English |  עברית



Brace Treatment

The Body Cognition perspective on brace treatment
A spinal brace treatment:
Scoliosis is defined as a spinal curvature which strays from the symmetrical axis, so that the spine curves to the right or to the left in the Plana frontalia, while in most cases, this curvature is also accompanied by a rotation of the vertebra.  The Scoliosis condition may manifest one or more curvatures with varying degrees of deviation, with each placed on a different point of the spine. It is commonly referred to as a C or an S shape.
Although the pain and damage (specified below) this treatment guarantees, the straightening of the spine, for which the treatment is prescribed, is not at all guaranteed. Many times, the Scoliosis manages to 'defeat' the brace and the evidence lies in the fact that many boys and girls which have been treated with the brace for a prolonged period of time are compelled, at the end of treatment, to undergo surgery.
Since wearing the brace during 23 hours a day limits the movement of many muscles, it obviously stops the natural growth and expected lengthening of the soft tissue if used for a prolonged period while the child is developing. The reason for this is that the soft tissue lengthens as a result of the changes in the movement range required of it as a reaction to the development and growth of the skeleton. When there is lack of movement there cannot be proper growth. This will result in health as well as aesthetic damage which is inevitable in a state where the soft tissue is 'a few sizes small' for the skeleton which it envelopes and  with which it is supposed to move in synchronization. This negative outcome of wearing a brace is irreversible.
Another result of fixing the spine in a back brace is the loss of movement ability of the joints due to skeletal problems.
Fixating the spine in a brace for a prolonged period prevents the movement of many muscles in the back, and a muscle that is not required to move for a long period becomes atrophied and degenerates.  This is an undisputable anatomical fact. A brace 'graduate' of this kind will have limited back movement for the rest of his/her life, a limitation which will require excess movement from muscles and joints that were not directly damaged, but are sure to react badly to the movement burden demanded of them as compensation.
Wearing the spine brace has a negative impact on the internal organs in the chest cavity and abdomen.
A chest cavity that grew into the brace mold forms a flat shape.
Pain and skin conditions, are also a result of wearing a brace.
Puberty is a critical age when it comes to developing a body image, and its part in the general self image is important. Teenagers, who wear a spine brace at this time in their lives, might develop a negative self image of their body, and that may result in negative psychological and physical ramifications to the extent of denying the body and its needs.
Wearing the brace may socially alienate the patient. At such a time when social life is such a central aspect, the teenager is abstaining from many social activities: going to the beach, ball games, carrying a backpack in field trips, or dance parties. The inability to partake in many activities popular at that age, might definitely turn the teenager into a social outcast.
From all that was said, we see a result of aesthetic damage in the body's form as well as in the movement.


Juvenile Scoliosis

 Juvenile Scoliosis
Scoliosis is defined as a spinal curvature which strays from the symmetrical axis, so that the spine curves to the right or to the left in the Plana frontalia, while in most cases, this curvature is also accompanied by a rotation of the vertebra. The Scoliosis condition may manifest one or more curvatures with varying degrees of deviation, with each placed on a different point of the spine. It is commonly
referred to as a C or an S shape.
As opposed to other conditions which the physical system may confront, Scoliosis is not an episodic condition which one might expect will improve in time, rather a physical deformity requiring treatment intervention from a health perspective as well as from an aesthetic perspective. 

A medical orthopedic treatment is offered only when the curve deviates 20° from the axis. In such a case, the prevalent treatment is the use of spine braces for a prolonged period of time. A surgical intervention will take place should the spine braces fail to restrain the curvature and the curve has reached approximately 40°. We will specify our position regarding each treatment.
In most cases, the "Body Cognition" method separately opposes both of these treatments: a spinal brace treatment and surgical treatment.
You Can Straighten Up
   Debora Zilberstein
"Ma'ariv", Israel 5.6.1998    

Yosepha Michaeli - "On Symmetry and Asymmetry -Scoliosis"
Body Cognition, independent publishing
"Body Cognition" is a method developed by Yosepha Michaeli (a physiotherapist) for treating the body and its posture. Even though hundreds of people all over the country are practicing her method twice a week and despite the fact that she has been active for decades (40!), the method still lacks publicity.
A possible explanation for this may be that a lesson in the Body Cognition method is a person's in-depth encounter with his/her body on the mat. Or, maybe, it is because the encounter takes place in the clandestine fabric of creation, where the body communicates with the brain and with the senses and emotions in a unique language which repeats itself and at the same time renews itself in every meeting. The last thing you feel like doing after a meeting is to go and tell your friends about it.
If Yosepha Michaeli had not published a book summing up her doctrine of the Body Cognition regarding the treatment of Scoliosis, and if she had not presented here her reservations regarding the conventional method of treating the problem, I would not venture to expose the method publicly today.
The Orthopedic institution, though it had witnessed many cases which benefited from the blessed results of the Body Cognition therapy in the very boys and girls for which it claimed: "Only surgery!" or: "the girl must wear a back brace night and day for two years!", did not bother to inquire about the Body Cognition method even though the method is not some esoteric alternative and is based on conventional anatomical and orthopedic principles. Michaeli describes in detail the irreversible damage in the body of those suffering from Scoliosis and of their self image, which are caused by the wearing of the back brace, within the accepted terms and premise in the orthopedic discussion. It is hard to comprehend why the orthopedic community does not inform their patients of an alternative treatment method, which has certified photographs of success stories following the posture of persons with Scoliosis throughout the entire process, including X-rays.
The orthopedic institute looks only at skeletal aspect of Scoliosis, therefore, literally "attacking" the skeleton while aiming to treat the disease. In her book, Michaeli claims that the problem is complicated and more complex than that: the skeletal asymmetry is maintained and always exacerbated by a cognitive aspect as well: the brain, responsible for the symmetric organization of the body, "errs" in reading the center of the back. She claims it is possible and recommended to include the element causing the problem in order to resolve it.
The Body Cognition method is designed to treat persons suffering with Scoliosis through movement creating stimuli in the central nervous system which enables the brain to correct the mistake in which it was firmly fixed. Most cases involve young boys and girls, with a skeleton that is still flexible. After understanding and practicing listening to the body, the muscles then can, through a "directed and correct" order from the brain, straighten the skeleton with as much success as when a brace or a rod fixate the spine.
The person afflicted with Scoliosis who is ready to undertake the responsibility of the correctional process to fix his/her Scoliosis and learn to reach his/her correct center (in the meetings open to the public) – find optimal symmetry in the varied positions – will gain, besides a healthy, flexible and aesthetic posture, also the reported joy Body Cognition students derive from the meetings.
The book is first and foremost intended for boys and girls suffering from Scoliosis and their parents. Also, the book is recommended to physical education teachers, physiotherapists, doctors and orthopedics, who are open to a professional, serious and specified approach and are willing to learn from its successes.