Like many pain sufferers, [Mike Kaplan] shuttled among specialists until an orthopedic surgeon referred him to Sherry Brourman, a West Los Angeles physical therapist and yoga teacher who specializes in patients with structural pain.
Sherry Brourman's technique is one of several methods that can ease chronic pain by changing the way sufferers move. Others include yoga, the Alexander technique, which focuses on the relationship of the head, neck and back and teaches people to incorporate improved coordination into their daily activities, such as walking, bending, sitting or talking; and the Feldenkrais method, in which intense body massage is used in combination with movement exercises that help people become more flexible and efficient.
YOGA'S SUPPORTING ROLE: Sherry Brourman, a Los Angeles physical therapist, teaches Mike Kaplan yoga poses to stretch his muscles and reinforce each correction of his gait. Learning how to walk properly, he says, is like learning a "bizarre foreign language."; PHOTOGRAPHER: RICHARD HARTOG / Los Angeles Times