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How to Work Out Smarter, Not Harder

November, 2020
Ah, Thanksgiving. For many of us, it’s a time for gratitude and connection. It’s also a time when many people’s minds turn to exercise to offset the rich and abundant food on the menu. How can we make that extra push, enjoy it, and not injure ourselves in the process? Due to the pandemic, more and more of us are working out at home, without our usual exercise partners or in-person access to recreational facilities. Now’s the perfect time to learn to work out smarter, rather than harder. Read more

How Bad Posture Can Crack Your Teeth — and How to Avoid It

November, 2020
I recently came across a New York Times column by Tammy Chen, DDS, describing the “epidemic of cracked teeth” she’s seen in her patients during the COVID pandemic. Dr. Chen names two suspected culprits: the slumped posture many people adopt while working from home with improvised furniture, and excessive anxiety and stress. Both of these culprits lead to jaw clenching and tooth grinding. Read my latest blog post to learn more about the connection between posture and dental health! Read more

How to Beat Neck and Shoulder Pain While Cycling (Cycling for Everyone, Part 2)

October, 2020
Neck and/or shoulder pain is a common ailment even experienced cyclists regularly encounter, but posture can help! It takes awareness and muscular engagement while cycling to not allow gravity to further pull the head forward and down and round or hunch the shoulders, a posture problem that is already prevalent in our modern culture. However, the payoff is worth it! You will be able to ride pain-free for longer, and will also be patterning a healthy upper body position regardless of your activities and movements. You will also strengthen and develop baseline tone in stabilizing muscles, and they will become more accustomed to doing the job of maintaining shoulders back, back of the neck tall and straight, and head lined up over the body. Read more

From Raspy to Resonant: Elenore W.’s Success Story

October, 2020
I lost my voice completely 5 years ago after singing a full out concert of Brahms’ Requiem. My voice came back, but never with the same resonance. I couldn’t sing for long without having a sore throat. My speaking voice became raspy very easily. I couldn’t sing through a phrase without gasping for air. An Alexander Technique teacher told me: "Elenore, it's not your voice, it's your neck." I tried that and many other approaches: acupuncture, chiropractic, reflexology — nothing helped for long. But I knew that if it was my neck and posture, there had to be something out there that would work for me. Lots of women my age would just quit choir and singing, saying they must be too old. I was determined to show that a 67-year-old could still sing! I’d found the Gokhale Method online, ordered the book and tried following the instructions, but couldn’t seem to get it. After a free class with Esther, I was infected by her enthusiasm, convinced by her statistics, and decided to bite the bullet. Thank Goddess I did! I did the initial consultation with Esther and then the Elements class with Sheelagh Tobin. The results speak for themselves… Read more

Why Cycling is the Perfect Posture-Friendly Exercise for the COVID Era

October, 2020

I’m a longtime cyclist, former elite-level mountain bike racer, and Gokhale Method teacher. Learning and applying Gokhale Method techniques helped me reduce lumbar strain caused by unhelpful posture habits I used to employ while riding. I continue riding to this day, along with my whole family — now free of lower back pain. In my humble opinion, bikes are the most perfect exercise equipment of all time. This is especially true for the COVID era! The wheel base between two bicycles is around 6 feet, so riding with others can be done safely. Add Gokhale Method techniques to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for full-body health. Read more

How Not to Be a One-Trick Pony as a Pain Intervention

September, 2020
Many back pain interventions could be described as having a single, dominant approach: cortisone injections into inflamed tissue, insertion of acupuncture needles to open flow in meridians, “adjustments,” medications for reducing pain, etc. Of course, each of these interventions has complexity and nuance in theory and practice, but the vast majority of existing interventions have a single focus. To put it somewhat crassly, they could be described as one-trick ponies. And I’ve wondered if this is perhaps related to why most approaches to back pain are so ineffectual. What sets the Gokhale Method apart? Read more