EasyVigour Back Care Basic Book Review Book Review: Mary Pullig Schatz: Back Care Basics-
A Doctor's Gentle Yoga Program for Back and Neck pain Relief

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  • Yoga is very different to Pilates. Each system has its unique strengths and weaknesses. The two disciplines together offer the best chances for efficiently healing your spine.
  • Dr Pullig Schatz teaches the anatomically aware (and therefore safe) "Iyengar" Yoga.
Contents, this Page...
Preface by Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar
About Mary Pullig Schatz
Back Care Basics Book Reviews

Preface by Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar
In Back Care Basics, Mary Pullig Schatz, M.D., helps to guide and educate those suffering with back pain. While explaining back problems from the viewpoint of Western medicine, she offers a comprehensive approach to self-care and healing using the ancient science of yoga. Yoga develops the health of the body and the clarity of the mind. It also has therapeutic value, providing ways of preventing and curing diseases. Yoga enables the various parts of the body to function in harmony, keeps the cellular system healthy, and improves circulation and respiration-the main vehicles of health. Dr. Schatz has demonstrated the efficacy of yoga by blending the thoughts of the West with those of the East. She has described the construction of the spinal column with its vertebrae and its protecting muscles in a clear and simple way, so that all can easily understand its functioning. She has given correct cautions to observe while exercising and stresses the importance of rehabilitation after injury and surgery. Her well-defined emphasis on alignment is beautiful. I hope that Back Care Basics will encourage other health-care professionals to study alternative approaches to healing back pain. I am happy to have contributed to Dr. Schatz's book. If it helps suffering people, as well as those who care for them, I shall feel even more delighted for having participated in its creation.

B.K.S.Iyengar Pune, India January, 1992

About Mary Pullig Schatz
Dr. Mary Schatz brings to her book both unusual and splendid qualifications. Dr. Schatz is a board-certified pathologist as well as chief of her hospital's medical staff in Nashville, Tennessee. She is, therefore, well-grounded in her understanding of the pathology of the diseased back. More important, she herself suffered from back pain and learned, through yoga, how to correct the problem and restore herself to good health. In this process, she studied with master yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar of Pune, India, who taught her how to modify traditional yoga poses to make them safer to practice during times of acute back distress. Back Care Basics reflects Dr. Schatz's many years of experience in applying the principles of yoga patients with back pain. She has indeed become a specialist.

William Connor, M.D.
Professor and Head of Clinical Nutrition Department of Medicine,
Oregon Health Sciences University, January, 1992

Pictured Below: There are over 200 quality pictures in "Back Care Basics").

Chair S'td Twist with Torso Support

Child's Pose
Yoga: Child's Pose

Scoliotic Ribs
Scoliotic Ribs

Downward Facing Dog with Rope
Yoga: Downward Facing Dog with Rope

Yoga: Hanging

Scoliosis from Behind
Scoliosis from Behind d>
Reviews at Amazon.com...

A lifesaver for people with back and neck pain!, July 5, 1999
Reviewer: Suza Francina "Suza Francina, Author and Yoga Teacher"

Suza Francina, author, The New Yoga for People Over 50, Mayor Pro-Tem from Ojai, California, writes: "I have been teaching yoga to people of all ages for over 25 years. One of the most common reasons people begin a yoga class is to get rid of their aches and pains. I can say with complete confidence that of all the books I've read on therapeutic exercise for back and neck pain relief, Dr. Schatz book offers by far the most effective, individualized approach to a healthy back. Back Care Basics goes beyond generic exercises and takes into account each person's special circumstances. It is a lifesaver for people caught in the viscious cycle of pain and fear. I have referred to it countless times creating yoga based exercise programs for people in chronic pain. In fact, almost my entire copy is highlighted or underlined! If you or someone you love is suffering from back or neck pain, I encourage you to educate yourself by reading this book. I also hope that other health professionals working with people with back problems-- chiropractors, massage and physical therapists, acupuncturists,etc., will read this book and leave it in their waiting room. Chiropractors tell me that patients who are practicing yoga rarely have acute back pain and their adjustments hold longer. People with back and neck problems benefit more from other therapies if they practice the gentle yoga program taught in Back Care Basics.

