Balance Your Body To Relieve Pain

An interview with neuromuscular therapist and Integrated Positional Therapy founder Lee Albert


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Last year in April I attended Marilyn Taylor’s monthly Wellness Roundtable Holistic Networking meeting in Northborough, MA, and heard two local practitioners speak about therapeutic stretching. I wasn’t particularly interested in stretch therapy at the time, but both Pat Lebau’s presentation on Integrated Positional Therapy and Judy Malcolm’s follow-up with Fascial Stretch Therapy ignited wonder and fascination for me. How could something as simple as stretching relieve excruciating pain?

Two weeks later I found out. It was Sunday afternoon and sudden debilitating pain in my right heel prevented me from walking or barely even bending my foot. While I had been experiencing foot and ankle issues for the past five years due to ankle sprains on both feet, I had learned to live with it, walk gingerly, and use my feet wisely. No running or jumping. I couldn’t live with this pain, so I hobbled over to my desk to read online about my symptoms. Oh! So this is plantar fasciitis, which up until now had just been a condition with a name I couldn’t pronounce. Everything I read online told me to flex my toes up against a wall or flat surface to stretch out the plantar fascia along the bottom of my foot, which I dutifully performed without relief.

Pat Lebau popped into my mind so I emailed her for some advice. As fortune would have it, she emailed right back and instructed me, above all, not to stretch my toes upward. Curl them under. This helps slacken the plantar fascial muscle, which is already overstretched and the cause of the pain in the first place. Very quickly the pain subsided to the point where I could at least walk on the foot. I scheduled a full Integrated Positional Therapy session with Pat for the next day, and continued curling my toes under for instant, though temporary, relief from the pain.

Integrated Positional Therapy, also known as “Yoga on the Table,” involves the practitioner gently stretching and positioning the imbalanced muscles to relieve pain. Using what looks and feels like simple lying-down yoga movements and an advanced knowledge of muscle and bone anatomy, the practitioner identifies exactly which overstretched or contracted muscles need attention, and holds a muscle in place for a minute or two with precise movements that are extremely gentle and never painful. The result can be miraculous pain relief, like my five years of swollen ankles and foot pain completely disappearing.

While Pat sent me home with a protocol of five stretching exercises I should do at least once daily — just a seven-minute regimen — my feet, ankles and legs felt so good I hardly even gave the stretches another thought. But within a month, I was calling Pat for an emergency session to relieve serious pain issues again and resolved to do the daily exercises at home. Once again, her therapeutic touch relieved my pain and I promptly forgot all about the home stretching, despite the gradual return of painful twinges in both feet and ankles.

Not long after, Pat sponsored a local lecture and yoga class with Integrated Positional Therapy founder Lee Albert, NMT. Lee is a highly popular neuromuscular therapist and yoga instructor at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA, who is on a mission to deliver self-help pain relief tools to as many people as possible. Trained in neuromuscular therapy, orthopedic massage, positional therapy, yoga therapy, and myofascial release, Lee created, practices and teaches Integrated Positional Therapy and has conducted seminars with thousands of people from all over the world.

Having lived through pain personally and worked with it professionally for decades, Lee shares his wisdom about pain relief as readily as common sense. It’s easy and fun to learn new things that provide instant results. I learned so much during Lee’s presentation, I couldn’t wait to start doing my daily stretches at home. And the good news is they have worked. For the past six months my feet and ankles have been pain free. I hardly go a day without doing my stretches because I am so grateful for something that works so well to keep me walking and pain free — all without an office visit, filling out a form or even paying a dollar.

I asked Lee if he would share his story and insights here in Spirit of Change, and also in person at the Natural Living Expo, November 11-12 in Marlboro, MA. Lee will give a keynote presentation and IPT demo, plus an additional yoga class for more intensive movement training. New England is fortunate to have medicinal muscleman Lee Albert among us.

Get info about Lee Albert keynote tickets at the Natural Living Expo November 11 in Marlboro, MA

 

Carol Bedrosian: You have a very inspiring story about pain to tell. Can you share that?

