This year, I’m relaunching my Hauber Method™ program for relieving long-term back pain. Many of you are reading this blog post because you read this page and are not really convinced that your emotions and beliefs can affect your experience of back pain.
Not a problem. The Hauber Method™ can certainly still help you feel better.
That's because the entire “physical” portion of the program consists of only stretches and exercises that stop back pain. They have been shown to work time and time again, for people with very different types of back pain.
Thus, there is an extremely high likelihood that just engaging in those stretches and exercises, and the postural and breathing techniques I teach, will help reduce or even eliminate your pain within only a short session.
But if your pain does have an emotional component, if your beliefs are contributing to your experience of back pain, and you don’t devote any time or energy to addressing them as I recommend, your pain won’t actually go away.
Instead, you’re quite likely to experience . . .
Jonah Lehrer, author of the new book Imagine: How Creativity Works, recently wrote a fantastic piece for Wired magazine called, "Trials and Errors: Why Science is Failing Us."
The entire article is worth a quiet, concentrated perusal.
The section of greatest interest to readers of this blog may well be the section on back pain. Lehrer discusses the oft-documented finding that vertebral disc damage (such as herniation and bulging discs) is not correlated with pain. Medical journals have been reporting these results for more than a decade, yet physicians have continued to use MRIs and x-rays to "diagnose" back-pain patients with disc damage--even when that diagnosis does nothing to explain the pain a patient is experiencing or guide their treatment.
We all know someone who has tried yoga in order to alleviate their aching back, neck, hips, or shoulders. Yoga has become such a common--and successful--method for addressing orthopedic issues that doctors are even recommending it to their patients.
Dr. Loren Fishman, a physiatrist in New York, is one such physician. This summer, The New York Times featured Dr. Fishman's use of yoga with his orthopedic clients. I applaud the author, Jane E. Brody, for dedicating a large segment of the piece to rotator cuff injuries.
Having coached all type of fitness and back-pain client, I have dealt with many such injuries. In fact, the vast majority of people over the age of 50 have some sort of tear in one of the rotator cuff muscles. These tears are normal, are not likely to cause lasting pain, and will not be resolved by surgical means--but surgeons frequently cut away at the shoulder anyway. I'm encouraged that doctors like Fishman are actually using yoga to solve such structural issues. I've seen similar results with my own clients, for all manner of joint pain.
One statement in the article with which I do take issue, however, is the final sentence of Brody's piece. I'd get rid of the phrase "medical guidance" and instead say "Seek the guidance of a highly-specialized fitness or yoga practitioner."
Because we are not licensed medical practitioners, we are not able to prescribe you addictive pain pills, expensive injections, and unnecessary surgeries that won't relieve your pain. We are required by the restrictions of our profession to deal with the two things that actually will make a difference in how your body feels: The physical structure (bone, muscle, joints) that you carry around, and the mind with which you control that physical structure.
Click here to read Brody's piece.
Coach, listener, back-pain expert, retreat leader, entrepreneur, and student-centered teacher; constantly curious student of life. Caring wellness expert with decades of experience, a back full of metal, and a heart overflowing with Love.
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