just happens. Quickly. Another example would be when a first-responder arrives on a crash scene where a driver is unconscious. Typically, the unconscious driver is in the fetal position--the protection position. The body just does it naturally.

Conversely, phasic systems muscles are the "extensor" muscles. They extend the body, abduct (taking something away from your body), externally rotate, etc. The actions required of phasic system muscles are either learned, or they're not. In folks with CP, the phasic system muscles haven't learned its job.

But, the cool part is that it can be learned!

One CP client in particular I was working with was a teenage girl. Her mom contacted me in an attempt to prevent her daughter's 5th surgery to lengthen her Achilles/heel cord. She was a toe-walker, and her heels never touched the ground when she walked. In addition, her knees were constantly bent, and she was pitched forward in her upper body. These are all typical tonic system positions. Her muscles were constantly in a flexed and shortened position. Here are her "before" photos:

As most of you know, we at Egoscue are focused on the position of the body, rather than the condition of the body. I wasn't focusing on her CP, but I was instead paying attention to her load-joint alignment. In the pictures above, you can see how forward she is of the gravity line from the side view and how off-center she is from the back view. I knew that if the position of the body changed, the condition of the body would change. When proper stimulus is placed on the body, it has no choice but to change.

After just a few exercises I asked her to walk around, and HER HEELS WERE TOUCHING THE GROUND! Her body was finally getting the needed extension mechanism to get her heel to the ground. While she wasn't hitting the heel first in the gait pattern--she was walking in a toe-heel manner instead of in heel-ball-toe manner--her body was able to extend and let the Achilles lengthen. Looks like she just prevented surgery #5! Needless to say, she thought it was pretty cool, and her mom was ecstatic (while hiding a few tears of joy from her daughter)!

Her body was functioning differently, because it was positioned differently. Check out her "after" photos:

Notice the difference of her left knee position on the side view! She's MUCH closer to the line and less flexed. Although she's still leaning forward, she's in more of a straight line, rather than pitched forward at the hips. Also, from the back view, notice that we can now see her hands. Her shoulders and upper back have changed position, and her body is starting to "open up" and tap into the phasic system muscles. She is also much better aligned with the plumb line when looking at her back view.

For those of you battling CP, don't lose hope! Remember that you can impact your condition! I would encourage you contact us with your questions. You can also reach out to your closest clinic.

QUESTION: What have you been told about your CP diagnosis? Do you believe your condition can improve?

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.

Flying Somewhere? Try These Simple Exercises

6 September 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

This article and video originally appeared on Sonima.com

Simple Airplane Stretches for a Long Flight

Relieve the pain that inevitably creeps in during long flights with these simple stretches designed by alignment expert Pete Egoscue.

 

 

After two hours of flying, most of us tend to feel pretty uncomfortable. Join alignment expert Pete Egoscue to learn some tips and airplane stretches to help you relieve pain during and after your travel. This video will focus on the pelvis, the back, and the feet so you can leave your flight feeling comfortable and aligned.

QUESTION: What do you find helps the most to stay mobile on the plane?

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.

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.

Limit the Bad, Increase the Good

17 August 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

This week's post is written by Elliott Williams, a therapist in our Del Mar Headquarters. Be sure to follow him on Twitter!

Isn’t it funny that we’re always looking at what products our kids use? We pay special attention to what the ingredients are in their toothpaste, or what "extra" stuff is in their baby food. Are there any harmful products in the baby wash? Is there anything on this label that I shouldn't be putting in my child's body?

Yet at some point we stop caring as much, at least about ourselves. Many of us don't worry about what's in our food, or what we are putting in and on our body. If there are certain things that make us feel good, physically, nutritionally or otherwise, why would we stop doing them? Or on the other hand, if we continue to feel badly doing certain things, why would we continue to do them?

Most clients are coming in to our clinics looking at us to be the "expert" that they have been in search for after trying everything for their pain. Many have been to the best doctors and technicians in their area. I know that prior to walking through the clinic doors for my first appointment, I had done the exact same thing. I was looking to everyone else to "fix" me, when all along, the person staring back at me in the mirror was the only one who could do that. I should have been trusting and believing in myself, in my body, from the beginning. And the best part about that is, that I am no different than you. I have a different, height, weight and build for sure, but underneath I am the same person. I have the same bone structure, the same amount of muscles, joints and internal systems. This isn’t an article of how I did it and now you can, this is a story about how we need to take responsibility and when we do, GREAT things will come. Remember, your body knows best, you hold all the answers to your questions, internally and externally. It’s just time to get some help translating the signals that your body is sending you.

