Scoliosis

Jane R
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Scoliosis

I was interested in the recent blog post on Scoliosis. I am 67 years old, have scoliosis (not diagnosed until after I was 40), osteopenia, arthritis, and recently had a total hip replacement of my right hip. I am recovering well but still have low and mid-back pain, which worsens in the afternoon and evening. I have read the book Eight Steps to a Healthy Back and attempted to work through the exercises on my own. I can see that I need to improve my posture, and believe that the changes outlined in the book would help my pain tremendously, but when I get to the inner corset lesson, I get stuck. I have the following questions:

  • I would like to take a foundations course. How long after my surgery should I wait in order to benefit most from the class?
  • My most debilitating pain is in the mid-back. Are there specific adjustments or supplemental exercises I should make to the program in the book?

 

 

 

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Hello, Jane - In general, the sooner you start improving your posture, the better.  As you recover from your surgery, you are always going to be sitting, standing, lying down, bending, and walking anyway.  Why not give your body every possible chance to set new healthier habits of posture?  It would be a good idea to check with your doctor to get an OK.  

The Gokhale Method is definitely not about “no pain, no gain.”  Keep paying attention as you practice the new posture techniques, and if anything hurts, stop doing it, or see if doing it less intensely eliminates the pain. 

Not knowing more about your condition makes it difficult to answer your questions in detail here.  I don’t know whether you mean that you do not understand how to do the Inner Corset or whether you mean it is painful to do it.  Your Foundations Course teacher will be the best person to guide you if you need to make modifications for your mid-back and to make sure you are doing the techniques in the best way for your body. I hope you can get to a Foundations Course soon! 

Thanks for writing, and best wishes for a healthy recovery -

Doreen Giles

Gokhale Method Teacher

Jane R
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04/16/2015 - 4:07pm

Thanks for your reply. I will have to investigate further the possibility of a foundations course. I'm sorry I wasn't clear in my original message about the inner corset: I don't understand how to do the exercises.

Thanks again,

Jane

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Hi Jane - Maybe I can explain it in a way that works for you.

For the inner corset, the idea is to elongate and brace your spine in a healthy position before you do something that will challenge the spine, like twisting or lifting or running or riding on a bumpy road.  The book suggests reaching your arms up to an imaginary shelf above and a little ahead of you.  You begin by feeling your back with one hand to make sure that you aren't arching as you reach up with the other hand.  Then you reach both arms up, and it can help to imagine that there is a bar in front of your chest that you are reaching up and over.  You should reach up like you really mean it, like there's something REALLY important on that shelf that you need to reach, and then you will notice that some muscles in your abdomen and back are engaging, and making you slimmer and taller.  The trick then is to keep those muscles engaged while you slowly let your arms come down and relax your shoulders.  You need to breathe with the upper chest at this point.

The inner corset is probably going to be very important for you, so I hope this helps.  If not, your future teacher will help you find the right muscles.

Feel free to write again if need be.  Thanks for reaching out!

Doreen Giles

Gokhale Method Teacher

 

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