Lee Albert: Sure. About thirty years ago, I was on vacation driving in Canada in the province of Quebec, when I came to a stop sign and the guy behind me did not. He actually hit me going sixty miles an hour. He was fooling around with a child in the back seat, didn’t see traffic stopped, and whack! To make matters worse, my car was three weeks old!

Fortunately I escaped from that accident with nothing broken and nothing bleeding, which was a miracle at the time, because I thought for sure I was going to die when I saw him coming in the rear view mirror. The car protected me somehow, despite the fact that it was totaled.

I actually had no symptoms for the first three weeks after the accident, but on the fourth week I started getting migraine headaches. I had never had a migraine before in my life, and little did I know I was going to have these migraines off and on for the next three years. So I started trying everything I could to find some relief. I tried physical therapy, I tried the doctor route, I tried numerous therapists, all to no avail.

Carol Bedrosian: What were the symptoms, your experience of the migraine?

Lee Albert: The migraines are what I call a headache on steroids. I could barely function at times. It often made me nauseous and it was hard to do just about anything. Even the meds from the doctors only took the slightest edge off, but they didn’t really help all that much. And the headaches were quite debilitating; sometimes they lasted for two or three days. When I had them, it was almost impossible to function.

Carol Bedrosian: Was it a pounding headache?

Lee Albert: Sometimes it was a pounding headache and sometimes I felt nauseous. People who have had a migraine know exactly what I am referring to.

Carol Bedrosian: So you had tried all kinds of different therapies?  

Lee Albert: I tried many different therapies, including physical therapy, massage therapy, neuromuscular therapy, craniosacral therapy, Reiki, acupuncture, and acupressure just to name a few.

Carol Bedrosian: And because you are a massage therapist yourself and have many professional colleagues and friends, you had access to the best in the business.

Lee Albert: I absolutely only sought out the best ones in the business and I did that pretty consistently for almost three years. Of course it cost a lot of money, because the best practitioners are also the most expensive practitioners. But that didn’t matter to me because I would not spare any expense to relieve those migraines. I was seeing two or three practitioners a week.

Carol Bedrosian: How often were you getting the migraines?

Lee Albert: I would usually experience them at least once a week. But sometimes it was two or three times a week.

Carol Bedrosian: Did you try anything dietary?

Lee Albert: Yes, I changed my diet to a more vegetarian, raw type of diet. I tried all sorts of diets but changing my diet did not help the headaches. Most therapists I went to were pretty sure it was coming from tight muscles in my neck, which is a classic whiplash symptom. Even though they knew these muscles were causing the problem, they could not find a way to relieve it permanently. Sometimes the work they were doing would make it go away for a week or ten days, but nothing that would make it last.

About two and a half years after the accident, I decided maybe I should just be looking into pain management because it didn’t appear that anyone had a solution to these headaches. Although all the therapists thought they had a solution, no one was addressing the root cause and giving me permanent relief. So I started thinking about exploring pain management and learning how to live with my condition.

At the time I didn’t know about a fundamental little principle of the universe. That principle is that when you are looking really hard for an answer, you often find it when you stop looking so hard. Two days after I decided I was not looking for a cure for my migraines, and had made the decision to seek pain management, somebody came up to me and said, “You know, I heard about this woman doing this incredible work. Seems like people go to her once or twice and they come back and they don’t have any more pain.” I said, “Great, where is she? I’m going.”

As it turns out she was a physical therapist in Hartford, Connecticut, and her name was Sharon Weiselfish. I didn’t know what kind of therapy she was going to administer. I just went and hoped for the best. At the time, I was also working at a physical therapy clinic myself, doing massage on some of the clients of the physical therapist, so I knew how a physical therapy clinic worked and what everyone does there.

During the session with Sharon, she was treating me in ways I was not familiar with. During the session I was thinking, “What is this? It’s very strange, it’s very gentle, and it doesn’t hurt. She’s barely moving my body and she’s telling me after one or two sessions there’s a good chance those headaches will be gone.” And of course I didn’t believe that for a minute. I thought, if anything, this was a total waste of time and money. I remember to this day, the first appointment I saw her for was forty minutes and it cost $300.