Egoscue is that translator, not only helping you understand what your body is telling you, but helping you understand what to do about it. We aren't the "expert" on your body...you are. We simply help interpret the signals your body is sending you. We help you bring balance back to the entire system. Everybody needs a little help here and there, everyone needs some direction, it is up to us, the individual to then stay the course and follow the direction that is given.

I am a Postural Therapist, and can tell you that we don't need to continually diet or be an extremist about what goes in or on our body, but to find moderation. Limit the bad things and increase the good things. And, drink more water than anything else you consume. It's a simple equation, really. You’ll find that inflammation will decrease, you will start to give your body the opportunity it craves to heal, to feel better, that I am sure of. Most importantly, MOVE your body. Muscles move bones, and bones make up the structure that hold all other systems in your body. Therefore if the muscles are not asked to move, the structure is compromised and everything internally is compromised as well.

Doing these things will also help setup the next wave, the next generation, taking them from a largely sedentary state to empowered and motivated. They'll be motivated to maintain health, motivated to inspire their generation. Let's all take a little more care for ourselves, and as Pete always says, with some fire, “DO YOUR MENU!”

QUESTION: What do you do that's good for 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.

Are Athletes Injury Prone or Dysfunctional?

9 August 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

The Olympics are in full-swing, and I love it! Personally, I'm a huge fan of the Games. Summer, winter, doesn't matter. I love seeing athletes from all over the world, many of which are teenagers or in their early 20s, competing to bring home the gold for their respective country. They work for years to get one shot at glory. Oh, the pressure! Oh, the challenge! Oh, the celebration!

But of course with sports you not only have the thrill of victory, but you also have the agony of defeat. While every competition has winners and losers, unfortunately some competitions have those athletes who get injured. None of us like getting injured, but that's the nature of playing sports. Think about being in elite company, whether you're a professional athlete or an Olympian, working, training for years, dedicating your life to your craft, only to succumb to injury. So frustrating. So heart-breaking. And, sadly, for some athletes, it seems as though they are always getting injured.

But are some athletes truly injury prone, or are they just dysfunctional? In other words, are they "unlucky," or are they writing checks their body can't cash? (Thanks, Top Gun)

While some might argue that certain athletes are injury prone, I believe if we examined what was actually happening with the athlete's body, we would see that joint dysfunction is the underlying cause of their injury. What I see when I watch sports is that all athletes have a functional "ceiling." Our body has adapted and compensated to the point where we're "capped" on what movements we can do without pain and injury. Depending on our dysfunction(s), what is painful for one person might not be for another, and what's challenging for me might be completely easy for you. It's important to remember that, by design, we humans are supposed to be able to do all types of movement pain free. Essentially, if you can fathom it, you can do it. However, for many of us, that's just not the case, and I want to explain why and show you a couple examples of what I'm talking about

Not only are the Olympics ramping up, but the NFL season is rapidly approaching here in the United States. Just a few days ago it was reported that the Cleveland Browns have appointed Robert Griffin III as their starting quarterback. For those of you not familiar with RG3, he is an incredible athlete and a talented quarterback, but he has been injured throughout much of his playing career, both college and professional. He has suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) on his right knee (multiple times), a torn Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) on his right knee, and once dislocated his left ankle while throwing on-the-run.

Many folks say that RG3 is "injury prone," but I just don't buy it. Yes, it's true that he has had multiple injures, but I think the good people evaluating him are overlooking one glaring piece of the puzzle. While most of them have been focused on the site of the injury--the ACL, LCL, and his dislocated ankle--I'm focusing on what I see after watching only 30 seconds of this video:

Did you notice that his left hip isn't doing anything?

He's squatting an incredible amount of weight and basically only using his right side, especially on his way up out of the squat.

Is anyone else seeing this?

Watch it again if you need to. As he squats, notice that his left hip starts elevated, stays elevated, and then rotates back in order to get out of doing any work. Because his left hip isn't working properly, a dysfunctional cause-and-effect chain-reaction is set in motion.

