I’ve had a look at your website and it seems the work you do is aimed mainly towards people with back problems. I have ______ pain [your symptom] and I’m wondering if the work you do can help me?
Whilst it can certainly seem like this work is aimed only at people suffering with back pain, the reality is it has the potential to help anyone with any type of pain.
The cause of hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain or any other type of joint/muscle pain is the same as it is for back pain: a muscular imbalance that has caused your load bearing joints (shoulders, hips, knees and ankles) to have become displaced from their neutral position, which in turn has caused some parts of your body to do too much work while other parts aren’t doing enough.
As you restore balance and proper function to your body, all of your symptoms will respond, because your body is a unit; it isn’t a bunch of isolated parts that just happen to share the same heart, lungs and other internal organs.
Restoring function to your body and bringing it back into better alignment has a positive impact on your whole body. This form of therapy doesn’t treat your symptoms, it treats the reason WHY the symptoms are there to begin with.
How many appointments will I need?
There isn’t a straight forward answer to this question as there are many variables that can affect the process and it also depends on what your goals are when starting.
However, I realise that, like a lot of folks, you would like to have an idea of how much of a time and financial commitment you’re looking at.
If your goal is simply to become pain free, then it usually takes between 6 and 10 sessions to achieve that goal. It can happen in less time than that and, likewise, it can also take longer.
If your goal is to go beyond being pain free and to have a body that is without limitations and that allows you to do what you want, when you want – well into old age – then you’re probably looking at a longer term commitment.
So rather than the question being ‘how many appointments will I need’, a more beneficial question would be, ‘how long do I want my body to serve me well?’
As I say, there are other variables to take into account when correcting your alignment, which include but aren’t limited to:
- Your current stimulus profile – is your lifestyle an active one, or do you sit down for the vast majority of your day?
- How dysfunctional has your body become over the years?
- Are we tapping into functions in your body that have become dormant, or are we having to provide function that was never properly developed in the first place?
- The younger population are becoming increasingly dysfunctional as their formative years are becoming more and more motion deprived and, therefore, they aren’t developing essential functions to start with.
- How much time do you wish to devote to getting your body back to its inherent design function?
- Someone who only wants to do 15 minutes of corrective exercises a day may achieve slower progress than someone who dedicates 45 minutes or more a day (although even that depends on what’s going on with the person’s body in the first place – see the point above).
Does that mean my therapy process is finished after 8 sessions?
Once again, I would ask you what your goals are. If you simply want to become pain free and you’ve achieved that after 8 sessions, then yes, your therapy process is finished after 8 sessions.
What many clients find when they’ve started the process of realigning their body is that they want to continue way beyond simply becoming pain free … they want to be free from limitations and to enjoy their body in ways they haven’t enjoyed it for many years.
Helping people to become pain free is often (not always) the relatively easy part. Just because a person has achieved pain free status, though, it doesn’t mean there are no longer muscular imbalances and it doesn’t mean they can move all eight of their load bearing joints through a full range of motion.
Just like life, looking after your body and keeping it in the best shape you can is a journey, not a destination. How far would you like your journey to go and how enjoyable would you like it to be?
How far apart are the sessions spaced?
As with other similar questions, there are a few variables that determine how often you’ll need to come for appointments. The following is an outline of the typical format that’s followed (which can vary slightly, depending on your individual circumstances).
After your initial session:
Your 2nd Appointment: 1 week later
Your 3rd Appointment: 2 weeks later
Your 4th Appointment: 2 weeks later
Your 5th Appointment: 3 weeks later
Your 6th Appointment: 3 weeks later
Your 7th Appointment: 4 weeks later
Your 8th Appointment: 4 weeks later
In a 3 month period, you’re looking at having approximately 8 to 10 sessions.
How quickly do you think I will see a reduction in pain?
I really hate to give the generic “it depends” answer to this, but it does depend, unfortunately.
What does it depend on? There are a few factors that can affect speed of progress:
- How ingrained your dysfunctions are
- How effectively you’re doing the exercises at home
- How long you’ve requested your program to be
Let’s look at each of those factors:
How Ingrained Your Dysfunctions Are
Some people have quite severe misalignments and dysfunctions while others are less so. That said, I’ve worked with clients who had quite severe misalignments and looked and felt great after their first session.
On the flip side, I’ve worked with clients who, on the face of it, weren’t particularly misaligned yet it took quite a few sessions before they felt significantly better.
How Effectively You’re Doing The Exercises At Home
Unlike regular exercises you might do at the gym or in an aerobics-type class, Egoscue exercises are quite different. The goal of Egoscue exercises is to:
- Remind your muscles of their proper function
- To restore proper communication between your brain and your muscles (the nervous system)
- To get your body moving properly again
As such, many of the exercises have nuances to them that, when observed, can make a dramatic difference to the outcome. If you have elected for a ‘photos only’ program, it means you’re working through the exercises by your self without me to guide you through them.
Many people do fine with this approach. But for some, the extra attention that working with me or any Egoscue therapist gives is what is needed to make good progress.