I didn’t know at the time that she was the top person in the field of what I later found out was strain/counterstrain, which we now call Positional Therapy. She was just moving my body parts into unusual positions and holding them there for a minute or two, and then going on to the next position. The problem was she wasn’t explaining it to me, and when you put a muscle into these positions, you can’t really feel it. It feels like absolutely nothing is happening. So I’m thinking, “What a waste of time this is. This is never going to work.”

But it did! Actually, after just one session she said, “You know what? I think your migraines might be gone. I think we got it.” I was really not buying that at all. After three years, it was such a simple, easy therapy — and I’m thinking, “That couldn’t be. I’ve never seen any other physical therapist practice this therapy.” Although I know a lot of them do it now!

So, I figured I’d get a migraine any minute, or at least the next day. Well, a day goes by, no migraine. A week goes by, no migraine. Hmm, a little unusual. I’m still sure it’s going to come back. Two weeks, no migraine. Very unusual. Three weeks, no migraine, I couldn’t even believe that was happening after all I had been through. When four weeks went by with no migraine, I got on the phone and called her and said, “What did you do to me? I haven’t had any migraines! She said, “I did strain/counterstrain on you.” “What is that? Can you explain that to me?” I asked. She explained it to me and it actually made sense.

In a nutshell, basically, you can think of muscles as a bunch of strings. As everyone knows in stretching, you’re taking those strings and making them longer by pulling the two ends farther apart. What she did was the exact opposite. You take the two ends of the muscle and bring them closer, which effectively puts the muscle into slack. Then you hold it there for one to two minutes.

This technique was actually developed by an osteopath named Lawrence Jones in the 1950s. He discovered it by accident, and after he figured out the principle of bringing the two ends of the muscle closer, which is the exact opposite of what everyone else was telling him to do with a tight muscle, he spent a good fifteen years finding positions that could effectively put any muscle in the body into slack by bringing the two ends closer together. The beauty of this is that you can do most of it yourself with little to no effort once you know what to do.

Carol Bedrosian: That is revolutionary!

Lee Albert: Yes, it totally is revolutionary.  Even though Dr. Jones was a Western doctor, this was an Eastern approach. It allows the body to reset itself instead of trying to force it to release when the body isn’t ready yet. Excited and intrigued by Dr. Jones approach, I immersed myself in acquiring an understanding of the healing mechanisms involved, and began to explore a more comprehensive approach to neuromuscular pain that incorporated other effective techniques. I call this Integrated Positional Therapy.

Carol Bedrosian: What exactly is Integrated Positional Therapy?

Lee Albert: Integrated Positional Therapy — IPT — is a gentle self-care approach that has been shown to be effective in addressing a wide range of common acute, and chronic neuromuscular conditions and associative pain. IPT delivers simple, therapeutic self-care techniques that help identify and correct muscular imbalances and hone in on many of the root causes of pain.

Carol Bedrosian: I experienced that first hand this year with my first bout of plantar fasciitis. The attack happened right after I heard a talk by Pat Lebau, who is one of the trained practitioners of this method. Everything I read online was telling me to take my toes and put them up against the wall.

Lee Albert: Yes, the information you were reading was telling you to stretch it. Doctors and physical therapists will usually tell you to stretch it and ice it. With the IPT approach I have people slacken and heat it, and the results are typically much better. I tell people to put heat on it by soaking their feet in warm water and Epsom salt. There’s nothing wrong with the ice because it makes it feel better temporarily, but as you know, when tissue gets cold it gets even tighter and contracts. Eastern therapies like Traditional Chinese Medicine think we are very strange for even suggesting ice.

Carol Bedrosian: Isn’t the common wisdom to rest, ice, elevate and compress?

Lee Albert: There’s new thinking on that now. Let’s say you’re out it the woods and you trip and your ankle swells up. The doctor is going to tell you to do the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression and elevation. And will that make it feel better? Absolutely.   

However, the body never makes a mistake. It doesn’t do anything that’s trying to harm you. So when it puts that fluid and swelling there, it’s actually nature’s cast. It immobilizes that joint so that it can’t move so well. If it can’t move, it will heal quicker. And if you walk on it, it hurts, so you tend not to, and therefore you heal quicker. But if you do the rest, ice, compression, elevation, you’ll feel better and walk on it as if it’s healed and, of course, it’s not yet. It just feels better because the swelling is down and the inflammation is reduced but the tissue hasn’t healed completely yet.

