A vast majority of Americans experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Esther Gokhale developed the Gokhale Method for eliminating back pain after studying posture in France, attending anthropology and medical school courses at Stanford University, and interviewing people in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America who do not suffer from pain. In 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back (Pendo Press, 978-0-9793036-0-9), she makes her method available to all.
“Until the twentieth century, debilitating back pain was not common in our soci-ety,” Gokhale writes. “Today back pain is more than twice as common as it was in 1950.”
Using instructions and photographs, she coaches readers on good posture, which is the key to eliminating pain. Photos of babies and people who live in rural areas away from desk jobs and de-signer furniture show that the pelvis is meant to tip forward, the shoulder blades should be positioned behind the spine, and feet should point slightly outward when standing. Gokhale’s lesson on “glidewalking” demonstrates that walking properly utilizes the leg and gluteus muscles and is not merely a “series of forward falls blocked abruptly by the forward leg.”