And as I’ve already said, so much of this stuff ‘depends’.
I’ve worked with clients where I’ve taken them through each exercise and highlighted all the nuances. Even with that extra attention, they still weren’t able to perform the exercises in an optimal way.
But for some of those people, it didn’t matter! They still got good changes in their body and saw a dramatic reduction or elimination of their pain.
How Long You’ve Requested Your Program To Be
There have been clients that were only able to do a 15 or 20 minute program on a regular basis. If that’s all a client can give, then that’s how long their program will be.
Better to do a short program every day than to do a long program occasionally.
That said, if your dysfunctions are deeply ingrained and your body really needs more, then it might take you longer to feel the results.
Again, though, all of this does depend. For every example I could give where something applied, I can also give a counter example where another client had a different experience.
If We’re Working Together On Skype
If you’ve opted to work with me one on one on Skype (as opposed to photos only) then there is some additional information in answer to this question.
When I work with a client ‘live’, I do expect you to look and feel better by the end of your first session and every session thereafter.
Now, feeling better can be anything from the complete abatement of pain down to simply feeling more balanced and grounded on your feet … and anything in between.
Some folks leave their session pain free, while others leave with a reduction in their symptoms.
Do you think the Egoscue Method/MBF can help me?
Potentially, restoring proper function to the human body and bringing it into better alignment can help anyone.
One of the key differences between this form of therapy and many others, such as Chiropractic and massage etc, is that this requires you to go home and use the tools provided to you to go about the process of fixing yourself. The work is done by you, not to you.
You may be familiar with the saying:
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
What you are being offered here is to ‘learn how to fish’. You will be given the tools that will allow you to go home and do something that will positively impact your body and allow it to go about the process of healing itself.
Postural misalignment is a lifestyle problem and what you are being offered is a lifestyle solution. For most people, that’s exactly what they want, whilst others prefer to see someone who will do the work to them.
Either way is fine as it’s entirely your choice as to how you want to heal yourself.
How long would I have to spend on my exercise program?
There is no set time for how long a program of corrective exercises is. Rather than me giving you a program of a particular length, I’ll ask you during your first session, “How long are you willing and able to spend on your program of corrective exercises?”
There’s no point in me writing you a program for 45 minutes, for example, if you only have the time to do, say, 25 minutes. It simply won’t get done and you won’t achieve your desired goals.
One of the keys to the success of this process is doing your program consistently, which is why it’s important the length of your program is tailored to your individual lifestyle.
There is a caveat to that though. Because of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the population as a whole is becoming increasingly dysfunctional in terms of body function and alignment.
As such, there are some folks who may not get the results they desire if they are only willing to commit to 10 or 15 minutes a day, for example.
If that’s the case, I will advise you that you may need to create more time in your day for an extra 15 minutes or so, and that’s something we can discuss when you come for your first session.
Will I be sore after doing these exercises?
You may experience DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) for a day or two after you first do your program.
In the same way you might ache a bit if you go running for the first time in many years, it is possible you might ache a little as we start to reawaken muscles that have become dormant.
If you do experience this, it doesn’t normally last for more than a day or two and you can take it as a good sign that your body is becoming more functional!
What are the length of appointments and how much do they cost?
The duration of Skype consultations are 2 hours for the first appointment and approximately 90 minutes for follow up appointments.
The first appointment is £115 and follow up appointments are £95 GBP
If you elect to use the ‘online programs‘, you simply need to send a set of photos to me as per the Guide For Requesting an Online Program. I will make an assessment and put together your personal program, which will be emailed back to you within 24 hours and upon receipt of payment.
An Online Program is £40 GBP
For either format, I will send you a Paypal invoice to make payment for your session.
I’m ready to start the process of restoring proper function to my body. What will be expected of me as a client?
With regard to you seeing me for therapy, the process for this type of work is somewhat different from other modalities in that it is a partnership between the two of us.
I will always do my best to write the best program of exercises that I can for you. Your side of the partnership is that you will do your exercises every day and keep in contact with any questions and to let me know of your progress.
Open dialogue and communication are two of the key ingredients that will assist in the smooth running of your therapy process.
If you’re unsure about something, either in your corrective exercise program or that you’re feeling in your body, then it’s important you call me and ask that question. Picking up the phone and calling means we can have a chat about what’s happening and then make any changes that need to be made.
Conversely, waiting until your next appointment to mention something means you may well have achieved a lot less from what you’ve been doing at home than you would have, had you called.
Is it OK to take pain killers?
If you’re using pain killers to temporarily help you through a particularly bad period, then yes, that’s fine; you have to do what you have to do to get you through it.
If, on the other hand, you’re using pain killers regularly throughout the day, every day, then you’re doing your body more harm than good in the long run. There are 2 reasons for this:
Pain is a signal telling you that something’s wrong and that you need to take action to correct the problem. Pain killers simply mask the pain signals being sent from your body to your brain via your nervous system and they do NOTHING to correct the underlying problem.
If you had a warning light come on in your car alerting you to the fact that you’re running low on oil, you wouldn’t go under the bonnet/hood of the car and snip the wires, would you?
