John Elder

John Elder

John Elder is the Vice President of Corporate Operations for Egoscue, Inc. and former Clinic Owner of Egoscue Nashville.

John is the main content contributor for the Egoscue blog. A client since 1995, he was an instant believer in the Method and felt relief after his first visit at Egoscue Headquarters in Del Mar, California. It is because of Egoscue that John was able to realize his dream of playing Division I baseball while at Yale University. John has traveled internationally with Egoscue and handles many of the Midwest and East Coast speaking engagements for Egoscue, Inc. His clientele includes the young and old, working professionals, stay-at-home moms, professional athletes, weekend warriors, politicians, and the everyday “Joe.”

Warm Up Before Yoga (And Cool Down After)

17 January 2017, 12:00 am

This article originally appeared on Sonima.com.

 

 

 

Calling all yogis! If you're a practitioner of yoga, then today's post is for YOU! Has the thought of warming up for yoga class (or cooling down afterward) ever crossed your mind?

When we practice yoga, we bring all of our habitual patterns with us. The practice has inherent neutralizing effects, but sometimes, whether because of extreme tightness, hyper-mobility, stress, or otherwise—our practice gets muddled by our current state. There are many ways to center the body and mind before practice including meditation, breathing practices, as well as moderate exercises to prepare the body. In this video, alignment expert Pete Egoscue, with the help of Sonima founder and long time Ashtanga Yoga practitioner, Sonia Jones, offers a pre- and post-yoga workout routine to help solidify the powerful effects of the practice.

QUESTION: What do you do to warm up for and/or cool down from yoga?

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!

It's Gotta Be the Shoes!

10 January 2017, 12:00 am

"It's gotta be the shoes!" -- Mars Blackmon

Does anyone remember the old Nike commercial where Mars Blackmon (a.k.a. Spike Lee) was asking basketball legend Michael Jordon about how and why he is so good? Blackmon was asking Jordon about everything--from his dunks to his haircut to his long shorts--before finally being convinced that it was his shoes that made all the difference.

While Jordon denied that any of those things actually made a difference, there was no changing Blackmon's mind, and Nike's next great marketing slogan was born. For me personally, Nike (and more specifically, Jordan) created a desire within me to get a pair of Jordan shoes for basketball season. And, guess what? I GOT THEM!

Well...let me rephrase that.

I guess I should say that I had them.

I had a pair of Air Jordan high-tops...until my three older sisters found out. They threw such a fit that their little brother got a pair of $125 shoes just for the basketball season that my parents returned them to the store! If I'm being honest, I believe their frustration stemmed from the fact that I was the only one in the family to get a Big Wheel (a Dukes of Hazzard one, at that) despite their incessant requests for one, so there was no way that I was getting Air Jordan sneakers as well. Truth be told, they are actually still angry (seriously...STILL angry) about that Big Wheel...but I digress...

Yes, at the eleventh hour, my Air Jordans where snatched from my hands. So close...yet so far!

That brings me to today's post about shoes. While I obviously don't believe that Michael Jordan's shoes made him the player that he was, I do believe that shoes make a huge difference in our overall function and ability to move.

When it comes to what you put on your feet, the Egoscue philosophy is simple: less is best. Ideally, we want you (and your foot) to be able to move as functionally as possible, as much as possible. Obviously, we recommend taking movement breaks throughout your day as much as you can. In addition, we are huge fans of getting your body functional before you go and do your regular workouts. But we also want you to stay as functional as possible throughout your workouts (and as you go throughout your day).

How can we accomplish that? There are different ways to do it, including doing your Egoscue menu, but one simple change you can make is to start wearing a shoe that allows as much functional movement as possible at the feet--the functional base of support for the rest of your body.

Your foot is designed to move, and shoes should allow that movement to happen. Shoes that take away from that ability aren't doing you or your body any favors. Sure, there may be a time and a place to wear shoes that don't allow a lot of movement (yes, it's ok to wear high-heels from time to time, ladies), but generally speaking, the less shoe, the better.

As your foot is allowed to move as it's designed, you are creating a functional "domino-effect" of improved and increased movement up the rest of the bodily chain. Basically, if your foot is moving better, so will your ankle, knee, hip, spine, etc. The improved function and mobility doesn't simply stop at the foot. It continues the path up the body, impacting you from toe to head.

"Barefoot shoes"--a term given to shoes that allow for the foot to move as designed--have been around for years now. Dating back to the early 2000s, we have had a plethora of minimalist shoes from which to choose. Nike, New Balance, Fila, Adidas, Merrell, the list goes on an on, have all had minimalist options. There are so many choices now, that the job of finding the "right" one for you can feel like a daunting task.