And that’s what western medicine does — they treat your symptoms. There’s nothing wrong with that because you want your symptoms treated to get some relief. But you actually need to get to the cause, otherwise it will take much longer to fully heal.

Carol Bedrosian: Why do so many of us experience chronic pain?

Lee Albert: In the final analysis, most pain is foundational, resulting from imbalances in the musculoskeletal system. We are in pain because we are misaligned, or crooked. Even if you think you have good posture, you probably don’t, as misalignments are often not obvious to the untrained eye. IPT teaches how to quickly identify the most common misalignments and to develop a quick and simple approach to getting back into balance.

Carol Bedrosian: I believe I read somewhere that low back pain is the number one reason people go to their doctors.

Lee Albert: I’ve been a therapist for thirty years and it’s rare to see a person who’s never had low back pain. It costs the country billions of dollars a year plus loss of work — and it has nothing to do with the back! That’s the interesting thing. It has to do with the two hip flexor muscles in the front, which are the psoas muscle and one of the quadricep muscles on the upper thigh. Those muscles, when they are too short, pull the pelvis into a forward tilt, effectively jamming everything in the low back, which is where the pain is felt.

That can cause a disc issue, a nerve compression, inflammation, etc., but those are only the symptoms. A disc issue is not a cause; it’s a symptom. It’s often caused from that forward tilt of the pelvis, and every time you sit in a chair, you train those two muscles to go short and pull your pelvis forward, which would be absolutely okay if we got up and stretched them, but, of course, we don’t.

Carol Bedrosian: So the cause of this lower back pain epidemic is sitting?

Lee Albert: Sitting, plus every time you exercise such as walking, hiking, biking, swimming — all of these things work the muscles on the front side of your body — your psoas and your quads — much harder than the ones on the back side. When they are worked harder, they get shorter.

The ancient Chinese actually recognized that this imbalance existed thousands of years ago. What they recommended was for their people to walk backwards up hills to strengthen the muscles on the backside of the body, because they were out of balance. This is all about balance. Since your muscles are attached to your bones, when your muscles are out of balance your bones are out of balance and misaligned. It is estimated that eighty percent of the muscular pain that people experience comes from being misaligned.

Carol Bedrosian: What would be some solutions for rebalancing that?

Lee Albert: The first thing I would recommend to everyone is three stretches to balance the pelvis. One is a quad stretch. This will help correct the forward tilt in the pelvis. That tilt is often responsible for low back pain. A quad stretch is what we call a runner’s stretch. It’s basically standing and holding onto the back of a chair and pulling your heel towards your buttocks.

Now, having said that I have to be careful because people will often stretch their quads as I describe and they feel pain in their knees because they stretched their quads too deeply. In other words, half my clients cannot do that stretch because their quads are so tight and they try to force it, which is the worst thing you could do. No pain, no gain does not apply to stretching. So I have them hold onto a chair, then get another chair behind them and instead of bringing their heel to their buttocks, put their foot on the chair behind them. It’s about meeting your body where it is. Stretching should never hurt.

I like to tell my clients and students, “Do not stretch like a human being.” Humans do not know how to stretch. Stretch like a cat or a dog, because when you watch them stretch they look happy. When people stretch they look like they’re struggling.

No pain, no gain only applies to weight training because in weight training you have to rip the muscle to grow the muscle bigger. That’s what you are doing in weight training. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you know what you’re doing. But when it comes to stretching, there should be no pain while you are stretching. We don’t want to rip anything. You will get a far better result at a sixty to seventy percent stretch than a hundred percent. That’s just muscle science. In other words, if you’re stretching at one hundred percent, you’re stretching the tendons on either end and that is usually not a good idea. You should stretch mostly in the middle, the belly of the muscle. You get a far better result with much less effort.

