John Elder

John Elder

John Elder is the Vice President of Corporate Operations for Egoscue, Inc. and former Clinic Owner of Egoscue Nashville.

John is the main content contributor for the Egoscue blog. A client since 1995, he was an instant believer in the Method and felt relief after his first visit at Egoscue Headquarters in Del Mar, California. It is because of Egoscue that John was able to realize his dream of playing Division I baseball while at Yale University. John has traveled internationally with Egoscue and handles many of the Midwest and East Coast speaking engagements for Egoscue, Inc. His clientele includes the young and old, working professionals, stay-at-home moms, professional athletes, weekend warriors, politicians, and the everyday “Joe.”

The Importance of 10,000 Steps

23 May 2017, 3:52 pm

The number 10,000 is not an insignificant number. For example, I'm sure that if I offered any of you a check for $10,000, you'd cash it before the ink dried. Conversely, if you ate 10,000 hot dogs, you'd probably never even look at a hot dog again.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers, proposed that 10,000 hours of practicing your craft will lead to mastery. Although Gladwell's theory has sparked some controversy (there is some lack of clarity around how we should define the terms "practice" and "mastery"), I think it's safe to say that if we practice something, anything, for 10,000 hours we are, generally speaking, going to be better at it than when we started.

Now, start thinking about the impact of walking 10,000 steps every day. It is widely known that 10,000 steps is sort of the "industry standard" for the daily recommended amount of steps you and I need. What you may not know is that we get that "10,000 steps" number from the 1960s when early Japanese walking groups created the terms "manpo-kei," which means "10,000 step meter."

And have you ever thought about what walking 10,000 steps every day can actually do for you? Once the benchmark of 10,000 steps was established in the 60s, various groups began to study the physical effects of that number. Check out what walking 10,000 steps can do for you physically:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve mood
  • Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Improved glucose tolerance in those overweight

While I think it's safe to say we can all agree that exercise is good for you and will improve your health, not exercising can have just as big of a negative impact on your body. Sitting has been deemed the "new smoking," and conditions that were once attributed to lifelong smokers are now being linked to sitting. For example, if you sit for just a few hours per day, you are:

  • At 2x higher risk for heart disease
  • 37% higher risk for obesity
  • 18% increase in diabetes
  • 24% higher risk for colon cancer
  • 20-40% higher morbidity rate

Obviously, those are some serious issues. But the good news is that they are changeable. Increase your activity level, and you'll improve your health! Pretty simple, really. I'm not saying walking 10,000 steps is some sort of panacea, but getting 10,000 steps in every day sure will go a long way toward improving your health and extending your life. If walking hurts, that's your body's way of letting you know that you're out of balance, that something isn't quite right. That's when you know it's time to get into an Egoscue clinic. If you're ready to take the first step toward getting pain free and taking control of your health, book an appointment now!

At the very least, now that you're finished reading this, stand up and walk around. Whether you walk down the hall, around your office building, or around the block, the key to improving your health is to get moving. If you haven't been walking much throughout your days, don't let the "10,000 steps" number scare you off. Start where you are, start small, but just start.

QUESTION: How many steps do you take every day?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Also, join me (almost) every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST for "Egoscue LIVE!" on our Facebook page. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

You Hurt Because You're Overweight

16 May 2017, 6:26 pm

“If you just lost 30 pounds you wouldn't have any pain.”

Anyone ever heard that one?

If you’re like the majority of clients we see, then you have heard it at some point along the way. As if chronic pain isn’t depressing and aggravating enough, to hear “You’re fat!” adds insult to injury (for some of you, quite literally).

But here’s the deal: Your pain has nothing to do with how overweight you are.

Think about it: If you have knee pain, and your weight is to blame for that pain, then how fat is the other knee that doesn't hurt? Don't they weigh the same?

Or if that herniated disc at L4/L5 herniated because of weight gain, why didn’t being overweight impact L3/L4, or L5/S1? Or, how is it possible that you weigh 175 pounds and have a bad hip, but someone who weighs 200 pounds doesn’t?

Listen friends, it's time we STOP blaming pain on weight. When we take a step back and really analyze what we have been told, blaming weight gain just doesn’t make sense! And, believe me, I have talked to countless clients who lost the weight but not the pain!

