Jolie Bookspan MEd, PhD, FAWM
Director Neck and Back Pain Sports Medicine
Headmaster AFEM - Academy of Functional Exercise Medicine - Fixa U School of Healthy Medicine
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In these fast-paced, jam-packed, sometimes humorous group workshops and private sessions, Dr. Bookspan explodes myths, shows why the most common treatments and training methods don't work, and what to do instead. Stop pain then and there, keep it from coming back. Learn top training methods and get stronger and fitter in fun healthy real life ways without needing a gym. See the principles in action where you least expect them. For motivated students only, to learn more solutions than you can shake a stick at. Come prepared to excite your brain.
conference July 2010 Fix Pain class - physicians, military, and smart
Thank you AFEM academy developmental projects director Peggy Santamaria for the banner.
Therapist Linda Hsu says:
"It was a true pleasure and honor to experience Dr. Bookspan in person and to see her embody everything she teaches and writes about. I have finally found a teacher who knows the "whys" of chronic pain, and is willing to take the time to explain and investigate causes and solutions. I am grateful that she took so much time and care to present such invaluable information in such an accessible way. Everything taught in this class was backed by research and science and can be immediately applied to activities of daily living - Brilliant!"
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Scroll down to see all class contents
What is TaughtIn All Classes and Appointments:Why you get pain and loss of function, and specifics of what to do about it. Learn effective training methods for top advancement and long-term health combined. Understanding to apply concepts, not just do arbitrary exercises without ability to tell why they work or not; How to keep problems from coming back on your own without pills, gadgets, ongoing treatments, or other externals. Power is back to you.
Fix Your Own Lower Back Pain Workshop: General mechanics of disc pain, disc degeneration and herniation, sciatica, impingement (pinched nerve), joint and soft tissue pain and injury process, lordosis, bad discs, facet pain, general arthritis and narrowings, spondys, hyperlordosis (swayback), pain with standing, pain with sitting, muscle spasm, hip dysfunction, tight muscles, more. Learn to identify and re-educate common injurious ergonomics and habits, and identify good and bad exercises.
Fix Your Own Neck Pain: Neck and upper back pain, upper crossed syndrome, disc pain, disc degeneration and herniation, shoulder impingement, rotator cuff, pinched nerve and pain down the arm, joint and soft tissue pain and injury process, bad discs, general arthritis and narrowings, tightness, spasm.
Fix and Prevent Injuries Workshop: Shorter summary of all the above, plus ankles, knees, shoulder, neck, arches, more.
Healthy Aging Workshop gives practical uses of the above for older populations to regain general strength, upper back mobility and normal kyphosis, leg strength and balance, healthy knee and hip dynamics, disc spacing, better appearance, balance training, and restore independence, and for all ages to prevent problems.
Private Appointments customizes any and all the above plus more topics based on need and request. Talk doesn't cook rice - we will practice what you need while here, not only talk about it.
Cathy Sander, student of "Fix and Prevent Injuries" writes:
I had had 4 separate sessions of PT, chiropractic and massage experience AND I work for an oral surgeon who has a dental AND medical degree (and I still had pain, lots of pain). Using Dr. Bookspan's work, I fixed my pain. I researched Dr. Bookspan online before I enrolled for the class. I was confident that this is a very knowledgeable and practical person who is passionate about her scientific research AND living a full life with varied experiences. I am so glad I took the opportunity to meet her in person and experience her energy."
"What was great about class? No desks & lots of movement. Syllabus emailed to me in advance to prepare for class. Lots of visual and hands on aids--especially the model of the spine I could take apart and see each vertebrae and each disc individually. Dr. Bookspan also sent a follow-up email summarizing everything we studied in class with page numbers corresponding to her books (it's like she read my mind)."
Style of Instruction
- Style is educational, not lists of exercises to do. Much information and physical practice (both) in a two-way question-and-answer setting emphasizing participant understanding. Informal and comfortable.
- Much background information, personalization to occupation and activities. Anecdotes and case histories for concept retention, relating to the "bigger picture" and for breaks from intense physical practice.
- Quick pace to cover much material in limited time. If more time is needed for understanding, make sure to ask. Quick progress, through understanding, education, practice.
