Stanford now lists the Gokhale Method Foundations course as an option for which Stanford staff can use their STAP (Staff Training Assistance Program) funds. I am thrilled that the educational institution closest to home (I live on campus) is the first to make my offering more available to their staff.
My avenues for bringing posture into Stanford are manifold, both through my family members and through hundreds of students and staff who have taken my courses. Healthy posture has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on those in close proximity, and I'm hopeful this effect will permeate the community over the years.
My husband is a professor in the Math Department and is beaming out much better posture than he used to:
Brian White, Professor of Math at Stanford, was one of the early Gokhale Method guinea pigs (being my husband!). See him here bending with a straight back, and with his legs well-aligned and feet pointing outwards.
My daughters Maya and Monisha did their undergraduate degrees in the school of engineering; Maya also did a Master’s degree in epidemiology. They participated in sports, where they influenced and taught some of their teammates:
Maya White (left, jumping), has a natural degree of pelvic anteversion which facilitates glute action and a powerful spring.
Monisha White, who captained the Stanford Women's Ultimate frisbee team and lead them to win Nationals in 2016, coached some of her teammates in healthy posture. Here she shows healthy external leg rotation, posterior shoulder placement, and a J-Spine.
My son Nathan coaches the Stanford Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Learning hip-hinging has helped some of the team get rid of longstanding hamstring problems:
Nathan White (second from right, standing tall) sets a good posture example as a coach of the Stanford Men's Ultimate Frisbee team.
I have taught hundreds of faculty, students, and staff how to have their behinds behind, and their torsos upright and relaxed:
Olivia Page, one of many Stanford students who learned to hip-hinge, stacksit, and stretch-lie.
Now with Stanford STAP funds, enrollees will not have to pay out of pocket for their posture education.
The two courses offered on the weekend of April 28-30 both consist of the usual 6 x 1.5 hour lessons using 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back as the text and the DVD, Back Pain: The Primal Posture Solution, as a reference (both are included in the price of the Stanford course). The courses still have some openings and are open to the public, though STAP funding is available only to Stanford staff.
It has long been a dream of mine to influence a mid-sized community to have lower rates of back pain and reap the benefits of healthy posture. There is a synergistic effect that happens when members of a community learn the familiar, but forgotten, language of primal posture. Human beings are known to mimic each other. We expect that having examples of healthy posture to mimic will raise the general wellbeing of the community, and that this effect will spiral in a positive direction. Also, Stanford is a self-reflective community that conducts research, formulates theories, and births products - a lot could happen in this rich milieu.
The Stanford Rodin collection is the second largest in the world and is chock full of examples of excellent posture.
We hope other educational institutions will be inspired to replicate Stanford’s offering for their staff, now that we have teachers all over the world who are able to satisfy such demands. Educational institutions often induce other types of institutions to follow their lead. We are hoping that banks, law firms, tech firms, and other entities will see the value in keeping their members healthy and pain-free, like Stanford has.
One recent Stanford study, Is crowdsourcing patient-reported outcomes the future of evidence-based medicine? A case study of back pain, examines the findings of the website healthoutcome.org, on which Postural Modifications (and the Gokhale Method in particular) are the top-rated intervention for lower back pain by a very large margin. The study finds that crowdsourcing results are similar to conservative research results, but involve much larger numbers of subjects at lower cost. Postural Modification as an intervention for lower back pain has not been studied by conventional means. As the prestigious newsletter The BackLetter put it in September 2015, “there is certainly a glittering opportunity for some enterprising young researchers to explore this area with sound scientific methods.”
For more information or ideas on how to bring the Gokhale Method to your institution, please contact us at [email protected].