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 [...]
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".
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!
Do you suffer from arthritis pain? Over 30 million Americans struggle with this condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control.* I’ve written a couple articles about osteoarthritis in past issues, and here I’ll go over some ways that nutrition can influence arthritis symptoms. One issue to consider is food allergies. Food allergies or food sensitivities can lead to joint pain, whether or not you have arthritis. A good way to check if you have an issue with certain foods is to do an elimination diet. You can find some information about cleansing diets here: https://www.baumancollege.org/diet-direction/ Dr. Josh [...]
I just read an article on Shape Magazine’s website called “Hold Up – Is the Barre Tuck Actually Bad for You?” The article talks about the “barre tuck” done in barre fitness classes. I haven’t been to a barre class, but I’ve been to many dance classes before (when I was a Flamenco dancer) where we were told to tuck the pelvis under. It was considered to improve our posture and our dance technique. What I’ve since learned about posture, after studying with Jean Couch of the Balance Center in Palo Alto, is that it actually does neither. I followed [...]
In my last article, I wrote about some of the different styles of yoga that you can choose from, with an emphasis on those who have back pain or want to prevent it. Now I'll cover some other things to think about to make sure you and your back stay safe and healthy. CHOOSING A CLASS If your doctor or physical therapist warned you against yoga, it may be that they are more familiar with the more vigorous styles of yoga (see the Part 1 article), or that they are seeing patients/clients coming in with injuries from yoga. Just because [...]
With so many different styles of yoga available these days – everything from “hot yoga” to “power yoga” to “naked yoga” (I’m not making this up!) – how do you choose the right style for yourself, especially if you have back pain? In this month’s article, I’ll go over some of the styles of yoga that are out there. In the next issue, I’ll cover some other things to consider when looking for a yoga class that won't hurt your back. Though yoga is known for its many health benefits, from improving strength and flexibility to reducing stress, you can [...]
A recent study that appeared in the journal Surgical Technology International showed that the common use of cell phones can be damaging to your upper spine. Itâ€™s how you use the phones that is the problem here â€“ in other words, your posture. The average human head weighs 10-12 pounds. When the head sits right on top of the spine, thereâ€™s no problem. Yet whose head is in that position today? Itâ€™s rare in industrialized countries to find that kind of healthy alignment, except in young children and immigrants from less industrialized parts of the world. When you tilt your [...]