Updated on June 24, 2017
My Egoscue Experience: An Honest Review
[June 2017 update: Psst, hey! Did you know I just updated my review of the Egoscue Method? It’s been three years since this post—I figured it was time for an update! Check it out here. – Lindsey]
You’ll probably hear me mention this word a lot going forward, and might start to wonder:
“What the heck is Ego-skew?”
I’m glad you asked, because asking is what led me down the path to using it as a viable form of scoliosis healing.
First off, a little help with the pronunciation: “Eh-goss-cue,” named after its creator, Pete Egoscue. I won’t even try to give you the history of it, since you can read about Pete and his Egoscue Method here on the official site. I will, however, give you an honest, real evaluation of my experience using the Egoscue Method for scoliosis healing and management.
First, A *GASP* Real Photo
This is what happens when I did my Egoscue exercises (my “E-cises,” as they’re called) and another Egoscue therapy called “The Tower” (sounds more intense than it is) every day for about 25 days straight. The first photo was taken on Day 1, and the second was taken on Day 25:
Sadly, my choice in sleepwear did not improve as much as my spine over the 25 days.
So, was I straight by Day 25? No. But look carefully at the curvature that’s most obvious in the middle of my back, and know that that particular curve is the one that’s causing my rib cage to dig into my lungs and prevent me from inhaling a full breath when my scoliosis is “acting up,” and consider the difference between the two pictures. That’s a HUGE improvement, to be able to take a full breath without feeling constricted!
Also, not pictured: The shooting pain in my lower back (left side, closest to my spine) was gone, my legs were almost totally even in their length, my right shoulder blade didn’t “stick out” and vault my right side off of chairs I was sitting in, and I wasn’t fidgeting and tossing in bed every night, trying to find a comfortable angle.
And this leads me to my first honest evaluation about Egoscue:
1) It Does Not Claim to Heal You Immediately
Really, would you trust it if it did? Wonderfully enough, though, I have found that I have significantly improved my scoliosis symptoms (and, I believe, even their causes) when I consistently followed my Egoscue “menu,” (what a “set” of E-cises are called) and I’ve found that coupling my E-cises with the Egoscue Tower therapy can provide results even faster. But those menus and the Tower therapy bring their own unique challenges, too. Like:
2) You Will Look Like A Weirdo Doing The E-Cises
The E-cises vary depending on what your body needs, but generally, they’re pretty goofy looking, no lie.
But if you’re on the right track with your menu and your Egoscue therapist is really helping you address the scoliosis symptoms and their causes that are plaguing you, you’ll quickly figure out that doing these weird-looking movements is worth it.
3) The Menu Takes Time to Complete Every Day
…and you can get frustrated with this Gigantic Black Hole of Time in your everyday schedule and quit doing the E-cises, unless you’re communicative with your Egoscue therapist and tell them your time constraints. At one point early on in my Egoscue therapy, I had a menu that took me 2 hours (!) to complete. Not surprisingly, I was not consistent with doing it every day. Now my therapist is careful to create a menu for me that only takes about 30 minutes to complete, and it’s much more manageable for my schedule.
4) Doing the Menu Every Day Can Get Boring
…but I’ve found the best way to combat this is to listen to podcasts. I like to use my Egoscue time as sort of a quiet/learning time with God, so I’m partial to listening to Christian-themed podcasts (Ravi Zacharias’ “Just Thinking” or “Let My People Think,” Timothy Keller’s sermons, Dallas Theological Seminary’s “The Table,” or Texas A&M’s Breakaway Ministries are all favorites), but obviously there are thousands of other amazing podcasts or great music to listen to, so find a topic you’re interested in and look for podcasts around that topic, and learn some stuff! Maybe even learn a language?
5) The Prescribed Equipment Can Be Cumbersome to Travel With
…but you can also improvise with common household items and furniture, or even better, tell your therapist that you’re traveling, and let them come up with a modified menu for you to follow while you’re traveling.
6) It Can Be Expensive, Unless…
At the Egoscue clinic that I visit in Austin, you buy a “package” of 8 sessions, which can run a little over $1,000/package, with the 8 sessions spread out over weeks and/or months, as you and your Egoscue therapist deem fit. You might come in once a month, you might come in once every 2 weeks, you might come in every 6 weeks—it just depends on your needs.
