How the Egoscue method relieves pain for good

What you will learn from this article:

  • Find out about Pete Egoscue and his revolutionary health program, the Egoscue Method
  • Unlock specific exercises for lower back pain, plantar fasciitis and more
  • Discover how this methodology can help you find long-term physical relief

No one is immune from physical pain. Everyone from business professionals to Olympic athletes can suffer from everyday ailments like sore joints, migraines and stiff necks – or chronic issues with knees, hips and the lower back area. A staggering 80% of adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.  

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Doctors often prescribe medication or even surgery for all sorts of aches and pains. These options are sometimes necessary, but for some people these solutions are merely Band-Aids that don’t get to the root of the problem. The Egoscue Method does. 

The founder of this postural therapy system, Pete Egoscue, understood that it’s not what physical ailments come our way, it’s how we deal with them that can make the difference in the quality of our lives. 

Many of us know that physical activity and health can improve how we feel and that adopting a sustainable health diet can reduce inflammation and associated pain. Combine these healthy habits with the Egoscue Method, and you can improve your state of health and grow even stronger than you were before. 

Prescription painkillers or invasive surgery aren’t the only options. With that type of manipulation, it is unlikely that you will be able to make a full recovery, and even more unlikely that you will be able to find a peak state of performance. Egoscue exercises are a safe, effective and permanent solution to pain that use nothing but your body’s own natural restorative abilities.

What is the Egoscue Method?

The Egoscue Method was founded by Pete Egoscue in the 1970s, and is still considered one of the most respected and revered non-medical pain relief systems in the world. It has become one of the most popular means of treating chronic musculoskeletal pain attributed to workplace and sports injuries, accidents, aging and other conditions.

The system is based on the principle that your body has the unique ability to heal itself. Think about it. If you cut your hand, the skin naturally heals. If you break a bone, it doesn’t stay broken. And while these issues may seem dramatically different from a herniated disc, torn meniscus or degenerative hip, the fundamental healing principle still applies. Give your body the opportunity and the direction it needs to heal, and you can once again find a pain-free and active life.

misaligned shoulder

Your body is also designed to move. The foundation of Egoscue exercises is the understanding that the human body is dependent on motion to maintain its full range of physical functions, and motion is vital throughout our lives. Pete focused on creating a series of gentle stretches and exercises that essentially correct the misalignments in the musculoskeletal system of the body and help restore the body’s innate symmetry and balance. This restoration is different from fixing pain with surgery or medication.

Watch the video below to learn how the Egoscue Method could allow you to resume your active lifestyle once again – pain-free.

Egoscue exercises

Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, there are different Egoscue exercises that can help. Working with an Egoscue specialist is the best way to utilize the movements, as it’s recommended you do them in a specific sequence to maximize their benefits. Get started with the exercises in the infographic below, designed to be done nearly anywhere, anytime your body feels out of balance. Then check out more exercises below for the most common areas of pain in the body.

exercises Egoscue Method

Egoscue exercises for lower back pain

According to one study, 25% of adult Americans reported lower back pain in the past three months – and there are many Egoscue exercises for lower back pain. First, lie down on the floor with your lower legs up on a chair or an exercise block, bent at 90 degrees at the knee. Relax in this position for five minutes, then extend your arms straight up over your chest and clasp your hands.

Bring your arms back over your head until you can’t go any further with your arms straight, doing 30 reps. Remove the chair and put your feet on the floor with your legs at a 45-degree angle and place a pillow between your legs. Squeeze and release the pillow firmly for 60 reps.

Exercise for correcting misaligned shoulders

If you have misaligned shoulders, it can cause neck, shoulder and back pain. It can also be a sign that there are misalignments elsewhere in your body that could be causing even more issues. One of the Egoscue exercises for addressing misaligned shoulders involves performing synchronized hand and leg lifts from a standing position to restore your natural balance and range of motion, then performing a series of arm circles. Follow this up with a sitting floor twist on each side, which reminds your body how to rebalance itself.

Exercise to treat plantar fasciitis

plantar fasciitis

Those with plantar fasciitis know how painful their feet can become after just a few hours of standing. Egoscue exercises can relieve much of this pain. With bare feet, sit in a comfortable chair with one leg crossed over your opposite knee and interlace your fingers between your crossed foot’s toes. Rotate forward while arching your low back, and try to sit straight throughout. Then, using your hand, circle your foot counter-clockwise, then reverse and circle it clockwise. Use your hand again to flex and point your toes. Repeat these movements for one full minute, then repeat on the other foot.

Exercise to treat wrist pain

The Egoscue Method is also helpful in treating wrist pain such as that associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the most effective exercises is the frog pullover: Lay on your back with your knees bent and center your feet along the mid-line of your body, letting your knees relax to the sides. Place the soles of your feet together, interlace your fingers and place your hands above your chest with your elbows locked. Lower your hands toward the floor above your head and return them to your chest. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.

Egoscue Training

Much like Tony Robbins Results Coaches, Egoscue Method practitioners have to go through rigorous training to become certified. Egoscue training involves months of instruction. Those who are personal trainers or physical therapists find that this training enhances the skills they already possess and gives them another avenue to treat their patients in a natural and drug-free manner. If you decide to visit a specialist, make sure they have undergone the proper Egoscue training and are certified to practice the method. 

There are three levels of Egoscue training. The first certification is Postural Alignment Specialist (PAS), which introduces student trainers to the principles of the method. They learn how to evaluate posture and perform gait analysis and practice the basic Egoscue exercises for functional strength and conditioning.