The second stretch corrects the elevation in the pelvis. Many people have one hip higher than the other. So if you look in the mirror, one hip is riding up higher than the other one, which now means that one leg is functionally shorter than the other. So if the hip goes up the leg is going to be a little shorter. It actually gives you a little scoliosis right away because when that hip goes up, your pelvis tilts to one side and your spine curves as well. That is due to a tight muscle in your low back called the quadratus lumborum; in yoga they often say the QL. The stretch that corrects that is called the half moon as a yoga pose. Your arms are up over your head and you bend to one side, and then the other, at the waist. You could have both hands up or hands clasped above your head. Some people don’t have that shoulder mobility, so you can also have your hands on your hips. It’s just about stretching that muscle, which helps compensate for one hip higher than the other.

The third stretch is for a rotated pelvis. A lot of people have a rotated pelvis, which means one part of the pelvis moves forward and the other part on the other side moves backward. It rotates a bit. This is due to muscles on the outside of the upper thighs being too short. So if you lie down and your legs turn out, which is almost everybody, you have a rotated pelvis. That’s about stretching the muscles on the outside of the upper thighs. There’s a couple of ways to do it and one is the yoga pose called knee down twist.

For this you lie on your back and bend your right leg so your right foot is flat on the floor at the inside of the other leg. Then pull your right knee towards the floor with your left hand and feel the stretch on the outside right thigh. Remember, none of these stretches should hurt. If they do, you are stretching too deeply.

Carol Bedrosian: How long should you hold it?

Lee Albert: There’s a science behind that. A stretch is not very effective under thirty seconds. So it needs to be at least thirty seconds and a minute is even a little better. At thirty seconds the muscle starts to stretch, and at one minute, the fascia starts to stretch as well. I recommend thirty seconds minimum, but if you can, hold it for a minute. If you can’t hold it for 30 seconds or one minute, you’re probably stretching too deep to start with or your life is way too busy. It’s like the guy who went to a Zen master and asked, “Master, how long should I meditate?” And the master said, “Twenty minutes a day, unless, of course, you don’t have time, then you should meditate an hour.” But it always, needs to be emphasized that stretching should not be painful. People hurt themselves and then they never want to stretch again.

Carol Bedrosian: What about breathing when you are stretching?

Lee Albert: If you breathe, you’re going to be able to stretch better. Swami Kripalu would recommend half an hour of pranayama (breathing) before any asana (stretching), because the pranayama balances the nervous system. When the nervous system relaxes, the muscles relax as well and then the asana is much easier. Science is now confirming what the yogis knew long ago.

Carol Bedrosian: Doesn’t oxygen play an important role in pain relief?

Lee Albert: The way I phrase it is, you can go thirty days without food and you will not die. You can go five or six days with no water and you will not die. But you won’t go much more than ten minutes without oxygen. I’m pushing the envelope there, but you can’t last very long without oxygen.

The role of oxygen is so huge to our wellbeing, but, of course, we are all chest breathers from a lifetime of sitting, so we are oxygen deprived. If you are sitting all the time, your diaphragm can’t go down far enough; in other words, you’re breathing with just the upper third of your lungs, which is enough to keep you alive but you will not thrive.

Chest breathing is associated with “fight or flight.” You are releasing adrenalin into your system and all your muscles are tightening up. This may increase the pain you already are experiencing. When you take a full belly breath you are creating “rest and digest.” Your muscles and nervous system relax.
Ten minutes of belly breathing will completely take people out of fight or flight. Ten minutes, that’s all it takes. And yet people are taking pills and all sorts of things for their stress when ten minutes of slow, deep breathing can accomplish the same thing. Babies breathe a belly breath; that’s our natural breath. Most of us need to relearn how to breathe fully.

Let’s say you have a tight spot on the top of your shoulders and it’s painful. It’s not the tight muscle, per say, that’s causing the pain; it’s the lack of oxygen causing the pain. The medical term for that is ischemia. In other words, the muscle gets tight and it reduces blood flow. It’s that lack of oxygen that’s causing the pain. So that’s why people often feel better after exercising, because they’re getting more oxygen to their tissues. We’re not getting as much oxygen as our ancestors got. We have become too sedentary.

