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Coming Out of the Fog


Fog

 

I enjoy fog. It might sound weird, I know, but I think it’s kind of cool. I think there’s a mystique, a mystery, about it. At times, I even consider it to be calming.

As I sat at my kitchen table one early morning last week reading and working, I looked out the window and saw it. Hovering low, barely touching the treetops, it was blanketing everything around it, covering our neighborhood, distorting reality.

I stared out the window for a couple minutes, totally engrossed with the scene in front of me, when it hit me — I used to be in that fog. No, not literally in the fog outside the window, but in the figurative fog that comes along with chronic pain.

I couldn’t see clearly.

My eyes were covered.

My reality was distorted.

Heck, I couldn’t even think straight.

Things that were right in front of me were hidden from plain sight.

When I was 14, 15, 16 years old, chronic pain had consumed me. It was forever on my mind. It was constantly there. There was never a day when I wasn’t walking around with a distorted view of reality because of the “fog.” And, I know that there are many of you reading this who are experiencing the same thing. The fog outside my window last week was soothing, however the fog of chronic pain causes chaos. There is nothing soothing about it.

Pain not only consumes us physically, but it also impacts us emotionally and mentally. It affects our relationships. It derails our goals. It changes our mood. Simply put, we end up in a “fog.”

Egoscue brought me out of the fog. When my pain was gone, I could think clearer, see better, focus more intently. Everything changed. I could envision my future life, and it included being active. I could see myself playing college baseball. I could imagine playing with my kids. My vision was no longer distorted.

It’s time for the fog to lift. It’s time for you to get your life back. You deserve it. You need it. You’re ready for it.

Start today. Take the next few minutes and download our Four Free E-cises. The fog will begin to lift. You’ll see clearly. Reality will no longer be distorted. You’ll get your life back.

QUESTION: How long have you been in the fog?

Beat the Mid-Afternoon Crash


sleeping-under-desk

We’ve all been there. Sitting at your desk, when all of a sudden, your head bobs, your eyelids feel heavy, and the place you’d most like to be in that moment is taking a nap in bed. At minimum, you’d like to curl up underneath your desk. Just for a few minutes.

Maybe some of you have done that exact thing!

However, I’m sure more of you have reached for that cup of coffee or a soda. Sure those things wake us up, but typically the effects are short-lived.

Instead of pumping your body full of more caffeine and sugar, why not do something that will benefit your body both short-term and long-term?

A recent study in the Diabetologia medical journal suggests that taking a 15-minute walk when you first feel your energy starting to fade will give you the energy you need to finish your day! In addition to having more energy, you’ll also lessen brain fatigue and frustration, soak up Vitamin D (which can boost productivity), and increase your creativity.

Not bad for 15 minutes of your time!

However, what if you can’t break away from your desk? What if it’s just not possible? You’re in back-to-back meetings all day. Conference calls fill your schedule. There’s just no time for “you.” I know there are certainly days in my week when I simply don’t have 15 minutes to get outside and go for a walk. There are days I’m slammed with clients from 8 to 5, and I barely have time to eat lunch. Sound familiar? I’m sure to some of you it does! To top it all off, recent studies suggest that sitting is just as dangerous for you as smoking, which I have blogged before about before.

So, what to do during times like those? What if you could incorporate movement into your day while you’re at your desk?

Today’s post is about what you can do while on a conference call, writing a blog post, or in the middle of a meeting. Sure you might look a little strange, but not if you get the rest of your co-workers to join along! Do the following e-cises in order, and as soon as you feel yourself start to fade. Your body will thank you, and so will your boss!

STANDING ARM CIRCLES:

REPS — 40 times in each direction

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 7.14.39 AM

1.  Stand with your feet pointed straight and hip-width apart.
2.  Place your finger tips into the pad of each hand and point your thumbs straight out.
• This is referred to as golfer’s grip and maintaining this hand position is important for the exercise to be done correctly.
3.  Pull your shoulders back by squeezing your shoulder blades together, then bring your arms out straight from your sides up to shoulder level.
4.  With palms facing down and thumbs pointing straight forward rotate your hands up and forward in approx. 6 inch circles and continue as directed.
5.  Then reverse direction: palms should now face up, with thumbs pointed straight backward. Rotate your hands up and backward, continue as directed.

 

STANDING ELBOW CURLS:

REPS – 30 times

standingelbowcurls

1.  Stand at a wall with your heels, hips, upper back and head against the wall.
2.  Your feet should be pointed straight and hip width apart.
3.  Place your knuckles against your temples with your thumbs pointing down to your shoulders (golfer’s grip).
4.  Open and pull back your elbows so that they are against the wall then close your elbows together in front of your face.
• Keep your elbows up at shoulder level, do not let them drop down.
5.  Repeat as directed.