That's exactly why I wanted to weigh in on this issue. I actually talked about minimalist shoes on a Facebook Live broadcast, and the response was great. Clearly, several of you who tuned in to that video were in the market for minimalist shoes! The feedback and responses I have received from that talk has been incredible. I'm glad I covered this topic!

When you watch the Facebook video (if you haven't already), you'll hear that I mention the Vibram FiveFingers as being the best barefoot shoe on the market. The VFF shoe is, hands down, the most "barefoot" of all the minimalist shoes that I have worn. However, some folks don't like the way they look, and they won't wear them for that reason alone. If you don't care how you look, then get a pair of the VFFs, however, if you are looking for something a little more fashionably acceptable, take a look at the following list. Keep in mind, that Egoscue has no ongoing relationship with any of these folks, and I don't get a dime from them (Although I would never turn down free shoes if any of these companies would like to send them to me to wear and review on the blog! Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!):

1. VivoBarefoot -- Choose any style they offer. You can't go wrong with the VivoBarefoot shoes.

2. Lems Shoes -- Again, choose any style. I have a pair of the Primal shoes. They are incredibly light and flexible. It feels like I am wearing slippers.

3. New Balance Minimus -- These are my favorite running/race shoes. Some of the newer versions are a bit stiffer than the originals, but they are still great shoes.

4. Nike Free -- This is a good introductory shoe for those who are trying to transition to barefoot shoes. I have a pair that I wear currently.

5. Merrell Trail Glove -- Personally, this is my least favorite of the minimalist shoes I have used but some folks rave about them.

So, there you go! Those are my Top-5 Barefoot Shoes that I have personally worn. Do you have a favorite pair that isn't on the list? If so, don't keep it a secret! Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I'll check them out!

QUESTION: What is YOUR favorite pair of barefoot shoes?

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

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!

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2016

27 December 2016, 12:00 am

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!

Warm-Up for Walking

21 December 2016, 12:00 am

This article originally appeared on Sonima.com and was written by Pete Egoscue

 

 

When you engage in any form of exercise you want your body to be as balanced as possible. When your body is in balance it can move evenly and symmetrically. Symmetrical movement ensures that your weight is distributed evenly and makes it less likely that you’ll become injured or plagued by pain. Balanced movement also makes you more efficient when you walk, meaning your energy is used optimally to get you from point A to point B, and you’ll reap the most physical benefits from your efforts.

While you may think your body is already in balance, the truth is that anyone who spends most of their time sitting at a desk or in a car is going to have some physical imbalances. This 15-minute warm-up is designed to put your body in a neutral position by targeting common areas of weakness and tightness that lead to asymmetrical movement. Spending just a few minutes creating openness and mobility in key areas such as the ankles, feet, and hips will allow you to make the most of your walk and enjoy yourself even more while you’re out there.

QUESTION: What's your favorite way to warm up before your walk?

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!

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!

This article was written by Pete Egoscue and originally appeared on Sonima.com

Eating out most, if not all, meals is one of the lures of travel whether you’re roaming the planet for business or pleasure. A 2012 survey from TripAdvisor of more than 1,400 U.S. travelers found that 65 percent were more likely to overindulge in food while on vacation, and another 49 percent are likely to binge-drink. Nearly a third claimed to always or often pack on pounds during a trip. Here’s where frequent fliers may have a leg-up on vacationers. Having most likely learned the hard way, they know how crucial is is to do some exercise while on the road to burn off extra calories before they end up with excess baggage (not kind that fits in the overhead bin).

Next time you’re away, try to sneak in a quick workout each morning or evening when you’re winding down from a long day. This is especially important if you’re enjoying feasts daily and not doing any form of activity, like hiking, biking, swimming, etc. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be an intense sweat-fest. This 20-minute workout video designed by Pete Egoscue, Sonima.com’s alignment expert and author of multiple books including Pain Free, features a series of easy and effective exercises you can do right in your hotel room—no gym equipment, workout clothes, or sneakers needed.

QUESTION: How do you stay active while on the road?

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!

An Object in Motion...

29 November 2016, 12:00 am

Sir Isaac Newton. Now HE was a smart guy, wasn't he? I think it's safe to say that he had some pretty good ideas!

Gravity, the Laws of Motion, and the fact that the Earth and its planetary neighbors revolve around the sun rather than the other way around, are all Newton's doing. While all of those ideas impact us on a daily basis, there's one specific idea that I want to hone in on today. That is Newton's first law of motion: An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion.