Carol Bedrosian: And there’s less oxygen in the environment itself maybe?

Lee Albert: Yes. Scientists have measured the oxygen content in places like the Berkshires where it’s pretty clean and there is a lot of plant life and not a lot of pollution and not too many cars, and the oxygen levels are in the low twenty percents. In cities like New York where there are many more cars and fewer trees, it could be ten, eleven or twelve percent oxygen. Still enough to keep you alive but…Scientists have also measured the oxygen content of the air they found in ice that was formed thousands and thousands of years ago, and depending upon which sources you refer to, it measured some thirty-five percent. We are cutting down a lot of trees, especially in the rain forest, and that is reducing our atmospheric oxygen levels. Of course it doesn’t matter how much oxygen you have if you’re a chest breather; you’re still not getting optimal oxygen.

Carol Bedrosian: What are some things we can do every day that will help us lead a pain-free life?

Lee Albert: The goal is to keep your muscles in balance. Equal length and equal strength. The cause of many muscle imbalances is simply the way and amount we are sitting.

Carol Bedrosian: TV, desk and car — that’s the life of most people.

Lee Albert: Yes, all of those activities require sitting. Sitting incorrectly puts a lot of tension on the neck, shoulders and back that can lead to headaches, back pain and other common painful conditions. Sitting with a cushion in your back that is precisely placed will dramatically help.

I recommend a bed pillow or a travel pillow, something like that. You roll it up and place it in your low back. And you play with it; if it’s too thick it will be uncomfortable and if it’s too thin your head will be forward of your shoulders. Keep playing with it until you make it thick enough so that your head comes over your shoulders, the chest opens, the shoulders unround and your pelvis goes right up under your sitz bones. So I’m calling it Seated Supported Mountain Pose. But please do not use the pillow if it is causing you pain!

The other way people sit I’m calling slumpasana. People look like they’re ninety, but it’s not because they’re ninety. It’s because they’ve practiced slumping for so long. Sitting is still not that great for you, but if have to sit, Seated Supported Mountain Pose is the way to do it. The good news is that your muscles will do exactly what you train them to do. Most people train their muscles to be bent over, but it’s much better to train them to be straight.

I have a free video of this on my website where I have identified the big three offenders: sitting in a chair, sitting in a car and sitting at a computer. In the video, I show you how to sit with a pillow in your back and how to position your arms for maximum comfort

Carol Bedrosian: Do these things really make a difference?

Lee Albert: Huge. People say, “I can’t believe it. I drive for hours now and I don’t hurt.”

Carol Bedrosian: Where should you hold you hands on the steering wheel? Ten and two?

Lee Albert: Four and eight. Actually every state is now teaching four and eight. They’re doing that not because it’s more ergonomic; they’re doing it for safety. They’ve discovered that if you drive at ten and two and your airbags go off, your two fists are going to end up in your face. Since they’re being launched at two hundred miles an hour, it’s not a good scenario. But if you’re at four and eight, your fists will end up on your ribs, which is a much better scenario.

Carol Bedrosian: What about texting and all of the looking at devices?

Lee Albert: Everyone’s heads are forward and this is happening at an earlier age. It’s more important than ever that everyone would benefit from what I call the big four for better posture. We need to be stretching the chest at least three or four times a day for at least thirty to sixty seconds. Add that to the three pelvic stretches I already gave you, and if we just did those four, the health benefits would be huge.

Carol Bedrosian: Pushing the shoulder blades back?

Lee Albert: Yes, exactly and holding that. That’s essential. When you are looking down so much, your chest muscles get short and collapsed, and it drags your head forward. When you stretch your chest, it brings your head over your shoulders and all the chest fibers start to open up. It could be done standing in line at the grocery store. It can be done anywhere. Anyone that tells me they don’t have time, I say, “If you’re standing in line, you have the time.”

Carol Bedrosian: These are all things you can do with yourself at home, natural medicine.

Lee Albert: It’s absolutely natural medicine. With the skyrocketing costs of our healthcare system, it’s not sustainable, and it’s not affordable. If everyone did what I’m suggesting and knew how to apply these principles I am speaking of, we would cut healthcare in half. I have no doubt about that. Yes, we still need doctors, but we can save the doctors for kidney diseases, cancers and other serious issues.

