I have always been an active person playing organized sports in high school and college and skiing, sailing and racquet sports after college, but in my late 20 while working and raising a family I had herniated disk in my lower back. Surgery, the accepted practice at the time, followed with very little emphasis on rest or physical therapy.
For the next 30 years I lived with back pain. It was a deciding factor in many decisions I made about my life from travel and sports to parties and enjoyment of children. It even governed my mood as my family will tell you. I worked with a series of therapists using different techniques, but nothing really worked until I found Igor Burdenko.
Igor first put my crooked body in a pool and showed me the benefits of water therapy and over the years he has taught me his method both in the pool and on land. Today I am a different person. I rarely have any pain and I can do almost anything I want. At 73, I am naturally stiff in the morning and spend 20-30 minutes stretching and exercising every day. I find that my body is still improving. The Burdenko method has allowed me to continue powder skiing, ocean sailing and gardening without pain. I just returned from a 27 hour plane trip home from Africa feeling fine.
Igor Burdenko’s method works because he understands that the body is a complex system that must be worked with as a whole. His method is not a simplistic set of exercises; rather it grows out of a deep understanding of the interaction of the whole body, muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones all working together. His method is based around understanding that the body can heal itself if allowed to by following the proper program.
Igor also understands that a person has responsibility for their own rehabilitation and he assists people to better understand their own particular situation and what will work best for them. The broad scope of his knowledge allows him to be helpful on topics ranging across the spectrum from diet to muscles.
Igor believes that the body is meant to be used and that many people become disabled because they are not active enough. To Igor, each client is a special case and he has a unique sense that gives him the ability to spot issues that need attention and then to design a program that will address the problem. Other exercise or health systems usually have relatively narrow focus on a specific discipline - flexibility, strength, etc., while Igor looks across the spectrum of alignment, strength, balance and coordination.
I have watched his methods work on several members of my family and in one case a sister-in-law came to him in a wheel chair and is now skiing with her grandchildren. I have seen his techniques solve a wide variety of problems and improve everyday lives slowed down by physical issues.
Richard M. Burnes, Jr.
Founder and General Partner Charles River Ventures
Chairman WGBH Educational Foundation