His right side was screaming for help (ACL/LCL tears), while his left side became completely disconnected. The hip, knee, and ankle were no longer a congruent unit. When RG3 tried to push off his left leg (while running to the right) to get into position to throw, his left ankle basically said, "Uh...not today," and dislocated. There was such a breakdown in the chain-link of joints (hip-to-knee-to-ankle) that his body could no longer hold up under the stress. He was asking his body to do something that it functionally couldn't do. Remember that functional "ceiling" I was talking about earlier? This is that, and RG3 is a perfect example. He's an incredible athlete, but he's also incredibly dysfunctional. I don't believe he's "injury prone." I believe he asked his body to go beyond its functional ceiling.

When watching the Olympics the other night, I saw it again. This time it was in the gymnastics arena. There's ZERO doubt that gymnasts are incredible athletes, but many of them are also incredible dysfunctional, and, in my opinion, ticking injury-time-bombs waiting to go off. In what was, without question, one of the worst injuries of the Olympic Games thus far, French gymnast Samir Ait Said broke his leg during the vault portion of the men's competition. You can watch the video on your own, but be warned that it's gruesome and extremely hard to watch. While the injury was horrible, those of us within Egoscue could have told him something bad might be headed his way.

Take a look at these still shots from his vault approach, and notice the direction his feet and knees are pointing:

His knees and feet should be pointing straight ahead when he's running, but they are not even close to that. They are pointing out at 45-degree angles to his body. Also notice how much his upper-body is having to compensate and rotate to keep him moving toward the target. His body is fighting itself. His dysfunction is taking him in an east-west direction when he needs to go north-south. It's a recipe for disaster, and unfortunately for this gymnast, that's exactly what it was. He quickly found his functional ceiling when he made contact with the landing pad. Not only was his Olympic dream shattered, but his career might be over as well.

Just like RG3, Ait Said's initial trouble started with his dysfunctional hips. Anytime I see a client presenting with this foot and knee position during the gait evaluation, I know exactly what's happening, or more accurately, what's not happening. With this example, his hips have shut down. They aren't functioning properly, yet his body knows that it still needs to get foot clearance as he walks and runs. As a result, his body has begun swinging the legs out and around in a circumducting manner. Instead of going straight ahead, the legs' initial movement is "out" to allow enough room for the foot to travel in front of his body without him tripping on each step. Only when he is able to restore hip function will he be able to change his gait and drastically decrease his risk for injury.

The key to unlocking one's full athletic potential is to ensure the entire body is functioning at its optimum level. Yes, the hips are the hinge-pin of the body--they are the basis of support for the upper half and the locomotor for the lower half--but we can't ignore the shoulders, knees, and ankles. Athletes, whether young or old, professional or recreational, owe it to themselves to get functional. If an athlete isn't functional, they're doing themselves, and their teammates, a disservice. Their performance will suffer, and they are at a greater risk for injury. Restore function, and reverse the process! If you're looking to get started, get in touch with your local Egoscue clinic and schedule an appointment today!

QUESTION: What dysfunctions have you noticed when watching your favorite team or athlete compete?

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.

Coming Out of the Fog

2 August 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

I enjoy fog. It might sound weird, I know, but I think it's kind of cool. I think there's a mystique, a mystery, about it. At times, I even consider it to be calming.

As I sat at my kitchen table one early morning last week reading and working, I looked out the window and saw it. Hovering low, barely touching the treetops, it was blanketing everything around it, covering our neighborhood, distorting reality.

I stared out the window for a couple minutes, totally engrossed with the scene in front of me, when it hit me -- I used to be in that fog. I wasn't literally in the fog outside the window, but in the figurative fog that comes along with chronic pain.

In the mid-90s I was in excruciating pain. Sometimes I was at a "3" on the pain scale; other times I was at a "9" on the scale. But one thing was certain, my pain was, almost literally, felt 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I was exhausted, and it took everything I had to focus on anything but my symptom. My pain was, in essence, all-consuming.

I couldn't focus clearly. 

My reality was distorted.

Heck, I couldn't even think straight.

Things that were right in front of me were hidden from plain sight.

I was in the "fog" of chronic pain.

