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Suffering From Back Pain? Leading Expert Shares Her Secrets to Being Pain-Free – Episode 67

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In this week's episode...

Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities. Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. Emily Lark is one of those statistics, but she’s been able to get pain free, naturally. Tune in and find out how to ease YOUR back pain naturally!

Empowering You Organically – Season 8 – Episode 67

Title: Suffering from Back Pain? Leading Expert Shares Her Secrets to Being Pain-Free

Host: Jonathan Hunsaker

Guest: Emily Lark

Description:  Back to Life Program and how people listening can get relief from back pain.

 

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About Emily

Emily Lark is a speaker, author, studio owner, and creator of the internationally bestselling program Back to Life.  After living most of her life with debilitating back pain, Emily created a method to naturally heal back pain that has now helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world.  Back to Life is so simple that anyone can do it from home in just minutes a day and it has quickly become the #1 healthy back DVD program in the world.

 

Back Pain Statistics

  • Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost work days in one year—that’s two work days for every full-time worker in the country.
  • Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives

 

Emily’s one thing that most people are doing wrong when it comes to chronic pain.

  • “I think one of the key things that people are missing when it comes to chronic pain, I think the biggest thing that people are missing is the strength-building, too, because if we can strengthen the muscles to support our skeletal system, then they don’t start feeling that pain, the joints have more life to them.”

 

The worst back pain advice that many doctors are still giving.

  • Most of us, when we injure ourselves, when we’re in pain, we think that what we need to do is just kind of rest. But now, we’re really starting to find that movement is actually the fastest route to healing in most cases.

 

Emily’s Top 3 Stretches to Stop Back Pain.

  • Neck and shoulders
    • Doorway stretch, where you go into a doorway with your elbows on the side like goalposts, you lean the chest forward, and you hold for just 30 seconds. Then, you can work your elbows up a little bit, you can work them down.  But you want to feel that stretch in the front of the chest.  I try to tell people to remember to do it just three times a day.  Get up for 30 seconds and stretch that out. 
  • Your core (your abdominal muscles, specifically the ones in the lower abdomen region)
    • All you do is sit up really tall, and then you just lift one knee up and pull the belly in. And you lower it down and lift the other one up.  That’s going to activate those lower abdominal muscles.  You can do a marching movement; you can lift and hold. 
  • Your spine
    • Try to move the spine in all six directions at least once a day. And so, that would be a forward bend, a back bend, side bend to the right, side bend to the left, and then a twist, and a twist. 

 

Stretching Tips

  • You want to ease into it, because if you try to push too hard into a stretch, your body actually gives the opposite reaction of tensing up the muscles.
  • Start in a stretch where you feel that edge, but you’re not feeling any pain, you’re not feeling horrible amounts of tension. And then using the breath, breathing in and out through the nose, actually has a very calming effect on the nervous system and it actually, if you think of your breath kind of communicating directly with your muscles, that will help the muscles start to release. 
  • Rather than pushing them into it, try to breathe into those muscles.
  • You always want to hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds. That’s kind of like the magic timeframe, where if you hold for 30 seconds, that’s where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck.  Anything less than 30 seconds, they’ve shown you don’t actually really increase your flexibility. 

 

Don’t Forget to Warm Up

  • If you haven’t moved at all yet in the morning, absolutely, you can go into some gentle morning stretches, but don’t push the body if it’s the first thing you’re doing. If you’ve been moving around throughout your day, your body is kind of warmed up, and then you can go into it a little bit more. 

 

What back pain is really telling us.

  • “I think the worst thing that we can do is just try to medicate and numb the pain out. Because clearly, if we’re in pain, our body’s trying to tell us something.” ~Emily 
  • People often think that it’s our strong muscles that are the ones that are the tight ones. It’s actually the opposite that’s true.  The weaker the muscles are, the tighter they get. 

 

Simple daily tips to help with back pain like how to stand, sit and sleep.

