Straightening Things Out -the Egoscue Method

I’m on a flight back from Colorado as I write this. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks hanging out with some friends and finishing the last part of a certification to become a postural therapist.

I’ve haven’t written about this yet, but over the last 9 months, I’ve been working on a certification to become a Postural Alignment Specialist in the Egoscue Method.
That’s a lot of words to basically say that I’ll be certified to work with people to help them get their body back into a functional alignment to stay out of pain and move without limitations.

I ran across a book in my chiropractor’s office a couple of years ago called Pain Free by Pete Egoscue. I had been in pain off and on for several years after a shoulder injury in high school, and I knew that I couldn’t rely on somebody else to fix me anymore. Seeing the chiropractor every couple of weeks wasn’t helping my pain anymore because I wasn’t helping myself!

As I started reading the book, I was impressed with how simple and logical the method sounded. Pete Egoscue was shot in Vietnam, and after being told that he would never heal completely and would always be in pain, he began to rehabilitate himself. After about a year of experimenting with his own body, he had made a miraculous recovery and through the process of his own healing, the Egoscue Method was born.

When other veterans saw his transformation, they begged him to teach them what he had learned and slowly the word began to spread.

The basic premise of the method, as Pete writes, is, “we can’t live without adequate motion, and our motionless lifestyle is nothing less than a slow death.” Up until some decades ago, our survival depended totally on movement. And now we can survive with just a few steps from the bed to the bathroom to the car to the computer. But we still have bodies that are designed to need the stimulus of motion, so we’re paying for our sedentary lifestyles with pain and dysfunction. Our movement deprived lifestyles have created dysfunctional bodies, so when we do try to move, we often end up hurting ourselves.

The Egoscue Method says we have to believe in our body’s amazing ability to heal itself. We have to first believe that we aren’t broken beyond repair. Then we have to take responsibility for our health and understand that no drugs, surgery or other people can fix what we can only fix ourselves. Egoscue recognizes that our body operates as a unit, so whatever happens in one part of the body affects the body as a whole. And when we are in pain, it’s our body screaming at us to pay attention.

The method is a system of simple stretches and exercises that uses gravity and flat surfaces like the wall or floor to help our bodies get back into a functional position. It uses a systematic approach of deliberate movements to remind the body of how it can and is supposed to function!

When I first began doing the exercises, I was amazed at the results! Within about 2 days, I felt 90% better and was able to start doing things I had quit doing because of the pain.

I’ve always wanted to make a living doing things that I most believe in. I want to share with other people the things that work for me in my own life, and I have a strong belief that we can’t compartmentalize our lives.

As I write this, I imagine people thinking: “Lauren, you’re all over the place! How can you build Passive Houses, be an interpreter, and a postural therapist? I thought you wanted to simplify your life. Can’t you just pick one thing??!” Or maybe it’s my own inner-critic that says that.

But the common thread is sustainability. I can’t work overtime on projects related to green living and sustainability, if my own health is deteriorating. That feels very hypocritical. I think that what we eat, how we move, how we treat the people in our lives, and the kind of choices we make in the products we buy and the buildings we build is all so important and inner-connected. I will never do it perfectly (just in case you see me next week on the street corner with a growler of beer eating Doritos!) but I’m interested in creating a mind-body practice where I work with people to better their quality of life while I work on doing the same thing in my life.

What I imagine my life looking like over the next few years is to continue working part-time as an interpreter, then to have a part-time mind-body practice where I work as a sort of life coach and postural therapist with people. And hopefully, I’ll have some time and energy left over to work on Passive House projects as the opportunity arises.

I’m really excited about the possibilities. I also will be working with a few people for free as I become more comfortable as a Postural therapist, so if you are interested let me know! And if you’d like more info. about the Egoscue Method, check out the book Pain Free or The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion by Pete Egoscue.