But what about those of you who, when you did lose the 30 pounds suggested by your physician, felt better? If you’re in that group, it’s important that we stay focused on what you did to lose the weight. I’m sure many of you changed your diet, which was a crucial step in the process. But, I’m sure many of you also started working out. You started moving more!

It wasn’t the weight loss that eased your pain as much as it was the movement. By moving more, you began to reset your body. Keep in mind that the title of Pete Egoscue's first book is The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion. We need to focus on those last three words: Health Through Motion. When it comes to motion, you move it or lose it. Or, more accurately, in this example, move it and lose it. You placed a positive stimulus on your body (motion), and it responded accordingly (you felt better)! You actually got your hips working again by taking those walks around the neighborhood, and when that happened, there was a positive domino-effect throughout the rest of the body. Your shoulders, knees, ankles, and spine ALL started working better. And, voilá, your function and posture improved. In the end, as your posture improved, your pain decreased (or was eliminated all together). Yes, you lost weight, but the key was that you also got moving and got functional.

It’s also important that we remember those “skinny” folks who are in pain. I came to this Method as a 14 year old with a bulging disc, and I think I weighed 125 pounds soaking wet. My pain had nothing to do with how much I weighed, and neither does yours! My pain had everything to do with the misalignment of my pelvis and the dysfunction in my hips.

So, let’s stop blaming how much you weigh, and start focusing on how your body is functioning (or, more importantly, not functioning). It doesn’t matter if you have 20 pounds, 30 pounds, 100 pounds…or ZERO pounds to lose. We simply have to get your body balanced and moving functionally again!

If you're ready to eliminate your pain, contact us today or get in touch with your local clinic. You will thank yourself for it. You'll regain control of your health and eliminate your pain once and for all.

QUESTION: What have you been led to believe is causing your pain?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Also, join me (almost) every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST for "Egoscue LIVE!" on our Facebook page. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

The Eight Laws of Physical Health

9 May 2017, 2:21 pm

I think we can all agree that the majority of laws are in place to protect us. For example, we have speed limits in place so that we drive safely, and we have to stop at red lights to ensure that we don't get in a wreck. Obviously, if we violate those laws, bad things can happen. At best, we'll get a ticket if caught violating. At worst, someone could get seriously injured, or worse yet, killed.

When it comes to the body, we have laws in place as well. Eight of them, actually. Pete Egoscue talks about them in his book, Pain Free. If you haven't read it yet, I would highly suggest you do. Not only does it go in-depth about the Eight Laws, but it gives you the Egoscue perspective on posture and pain. All of the chapters are divided up by symptoms--back pain, hip pain, neck pain, etc.--and include exercises to correct your posture and eliminate your pain. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of it!

But back to the topic at-hand. Regarding the Eight Laws, if you violate them you won't get a written citation, but you will get a "warning" of a different kind. At first, the violations may present themselves as low energy or poor health. Maybe you "crash" every afternoon, or perhaps you're sick a lot. Unfortunately, the longer you violate the laws, and the more laws you violate, the louder the "warning" gets. For those of you struggling with chronic pain, it's because you are violating multiple laws. There's a good chance you have violated the laws of Vertical Loading, Dynamic Tension, Motion, and Balance, just to name a few. Read through the Eight Laws below, and then go look in the mirror. Simply by looking in the mirror, you'll be able to determine if you are violating the laws of Vertical Loading, Dynamic Tension, Form and Function, Balance, and Breathing. Does your body pass the eye-test? For those of you with digestive issue, immune issue or reproductive issues, you are in violation of the law of Motion. For those who have a difficult time recovering from injuries or sickness, you may be in violation of the laws of Stimulus and Renewal.

So, are you ready? Let's take the test. Read through the following Eight Laws, and report back which ones you believe you're in violation of.

1. VERTICAL LOADING: Gravity is necessary for health. In order for gravity to exert a positive and dynamic influence on the body, the skeleton must be vertically aligned in its posture.

2. DYNAMIC TENSION: A state of constant tension exists between the front of the body and the back. The posterior portion is responsible for the erection of the body and the anterior is responsible for the flexion, or bending forward, of the body. Neither activity can be performed correctly and healthily without this action.

3. FORM AND FUNCTION: Bones do what muscles tell them to do. All skeletal motion is initiated by muscular activity.

4. BREATHING: The body will not function without oxygen. So essential is this law that the body has redundant systems to ensure compliance.

