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The Miracle Ball Method DVD Review (The Elaine Patrone Method)

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Can the key to pain and stress relief really be in one tiny ball? Our Fitness blogger Jenna Mahoney gets on the ball and tests the Elaine Petrone Method.

What Amazon.com says:

"Unlike exercise programs that are designed to build muscle through repetitive motion and muscle tightening, the Elaine Petrone Method teaches you to "unwork" the excess muscle tension that contributes to chronic low backache, joint pain, arthritis, anxiety, fatigue, stress, and a host of everyday twinges, spasms, and hurts. Revolutionary in its simplicity, this program will show you how to use controlled breathing, two squishy balls, and gentle movements to let your lower back and hips heal themselves.

"Muscles respond to stress by activating a cycle of pain in your body. Whether your pain comes from injury, improper body alignment, or just the stress of everyday life, get on the ball and get relief!"

What Jenna says:

"Designed and created by a former dancer, this video and mini ball workout is no more than lying on the floor, breathing mindfully, and placing the patented tennis-ball-sized ball under your flabby points. And it is just as easy as it sounds. The founder Elaine Petrone claims that you'll feel leaner, longer, and less stressed, and reshape your body by doing this method.

"The video starts with a mindful session of breathing followed by slow instructional cues on where to place the ball and reminders to keep breathing. Elaine, a former dancer, harps a lot on the fact that the correct breathing methods are the best way to get fit. And she seems to follow the Joseph Pilates school of thought that a strong breath equals a strong you.

"The video is less than 30 minutes and it really doesn't interrupt your daily life. I sort of feel like it is the exercise video equivalent of a school nurse -- I'm not entirely sure that this person of perceived power actually knows what she's talking about. And whether or not this thing is ultra effective remains to be seen. But I practice the video because, well, even if it is psychosomatic, I feel like I'm gaining something -- if nothing more than 20 minutes of self-reflection time.

"The method is sold in various forms, but I like the video system that comes with a booklet. The video isn't as complete as I'd like it to be and the booklet doesn't have the get-into-reflection mode music, so having both lets me customize."

 

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, January 2008.

 

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