304 of 340 people found the following review helpful
The photos are fantastic, but beware some of the procedures.
, April 30, 2010
This review is from: 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot (Paperback)
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.
Admittedly, my search was a long journey, but I found the best self help yet in the books and DVD's of Peter Egoscue. Book by book, I became so impressed with the results, that I eventually bought every book and DVD Peter has written or produced.
My back problems are largely confined to the lower lumbar area, due to injuries sustained in Vietnam in 1970.
Ironically, Peter Egoscue is also a Vietnam veteran who sustained injuries while on duty. Peter embarked on his own search to heal himself.
What a marvelous, simple and sound approach he has pioneered. Not one of Peter egoscue's procedures has ever caused my back further injury or pain!
In response to the one negative comment I received, may I affirm and clarify that my back injuries are serious - due to substantial injuries sustained in Vietnam. I do recognize that many other people will be well served by Esther's exercises.
But, I also wish to extend a hopeful hand to those whose injuries are severe, life long, and who so far may have found only partial or intermittent help with the many modalities of back treatment that have developed over the past 40 years.
In addition, to the books and DVD's I recommended above, I now wish to one more book that I earlier withheld - due to its price. "Rehabilitation of The Spine: A Practitioner's Manual" by Craig Liebsenson. Available here on Amazon.
Yes, the price is edgy! But this book is a must have for anyone who experiences chronic and severe back difficulties. A magnificent and clearly articulated review of all of the current treatment modalities available in the mainstream as well as the alternative medical fields today. Pay attention to what Dr Vladimir Janda is doing to treat patients in Czechoslovakia.
Ok. A couple years later, and I wish to add another writer, especially for those persons with serious injuries - sports related or work related. I discovered the fellow who has co-authored more than 250 clinical published studies on the back. He is a fountainhead of knowledge for trainers and rehab experts alike. Two of his books are available here on Amazon. "Low Back Disorders" and "Ultimate Back Fitness & Performance" by Stuart McGill, PhD.
His research methods are exquisite. He busts more fitness myths than any writer I have yet read - and he does this with science based data, much of it derived from his own labs. I must caution that he writes to the trainer and rehab audience. But his writing is extremely clear to me, a lay person. Nearly every page in the first half of book, "Low Back Disorders," is filled with lab evidence as to why so much of what your coach, your drill instructor, your fitness guru, and / or the muscles mags are saying is simply dangerous or wrong. This half steers you away from incredibly dangerous , but popular routines. That knowledge alone is worth a lot.
As you will recognize in all of his books and DVD's, Stuart McGill works with the highest performing world class athletes.
He also publishes two DVD's which I have not found here on Amazon.
Once again, good luck with your own search for back health.
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