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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

Don’t Stick Your Behind Out; It’ll Sway Your Back

November, 2018

My book has a lot of images of village Africans. This is because I travelled to Africa, which is in turn related to the fact that primal posture is better preserved in Africa than in most places, and certainly you find better posture in village Africa than in modern, industrial societies.


This woman’s J-spine is well intact; her L5-S1 curve is pronounced. L5-S1 curve varies by race and social posture influences.


Readers of my book sometimes have the mistaken impression that the work is about replicating the baseline shape of a village African. Though I state explicitly that the amount of L5-S1 curve varies by race and is also very individual, newcomers to... Read more

Posture and Pregnancy: A Report

October, 2018

During my first pregnancy in 2011–12 I had — compared with other women — only a little trouble; I felt relatively fit. At the time, the occasional pain in my lower back and my permanent shoulder/ neck pain seemed normal because I had suffered them since I was in school. This fit with my modern comprehension of being healthy. Some aches and pains are not unusual. Upright posture? So not cool...

Here’s how I used to sit some years before my first pregnancy. I already suffered from occasional pain in my lower back and from permanent shoulder/ neck pain.

At the end of my pregnancy, my lower back pain became stronger. I started to suffer from sciatic nerve pain, which eventually covered the whole side of my left leg, down to my foot. It became more and more uncomfortable to sit. To avoid pain... Read more


How to Text with Good Posture

October, 2018

There’s nothing inherently problematic about the activity of texting from a posture point of view. The problems arise because we have poor habits in how we hold objects in front of us, how we read, and also because what’s on our cell phones tends to be more compelling than other objects we might hold or read.


As this woman demonstrates pretty well, by holding the cell phone within her line of sight and maintaining posterior shoulders, there need be no threat to the neck, shoulders, arms, or upper back. If, however, we allow our head and neck to lean in excessively to the cell phone, break the line of our wrists, or allow our shoulders to reach forward to the cell phone, we could be inviting a plethora of health problems. These include wear and tear in the cervical discs, impingement of the cervical nerves, poor circulation to... Read more

Building muscle mass á la Gokhale Method by focusing on length and strength

September, 2018

Anyone who has studied the Gokhale Method is familiar with the length and strength that we promote in all our muscle groups. As it turns out, length and strength are the two key elements to increasing muscle mass.  

These benefits come to those who sleep, sit, stand, bend and walk — simply by using your body well, á la the Gokhale Method!


Benefits to increased muscle mass
Especially as we age, there are so many benefits to increasing our muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass

  • helps you maintain good posture,

  • promotes strong bones and decreases risk of osteoporosis,

  • builds strength of muscle and connective tissues,

  • increases endurance and strength, allowing you to perform everyday activities with less effort,

  • reduces risk of injury,

  • and provides metabolic

  • ... Read more