Upcoming Events

This page is divided into three sections:

                                                                                                           Research

                                                                                                            On the Web

                                                                                                            On the Earth

Research

Rotator Cuff Research -NIH Grant in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University 

Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

133 E. 58th Street

Suite 811-812

New York, New York 10022

(212) 472-0077 * Please note:  Phones in Midtown Manhattan are currently inconsistent.  If problems, email Erika@sciatica.org.

We have received an NIH grant to study rotator cuff syndrome, a painful shoulder condition.

People with shoulder pain due to rotator cuff tears will be treated without cost. The protocol involves a yoga-like pose which has been shown in peer-review publications to relieve pain and restore normal movement in over 90% of patients.

http://ozreport.com/docs/Yoga_Based_Maneuver_Effectively_Treats_Rotator.10.pdf

This requires only a single visit. The pose takes a short time to learn, and usually less than a minute (60 seconds) to do. Those interested should call the office at (212) 472-0077.   Bring any imaging studies or other relevant medical data with you. Be sure to tell Erika or Katie that you want to join the rotator cuff study.

Yoga Poses to Reverse Scoliosis

We have found a simple yoga pose which, done one time daily, reverses nearly every case of scoliosis we have encountered.  We published a small series of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients’ and degenerative scoliosis patients’ successes with this simple method, and are currently studying more advanced methods for more complex curves.

http://sciatica.org/?page_id=786

Emboldened by this early success, we did a larger study, published in November 2017:

https://journals.lww.com/topicsingeriatricrehabilitation/Fulltext/2017/10000/Two_Isometric_Yoga_Poses_Reduce_the_Curves_in.3.aspx

Surprising to some, the method works almost as well for adults with degenerative scoliosis as it does for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.  Once again, although mentioned and appreciated in main-stream news media such as the Wall Street Journal, the pediatricians, family practitioners and orthopedic surgeons of this world have taken little note of what we have shown can be done.

Therefore we are continuing to study the patients we are honored to treat with this non-invasive do-it-yourself-at-home method that takes minutes a day and works for almost everyone.  Those interested should just make an appointment at our office: (212)-472-0077.  For people too far away, we have actually taught the method with equal success through Skype.

New Yoga for Osteoporosis: a dose-response study

Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

133 East 58th Street (Between Park and Lexington)

(212) 472-0077

In spite of positive comments about the study in the New York Times, the Harvard Women’s Health Letter and NPR, the almost free and effective treatment has not gained much application in the medical community.  This is too bad, because osteoporosis is becoming a national and actually world-wide public health problem.

Dr. Ethel Siris, a prominent authority in the field of osteoporosis studied more than 100,000 osteoporotic women who had health insurance covering the cost of osteoporosis medications.  She found that less than 30% actually took these medicines, at least partially because of their common and severe side-effects.  But the side-effects of yoga are better posture, improved balance, greater strength, range of motion and coordination, and lower anxiety, all factors that mitigate against the fractures just about as strongly as the rise in bone mineral density.  Therefore we are beginning a new study, seeking a dose-response relationship between yoga and bone mineral density and bone quality, a more compendious measure of a bone’s resistance to fracture.

For those interested in the new study, beginning summer-fall 2016 and ongoing until further notice, the following is relevant.

This study attempts to prove that properly chosen yoga poses can reverse osteoporosis without having negative effects on the joints.  In addition, we hope to establish a dose-response relationship between the quantity and quality of yoga, and rise in bone mineral density, and possibly bone quality.

Conventional medical wisdom puts people in an impossible position: exercise with impact, jogging, for example, is needed to stimulate the cells that build bone, but unfortunately, such exercise fairly reliably brings about arthritic joint destruction. No-impact exercise is harmless to the joints, but unfortunately, leaves the bones to slowly weaken even to the breaking point.

Therefore when it comes to bones, it is literally both ends against the middle. At the same time, it is universally acknowledged that not exercising at all tightens joints and ligaments, weakens muscles and bones alike, and is the worst of both worlds.