If you are unable to pay for the treatment, don’t despair…
Apparently, Egoscue clinics follow a general rule: They never turn away someone who is in pain, even if that person’s financial situation isn’t great.
In addition, I know that (at least) the clinic in Austin is able to lead clients through sessions via Skype for those who live far away or are, for whatever reason, unable to make it to the clinic. So there’s no reason not to try them if you’re curious!
7) Frustration and Even Anger Can Creep Up and Get the Best of You If You’re Not Careful
It happens; at some point you begin to think, “Why me? Why can’t I just wake up like a normal person and go about my day, never having to worry about whether or not I’ve done these silly exercises? Why do I even have this condition, and why aren’t more people trying to figure out why it happens, and how to cure it? How is this fair?”
When those frustrated feelings begin to creep in, it’s important to catch yourself and count your blessings instead.
Instead of, “Why me? Why this condition?” I try to feel thankful that it’s only this condition and not something else.
Instead of, “Why should I have to worry about doing these exercises every day, instead of getting to be normal and not having to worry about a messed up spine?” I try to remind myself how lucky I am that I have a condition that can be managed, and that I do have some level of control over it.
This is cliche, but I’ve noticed that it’s absolutely true in my life: When I allowed despair, anger and frustration to creep in and rile me up, I stopped doing my Egoscue (a ridiculous “I’LL SHOW THIS CONDITION!” attitude), my breathing was shallower, my muscles tensed up, I slept less, etc. Getting mad at my condition made it worse, and even stopped me from doing all the things I know can help improve and heal it.
I’ll say it more plainly:
If you want to get better, stop complaining and start doing the things you know you should do instead. Stay relaxed, get happy, sleep enough, and do your Egoscue (or whatever method of healing you’ve chosen) consistently.
Anger does nothing except make sure that you stay right where you are.
When you remember why you’re doing Egoscue (for your scoliosis condition), you can get angry that you have to do it, or you can be thankful that you can do it. I’m always trying to choose the latter.
So far, my review has sounded negative, yet here are the awesome qualities about Egoscue!
8) There Is An Atmosphere of Hope, Feasible Possibilities, Collaboration, Empowerment and Learning
Obviously, this can vary from clinic to clinic, but in general I think the kind of people who would desire to become Egoscue therapists are the kind who see possibilities for change, are willing to think outside the box, and are passionate about what they do, which in turn makes you feel empowered over a condition that otherwise feels hopeless, and encourages you to become an informed collaborator with your therapist as you reach toward your wellness goals.
9) It’s Amazing to Go From Feeling Awful and Discouraged to Feeling Better and Encouraged In A Short Period of Time
Sometimes I feel better and my symptoms are alleviated in just one clinic session, or sometimes I have to do a week’s worth of my prescribed E-cises at home after my last clinic session, but regardless, I can’t think of a time when an Egoscue menu didn’t help me, even when I had to keep doing it every day for my body to pick up on the changes I was asking it to make.
10) The E-Cises Can Be Modified for Your Needs and Abilities
The E-Cise asks you to remain propped up on one hand for the movement, but you have weak arms? There’s a modification for that. You can’t stand on one leg? There’s a modification for that. You can only do about 10 of the 25 reps for a move? Slow down, take your time. Egoscue isn’t about forcing your way through something, or straining anything, or of being the right age, weight, strength, etc. I’ve seen young kids in the Egoscue clinic I visit, and I’ve seen very frail elderly people. It’s tailored for everyone, and what’s hard for you is easy for someone else, and vice versa.
So don’t be concerned that maybe you couldn’t do it. Give it a try, and see what your therapist can work out with you!
11) And Finally, This Is Just Speaking From My Experience, But—It Works
Again, I’m not being paid by Egoscue in any way to say any of this, but as just a happy client, I feel the need to let others know about this treatment, because it’s working well for me, and I think it could help others, too. If trying it can save you an expensive surgery that might not actually help in the long run, then I’m happy, because it has helped me, too. Give it a try, and see if it can work for you as well as it has worked for me!
Have any questions about the treatment? (Egoscue is used to help treat all kinds of chronic pains, by the way, not just scoliosis!) Shoot me a question in the comments. I’d love to talk with you!
His and yours,
[P.S. Don’t forget about my updated review—you can see it here.]