I guess today's topic is more of a question for you: Are you an object at rest, or an object in motion?

For most of us, sadly, the scale tips toward us being objects at rest. We used to move. A lot, actually. But these days...not so much. I talked on Egoscue LIVE! recently about how we, essentially, live our lives in a 3' x 3' x 3' cube. Rarely do we move outside of that box, and the vast majority of our "movement" is accomplished by our hands and wrists. That's not a good plan of attack if we're looking to keep this machine we call our body working at its optimum level.

When we are at rest (and therefore staying at rest), we are basically telling our body that it's okay to not move. We're giving ourselves the green light to stay parked at a red light. That doesn't make much sense, does it?

Now, please hear me--I'm not saying we shouldn't rest. Far from it, actually. I believe "resting" is crucial to our systems. Resting allows us to hit the "reset" button. Sleep is important. I love sleep. The over-stressed workaholic who tells you he doesn't need more than four hours of sleep each night is 1) lying, and 2) headed for a rude awakening (no pun intended). We absolutely, positively need down time.

But we also need "up" time. We have to move, we're designed to move, and we have to do it daily. Actually, we need to move multiple times each day, but the vast majority of us are falling well short of that much-needed goal. Not only will we have more energy and less pain by moving more, but we'll also be more attentive, and our brains will function at a higher rate. That "afternoon fog" will magically melt away.

If you don't believe me that you are an "object at rest," then it's time you start keeping a "motion journal." Pete Egoscue suggests this activity in his book Pain Free and thinks your day might look something like this:

MORNING

Hour 1: Woke up, showered, dressed, made breakfast, drove the kids to school.

Hour 2: Drove to work, answered phone messages

Hour 3: Attended meeting, reviewed annual-report draft

Hour 4: Interviewed job applicant, made calls, had lunch at desk.

AFTERNOON

Hour 5: Meeting--boring!

Hour 6: Cab to client's office, discussed problems and prospects

Hour 7: Cab back to my office, answered phone message, drafted memo.

Hour 8: Conferred with Ronnie and Alice, went through the mail.

Hour 9: Drove to the grocery store, shopped, drove home.

EVENING

Hour 10: Prepared dinner, ate, did cleanup.

Hour 11: Drove to choir practice, practiced.

Hour 12: More choir practice.

Hour 13: Drove home, helped kids with homework.

Hour 14: Did office paperwork, checked the computer for E-mail.

Hour 15: Watched TV, got ready for bed, went to bed.

While that may not be your exact schedule, I'm guessing it's pretty close. Clearly, with the exception of walking to hail a cab, or down the hall for the meeting with Ronnie and Alice (if the meeting wasn't in this person's office), there's not a lot of motion listed in this example. And, I think it's safe to assume there wouldn't be much motion listed in your journal, either.

Sure, dropping down on the ground and spontaneously doing push-ups and sit-ups may be frowned upon in your workplace, but there are some thing you can do to ensure that you're in motion throughout your day. Here are some suggestions:

Hold a walking meeting.

Reach overhead with both hands.

Twist laterally at the waist.

Use the restroom on a different floor and take the stairs to get there.

Turn your head and look as far to the left and right as possible.

Stand on one leg.

Dance!

I suggest our clients set a timer each hour and take a five- to ten-minute motion break. Having an audible reminder is a good way to break out of the object-at-rest cycle. Remember, we are designed to be in motion. Movement is the key to a highly-functioning metabolic system, and the faster the metabolic rate, the healthier the individual. If you're an "object at rest," that means your metabolic system is "at rest." Keep in mind that as your metabolic rate decreases, so will your health! So if you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, that very well might be your body's way of telling you to be an object in motion!

Newton was a smart guy! Don't forget how important his laws of motion are throughout your day!

QUESTION: What's your favorite way to stay in motion through the day?

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!

Giving Thanks for Your Pain

22 November 2016, 12:00 am

It's Thanksgiving week! Come Thursday, many of us will be gathered around our table stuffing our faces with incredible food while surrounded by friends and family. It's a time to gratefully reflect on all that we so gratefully have, while creating memories and establishing family traditions that will carry on for generations to come.

But, unfortunately, Thanksgiving isn't all euphoric all the time. For countless readers, Thursday will include pain. Physical pain. Their knee pain will rear its head because they've stood in the kitchen too long preparing the amazing meal. As a result, they'll have to sit down to alleviate their pain. For others, sitting around the table will cause their back to flare up, and they'll need to get up and move around in order to loosen things up.

