Rotator Cuff Research
Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
133 E. 58th Street
New York, New York 10022
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.
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.
Certification Course in the Treatment of Lower Back Pain
Kripalu Yoga Institute
Monday, October 23 – Friday, October 27
With Caryna Wong – RYT
Caryna Wong and Dr. Fishman focus on lower back pain over the week. We will go over the seven basic types of back pain and sciatica, how to recognize them, and how to use yoga to benefit those who suffer from them. Between the two of us, we have over 50 years of experience in treating the disorders that cause back pain with yoga, and have been aided by all the insights and advantages of contemporary medical science. MRI, EMG, and surgery have helped Dr. Fishman and Caryna understand the nature of back pain, and what underlies its chronicity.
Often the biggest problem is starting out people with pain and misgivings along the path to yogic painlessness. Caryna’s genius is knowing where and how to meaningfully and beneficially propel beginners from their first yoga-like remedial pose through to a skillful (and helpful) version of the many poses that are valuable in different types of back pain.
Those taking this course are likely to put on some of the wisdom that has come from treating well over 50,000 patients, and determining what works with whom. Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and the most common medical reason for taking up yoga. Loren Fishman, MD, lifelong yogi who studied in India with BKS Iyengar, and his colleague, Caryna Wong, outline powerful, safe yogic methods for relieving lower back pain in yourself and/or in your students during this hands-on week-long workshop. Though the modality is yoga, Dr. Fishman’s methods are rooted in physiology and anatomy so that people suffering from lower back pain can heal themselves, with the lowest risk of harm.
Students will learn to interview and observe their clients to determine which of the seven most common causes of lower back pain and sciatica they have. The core of the course are the asana that relieve these conditions, and those that should be avoided. Participants will be empowered to identify causes of back pain and sciatica, and to give the appropriate asana in most cases. The program will be 50% didactic and 50% experiential.
Poses will be modified for the skill, experience and limitations of all course participants. Those people interested in certification will learn to teach the poses to veteran yoga practitioners and new-comers alike.
A curriculum for subsequent teaching will be provided, along with a study manual. To obtain certification, there will be a written and practical exam in the final hours of the workshop.
Certified people will appear on the website “sciatica.org” with their emails and phone numbers if desired. Certification also requires 200-hour teacher certification, and 5 years of teaching experience. Those who pass the tests and lack the 5 years’ experience will be put up on this website sciatica.org as “Registered,” and will be certified automatically when they have 5 years’ experience.
Graduates of the course will also have the option of playing an active part in Dr. Fishman’s future studies in lower back pain and sciatica.
Weekend Workshop for Lower Back Pain
Kripalu Institute, Lenox, MA
Friday October 27 – Sunday October 29:
With Terry Roth Schaff – Certified IAYT Yoga Therapist, E-RYT
With his long time co-therapist Terry Roth Schaff, Dr. Fishman will review the seven major causes of lower back pain, how to identify them, and how to benefit people that suffer from them. This is not a certification course, but is meant to offer the proper yoga to people that have lower back pain and to those who wish to relieve it with yoga. In literally thousands of cases, we have found yoga to be an effective and pleasurable way to relieve lower back pain and to prevent its recurrence. Some of the knowledge is theoretical, but a good deal of it is practical, and requires individual attention, sensitivity, and perseverance on the part of the practitioner. The aim of this course is to help everyone: teachers and students and sufferers alike.
Yoga Injury Prevention – A portable Website
To access the Yoga Injury Prevention interactive software, go to
This is a working site downloadable on I-phone and Android.
At this point it has essentially two functions:
- By clicking on any one of 90+ poses, YIP will instantly give you all the contraindicated conditions. While teaching a class, students for whom that pose is dangerous will know at once.
- 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” and see all the poses that are not contraindicated for someone with those conditions, the poses that make sense for that person. Then select out of them which ones are good for their back pain.
In the ensuing months we will be adding three sections:
- Why each contraindicated pose is contraindicated by each condition.
- Realistic work-arounds and/or props that will enable a person with that condition to practice the pose, or one quite like it.
- 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.
Double Webinar: Yoga for Hip Arthritis.
Ellen Saltonstall and I are giving two webinars on November 28th and November 30th on the nature of hip arthritis, the yoga that can and cannot be done with it, and the yoga that will help live with it, and also, for the fortunate ones, to live without it.
The hips are critical components of 4/5 of all asana, and their spherical appearance belies their many peculiar and unique features. Astonishingly, ancient yoga accounts for many of them (but not all). The hallmark of arthritis is limitations of range of motion – the strength of almost all yoga styles is stretching. Yoga and arthritis were made for each other.
These two webinars are intended for those with osteoporosis, encouraging those who do not currently do yoga to try it, those that do it to do it safely, and gain versatility and range, and for those who haven’t got any joint problems, to extend their arthritis-free years.
Ellen has also choreographed a video to be used in tandem with the webinars.
Fortnightly Yoga for Osteoporosis Class
Every Other Tuesday
133 East 58th Street
Next time: Tuesday, October 10th 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:
Qualified applicants with other diagnoses, and healthy volunteers may be accepted.
For reservations and more information, call (212) 472-0077
Yoga for Osteoporosis: For students and teachers
Kripalu Yoga Institute
Friday January 19 – Sunday, January 21, 2018
With Terry Roth Schaff – Certified IAYT Yoga Therapist, E-RYT
This 8 1/2 hour workshop will teach Dr. Fishman’s Method, the 12 – pose sequence of Iyengar-style poses that have been shown to raise bone mineral density in healthy people, and reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia in more than 80% of the people who adhere to doing the poses daily. There are three forms to every pose: a beginning version, an intermediate version, and the classical pose. The course is intended to engage people who have no yoga experience as well as yoga practitioners to learn the poses at a suitable degree of challenge and work forward from there. For some, even the beginner level pose is too advanced; Terry and Loren specialize in analyzing the postures and helping people start at even more fundamental places, working up from two or three preliminary exercises for a week or two, and then embarking on the beginner pose.
Terry and Loren: “We love the work. Teaching beginners to begin and advanced pupils to get down to fundamentals is very rewarding. To us, there is no one so advanced that they cannot benefit from returning to the basics, and no one so naive that they cannot understand how to advance.”
Contact Kripalu Yoga Institute for details.
Osteoporosis Certification Course: Dr. Fishman’s Method
Pure Yoga West
Amsterdam at 77th Street, New York City
Friday, February 23 5pm – 8pm (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 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:
- 200-hour yoga teacher certification.
- At least 5 years teaching experience.
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.