Immediate Results, December 16, 2000
Reviewer: A Reader

I had heard lots of wonderful things about this book for the last few years. Then I bought a copy. The results have been nothing short of amazing. Dr. Schatz has compiled a book which is a must for anyone with back pain or neck pain. Her diagnostic tests allow you to immediately identify your problem areas. The recommended exercises are clearly illustrated. You get exercises that are custom-made for your body. Of course, the magic happens when you actually do the exercises. I saw remarkable results in my posture the very first day I started doing the exercises. The neck and shoulder tightness has also improved. Dr. Schatz is an expert in this area, and this is not designed as "quick fix." This is a sound program to be followed over time. However, I must admit I was astounded at the speed at which I saw improvement. If you have any back or neck pain, or poor posture, you absolutely must get this book. It will improve your health dramatically. Thank you, Dr. Schatz for this magnificent book.

Extremely Helpful, August 13, 2006
Reviewer: Qi Y. Zhang

I have scoliosis and this book has been a tremendous resource in understanding and caring for my condition. The book is a good start and it eventually got me interested in taking some yoga classes and exploring some of the different practices. I'm so glad I found this book; yoga has been a positive force in my life for some time now.

Real yoga, really good advice, well written, August 7, 2006
Reviewer: http://savegutenberg.blogspot.com

Lots of back pain books provide exercises, but this one takes them directly from the Iyenger Yoga method; Iyenger revolutionized Yoga from the 1960's to the present by applying contemporary knowledge of anatomy and physiology to the traditional and spiritual aspects of yoga. Teachers trained and certified in Iyenger Yoga are a 'cut' above others from my lengthy experience with Yoga practice. That said, dr. Schatz uses Iyenger's methods (Iyenger also wrote the intro) to design a comprehensive program for all types of back and neck problems; she also provides accurate and clear illustrations of the spine structure and related anatomy. The photos are very clear and easy to understand as are the instructions of asanas and restorative poses.. The book is the right length, size and format. Many back problems can be treated. This book offers programs for many of them; also included is a self-analysis of one's own current posture and alignment. This is no quick fix book; the programs she recommends may take a couple of years to 'work' but it's definitely worth it to live a more vigorous, pain reduced or pain free life.

Review by former physiology instructor and past back pain sufferer!, June 6, 2006
Reviewer: Patrick D. Goonan "www.meaningful-life.us"

This is my favorite book for addressing back pain issues. It presents a great foundation in the basic anatomy of the back and then uses this information to develop the concepts that help people understand why back and neck pain occur and how to correct it. The book contains progressive exercises and workouts of various lengths that use Iyengar yoga to address back pain. Each exercise is carefully explained and includes good tips on how to perform each correctly. I also like that it provides the rationale for each exercise and important points to focus on while performing each movement. There are also chapters on specific problems. This is definitely a comprehensive reference and it has helped me a lot with my own back problems. In addition, it is an excellent overall introduction to yoga. The author is a physician who had back problems herself. She is highly credible and treated her own back problems with the methods described. I recommend this book to anyone interested in an introduction to yoga or wanting to learn more about rehabilitating back and neck problems using yoga. Finally, if you are looking for another book on this topic "The Pilates Back Book" by Tia Stanmore is also very good. It also starts out more gently and is somewhat more accessible. However, it's not nearly as comprehensive or as detailed in describing the exercises. I own and use both and recommend owning both to people who are serious about understanding and working with back issues. ( Personally, I also found Tai Chi helpful before I was ready to do yoga. However, I don't have a book I would recommend that would be a good standalone resource. If you go this route, it's probably best to find a good teacher who is also a physical therapist or at least has some knowledge of dealing with back and neck related issues.

Bruce Thomson