5. MOTION: All of the body's systems--digestive, circulatory, immune, and so on--are interrelated. The common thread that binds them together is movement. The faster the molecules of the body move, the higher the metabolic rate. The higher the metabolic rate, the healthier the human being. We are designed to run, jump, climb, fall, roll, and skip, not just for initial development but for continued health throughout our lives. If these activities hurt or cause pain, it is because we are violating some or all of the laws of health.

6. BALANCE: In order for the law of motion to be effective and true, the body must achieve balance, defined as muscle memory, sufficient to constantly return the body to the first law of vertical loading. For balance to occur, muscles must work in pairs and equally on the right and left sides of the body. Being left- or right-handed hinders this balance only when we violate the laws of motion.

7. STIMULUS: The body reacts to all stimuli twenty-four hours a day, regardless of the conscious state of health. Therefore, the law of motion constantly reinforces this law of stimulus. If motion is limited, the law of stimulus becomes stressful to the body. The body absorbs pollutants and irritants rather than deflecting them.

8. RENEWAL: The body is organic; therefore, it is in a constant state of growth and rebirth. Muscles, bones, nerves, connective tissues, cartilage, and the like are all alive. If the body is not renewing, it is because we are violating the laws of physical health. The more laws we violate, the faster we age and die.

Which laws resonated most with you? Are there ones that you know you definitely violate? Which ones do you feel you're not in violation of?

Remember, the more laws we violate, the faster we age and die. So, unfortunately, just like breaking the law and running a red light puts you at risk of death, so does violating the Eight Laws of Physical Health. But, remember that last law...Renewal? That's the cool thing about the body. Just because you may be violating a law (or multiple laws) right now doesn't mean you will be violating them forever. Your body can, and will, change. You simply have to apply the proper Stimulus (Law #7). Isn't it fascinating how all of the laws work together? The body is a pretty remarkable piece of machinery.

QUESTION: How many laws are you violating?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Also, join me (almost) every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST for "Egoscue LIVE!" on our Facebook page. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

What if Life is Happening FOR You not TO You?

25 April 2017, 3:09 pm

I'm sure you have heard the old saying: Life happens for you, not to you.

But have you given any thought to what that actually means to you?

When "bad" things happen to us--battling chronic pain, for example--we tend to catapult ourselves into a downward spiral and assume that life as we know it is over.

But what if we took a different approach? What if we looked for the opportunity rather than focusing on the misfortune?

I recently took some time to reflect on the situations and circumstances throughout my life that, in the moment, I deemed "negative." I was shocked to discover that a LOT of good came out of those situations. Yes, they were painful. Yes, they were ugly. But in the end, I grew, and often times, my life significantly changed for the better because of what I experienced.

Take my chronic pain journey, for example. As a 14 year-old, I was scared to death. I was sure that my life was "over," and I was going to spend the rest of my days relegated to playing the piano (side note: As a 14 year-old I hated playing the piano and the weekly piano lessons that came along with it, so this was not any kind of life I was looking forward to living). I was miserable, and I'm fairly certain I let everyone around me undoubtedly aware of that fact. Truth be told, I was most concerned about the fact that, as an athlete, activities were being taken away from me at a rapid pace. I was hearing things like, "You'll never play football again," "Sit out the next month of your basketball season," and "Swinging a baseball bat isn't recommended, so let's try running track instead."

Even at that young age, images of me as an elderly man appeared in my mind, and let's just say I wasn't picturing myself as the "life of the party." I was certain I'd be rolling through life in a wheelchair in no time at all.

Obviously, looking back on things today, I can tell you a much different story. Hindsight is 20/20, and I certainly have it!

Now, I look back and realize that, if not for my bulging disc, I would have never found The Egoscue Method.

If not for my bulging disc, I would have never owned an Egoscue clinic.

If not for my bulging disc, I would have never had the chance to join the corporate team at Egoscue, Inc.

If not for my bulging disc, I would have never had the opportunity and privilege to impact thousands of lives all over the world.

Wow...what an honor it was for me to have a bulging disc!

I couldn't have thought that way when I was 14...right?

WRONG!

I could have totally changed my perspective and instead of being miserable, considered it an opportunity to learn everything I could about anatomy and physiology. I could taken it as an opportunity to slow down and evaluate my "hectic" 14-year-old schedule. I could have jumped at the chance to become well-versed in photography or some other hobby that I found enjoyable. I could have realized that life was happening for me rather than to me.