As the population of the world grows older, these questions are critical for the continued activity and health of an increasing number of people. Present estimates are that 200,000,000 people suffer from osteoporosis or osteopenia.

Evidence in the animal literature confirms that unconventional tugs of the sinews and ligaments can arrest, and often reverse osteoporosis. The pilot study detailed below corroborates these findings. The transcriptional coactivator PGC-1alpha is liberated from muscles in exercises such as yoga, and suppresses a broad array of inflammatory responses, likely including arthritis.There are also physiological reasons to believe that yoga improves the circulation of synovial fluid, within joints, slowing the “wear and tear” that may stand at the origins of osteoarthritis.

The proposed study measures osteoporosis through the accepted means, radiographic bone density measurement, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry otherwise known as DEXA scans. We measure progression in osteoarthritis with standard hip and lumbar spine X-rays. Each subject has thyroid functions, standard electrolyte, mineral and liver/kidney function tests, two assays for vitamin D, and a urine test measuring the rate of bone resorption before learning the 12 yoga poses that comprise the program. Bone scans and X-rays, performed at study onset and at the end of year 2, are read by radiologists that have no idea which patients are receiving yoga, and which are not. The study participants will receive a newsletter about developments and research in osteoporosis. A DVD of the poses is for sale to all participants at the home page of this site, and it is streamed at without cost at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8SjystaH-E.

There is an on-line message board for communication between the participants and also with the physicians and yoga teachers involved in the study. People may post messages in English and Spanish. Every two years a statistical analysis will be done, and a scientific paper will be written after results are judged significant.

In order to do a meaningful analysis of the “dose” of yoga, it will be necessary for participants to visit a yoga teacher certified in our method every two weeks.  Your arrangement with the teachers is up to you and the teacher.  It may be a group class or an individual session or a short review. There are currently only 18 certified teachers, mostly in New York and New Jersey, although there are also teachers in Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, and California.  If you are not  located near enough to one of these teachers, then unfortunately you will not be eligible for the study.  We will be conducting more certification sessions in the winter in New York and Chicago, and in San Francisco in the summer of 2017.  The current list of certified teachers is given on this website under the tab “Osteoporosis” and also under the tab “Certification for Teachers,” and the study itself, with induction forms can be found at:

http://sciatica.org/?page_id=806

Recently we have added a state-of-the-art measure of bone quality, that may also be offered to study participants without cost. After receiving the DVD, study participants and qualified others may be able to have every-two-years bone quality studies as well.

We have already completed a ten-year, with a paper published by the peer-reviewed journalTopics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. In it we analyze the outcome of 741 people who completed at least two years of yoga (the intervention group) these same people’s change in bone mineral density during the two year period before they began using the DVD. These people had an average age of over 68 years, and all had normal laboratory values.  Over 80% had osteoporosis or osteopenia at the study’s onset.

As you can see, the patients that did yoga for two years now have stronger bones than they did when they started. Statistically, this result was significant.

Sometimes we have had to adapt the yoga poses for people that are unable to use the classical position. The DVD has three versions of each pose, and your teacher will very likely be able to help you with that.The idea is to progress from the simplest level to the more advanced levels in any pose for which it is safe to do so.  Trying hard, putting some effort into the 12 minutes of yoga, is also important.  The Iyengar yoga method that stands behind each of the  poses pays great attention to alignment, enabling people to try hard without injury.

There were no injuries in the ten years of the study. With 741 people in the study, (227 fully documented) and well beyond 100,000 hours of people doing these poses, many of them having before-and-after X-rays of spine and hips, we had no reported fractures related to yoga. Interestingly, we have over 20 fractures reported from falls on the street, traffic accidents, and the like.

The results of the study are now in, and the statistician has found that yoga does significantly improve bone mineral density for the spine, (P <.05)  the femur (P < .002) and, slightly less convincingly, for the hip (P < .05 on 2 of 3 measures;  not significant for the third).  This work appeared in the peer-review journal “Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation,”  and is available on line ahead of printing at the URL above.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851231/

If desired, the DVD  may be purchased by anyone for $25 on the home page of this website.

 

For more information see

sciatica.org/?id_=124

 

On the Web

Yoga Injury Prevention – A portable Website

To access the Yoga Injury Prevention interactive software, go to

                                                                   http://YIP.guru

This is soon to be a working site downloadable on I-phone and Android.

At that point it will have  essentially two functions:

  1. By clicking on any one of 90+ poses, YIP will instantly give you all the contraindicating  conditions, the conditions under which it should not be done.  While teaching a class, students for whom that pose is dangerous will know at once.  It will also guide people teaching a class, by giving them which of the 90+ poses are not contraindicated

  2. By selecting one or more conditions, YIP will instantly give you all the contraindicated poses, as well as the poses that are all right. In 1-on-1 teaching, you can click on multiple conditions and immediately see which poses are all right, and which are contraindicated. E.g., in a complicated person you’re  helping with their back pain, you can click on “Diabetes. Glaucoma, Total Knee Replacement, herniated lumbar disc” and see all the poses that are not contraindicated for someone with those all conditions, the poses that make sense for that person. Then select out of them the ones are good for that particular individual,  with his or her particular strengths and weaknesses.  There is also a medical glossary explaining each one of the conditions, and a yoga glossary with entries for each one of the poses.

In the ensuing months we will be adding three sections:

  1. Why each contraindicated pose is contraindicated by each condition.

  2. Realistic work-arounds and/or props that will enable a person with that condition to practice the pose, or one quite like it.

  3. Which poses, if any, are helpful for ameliorating, slowing down, or eliminating the condition.

The 90+ poses include most commonly done poses, and all those in the Iyengar Introductory Manual I and II.

The  57 conditions are among those commonly encountered in yoga studios with younger and older students.

This site was created by Loren Fishman, MD, B.Phil,(oxon.), Victor Oppenheimer, Taliesin Oppenheimer, and Carrie Owerko.

Victor has been doing yoga for more than 40 years, taught computer science at Harvard, and is past President of the Cambridge Society of Computing Machines.

Taliesin is a computer engineer in Cambridge, MA.

Carrie Owerko is a world-renowned yoga teacher whose creative and playful methods have won her innumerable students.  She writes in the Yoga Journal frequently and has been on its cover.  Her classes and You tube work is as original as it is clarifying, and her radiant spirit comes through in everything she does, including this working site. 

Dr. Fishman’s CV can be seen at the “About Us” tab at this website’s home page.

Yoga for Hip Arthritis:

With Ellen Saltonstall.

Two weebinars in the summer of 2018.

More on this later.

 

On the Earth

Osteoporosis Certification Course:  Dr. Fishman’s Method

New York City

Pure Yoga West

Amsterdam at 77th Street, New York City

Friday, February 23 1pm – 6pm (Studio 6)

Saturday, February 24 10am – 7pm (Studio 6)

Sunday, February 25 9am – 5pm (Studio 6)

Dr. Fishman, Ellen Saltonstall, and one helper for every 10 – 15 people will teach 20 hours in these three days, preceded by 20 hours of online theoretical work with YogaUonline.  The goal is to help participants become competent in teaching the 12 poses that have been shown in a large 10-year study to reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia, and build bone in people that do not have these conditions, and do not want them! However, people who do not wish to teach, but seek an in-depth understanding of yoga for osteoporosis, and how to use the poses to greatest advantage are also welcome.

Three versions of each pose are taught: a beginner version, an intermediate version, and the classical pose.  Each version has value to build bone mineral density, but the more advanced versions appear to be the most effective.  Time is also devoted to the delicate and critical process of safely progressing from one version to the next.

The 20 hours on line were created by Dr. Fishman, Ellen Saltonstall and Eva Norlyk in webinars which describe the physiological principles and actual mechanisms by which yoga builds bone mineral density, with ample references and direct linkages to the practice taught in the workshop.  People are encouraged to study and complete the 20 on-line hours before the workshop.  They will be most likely to take in the workshop’s detailed teaching with this background.  Other preparatory material includes Dr. Fishman’s and Ellen Saltonstall’s book “Yoga for Osteoporosis,” W.W. Norton, 2009.

