Sunday, August 31, 2014

How To Fix Your Posture


Okay. For years I've been trying to DIY heal my back. Recall I was in a freak car accident back in 1999 and underwent that controversial stupid thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) surgery.

I would say that after finally ignoring the doctors' orders to "not stretch" and "not lift weights" I have probably fought my back back to 85% healthy.

However, my posture still stinks and I also have a new problem that may be related to the misalignment of my joints - extreme varicose veins. I'd post a pic but it may gross y'all out. Maybe next time.

Anyways, the fact that there's NOTHING that can be done for varicose veins other than compression socks and elevating one's feet (which simply deprives ALL bloodflow to the legs) has really depressed me.

Ever the stubborn optimist, I have Googled my brains out and the only possible causes I've come up with are:

1) Extremely stiff hips

2) Shallow breathing - which taxes the venal system

3) Genetic predisposition

And the only possible remedies would then be, well, to look at how to improve my deep nasal breathing and maybe how to stretch my hips and legs more.

Then I came across an assertion online that the Egoscue Method could improve varicose veins. See this blog post.

Recall the Egoscue Method was trumpeted by Tim Ferriss in his 4-Hour Body. The key exercise for it is the supine progressive groin stretch:



I tried it a little a few years back - though without the "tower". I just simulated it using chairs, end tables, etc.

I searched for Egoscue on Amazon and lo and behold, the guy had just published a new book on Kindle in June - Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain.

It wasn't even a month old and already had several hundred 5-star ratings. (Pete Egoscue asserts a 95% success rate.)

Of course I bought the book and read it somewhere in Italy this summer.

I CANNOT recommend it highly enough. It's simple, profound, and frightening all at once. Reading it you will grasp the supreme importance of making sure your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are vertically and horizontally stacked properly. If they aren't....the resulting muscular imbalance will only lead to severe health problems. I mean my father was a great athlete his entire life. But now he's 71 and can barely walk around. THAT is what I am acutely afraid of.

Last month I found an Egoscue-certified posture coach here in London and hired him ($1,700 thus far!) for both me and my wife.

So far so good - except for the fact that the guy told me I had the most uneven shoulders he's ever seen IN HIS LIFE.

I'll certainly be posting updates.

(BTW, the only other thing that I heard that MAY help varicose veins is "ice baths" - which I'm going to try too.)

Do also check out my review of The 4-Hour Body.

1 comment:

Matt Whitehead said...

Hi CaptiousNut, I love it that you have found the Egoscue Method and are exploring what it can do for both your back and varicose veins. Why varicose veins form is a good question, but I think starting with looking at how blood flows through our bodies and how veins work is a good place to start. Our heart pumps the blood out of our heart into arteries and arterioles that have contractile properties that help push the blood to your feet for example. Once the blood reaches your capillaries in your feet it has to travel against gravity to get back to your heart. But veins do not have contractile properties to push the blood back up. How does blood get back up? Muscles. Or more specifically muscle contractions. Muscle contraction squeezes the blood up slightly then veins have one way valves that keep it from going back down. Then another muscle contraction pushes the blood up further...all the way to the heart again. Now if you walk and are active, you would not expect to get varicose veins. The reason some people still do is how your muscles are contracting, the position of the bones and joints, and the movement patterns your body uses. This is where posture comes in. Postural imbalances are also the reason many people develop varicose veins that are worse on one leg than the other or only on one leg. I would encourage you to continue pursuing Egoscue and if you have not had a postural evaluation by a profession, I would do that. You will learn a lot and can get personalized help to get 100% better. Feel free to contact me if you'd like a free consultation and evaluation. www.oregonexercisetherapy.com