Unfortunately, in that moment, I didn't do any of those things. I wallowed in anger and self-pity, and impacted the lives of my friends and family through collateral damage caused by my suffering. My hope is that you don't do what I did. My hope is that you'll reevaluate your current condition and see things a little differently than you have to this point.

So, I'll propose the question to you: Is life happening for you, or is life happening to you? What is your perspective regarding your current life state?

We all have a choice. We can all change our perspective. We can all change our mindset.

If you don't believe me, check out this quick 4-minute video from Tony Robbins on living in what he calls a "beautiful state":

So? Are you ready to change your perspective? Not only can it change, but it can change instantly!

QUESTION: Is life happening to you or for you?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Also, join me (almost) every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST for "Egoscue LIVE!" on our Facebook page. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

What Are You Telling Yourself?

11 April 2017, 5:27 pm

I swung by my buddy's office on my way to the gym several months ago. It was my lunch hour, and I only had a short time to workout before getting back to work. My friend's office is a small one, and the employees consist of him, his mom, and his dad, truly a mom-and-pop business. I walked in to find my friend and his dad in his dad's office, as I heard his dad say, "Well, that will never work!" Assuming he was talking to his son (my friend), and out of sheer sarcastic instinct, I replied, "Well not with that attitude it won't!" as I was walking through his office door.

My friend looked at me oddly, as I quickly asked him if he was headed to the gym. He informed me he wasn't, and I hurriedly left to stay on schedule and get back to my office on time. About a mile down the road, I was horrified as I started putting the pieces of the puzzle together. His dad didn't respond to my comment, and my friend looked at me oddly, all because they were in the middle of a Skype meeting with a company in Europe! I was as embarrassed as I've ever been, and I quickly called my buddy's phone and left a voicemail admitting my embarrassment and profusely apologizing!

I bring this story up not embarrass myself (although it is embarrassing to share), but to ask: As it relates to your battle with chronic pain and any diagnosis you've been given, what are you telling yourself?

Like my friend's dad, are you telling yourself that "That will never work!"? Are you telling yourself that your body will never improve and your current physical condition will always be the way things are for you?

If so, I would encourage you to change your self-talk. I recently read an article sharing one man's story of how his email password literally changed his life. While that may sound like hyperbole or an exaggeration, it most certainly is not either of those. I'd encourage you to read the entire article, but the gist of it is that his work forced all employees to change their password every 30 days. If that wasn't demanding enough, each new password had to include at least one lowercase letter, at least one uppercase letter, at least one symbol, and at least one number. And, it had to be more than eight characters long.

During this time he was going through a bad divorce, and changing his password every 30 days--and with such strict criteria--made him all the more irritable. Until, that is, he remembered a tip from an old boss. His old boss once told him that his password had the ability to change his life. (I know...I know...it seems extreme, but it's true.) He took hold of that advice and realized that he couldn't let himself be a victim of his current circumstances. With his new outlook on life, he changed his password to...

"Forgive@h3r"

The cool thing is that he had to type that password multiple times per day and for 30 straight days! He reminded himself that he wasn't simply typing a password, he was actually writing "forgive her" countless times throughout the month. He began to change the way he looked at his ex wife. In just a few short days, his mood changed dramatically.

After 30 days, his password became...

"Quit@smoking4ever"

And guess what happened? Yep, he quit overnight and never looked back.

Then 30 days after that...

"Save4trip@thailand"

And three months later? Yep. Thailand.

So just how powerful is your mind? More powerful than you might be giving it credit for. What are you telling yourself? How does your self-talk sound? I truly hope you hear an encouraging word from yourself, but for many of us, we don't. We trend toward the negative. We jump from "0" to a worst-case scenario "10" on the freak-out scale in a very short amount of time. We are quick to remember how badly our back hurt at the end of the day but forget that we had 12 hours of being pain free leading up to bedtime.

We focus on the negative. We minimize the positive. It's just what we do. Unfortunately, it's how we're wired.

Maybe changing your password isn't something you want to do. But maybe you write affirmations on sticky notes and place them around your house. Maybe you use a dry-erase marker to write a reminder on your bathroom mirror. Maybe you pick a song that's meaningful to you and play it every time you get in your car. Maybe you surround yourself with "truth-speakers"; those friends who can hold you accountable and can regularly speak into the truth of your situation and for whom you can do the same.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you change your self-talk. It might just change your life. And, I believe your future self will thank you for it.

