These are the things we are about to do, or are currently doing.
The page is divided into three sections:
2. On the Web
3. Right Here on Earth
Rotator Cuff Research -NIH Grant in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University
Manhattean Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
133 E. 58th Street
New York, New York 10022
In this study we treat severe or disabling shoulder problems without cost.
The work is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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.
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.
Emboldened by this early success, we did a larger study, published in November 2017:
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)
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.1 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:
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:
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.”
If desired, the DVD may be purchased by anyone for $25 on the home page of this website.
For more information see
2. On the Web
Second Set of Poses: Yoga vs. Osteoporosis
The initial DVD “Yoga vs. Osteoporosis” has been very successful in reversing osteopenia and osteoporosis in those that have it, and building bone in those that don’t have it and don’t want it. The peer-review study confirms that:
In the 10 years we’ve studied the 12 poses vs. Osteoporosis, Caryna Wong, Ellen Saltonstall, Yi-Hsueh Lu, Gabriella Barnstone, Dr. Gregory Chang and I have found that they’re effective in building bone, inexpensive, and just about harmless. However, there are four reasons to go further:
1. Although some practitioners are fascinated by going deeper and deeper into the asana, others lose their focus through the daily repetition and are frankly bored.
2. Further, we know these poses work, but do not know whether there are others that’ll work better, or for different people. 3. The first set of poses is not perfect: The first set does not include the wrist, a common site of fracture.
4. A number of people complained that the poses go too fast.
Therefore Caryna Wong and I have designed a Second Series which we do treat the wrist, hold the poses for 40 seconds, and have a slight break between each pose. The Second Set is based on all we have learned in the last 10 years of study. It will come out in a DVD and You tube version which will have a different setup than the first DVD. All the Beginner poses will appear in a continuous series, with a short pause between each pose; all the Intermediate poses in a similar continuous series, and all the Classic poses that way too, for greater ease in doing the poses. This will take a little longer to assemble, and should be ready around the middle of June.
Yoga Injury Prevention – A portable Website
To access the Yoga Injury Prevention interactive software, go to
This is soon to be a working site downloadable on I-phone and Android.
At that point it will have essentially two functions:
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
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:
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.
3. On Earth
Fortnightly Yoga for Osteoporosis Class
Every Other Tuesday
133 East 58th Street
Next Class Tuesday, May 1, 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.
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 of $125 through June 15.
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.
Melinda Atkins, the director at Aum Home Shala Yoga has generously offered close and reasonable hotel information:
1. Courtyard Marriott, 2649 South Bayshore Drive · Miami, Florida 33133,
2. ** Mayfair House Hotel, http://www.mayfairhotelandspa.com, 3000 Florida Ave.
3. ** The Mutiny Hotel, mutinyhotel.com, at 2951 S. Bayshore Dr, 33133 Miami;
4. The Ritz Carlton, 3300 S.W. 27th Ave., 305-644-4680
5. **The Sonesta Bayfront Hotel, 2889 McFarlane Road, 305.529.2828
**Hotels are within the walking village of Coconut Grove, no need for a car–parking can be costly.
Sunday, October 14
Program to be announced.
Yoga for Back Pain
The seven major causes of back pain: How to recognize and treat them.
Kripalu Center, Lenox, MA
Click here for details.