When I was 14, 15, 16 years old, my pain had consumed me. It was forever on my mind. It was constantly there. There was never a day when I wasn't walking around with a distorted view of reality because of the "fog." And, I know that there are many of you reading this who are experiencing the same thing. The fog outside my window last week was soothing, however the fog of chronic pain causes chaos. There is nothing soothing about it.

Pain not only consumes us physically, but it also impacts us emotionally and mentally. It affects our relationships. It derails our goals. It changes our mood. In other words, we end up in a "fog."

Egoscue brought me out of the fog. When my pain was gone, I could think clearer, see better, focus more intently. Everything changed. I could envision my future life, and it included being active. I could see myself playing college baseball. I could imagine playing with my kids. My vision was no longer distorted.

While it might be difficult for you to imagine a life free from pain, I'm here to tell you that it's not only possible, it's what you should expect. I'm walking proof that it can happen. Egoscue gave me my life back, and I'm here to tell you that you can get yours back as well. You can join those from all over the world who have done the same.

It's time for the fog to lift. It's time for you to get your life back. You deserve it. You need it. You're ready for it.

Start today. Take a minute and book your appointment! With Egoscue, the fog will begin to lift, you'll see more clearly, reality will no longer be distorted, and you'll get your life back!

QUESTION: How long have you been in the fog?

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.

The Client Struggle

15 June 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

Trust me, I can empathize with those of you in pain. I've been there, and more than once.

You've been in pain for so long that it seems you'll never be pain free. You believe your body is broken, and things will never be the same. On the rare occasion that you do have a good moment, or even a good day, if and when the pain returns, you're sent into a tailspin. Pain not only takes its toll physically, but it messes with your mind.

I get it.

And I want you to know that you're not alone. Actually, I'm going through an experience just like that currently. As many of you know, I played baseball in college. This summer, I decided to brush the dust off my cleats and play again. Despite the fact that I haven't played in seven or eight years, I laced my spikes back up and hit the field. A couple games in, I noticed that my right knee was feeling a bit "off," but I chalked it up to my body adjusting to being back in the game. I played in a third game a few nights later, and the next morning is when things got...um...interesting.

I woke up, rolled out of bed, and quickly realized that I could barely walk. My right knee was swollen, felt "tight," and there was a catching/clicking right behind my kneecap that could stop me in my tracks and drop me in an instant. I got on the phone with Pete Egoscue, and he walked me through a menu to ensure my hips were firing as they should and my knee was aligned properly.

While he was sure I'd be fine, admittedly, I wasn't convinced. Quite the opposite, actually. In my heart of hearts, I was convinced that I had torn my medial meniscus. To me, it presented as a flap tear. If you aren't familiar with that term, it basically means that a piece of the meniscus has torn and rolled or flapped over, causing interference in the knee joint. Based on what I was experiencing in my knee when I tried to walk, I was sure that was going to be my diagnosis.

Wanting peace of mind and an actual answer as to what was happening inside my knee joint, I scheduled an MRI for a few days later. I hobbled into the doctor's office, and talked with the doc about my symptoms, explaining when I first experienced the tightness and swelling. After giving him all the details, I drove down the block to the imaging center to get my MRI. If you've never been in an MRI machine, 1) you're lucky and 2) it's the most annoying sound you've heard. It's a series of hums, bumps, dings, and knocks at varying speeds and volumes, and my test lasted for 20 minutes.

Later that day, I got the call from the doctor:

"John, I have the results of your MRI, and everything looks great!"

His words echoed in my mind. Everything looks great. Everything looks great. Everything looks great...

I was stunned. Shocked! I couldn't believe it. Surely there was something wrong with my knee. I was convinced of it!

Yet...there wasn't.

In that moment, and in those previous days prior to the MRI, I was struggling. Sure, I was struggling physically, but I was also struggling emotionally. Just like I know you are. You're in pain. You know your body isn't functioning properly. But your tests and scans come back negative. It's a frustrating place in which to be!

So, what exactly was wrong with my knee? As I learned in that moment, nothing. Nothing was wrong. My knee was simply sending me a signal. The joint was out of alignment, and I believe my kneecap wasn't tracking properly. That's where the clicking was coming from. That's why my knee was catching.