 

STANDING OVERHEAD EXTENSION – FORWARD BEND:

DURATION – 1:00

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 7.20.24 AM

1.  Stand with your feet pointing straight and hip width apart.
2.  Interlace your fingers together and reach your arms overhead, pressing your hands to the ceiling with palms up.
3.  Look up toward your hands and keep your arms straight, do not bend at the elbow.
4.  While in this position roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back.
5.  Bend forward allowing the hips to dictate how far over you bend.
• Be sure to maintain the arch in your low back and keep your elbows straight.
6.  Hold as directed.

 

SITTING HEEL RAISES WITH A PILLOW (Or purse, empty coffee mug, etc.)

REPS — 3 sets of 20

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 7.23.19 AM

1.  Sit up straight on the edge of your chair.
2.  Keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead and hip width apart.
3.  Place a pillow between your knees and apply gentle pressure inward, just enough to hold the pillow in place.
4.  Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back and hold throughout the exercise.
5.  Lift your heels off the floor using your front hip muscles to generate the movement and then lower them back to the floor.
6.  Repeat as directed.

 

And, there you have it! Four simple e-cises that shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to do yet leave you feeling energized to tackle the rest of your day. Of course, if you’re looking for more e-cises, take a moment and download our 4 (more) Free E-cises to continue your journey.

QUESTION: What has been your favorite way to “wake up” in the past?

September is National Self Improvement M


September is National Self Improvement Month! A new season, a new you. Are you ready to take the next step to improve your life with Egoscue? #TransformationTuesday #Egoscue #painfree

Egoscue Interview with Brian Bradley on ESPN Radio


Brian Bradley, Vice President of Egoscue, was featured in an interview on ESPN Radio in San Diego earlier this month. He gives an awesome explanation of The Egoscue Method, how it came about, and what it can do for you! Check out what Brian has to say:

 

 

If you’re new to Egoscue and want to be pain free, you can download our Four Free E-cises and start your journey today! As always, email me if you have questions, or if you’d like more info about The Egoscue Method, and how it can help you!

QUESTION: What was your main takeaway from Brian’s interview?

Don’t be an Optimist: The Stockdale Paradox


Girls can do anything!

Up until yesterday, I had no idea who Admiral Jim Stockdale was and had never heard of the Stockdale Paradox before. But now that I have heard of Admiral Stockdale and his Paradox, I can’t stop thinking about it. More importantly, I can’t stop thinking about you and how it applies to your current situation.

Allow me to introduce Admiral Stockdale to you, through the words of Jim Collins and his book Good to Great, from which this excerpt was taken:

The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest-ranking United States military office in the “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over twenty times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973, Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner’s rights, no set release date, and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again. He shouldered the burden of command, doing everything he could to create conditions that would increase the number of prisoners who would survive unbroken, while fighting an internal war against his captors and their attempts to use the prisoners for propaganda. At one point, he beat himself with a stool and cut himself with a razor, deliberately disfiguring himself, so that he could not be put on videotape as an example of a “well-treated prisoner.” He exchanged secret intelligence information with his wife through their letters, knowing that discovery would mean more torture and perhaps death. He instituted rules that would help people to deal with torture (no one can resist torture indefinitely, so he created a step-wise system–after x minutes, you can say certain things–that gave the men milestones to survive toward). He instituted an elaborate internal communications system to reduce the sense of isolation that their captors tried to create, which used a five-by-five matrix of tap codes for alpha characters. (Tap-tap equals the letter a, tap-pause-tap-tap equals the letter b, tap-tap-pause-tap equals the letter f, and so forth, for twenty-five letters, c doubling in for k.) At one point, during an imposed silence, the prisoners mopped and swept the central yard using the code, swish-swashing out “We love you” to Stockdale, on the third anniversary of his being shot down. After his release, Stockdale became the first three-star officer in the history of the navy to wear both aviator wings and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

How on earth did he deal with it when he was actually there and did not know the end of the story?”

“I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he said, when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which in retrospect, I would not trade.”

Finally I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”

“The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused given what he’d said earlier.

“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end–which you can never afford to lose–with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Whoa.

Let that sink in for a second, folks. The Stockdale Paradox states that you have to have faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time, must confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

Herniated disc? Yes…but you will prevail.

Degenerative hip? Yes…but you will prevail.

Torn meniscus in your knee? Yes…but you will prevail.

Chronic, debilitating migraines? Yes…but you will prevail.

I don’t know when you’ll prevail, and I would caution you against setting a timeline…but you will prevail. Stay the course. Trust the system. Believe in your body’s innate, amazing, remarkable ability to heal itself…and you will prevail.

By Easter?

By Thanksgiving?

By Christmas?

