My pathway to the world of massage and fitness began with a bout of horrible low-back pain when I worked in book publishing. My high-stress work life, frequent travel, and clueless-20-something lifestyle culminated in a locked-up back and visits to every kind of medical and alternative healing professional you can imagine.
How I wish I had had Esther Gokhale’s book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back then.
Gokhale’s book offers an intriguing and well-thought-out guide to good posture, which just happens to treat and prevent back (and shoulder and neck and other) pain.
Gokhale (pronounced GO-clay) gives the reader step-by-step guides to eight practices that instill good posture, using images like stacking and stretching and visualizing a J-shaped spine and a “duck butt.”
Gokhale’s approach is unconventional, but very persuasive. She convincingly dismisses ideas like our alleged S-shaped spine with comparative anatomical examples and shows how our posture has changed over time.
Hers is a non-exercise approach, using instead body-awareness instruction that helps you get to, and maintain, a healthy posture. She wouldn’t, of course, discourage you from exercising (she is herself a dance teacher); she just happens to have discovered a postural-awareness system that doesn’t require exercise.
Gokhale is an acupuncturist and biochemist who developed her method after suffering severe back pain herself. In addition to her acupuncture training, she has studied yoga in Paris and traveled extensively, observing posture in India, Portugal, and Burkina Faso. I hope you’ll take the time to read her book and/or watch the video of a talk she gave at Google to get a sense of her work.
To learn more about Gokhale, the courses she offers, visit her website:
Esther Gokhale Wellness Center.