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Egoscue Method, practitioners say, erases pain

Oh, your aching back. Your stiff neck. Your tender shoulders. If you're suffering from chronic pain and have given up on traditional treatments, relief may be on the way.

At least that's what practitioners of the Egoscue Method claim in describing the personalized system of body alignment.

Created in 1978 by Pete Egoscue, an injured Marine, the practice has been slowly making its way from California to Long Island, with at least three practitioners offering services here.

Just by looking at a patient, those trained in Egoscue say, they can see the misalignments in the body and know how to fix them.

"There aren't too many of us out there with perfect anatomical alignment," says Mike Levenson, a Great Neck-based practitioner. " This can be caused by an accident, sitting at a desk too long, anything we do repetitively."

Levenson leads clients through exercises that involve rotating, flexing and pointing of feet, as well as practicing air benches, which have patients leaning against a flat wall while emulating a sitting position and holding the position for a designated amount of time. Then, he sends them home with a menu of exercises to keep up with the practice.

Vince Zollo of West Hills, the 43-year-old president of a construction company, is one of Levenson's clients and has been practicing Egoscue for four months. Zollo sees Levenson every three weeks, but tries to do his Egoscue menu nightly on his own. So far, he says, he is feeling less pain than he thought possible. "Egoscue is sort of a lazy man's way to feel better and get in some exercise," Zollo says. "It's really inspiring, and I plan to do it for the rest of my life. You can't just stop, you need to keep up with your menu to be pain-free."

After just one treatment with Egoscue, many patients feel significantly better, says Sharon Moelis of South Shore Fitness in Oceanside, where she has been offering Egoscue for about a year. No exercise in Egoscue causes pain, and if it does, it is removed from the patient's routine, Moelis says. Also, practitioners never touch the client.

Recently, Jim McNamee of the Junction Fitness Group in Port Washington said he worked with a teenage girl who was about to be fitted with a brace for scoliosis. Her doctors told her there were no other options. She started Egoscue as a last resort, and within a few weeks, she no longer needed a brace, McNamee says.

Before running over to your nearest Egoscue clinic, be aware that help doesn't come cheap, and it is not covered by insurance. Though costs vary, most treatments cost about $80 a session and last from one to two hours.


Local practitioners

Mike Levenson

193 Woodbury Rd., Woodbury

560 Northern Blvd., Suite 102

Great Neck

516-482-2135

Jim McNamee

Junction Fitness Group

475 Port Washington Blvd.

Port Washington

516-305-4651

Sharon Moelis

South Shore Fitness

3465 Lawson Blvd.

Oceanside

516-594-9014

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