(2017) Egoscue Method for Scoliosis – My Review

Three photos showing the before, immediately after, and "after" after results of doing my Egoscue exercises for my scoliosis, all within one day.

Happy National Scoliosis Awareness Month!

It’s been nearly three years since I first wrote “My Egoscue Experience: An Honest Review,” so I figured, what better time than this month to give y’all an update on my progress with the Egoscue Method for my scoliosis?

Much has changed since I last wrote. I became a Postural Alignment Specialist (PAS) certified through Egoscue University, I’m opening my own practice (more on that, eventually!) so I can work with my own clients, and I’ve become better educated about my scoliosis and where the Egoscue Method helps, and where I’m looking to round out my education to help my clients, and my own healing process.

Lessons learned since my last review

  • Walking, and movement in general, are always a good idea for me. “Duh, Lindsey,” you say, but like most scoliotics, it’s easy for me to believe that less movement =  less discomfort, which for me is true in the short run, but devastating in the long run.
  • Moving during my workday makes a huge difference. Again, “duh.” But recently, I prioritized movement through my workday, and it’s helped me end my days in little to no pain or discomfort. I love hanging from my pull-up bar, doing functional “runs” in my apartment, crawling on the floor, doing low squats, lying in Static Back for 5-10 minutes, and whatever else I can quickly fit in. (The Stand Up app has really helped remind me to move, even when I’m immersed in work!)
  • There are many wonderful postural alignment modalities out there that complement Egoscue. But more on this in a moment ;).

What’s new?

Oh, my spine is still stupid, of course—this condition still doesn’t have a lot of research on it, and no known cures—but I’m glad to say that I’m probably the most comfortable I’ve ever been, and a big part of that has to do with the fact I’ve been working on and listening to my body’s needs for close to 7 years.

I have some recent photos of my scoliosis progress. These photos (below) were taken (from left to right) before, after, and a few hours after again, my regular Egoscue Skype session with my therapist (the wonderful Theresa Mathes at Egoscue Austin).

I was pretty messed up when I started the session. A combination of not doing my Egoscue exercises regularly, coupled with bad sleep and a lot of stress meant that my ribcage was twisted and sticking me in the lungs (“Full breaths? Not for you!”), my hips were terribly uneven, my head was really far forward of my body (which was killing my shoulders and neck), and my femurs were rotated due to my hips being so misaligned, which caused knee pain and an uneven gait when I walked.

The exercises Theresa gave me helped a lot, and as you can see in the middle photo, my body had adjusted, but it was resisting the changes I was asking it to keep, so within 3-4 hours, the twisting and misalignments started creeping back in, causing pain and shortness of breath.

“To heck with it,” I thought. “I’m a PAS now, and I can feel what my body needs. I’ll come up with my own exercise menu!” (See what a benefit it is to be certified in your chosen postural alignment modality?)

So I hit back—hard. And here were the results. Keep in mind,  my session with Theresa happened in the morning, and I came up with my own menu by late that same afternoon, which means these changes happened within HOURS of each other*. My body is now used to responding to the changes I ask it to make (well, except those days when it’s being particularly ornery), so this is the benefit of doing my Egoscue exercises regularly:

Three photos showing the before, immediately after, and "after" after results of doing my Egoscue exercises for my scoliosis, all within one day.

Before my therapy session, right after, and several hours later, after adding in my own Egoscue exercises.

I overlaid some lines to make the changes more clear, but I do apologize for the poor resolution on the first two photos—Theresa took those with her computer’s camera, and the last one I took with my phone.

Maybe I’m biased, but I’d say that’s a great improvement in less than 12 hours!

This is what I still love about Egoscue, even after several years: It grows and changes with my needs, and it’s something I can work on and experience changes with every day.

While I’m now exploring incorporating more modalities to complement and hopefully improve my healing even more—Nutritious Movement‘s methods for little postural corrections throughout my day, the Yoga Trapeze because I’ve heard great things about inversion therapy for back issues, and MovNat or Patch Fitness for natural movement exercises—the Egoscue Method continues to impress me with how adaptable it is to my ever-changing needs.

However…

Did you know there are more postural alignment therapies out there? You’ve maybe heard of the Schroth Method, but what about the Feldenkrais Method? The Alexander Technique? Yoga for Scoliosis? The Gokhale Method?

There are more, but I’m taking this month to highlight three of these postural alignment modalities on my blog.

Each week, I’ll share a post written by a practitioner in one of these alternative fields, to help you better understand these methods, and open an opportunity for you to explore them more!**

I love the Egoscue Method, but thousands of people, including scoliotics, have been helped by these other methods, too, and it’s terrible that not enough people know about these options, to make better-informed decisions about their own health.

Part of this blog’s mission is to highlight these other methods so you can decide for yourself if you’re interested to research them further, so I’m really excited to host this series on Young, Wild and Pain-Free!