No Skype or Phone
- Skype is a terrible (really terrible) way to do this kind of work. It consists of frustrating repeats of, "No turn this way, no - turn this way, THIS way, please, No, turn this way THIS WAY..." Working over email before your apointment (or using my Individual Care if you are not coming for appointmnent) can quickly make needed gains, see next topic below.
To Do Before Your Private Appointment or Class
- Be prepared to work to improve before arriving. That is another reason we book ahead of time - so that we finish fixing pain, not begin, and have a solid base to continue with better training and more techniques at appointment time. We work over e-mail to make sure you can travel here more comfortably, and benefit greatly when here. That also gives you written communication about what to do, and how, so that everything is clear, specific, and recorded for your future reference. It also means you start doing what you need to fix pain, from the first communications, not only talk about it.
- See readings that will help your improvement before arriving - scroll down to "BEFORE Arriving for your class or Private Appointment, Here Is How To Prepare."
What to Wear and Bring to Appointments and Classes
- Wear your ordinary clothes that you can move in. If you have to change clothes to special expensive "fitness clothes" how are you supposed to be healthy in real life?
- If you wear orthotics (prescription or non-prescription hard foot / arch supports) and/or hard or engineered (expensive) running shoes or orthopedic shoes, those are often a cause, not cure, of pain of the feet, ankle, knee, back, even neck. If you have read my books or online readings you will already know about this issue. Bring what you usually wear, plus a soft flexible pair of shoes to learn to hold your own foot positioning. If your shoes are hard, you can bring a soft, flat, cheap shoe insert to try (often found in "dollar stores"). They might be the cushioning you need instead of formed shaped rigid inserts. We'll check.
- Some people like a notebook to write their fixes. Bring your camera if wanted, to take photos of yourself for review and continuing help and benefits after returning home. No social media photos or news media allowed. No photos of me, this is all for you.
Health is Retrained In All Aspects - Including Booking and Traveling to Your Private Appointment
- Any work with me is to retrain and restore health to your mind-set. That includes making healthy fun travel to get here. This is not the stressed "going to the doctor" model that people are used to - where you upset your life, strain to get there, sit in unhealthful positioning in a waiting room, and so on. I don't even have a waiting room.
- For those who live or work in center city Philadelphia, I make a house-call to your center city location. People arriving from out of town, choose a center city hotel to stay. We use their gym, meeting or other open areas for your house-call appointment. The first appointment covers finding and addressing causes of pain, fixing them in ways that are healthy and built into your daily and work life, and getting you more able to do all that you love. Then you can go out sightseeing and enjoying local attractions while you try out all you learned in a real, mobile, life setting. We can meet again the next day (or other day) to put into practice all learned, learn more, apply more, and get all questions and ideas generated during time in between covered before your trip home.
- Instead of lonely rushed travel here, make it a fun road trip with loved one(s). Couples /partners /friends /family can learn together, or just enjoy the travel and sightseeing together then one relaxes while the other has their appointment(s).
- When you arrange this executive appointment, obviously well ahead of time, I leave extra time open just for you, so there is no stress. Your travel plans may change, you may be delayed. Once you arrive, you can see whether you want or need more time, or expand on the kind of work you want to cover. Health is built into all we do. I put great time and energy into making sure all is addressed. Your responsibility in learning healthy ways is to make sure my time is well spent. Make sure to enjoy your visit, and learn new fun health. Scroll down for city maps, and links to events, city tours, hotels.
James Michie on the same day after his appointment.
He wrote his Success Story for us. See it on the Yoga page
For Group Classes
Classes through the Mt Airy Learning Tree are held in Wyndmoor, PA. Address will be mailed to registered students. Workshops held at medical conferences are listed on the Class page. Scroll down this page for maps.
For Your Private Appointment - Your Downtown Philadelphia Office or Hotel:
- For private appointments, if you have a downtown center city Philadelphia office or public meeting place, I make your house-call there. Otherwise, for those coming in from out of town, hotel info follows.
- Check with me before booking a hotel to make sure location is mutually convenient.
- Choose one in downtown Center City. Some may claim they are downtown or "convenient" to downtown, but are not convenient for these important appointments. Obviously, let me know which you are considering before booking your appointment dates to make sure it's mutually convenient. Here is a link to some hotels - http://www.downtownphiladelphiahotels.com/. I don't know how these compare. Check and decide what is best for you.
