Take minutes out FOR YOUR HEALTH...
On February 24, 1998, an interview was broadcast on Bay TV (local cable channel 35 in San Francisco) between anchor Susan Blake and physical therapist Sherry Brourman. The following transcription was created by
scott richie for Winky.
Susan Blake: If you have never experienced pain in your back, your neck, or hip, chances are you know someone who does. Millions of people turn to drugs or even surgery only to end up with recurring discomfort. Our next guest says that it is possible to walk away from those pains forever. And I mean literally - - walk away - - through corrective walking techniques. Sherry Brourman is a Los Angeles physical therapist whose clients include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Burt Reynolds, and I'm sure many more. Welcome to you.
Sherry Brourman: Thank you.
Susan Blake: Why walking?
Sherry Brourman: Well, imagine that you took a thousand steps a day...and imagine that every steps is the slightest bit askew. What would happen to any joint who (sic) was slightly crooked after a thousand repeated steps?
Susan Blake: I guess it makes sense. For those of us who like a little bit more activity, in whatever, walking just sounds so tame. So how did - - what led you to this, personally?
Sherry Brourman: I was very lucky in that I had an already established physical therapy career, and a very bad back injury, and somehow the combination of learning how to get my own body out of pain and the desire to teach whatever I was learning inside to my patients, ultimately, over the course of years, gave me this wonderful system.
Susan Blake: O.K., now you have a new book out and you kind of outline some of this, so, what are some of the things that we should be looking for and some of the advice that you give us in the book?
Sherry Brourman: Well, the first, most important thing about walking is that you need your feet to be as wide as your hips on the floor, and the classic problem that I see with people is that they lean back; you see a forward head, it tends to look like this a lot. [demonstrates] So what's really important is that when you walk your center of gravity is up over your feet, as opposed to somewhere there behind you. So that can only happen on wide feet; soft knees, coming up from the floor, the next really important thing; and stable hips, which can only come from a strong belly.
Susan Blake: So how do you - - I mean, if you're sitting at home and you've got a hip problem or a back problem, how do you self diagnose?
Sherry Brourman: Well, you read the evaluation section in the book, because it's a whole series; but, the first thing you want to look at is 'where's the pain?' It's the perfect high sign. If something is aching - - if every time you drive you get a pain in your right hip - - or, if every time you go to the mall, you come home and your mid back is killing you, you have the perfect high sign, and those are the places you're looking.
Susan Blake: Can I walk for you, and just have you look and see, because I have had some chronic hip and knee problems, that I've had to give up running for right now, so I've been working on it, but I'd be interested to see what maybe you could point out, or...?
Sherry Brourman: Happy to. O.K., Susan, well, you tend to narrow your left foot. So that would mean that your right leg is your stronger leg.
Susan Blake: Right.
Sherry Brourman: And then, your left leg kind of gets carried for the ride. So you kind of look like this if I were to exagerate: right, left gets carried - - right, left gets carried - - right, left gets carried. So if you were to pull your left foot out just a little, especially pull the left heel out, you would find that your weight was coming more evenly over your left hip, and you would tend to strengthen that hip and use your right hip a little less.
Susan Blake: So, because I am favoring my right side so much, it probably is leading to this chronic problem in the hip?
Sherry Brourman: Absolutely.
Susan Blake: O.K. So what do you tell people to do then, overall? Avoid surgery?
Sherry Brourman: Oh, absolutely. Avoid surgery. Bed rest is not the answer. Bracing is clearly not the answer. It's, balance the gait; use specific exercises to make each correction that you choose, stronger and stronger so that it becomes part of how you move.
Susan Blake: So do you mean, like in my case, you were able to point that out, and I have worked with a couple of different people and I heard pretty close to what you are saying, so I know it's a structural problem. But if you are sitting at home and you just pick the book up, how do you get somebody - - can somebody else watch you walk and help you pick that out?
Sherry Brourman: The evaluation section in the book is set up so that you can do it on your own without a somebody, and it will be a little easier with a somebody. A mirror will help, but you are given questions that make it so that you look at your shoes, you look at where you knees point, you look in the mirror and see if you have a high shoulder. So, the questions are laid out so that you really can do it on your own.
Susan Blake: O.K. Sounds like some good advice. Any- thing to avoid surgery and, also, as you point out, drugs as well, because sometimes we can take steps to correct the problems ourselves. Sherry Brourman, thank you. The book is again, Walk Yourself Well.
Sherry Brourman: Thank you very much.
Sherry Brourmans new book is titled
Walk Yourself Well
Eliminate Back, Neck, Shoulder, Leg, Hip and Other Structural
Pain Forever Without Drugs or Surgery
return to healthy ways
...nothing new here in this part of the Universe since
11:17 A.M. P.S.T., Thursday, June 11, 1998
last updated on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 9:03 P.M. P.S.T.
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