When trapped in chronic pain, it can seem like you’ll never feel better and be able to live the life you want—especially if you’ve tried other therapies and drug-based treatments that only worked temporarily or not at all.
To feel better, you need to focus on the source of your pain.
While most chronic pain treatment methods only address symptoms or try to deaden or mask pain, Egoscue corrects the postural issues that are at the root of your ongoing discomfort. Thousands of people just like you have ditched the pills, found an alternative to surgery, and finally feel better for good. Welcome to The Egoscue Method.
What Postural Therapy Can Do for You
Your pain exists because your body is out of balance. It could be the result of an old injury, hours of sitting behind a desk or the wheel of a car, repetitive use injuries from exercise or work, or simply a postural dysfunction such as scoliosis. All of these can knock your body out of perfect alignment, causing pain, sleeping troubles, and limitations. The Egoscue Method combines our therapists’ expertise with technology to assess your posture and create a personalized series of exercises that will put your body back into balance, eliminating the dysfunction that is causing your pain. The Egoscue name comes from its founder, Pete Egoscue, a pioneer in postural therapy who designed his systematic Method as a way to understand and heal his own pain.
The Egoscue Method was founded by Pete Egoscue in the 1970s, and is still considered one of the most respected and revered non-medical pain relief systems in the world. And it has become one of the most popular means of treating chronic musculoskeletal pain attributed to workplace and sports injuries, accidents, aging and other conditions.
The system is based on the principle that your body has the unique ability to heal itself. Think about it. If you cut your hand, the skin naturally heals. If you break a bone, it doesn’t stay broken. And while these issues may seem dramatically different from a herniated disc, torn meniscus or degenerative hip, the fundamental healing principle still applies. You simply have to give your body the opportunity and the direction it needs to heal, and you can once again find a pain-free and active life.
Remember, your body is designed to move. Any procedure, therapy or modality that you choose to alleviate your pain should restore your body so you can resume that active lifestyle once again. These principles create the foundation for the Egoscue Method and make up the basis of Egoscue exercises.
The Egoscue Method eliminates:
Shoulder, elbow, and wrist pain
Connect + Correct
One of the most important aspects to The Egoscue Method is the relationship our clients develop with their certified Egoscue therapists. Our therapists work with clients to help them understand and trust their bodies, identify the source of their pain, and regain control of their physical and emotional lives so they can live free of the pain and their beliefs associated with it.
Restore Your Perfect Posture
Your body’s design is perfect, but your lifestyle and activities can create limitations. Your therapist will create a sequence of gentle exercises (called “E-cises”) and stretches specifically designed to correct posture. When done consistently—with regular input and updates—this personalized routine becomes your plan for success.
The Egoscue Method was developed by renowned anatomical functionalist, Pete Egoscue. Pete understood that the human body is dependent on motion to maintain its full range of physical functions, and motion is vital throughout our lives. He focused on creating a series of gentle stretches and exercises that essentially correct the misalignments in the musculoskeletal system of the body and help restore the body’s innate symmetry and balance.
Pete Egoscue was inspired to find a solution for his own chronic pain. As a veteran who had sustained health issues from his time in the military, Pete was used to relying on medical experts like doctors. After not finding the relief he craved for his symptoms within the medical world, he took matters into his own hands, ultimately creating the Egoscue Method.
How to assess your postural alignment
When it comes to proper, pain-free alignment, first look at the position of your head compared to your hips. If your head is too far forward, it puts too much stress on the spine. Adjusting isn’t as simple as pulling your neck back, says Bradley. Instead, you need to focus on your pelvis, your center of gravity. “Once you reposition the pelvis and get a person to be more hip-driven, then the head will automatically position itself,” he explains.
Easier said than done? Bradley offers up this simple exercise to make sure your alignment stacks up correctly.
Pigeon-toe your feet, so that your toes are touching together. Tighten up your thigh muscles, which will feel like you’re sticking out your butt. Stand there for one minute with your shoulders relaxed, then have someone take a picture of you standing in this position. Notice how your head position is now in line with your ankles. This is where you want to be. Watch this video at the bottom of this story for exercises that will help you to maintain perfect posture.
Now notice when you breathe that your diaphragm sits at the base of your rib cage. Can you feel that your breath might actually get stuck there? Well, the nerve that runs to the diaphragm and helps you breathe comes from the neck. When your head is pitched forward more than it should be, this position puts a kink in the spinal cord, interrupting the brain’s message to the diaphragm to breathe. The result is shallow and sometimes painful breathing in a north-south motion rather than an expansive east-west motion. The diaphragm is meant to expand out, not up to help you fully empty your lungs. When you limit its range of motion, you put extreme stress on other parts of the body that have to compensate — namely, the neck and chest. This can lead to more pain…as you can see, the workings of a vicious cycle. To get your breathing back on track and help your body find its natural alignment, put your hands around your waistline and take a deep breath in and out. Your diaphragm should expand outward (east-west) when you breathe in, instead of upward in a shoulders-up, shoulders-down motion, notes Bradley. If you practice yoga, think of these as belly breaths — letting your belly expand with each breath. Practice a few times and see how it feels.
Use this method to relieve discomfort any time you’re stuck sitting for long periods of time (think long car rides or flights). The key here is to flatten out your lumbar spine, so roll up a small pillow or jacket and place the roll behind you at the base of your seat. Then push yourself back, pressing your tailbone against the roll. This will force your upper back into proper alignment with the seat. Remember, your spine has natural curvature, so you are honoring that.
Increasing energy is about improving lymphatic flow. Remember, the body pumps northbound, or upward, so if you are out of alignment, there will be inevitable build-up in the lymph system from the hips down, especially around the side of the pelvic girdle and hip joints. That’s because the fluid is trapped at the cellular level with nowhere for it to go. To allow lymph fluid to flow everywhere it needs to go, stack those joints properly — toes, ankles, knees, and hips. To do this, first put your hands behind your head with your elbows extended back and shoulders pulled down. Notice how when you step, your entire foot strikes the floor. This is a key signal informing you that from head to toe, you are holding a posture that allows lymph fluid to flow. Continue to practice the exercises featured in the video at the end of this story until your body holds good posture on its own. Open your alignment and the fluids will flow again. Alignment for increased energy.