Carol Bedrosian: What about the opioid epidemic?

Lee Albert: Well this is a big problem. In my new book, Yoga For Pain Relief, A New Approach to an Ancient Practice, I take the three-fold approach: asana, pranayama and meditation. What science has discovered is that when we add meditation to these natural therapies, we can achieve phenomenal results. Different states of meditation give you different brain wave frequencies. As you get a little deeper into meditation, your brain wave frequencies change and your body starts to produce the feel-good chemicals like oxytocin. Because people don’t know how to meditate and produce that in their own body, they start looking for it in a drug, which is going to be harmful in the long run.

Even breathing exercises start to release these good chemicals in your body. If you want to lead a pain free life, keep your muscles in balance, breathe deeply, fully, gently, and meditate. It doesn’t take much time or effort. Some of the science is showing that ten minutes a day of breathing and meditating starts to bring results, and when people start doing ten minutes of this practice, they often start doing a lot more because they like the way they feel.

Science can show that your body is making these chemicals; we are made to have them in our bodies. We miss them because, although we don’t know intellectually what we are missing, our bodies crave them. Drugs will give you short-term relief, but in the long term we need a self-care program. The ancient yogis had this knowledge; they just didn’t have the science to explain it.

Carol Bedrosian: What is the relationship between yoga and IPT? Lee Albert: IPT supports some of the most important foundational principles of yoga — centering, balance, and strength — and is physically and mentally empowering as one comes to embrace the potential of applying self-care techniques to achieve a state of holistic well-being.

Not all yoga postures are suitable for all individuals. Depending on your postural imbalances, you might need to avoid certain poses. IPT can help to identify these imbalances, explain how current poses might be causing or contributing to pain, and show you how to develop a yoga practice that can achieve the right balance for you.

I’m on a mission to reach as many people as possible with these self care tools. I’ve experienced them in my own body and many people have told me how effective these tools are. This is the information that many people are looking for. Fifteen or twenty minutes a day is all you need to get started. Your body is just like your car. As long as you are using it, it needs maintenance. It doesn’t need a lot, but in the long run, it pays to be proactive.  

Learn more about Lee Albert, Integrated Positional Therapy protocols and recommended stretches at LeeAlbert.com.

See also:
Treating Pain Without Drugs
Kick Pain To The Curb Through Detoxification

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23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: HeartSong
Contact Name: Jacki Rose
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Nancy's therapeutic and healing nature stems from her own personal journey through health struggles. Her style is open to everyone, no matter physical or mental challenges, or age....

Cost: $15 drop in or $12 with 10 class bundle

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
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Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
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Time to shed those horrible negative body images! Let go of perfectionism. This 3-hour workshop will guide you through a journey of transformation - exploring how the media impacts our beliefs...

Cost: $45

Where:
Integrated Psychotherapy
31 Hastings Street
Mendon, MA  01756
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Telephone: 508-473-1200
Contact Name: Sherri Snyder, MA, LMHC
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With Tommy Priester This class is designed to help practitioners address Lyme disease and co-infections in an effective and comprehensive way. Clinicians will learn to work with protocols to...

Where:
34 Prairie Street
West Concord, MA
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Sponsor: Boston School of Herbal Studies
Telephone: 781-646-6319
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One-of-a-kind, life changing holistic health education program again being offered free of charge Local business owner shares groundbreaking mind-body-spirit course to combat obesity epidemic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park
#4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
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Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Michelle Caron
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Beginner Kripalu Yoga with Lisa Davidson Brand new to yoga or returning after a break, this class is kind and challenging for your body, relaxing and destressing for your mind, and will help you...

Cost: $113 for 7 weeks

Where:
A Yoga Leaf
@ Whimsy
686 Worcester Rd.
Framingham, MA  01702
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Sponsor: Lisa Davidson
Contact Name: Lisa Davidson
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A unique divine healing meditation, lead by Bhavna, to help you in your life; with your relationships, money, work and family. Also, the meditation helps with letting go to release...

