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AMPLIFY: News + Discussion

Learn more about achieving back pain emancipation - how to amplify your Body Guitar - with news and discussion you can share updated here.

Fretting Hand Body GuitarWith guitarists and the music they produce, tastes differ. Perhaps you are a fan of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Bob Dylan, Sérgio and Odair Assad – or maybe Albert King. You are drawn to their music, something about their playing thrills. 

Good guitar playing is sexy. As is good posture in someone who knows how to move.

While few achieve mastery of playing like some of these performers, we can and should master our Body Guitar. For who wouldn’t want to stave off for themselves the leading cause of disability worldwide?

A beginning music student must first know their guitar, strengthen fundamental movements, and learn good habits before they play songs. Similar concepts and perseverance are required of Tune Me, described in sports medicine expert Dr. Sean Wheeler’s new book, UPRISE: Back Pain Liberation, By Tuning Your Body Guitar.

The aspiring guitarist learns how each hand performs a coordinating role in producing music; one the fretting hand, the other strumming. Your instructor shows you the correct positions to play basic chords with your fretting hand. With your strumming hand, you learn to strum different patterns on the guitar strings. As student, your job is to practice these chords over and over so they become innate, automatic. The same dedication is required for correct strumming.

As with learning anything new, challenges arise. Perhaps you are impatient and think you don’t need to spend time practicing repetitively, or you simply want to try showing off before you can actually play. Or you assume you know how to play the guitar, without unlearning the assumptions to which you cling. Or you’ve a weakness in one of your fingers, which you might only discover the hard way, such as through injury while playing.

Just as playing guitar requires two coordinating hands, escaping chronic back pain requires two coordinating activities: exercise and posture.

Exercise, unlike how you now understand the word exercise.

With Tune Me, your doctor first identifies the source of your pain in the deep bracing muscles of your spine, then provides you either the physical therapy or exercises, often both, so that you may repetitively "practice" as diligently as you would guitar chords with your fretting hand. Mastery of strumming is akin to your good posture practice, and will become second nature as you keep at it.

Not unlike the impatience a beginning guitarist may experience learning fretwork, physical therapy and exercises may be frustrating when results seem not to appear immediately. Yet, as any great musician knows, practice takes time. Just know the physical therapy and exercise in which you engage is Circulation Training, to increase blood flow to your bracing muscles, with results something you can’t actually see. It's exercise unlike what you assume exercise to be

Like daily practice by master guitarists to retain their virtuosity, Tune Me is not just for beginners but rather is a commitment requiring continued practice.

Good posture is your goal. When you practice good posture, the bracing muscles of the spine, lower back, neck, glutes, and feet get a workout simply by standing correctly.

– Dr. Sean Wheeler in UPRISE, at Chapter 6, "Tune Me"

To achieve a strong, beautifully aligned body doesn’t happen overnight. UPRISE to the challenge. Master your Body Guitar. Become your own virtuoso Body Guitarist. Live in tune with ease, confidence and openness, liberated from chronic back pain.

And leave the fret behind.

On this day as every day, a dream within your reach.


You are invited to UPRISE, to become informed of the cause of chronic back pain and how to overcome the disease through mindful tuning of your Body Guitar® by reading UPRISE: Back Pain Liberation, by Tuning Your Body Guitar. Then share your copy with a friend or loved one.

invitationAwareness of good posture is important for standing, both physical and social, as discussed by Jane E. Brody in a column for The New York Times Well blog.

While the topic is important in addressing the world's most disabling disease, the author's endorsement of core strengthening exercises recommended by British physiotherapist Nick Sinfield, serve as an example of precisely the outdated back pain thinking and vernacular today relied upon by many in health care.

Sports medicine and pain expert Dr. Sean Wheeler aims to build awareness to jettison these obsolete practices. One review of his new book, UPRISE, offers a glimpse of the future in treating chronic back pain:  

...Dr. Sean Wheeler changes the way we look at back pain... As a result, the diagnosis has changed, the prognosis has changed, the vocabulary we use with our patients has changed. [For example,] there is no more “core,” instead speaking of Bracing Muscles in need of Circulation Training.

One need look no further than examples provided by high-performance athletes to understand the importance of moving past the idea of strengthening one's "core" to embracing the importance of Bracing Muscles® in everyday life.