  • Stacking your posture
    • When you’re standing, always try to stand with your feet lined up with your hip bones, with your toes straight forward. Standing with the feet straight forward, and then slightly lifting your arches, you’ll feel the ankles stop rolling together, and the knees stop knocking together. 
    • From there, we kind of work our way up to the low belly. I always advise people, as much as we can remember, try to draw the low belly in. 
    • We want the shoulders to draw back right over the hips rather than forward.
    • Then, we want to draw the ears back right over the shoulders.
      • And a great test for this, to see if you’re standing up as tall as you could be, is to go stand with your back against a wall and try to see if you can get your shoulder blades to touch the wall, the back of your head to touch the wall at the same time, and then here’s the kicker, see if you can get your low ribs to touch the wall at the same time.

 

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Jonathan Hunsaker: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Empowering You Organically.  I’m your host, Jonathan Hunsaker.  I have a very special guest today, Ms. Emily Lark.  Emily, thank you for joining us.

 

Emily Lark: Yes, thank you so much for having me.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: So, Emily, tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Emily Lark: Well, gosh, where do I start?  I think what I’m most known for is a program that I created called Back to Life, which gives people a natural alternative for back pain relief through movement.  That’s how I’m known professionally.  Personally, I’m a mom of two little boys.  I also own a yoga and Pilates studio.  So, I have my hands full with a lot of different things.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: It sounds like it.  So, we’re going to talk a lot today just about back pain, about chronic back pain, and I know this is an issue that affects a lot of people.

 

Emily Lark: Yeah.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Tell me a little bit more about your story.  Why?  Why are we talking about back pain?  What inspired you to go down that path?

 

Emily Lark: Yeah, this has been a deeply personal issue for me for almost my whole life.  When I was a child, I was only 12 years old when I was in a really bad car accident.  I was in the hospital for a long time after that, in physical therapy for months recovering, and kind of thought, “Okay, we know what’s going on, we know what needed to be fixed,” and what was fixed, but then I found myself, through my teen years and through my 20s, just developing chronic back pain that got worse and worse and worse. 

 

And after an accident like that, most people, we would assume that you should start feeling better and better after time, but mine became worse and worse, to the point where, when I was 28, I was completely debilitated.  I spent a year just lying flat on my back, lying on ice packs.  I couldn’t work.  And trying every kind of doctor I could find for back pain. 

 

You know when your life essentially comes to a complete stop because of chronic pain, you get desperate and you try absolutely everything.  Nothing would work for me.  And that is when, kind of at the end of my rope, I decided to figure out a solution for myself, and that’s what led me to the method that I’ve created and that I’ve now been sharing for over 10 years with people.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, and I never experienced anything like that, in terms of being that debilitated, not being able to move.  I can imagine that when you’re in that position, you’re trying everything.  So, can you talk about what are some of the things that you tried?  What are some of the things that didn’t work for you and what are some of the things that did work for you?

 

Emily Lark: Sure.  Gosh, I tried everything from—I did a lot of chiropractic, which chiropractic, I would get temporary relief from, but then the pain would come back and I would have to keep going back over and over for maintenance treatments.  I tried acupuncture, which strangely, didn’t help with back pain, but I did have a weird experience with it inducing labor several years later, so I know there’s something to it, obviously amazing. 

 

I tried doctors that would put me in these machines that would kind of pull my spine open.  I did physical therapy.  Pretty much everything you can imagine.  And then finally, I was told “The only thing that’s going to work for you is back surgery.”  And I was only 28 at the time, and I was like “There is no way.  I’m too young for back surgery.”  So, that was kind of my breaking point. 

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: And so, what is—what’s the bad advice that people are getting right now?  When they go see their doctor and they’re talking about back pain, I mean what’s the stuff that’s not working, in your opinion?

 

Emily Lark: Okay, well I think the worst thing that we can do is just try to medicate and numb the pain out.  Because clearly, if we’re in pain, our body’s trying to tell us something.  So, I think the worst thing we do is numb it out, numb it out and just keep going with life as usual.  If people need painkillers to—in order to overcome the pain so that then they can move and actually fix the root cause of the problem, then that’s great, but I think just numbing it and going about life as normal is one of the worst things we can do. 

 

I also see a lot of people—the interesting thing with pain is that it’s very counterintuitive, the messages that it sends to the body.  So, most of us, when we injure ourselves, when we’re in pain, we think that what we need to do is just kind of rest, right?  Like rest is going to heal.  But now, we’re really starting to find that movement is actually the fastest route to healing in most cases.  So, for a long time, doctors would say, “Take bedrest for back pain.”  That is by far the worst thing a person could do if they have back pain. 

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, it’s really interesting, and I want everybody that’s listening, I mean we’re not just talking about people that are having back pain that’s debilitating.  I mean I think most of us suffer some sort of back pain in some form or fashion because of how much we’re spending sitting, right?  And we have bad posture, we’re sitting at a computer all day.  All of these different things are causing the back pain.  So, this isn’t just for somebody who needs ice packs and can’t move.  I mean we’re talking about for everybody, really.

 

Emily Lark: For sure.  And you couldn’t have said it better.  It really is the sitting.  A lot of people think, “Oh, I must have had a traumatic injury when I was a child that caused this,” or “Maybe I did something at the gym that messed up my back.”  No, most of the time, it’s just we’re spending way too much sitting—too much time sitting.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.  And I love the advice to move.  I mean I know that—I mean if you’re just lying there, now your muscles are starting to go into atrophy, things are tightening up even more, and that’s part of the problem, right, is the bad posture, it’s the way that we’re sitting, that the muscles are staying tight and they’re not being worn, they’re not loosening up, they’re not stretching.  And so, just to lay in bed or not move for a whole day, it’s not helping in any way.

 

Emily Lark: That’s so true.  And you bring up a great point, too, is that the muscles, the more we lay there, the tighter the muscles get.  People often think that it’s our strong muscles that are the ones that are the tight ones.  It’s actually the opposite that’s true.  The weaker the muscles are, the tighter they get. 

 

So, people think they need to just kind of rest those muscles and give them a break.  Resting just makes your muscles tighter.  Strengthening them.  I always use the analogy, if you have—if you’re holding something heavy with your arm, right?  And you have strong muscles in your arm, you can do it with ease.  The arm doesn’t have to tighten up as much and strain.  But if the muscles are weak, that’s when they start straining in order to hold something heavy. 

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Well, and I think what’s—I mean it’s interesting what you talk about, where it’s the weaker muscles that are really causing the pain, and it’s the smaller muscles—I mean we find that we go into the gym, and all of us want to lift heavier, do more, “Let’s get those reps in.”  And that’s where a lot of that injury is happening, that tightness is coming from.  It’s not because we can’t lift that big, heavy muscle a few times, it’s those weaker muscles.  Like we really need to spend more time building our foundation, right?  Take the lightweight weight, do the higher reps, do the different things like that to really strengthen those stabilizer muscles, correct?

 

Emily Lark: Absolutely.  Yes.  And you speak about the stabilizing muscles.  Oftentimes, the muscle that’s causing the pain is not the muscle that feels like it has the pain.  So, for example, neck and shoulders, right?  That’s a common one that we all feel like the back of our neck and our shoulders are tight, that’s where we feel the pain. 

 

So, people think, “Oh, those muscles must be tight.  I need to stretch them out.  I need to work them.”  It’s actually the opposite side of the body that’s causing the pain.  It’s the muscles on the front of the shoulders and the chest.  Those are the ones that are tight.  They’re pulling everything forward.  So then, the muscles on the back of the neck and shoulders start to spasm out.  So, if we can strengthen the stabilizing muscles back, stretch out the muscles on the front of the body, then that’s what’s going to address the pain.  But most people think they need to do the opposite.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: And it’s a big problem that I have.  Like I spend a lot of time in the gym doing face pulls, right?  It’s with the rope and you’re pulling like this, so I can pull my shoulders back, because I spent 20 years in front of a computer, hunched over—maybe not 20, so 15 years in front of a computer. My shoulders rolled forward, I’m hunched over, and everything up here is tight and it’s what’s causing my pain in my back, it’s what’s causing a lot of people headaches and other things, and it’s really the front that’s the issue in terms of being tight.  And doing those face pulls and different things like that, to like pull everything back again.