Although everyone is invited to take this course, people desiring to teach Dr. Fishman’s Method must have two qualifications:

1. 200-hour yoga teacher certification.

2. At least 5 years teaching experience, or the equivalent.

There is also a written exam on-line after the 20 hours of teaching, and a practical teaching exam at the end of the workshop. No one is required to take the exams unless they want to teach the Method.

http://bit.ly/2iHdDDz

Anyone in the course is well-qualified to participate in our recently begun dose-response study.  Additionally, Certified teachers are able to participate in the study by holding individual and group classes with subjects.  Certified teachers and their emails are listed on this website under the “Osteoporosis” tab seen at the top of the home page.  The course manual features many pictures and a six-session suggested course that certified teachers may use afterwards.

 

Fortnightly Yoga for Osteoporosis Class

Every Other Tuesday

133 East 58th Street

Next Class Tuesday, February 20 – 5:00 – 6:00 PM

Dr. Fishman teaches a small class for people wishing to build their bone mineral density through yoga.  We use Dr. Fishman’s Method, which was found to actually increase bone mineral density in an 8-year 741 patient study (243 completing the entire 2-year protocol) that was published in a peer-reviewed journal recently:

http://journals.lww.com/topicsingeriatricrehabilitation/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2016&issue=04000&article=00003&type=Citation

Qualified applicants with other diagnoses, and healthy volunteers may be accepted.

For reservations and more information, call (212) 472-0077

 

 

Osteoporosis Certification Course: Dr. Fishman’s Method

Art of Living Retreat Center

Boone, N.C

639 Whispering Hills Rd

(800) 392-6870

May 30 – June 3, 2018

 

Dr. Fishman, Caryna Wong, and one helper for every 10 – 15 people will teach 20 hours in these three days, preceded by 20 hours of online theoretical work with YogaUonline.  The goal is to help participants become competent in teaching the 12 poses that have been shown in a large 10-year study to reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia, and build bone in people that do not have these conditions, and do not want them! However, people who do not wish to teach, but seek an in-depth understanding of yoga for osteoporosis, and how to use the poses to greatest advantage are also welcome.

Three versions of each pose are taught: a beginner version, an intermediate version, and the classical pose.  Each version has value to build bone mineral density, but the more advanced versions appear to be the most effective.  Time is also devoted to the delicate and critical process of safely progressing from one version to the next.

The 20 hours on line were created by Dr. Fishman, Ellen Saltonstall and Eva Norlyk in webinars which describe the physiological principles and actual mechanisms by which yoga builds bone mineral density, with ample references and direct linkages to the practice taught in the workshop.  People are encouraged to study and complete the 20 on-line hours before the workshop.  They will be most likely to take in the workshop’s detailed teaching with this background.  Other preparatory material includes Dr. Fishman’s and Ellen Saltonstall’s book “Yoga for Osteoporosis,” W.W. Norton, 2009.

https://artoflivingretreatcenter.org/calendar/?arrival_date=&departure_date=&text=Loren+Fishman

Although everyone is invited to take this course, people desiring to teach Dr. Fishman’s Method must have two qualifications:

1.200-hour yoga teacher certification.

2.At least 5 years teaching experience, or the equivalent.

There is also a written exam on-line after the 20 hours of teaching, and a practical teaching exam at the end of the workshop. No one is required to take the exams unless they want to teach the Method.

Anyone in the course is well-qualified to participate in our recently begun dose-response study.  Additionally, Certified teachers are able to participate in the study by holding individual and group classes with subjects.  Certified teachers and their emails are listed on this website under the “Osteoporosis” tab seen at the top of the home page.  The course manual features many pictures and a six-session suggested course that certified teachers may use afterwards.

 

Yoga for Osteoporosis – To learn the poses proven to work

Yogaville, VA  

June 15 – 17, 2018

 

8 -10 hours teaching the poses. This is not a certification course, it is for people wanting to learn how to do the yoga properly.  The twelve poses are each presented in three versions: Beginner, Intermediate, and the Classical Pose.  Each person can pursue the poses at the level(s) she or he finds best.  The poses are the ones shown in a peer-review published study to reverse osteopenia and osteoporosis, and also to improve the bone mineral density of  people who do not have (and do not want!) either condition.

 

http://www.yogaville.org/?s=Fishman&program_date=

Osteoporosis Certification Course:  Dr. Fishman’s Method

Coconut Grove, Florida

Aum Home Shala

October 5-8, 2018

Space is limited—register early! Early Bird Discount through March 1st.

This course includes 20 classroom hours and a 20-hour online component via YogaUonline.

On-site dates at AUM:

  • Friday, October 5: 7:00–9:00 pm

  • Saturday, October 6: 9:00 am–5:00 pm 

  • Sunday, October 7: 9:00 am–5:00 pm

  • Monday, October 8: 9:00 am–4:00 pm

Peer-reviewed research shows that yoga can help build bone density and reverse osteopenia and osteoporosis. Given the increasing number of older students coming to yoga classes, teachers need solid, evidence-based training in order to effectively serve these students. Dr. Fishman’s Method, consisting of 12 poses, has been proven to increase bone density for students with osteoporosis or osteopenia, and to prevent bone loss in those without those diagnoses. This method is the subject of the training, which includes 20 hours of prerequisite online material covering the science and yoga practices involved, plus 20 hours of in-person instruction in how to teach the poses.

Graduates of the course will be certified to teach Dr. Fishman’s Method. You will learn how to prepare new students to practice safely, and how to adapt the 12 poses for any level of student. Those who want this knowledge but are not intending to teach are also welcome to attend the training. Dr. Fishman’s and Ellen Saltonstall’s book Yoga for Osteoporosis is good preparation for the course.

The 12 poses are Vrksasana, Utthita Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana 2, Parsvakonasana, Parivrrta Trikonasana, Shalabhasana, Setubandhasana, Supta Padangusthasana 1 and 2, Maricyasana 3, Ardha Matsyendrasana, and Savasana. We will also teach several preparation and warm-up poses to support the proper alignment of the twelve poses, and guidelines for sequences to be used for ongoing classes. During the 20-hour live workshop, students practice the poses, they practice teach with each other, and they demonstrate their teaching to the presenters at the end of the weekend, as required for certification.

Please note: Certification in Dr. Fishman’s Method is awarded to those who complete the entire 40-hour training with passing grades on the two tests (one online and one live teaching) plus five years of yoga teaching. Those who attend the entire course and pass both tests but have been teaching less than five years will be awarded Registered Teacher status, which will automatically convert to Certified Teacher when they complete five years of teaching. Certified teachers are able to participate in studies, which includes teaching people enrolling in the studies, and participating in them.   Certified teachers are also listed on Dr. Fishman’s website, sciatica.org

Cancellation policy: If you cancel 3 weeks prior to the program, you will receive a full refund minus a $100 nonrefundable processing fee. If you cancel between 3 weeks and 1 week prior to the program, you will receive a refund of half the tuition, minus the $100 nonrefundable processing fee. Cancellations less than 1 weeks prior to the program are nonrefundable.

Bowtie TechnicolorLoren M. Fishman, MD, B.Phil., (oxon.), graduated from Christ Church, Oxford, and spent the year 1973 with B. K. S. Iyengar in Pune, India. He went on to Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical School, in a Tufts-Harvard Residency program, and served as Chief Resident at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Loren has written and edited more than 95 academic articles and chapters, and 12 books, including the best-selling Yoga for Osteoporosis and Yoga for Arthritis (W.W. Norton), with Ellen Saltonstall, Yoga and Multiple Sclerosis with Eric Small, and Healing Yoga–Yoga Cures for 20 Common Conditions. Dr. Fishman has a private practice in Manhattan and is on staff at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Early Bird Tuition through March 1

$1,275 USD

4-payment plan

$350 USD