Egoscue training

Level 2 is the E-cise® Therapy Skills (ETS) Certification, where student trainers go more in-depth on each of the 12 foundational Egoscue exercises. The third level of Egoscue training is Advanced Exercise Therapist (AET). It includes a two-day, in-person portion to ensure only the most expert-level practitioners earn this certification. AET therapists are the only practitioners that can open a facility dedicated entirely to the Egoscue Method.

Are you interested in Egoscue and wondering if finding a certified practitioner is right for you? Though using Egoscue exercises at home is helpful, many people have conditions that require them to get expert help. Working with a physical therapist who is trained in the Egoscue Method is an excellent way to learn techniques from a professional and can often prevent costly surgeries that are difficult to recover from. Look for a center or an individual who specializes in Egoscue in your area to find out more about treating your pain with this method.

Tony and the Egoscue Method

When Tony was just 30 years old, he was involved in a serious car accident. A truck going 70 mph careened into his car and Tony was left with chronic and massive pain. He couldn’t move. His hips were locked. His muscles would go into spasms. He tried every possible form of rehab, yet nothing could rid him of the pain and help him return to an active and healthy lifestyle. 

Then Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, introduced Tony to Pete Egoscue. After just two sessions using the Egoscue Method, Tony’s pain was gone. Pete was able to show Tony that when the body gets out of alignment, it can cause serious hurdles with balance, metabolism and visual acuity. And when you combine the right stretches with the right exercises, you can re-center the body and boost its healing power and physical capability, becoming stronger than ever. 

To this day, a series of Egoscue exercises remains a pivotal part of Tony’s morning rituals. And with over 25 clinics across the world, the Egoscue Method has helped thousands of other individuals tap into their body’s ability to heal itself and free themselves of chronic pain as well. 

Aches and pains are a part of life. For some of us, chronic issues have become all too familiar, interfering with our physical activity levels and overall health. But if you immerse yourself in the Egoscue Method, you will find a 94% success rate without the use of drugs, surgery or manipulation. And you will be able to regain control of your health without becoming dependent on anything other than the power and ability of your own body. If your body feels healthy and energetic, you don’t need to spend as much time stressing over your aches and pains. Instead, you can focus your attention on achieving your goals.

FAQs about the Egoscue Method
How can I get better posture?

There are many different ways to improve posture, including being mindful of the way you sit, stand and walk and making corrections throughout the day. Practice the correct way to stand by leaning against a wall and pretending your height is being measured; practice sitting correctly in your office chair by sitting all the way back and using a lumbar cushion.

Being mindful is the first step to better posture, but many people also need to build up core strength or learn proper posture for specific activities. The best way to improve your posture is through a daily routine of stretches and exercises that were designed to do just that, like the Egoscue Method.

What is postural therapy?

Postural therapy is an exercise-based therapeutic method that aims to align the body and re-establish its proper function. Many people think of it as a form of physical therapy that focuses on positioning and strengthening core postural muscles. The Egoscue Method is one form of postural therapy. It’s used to treat the underlying causes of chronic pain, but it’s also useful to correct bad posture before it turns into a bigger problem. If you have bad posture, postural therapy could be just what you need to present yourself more confidently.

Does the Egoscue Method work?

Yes – the Egoscue Method has a 94% success rate. Tony himself has used Egoscue exercises to dramatically improve his chronic pain following a car accident, and he isn’t the only one. Everyone from famous golfers Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to suburban moms and dads have embraced Egoscue, and there are more than 25 clinics around the world and over 500 certified therapists.

How long does Egoscue take to work?

Tony saw results from his Egoscue exercises after just two sessions. This isn’t uncommon; however, Egoscue was developed as a long-term process. You may not experience relief as quickly as Tony – but when you do, it will be permanent. That’s because rather than covering up the problem with medication or creating even more issues with surgery, the Egoscue Method corrects the underlying problem. That’s a solution that’s worth the effort.

How much does Egoscue cost?

The cost of Egoscue depends on your current pain levels, how misaligned your body is and your overall goals. If there’s a lot of space between where you are and where you want to be, the Egoscue Method may require more investment of both time and money. The price can also vary with the package and type of training you choose: Egoscue clinics offer an introductory session as well as 8- and 16-week packages, and you can also choose online training. You can contact your local clinic or online branch to learn more about the cost of Egoscue.

Is Pete Egoscue a doctor?

Pete Egoscue is an anatomical physiologist with four decades of experience with postural therapy healing. He isn’t a doctor, but he knows about dealing with pain first-hand. Pete’s inspiration for inventing the Egoscue Method was to find a solution for his own chronic pain. As a veteran who had sustained health issues from his time in the military, Pete was used to relying on medical experts like doctors. After not finding the relief he craved for his symptoms within the medical world, he took matters into his own hands, ultimately creating the Egoscue Method.

How do you do the Egoscue Tower?

The Egoscue Tower is both an exercise and a piece of equipment. The Tower itself is a tall block with six levels in which to place your foot. The Egoscue exercise associated with the Tower is called the Supine Groin Progressive and targets the iliopsoas muscle, a major cause of hip tension and associated pain in the knees and back. To use the Egoscue Tower, you lay on the floor with one of your legs straight out and propped up on the top-most level of the Tower. Stay there until your lower back relaxes into the floor, then move your leg down to the next level and repeat. It takes about five minutes per level or 30 minutes per leg. And while it may seem easy, it can have great effects on your hip flexors and pain.

Important note

The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. See full disclaimer.

It’s time to stop living in pain

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