 

Emily Lark: Have you noticed a big difference from that?  Has that helped?

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: I have noticed a difference.  And I like the way I look, too.  Like I look bigger and stronger because my shoulders are rolled back as opposed to forward.  So, I have broader shoulders, I feel better.  But it’s one of those exercises that’s not a glamorous exercise, right?  For a guy, right, we want to be in the gym, we want to do curls and get big biceps, like biceps are all that matter, right?

 

Emily Lark: Yeah, right.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: So, it’s doing those little things that it’s really making a difference, and it’s really moving more, working out more is helping my entire body feel better.  But it’s those corrective exercises that are making the biggest difference in my day-to-day life.

 

Emily Lark: Yeah, you’re correcting the imbalances that your life causes.  You’re fixing them in the gym.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Exactly, exactly.  So, let’s talk about what are some just things that people can do every day, right?  So, if they’re experiencing back problems, neck problems, things like that, what are some stretches they can do?  What advice do you give, just like “Hey, if you do nothing, do these three things.”

 

Emily Lark: Okay, okay, I’ll give you my top three.  So, let’s start with the neck and shoulders.  What you’re doing absolutely is right, the rows to strengthen the upper back. 

 

For people, when they’re not at the gym though, and don’t have that available, my favorite stretch to show people that can also help bring those shoulders back in alignment, is a doorway stretch, where you go into a doorway with your elbows on the side like goalposts, you lean the chest forward, and you hold for just 30 seconds. 

 

Then, you can work your elbows up a little bit, you can work them down.  But you want to feel that stretch in the front of the chest.  I try to tell people to remember to do it just three times a day.  Get up for 30 seconds and stretch that out.  You will start to feel, within a day or two, immediate relief in your neck and shoulders.  So, that’s number one. 

 

Number two is strengthening your core, your abdominal muscles, specifically the ones in the lower abdomen region.  When we think of core strength, a lot of people think of doing sit-ups and crunches for that, but we want to focus on the lower muscles, kind of the area of the muscles right below your bellybutton. 

 

And a great way to strengthen those, again, if you’re not at the gym, you can do this at your desk at work, sitting at your chair.  All you do is sit up really tall, and then you just lift one knee up and pull the belly in.  And you lower it down and lift the other one up.  That’s going to activate those lower abdominal muscles.  You can do a marching movement; you can lift and hold.  That will activate them. 

 

The third thing I like to tell people to do is to try to move the spine in all six directions at least once a day.  And so, that would be a forward bend, a back bend, side bend to the right, side bend to the left, and then a twist, and a twist.  And again, those are things you can do sitting in your chair at work as well.  These don’t need to take up a lot of your time.  You don’t need to stop everything you’re doing in order to keep the spine healthy.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: And I think that’s great advice.  What about I mean if somebody’s really tight or they’re experiencing pain, how do they know how far to stretch or how long to hold?  I mean I know that we have to listen to our bodies.  Sometimes, that’s tough when we’re experiencing pain.  Like it hurts so good, right?  And so, we push it just a little bit more thinking that that’s going to make it better.  What’s a good way for people to really judge if they’re doing too much or not enough?

 

Emily Lark: That’s a great question.  I always tell people, with stretches, you want to ease into it, because if you try to push too hard into a stretch, your body actually gives the opposite reaction of tensing up the muscles.  So, always advise people to start in a stretch where you feel that edge, but you’re not feeling any pain, you’re not feeling horrible amounts of tension. 

 

And then using the breath, breathing in and out through the nose, actually has a very calming effect on the nervous system and it actually, if you think of your breath kind of communicating directly with your muscles, that will help the muscles start to release.  Rather than pushing them into it, try to breathe into those muscles. 

 

And then as far as holding, you always want to hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds.  That’s kind of like the magic timeframe, where if you hold for 30 seconds, that’s where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck.  Anything less than 30 seconds, they’ve shown you don’t actually really increase your flexibility. 

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Interesting.  So, I mean what’s your take on warming the muscle up first?  Right? Sometimes, we hear don’t stretch cold, or first thing in the morning, or things like that, like getting some movement first.  Do you have any take on that?  Should we shake it out a little bit before we start doing that, or is it okay to just go right into the stretch?

 

Emily Lark: You know?  Depending on the kinds of stretches you’re doing, and what you’re trying to accomplish, definitely the warmer your body is, the better, the better for it.  If you haven’t moved at all yet in the morning, absolutely, you can go into some gentle morning stretches, but don’t push the body if it’s the first thing you’re doing.  If you’ve been moving around throughout your day, your body is kind of warmed up, and then you can go into it a little bit more.  But definitely, the warmer you are, the easier it’s going to be on your body to get into the stretch, that’s for sure.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.  What else can we talk about?  Can you share?  I mean what are some tips and techniques?  If I am going to be sitting all day, how do I sit better?  Or how do I sit to have less pain?  Or same with standing, I mean are there little things?  Because nowadays, I’m a big Kickstarter fan, right, so I love all of these different things that are coming out. 

 

And they have these tech things that you hang around your neck and they’ll tell you when you’re bent over, or when you’re doing this or that, and all these weird straps.  I mean what are some simple ways that people can really just change the way they’re sitting and standing to know that they’re doing good and fixing rather than contributing to the problem?

 

Emily Lark: Yeah, so I like to call it stacking your posture.  So, I’ll start with standing.  So, we’ll stack up from the feet, and then you can also apply this to sitting, too.  So, when you’re standing, always try to stand with your feet lined up with your hip bones, with your toes straight forward.  A lot of people will stand with the toes turned out and then the knees start to roll in.  We roll in on the arches of the feet. 

 

So, if you think of standing with the feet straight forward, and then slightly lifting your arches, you’ll feel the ankles start—stop rolling together, and the knees stop knocking together.  So, that’s just going to help prevent some of the daily wear and tear on the knees.  From there, we kind of work our way up to the low belly. 

 

I always advise people, as much as we can remember, try to draw the low belly in.  Obviously, if we’re doing relaxation, like meditation, we want to breathe deeply, great.  But as a rule, throughout your day, try to keep the low belly engaged, and then a little squeeze to the glutes.  That’s kind of like the perfect sandwich for your low back, between the glutes and the low belly, they come together to support the lumbar spine.  

 

Then, we want to just start stacking.  So, we want the shoulders to draw back right over the hips rather than forward.  Then, we want to draw the ears back right over the shoulders.  And a great test for this, to see if you’re standing up as tall as you could be, is to go stand with your back against a wall and try to see if you can get your shoulder blades to touch the wall, the back of your head to touch the wall at the same time, and then here’s the kicker, see if you can get your low ribs to touch the wall at the same time. 

 

Because usually, we have a see-saw effect, where one touches and the other goes back.  If you can get all three of those, head, shoulders, and low ribs to touch the wall, you’re in good shape.  If not, just try standing like that and pressing into the wall, and you’ll make a big difference for your body.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: I mean it really—it’s interesting when you start getting intentional, right?  Because we do so many of these things and it’s not intentional.  We’re just sitting and we’re working, we’re standing.  I remember last year, I was training to run my first marathon.  I went and saw a coach to learn about Chi running, which is just a better way to run that’s easier on your joints, and it’s all about posture. 

 

And that was one of the big things that I learned was my feet being and how do I position my body so that I’m not straining muscles I don’t need to and I’m really in balance?  And it’s just one of those things we don’t think about, but if we think about it, then it makes a world of difference, right?  And it’s just a matter of how can we be conscious and intentional about it all throughout the day? 

 

For me, it’s Post-It notes on my computer, it’s Post-It notes on my mirrors, it’s all of that just to remember it.  And I think if you’re having back pain, if you’re having these issues, it’s not going to go away by taking some pain pills.  It’s not going to go away by stretching once a week.  Like you’ve got to be really intentional about all of it, getting the stretching in, standing properly, squeezing your glutes, doing all these things. 

 

And it seems weird at first, right?  It’s like “Oh, I only did it once today.”  But that’s where everybody starts, right?  Do it once that day, and then start doing it twice, and three times.  In fact, and before you know it, it’s just how you stand, it’s just how you sit. 

 

Emily Lark: Absolutely.  And I’m a big Post-It note fan, too.  That’s how I remember to do everything as well.  I also set reminders on my phone.  Sometimes, I’ll say, “Set a reminder for every 30 minutes just to sit up straight.” Because I’m just as guilty of it as everyone else, the slouching while I’m working.  You just get caught up in what you’re doing, and then the body just starts to kind of crumble.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.  Talk to me for a second on your take on massage therapy, on seeing chiropractors, seeing things like that, that that’s our normal go-to.

 

Emily Lark: Yeah.  So, I think all of those things are wonderful, and I think they can have wonderful benefits for people.  However, I’m a big fan of taking the control into our hands first and taking responsibility for our bodies first.  And so, I found that when I’m moving my body in the way that I need to be moving it, I don’t feel the need to go to a masseuse, I don’t feel the need to go to chiropractors. 

 

And really, I know we’ve talked a lot about stretches and posture and all of that, but I think one of the key things that people are missing when it comes to chronic pain, I think the biggest thing that people are missing is the strength-building, too, because if we can strengthen the muscles to support our skeletal system, then they don’t start feeling that pain, the joints have more life to them. 

 

I have a lot of issues in my spinal column.  I have many issues with my disks, that if you saw my spine on an MRI, you’d say, “Oh, that girl’s got problems.”  But I’m pain-free, because my—I’ve trained my muscles to be able to hold our bones.  Our muscles are supposed to hold our bodies up, not our bones, relying on the joints.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, and I’m with you.  I mean I like chiropractic, but if you go get adjusted and your muscles are out of whack or pulling things the wrong way, or they’re tight, it’s just going to pull you right back out of adjustment.  It can almost happen that day, right, or a couple days.  And so, if you are going to get that, I mean I do suggest getting a massage and an adjustment, but the ultimate long-term adjustment is building up the muscles, to doing the corrective exercises so that it’s not constantly pulling you in the wrong way, right? 

 

And it’s not constantly puling you out of alignment.  You don’t need to go to the gym, right?  I mean there’s a lot that can be done with just body weight exercises, there’s a lot that can be done with bands, bands that you hook on a doorknob or a door frame.  I think that exercising gets blown out of proportion.

 

“We need to go to the gym.  We need to put 60 minutes in, and we need this membership,” and it has to be this big old ordeal.  When really, you can keep watching your television show at night and get out some exercise bands and some stretching straps and make that 30 minutes productive.  And just doing that for a month will make a world of difference. And you don’t have to change your routine at all.

 

Emily Lark: It’s so true.  I think whoever decided that we need an hour-long workout did such a disservice to people’s health.  Because that can be a really hard goal to attain, so we get this all or nothing mindset.  But yeah, just a few simple strengthening exercises at night, or even built in throughout your day, make a massive difference.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, and I think, I think the other challenge in our society is everybody wants the quick fix.  “So, I’ll just go to the chiropractor, I’ll take two of these pills, I’ll do a couple things.”  It never works.  It doesn’t happen with business, it doesn’t happen if you want to become wealthy, it doesn’t happen if you want to become healthy. 