QUESTION: What do you tell yourself about your current condition?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

Motivate Me! Motivate Me!

5 April 2017, 6:06 pm

It's 6:00 AM, and your alarm clock goes off. What do you do?

Do you spring out of bed?

Do you hit the snooze button until it's almost physically impossible to be ready for work on time?

I'm sure for some of you, the thought of waking up at 6:00 is no big deal. You have a spring in your step, and there's no possible way you'd even think about hitting the snooze button.

But for others of you reading this...it's a much different story. I'm sure for some folks, the thought of waking up at 6:00 sends chills down their spine.

Those folks need a little extra motivation.

I came across a great interview with Simon Sinek a while back, and it was something that I believe you, our client, need to hear, as many of you have experienced quite a bit of ups-and-downs as you have traveled through your chronic pain journey. I'm extremely familiar with those ups-and-downs. I know from first-hand experience that dealing with chronic pain can be frightening. If you are anything like I was, you are scared that you are always going to hurt, you fear you’ve done irreparable damage to your body, and the diagnosis you are given (and then go home and quickly google) leaves you certain that you only have about two weeks left to live! (Even though everyone involved knows that what you’re dealing with is a changeable condition, not a disease.)

I was listening to the interview, Simon Sinek and Ken Coleman, the gentleman interviewing him, had this dialogue:

Simon Sinek — “What I learned is that none of us can do anything without the help of others. Our courage comes from the courage of others.”

Ken Coleman — “Oh, wow…that’s good: When we don’t have courage, it’s okay to borrow it from others.”

Simon Sinek — “You know, when you do the Marine Corp Marathon, there are Marines that run the marathon in full gear. And, when the Marines are struggling and they don’t think they can do it, they scream out, ‘Motivate me! Motivate me!’ They don’t scream out, ‘I don’t think I can do it,’ they scream out, ‘Motivate me!’ In other words, they make it the team’s responsibility to keep everyone on the team going, and I love that.”

So, let me break that down for you. You don’t have to have courage. You don’t have to be strong. This journey you’re on isn’t designed to be a solo mission. And let me be the first to say that if you don’t have courage, if you’re fearful, I get it. Trust me, boy do I get it.

I’ve been there.

I’ve shed the same tears.

I’ve had the same thoughts.

I’ve heard the same doubting voices in my head.

I want to tell you that you have a partner in this process. You don’t have to do this alone. Yes, you have to do the work, but you’re part of a team. Now, having been through this process as a client, I have courage for you. Nothing you tell me scares me. No diagnosis you bring to the table is “too big.” I don’t believe for one second that you’ve waited too long or that you’re too far gone.

There will be times as you go through this process that you feel like you can’t go on. You’ll think there’s not enough time. You’ll get discouraged. You’ll hit a plateau. Your mind will tell you to quit. That’s when you need to yell, “Motivate me! Motivate me!,” and we’ll do exactly that.

If you're ready to be motivated, book your appointment now! If you have questions about your condition or symptoms, contact us today. And be sure to check if we have a clinic in your area.

QUESTION: When have you felt like giving up?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

Spring is in the air! We all know with spring comes the blooming of flowers, the budding of trees, and the reminder that it's time to do a bit of cleaning and decluttering. While I'm not a fan of cleaning, I have to admit that spring is one of my favorite times of the year.

Regarding cleaning, isn't it amazing that despite our excitement to get outside and enjoy the warmer temperatures, we are somehow lured back inside to the dreaded task of cleaning our entire home? Why is it that we wait until one of the most beautiful times of the year to stay inside? Seems a little backwards, doesn't it?

Today, I want to encourage you to do some spring-cleaning of your body! While you are getting your attic, closets, and garage more organized and decluttered, it's also a great time to get your internal closets cleaned out as well.

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, then you know that we at Egoscue believe posture dictates everything in the body. If your posture is out of balance, we know that it can lead to chronic musculoskeletal pain, but the effects go much deeper than that. Every system of the body is dependent on the position of the body.

Here are some things to think about:

If your shoulders and upper back are out of alignment, then your lungs and heart won't be able to function properly. If you struggle with allergies this time of year, that misaligned shoulder position isn't helping you any. Seasonal breathing issues are your body's way of telling you that your lungs aren't able to evacuate the "gunk" that is in the air this time of year. You'll have a much easier time breathing, and therefore more fun outdoors, if your shoulders and upper back are in the proper position and your lungs are functioning as designed.

If your hips are out of alignment, then your digestive and reproductive systems won't be functioning efficiently. If you are struggling with Irritable Bowl Syndrome, Chrone's Disease, or if you're a female struggling to get pregnant, your hip position is a major contributor. The hip joint is a major player in overall function of the body. The pelvis is the basis of support for the upper-body and the locomotor for the lower body. If the pelvis is misaligned at all, it can wreak havoc on the entire body, including your digestive and reproductive systems.

If your knee is out of position, your circulatory system could be compromised. While you might be wondering what the connection is between your knee position and your circulatory system, need I remind you of your varicose veins? Your varicose veins are a symptom of a larger problem. While you may not have knee pain, your body is still alerting you to the fact that your posture is compromised, and the end result is that you have varicosities. Varicose veins are caused by your body's inability to return the blood back to the heart. Essentially, there's a disrupt in the blood-flow pattern caused by a misaligned joint, and the blood has gotten backed up and is pooling. When you get the knee joint properly aligned, the blood will flow properly, and the varicosities will be eliminated.

And if your ankle is out of position, your immune system could be under a lot of stress. Some of you may have noticed that your ankles appear swollen for no particular reason. This "pooling" of fluid is often times a buildup of lymph. Did you know that one of the lymphatic system's jobs is to help remove waste from the cells? It is basically a cellular "vacuum." If you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, you have to restore proper joint positioning to the body so the lymphatic system can properly aide the immune system to help fight disease. Restore proper positioning to the ankle, and you'll jump-start your lymphatic and immune system, not to mention eliminate foot, ankle, and knee pain (along with other things).

Posture is the key to everything. Your allergies, infertility, varicosities, and sickness can all be impacted positively by improving your alignment. So, this spring, don't begrudgingly give all of your time and energy to your house. Be sure to give time, first and foremost, to YOURSELF! Remember, spring is a time of "new" things--blooming flowers, budding trees...and YOU!

QUESTION: Did any of these symptoms ring true to you? What will YOU choose to clean up this spring?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

Building Strength in Your Third Trimester

22 March 2017, 12:00 am

This article originally appeared on Sonima.com

 

Activate key muscles for a healthy and safe delivery with this 20-minute workout.

By the third trimester of pregnancy, typically the stomach will be quite large, and the sickness of first trimester feels like a distant memory. The goal of all activity in this trimester is to prepare the body for an easy and uneventful delivery. In this video, follow along as alignment expert Pete Egoscue walks you through a very simple yet highly effective workout, that is both low-impact and restorative. The activation of the inner thighs, the contraction of the gluteal and scapular muscles, along with the articulation of the spine, will help with posture, easeful sleep, and a strong, healthy body for the delivery process.

QUESTION: What has been the most challenging aspect of your pregnancy?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

"Not Your Mother's Arthritis"

15 March 2017, 12:00 am

"Not Your Mother's Arthritis"...

The words jumped off of my computer screen at me. Admittedly, I was intrigued. Not my mother's arthritis?, I thought. What does that even MEAN?

As I read the article, the meaning became more and more clear. The author was insinuating that arthritis is typically a condition that "old people" get. However, they were quick to point out, the "age-of-attack" is becoming younger and younger.

According to the article:

About 54.4 million American adults have had a doctor diagnose them with painful joint inflammation and stiffness, according to the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs Report. That breaks down to about one in four adults in the nation.
 
"This is not your mother's arthritis," Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat said. "Contrary to popular opinion, it is not an old person's disease."
 
Aging baby boomers aren't the only ones who have it. The majority of current cases of arthritis -- 32.2 million -- are in people under age 65. Women have it more than men, and the number is particularly acute for diabetics, heart patients and those struggling with obesity. About 49.3% of people with heart disease have arthritis, 47.1% of diabetics and 30.6% of people who are obese.
So just to review, 54 million Americans are suffering from arthritis, and 32 million of those are under the age of 65. That equates to roughly one out of every 10 Americans that is suffering from arthritis. In addition to that, nearly half of all people who suffer from heart disease and diabetes have arthritis, and nearly one-third of obese Americans have arthritis. Is there a common link between these groups? I believe, yes!
 
I'll touch on heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in a minute, but I first have to ask, what do we really know about arthritis? Let's start with what we have been told. I would venture to say that the vast majority (if not all) of those diagnosed with arthritis have been told that it's part of the natural, normal aging process, and there's nothing that can really be done about it short of medication to help ease the inflammation and pain.
 
Sound familiar?
 
However, I don't believe arthritis has anything to do with age. I think it has everything to do with your compromised posture and lack of motion! You see, what we really know about arthritis is that it can only survive in an acidic environment, meaning one that is void of oxygen. If you're familiar with your body's pH system (the internal balancing system of the body), then you know that pH-neutral is 7 on a 0-14 scale. The lower you are on the pH scale, the more acidic your body is. The higher you are on the pH scale, the more alkaline your body is. Ideally, we would fall right in the middle around 7 (I'm actually ok with folks being on the alkaline side of the scale). However, most of us are chronically acidic. The reason? What we put in our bodies. Many of us pump our bodies full of processed food, sugar, alcohol, nicotine, low-fat foods, no-fat foods, sodas, the list goes on and on. Very seldom do the things going into our bodies actually contain oxygen. By and large, the foods we eat and the drinks we consume were never living, breathing organisms. The result is an acidic body; one that is screaming for oxygen, is inflamed, and is breaking down quickly.
 
Another way to describe an acidic body is one that is running "hot and fast." Think of your car battery, for example, which is an acidic battery. You want your car to run immediately upon turning the key. You want it to warm you quickly in the winter and cool you quickly in the summer. By design, that battery is intended to run hot! However, that means there's also a chance for that battery to burn out fast. Yes, it's 'hot and fast," but that comes at a price when your battery dies quicker than you would like it to. Similarly, an acidic body will burn out "hot and fast."
 
Now think about a AA or AAA alkaline battery in your television remote. That battery is a "cool and slow" battery. You want that battery to run at a nice, even pace, and last for a long time. You want it to stay "cool" and burn out "slow." An alkaline body, just like the battery, will do that exact same thing. It will last a long time and use its energy wisely and efficiently.
 
If you're wondering why your body is burning "hot and fast" and, therefore, burning out, pay attention. Heart disease, diabetes (Type II, not Type I), and obesity are all considered to be "lifestyle" conditions. Bad eating habits and lack of exercise are two major contributors to poor health, and the body will burn out if it is continually deprived of good food and exercise. It's just a matter of time. The more acidic the body, the "hotter" it runs. The lifestyle that consists of processed food and no movement isn't going to last. It's not meant to last.
 
Now, connect the dots with me. Is it any surprise that those with the lifestyle conditions mentioned in the article also have arthritis? To me it makes perfect sense. Their bodies are acidic, which means their pH is off, which means they're lacking oxygen, which means they aren't moving properly. How do we get a system in that condition functioning properly again? We correct the posture, fuel the body, and get moving!
 
I believe the 54 million Americans suffering from arthritis don't have anything inherently "wrong" with them. I believe they are suffering from poor eating habits and lack of exercise, combined with a compromised posture. In short, there is an incredible overall lack oxygen in their system, simply because they aren't moving enough, aren't moving functionally when they do move, and they aren't fueling their bodies properly. If their bodies were pH neutral or even slightly alkaline, that would mean they have more oxygen in their system due to moving more often, moving more efficiently, and putting proper food into their body. Posture plays a huge role in the overall landscape of health. The better aligned someone is, the better chance their body has to accept the nutrients they are taking in and disperse them to the right places at the right time. 
 
So if you have a lifestyle condition and/or arthritis, you have to understand that those aren't "death sentences." They also aren't due to your "old" age, no matter how young you actually are. Instead, think of them as conditions, and remember that conditions are changeable. Get your posture where it needs to be, get your body closer to pH-neutral/alkaline, get moving again, and get your body oxygenated like it's designed to be! Personally, I can't wait to see what changes!
 

QUESTION: What do you believe about your arthritis diagnosis?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

Achieving Peak Performance

8 March 2017, 12:00 am

Whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or simply someone who goes to the gym a few days each week, there is no doubt in my mind that you want to get the most out of your body.

