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12-30-2007, 10:16 AM
For Christmas I was given an interesting book called Pain Free: A revolutionary method for stopping chronic pain by Pete Egoscue. Has anyone heard of it or had any interaction with the Egoscue method? He runs a sports/exercise clinic in California and folks like Jack Nicklaus swear by him. I've just recently been reintroduced to some old back and neck pain of mine and so far the exercises his book recommends seem to help. I was just curious if anyone else here has any insights into this method, and if not, to recommend the book to any who might be interested.
12-30-2007, 10:44 AM
From reading the book so far, the basic idea I've taken away (and which resonates with much of what I've learned of Aikido) is that alignment is a crucial factor to physical betterment. Acute, chronic pain is often the result of chronic misalignment and while we may not always feel pain from it because our bodies are finding new ways to move our weight around, there is often a gradual erosion of sorts taking place.
They other key idea I've taken away which fits with my understanding of Aikido, is the notion of continual stimulus. The book argues that rest can be as much a danger to our injuries as over-working them can be, because muscles atrophe making it more difficult to achieve the balanced muscle tone required for balanced movement/posture.
Apart from the potentially healthful benefits of utilizing this method, I thought it was interesting to note the similarities between the message of the book and what I've been learning in Aikido. I've long noticed that when my sensei performs a technique on an injured limb, the injury actually feels better afterward. I've assumed this had to do with his precise alignment and relaxed movements (ie- "natural" movements). I can see why some folks think of Aikido as a magical elixer of sorts (ie- creating healthy ki-flow and removing "kinks" in the system). Overall it seems to fit my general sense of Aikido anyway.
That said, I'd like to reiterate my recommendation for reading the book if anyone is interested in it. Returning to a "natural" state and continualy operating within that state seems invaluable to me, particularly when coupled with the newly reintroduced neck and back pain I've been experiencing.
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