Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tips for Mommy Posture: A Look Into the Gokhale Method.

Many soon-to-be moms and existing moms are looking for effective relief from back pain, especially with summer just around the corner.

The good news is that by making adjustments women at every stage of pregnancy and beyond can prevent lower back pain from occurring, or-- if pain is already an issue--take real steps to manage this pain.

Below are tips on “pregnancy without pain” from nationally recognized pain expert and posture specialist, Esther Gokhale, founder of the Gokhale Method, a unique, systematic approach to help people find their bodies’ way back to pain-free living.

Here are some of the products that go along with the Gokhale Method:

- The book: 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Which has sold over 100,000 copies; in eight simple lessons, with no special equipment and no time-consuming exercises, teaches the root of most muscle and joint pain.

-  Stretchsit® Cushion: This cushion helps transform most chairs into comfortable chairs that provide gentle traction. Unlike a lumbar support cushion, this cushion elongates rather than compresses your low back, giving you the natural, healthy spinal shape shared by children, athletes, and people in non-industrial societies the world over.

- DVD: Back Pain: The Primal Posture Position: Addresses the root cause of most muscle and joint pain with healthy posture and movement techniques. Four real students are profiled as they successfully navigate degenerative disc disease, spinal arthritis, stenosis, back muscle spasms, sciatica, bunions, neck pain, shoulder pain and migraines.


Tips for Managing Pain During Pregnancy by Esther Gokhale:

Anchor your ribs.  With regard to the rib anchor, it's important to know that the ever-growing baby is potentially pulling the mother's back into an arch. An expectant mother who gives in to this pull will be increasingly swaying her back, which can cause lower back pain and other problems. Anchoring the ribs involves keeping the lower border of the rib cage flush with the abdomen.

Engage your inner corset.  Anchoring the ribs and periodically engaging the inner corset--that is, contracting the deep muscles in the abdomen and back to lengthen and support the spine--is the ticket to well-toned abdominal muscles before, during, and after pregnancy.

Hinge your hips when you bend.  Everybody needs to hip-hinge when they bend, but this is especially important for pregnant women. This is because lowering the body by bending with the knees and curving the back (as is so common in our culture) puts added stress on the spinal discs at a time when the discs are already being challenged by the additional weight of the pregnancy. 

Stack your weight over your heels.  Positioning the pelvis so that it's slightly tipped forward (anteverted) allows for a natural stacking of vertebrae without muscle strain. Not only does healthy stacking yield good posture that leaves spinal discs decompressed, it also protects ligamental integrity. Ligaments already loosened by the hormone relaxin are less likely to be taxed when bones are correctly stacked.

Engage your gluteus medias muscles when you walk.  Engaging the gluteus medius, the muscle located in the upper, outer quadrant of the buttocks, helps prevent lower back pain.
Stretchlie on your side with supportive pillow. Stretchlying on the side--that is, lying with a lengthened back, anteverted pelvis, and knees slightly bent--represents an opportunity to restore healthy architecture during sleep and reinforce the neural pathways that will help create muscle memory for a healthy J-shaped spine (as opposed to a curved C-shaped spine or an over-arched S-shaped spine).


Background on Esther Gokhale

Esther Gokhale, L.Ac.

Pain Expert and Posture Specialist

Esther Gokhale (Go-clay) has been involved in integrative therapies all her life. As a young girl growing up in India, she helped her mother, a nurse, treat abandoned babies waiting to be adopted. This early interest in healing led her to study biochemistry at Harvard and Princeton and, later, acupuncture at the San Francisco School of Oriental Medicine.

After experiencing crippling back pain during her first pregnancy and unsuccessful back surgery, Gokhale began her lifelong crusade to vanquish back pain. Her studies at the Aplomb® Institute in Paris and years of research in Brazil, India, Portugal and elsewhere led her to develop the Gokhale Method, a unique, systematic approach to help people find their bodies’ way back to pain-free living.

Gokhale practiced acupuncture and taught posture, dance, and yoga in her Palo Alto wellness center for over twenty years. The Gokhale Method continues to grow as qualified Gokhale Method teachers now teach the method worldwide.

Gokhale's book, 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, has sold over 100,000 copies and has been translated into eight languages. In 2010, Gokhale hosted the nationally televised program Back Pain: The Primal Posture Solution (available on DVD).

Gokhale has taught at corporations such as Google, IDEO, Varian Medical Systems, and Facebook Inc. She has also presented at conferences including TEDx(Stanford), Ancestral Health Symposium, Weston Price Foundation Conference, and PrimalCon.  She continues to speak with physician groups including Stanford, PAMF, UCSF and has consulted for the trainers of the SF 49ers and several Stanford sports teams.

In May 2013, The New York Times featured Esther in an article giving her the title, “The Posture Guru of Silicon Valley”.

Esther Gokhale lives on Stanford University campus where she raised three children with her husband Brian White, chairman of the Math Department.

My Thoughts:

Having a mom that experiences back pain often from spinal stenosis and a previous break, I was fascinated by the Gokhale Method. It seemed to be one that has helped women all over the world with a multitude of back concerns. From pregnancy pain to every day pain caused by posture and physical injuries, the research and guidance involved is vast. I was fortunate enough to receive the products listed above from the Gokhale Method. I have to say, it was very enlightening and helpful. As someone who experiences occasional back pain, I learned something for myself and for my mom! 

8 Steps to a Pain - Free Back as well as the DVD, Back Pain: The Primal Posture Position are a wonderful combination of information. The book has stories and examples with pictures of each for every day life. You will find illustrations and advice for everything from proper sleeping positions to sitting. If you are looking for an wealth of inspiration and tips, this is the book for you! The DVD also has visual examples of posture techniques, information, student testimonials, as well as an interview with Ms. Gokhale herself!  

My mom and I loved being able to practice the advice given from both the DVD and book by using the Stretchsit® Cushion. The cushion is so comfortable. It helps to elevate your sitting position and is ideal for adults and children alike. It's firm yet gentle traction and can transform almost any chair into a safe one for your back. It has straps on the back side that are adjustable to fit any type of chair. It's very lightweight and durable. Easy to take with you and transfer from one seat to the next.

It's clear that Ms. Gokhale has done in depth research, and has wisdom to share with everyone when it comes to back pain. There was a lot of knowledge to gain through not only reading, but watching the DVD to see even more first hand. Having the cushion to assist in that process was an incredible bonus!  

Whether you are seeking advice and guidance for yourself or a loved one, the Gokhale Method is the way to go. You can find an array of information from the products specially created for the unique concerns that stem from a very real problem facing the world today, back pain. I want to give thanks to the team for allowing me to gain such valuable help!

Connect with the Gokhale Method: