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What's the Best Way to Stretch Your Hamstrings?

January, 2019

I get this question quite often. The answer is two-fold:

  1. Maintain a healthy baseline length in your hamstrings/glutes by learning to tip your pelvis forward in stacksitting, tallstanding, and glidewalking. When you tuck your pelvis, you bring your ischial tuberosities (sitz bones) in closer to where these muscles attach on the leg. This allows the hamstrings/glutes to adapt to a short resting length. Short hamstrings make you more vulnerable to hamstring injuries when you perform motions that require normal or elongated hamstrings. Tears can happen within the muscle, or, more commonly, where the hamstrings attach to the ischial tuberosities.

 ... Read more

Perseverance Prevails

January, 2019

By: Mary Walsh, guest author

“Ishi no ue nimo sannen” is a Japanese proverb that roughly means “perseverance prevails.” Even the coldest stone will warm up after someone has sat on it for three years — so the saying goes.

So far, my three-year Gokhale Method journey has been all I knew it would be — and much more. When I first heard about the Gokhale Method (on NPR), the blend of art, cultural anthropology, and physiology seemed like a perfect way to combat the ravages of what time, gravity, and bad alignment — despite my best efforts — had wreaked on my body.

 

 
I've kept the Japanese proverb in mind during my Gokhale Method journey.

 

The negative... Read more

The Tale Your Feet Tell

December, 2018

If you lead an active lifestyle, you are probably familiar with buildups of toughened skin, most commonly on your feet. Besides giving your pedicurist a measurable and objective occupation, those leathery, flaky patches of skin tell a tale of how you bear weight in standing, walking, and other activities.

 


Your feet’s visible signs of buildup and abrasion can give insight into your gait and stance. Photo courtesy Unsplash.

 

Skin and bones toughen in response to stress. Appropriate stress causes appropriate toughening (strong bones and thick skin), while undue stress causes undue toughness (arthritic spurs in bones, calluses and corns in skin). If we are knowledgeable we can read into our habits by examining our skin and bones.

Take a look at your feet. The most common areas... Read more

Learning the Gokhale Method Online

December, 2018

Ideally, there would be a Gokhale Method teacher in every town. That way everyone could take their Foundations Course alongside an experienced teacher in the traditional way, with easy communication and plenty of hands-on guidance — plus the fun of a class atmosphere. In fact, we do our level best to make this a reality, and can usually arrange a course in any town where there is enough demand. If you have a group of friends or colleagues wanting to learn, you can even request classes in your town right now!

But sometimes traveling to a course — for students or teachers — is not the answer. It may be that someone lives remotely or has responsibilities that make traveling impossible. So, even while the Gokhale Method... Read more

How to Improve the Outcome of Spine Surgery (When It’s Needed)

November, 2018

Spinal surgery has come under a lot of flak in recent years for being an expensive and invasive treatment for back pain that yields poor results. Not many people see improvement in their pain a year after surgery, and many are worse off. Recovery from surgery can be also be very difficult.

Surgery should indeed be a last resort for most kinds of back pain. But sometimes surgery is needed to treat damage to spinal nerves, discs, or surrounding tissues, and we are very fortunate that there are people who have gone to school for years / decades and honed the necessary skills to right some wrongs in our bodies. The question then becomes, what can we do around the surgery to support the handiwork of the surgeon? To answer that question, it helps to understand some of the problems facing surgical patients post-surgery:

  1. After surgery and during recovery, people tend to return to the same old practices which got them into trouble in the first place. Most people (and

  2. ... Read more

J-spine Validated?

November, 2018

It’s rare to find well-preserved Neanderthal skeletal fragments. It’s especially rare to find well-preserved Neanderthal ribs and vertebrae since these bones are more fragile than skulls and limb bones. But ribs and vertebrae are particularly helpful for discerning the shape of this related species’s thoracic cage and spine.

The recent Kebara 2 Neanderthal find (nicknamed “Moshe”), with very well-preserved vertebrae and ribs, was a particularly exciting find. Patricia Kramer, professor and chair of anthropology at University of Washington, has created a 3-D image deducing what the shape of Moshe’s thorax must have been, and there are some surprises. One surprise is especially interesting: the Neanderthal lumbar spine was practically straight! This was a great surprise to the researchers since they were expecting that Neanderthals, who are quite... Read more