Back Pain and the Gokhale Method

“Vodka does not ease back pain. But it does get your mind off it.”  – Fuzzy Zoeller

This week’s post is really just a share.  After my last few posts being rather long-winded, I can fortunately make this one much shorter, but hopefully extremely impactful.  The subject is back pain; something many of us deal with on a daily basis.  When doing my micronutrient research, I came across the Gokhale Method as taught by Esther Gokhale.  I loved it!  I love it to the point where I contacted them about classes and becoming certified to teach it.  Why do I like it so much?  Well, she—after experiencing some serious back problems that required surgery—decided to take a real hard look at how we in the West/modern civilizations walk the way we do, tend to sit the way we do, and why that seems to cause so many problems.  Then she looks at modern tribes, who virtually have none of the issues we have, and took a hard look at how they do it.  It is subtle, but the differences could make a huge difference to how you go about your day-to-day activities; from how you sit, to how you walk, even to how you can sleep. So, I have included the links to both talks.  Each is roughly an hour, but if you know you are struggling with bad posture in the workplace, or if you are dealing with some back discomfort, this is going to be worth your time.  Even if you are not dealing with these problems, from a preventative point of view, it is still worth the time.  There are a lot of things in modern society that are working against us, but with a little knowledge, we can better prepare and deal with it.

Now, don’t get me wrong; we used to do it better.

j curve

The image above is actually one she uses. She is comparing a modern anatomy textbook to one from 1911.  You can see the obvious differences.  The one on the left is the modern one and is very much an “S” curve.  The one on the right is the one from 1911 and is described by Gokhale as a“J” curve.  We want the J curve!  It is the J curve that you find people from tribal cultures having. It is also these same people from these cultures that have the least incidences of  back pain and far fewer back problems, period.  In the J curve there is still some curve, but you can also see the vertebrae do stack much better being that much  better at dealing with the forces that act on the vertebral column. (sitting) (walking)