Dr. Loren Fishman: Back-pain Specialist, Assistant Clinical Professor at Columbia Medical School & Author

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Dr. Loren Fishman received an advanced degree in philosophy at Oxford University in 1965, then spent a year with Yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar in Pune, India, attending every class, public and private, and taking daily instruction. He attended Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical School, did a Tufts-Harvard residency and was Chief Resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Fishman has written and edited more than 80 academic articles, chapters and books on Rehabilitation Medicine and is a past President of the NY Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as one of NY Magazine’s Best Doctors.

Books include: Healing Yoga: Proven Postures to Treat 20 Common Ailments  (2015),  Yoga for Back Pain with Carol Ardman (2012) Yoga for Osteoporosis (2010) and Yoga for Arthritis (2008), with Ellen Saltonstall,  all published by WW Norton. Dr. Fishman and Eric Small authored Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis with Eric Small (2007, Demos Press). Functional Myography, Provocative Maneuvers in Electrodiagnosis, co-authored by Allen Wilkins, MD, was published by Springer in 2011.  Back Pain: How to Relieve Low Back Pain and Sciatica and Sciatica Solutions, both co-authored by Carol Ardman, were published by WW Norton in 1999 and 2005.

Dr. Fishman was a featured speaker at the Sytar conference of the International Association of Yoga Therapists in May, 2015. He was awarded a prize for his research on a yoga maneuver to cure the pain and disability of rotator cuff tear at the 1st International Conference for Yoga and Social Reformation in Hardiwar, India, in 2011. Dr. Fishman is a practicing physician who has been doing yoga every day for 40 years. He teaches yoga regularly to patients in his medical practice in New York.

What do you do best?

I think what I do best is help patients and students to use yoga and other natural techniques to remedy medical problems.  This is especially successful with back pain, sciatica, rotator cuff syndrome, scoliosis, osteoporosis and insomnia.

What makes you the best? 

I spent over three years in India, one studying intensely with my teacher, Mr.  BKS Iyengar; I have practiced medicine for more years than I care to count and have practiced yoga and meditation even more years, every single day, including when I was hospitalized for surgery.

What are your aspirations?

I aspire to bring yoga as a healing technique to the American – and world -- mainstream.

Biggest Success? 

Convincing my wife to marry me.

Most Challenging Moment?

During a monsoon, I saw a husky boy of about thirteen foundering in the waves of the Indian Ocean, being carried out to sea. I dove in, fought through the undertow and after about an hour and a half of tremendous struggle, I brought him to shore.

Favorite Motto?

 “All that is constant is change.”

Favorite People? 

B.K.S. Iyengar, John Scotus Eriugena, St.Francis of Assisi, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Dr. Rick Hodes, hero who adopts children with tuberculosis in Ethiopia.

Favorite Places? 

Tobyhannock Creek in Pennsylvania, Alamo Square, San Francisco, the Himalayas

Favorite Products?

Yogurt, guacamole, spaghetti, Tesla

Current Passions?

Continuing my clinical research on yoga for osteoporosis, scoliosis and other medical conditions and publishing it to help prove its scientific value. Teaching the healing yogic techniques I’ve developed. Oh, and Scrabble, Netflix and my granddaughter.  Bringing yoga therapy to the people, my wife, kids and granddaughter.