So, I've spent the last few weeks doing my menu daily and spending extensive time in the Tower. While my knee isn't 100% yet--it's still swollen at times--the clicking and catching is gone. I haven't returned to the baseball field yet, but I am able to walk, and even lightly jog if I have to, symptom-free. I know it's going to take time, just like it will take time for your symptom to go away. The reason for this post is to let you know that you aren't alone, and I get the struggle. And it is a struggle. Not knowing when you'll be 100% is hard. Not knowing if your body will respond like you want it to is scary.

I have a trip coming up to Iceland in August. The plan is hiking, hiking, and more hiking! Honestly, a few weeks ago, I was scared to go, worried that I might not be able to keep up with my friends.

But now? I'm not worried about that trip at all! Bring on Iceland and all of its hiking!

Don't forget, if you're looking to get help NOW, schedule an appointment!

QUESTION: How have your symptoms impacted you physically and mentally?

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.

Osteoporosis and the Truth About Aging

8 June 2016, 12:00 am
Published in Blog

The medical world is sending a message to our aging population. They're saying that while you old fogies (I could have called you old farts...but I didn't!) aren't totally in trouble now, you might be in the near future. Yep--it's sad but true. You should save yourself a lot of agony and simply throw in the towel now, because life as you know it is over, and there's nothing you can do about it.

That's right. You've reached the beginning of the end. You don't have full-blown osteoporosis, but it's been discovered that you have it's predecessor, osteopenia. And, once you're diagnosed with osteopenia...

Awwww....dang. It is O-V-E-R.

Or is it?

Not in our book, it's not. Actually, in our book (Pain Free by Pete Egoscue if you'd literally like to read the book), we believe you have more than a fighting chance. We believe you're not a bunch of old fogies. In fact, we believe that if you didn't know how old you were, you'd have NO IDEA how old you were!

You've been told there's "no hope" and you need to prepare for a life with little-to-no movement in it (just don't tell that to the man in the picture at the top of this article). Check out what Pete Egoscue says about it when discussing two of the Eight Laws of Physical Health: Vertical Loading and Renewal. Both of those are key when it comes to preventing or reversing your bone loss.

Vertical Loading: Gravity is necessary for health. In order for gravity to exert a positive and dynamic influence on the body, the skeleton must be vertically aligned in its posture.

Renewal: The body is organic; therefore, it is in a constant state of growth or rebirth. Muscles, bones, nerves, connective tissues, cartilage, and the like are all alive. If the body is not renewing, it is because we are violating the laws of physical health. The more laws we violate, the faster we age and die.

If you are properly aligned and loaded, gravity has an incredibly powerful impact on your body. Only then will your muscles and bones grow properly. When you're misaligned, gravity impacts the body negatively and osteopenia--and then osteoporosis--sets in.

Egoscue continues later in the book when talking about another bone condition that impacts many of you, arthritis.

The word arthritis spooks people, but it only means what it is objectively denoting in Latin--inflammation of a joint...It is a disease of unknown origin, we are told. A disease that is incurable.

I have never seen arthritis develop in a joint that was previously aligned. Never. Given that, as recent clinical tests have shown, moderate regular exercise eases that symptoms of osteoarthritis in the elderly, moderate regular exercise and musculoskeletal alignment in younger people would go a long way--if not all the way--toward preventing the onset of the disease in the first place.

Aggressive arthritis--the disease mechanism, not just the swelling and cartilage loss--appears to seek out quiet, undisturbed places to set up shop. A joint capsule is a fortress, a world unto itself. Weaken it by blood and oxygen deprivation, which the prioritizing body does to any superficial tissue or systems, and arthritis has the necessary conditions to thrive.

Simply put, the better aligned you are, the more you efficiently you move, and the more blood and oxygen you get to your joints. Osteoporosis, osteopenia, and arthritis can't survive in an environment that is loaded properly, and full of movement, blood flow, and oxygen. That's why these conditions have nothing to do with age, and instead, have everything to do with your body position. Get aligned properly and your diagnosis will disappear. You'll miraculously get your life back! Even if you're still an old fogy. If you're ready to reverse the "aging process," book an appointment and get started right now!

QUESTION: What was your reaction to being told you had osteoporosis or osteopenia?

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.

 

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