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Stretch! The Remarkable Story of Jacques Gauthier (and How You Can Stretch Your Way to a Healthier,
by Mary Maddux columnist Mary Maddux has worked in the healing arts in both conventional and alternative settings. With an MS in clinical social work, she has worked as a counselor, helping people cope with the stresses of life. While working as a hospice counselor, she was introduced to various alternative healing arts. She eventually developed a healing arts practice and has taught many workshops.

She and husband Richard are producers of two renowned CDs, Sleep Easy: Guided Meditation for Deep Rest , and Pure Relaxation: Guided Meditations for Body, Mind & Spirit . Mary is the "voice" of these CDs while Richard, an accomplished composer of music for meditation with 20 years experience, created the music.

At age 66, Jacques Gauthier is nearing the end of a walk across the United States to spread the word about the benefits of stretching. He started his walk in Montreal in June of 2004. He arrived in our small California town in March, and Jacques is still going strong.

Jacques Gauthier, Age 66

Jacques Gauthier,
Age 66

He looks the picture of health - energetic, enthusiastic and quick to smile as he shares the inspiring story of his recovery from severe illness and pain through stretching. Seeing Jacques today, it is hard to believe that 16 years ago he was in severe pain and barely able to perform the most basic activities of living. Diagnosed with arthritis, osteoporosis and vasculitis, it took him 15 minutes just to get out of bed. He couldn't even shower himself as he was unable to lift a bar of soap!

Jacques stayed in town long enough to teach some classes and I was able to attend. I am so impressed with his simple, relaxed approach and effectiveness of his program that I'd like to share Jacques'story with you, as well as to let you know about the wonderful DVD that he created with his wife of 40 years, Dorothée Lavoie.

Jacques' problems began at the age of 41, when he was afflicted with neurological problems which doctors were unable to diagnose. He was in pain and started losing function in his limbs.

He lost all use of his left arm which atrophied over time. His "mystery illness" made him the subject of much medical interest and he became the object of a great deal of study.

With all of the symptoms of vasculitis, he was prescribed prednisone to combat the pain. Told that he would be on steroids for the rest of his life, Jacques was at that point pleased to find that the pain was relieved and his energy returned.

"No More Pills!"

Little did he know that a side of effect of prednisone is loss of bone, and 8 years later, he learned that he had developed severe osteoporosis with 30% bone loss! He was then prescribed a medication to stop the effects of the osteoporosis. It was then that he made what he calls "the most important decision of my life - no more pills."

He realized that the new medication would likely have new side effects which would require yet another medication. At that point he decided that if he was to become a quadriplegic, as doctors were predicting, he would rather have that happen as a result of the disease rather than the medication. Jacques stopped taking the prednisone.

Although this turned out to be a good decision in the long run, Jacques did not realize that stopping the prednisone all at once could be fatal. Fortunately, it wasn't fatal, but it did lead to crippling arthritis.
Jacques' pain was so severe that he was practically bed bound for 6 months. All he could do was listen to meditation tapes and pray!

"You Don't Have to Live With Pain!"

Finally, a friend told him about someone who might be able to help him. Despite his pain, Jacques traveled 600 miles to meet a man who told him that the simple exercise of stretching was his only hope to recover from this terrible condition.

At first he could only stretch for a few seconds and then rest for ½ hour before trying again. But after spending 3 weeks doing stretches throughout the day, his pain had been reduced by 50%. In another 6 months, he was pain free and leading a normal life.

Jacques insists that "you don't have to live with pain!" Thankful for his recovery, he has dedicated himself to bringing the life-giving benefits of stretching to everyone he can.

People of all ages and all walks of life have been receiving the benefit of the simple stretches he teaches. Doctors, nurses, chiropractors, physical therapists and all manner of health care providers have enjoyed his courses and recommend the stretches to their patients. I was delighted to find my own physician in the class with me and to learn that he highly recommends this program as well.

Jacques and His Wife, Dorothee Lavoie

Jacques and His Wife, Dorothee Lavoie

In just a week, people in the class I took were happy to find increased flexibility and that they were beginning to be more comfortable as they moved.

As we age, our muscles tighten and we have less range of motion in our joints. Simple activities that we once took for granted, like cutting our toenails, picking things up from the floor or zipping a dress, can all become difficult. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make these daily activities easier and more enjoyable.

Stretching Can Achieve Remarkable Benefits for You, Too!

Everyone can learn to stretch, regardless of age or flexibility. It does not have to involve a huge time commitment, but stretching can end up giving you huge results! Some of the benefits of stretching include:

  • Increased energy levels

  • Increased flexibility

  • Increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body

  • Greater sense of well-being

  • Reduced muscle tension

  • Injury prevention

  • Enhanced muscular coordination

Learn More about Jacques' Stretching DVD!

"Without a doubt, the simple stretching exercises on this DVD will add life to your years ... and years to your life!"
          -- Dr. Jean Chevrefils, Quebec

"I found Jacques' stretching program extremely beneficial for my own chronic back pain and can recommend it highly."
          -- Walter C. Prehn, MD

"I've had your videotape for a year now and have been doing the stretching intensively. My back and knee pain are now just a bad memory."
          -- Pierrette Abel

  • The Most Effective 15 Stretching Exercises

  • Works Almost 100% of ALL Muscles in Your Body

  • Full Program Takes Just 15-20 Minutes Per Day

  • Eliminate Pain

  • Feel Much Younger & Energetic

  • Increase Your Mental Clarity and Focus

  • Improve Your Blood & Oxygen Circulation

  • Improve Your Body's Absorption of Nutrients

  • Slow Degeneration of Your Joints

  • Dramatically Improve the Way Your Body Looks!

  • Order this Top-Recommended DVD Today!

Just $29.79
FREE SHIPPING for a Limited Time!

Read More About the
Stretching DVD & Order Now

Over the years, Jacques has taught stretching to thousands of people. Many have reported improvement in a wide variety of problems, including headaches, sciatica, back and neck pain, insomnia, depression and even conditions like fibromyalgia.

Stretching is the simplest and perhaps one of the most effective fitness techniques there is. Best of all it's free! Even if you don't set time aside for stretching, you can stretch throughout the day. Simply taking breaks from time to time and stretching in whatever way feels good can be highly beneficial.

Jacques Gauthier's Stretching DVD Works 95% of Your Muscles!

It is especially helpful, however, to learn some specific stretches which affect muscles that you might normally not be using. According to Canadian chiropractor, Dr. Jean Chevrefils, the stretching routine on Jacques' DVD stretches 95% of the muscles in the body.

What I love about Jacques' approach is that it is very simple and natural. The stretches don't have to be done in an exacting fashion - you can do them in a manner that works best for you. The style of stretching Jacques uses (which is typical of "static stretching") is considered to be the safest, and yet they are very effective.

As I am so aware of the benefits of relaxation, I immediately noticed that the DVD helps you to feel very relaxed. In fact, relaxing into the stretches can actually allow you to stretch further.

When we stretch in a relaxed manner, we avoid injuring ourselves as we might if we strain or force the stretches. Working harder is definitely not working smarter when it comes to stretching! We are so accustomed to working hard at things, and Jacques' Stretching DVD makes it easy to relax as you stretch.

Often the best things we can do for our health and well-being are the simplest. Stretching is one of them. I agree with Jacques who states that the most important things for health are relaxation, exercise and good food. Start with any one of them, and the others will come along as we feel better and start to make better choices.

You can start right now - stop, be still a moment, take a few slow, deep breaths - and stretch!

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