Of course you wouldn’t! Instead, you’d heed the warning and top the engine up with oil.Snipping the wires is akin to taking pain killers, whereas topping the engine up with oil is akin to addressing the root cause of the problem.
The second reason that consistent use of pain killers is detrimental to good health is because, long term, they can create their own problems.
Whilst pain killers are a pharmaceutical drug, they are nonetheless still drugs and ALL drugs are toxic, which puts your liver, colon, kidneys and other bodily systems under added stress.
Is it OK to use heat / ice / infra red treatment while following the process?
If using any of these is helpful to you, then it’s OK to use them in addition to your program of exercises. Obviously the goal we’re working towards is to get your body more functional so you don’t get the pain and, therefore, won’t need any of these treatments.
In the meantime, though, it’s OK to use them.
Am I still able to continue training while working with you?
With regard to continuing your training, the answer is usually yes, you can continue. That’s with a proviso though: if you feel pain at all during or after your training, that’s your body’s message to you saying that, for the time being, it would like you to stop until you are in a better position to be able to do that activity without pain.
My advice is to always listen to your body; it can’t talk to you in the same language that we use to communicate with each other, so it has to use other forms of communication, which in this case is pain.
Until we meet and I have a better idea of what exactly is going on with you, I can’t give any absolute concrete advice.
Is there a time of day when it’s best to do my corrective exercise program?
Yes there is. The best time to do your corrective exercise program is in the morning, before your day has started.
The reason for this is because it puts your body into a more balanced and functional position, which means as you go about your day-to-day business, you are tapping into proper functions and strengthening your body in a much better position.
If you do your program in the evening, you’ll still get the benefit and your body will still respond to the stimulus, but you will have had a day of walking around with the old patterns and imbalances, which reinforce them somewhat.
Ultimately though, if for whatever reason you aren’t able to do your corrective exercise program in the morning, then it’s fine to do it when you are able to.
Doing your program consistently on a daily basis is what achieves the long term results and the accompanying benefits.
Can I do the exercises in any order?
It’s very important that you do your program in the order that it is written.
Your program is designed so that one exercise achieves a change in your body and sets you up for the next exercise; it is meant to be done as a sequence.
If you change the sequence of the exercises, there’s potential for the program to lose some of its effectiveness. And, while less likely, it is also possible that other symptoms may be triggered in your body because an exercise that has been skipped may have been chosen to prepare you for the next exercise.
So if your program has, for example, one exercise sitting down, another one laying down and then another one back in the sitting position, do them in that order!
So, while it may be tempting, do not do the one on the floor first and then come up to do the two sitting exercises together!
Some of the exercises say to do a certain amount of reps and sets. Is it important to rest in between sets and, if so, how long should I rest?
Yes, it is important to take a rest in between sets and you should do so for about 10 seconds.
The reason for this rest is to re-educate your nervous system. In an exercise that requires a muscle or group of muscles to contract and relax for example, what you’re doing is re-educating your nervous system to switch on and then to switch off.
The rest in between allows your nervous system to know that when you’re resting (and not asking to switch on or off) that it also rests and doesn’t need to fire any impulses.
Why is it necessary to do my corrective exercise program on a daily basis?
You don’t have to do your program every day. However, you should be aiming to do your program at least five time per week.
The reason for that is because both your muscular system and your nervous system (combined: Neuro-Muscular system) have developed specific motor patterns to compensate for your structural dysfunctions.
The two systems have memory, so in order to re-educate them and to program your body with new, functional motor patterns, it’s important to do your program on a regular basis – at least five times per week and preferably on a daily basis.
For some people, it may actually be necessary to do the program twice a day, every day.
If you only do your program two or three times a week, there’s an increased likelihood that your body will keep reverting back to the old patterns, and the changes that we’re working to make happen will become compromised.
Consistency with your corrective exercise program is one of the main keys to achieving the success you’re looking for.
Remember, you can have an Eliminate Your Pain Discovery Session to discuss your situation and to have your posture assessed by an experienced practitioner, in addition to asking the questions that are on your mind.
How is it possible to see and feel changes in my alignment so quickly?
The reason you can feel and we can see changes in your alignment within one session is because your joints know where they’re supposed to be and your muscles know what they’re supposed to do, they simply need to be reminded of their function.
When you remind your muscles of how they’re supposed to function, they kick back into action and are then able to reposition your joints closer to their neutral position.
When you work out at the gym, you’re working your muscles in a completely different way to how they’re being worked during a realignment session.
The way muscles grow bigger through a work out at the gym is like this: as you lift weights, your muscle fibres get small tears in them, which your body then goes about the process of repairing.
As your body goes about the process of repairing these small tears, the bulk of the muscle increases.
Conversely, with this form of realignment work, we’re not looking to build strength per se, but instead are going about the process of reminding your muscles how they’re supposed to function, in addition to reintegrating the muscular system and the nervous system to work in coordination, as they were designed to do.
Your body knows what it’s supposed to do, so with the proper stimulus, it responds straight away.