Many will experience this up-and-down pattern throughout their day. But I wonder if they'll truly realize what's happening when they sit down or stand up in order to positively impact their symptom. What's actually happening, whether they fully understand it or not, is that their body is telling them exactly what needs to happen, what needs to change, in order to be pain free. Their condition hasn't changed when they sit down or stand up--they're still bone-on-bone in their knee, for example--their position changed.

When clients tell me about their pain, I get excited! I'm not excited that they're in pain. I get excited about the opportunity they have to learn about their body and their condition. I get excited when they're able to connect the posture-pain dots and link standing or sitting too long to their pain. Even more importantly, I get excited when they realize that changing their position is what leads to changing their condition. 

What's truly exciting for me is the story they'll be able to tell their friends and family. They'll share with them how they prevented surgery when they were told it was imminent. They'll be able to tell them that they're running again after being told it would never happen again. They'll be able to brag about how they haven't had a migraine in over a month, when headaches used to be a daily occurrence.

Personally, I think battling chronic pain is an opportunity to be thankful. I understand that that statement might sound strange, but it's true. When our clients get pain free, it's because they took control of their health. They weren't dependent on someone or something else to get pain free. They stepped up and took charge. They took matters into their own hands. What a grateful feeling to be able to turn a negative situation into a positive learning opportunity! Now that is something to be thankful for, isn't it?

In addition, think of all the lives our clients impact by sharing their stories of eliminating pain. They not only get to educate themselves on their own pain, but they also get to educate their friends and family on their pain. Again, what an amazing opportunity!

So, this year, if you're in pain...be thankful. You have an incredible opportunity to take control of your health, get educated on why you truly hurt, and impact the lives of those around you!

QUESTION: What are you grateful for?

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!

Fear is the Beginning of Wisdom

15 November 2016, 12:00 am

"The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt

There's no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of readers know that quote from FDR. However, do any of you know the rest of that sentence? For those of you unaware, that FDR quote was from his first inaugural address. Times were tough, the country was in the middle of the Great Depression, and unbeknownst to the American people, World War II was just around the corner. This was a tumultuous time, a scary time. Fear was running rampant.

After FDR spoke those famous words, he not only continued, but he called fear out:

"The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

You see...fear paralyzes us. We freeze. And, I believe we freeze because of the unknown.

So, why am I writing about fear today? Because I know you're fearful. I know you're scared. Pain can be scary. There are words and terminology used that might not make sense. You might not know what your diagnosis means. You aren't quite sure why you have it--the reasons given just don't sit well with you. And because you don't understand the terms and you don't truly believe the reason given for why you have pain, you live with this unjustified terror. You're freaking out, yet you don't really understand why.

The good news is that you don't have to be scared!

The only thing we should really be fearful of...is fear! We shouldn't be fearful of our condition, or our diagnosis, or that surgery has been discussed, or what we think might happen to our quality of life. As FDR said, we waste precious energy on fear, energy that could turn retreating into action.

What's true is that chronic pain doesn't just "go away." We can't "rest" our pain into oblivion. We can't retreat, curl up in the fetal position, or turn a blind eye when our body is trying to send us a signal. We have to take action. We have to actually work our pain away.

Did you know that there is a good side to fear? It's true. Fear actually helps us shed light on our desires! If you're afraid of surgery, it's because you desire to live pain free as the body was intended! If you're scared of your diagnosis, it's because you desire to fully understand what's happening with your body. I believe that in our fear resides an innate wisdom, and only when we're afraid can that wisdom be revealed. We can't kowtow to fear. We can't retreat. We have to face it full on, take action. We have to let our wisdom reign.

What I want to make perfectly clear here today, is that I believe with 100% certainty that you know exactly what is causing your pain. If you'll actually trust your innate wisdom and listen to your body (hard to do, I know!), you'll discover that you have already connected the dots about your pain. You have to trust that gut feeling you've had for a while now that says your neck pain and hip pain are connected. When you allow yourself to trust your wisdom, you're never wrong. And in that place, in that trust, fear vanishes.

So, what FDR said is true: "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." If you're fearful, then be afraid of that fear. Once we bring wisdom into the picture, things become clearer. The diagnosis isn't quite so scary. Your future quality of life doesn't seem quite so bad. When we trust your wisdom, you're left with a plan of action. And it's crucial that we "convert retreat into advance."

QUESTION: What are you fearful of?

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!