WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Jane DoCampo of My Back and Body Clinic in Woodcliff Lake teaches yoga classes tailored for people with back problems.
“I really need back care yoga for my own back – a herniation and stenosis and degenerative disks,” said DoCampo, formerly a ballet dancer.
“A regular yoga practice is not appropriate for my back anymore,” she added, “but I still want to be strong.”
DoCampo, 52, teaches at Yoga Union in New York City. But she was unhappy the same specialized care was not available in New Jersey for people with poor posture, herniations, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, and other conditions.
Enter Russell Jones, a 63-year-old motivational speaker and master fitness trainer in Bergen County since 1984. He is personal trainer to the Perillo family of Saddle River.
In January, the two opened My Back and Body Clinic in the Perillo Tours building on Chestnut Ridge Road.
DoCampo and Jones help people realign, re-educate, and strengthen by exercising smartly and specifically for their bodies.
For a person with scoliosis, a condition in which the spine is curved, that will mean moving differently on either side of the body.
Their approach, they say, is unusual in a culture that drives people toward braces, surgeries, drugs, and one-size-fits-all exercises. Some people who have tried all those options, and still hurt, are showing up at My Back and Body Clinic.
“In our culture mindless exercise is extremely popular,” said Jones, who works with athletes on all levels, from high school players to top professionals and aspiring Olympians.
His trainings, classes, and workshops for coaches, parents, and athletes address the whole body all the time.
“That way, when you go to do an activity,” he said, “the body will work in harmony.”
DoCampo and Jones agree many people’s bodies work in crisis mode. That means one part of the body is compensating for a weakness in another part, promoting strain and pain.
A condition called kyphosis is rampant right now, according to DoCampo.
“We see kyphosis, the forward rounding of the shoulders, in younger and younger people,” she said. “It comes with pain in the thoracic spine (middle of the back).”
The reason? Couch potato syndrome, DoCampo said, and hunching over to use technology for hours at a time.
If left unchecked, kyphosis will lead to a hunchback when people reach their 60s.
“At that point people feel themselves folding over,” DoCampo said.
But never fear. Proper movements and exercise can reverse kyphosis, even a hunched back that is decades old .