 

None of it happens overnight.  It all takes time.  It’s just building those little intentional habits, right?  Doing five minutes of exercise in the morning, over a month’s period of time, will make a world of difference in how you feel.  Maybe not going to look different, you may not be ripped, but you’re not going to have that neck pain that you constantly have been dealing with, which just puts you in a bad mood, which just makes things that much worse, and you’re more irritable, and it just makes life suck, quite frankly, to have these little pains.

 

Emily Lark: That’s right, yeah.  It’s hard to work on full steam when you’ve got that dragging you down.  And you’re right.  Everyone wants a quick fix, and I think we also are trained to thin that other people are experts of our bodies more than we are.  We tend to be so disconnected from just feeling our bodies and knowing how to move them. 

 

So, really, I love—people think, “Oh, I’m going to run to the chiropractor and have this fixed really quick.”  Well, how much time are you really spending actually?  You’re driving there, you’re sitting in the waiting room, you’re having to commit this time and money, where if you took five minutes on your couch, or on your floor, to do some ab exercises, you’d have actual relief that lasts a lot longer and takes less time.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: I agree.  I mean spend that whatever a chiropractic visit costs these days, spend that $50.00 for a personal trainer for 30 minutes to say, “Hey, can you show me how to strengthen my core and my posture?” And I mean most personal trainers will spend an hour with you and show you that stuff I mean.  And then, you have something you can do on your own forever, and now you’ve gained that knowledge.  You don’t have to keep paying that money every week for that quick fix adjustment.

 

Emily Lark: That’s so true.  Yeah, it’s so empowering. 

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: It really is.  I could talk about—I love when you talk about we have to take ownership of our body.  I know TeriAnn, who usually cohosts the show with me, she always talks about being the CEO of your body, being the CEO of your life.  And it’s why, like everybody wants to say, “Okay, give me the diet that’s going to fix me,” and everybody wants to preach, “No, it’s the ketogenic diet,” or “It’s the vegan diet,” or “It’s the carnivore,” this or that. 

 

Who knows what it is for you, right?  The only way you’re going to know what it is for you is by trying it out, by taking ownership and listening to your body.  Who knows what the best exercises are for you, or the stretches, or how far you can stretch, or all of these things?  Like we just—let’s stop being lazy with our lives and trying to have somebody else fix it and figure out what we need to do for ourselves.  Because it really doesn’t take long like to correct yourself.  I mean you can do it in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and make a world of difference in your life, and then it stays that way forever if you keep up those habits.

 

Emily Lark: Yeah, absolutely.  And it can take even shorter.  I mean I’ve seen people, within just a day or two, make massive—that’s actually how my story was.  For years, I had suffered with pain, and then when I discovered the right sequence of movements, it was literally almost overnight for me.  But I think there’s kind of that scary point when we make the transition from, like you said, rather than looking for other people to figure this out for us or tell us what to do. 

 

I don’t know about you, but like I reached that point in my life where I was like “Nobody knows how to help me.  These experts don’t know how to help me.”  And it freaked me out, and I felt hopeless, because nothing was working.  And then, to go from that kind of hopelessness to empowerment of, “Oh, I can figure this out on my own,” it’s just a very big mindset shift to make.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: And there’s just no excuse nowadays.  With all of the information that’s out there, that’s online and all of these things, there’s no excuse not to take ownership of your life and figure it out.  And so, speaking of that, because I know that you, we’re only going to cover so much in a 30-minute podcast, tell people more about your site, tell people more about what you have to offer, how they can learn more from you. 

 

Because I think that’s important too, is to understand that “Let’s get a guide.  Let’s get a coach.  Let’s have somebody who’s been there, who’s done that, to show us.”  That’s why I feel differently about a chiropractor versus a personal trainer, right?  The chiropractor’s that one time, and he’s not necessarily going to fix you forever, whereas a personal trainer or coach can give you the information and the knowledge that now you can do it on your own to make that difference.  I mean what do you offer for people?  How can they come find you as a coach?