- I don't endorse or work with any hotel. No need to only go with this list. If you have better places to stay downtown, that's great.
- If your appointment is earlier than hotel check-in time, contact your hotel for early check-in or courtesy use of the gym for your appointment before check-in time. If your appointment is after check-out, make sure to pre-arrange use of facilities for your appointment.
- I meet you in the lobby at appointment time.
- More information about the city, and getting around, scroll down to Philadelphia Attractions and Maps.
Academy Certification and Instructor training may be earned by top students through study directly with me (Dr. Bookspan.) I have no authorized instructors. Any certificates from others are theirs not mine.
Dr. Bookspan (standing at back) and students at the 2010 Black Belt Hall of Fame
The workshop gave me a vastly improved understanding of mechanics and rarely presented ways of utilizing them for health and problem elimination/control. The overall learning / insight is excellent; the information of immediate clinical therapeutic use. I very highly recommend this course.
- Dr. Linder Wingo, M.D., Ocala Florida
The workshop is very practical. Concepts easy to understand.
I already have felt pain relief.
- Dana Chandler, North Carolina
I personally benefited and reduced my own back pain.
Also, the shoulder information you taught us helped my shoulder pain (had it for years --PT exercises did not help). My shoulder pain has actually gone away. I am amazed.
- Major Kelly Fripps, BSN, RN, US Air Force,
NC Flight Commander, Primary Care Teams Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
I thought I would take the workshop to learn how to help my patients. I learned specific techniques that have already given me relief of my own pain. The workshop gave ways to easily recognize and correct problems. I recommend everything about this workshop.
- Dr. Thomas Brown, M.D., Emergency Room Physician, St. Agnes Medical Center
I will be able to help my patients with all I learned.
What do I say about this workshop? Go for it!
- Dr. Mack C. Poole, M.D., Spartanburg, South Carolina
My mother literally stopped the surgeons on her way into surgery, and left the hospital to try your techniques instead. She is much better now. I truly am grateful for your willingness to help, your compassion, your generosity. I consider you an angel of mercy, for you have also rid me of the pains that were making me old before my time.
- Kat Gibson, Colorado, "One of America's top singers and songwriters" acc to Savanna Times Journal
BEFORE Your Group Class or Private Appointment, Here Is How To Prepare
1. Free Summaries. Read Those That Apply To You:
Upper Back and Neck Pain
Neck and upper back pain, herniated and degenerating cervical (neck) discs, upper shoulder, rotator cuff pain, numb arm / fingers, and forward head.
Lower Back Pain
Fix your own back pain, intro to discs, and understanding exercises
- Español!-! Dolor de Espalda y Que Hacer?
Bad Discs and Sciatica
Disc degeneration, herniation, and sciatica, and how to fix them yourself
- Français! -Prévenir le mal de dos en cas de longue station assise
Lower Back Pain With Standing, Walking, Running (when upright, not sitting)
How (exactly) abs fix back pain (It's not by strengthening) - You may be surprised. Includes, lordosis, hyperlordosis, spondys, swayback, SI joint, more.
- Français! - La Révolution Abdominale Une Nouvelle Manière de Comprendre et dUtiliser les Muscles Abdominaux
Foot Pain, Fallen Arches, Metarsal Pain
See the Patient Success Stories for three patients who explain how they used my work and did it right.
Instead of reducing activity, learn healthy movement that helps knees and improves function at the same time.
Common stretches and exercises that reinforce and practice rounded spine posture, bad movement biomechanics, and the same problems you started exercise to prevent.
Why Fitness Isn't Working
Not all exercise is healthy or good medicine. How to change exercise into healthy practices.
Fitness as a Lifestyle - Functional Fitness
Making all daily movement useful and healthy. Changing arbitrary sets and reps of exercise into how you actually need to move and stretch and lift in real life.
Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier
Identifying and changing bad stretches that contribute to pain and the same poor posture you started with. Changing stretches into how you move and stretching real life.
List of Fix Pain and Healthier Life readings on this web site.
Massage - Facts and myths about what it can help or not.
Yoga - Yoga does not fix causes of pain and can often be a cause itself. See how and what to do to make healthier yoga and prevent yoga injuries.
