Oct 24, 2007

Addendum B: Posture Correction

PHYSICAL THEREAPY AT HOME, AS A SUPPLEMENT TO DIET CHANGE. In addition to changing my diet, I meticulously followed the instructions in Pete Egoscue's book, Pain Free. (For starting, I recommend it, not his other, more specialized books.) His strengthening and stretching exercises eventually eliminated the last of the episodes of pain in my joints (especially the knees, arthritis), muscles (bursitis), and tendons (tendonitis). I suppose the exercises reduced physical stress on those parts of the body. The stress apparently came from being unbalanced in posture (walking, standing, and sitting), like a suspension bridge whose cables are too tight on one side and too loose on the other side.

My first stage of doing Egoscue's exercises was the therapeutic stage. It was very time-consuming but necessary. The therapeutic exercises required as much as 45 min/morning in the beginning (I was a wreck heading for a wheelchair), but after a few weeks of consistent effort and following the instructions exactly, the exercises began to pay off with reduced pain. After several months, the pains disappeared. The second stage of exercises, which I am now doing, is maintenance. Pains return if I fail to do my daily posture exercises or if I fail to sit, stand, and walk in proper posture.

CONCLUSIONS: Apparently an acidifying diet generally set me up for arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis pains, but poor posture determined the particular points where the pain appeared. Consequently, I have learned to ask two questions:
- Why do I have pain?
- Why am I feeling pain in that particular place?

Diet change solved the first problem. Posture-correction exercises solved the second problem.

CAUTION: The posture-correction exercises only work if you follow instructions.

MORE EFFECTIVE POSTURE-CORRECTION. Above, I recommended Pete Egoscue's Pain Free for posture-correction as a way to reduce pain in joints, tendons, and muscles. I recently found his Pain Free at Your PC to be even more effective for my particular problems. I sit a lot -- eating, riding my recumbent bicycle, reading, taking notes, and going online.

A few weeks ago, I started following Pete Egoscue's PFYPC exercise program for moderate computer-users. The series of exercises was difficult at first, showing that I had weak spots despite all my daily exercises. The new series has paid off well. I do this new routine every morning. I also practice healthy posture during the day, for example, by trying to "float" up from and back into a chair, using mostly my leg muscles, rather than using hands and arms as a "crutch" to move myself up and down.

As with Pain Free, I strongly recommend closely studying the initial chapters of PFYPC before turning to the exercise section appropriate for you. The initial chapters provide crucial background information.

Burgess Laughlin
Author of The Power and the Glory: The Key Ideas and Crusading Lives of Eight Debaters of Reason vs. Faith, www.reasonversusmysticism.com/

3 comments:

organicpaul said...

Hi Burgess, I am reading this with great interest as I find myself going down a similar road. I've just got a copy of Pain Free and am trying to digest it and put together the exercises into something I can do daily hoping this will help with my Rheumatoid Arthritis, any other tips?
Paul

Burgess Laughlin said...

Posture correction is a 24-hour/day project. It applies to sitting, standing, walking, and even sleeping. It takes time to learn and apply.

Besides the posture correction leads and possible dietary changes, I have no other suggestions to make.

Best wishes for a difficult journey.

Anonymous said...

Last comment, as I don't have anything further to contribute to this blog. In addition to posture correction, you might try the three breathing exercises recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil. Among other issues, it's claimed to help with digestion. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html?print=1

Steve C.