8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back 
Esther Gokhale, LAc 
Pendo Press, 2008

Back pain is yet another malady that is more common in industrialized countries than elsewhere. We blame the pain on several things— standing upright, sitting too much, being too lazy, exercising too much, stress, excess weight, excess height, and excess age. As is often the case, we are wrong. Some of these things may well be factors but the real cause is poor posture.

Gokhale goes on to explain what normal posture used to look like in this country and still does look like in much of the rest of the world, especially Africa and South America. There are many pictures to illustrate. Once again traditional or “primitive” cultures can teach modern Americans a thing or two about basic health. She also expounds on reasons why our posture is all wrong now. Those reasons include a disconnect from the wisdom of previous generations and the influence of the fashion industry. Poor posture can be further propagated by badly designed furniture. I think the observations of Dr. Raymond Silkman (Winter 2005/Spring 2006) are also relevant but not mentioned in this book. He explains how poor nutrition can lead to poor skeletal development which can lead to poor posture. That, however, is not the main point of this book.

There are many advantages to correct posture. Standing, sitting and moving properly reduce the likelihood of degenerative arthritis, improve circulation, improve breathing and lung capacity and make you less prone to injury. Chronic pain issues may go away, not just in your back but hips and other joints. Organ function in general may improve. In many cases where conventional medicine can only suggest surgery and drugs, which often don’t work, simple posture improvement often makes those medical procedures unnecessary.

What follows are detailed instructions on how to sit, stand, walk, bend over and even lie down. Many of these things take no extra time, just development of new habits. Simple but different ways of sitting and lying down can be very therapeutic. Again, all of these instructions are demonstrated and illustrated with a lot of pictures. The pictures show not only how a person with good posture looks on the outside but what is going on inside with the spine and why you want to maintain that shape for your spine. The posture of my thumb for this book is UP.

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2012.

Tim Boyd was born and raised in Ohio, graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in computer engineering, and worked in the defense industry in Northern Virginia for over 20 years. During that time, a slight case of arthritis led him to discover that nutrition makes a difference and nutrition became a serious hobby. After a pleasant and satisfying run in the electronics field, he decided he wanted to do something more important. He is now arthritis free and enjoying his dream job working for the Weston A. Price Foundation.

One Response to 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale

  1. Ruth says:

    Just curious, so who actually wrote this review, Jill Nienhiser, Tim Boyd or did they actually write it together? Aside from that, it’s good to have some practical advice that everyone can use to improve their health even if they don’t have money. Many of us foodies get off handed comments from people who think we’re fanatical that food is not important to health. (They probably think that way because it’s true, the food THEY’RE EATING isn’t doing a thing to give them good health.) They think they need strong drugs to deal with their health problems. Likewise it’s good to be reminded that there are other very basic health issues we tend to gloss over that can have serious consequences for our health. I can see my chiropractor in my mind’s eye giving me a thumbs up from going over in my head what she has said to me about always carrying my backpack on one shoulder. This is not a topic I had considered reading about before, but after reading this review I would like to check the book out. Maybe I’m getting a little more practical in my old age. (I hope.)

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