“Widespread obesity is not an illness- it is evidence of a crime” (45).
Egoscue writes, “The body perceives: And by perceiving belief, a state of mind is generated that can lead to a state of action capable of overcoming great obstacles” (55). Likewise, if the body isn’t able to make its perceptions heard due to misalignment, some obstacles are not being overcome. Good posture also feels good and “in that way it is a crucial element in the health-awareness feedback system” that Egoscue discusses in Let’s lighten Up (24). Body awareness comes in the form of listening to signals such as “sleeping when you feel tired and eating when you feel hungry” (45). With today’s fast paced living, people are turning outside of themselves for answers, comfort, and a cure to emotional and physical problems. Reaching outside of oneself is not all that threatens the health of those in modern society. As Egoscue says, “Lack of motion” negatively affects health (48). Men and women once did the labor that now machines accomplish for us (48). If people are not standing in a balanced, aligned position, they are unable, Egoscue writes, to “draw extra high wavelength energy from the universal power grid” (63). Misalignment equates to a poor connection of the energy arriving at the cellular level and therefore to less energy supplies entering the body. Good posture ensures that the musculoskeletal system will be able to move and to fuel us (71). Egoscue writes, “Emotional turmoil is a consequence of one’s inability to achieve an enlightened awareness” (148).
Postural misalignment also equates to false warnings that trigger various unnecessary hormonal reactions (72). According to Egoscue, the hormones induced by our reactions also “end up reshaping our musculoskeletal system, and over-and under- revving important internal physiological processes,” leading to anxiety (12). Poor posture can negatively affect emotions and conversely, emotions can affect our posture. Egoscue adds, “A drooping head, slumping shoulders, wobbling gait (and a host of other characteristics) are confirmation that the mind is too busy sending out frantic SOS messages that it can’t find the energy resources needed to keep your musculoskeletal system functions operating up to par” (12). Without natural energy, the body unnaturally blasts “itself into overdrive” (61). Good posture opens up the energy for you to know and to feel your way out of an awful physical or emotional state (111).
Unnatural fear may also be overcome with good posture. Misplaced fear is harmful because, as Egoscue warns, “The stimulation associated with fear makes it addictive,” and, unfortunately, fear can interfere with what your body is trying to communicate to you (62). Also, Egoscue states, “Fear is an extreme form of expectation” and it “intensifies physical pain” (56). Under normal circumstances of fear, “courage requires energy- a lot of energy,” and having good posture can help with that as we have seen (80). Egoscue believes that if you change your posture, “you’ve changed your mind,” and your emotional state (28).
Poor posture is a limitation to your well-being that communicates a warning through pain and/or stiffness. If this sounds familiar, try changing negative thoughts and words and see if your posture feels a little straighter and if a little balance has been restored to your system (65). Awareness and lack of awareness all the way around are your choice. Egoscue writes, “Either way, experiences and the emotions associated with those past experiences have impact moving forward” and affect your present state, because “awareness isn’t passive” (14, 53). Poor posture can lead to a chaotic mind (28). Egoscue reminds readers, “Every moment that the mind spends outside of the present by rehashing events and situations that no longer exist as a way to learn from mistakes – which is really an excuse to find fault with one’s self – is a moment disconnected from the universal energy grid” (151). Good posture can calm your mind and bring you into the present moment. Through the years, Egoscue has noticed changes in people’s opinions of themselves and changes in their outlook on life through doing his postural exercises over a few weeks (15). Client after client also comments on the increased energy that they experience after completing these E-cises™ (15). Taking the time to do these exercises instead of taking a pill is an exciting option.
When looking at posture, consider the office worker sitting in a chair for many hours every day, year after year. That worker’s S-curve in his or her back may be being adversely affected, creating back and organ problems (14). Uneven pressure exerted on the spine may, for example, lead to nerve pain (15). This worker may think that surgery and drugs are his or her only options, but Egoscue’s exercises have helped countless people experiencing a “slipped disc” and other structural problems- without surgery or drugs (15). Listen to your body if you experience pain with movement and are moving without your former flexibility. After all, as Egoscue points out, “stiffness and immobility are two characteristics of a corpse” (72). Feel and be more alive by straightening yourself out.
Egoscue’s thoughts on pain are revealed when he writes, “Pain is not a disease, not an injury, not even an effect of aging. Pain is a symptom” (100). He further writes, “As a non-medical postural therapy program, the Egoscue Method works and works quickly. Often, in less than ten or fifteen minutes there are dramatic results. A distinctive posture accompanies musculoskeletal system pain. By changing the posture, the pain diminishes significantly or abates entirely” (6). Drugs from doctors may seem to help, but as long as a person is out of alignment, they are not better off than before taking the drugs, and when the medicine wears off, the pain is noticeable again.
Truly understanding health and what your body has to say involves becoming educated. How many doctors have encouraged you to learn about your various body systems, like the circulatory or endocrine systems? Egoscue does. He feels it’s important for individuals to gain an understanding of the intelligence of the body and the various chemical reactions of the body (21). He writes, “You will come away, I hope, with the sense that something with so many moving parts, chemical reactions and interactions, synchronicity and almost impossibly precise timing doesn’t tend to make mistakes” (21). A practitioner with a positive respect for the human body is refreshing and uplifting for a client who is feeling awful.
Experiencing chronic pain in spite of those pills you’ve been taking for years? Have you been told it’s because you’re old and frail and that’s just life? Egoscue states, “Chronic pain is a symptom of correctable energy deprivation, not human frailty. Luckily, so is poor posture” (23-4). If you are in pain, your body is trying to make you aware of some pretty serious information (26). Your body is most likely warning you that it’s time to walk straighter and to engage appropriate muscles correctly.
After a few times of doing the Egoscue exercises, you may notice the pain is gone and that you have natural energy without “crashing” later. However, Egoscue warns that it is important to continue with the exercises after the pain abates. Many of Egoscue’s clients in the past would stop prior to being completely balanced just because they felt better (8). The clients who continued with their exercise programs after the pain abated were rewarded with peace of mind and self-confidence (9).
Our growing health crisis is escalating along with advances in our technological world (32). Our health crisis includes the overall poor posture of many people today. A passerby with good posture, after all, is a rare and odd sight indeed (98). It’s encouraging to know that an establishment exists that can get you back to work, back on that athletic team, or simply back to getting around town like you used to be able to do. When you go to one of Egoscue’s clinics expecting to just find good posture, you come away with so much more. The energy, the relaxed inner state, and the newfound love for life are just a few of the possibilities that await you. And an added bonus is that the book Let’s Lighten Up and the experiences gained through doing the exercises offer insight into yourself, and if you are a health care practitioner, your clients. Remember what Egoscue writes: “Truth is a feeling, not a fact. Feel your way to the best of health” (ix). In Egoscue’s opinion, “Balance, balance and more balance…You either have it or you are losing your health” (73).
For more information, please read any books by Pete Egoscue and Roger Gittines, visit one of the Egoscue Method clinics, and visit Egoscue’s website at www.egoscue.com.