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8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot Paperback – April 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most lucid account I have read of how the human spine works, with handy lessons in how to stand, sit, walk, and sleep free of back pain."  —J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize–winner in Literature



"8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back is the best back pain book on the market. I had significant problems with low back pain and sciatica for more than two decades before Esther Gokhale was able to help me. If I had found her earlier, it could have saved me a great deal of pain and grief.”  —Paul R. Ehrlich, author, Human Natures and Population Bomb



"Esther's technique for treating chronic back pain is totally unique and her research really backs it up. This is a great tool for all of us."  —Billie Jean King, winner of 20 Wimbledon titles


"A great book for someone who is serious about achieving a pain-free back and willing to work to reach that goal."  —American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons



"Esther Gokhale helped me resolve a five-year injury after nothing else had worked. Her work is unique and thorough."  —Patti Sue Plumer, three-time Olympian, 1992 World Record holder for 1500m and 500m run


"Every year, tens of thousands of patients undergo major back surgery without any benefits. By using Esther Gokhale’s novel techniques, many of these patients can avoid such needless and expensive medical procedures, and quickly return to a pain free life."  —John R. Adler, MD, neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Clinic


"This book . . . will eventually be recognized by the medical community as the greatest contribution ever made to nonsurgical back treatment in this country."  —Helen Barkan, MD, PhD, neurology, Mayo Clinic


"This is not only a stimulating self-help guide for relief of back pain through healthy posture, but also a work of art that celebrates the grace and poetry of the human body."  —David Werner, author, Where There Is No Doctor

From the Author

For some, a pain-free life is only a memory, but it doesn't have to be. Through my experience in healing my own back pain, coupled with extensive training and research, I have developed a technique to alleviate back pain--the Gokhale Method. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to help thousands of people re-learn the way their bodies were designed to move--gracefully and with ease. I have spent fifteen years teaching the technique, honing it for clarity and efficiency, and am delighted to present it here for general use. Many physicians now refer their back patients to me, and almost all the patients start to improve from the first lesson. In many cases the results are dramatic (see page 24). But then there are the people who can't come to see me, people who call me from the East Coast or the Midwest, perhaps friends or relatives of my patients, who are suffering terribly and need help. For years, I have wished there were a book that I could send them with step-by-step instructions and demonstrations of my technique. And here it is.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Pendo Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979303605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979303609
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (659 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

376 of 384 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Schwarz on March 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is by far the single best source for healing back pain that I have seen. I hurt my lower back pretty badly doing heavy deadlifts after too long of a layoff (entirely my fault, I know), and pursued a wide variety of different treatment methods. I had previously been exposed to other postural/ alignment methodologies in an attempt to get rid of chronic injuries, which had been helpful, but nothing was as poignant, simple, or direct as Gokhale's work.

There are three outstanding aspects of this book:

1. Gokhale clearly identifies what ideal posture and alignment looks like, and backs this up with numerous photos.
2. Gokhale's method is very, very simple, and once learned, becomes integrated into your everyday life. I know of other methods where you have to spend 30-45 minutes per day doing exercises - this method requires very little extra bandwidth once you have learned it.
3. The book itself is beautifully laid out, with a balance between illustrative photos and explanations.

Considering the amount of time and money I've spent pursuing other treatment methods, this is a ridiculously good value. Don't discount it just because it is so inexpensive! I bought a copy for my parents, and two extra books as I constantly have them loaned out. If you are seeking to get rid of chronic pain, this is my #1 go-to recommendation.
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195 of 204 people found the following review helpful By M. Benson on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has been very helpful to me, not just for the back, but also for my hip, knee, and feet. This is a beautifully illustrated and designed book, with very clear directions and explanations, using many diagrams, photographs, and visualization techniques to move the body as a whole, integrated unit.Included are sections on sitting, standing, walking and sleeping. There are also sections on helpful exercises and stretches, and troubleshooting guides with each chapter.
The sections on hinge-bending and the anteverted pelvis were especially helpful. You can watch a 53 min. talk by the author on youtube by looking up her name. Another good book on this subject is one by Stuart McGill, but it is much more scientific and doesn't address walking, sleeping, feet and knees. Esther's book is much more user-friendly with the same science and more anthropology to back up her method.
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90 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Camille Spar on March 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Esther Gokhale's book "8 Steps to a Pain Free Back" is a marvel.. At first glance it appears to be just another self help book on how to relieve common back pain. Upon reading it however, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is the most comprehensive and helpful book I have yet come across. Gokhale's technique which is grounded in sound anthropological study; as she explains, our back problems are largely the result of our cultural habits. Apparently, only five to ten percent of people in certain other countries suffer from back pain, yet in American that number jumps to almost ninety percent. Why such a difference? Ms. Gokhale explains that poor habits and incorrect training are to blame; and her technique for proper posture goes way beyond conventional American teachings. A victim of debilitating back pain and surgery herself, Ms. Gokhale both understands the pain many of us are going through, and genuinely wants to help.
Her book is wonderfully illustrated with the most specific "how to" techniques I have encountered. She not only guides the reader through not only what to do and what you should be feeling, but also explains symptoms of overdoing any given technique. She identifies specific muscles that need to be engaged for stability and strength in support of the discs. The book explains safe techniques for sitting, lying, bending, lifting and walking, activities we do all day long. She shows us how to preserve our knees and protect our hips as we age. As a person who has been doing yoga and seeing chiropractors for years in an attempt to overcome my own back injuries, I can safely say that this book has been incredibly effective in allowing me to resume a normal, pain free lifestyle. Once you begin integrating Ms. Gokhale's methods into your life you will be hooked and find yourself making corrections to your positioning all day long. I highly recommend this book; it will create great habits that will last a lifetime.
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401 of 442 people found the following review helpful By J. R. M. on April 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased his book, for several reasons. I have suffered from lower lumbar back pain for 40 years. Forty years ago, the Veterans Administration Hospital strongly recommended surgery. And meanwhile provided grocery bags of pain killers.

But I also lived and worked in an African village for two years. I knew Esther was on the right track. The functional posture and strength of both men and woman in the tribe in which I lived, was awesome. Esther's photographs beautifully capture the functional strength and poise that I witnessed many years ago.

I bought this book with great hopes. Sadly, some of the ideas in this book only injured my back further.

But I can also say the same for the dozens of "back books" and seminars which I have read or attended over forty years. Whether the subject is Tai Chi, Yoga, or Pilates, I always find that some exercises seem to help, but there are unhappily always a few exercises that do further injury. And there is the rub.

I am also amazed that Esther does not show the ancient "village squat." This is a glaring omission. A westerner can not live, or travel, in the 3rd world and not observe the ease and frequency with which villagers - young and old - can assume the village squat.
Generally, Westerners just can't seem to squat like this for any length of time. I am mystified that this functional and popular position is not captured in her photographs.

I would love to see Esther take her beautiful - but beginning research - a step further.

Thankfully, I eventually found right here - at Amazon - some back books and DVD's which have given me relief from back pain for the first time in 40 years - as well as a new found ability to run and ice skate again.
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