And what was your experience?
I just got Esther Gokhale's "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" and already I'm sticking my butt out and walking taller! I currently have a very long commute (2+ hours per day). Which is not paleo and I am looking for something closer to home... Anyways, she recommends this cushion for driving. Its $50 and I just thought I'd see if anybody has tried it before I shell out the money.
Other thoughts on your application of her techniques would be appreciated as well.
Mark Sisson mentions her work in this post: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/improve-posture/
asked byDave_S_ (20436)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on April 14, 2011
at 07:25 PM
I'll give my experience with Esther's program in general, including the sit cushion. Sorry for the wall-of-text.
tl;dr = the cushion and Esther's program was a part of me finally being pain free after 20 years. How big a part? I don't know, but I have to recommend it.
The book: About a year ago I came across Primal/Paleo, CrossFit and Gokhale all at roughly the same time. Not surprising really since I learned about them from roughly the same sources. I was 43, in OK but not great shape, not overweight but a pretty shitty eater (SAD). Prior to this I had suffered from lower back pain off and on for about 20 years. Nothing really helped much (chiro, acupuncture, Egoscue).
I'm fortunate to live pretty close to Palo Alto so I sucked it up and dropped the money for Esther's 6-week class. Pretty desperate for any relief so I figured it was worth it. I bought the book and 2 cushions (one for my car, liked it so I bought one for my office chair).
I put a lot of effort into following everything taught in the class and the book. A lot of time it comes down to remembering to do stuff, so I would often find myself slouching, walking poorly, etc. But all-in-all I think I did fairly well.
Oddly, though, during the course of the 6-week class itself I feel like things with my back got worse. Now, I think some of this may have to do with making a lot of changes to my posture, etc. But also, like I said, I was just starting to do crossfit. If you're an x-fitter you know that you do a shit load of squats, deadlifts, wallballs, cleans, etc. All of these were very difficult for me initially (I could basically deadlift a bar, not much more) ... like I said, my back felt worse a lot of the time.
But, I felt like I was on to something and stuck with it. And then a miracle ... somehow, somewhere (maybe 6 months) along the way I really did start getting stronger and my back pain basically disappeared. Was it crossfit? Gokhale? Both? I don't know and I don't really care. What I do know is that I'm pretty much pain free for 6 months ... something I never could have imagined.
So, my impressions of the cushion. I really like it. It's much better than a rolled up towel if for no other reason than ease of use. Having it on my office chair and car seat almost guaranteed lots of stretch-sitting time. It's a perfect, physical reminder to sit yourself correctly.
Durability-wise the one I had in my car took quite a beating, a couple of the rubber nubs came apart at the seams (though the one in my office had no such problem). By the time it fell apart though I wasn't needing it any longer so I didn't really try to get Gokhale to replace it. They might very well have ... I just don't know.
I really liked stretch-sitting a lot so I'd say the $50 bucks was worth it for me (my company paid for the office one). Whether or not it's worth it to you really depends on how bad you feel. Like I said I don't really know if the Gokhale method was the key to my success ... tbh I kind of think it was more down to the cross-core strength I gained from Crossfit. But to be honest I would have happily paid 10 x the $50 if you'd told me I was going to be pain free, whether the cushion had anything to do with it or not.
Best of luck.
P.S. Now if I can just kick my goddamn sugar addiction and get back to eating paleo. :)
on April 14, 2011
at 03:41 PM
I tried it at one of her free lectures. It helps!
The only thing holding me back from buying one is that it's pretty expensive. She also mentioned that similar effects could be had with a rolled-up towel, but that hasn't been the case in my experience.
on April 14, 2011
at 03:36 PM
I just signed up for one of her free introductory web-sessions, I am very interested as I sit all day and would love to improve my posture. Thanks for the info.
on March 09, 2014
at 11:57 AM
I can't actually speak to the StretchSit cushion, as I don't actually have one, but I wanted to post anyway because I have been successfully using the rolled up towel substitute. Basically, I've rolled up a towel and attached it to the back of a basic folding chair by using rubber strength training bands/cords (basically just wrap the cords around the towel/backrest until the towel is secured and then tie or latch the cords so they don't unravel). I've also placed a towel underneath the rolled up one to push the rolled up towel forward, so that I am sitting in a more upright position (a tip suggested by Gokhale in one of her YouTube videos).
I found that using the rolled up towel, and Gokhale's "stretch sitting" technique in general has been a lifesaver. I have suffered from back pain from a lower back injury for the last several years (comes and goes). The only times I can remember actually having any relief was by using the stretch sitting technique (interestingly, Gokhale's stack sitting, where you're supposed to sit at the edge of your chair or on a rolled up towel, doesn't help with my pain). It's really like night and day with me. If I am stuck in a chair without an appropriate backrest (e.g. in a car, in a movie theater, or at a friends house in their couch), the pain crops up. If I switch back to stretch sitting, the pain goes away.
The towel definitely works, but actually you can stretch sit in a lot of different chairs that happen to have a backrest positioned around the mid-back. I think the StretchSit cushion would be something useful for traveling and sitting in those chairs that don't have good backrest, so you could more consistently sit in a healthy posture.
on May 22, 2013
at 01:42 AM
I bought the cushion and the book. Doing really well after three years of pain, now no meds needed!!! The cushion is a must for the commute!! I am getting another for the office. Big expense for me, working for $10 an hour but worth every penny even if it looks like you could make them a lot cheaper.