What is often referred to as your core is generally your torso. The major muscles in your torso are often described as core muscles. Respected medical authority, such as the Mayo Clinic, speak to the need to strengthen your core muscles. And yet by doing so, this over 40 years of traditional understanding confuses the treatment and relief of chronic back pain.

The muscles of your core, as well as throughout your body, consist of two different types: Bracing Muscles and Action Muscles. To think of exercises for your core as one-size-fits-all ignores this difference, too often keeping you locked into back pain that becomes chronic and incurable.

At peak capability and as the label implies, bracing muscles brace, providing stability by remaining static - by not moving - and providing spontaneous all day endurance. Think of the muscles of your body that do not grow in size no matter how much you exercise, such as those in your ankles, feet and neck. Bracing muscles are also positioned in your low back, shoulders and hips.

In contrast, and again as the name implies, action muscles are dynamic, they move, yet they move intermittently only when we act to move, such as to flex or walk or climb. Action muscles grow in mass as you exercise, which is why many engage in activity such as lifting weights and strength training.

Yet strength training accomplishes nothing in maintaining bracing muscle function. It's why emphasis on core strengthening is misplaced. 

One investment you can make in maintaining your bracing muscle function is by maintaining good posture. We agree with the author when she writes: "Improving posture requires a conscious effort..."

2016 New Year’s resolutions surround us. For your good health resolve to embrace the revolution of one, the revolution of you. Leave behind the old thinking of core. Instead, reclaim your birthright: the gift of life without chronic back pain. 

And this year, listen to Auld Lang Syne with meaning.


You are invited to UPRISE, to become informed of the cause of chronic back pain and how to overcome the disease through mindful tuning of your Body Guitar®, by reading UPRISE: Back Pain Liberation, by Tuning Your Body Guitar. Then share your copy with a friend or loved one.

Body GuitarMost doctors working in pain management are proceduralists. 

When speaking to a doctor about your back pain, knowing from Day One whether they wear a diagnostician’s cap or not can be an important early indicator in forecasting your recovery.

As sports medicine and back pain expert Dr. Sean Wheeler shares in Chapter 3 of his new book, UPRISE: 

"Ideally, good patient care begins with a diagnostician,
making sound diagnoses to which procedures are applied."

In contrast, if your doctor is a proceduralist, with no diagnostician on their team, there is a good chance you will suffer a fate similar to a majority of those who seek relief from low back pain. For this majority, the medical establishment is failing them.

How may this "failure" be avoided?

Suppose you have a beloved acoustic guitar, and that your guitar developed a problem such as a "dead" note. Would you take your guitar to someone who would attempt to solve the problem via trial and error? Or would you seek out a luthier - a string instrument repair expert - with the ability to diagnose causation of the dead note before attempting the repair?

Fortunately, there are luthiers who diagnose. There are even luthiers who recognize the parallels of their craft and with that of medical patient care.

Luthier Steve Mason borrows from the world of medicine while thoughtfully offering solutions for string instrument problems such as a dead note:

Beginning medical diagnosticians are told “If you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras."

Unfortunately, a portion of the medical establishment focused upon chronic back pain rely on procedures as a hit-or-miss method to diagnose: procedures leading to diagnosis, rather than diagnosis leading to best treatment procedure. This hit-or-miss "procedures leading to diagnosis" method is too often the SOP, the standard operating procedure for treating back pain. 

This method has become so pervasive it is often accepted by doctors and patients alike as nearly a "treatment algorithm." 

With this context, let's turn to you.

In thinking of your body as your beloved guitar, your Body Guitar, your high-performance instrument, you do not want this backward “treatment algorithm” to be used in treating your body.  Trial and error is a ludicrous approach to pain management. 

How can you free your mind from the systemic misinformation fed to you by this flawed approach?

Start by learning whether your doctor is an accomplished diagnostician.

Instead of guessing by "procedure informing diagnosis," know that your doctor arrives at his or her conclusions through diagnosis informing medical treatment procedure.  

The good news is there are a number of pain doctors who are good diagnosticians. Things are not always what they may seem, thus you want a doctor who will discern the underlying truth about your condition. One who thoughtfully processes your personalized circumstances as a patient. Who understands back pain is caused by multiple interlinked problems. And knows there is no workable “treatment algorithm” for that.