 

Emily Lark: Sure.  So, actually, what I have, it’s a video program for people, DVDs or digital links that people can use to access the program.  Basically, the program has three levels of videos.  So, people can start slowly and work their way into it. It begins with just a 10-minute routine that people can do once a day, sitting in their chair. 

 

So, everything we’ve talked about, from the core strength to the stretching, just 10 minutes a day, sitting in your chair at work, or at the kitchen table.  Then, it progresses into a 20-minute video, and then a 30-minute video.  But they’re on that to just teach the exercises in a way that your body can kind of repair all of the damage that we do on a daily basis without realizing it, and kind of fix all of the imbalances from an internal way that sticks, and then, move on to living pain-free from there. 

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Awesome.  You know?  It’s interesting, because the challenge is, right, we have so much information out there.  We could go to YouTube and type stuff in, and you could find a bunch of videos.  But who knows which ones to listen to and which ones not to listen to?  So, we live in an era where there’s a ton of information. 

 

Now, it’s just a matter of deciphering what information to listen to, right?  And that’s why we do this podcast, to really bring forward the stuff that we know that’s working.  And that’s why I love that you offer videos.  You’ve been there.  It’s not like you’re just telling people how to fix their back pain without going through that struggle yourself, without learning it, without trial and error, and without showing how many hundreds or thousands of people you’ve shown along the way, correct?

 

Emily Lark: Right.  Yeah, it’s been a wild ride, because when I first fixed my back pain, never did I think I would go into now kind of being a back pain expert for other people.  But I ended opening up a yoga studio that most of my students who come to me are seniors, whose doctors tell them come to do yoga.  And so, I started, instead of just doing yoga with them, I actually started teaching them my back pain method and seeing, “Wow, they’re having the same results that I was having at 28, I have 60-year-olds, 70-year-olds having these same results.”  So, from there, it just kind of spread.  And yeah, now it’s sold to over 200,000 people around the world have been using this program just in the past few years. 

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Wow.

 

Emily Lark: Yeah.  You kind of never know where something’s going to lead at the time.  Now, I think of those years, and back pain is kind of a blessing, because it’s brought me to what I feel passionate about doing.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, I mean it’s—we always talk about like if we save one life, or we help one person, it’s worth it.  And the fact that you’ve helped 200,000 people, right?  And then, it compounds itself.  Because how many of these people are now sharing with their friends things to do, and their friends? 

 

And that’s what I love, that’s the beauty of getting better.  That’s the beauty of self-improvement, right?  Personal development, all of it, getting healthier.  Because, you know, somebody learns from you, and then they get to inspire their husband or wife or their kids, and the compound effect is just enormous.  So, it’s exciting.

 

Emily Lark: That’s very true, yeah.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Awesome.  So, Emily, your website, EmilyLark.com?

 

Emily Lark: Yes, uh-huh.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: And where else can people find you?  Are you on Facebook, are you on Instagram?

 

Emily Lark: Yeah, I’m on Facebook.  I don’t do as much on Instagram, but Facebook, if you look under Emily Lark, you’ll see Emily Lark Healing in Motion.  I post a lot of stretches on there, and I try to stay as active on there as possible.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Excellent.  Thank you so much for joining us.  I mean I know our audience is going to love this podcast and love everything that you shared, and just I appreciate you taking the time and spending it with us and sharing all your knowledge for free with them.

 

Emily Lark: Well, it’s my honor to be here.  Thank you.  And I really hope, if—I hope something I said is helpful to someone out there.

 

Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely.  For those of you listening and watching, go to our website, EmpoweringYouOrganically.com.  We’ll have links to Emily’s website, to her Facebook pages, you’ll have all the show notes, the transcripts, everything and anything else from this show, you’ll be able to find it, EmpoweringYouOrganically.com.  Emily, thank you once again for joining us.  It’s been my pleasure.  And thanks for listening.  We’ll see you guys on the next show.

 

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