As you get older, chances are that you may experience some form of arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control state that between 2013-2015, 54.4 million Americans were diagnosed with some form of arthritis (including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia or gout). The cost of arthritis in 2013 was estimated to be $304 billion.* Osteoarthritis is a condition of joint inflammation where the cartilage that cushions your joints wears down and you can end up with bone rubbing against bone, causing pain. That pain tends to lead to restricted movement, and with restricted movement the synovial fluid that nourishes the joints [...]
Jean Couch and Spinefulness were featured in another NPR segment titled, “Can’t Get Comfortable in Your Chair? Here’s What You Can Do”: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/24/649169060/cant-get-comfortable-in-your-chair-heres-what-you-can-do The NRP story mentions that in the past, most people sat on chairs that were firm & flat, usually made of wood. As new materials became available, designers used them to create new styles of chairs, which weren’t always good for our spinal alignment. One example mentioned is a chair designed in 1929 – the “Barcelona chair” – that became popular in the US in the 1950s. They look like chairs that I’ve seen and sat in [...]
Here is another segment that NPR did on Spinefulness on September 24, 2018, titled "Can't Get Comfortable In Your Chair? Here's What You Can Do": https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/24/649169060/cant-get-comfortable-in-your-chair-heres-what-you-can-do I'll follow up with a blog post on my take on the story. Enjoy!
On August 21, 2018, Jenn Sherer was interviewed for “Good Morning America” in a segment titled “How changing the way you sit can help decrease back pain.” Jenn worked with Jean Couch at the Balance Center until it closed earlier this year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MELcgwe2j8M Jenn mentions that it’s not sustainable to lift the chest all day long. It’s exhausting and can make your back sore. When you notice that you’re slumped, rather than tightening everything in an attempt to “sit up straight”, re-seat yourself, making sure that you bend at your hip joints as you sit down. Following the segment featuring [...]
I was excited to hear that Balance/Spinefulness was covered in another NPR health story! The story, “To Fix That Pain in Your Back, You Might Have to Change the Way You Sit” aired on 8/13/18 on “Morning Edition”. The reporter, Michaeleen Doucleff, had experienced a lot of back pain, but got relief from learning Spinefulness posture from Jenn Sherer (http://www.spinefulness.com/), formerly Jean Couch’s business partner at the Balance Center in Palo Alto. Is Sitting "The New Smoking"? The idea that “sitting is the new smoking” was discredited in this story. Doucleff interviewed anthropologist David Raichlen, who has found that modern [...]
Spinefulness was covered on NPR again on 8/13/18! The story is called "To Fix That Pain in Your Back, You Might Have to Change the Way You Sit", and Jenn Sherer teaches journalist Michaeleen Doucleff how to sit to eliminate her back pain. Check it out here: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/08/13/636025077/to-fix-that-pain-in-your-back-you-might-have-to-change-the-way-you-sit. For my take on the story, check out my other blog post from 8/22/18 - "Change How You Sit, Change Your Pain".
Jean Couch and the Balance Center (where I did my posture training) were featured in the story “Lost Art of Bending Over: How Other Cultures Spare Their Spines” on February 26, 2018. The segment discusses how common, everyday bending posture in industrialized countries is misaligned and dangerous. We tend to bend from the waist, like the image above, and look like “cashews” (we also sit that way!). Instead of curving into that C shape, healthy cultures bend with their spines elongated, looking straight – more like a “table.” That’s because they bend at their hip joints. The author mentioned that [...]
NPR did a brief story on healthy bending and included a bit from their interview with Jean Couch and Jenn Sherer yesterday! https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/02/26/587735283/lost-art-of-bending-over-how-other-cultures-spare-their-spines If you practice bending like this, you'll save your spine and lengthen your hamstrings too!
In my last article I talked about Wolff’s Law, which explains how the pressure exerted on a bone stimulates the bone to grow, so it can resist that force in the future. There are 2 ways to stimulate bone growth. One is using the force of gravity (compressive stress), and the other is the way muscles pull on the bones when they are in various positions (tensile stress). Yoga puts the body in a variety of positions that are not on the gravity line, or plumb line. This means the muscles have to work harder. It’s like the difference between [...]
I know a lot of people that have broken bones in the last few years. Most of them are women; some are friends and some are yoga students. Most of them are over 50. While we may worry about losing height due to osteoporosis, breaking a bone is much more serious, since it can require surgery and lead to other complications. Is there a way that we can reduce our chances of osteoporotic fractures? The Stats In the US there are about 55 million people with osteoporosis. About twice as many women as men have osteoporosis. The most commonly fractured [...]