Make sure you understand the concepts, not skip understanding to "do" exercises.
"Fast Fitness - Somebody Please Do My Personal Responsibility For Me!"
It answers student questions on your readings. This article had appeared on my column with Healthline.com which ran from 2006 to 2010. After they discontinued the column, they kept articles at first (but took off all the accompanying photos and movies I had made for them). I thought that at least the articles would remain on their site as an enduring reference. Then they took down all the articles - almost 800 of them. In case it would help anyone, I put this article on my Humor page - click this link for the Humor page and scroll down until you find my article, "Fast Fitness - Somebody Please Do My Personal Responsibility For Me!."
3. instant updates on classes, exciting projects, Fitness Fixes, and other on Twitter @TheFitnessFixer. Tweet your successes. Short and easy.Follow me, Tweet, or just read and enjoy: www.Twitter.com/TheFItnessFixer
4. Check Your Topics on The Fitness FixerColumn Index - Almost 800 Free Articles
I wrote my column, The Fitness Fixer for Healthline.com from 2006 to 2010. Fun innovative ways to make exercise and daily life healthier.
The company I used to write The Fitness Fixer column for, after several successful years, suddenly removed all the movies and most of the photos I made to show concepts in action, or put them out of order with the text, removed all the interesting, helpful dialog with readers in the comments sections, and then, most strangely, cut some of the articles so that the end was at the top, and the beginning of the text appeared at the end. Then they removed all the articles entirely. If you are a major health company who can syndicate or run this column, we can restore it to all the originally intended fun and benefit.
Here is my web page telling a little about it plus an alphabetic index of most of the articles, by topic: The Fitness Fixer Index.
5. Check How Others Fixed the Same Pain You Have - Inspiring Patient Stories
In Inspiring Patient Stories people tell, in their own words, how they used the information in the classes and books to stop their pain and injuries. Not testimonials, but tutorials.
6. Get Your BooksThese courses are too comprehensive to fit in a few summary readings. Full step-by-step instruction books are available in class at discount for students, or on my web site BOOKS page:
Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery Everything we cover in class to fix your neck, upper back, and lower back pain and disc pain, fully illustrated, step-by-step. Plus how to fix pain everywhere else - chapters on exactly what to do to fix and prevent pain in your hip, shoulder, wrist, knee, feet and ankles, leg cramps, more.
Health & Fitness in Plain English- How to be Healthy Happy and Fit for the Rest of Your Life New THIRD Edition.
Fix back and neck pain, understand and fix health risks, learn healthy daily functional movement, nutrition and lifestyle. 31 chapters of step-by-step instructions.
The Ab Revolution No More Crunches No More Back Pain New revised FOURTH edition.
Change your understanding of what abdominal muscles do (and don't do) during daily activity and what they have to do with your spine. Part I teaches you how to stop a major kind of lower back pain from too much inward lumbar sway (swayback / hyperlordosis). Part II uses that new healthy spine position for a revolutionary core re-training method - no forward bending that hurts disc and trains bent forward posture. Combination of sports medicine and fun lifestyle movement training (functional exercise) to straighten posture, learn neutral spine, and get a healthier stronger workout than with conventional abdominal exercises. Used by military, law enforcement, and the nation's top spine doctors. Illustrated.
Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier
Learn which traditional stretches add to pain and dysfunction. Learn healthier and more fun stretches to do instead. Learn functional moment to restore resting length during daily life.
Healthy Martial Arts
Top training applied to all life and all your athletics.
Keep Pain Away - Prevent Pain From Returning
For SMARTER PROGRESS Fixing Your Pain and Keeping it Away
All methods are intended to decrease pain and improve function starting as soon as you begin using them.
Each technique should make an obvious positive change right then. If it does not make sense or help, you may not be applying it as intended (you are doing it wrong).
Do not do anything that makes more or new pain. Don't fix one pain and cause another (that's traditional medicine, not this method).
Understand each thing presented and why it is done - before using it.
Pain may return if you return to habits and exercises that strain muscles and puts joints into unhealthy positioning.
Keep thinking and practicing and understanding until healthy motion becomes natural and the way you move for all daily life.
Check for your topics of interest on my free online health column: The Fitness Fixer Index.
Review free summaries of “Fix Pain” information: DrBookspan.com/clinical.