Cost: $10

Where:
Bhavna’s Wellness Group
512 Main St.
Penthouse Suite
Shrewsbury, MA  01545
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Sponsor: Bhavna’s Wellness Group
Telephone: 508-970-5620
Contact Name: Krista Bennett
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Daoist Priest Zhou Xuanyun teaches traditional Wudang style kung fu.

Cost: $110/month

Where:
Boston Ultimate Fitness
72 Beach Street (4th Floor)
Boston, MA  02111
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Sponsor: Daoist Gate Wudang Arts
Telephone: 508-245-8305
Contact Name: Zhou Xuanyun
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
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Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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This gentle yoga class is good for all skill levels. Scheduled perfectly in the middle of your week; the movements will be a welcome respite to your usual morning routine.

Cost: $10

Where:
Bhavna’s Wellness Group
512 Main St.
Penthouse Suite
Shrewsbury, MA  01545
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Sponsor: Bhavna’s Wellness Group
Telephone: 508-970-5620
Contact Name: Krista Bennett
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Qigong is an amazing practice used to prevent and heal disease. Qigong is a series of flowing and repeated movements, stretches and breathing exercises. Qigong movements are gentle and easy to...

Cost: $12

Where:
The Arlington Center
369 Mass Ave
Arlington, MA
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Sponsor: Maryellen LaBelle
Telephone: 781-710-4325
Contact Name: Maryellen LaBelle
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Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
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Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
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With Lisa Rockenmacher and Kristan Bishop Looking for a deeper connection with bliss? Seeking practical ways to increase wellness and health in all aspect of your life? Do you desire a...

Cost: $100

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
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Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Telephone: 603-969-8968
Contact Name: Brian Serven
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

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September 22 - 24, 2017 This magnificent gift is the anchoring of our divinity in physicality, as we move from the ascension process to the creation process. 13th Octave LaHoChi is the next...

Cost: $350 including all materials. Deposit of $100 required to register.

Where:
Inspired Soul Studio (private yoga barn)
11 Tory Lane
Newtown, CT  06470
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Sponsor: Eilis Philpott
Telephone: 203-767-5954
Contact Name: Eilis Philpott
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Meet the Authors who will be speaking Central Mass Lyme's 3rd Lyme disease conference on Saturday, September 23rd in Worcester! Dr. Neil Spector, Dr. Kenneth Liegner, Jenny Rush, Katina Makris,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes and Noble
541 Lincoln Street
Worcester, MA  01605
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Sponsor: Barnes and Noble and Central Mass Lyme Foundation, Inc.
Telephone: 888-511-5963
Contact Name: Michele Miller
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Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

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Daoist Priest Zhou Xuanyun teaches traditional Wudang style kung fu.

Cost: $110/month

Where:
Boston Ultimate Fitness
72 Beach Street (4th Floor)
Boston, MA  02111
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Sponsor: Daoist Gate Wudang Arts
Telephone: 508-245-8305
Contact Name: Zhou Xuanyun
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This exciting event offers a chance for kids of all ages (even the adult kids!) to learn about inner values in a unique and fun way. The Relax Kids program offers fun activity classes to help...

Where:
Inner SpaceMeditation Center & Gallery
1110 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA  02138
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Telephone: 617–547–1110
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January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

YogAroma is a multi-sensory learning experience. Explore and learn about the 7 main chakra centers in the body in an accessible way to improve your everyday life. As you learn about the chakras, a...

Cost: $40

Where:
Windsoul Studio
440 Middlesex Street
Tyngsboro, MA
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Telephone: 1-800-Yoga-Fun
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New storefront at 489 Mass. Ave. in Arlington Center, MA, featuring the largest crystal showroom in town. Classes, practitioners and session rooms, as well as an art gallery.

Where:
Portal Crystal Gallery
489 Mass. Ave.
Arlington, MA
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Telephone: 781-859-5397
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With Linda Patterson Learn how essential oils work to heal body, mind and spirit. This comprehensive course addresses the body systems, their common ailments and the essential oils most helpful...

Where:
17 Robbins Road
Arlington, MA
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Sponsor: Boston School of Herbal Studies
Telephone: 781-646-6319
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