I first came across Dr. Jolie Bookspan when she was recommended to me by a friend because I was having constant problems with back and neck pain. A quick check on her website showed that I had a “forward head” and and “tight muscles”, something that was probably contributing to my neck and upper back pain. A “wall test” on her site quickly showed me how to correct his problem with stretches designed to help fix this. I did these stretches several times a day. I was so impressed with the effect these stretches were having that I went and bought a few books by Dr. Bookspan so I could learn more.
Dr. Bookspan’s work is often misrepresented, and I certainly don’t want you to get the impression that her methods are all about posture, stretching and exercise. In email conversations with Jolie, she explained to me how she sees her work:
My deep hope is that people understand that healthy movement is not exercise done separately a for few minutes, but changing to built in health during all your actions, which is hundreds of motions constantly. It is not posture, but motor skills, not alternative medicine but built in health as a lifestyle, and that i am the pioneer in all this – the first in green fitness and the first to insist on putting health back in to health care.
A little background information on Dr. Jolie Bookspan
Dr Bookspan specialises in sports medicine and is a physiologist that is known for her innovative approach to injury rehabilitation. When she was paralysed after an accident the doctors gave her no hope of ever walking again. She had broken “her back, neck, and most of everything else in an accident”. As a research scientist, Jolie knew the doctors were wrong, so it was a case of physician heal thyself and she brought herself back to full fitness and walked. If that wasn't enough, she had a second accident which was even more serious only a few months after recovering from the first one and against all medical opinion she walked again.
As a university researcher she has studied a huge range of human performance and survival metrics, including how the body copes with extremes of exercise, temperature, altitude, high G Force, weightlessness, forensics, injuries and nutrition. She has also written numerous medical textbook chapters as well as a number of excellent books in a range of medical disciplines.
As well as being a hugely respected academic, Jolie practises martial arts for the “science and beauty and devotion to discipline and honor”. The last I heard, she was the fourth degree black belt! She was even undefeated as a full contact ring boxer and Muay Thai fighter.
I have bought three of her books to help me with my own personal back problems:
- Fix Your Own Pain without Drugs or Surgery
- Health and Fitness in Plain English
- Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier
You can find Dr. Jolie Bookspan's Books on Amazon
These books have provided me with a wealth of information which has empowered me to look after my body better.
The first book mentioned above describes pain in various parts of your body – neck , back , shoulder , hip , knee , ankle etc and some of the reasons for this pain. Dr Bookspan shows how many of the daily movements we make can aggravate problems. She shows us the proper way to do everyday tasks plus a number of exercises to help keep our bodies in good working order.
The second book is more of a general fitness & health book and covers exercise, nutrition as well as a number of ailments. It's an exciting book that dispels a number of myths and gives practical , factual information on a number of health issues . The approach in this book is very much one of being healthy an active without having to rely on a gym membership or nutritional supplements . Your life becomes your exercise in the way that you walk , work , sit and watch TV , bend etc , but do these in a healthy way the benefits your body instead of the way we normally do many of these tasks which end up harming us.
The final book mentioned above teaches us how to do stretches properly. You'd be amazed and how many gym instructors can actually be hurting your body in the way they get you to move. Dr. Bookspan shows you a number of stretches that can help avoid unnecessary problems with joints, pain and potential injuries.
As a result of reading these books and using the exercises and advice contained in them, I no longer have to worry about sitting at my computer for long hours – something that aggravated my condition. I am now acutely aware of why sitting at my computer was hurting my back and neck, and I now have the tools to fix that. I have also learned why I was suffering from knee pain, and a simple change in the way I moved up and down stairs has fixed that. The amazing thing I found is that so many of the pains I have felt in various areas of my body have disappeared within days of correcting the problem.
Now, rather than jumping out of bed in the morning, my morning starts before I even get out of bed with my first “Bookspan Stretch” of the day.
She has helped so many people in so many different fields of work that she's been dubbed “St Jude of the joints”.