Perhaps. But, perhaps not.

That’s not for either of us to say. It is our job, however, to confront the brutal facts yet retain faith that you will prevail in the end.

If you’re looking to start the process, if you’re looking to find a little faith, take a second and download our Four Free E-cises and get started today. I don’t know when your journey will end, but I do know that it can start today.

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on the Stockdale Paradox?

The Unexplainable Improvement


enjoy life

I HAVE to share an email I received from a client last week. It made me so happy to read about her progress! I’ve known Nicole for years now but only recently started working with her. Wait until you read what her doctor’s office said!

Hi John!

I am still at it daily with my e-cises. I wanted to share a quick story with you from my follow-up appointment with my back doctor this week. It was my 6-month check up from my shots last December. After reviewing my MRI, his PA came into my room and went over their ‘next steps’ they would like to recommend. I explained to her that my pain was manageable and that I was not really looking to have further treatment at this time. She explained that the size of my disc that slipped is so large, and with the proximity to my sciatic nerve, they are not sure how I can function. She also pointed out arthritis between L2, L3 – L3, L4 – L4, L5 as contributing factors. Apparently, the fact that I can hop in the car, drive to their office, and walk in to my appointment is unexplainable to them. She said most people with my physical circumstances would be on disability and have difficulty even walking until surgery was performed to remove the portion of the disc that was not where it is supposed to be. She recommended I get nerve testing for a nerve block and follow-up with a surgeon sooner than later. I told her that I was doing stretches and specific movements through an Egoscue clinic, using my essential oils, and praying for continued healing and the strength to work through this every day. She countered that nothing I just stated would explain my high level functioning, with everything that is going on in my lumbar spine. So I just smiled nicely and told her it is working for me and that I don’t really require an answer as to why that is. While I was disappointed in finding out about the arthritis, that was new news, I am overcome with thankfulness in regards to your help in achieving this. And I really don’t mind being ‘unexplainable’ – it wouldn’t be the first time!! :-)

Have a great day and thank you again!!

Nicole

This is one of my favorite emails, EVER. I love that the PA stated that “nothing” would explain why Nicole is moving around and NOT on disability! What a great testament to Nicole’s decision to not accept her current condition as her health destiny. An earlier message from Nicole stated that she was getting ready to go on a bike ride with her son, something she hadn’t done in years. While I think it’s cool that she’s “unexplainable,” I’m more excited for her to be getting her life back: jumping in the car, sitting without pain, riding bikes with her son. She’s actually living again!

I’m so proud that Nicole, who has battled this issue for years, trusted the process and got herself out of pain. She got her life back. It wasn’t me giving it to her. She knew it was finally time to take responsibility and take action, and that’s exactly what she did. Way to go, Nicole! Keep up the great work!

If you’re ready to take action and take control, be sure to download our Four Free E-cises to begin your journey today!

QUESTION: What have you been told about your current condition?

 

 

Pregnancy Pain Exercises


Pregnancy-Back-Pain

 

Ok, moms…it’s time to give you credit (and give a little help to you expecting-moms)! Childbirth is, hands-down, one of the most difficult things a woman’s body will ever go through. From just getting pregnant, to carrying the baby for 40 weeks, to the delivery process, it’s a continual journey on an up-and-down road. I’ve always said that any woman who delivers a baby is WAY tougher than me. And for those of you who have delivered more than one? You’re so far out of my league it’s not even funny!

Kudos to you all who have done it. For those of you who haven’t experienced childbirth, I don’t want to scare you away from it. It’s not something that is to be feared. In my opinion, it’s one of the coolest things your body will ever experience. It’s fascinating to me how the body works, how it prepares for delivery, and how it gets through the delivery process.

That being said, musculoskeletal dysfunction can wreak havoc on a pregnant woman (or non-pregnant woman, for that matter). Most of you go from being very sedentary (with your deep stabilizing/pelvic muscles lying dormant), to being pregnant (which requires an extreme amount of pelvic function), in about as much time as it takes a Ferrari to reach 60 MPH. While some women can handle that jump, most women comment that they’re “having a difficult pregnancy,” end up on bed rest, or battle low back or sciatica pain throughout most of the gestation period. Some of you have fought all of those things…and more.

So today, I want to put some tools in your tool belt. I want to give you some e-cises that are suggested by Pete Egoscue in Pain Free for Women and also my wife, Carrie, who has been through 3 full-term pregnancies as well as one early miscarriage. The following e-cises will help balance out your pelvis, get the proper muscles working at the proper time to support and stabilize you, can be done at any point during the gestation process, and will keep you pain at bay! Be sure to do them daily, and follow them in order. If you have pain during an e-cise, simply eliminate it from the routine.

QUESTION: What felt different after doing this e-cise menu?

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