STAMFORD, Conn. -- Whatever you know - or think you know -- about how to alleviate your back pain -- is most likely wrong.
So explains Elaine Petrone, whose methods for healing chronic issues are, she admits, "counterintuitive."
The Darien resident, who works out of the Sarner Health And Fitness institute at Tully Health Center, part of Stamford Hospital, doesn't diagnose or touch people like a chiropractor does, yet her method, basically using a small ball and relying on a series of breathing exercises, has won her legions of fans the world over.
Her books, "Miracle Ball Method," "Portable Miracle Ball Method," and "Miracle Ball Method for Pregnancy," have sold over a million and a half copies and her workshops -- her most recent one began the week of Sept. 28 -- are consistenly sold out.
"This is really about self-help," she said. "And about getting people to understand their bodies. It's like getting good at an instrument. You need to ease up on your muscle tension and self adjust to make it work."
Her strategy, known as the Elaine Petrone Method, is "the very opposite of exercise."
The secret, she explained, is about taking your tension down. "With so many of us on the go all the time, this is really a huge challenge," she said. "It requires becoming aware of the unique way we each use our body."
The program involves "unworking" the excess muscle tension that contribute to chronic pain, allowing your body to heal itself.
Her theory is that in order to get the muscles to move easily without pain, one needs to train the brain to regain feeling in key parts of the body.
Petrone knows first-hand how hard this can be. Her method came from the chronic pain she suffered as a dancer in New York City and the long road to finding relief.
In her efforts, she finally learned she had to work less, not more.
Her clients run the gamut from young to old, and include many weekend warriors. Many come for reasons beyond low backache.
According to Petrone, her method addresses many of the everyday aches and pains so many of us live with like shoulder and neck tensions, sciatic pain, knee and hip problems, and so on.
For more details on her program, call (203) 276-4567; you can also find information at www.elainepetrone.com/ .