Get your books - Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery and Health & Fitness in Plain English, THIRD edition, plus others. Available in class at discount. To order anytime, click: Books.
Take other workshops and classes for new information and to refresh and practice. Click the link: Classes.
Enjoy getting better. Smile. Relax. Breathe.
Schedule follow-up appointment for better and higher gains and to learn new healthy fun things. Your visit provides what you need to learn to stop pain and prevent recurrence, and not need repeated visits for more of the same pain fixing. That is health.
Thank you Bizarro.com for smart observation, and Julie Ballenger, success patient, for sending it.
AFTER Class, Review With My Materials
Use my “Fix Pain” articles: DrBookspan.com/clinical. Scroll down to "Start RIght Now" Summary Articles. There are many, each of a separate topic - fix back pain, fix back pain with standing, fix discs and sciatica, fix neck pain, fix pain from sitting, fix knee pain, hamstrings and myths about their relation to back pain, many more.
Use healthy movement for all your real life activities. Read how in: Fitness as a Real Lifestyle.
Check for more topics of interest on my online health compendium - almost 800 free articles: The Fitness Fixer Index.
Get the Books for review, to continue progress, and learn more great methods.
Check for other great classes.
Motivated top students may apply for follow up appointment or continue with Individual Care.
Philadelphia Attractions and Maps - Healthy Events and Fun
Philadelphia Bike Share In Philadelphia:An interesting Walking Tour - Our Murals
For years, I kept spare bikes for friends, students, and patients visiting. Now you can get convenient access to public bike sharing. (They took away severn (7!) of our permit parking spaces in our neighborhood to put up their paid racks, even with public land a few feet away. I think it cold have been done smarter, while giving you helpful bike service).
The Philadelphia Bike Share program is called Ride IndeGo!
Web site for information and to sign up is http://www.rideindego.com/.
Customer Service phone: 844.4.indego
Here is the City of Philadelphia Bike Share page.
Philadelphia Mural Arts project. "The city-run Mural Arts program was created in 1984 as the Anti-Graffiti Network, providing constructive projects for young artists ... more than 3,000 murals have been painted so far on walls around the city." Click for maps and center city walking tours with mural highlights.
Below a map should load of "The Mural Mile" 17 of Center City's most iconic murals along a 2.5 mile walking route through downtown Philadelphia (let me know if the link does not work or if you want more mural info):
View The Mural Mile in a larger map
"Get On-Get Off" Buses, Tours, Combined Tour and Tickets to Great Attractions
PhlashTour - http://www.visitphilly.com/tours/philadelphia/phlash/
Big Bus Tours - Sightseeing Tour - http://www.bigbustours.com/eng/philadelphia/default.aspx
Philadelphia CityPass - Transportation plus admission to 6 of Philadelphia’s most famous attractions (with options to add more). Site includes Q&A, purchase info, maps of routes, and full description of all attractions.
Getting Around the City - by foot, taxi , ferry, public transportation, and visiting the surrounding countryside by regional rail and cars:
Click this link from VisitPhilly.com on Getting Around.
Transit Twitter- @SEPTA - check for city bus detours, strikes, delays, news...
Weather Conditions for Your Travel
Maps & DirectionsUse this map for routes to your center city hotel choices.
The map should be marked for reference with our Karate Training center - 2100 Chestnut Street, downtown Philadelphia, 19103.
Directions to Wilderness Medical Meeting Workshops at Breckinridge Colorado:
Let's Open our RESORT for FunTraining and Healthy Life
Maybe at your campus, studio or cruise ship? Also join fun and instructive Dr. Bookspan projects - help the world, be in my next books, write rhymes about your pain fixes. Click Projects.
I hope I have answered most of the usual introductory questions.
If you have more, use the e-mail link in the Appointment Instructions on the Clinical page here.
Don't worry about
people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have
to ram them down people's throats.
That said, Be Healthy - Respect Copyright
Waivers, and Reprint Info for site and all classes and participants.
listen to anyone who tells you you can't do this or that. That's nonsense.
Make up your mind, you'll never use crutches or a stick,
then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the
games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them
persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible."
-- Sir Douglas Bader (1910-1982), British fighter pilot who lost both legs
in a flying accident, but still fought in World War Two
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