By: Colleen Bunker, LAc
I treat a lot of chronic back pain in my practice and more likely than not, the pain didn’t start with a specific injury. In many cases, the pain started with a tight achiness that just gradually got worse over the years until that fateful morning when they simply bent over to tie their shoes or sneeze and Bang! their “back goes out”. They limp into the clinic and hopefully, with the help of acupuncture, massage and chiropractic treatment, the acute pain is relieved. Unfortunately, it often only temporary relief until the next time they sneeze wrong or lift something “they shouldn’t have”.
That’s why I was so glad to have discovered Esther Gokhale’s book, 8 Steps to a Pain Free Back. Esther’s premise is that most chronic back pain simply stems from poor posture and that by following her protocol, you can correct your posture and therefore end chronic back pain. Esther traveled the world and closely studied cultures that don’t suffer from back pain and found that it was correct posture that allowed them to use their backs, often for many hours of manual labor, without pain. This isn’t a book about exercises that you do for the rest of your life to manage symptoms, it’s about learning how to sit, stand, walk, sleep and lift in way that corrects and then maintains proper spinal alignment. And then you just live it. This is a very inspirational book, and if followed, can be curative of most chronic back pain. This book is very easy to follow, with lots of good illustrations and beautiful pictures of people around the world with excellent posture. Esther has a great website with lots of resources and lists locations for free monthly demonstrations here in Portland. I highly recommend this book!