Neck, Upper Back, Foot And Tongue Pain Released Through Integrated Positional Therapy (IPT)


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In 2008, at age 52, I decided to go to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts for yoga teacher training. I had a fair amount of back, shoulder and foot pain after many years at the gym enjoying weight training, step aerobics and the machines; yoga was helping so it seemed a good plan to go deeper into the practice. While there, teachers in training shared their experiences and discussed aches and pains of living. People said to me, “Oh you have back pain? You should see Lee Albert for some Integrated Positional Therapy (IPT).” Well as things go, it took about five people suggesting I visit Lee before it sunk in and I finally experienced my first IPT session.

It. Was. Amazing. It was not massage or physical therapy (PT is what originally sent me to the gym for knee pain). It was yoga, but yoga done with Lee assisting me into very gentle poses on the massage table. I was fully clothed in my yoga clothes, and Lee moved me into very gentle postures for around two minutes at a time while we chatted. He gently adjusted my hips bringing them into greater alignment. He gently moved my head into a deliberate subtle sequence of poses held, again, for two minutes at a time.

At one point I felt my neck and upper back suddenly release tension all at once. I even felt a tongue muscle relax! I had asked the dentist to check that spot on my tongue some years earlier because it felt irritated all the time. I was interested to learn from Lee that trigger points can refer pain and discomfort from one part of the body to another. When IPT released trigger points in my neck, related back and tongue pain let go. I was surprised and delighted.

I left the table that day with less upper and lower back pain and a few simple stretches to do as homework. These stretches were deliberately chosen to help bring my particular set of muscle imbalances back into balance. They were very different from the stretches I had been doing: no back stretching, only front stretching and a gentle seated twist. Pretty much the opposite of what I had been doing!

I did my homework of stretching and my low back pain began to release further. I learned how to deliberately bring the pain back and make it go away based on my daily movement patterns. This was amazing to me and a true gift.

When I learned that one could study with Lee by taking his training at Kripalu, I decided to go with the intention to learn more so that I could stay out of pain. Good decision! I learned how to also relieve many other pain patterns, including my plantar fasciitis. I was able to walk barefoot for the first time comfortably since I was a teen.

I began to realize that the old saying, “it’s all downhill from age 40,” was not true for me. In fact I was feeling less pain than I did at age 30. I am now 60, have taken five trainings with Lee, am certified in IPT, and have no pain. Pain comes when I overdo at the computer or working out or in a yoga class, but I know how to send that pain away with a few simple movements a few times a day! Now I don’t suffer fear when the back pain hits; I make simple ergonomic adjustments for driving, computering, and in the sequence of yoga poses offered in class.

A few simple and effective postures a few times a day release neuromuscular pain and discomfort. I can do that!

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April 21, 2019

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