Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ageless Spine, Lasting Health

Ageless Spine, Lasting Health, Kathleen Porter, Synergy Books, 2006

This book shows how the human body is designed to work, and how real fitness can come from standing, sitting and walking in a more natural way. The answer will not be found in developed muscles, but in muscles and properly aligned bones working together the "right" way.

Everyone has seen pictures of women in Africa and Asia carrying improbably large bundles on their heads, with seemingly no trouble at all. How do they do it? Having developed muscles is not the answer. They can do it because their spines, and the rest of their bodies, are in natural and proper alignment. Any structure, whether it is an arch, a building or a human skeleton, can carry a lot more weight when it is properly aligned than when it is not properly aligned. The book includes plenty of photos of aligned, and mis-aligned, skeletons.

The Western conception of fitness (the more developed muscles, the better) is actually bad for the body. For instance, strong rectus abdominis muscles, or "abs," are supposedly necessary to support the back, and they must be firm in order to be considered attractive. Cultural standards, to which all must conform, frequently have little to do with what is healthy or natural. Actually, relaxed "abs" allow the bones of the spine, sacrum and pelvis to naturally align to each other, and let the deeper transversus abdominis, or "corset" muscle, provide the required support.

The book also includes exercises, with pictures, showing how to sit, stand and walk so that your body's alignment will start to return to normal (didn't know you were doing it wrong, did you?). Realigning your body, and getting rid of your bad habits, will not be quick or easy, but it will help, even if you don't have any acute pain.

If the medical profession can only suggest a long and expensive course of treatment, you owe it to yourself to read this book, and try the exercises first. You will be glad that you did.

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