Next week: We’ll kick things off with Lori Robbins, a certified Yoga for Scoliosis teacher and certified Restorative Exercise Specialist through Katy Bowman’s Nutritious Movement Center. Lori will discuss her backstory, and why she believes yoga and “nutritious movements” can be beneficial to scoliotics.

Don’t miss it! See you next week!

 

*Results not typical. It’s taken me YEARS of working with my body to get it respond this quickly, but when I first started, I would feel relief after doing my Egoscue exercises, but it would take weeks to get it to respond this rapidly after only a few hours.

**Disclaimer: These posts will be meant for inspiration, not instruction, only. Consult your medical professional before attempting any of the methods, techniques or exercises discussed in this or any past or future blog posts.

 

8 Comments on “(2017) Egoscue Method for Scoliosis – My Review

  1. Pingback: My Egoscue Experience: An Honest Review | Young, Wild and Pain-Free

  2. Pingback: Cynthia Rose: The Gokhale Method for Scoliosis | Young, Wild and Pain-Free

  3. Dr. Bob Debonis recommended you to me. I am 62 with a kyphotic angle that has fluctuated from 66 in 2014 to 51 in 2017. He first led me to Scoliosis Systems in NYC with Dr. Gary Deutchman. I have been been wearing the flexible brace and doing Schroth exercises along with swimming 5 days a week, inversion table, healing yoga, massage and PT…a lot I know but I still need more. So I am REALLY glad to see this site and have more resources. I will attest that keeping moving is the ONLY thing that helps and look forward to learning how to move better. Thank you! Escogue and Gokhale are my homework for tonight.

    • Wow, thanks for your comment, Kate! That’s awesome that you were referred to this blog–I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Debonis, but I appreciate his referral.

      Congratulations on the reduction of your curvature! A 15 degree difference is amazing. I’m so glad you found this blog, and also feel free to join a Facebook support group I started, specifically for adults with scoliosis who are using alternative methods to manage/heal their symptoms. Alternative Scoliosis Treatment Support

      Also, I’m now Postural Alignment Specialist certified through Egoscue University, and I offer free 30-minute consults, if you’re just looking for more information about the method (especially from the perspective of a fellow scoliotic). Let me know if that sounds interesting, and I’d be happy to help us get in touch (no obligation to use my services afterward–I just like helping scoliotics find answers to their questions, as you can see from this blog :).

      Thanks again, and I hope you find the info on here informative and helpful!

      • Hi Lindsay, that does sound interesting as I am always looking for non-surgical solutions. It is very good that you have started on this path at a young age. I had no real pain or felt any life compromises until I went through menopause and shrank 2 inches in less than a year. Now I know I will be on a heavy maintenance schedule for the rest of my life. It’s all good. I live on St. John in the USVI and am able to swim for 45 – 60 minutes most days which is the true healer, both mentally and physically. I actually found you through the Cynthia Rose article as that is who Dr. Debonis recommended me to look into, but no matter. I am as curious about Escogue as I am about the Gokhale method. It is funny to me that all the specialists have tongue twister names. Ida Roth, Schroth, etc….but they all have made great contributions.

        • Fantastic! I’d love to talk with you, even if you’re just curious. I really like the Gokhale Method, so I don’t feel you can go wrong there, either :). I think I’m able to see the email you used to make your comment, so I’ll email you there, if that’s alright.

          I agree, I hope it’s enough, soon enough. So far, so good–I’m better now, seven years after starting postural alignment therapy, so I’m taking it as a sign that that old belief that you just “get older” and there’s nothing you can do, is all just bunk. By that logic, I should be worse now than when I was younger, right?

          And I’m way jealous that you get to swim in such beautiful surroundings every day! Talk about a motivator to stay active and moving!

          Thanks again for your comment. Again, I’ll email you, and if you’d like to chat via Skype, I’d be happy to talk with you, and also to learn more about what you’re doing now for your scoliosis, after having lived with it for more years than I have yet.

          Have a great day!

  4. Hi Lyndsey

    Your blog was forwarded onto me from my Egoscue therapist Karen in the UK who I started working with in the Spring of this year (2017).

    I too suffer with mild scoliosis and I am finding a lot of relief from doing my Egoscue menu every day. I had a blip in June, lots of things going on and visitors staying and went off the boil with my daily morning routine and suffered for it. You are so right about movement and daily exercises for our bodies ( even if you are healthy), as humans beings we are designed to move and too much rest means rust!

    I am 52 years old and have come to appreciate that the more I listen to my beautiful body and care for it. the happier and balanced it is. I listen to what it needs: exercise, stretching, healthy food, nature, pets, hubby/family, laughter, girlfriends and some days just simple solitude and try to give myself as much nourishment as I possibly have time for that day, not always easy but …. ….. “at the end of the day if you don’t look after your body where are going to live”?

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge, it’s been very interesting to read it all and please keep it coming.

    All the very best to you

    Tracy Anne

  5. P.S: I forgot to also mention Lyndsey that I find massage hugely beneficial for my scoliosis and I also attend a Somatic class, which is very helpful too for back problems, aches, and stiffness etc generally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *