Customer Reviews: The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion: Revolutionary Program That Lets You Rediscover the Body's Power to Rejuvenate It
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on November 3, 2006
There are now (2006) four books by Pete Egoscue available: (1) "The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion" (1992), (2) "Pain Free" (1998), (3) "Pain Free at your PC" (1999) and (4) "Pain Free for Women" (2002). If you are suffering from musculoskeletal pain and someone has recommended Egoscue to you or you are impressed with the testimonials in the Amazon reviews, you may well ask yourself, "Which book should I buy first?" Probably the second, "Pain Free" but each has its merits.

All the books are based on two generally recognized propositions: (1) in a healthy human the lines connecting the two ankles or the two knees or the two hips or the two shoulders should all be horizontal and the feet and knees should point straight forward when walking or standing without thinking about one's posture, and (2) deviations from this structure usually originate with the position of the pelvis. Trying to correct the manifestation of the misaligned pelvis will not help until the fundamental problem is fixed.

In the first book, Egoscue describes a self-diagnosis which puts you in one of four categories based largely on your posture when standing in a natural, relaxed way. Once you know your category, you turn to page 127 to find your menu of exercises. The exercises are presented in alphabetical order; you look up the exercises on your menu, learn and do them. You may need as much as 90 minutes a day or as little as 30, depending on the severity of your condition.

Of the first book, Egoscue says in the second (page 282) "[It was] a pretty ambitious theme. This one, 'Pain Free,' is more more modest." I think that means that the reader had to work harder to understand the first than the second. People in pain do not immediately know which category they fall into. But they do know where they hurt. So "Pain Free", after a brief explanation of the fundamental theory, is organized by where the pain is: feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders, arms, and neck and head. For each area, Egoscue gives exercises. Many exercises are used for more than one area, but everywhere the exercise is used, a picture of the exercise is repeated and the page number where is was described in full is given. The result is definitely easier to use. Also, there are a number of new exercises for specific problems, such as a herniated disk in the spine. Initially, your program of exercises may require 90 minutes or more, but most of the time is spent on one particular exercise. Once pain is gone for a week or more, the maintenance exercises (pages 277-282) should not take more than about 20 minutes a day.

The third book, "Pain Free at your PC" is aimed, obviously, at PC users. Egoscue distinguishes three categories, but if you use a PC more than about an hour a day, you are in the third category. Initially, you'll need 80 minutes a day at home and 5 minutes at the office, but most of that 80 minutes is on one exercise, the supine groin stretch, and the time needed for it will diminish. If you are a "power user" of the PC, you are at serious risk of developing musculoskeletal pain, not because of any problem with your PC or your chair or your desk, but because, for hours at a time, you are not moving the main muscles that hold body together and make it work. They atrophy, and problems develop. Egoscue's exercises are designed to cure or avoid those problems. If you are a heavy PC user, you could start with this one.

I have not read "Pain Free for Women" since I was clearly not in its target audience. It would be a mistake, however, for women to conclude that since this book is specifically for them the other books don't apply. Every word of the other books applies equally to men and women. This one, however, has chapters on pregnancy, childbirth, and other specifically feminine matters. For herniated disks, aching feet, and other problems common to both sexes, I would suggest "Pain Free" first.

The Egoscue book that I want to read is the one that has not been written, the one that explains Egoscue's own thinking, what each exercise does and why certain exercises should be done before others. On these questions, all the books are silent and rather dogmatic. The reader is supposed to know what the "hip flexors" are but is presumed unable to understand why one exercise should precede others. Egoscue, however, rearranges them in numerous orders. What does he know that he doesn't tell? Because of that problem, I have given the books only four stars.
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on June 22, 1999
For most of my adult life after 40 I had suffered from low back and hip pain. I reluctantly accepted the fact that I would have to stop or cut back on some athletic activities. Also, heavy yard work and the like. My typical routine was to see a chiropractor every two weeks and get an adjustment. Three years ago my back went out so severly that I could not even lie down comfortably for treatment. My third chiropractor, one recommended by a friend, changed my life. After examining me he informed me that my muscular-skeletal system was so misaligned that an adjustment wouldn't be enough. The chiropractor recommeded I pick up "The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion", and proceed with the level 2 exercises/stretches. Within one week I was literally a new man. It also gave me more motion in my shoulders and neck. I incorporate a few of the stretches everyday now. I have not been back to a chiropractor since and I have never felt better. I have recommended this book to many people. Those that take the time to do the stretches always have gotten positive results. I am now 55 years old. I lift weights. I mountain bike. The important thing is I have complete confidence in my bodies ability to recover from any strenuous activity. I have been given a new lease on life do to this amazing book.. Thank you Pete Egoscue.
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on March 17, 2006
Back in early 2001 I was diagnosted with severe multiple chemical sensitivities. I became very ill and deteriated rapidly to the point that I had to stop working. In July of 2002 I was looking through the health books of my local library trying to find anything that might help. I saw this title and was instantly curious. I took the book home and started the e-cises at once. Although I was very ill and all my joints hurt awful I was able to do these simple exercises, which are more like basic physical therapy exercises than typical "exercises". I could only do them for a few seconds at first and that made me sore all over for days, but gradually I was able to do them for longer. Within one week I stopped having night sweats! It was amazing. Within two months the yellowing of my skin went away and my liver enzyme levels dropped. Within two years I lost the limp I'd had since I was 11 and had surgery on one of my feet. At first I was so far out of alignment if I stood properly my knees felt like they were being pulled inwards very hard. But now, I stand almost perfectly. I've even gained an inch in height since I stand taller. Movement is much easier than it has been since I was a teen (I'm in my mid-thirties). I also haven't had the dizziness episodes and many other things. I'm still severely chemically sensitive and disabled, but being able to get up and down off the floor, not have severe joint pain and being able to move has been absolutely wonderful. I have read his other books and my favorite is "Pain Free for Women" as my body seemed to enjoy the movements better. Now this can't necessarily fix everything. I have a rotated hip and according to my pediatrist it is because of my foot surgery, but I'm a lot better off than I would have been as I'm able to use my knees more now than before. There are also Egoscue clinics that you can find on his website. I am thinking of going to one to get a specialized set of ecises. I've recommended Egoscues books to many people including my husband and they've all started to do the ecises with wonderful results. About two years ago I started doing yoga and did fewer of Egoscue's ecises and I've found that pairing these exercises works wonderfully for me.
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on February 2, 2002
Prepare for a shock. The posture you may have thought was ok for years, you will probably discover is full of imbalances and misalignments. But cheer up! All these imbalances, even the ones you knew were there but just put down to your particular body shape, they're probably all correctable.
Pete Egoscue has been specialising in the human musculoskeletal system for more than two decades. He has worked with athletes as well as those of us who just want to get around without too much trouble. He has worked on every musculoskeletal pain human beings could devise for themselves. And he has developed a system of exercises to correct the posture and restore the body's natural power to protect and rejuvenate itself.
He has an unconventional, and very simple way to explain the joint and muscle mechanics of the body. As a true layman in this area, I had no difficulty in understanding the interdependent working of the joints and the way that imbalance in one joint will have a knock-on effect on the balance of all the other joints and their connecting muscles.
He also explains in words of one syllable how we get ourselves into such an unbalanced mess in the first place. Don't expect any punches to be pulled here. One of Pete's central themes is the need for each of us to take responsibility, so he tells it like it is.
Once we are ready to take responsibility, Pete describes for us 4 basic bodily conditions, and shows us how to diagnose ourselves. And once the diagnosis is complete, we are given a system of exercises which, if we choose to follow, will allow us to correct ourselves and, in turn, allow the body to begin to repair whatever cartilage damage or other pain is being caused by the condition. Needless to say, perfection is condition 4, and there is a system of exercise designed to maintain that too.
Pete then takes us through a question and answer session covering the most common things he has been asked by patients over the years, and finally he takes a look at individual sports.
I found the book refreshingly frank, easy to understand and, in terms of my own body and posture, very illuminating. I had no difficulty in self-diagnosis, and the exercises themselves were easy to follow, if a little time consuming, but that depends on how eager you are to take responsibility for your own progress.
Most important of all, the exercises worked! My posture was indeed corrected and, a hidden benefit, the improved suppleness and strength had an immediate knock-on effect on my ability with all other forms of exercise I happened to be doing at the time.
This is one wake up call you can be grateful for.
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on June 1, 2001
This book is incredible. It has changed my life. I bought it based on the reviews alone and thought it looked like just another stretching or yoga type of book. The first day some of the exercizes were easy for me while some were near impossible. Also I was shocked to find that one side of my body would have no problem while the other side struggled. But after only the first week I had increased energy for the whole day and I moved more freely than ever imagined. I've been doing the system now for several months and find myself breathing and moving easy, alert and relaxed with a remarkably improved quality of life. All the exersizes are very easy for me now and I run through them in no time. And both sides of my body are working together. I really thought I was in good shape before I started this book. But now, look out!
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on December 19, 1996
The Egoscue Method is a dead-on assessment of how a mostly sedentary lifestyle can ruin your health and cause chronic pain of various types as well as other ailments, even in professional athletes! It is also explains exactly how to diagnose and remedy these problems through a series of fairly simple exercises that really work.

I am a computer programmer and have suffered for years from severe chronic lower back pain and occasional leg, hip, upper back, and neck pain as well. While undergoing physical therapy following an "episode" of extreme lower back pain I heard about this book from a friend whose orthopedic surgeon had recommended it as an alternative to back surgery. Within one week of reading it and trying the exercises I was pain-free.

The book's clear illustrations and explanations helped me understand just how my lifestyle was causing my pain. The exercises are easy to learn and do and take from 20 to 60 minutes a day. This may seem like a lot of time, but for someone with chronic and/or severe back pain, it is completely worth spending.

This book is "must" reading for anyone suffering from pain or anyone who just wants to feel better. There are no gimmicks, no products to buy, just real, practical advice and solutions. Even if you are in "great" physical shape, you can probably benefit from reading this book
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on January 21, 2000
Pete Egoscue is a genius! This book is easy to read and Egoscue's message is crystal clear. He makes the most sense I've ever heard and I've been searching for answers to chronic pain for years! Unlike previous reviewers, though, I don't think Egoscue sounds egotistical--I think he sounds caring--he's just speaks with an air of authority and I like that when I'm entrusting someone with my health! The Egoscue method works--plain and simple. And everyone needs it--you may think you don't, but that's just because today's sendentary lifestyle hasn't caught up with you yet. This is the most worthwhile book I've ever purchased and I recommend it to everyone--bar none!
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on October 26, 1999
Both my husband and I have found this to be the most successful and simple method we've ever found (including chiropractic, medical treatment, massage, exercise, heat/cold treatment, ergonomic furniture... you name it) that we've ever used. It has completely relieved us both of chronic pain. After 5 years of constant pain I'd given up hope. Within 1 week of applying Pete Egoscue's "egocizes" all the pain was gone. I almost can't believe it. You will not regret buying his book.
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on July 16, 2005
Pete Egoscue is not your typical fitness guru. In fact, what he does doesn't even fall into the catgory of fitness. The Egoscue method works the structural and functional systems that underlie all physical activity. It is an efficiency-building system designed to make your body function as nature intended it to function.

The fraud of most fitness programs, be they muscle building, body sculpting, fat burning or some other trendy name, is that they actually can harm your health by destroying your natural function. Truth is, most fitness programs are selling you aesthetics, as in a more attractive body, not health. Since most people don't want to admit to being so narcissitic, the programs are necessarily sold with the false pretense of being at least partly health programs.

Egoscue doesn't come out against any activity, system, or aesthetic, but simply recognizes that the body has to be restored to proper functioning condition first, or physical activity will only reinforce the structural and functional weaknesses in the body, leading ultimately to physical problems. You can continue to lift weights, run, or do any activity you currently do, but adding Egoscue's routine to your workout makes your performance better and secures your health.

The idea of proper function as presented here, is rarely fully grasped by the fitness or medical community today. Pete Egoscue is the rare individual who understands the body, how to make it more efficient and how to prepare it for a workout program.

The routines here should be the foundation of any fitness or health program.
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on June 18, 2000
I can not recommend this book enough. There are a number of reviews with high praise but there can not be too many for this book. The excercises are simple, the text is interesting, and the book can be read and understood in only a few hours. Therefore your path to feeling great can start the same day the book was purchased. The excersises in this book will make your body feel like it hasn't in years, and the effects will be noticed within a few sessions. I should also say that the excersises are completely non-straining, and non-aerobic, and can thus be performed even by those who are very overweight or have other health issues that prevent stressful excersise. This can be step-one on the road back to wellness. Aside from the amazing musculo-skeletal benefits that you will feel, the excersises are extremely relaxing. I can feel the tension literally drain from areas that the excersises work on. After a day at work or in the car, give yourself a treat and do these e-cises. I assure you that after only a few days working these e-cises you will feel so remarkably different that you will never stop doing them, and if you do stop, you will curse yourself each day that you miss. Also, you don't have to be in pain to start this program. Do yourself a favor and start before the pain does. You'll applaud and amaze yourself for the discomfort you'll avoid in the long run. Buy the book and say hello again to the body you haven't felt in years. And for the weight trainers and/or athletes like myself, get rid of the nagging aches and pains, and prevent serious injury- get this book!
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