How will you know? Your doctor should be able to tell you which exams point to your needing a particular treatment. Your doctor should be able to logically explain for you your symptoms, and match your symptoms to a diagnosis. Your doctor should be able to describe to you the cause of your back pain

Be that patient.  The patient who knows these things about their doctor.  And in return is assured of receiving good care.

Of your high-performance instrument, your Body Guitar.


To become informed of the full Tune Me story for your Body Guitar® one must read UPRISE: Back Pain Liberation, by Tuning Your Body Guitar cover to cover. Please consider this your invitation to UPRISE.



Dr Sean Wheeler UPRISE Achieve Back Pain Liberation By Tuning Your Body Guitar

UPRISE, the new book of chronic back pain expert [and back pain liberation expert] Dr. Sean Wheeler, was the topic of a recent media interview conducted by Christopher Brochon of WFLO-FM in the Richmond, Virginia market.  

During an in-depth and revealing conversation with his host, and as revealed in his book, Dr. Wheeler discussed his breakthrough findings about the source of chronic low back pain, and how most anyone can achieve liberation from the condition through a new understanding of the cause of the disease.

As Dr. Wheeler described post-interview:

The interview dug deeply into the new medical thinking discussed in UPRISE.

For example, new concepts such as Bracing Muscles and how these muscles must perform all day, compared to Action Muscles which perform only when needed to move, and why this is so very important to understanding the disease.

In addition, the simple idea of how the human body, and particularly the back, resembles a guitar, and how the notion of tuning your Body Guitar can help many make sense of what causes and how to escape the limitations of chronic low back pain.     

Listen to the interview in its entirety during the first 17 minutes of this link.  

Bubonic plague, or Black Death, is one of the great scourges of human history. In the 14th century it was responsible for the deaths of 25% — 60% of the European population alone. Today, while Bubonic plague has not been eliminated entirely, its effect on humans has been vastly downgraded from a death sentence to a treatable infection. This progress is the direct result of modern medicine and its discovery that the plague is one of three types of bacterial infection caused by Yersinia Pestis, usually resulting from the bite of an infected flea present on rats. When the rat dies, the fleas search for a new host.

Why is this important?

Because, before the cause of Bubonic plague was found, it affected — and took — the lives of millions. It was not until the cause was found that the medical community was able to discover the antibiotics to effectively work against the bacteria and create the public health measures necessary for prevention. In other words, identifying the cause directly resulted in an effective treatment. 

The similarities between Bubonic plague and chronic low back pain are extraordinary.

Yes, people don’t die directly from back pain. Yet, in the US alone, 65 million people are living with chronic low back pain, which has a significant negative effect on their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Yet, somehow, we continue to be told (or sold) that the cause of low back pain doesn’t matter as long as we can treat the pain — temporary as that may be. The generally accepted and pervasive mindset among the healthcare and medical communities has been one focused on treatment — procedural, rather than diagnostic — with little regard to addressing the cause of back pain in the context of progression. Back pain specialists want to treat back pain like a surgeon treats abdominal pain: find one cause and treat it. The problem with this approach is that it ignores the progressive nature of back pain. Identifying and treating the true cause of chronic back pain — Bracing Muscle weakness — is the key to chronic back pain prevention, amplified by public health measures to decrease the number of people affected, and a forum to improve our care of low back pain. 

There are a lot of people in this world who claim to have a miracle cure for back pain. Without a known cause, they all resemble the snake oil salesmen working out of the back of a wagon in the middle ages. How is one able to tell what works? I spent six years writing UPRISE: Back Pain Liberation, By Tuning Your Body Guitar — in which I clearly present the cause of chronic low back pain and provide a roadmap for getting out of pain — for good. My hope is that, in the future, this book, this method, Bracing Muscle weakness, will be viewed as significant an advance as the identification of the flea in the cause of the plague. 

It changes everything.

Learn more about Dr. Sean Wheeler, Bracing Muscles, Healthy Posture, and how we can finally treat the cause of chronic back pain in UPRISE: Back Pain Liberation, by Tuning Your Body Guitar.

Page 6 of 15

Until now, few studies systematically examine what really works against repeated back pain and what doesn’t.

Gretchen Reynolds, NYTimes Well blog

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