This will be a review of Emily Lark’s DVD called Back to Life; The Complete Healthy Back System.  

Back to Life DVD

Benefits

I have been using this DVD for several months now.  It has helped me manage my pain, and I highly recommend it as a natural remedy to people who suffer from back pain.  I actually suffer from pain in my hip, but these stretches have helped me find relief.  She specifically talks about sciatica pain in the first level.  The same exercise that helps with that pain, helps me with my hip pain, so I can attest to it’s effectiveness.  She also addresses neck and shoulder pain.  And provides stretches for those areas.  Remember that I am not a medical professional, so please check with your doctor before you start these exercises.

Apparently Emily has had severe back pain and her search for a healthy way to deal with it resulted in this video.  I admire her for being a fellow pain sufferer and being proactive in her search for a solution.  She understands our struggles.

The cover of the DVD says; The 3-level Healthy Back Video Series, Companion Manual and Healthy Back Checklist.  That said, the manual covers the exercises in the first level.  The checklist is a two page list of practices to help your back.  The series is 3 different levels of stretches.  Level 1 is about 10 minutes, level 2 is about 20 minutes and level 3 is about 30 minutes.  You sit in a chair for level 1.  You will need a yoga mat for levels 2 and 3.

Because the manual covers the stretches in the first level, you are not getting any new information.  But it is helpful to have if you don’t have access to a player and you want to be lead through the steps.  The checklist provides practices that we should all be mindful of as we seek to relieve our pain.  In fact while I type this, I am keeping my elbows next to my ribs so that I am not reaching forward and straining my back and shoulders.  This is just one of her suggestions.  I’m challenged to integrate them into my daily life.

My routine is to do the first level on this DVD, and then follow it up with a segment from Gentle Yoga with Jane Adams.  (Click here for a review of Jane’s DVD.)  The two segments take me about 30 minutes.  These are 30 minutes well spent as I know it will help me lessen my pain.  Sometimes I hardly have any pain thanks to the stretches.  There are other benefits as well.  Practicing the deep breathing while doing the stretches helps to calm me and bring clear thinking to my mind.  It sets a great tone to the start of my day.  It provides a positive outlook and hope of productivity.

I have also noticed a general loosening of my body.  I can tell I have more flexibility.  Bending over doesn’t hurt as much.  I can sit on the floor with my legs crossed; something I couldn’t do a year ago.  I can sit in a chair for a longer period of time as my pain isn’t as intense as it once was.  I can walk easier because my pain is less and my movements are easier.  And of course I sleep better because my pain is less and I can move more.

Issues

There are two issues that I feel are important to note about this DVD.  Emily moves at a steady pace through the stretches.  My friend who did this with me commented that it was too fast for her.  I guess I hadn’t noticed since I’d been doing them so long.  So I suggest you preview each segment at least once before you practice it.  This is especially important for level 2 and 3 because you are on the floor (with a mat) and it is sometimes hard to look at the screen.

The other issue is that I can’t do all the stretches, especially in level 3.  As a (almost) 68 year old, I am not as flexible as I would like to be.  I think if I had been practicing these stretches and yoga when I was younger, I would be more flexible.  I do note that I am able to stretch further than in the past, and I believe I will find further improvement, but for now, not all of the stretches are accessible to me.  She does caution you to use care as you move into more difficult positions.  Especially on level 3 where you do the neck and shoulder stretch.  Good advice.

How to purchase

As far as I can tell you can only get the DVD from her website; thebacktolifesystem.com.  I contacted them for a link to provide you, but I didn’t get a response back.  (These links usually give me a small percentage of the sale.) The system lists for $25.00.  This also comes with a money back guarantee.  But from the reviews I have seen, everyone is happy with the video.  There is a paperback of the system at Amazon for $14.39, but I can’t review that since I haven’t used it.  It appears to have the different levels included, and the checklist and some smoothie recipes.  I prefer the DVD because I like following along as I do the stretches.  I have trouble sometimes in motivating myself, so by using the DVD I feel I’m not alone.

Conclusions

Speaking of doing this alone, I asked a friend to help me be accountable to her so that I will remain motivated.  If she lived closer I know we would do these together, as she has pain issues too.  So I recommend that if you can, find someone to do these with you.  You won’t regret it.

I think this video would be a great asset to your search for natural pain remedies.  It has certainly changed my life for the better.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Your comments and questions are welcome.  I would like to hear how this video has helped you.