Posture exercise
from Dr White

Posture exercise, yeah right. If you have migraine, chronic headaches, or even back and joint pain for that matter, exercise (even posture exercise) can be a problem. If you get headaches in an unpredictable pattern, regular exercise can be a particular problem. And yet, exercise is key to solving many of these problems.

Posture is perhaps one of the great under discussed issues when it comes to headache pain. Poor posture is chronic in modern society, and if it were eliminated who knows how much pain would disappear.

Enter Dr Arthur White and Kate Kelly's book, The Posture Prescription (2001) - posture exercise heaven. The front cover reads:

The Doctor's Rx for:
Eliminating back, muscle, and joint pain
achieving optimum strength and mobility
Living a lifetime of fitness and well-being

But does the book live up to these promises? Dr White, as founder of the Spine Care Medical Group in San Francisco, certainly has the credentials and experience to know what he's talking about, and he draws from his experience in the book. Medical explanations and personal testimonials combine to make this book worth looking at.

So what's it all about, in a nutshell?

Do you struggle with regular exercise, posture exercise, any exercise? No time? No place? This book will help you integrate posture exercise into your everyday life. And posture is not the only thing that will improve. Strength, flexibility, balance and more are targeted by the program. Learn exercises you can do while on the phone or while getting in a car or waiting at the elevator. Try new ways to keep your office from causing you pain. Get a work out at work without even sweating. And get more exercise doing your daily errands in an afternoon than many get in weeks.

Is The Posture Prescription worth having on my shelf?

I've included this brief review on a site about headaches because I think Dr White's book is specifically helpful to people dealing with migraine, chronic headache and other headaches. His ideas will allow you to get something you urgently need in a way that you can actually get it.

There are a couple of possible cons to the book. First, he at first seems to almost discourage an exercise program. Finally at the end of the book he does give some suggestions, but just because you can get exercise outside the gym, don't write off the full program idea. Second, he talks a bit about programs such as yoga, bending over backwards to downplay the religious aspects. Though to many yoga and similar programs are just for exercise, some may be concerned about the deeper meanings behind the moves. However, this is only a very brief mention in his book, not the focus.

Some people may write the book off because of the odd looking photos, and that's a shame. The photos are helpful when you actually try his suggestions, and you will find yourself getting stronger and healthier – hopefully with far less headaches – by following his posture exercise ideas. This book is worth having, to either read a couple of times and learn a few exercises, or to follow more completely. There are also a number of great testimonials in the book to give you an idea how things work in real life (see below). You'll probably find that posture exercise can do far more to change your life than you think.

There are a number of full story testimonials in the book. As an example, take a few snippets of Rebecca's story:

Rebecca is a single mother with two children who works as a secretary in an office downtown in a big city.

Now, at thirty-eight years of age, she is thirty pounds overweight. She is much too busy with work and caring for the children to do any recreational activities. Since the delivery of her second child five years ago, she has had relatively constant headache.

I won't quote the whole story, but Rebecca did seek help and started some very simple, easy posture exercise. Here's a brief description of her progress:

In six months, her life totally turned around. She lost twenty pounds and felt good about herself, and she and her children had learned habits that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. Being active became a normal way of life, without having to think, plan, of fight for intermittent times to go to a gym or try a new, exotic diet program. Her back pain totally ceased and has not returned even now, after ten years.

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