For the time we all put in trying to mold and shape our bodies, for all the sweat, for the sore muscles, we want to get the most bang for our buck. Personally, I want to make sure that my body is operating as close to 100% as possible. Whether I'm at the gym with my buddies or playing baseball with my boys, I want to ensure that I'm pain free, that I don't have any physical limitations, and that I am moving as efficiently as possible. I'm sure the same can be said for you.

And, if you and I can agree that we want our bodies moving as functionally as possible, wouldn't we assume that that would be the case for a someone attempting to perfecting their craft at the highest level of sports? Wouldn't it makes sense that a professional athlete would ensure that they have zero limitations in their body?

In my opinion, an athlete wanting to be as functional as possible is a no-brainer. However, true, proper function is far from a common site in professional sports. Just this last week, the NFL held its annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. For those of you unfamiliar with the Combine, it's an opportunity for representatives from every NFL team to see draft-eligible college football players as they perform various events that showcase their speed, power, and skill sets. Players will run the 40-yard dash, perform a standing broad-jump, vertical jump, they'll bench-press 225 pounds as many times as they can, etc. Essentially, it's one big NFL meat market. Prospects can improve their draft status or hurt their draft status, depending on how they perform.

The most "important" of all the drills is the 40-yard dash. I say "important," because the 40-yard dash is the event that gets the lion's share of the attention. Scouts will drool over a guy who runs faster than anticipated, and they'll shy away from a guy who runs slower than anticipated. In fact, one of the biggest stories coming out of this year's Combine was that a new 40-yard dash record was established.

Former University of Washington wide-receiver, John Ross, ran his 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds, breaking the previous record of 4.24 seconds. Let me tell you, friends, that is moving! Anything in the 4.2-range is flat-out flying.

But...

Check out his form during his run:

 

Notice anything that looks "off" in this picture? Check out the directional angle of his knee and foot! This athlete is attempting to run straight ahead (in a north-south direction), yet his foot and knee are pointed out at 45 degrees (in an east-west direction). THIS is the guy who ran a 4.22 40-yard dash. Yet he's quite literally running against himself. His form (and remember, form follows function) is doing him NO favors. In fact, he's costing himself time, energy, and, I believe, money. Typically, the faster these athletes run in the 40-yard dash, the higher they get drafted, and the more they get paid.

Even though this athlete has run the fastest 40 in the history of the NFL Combine, I believe he can be even faster. Isn't THAT a scary thought?

Can you imagine if this player would have run a 4.00 40-yard dash?

Or...what if...WHAT IF...this player ran a sub-4-second 40-yard dash?

I believe that if that happened, he would be a sure-lock for being drafted #1 overall in the upcoming NFL Draft.

And he'd also break the internet.

Folks from all over the world of sports would be losing their collective minds. They wouldn't know what to do with a sub-4-second 40. It would be the modern-day equivalent of Jim Ryun, who, in 1964, became the first high-school runner to break the 4-minute mark in the mile. For as much hoopla that Ryun received back in the day, the attention directed toward Ross would have been exponential.

But, sadly, we'll never know. Ross didn't break 4-seconds in the 40. He "only" ran a 4.22. Yet from my perspective, what is even sadder is the fact that, physically and functionally, I believe he left a lot on the table. What's also true, is that Ross is the perfect candidate for an injury. He might just be one of the guys we hear about suffering a "non-contact ACL injury" during training camp one year. His body is in no shape to plant is foot and change directions while traveling at a high speed. In fact, when he crossed the 40-yard-dash finish line, he pulled up limping. The reason? Calf cramps. Stay tuned, folks. My guess is those cramps are the first signal that his body is trying to warn him to the fact that he's out of balance. Unfortunately, it could be all downhill from here.

Honestly, when it comes to our bodies, the rest of us are no different than this high-level athlete. While we might not have the athletic ability to run 40 yards in 10 seconds, we still want to get the most out of our workouts or favorite sport. We want to get in shape, stay active, play for as long as we'd like, and decrease our susceptibility to injury. Those things can only happen on a functional frame.

The key to attaining a functional frame is the Egoscue Method. Egoscue is absolutely what will help you achieve, and maintain, a peak state of performance. If you're looking to unlock your TRUE potential, contact us today. We have clinics all over the world, and we are ready to unlock your inner-athlete!

QUESTION: What do you believe is holding you back from achieving peak performance?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!