You Can't Fix What You Can't See or Feel

Submitted by: Deb Preachuk

Renee M.'s Success Story

I am a 53-year old woman and I began seeing Deb 9 months ago for private sessions in the Egoscue Method.

I have an athletic background as a gymnast, followed by running, group exercise classes, and weight training until age 45 or so. Increasing pain in my right hip and a bone scan that showed I had a minor scoliosis encouraged me to switch focus to Pilates, yoga, and walking. Over time, my hip and overall posture improved but I decided to try the Egoscue work with a trainer in South Minneapolis to see if I could keep progressing.

I met with her about once a month for a year, doing the prescribed exercises on my own. Again, I was gaining more insight into my body and moving with more ease. Then my trainer moved to Japan.

A while later I went online and found Deb's websites.

I was so impressed, but a little dismayed that she was located in Lakeville, as I live in Fridley, a 45-minute drive at least. My intuition told me it would be worth it, and it was so right! I was discouraged when she took pictures of my alignment - I still looked like a banana from the side, just like the ones my first trainer had taken of me. I had been aware of not letting my shoulders round forward, but had accomplished this pushing my hips and ribs forward of the plumb line.

I met with Deb once a week, and it was apparent that I had been unable to get the full potential benefits from my prior exercises as they exceeded my ability to execute well. I was pretty strong and tight in my compensations, with gravity and time making them more and more entrenched. She used her extensive technical training combined with intuition when creating my program. I am continually moved by how she watches and listens to me. She has a plan for the session when I walk in her door, but will often toss it out when she sees my body not getting the desired results and figures out a different angle/approach on the spot.

The next day she e-mails my new program with pictures and detailed explanations of the exercises and their purposes. I see she has thought about the session and often adds more revisions that she feels would be of benefit. It is fun to see changes and have "aha!" moments as I do the work on my own. While it takes discipline to keep at it, I can do it at my convenience in my own home, which helps greatly with the consistency and repetition that is essential to making deep, neurological changes.

The value of the exercises is that they are deceptively simple movements. There are guidelines that you can feel whether or not you are actually carrying through on - for example, standing against a wall with your heels, buttocks, upper back, and head against the wall. I can feel as I do an arm exercise that I'm pulling away from the w all, and adjust my approach to correct that impulse. Don't laugh, but just standing against the wall and tightening my buttocks takes all my concentration, but now I can feel I'm using those muscles as I walk. The program includes a balanced variety of positions and movements.

My latest side-view picture shows a more erect posture, objective proof Deb uses to check our work. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing is a keystone of this training and is a big help in sharpening one's focus and adds a meditative aspect to this practice that I appreciate. This is truly a mind-body-spirit program enhanced by a gifted guide and teacher.

In my view, other exercise methods may be more well-known and popular, but don't address the alignment issues as effectively, and this is the key to functional movement and less stress. It frees your energy to live a kinder and gentler life. Whether you are in pain now or seeking to prevent pain down the road, it is never too early or late to start training with Deb Preachuk. You will look back at it as the best investment in yourself you have ever made!

Renee M