The importance and benefits of proper body alignment, proper posture, is becoming more and more widely acknowledged. More and more people think they can correct their own posture problems by "trying" to hold their shoulders back or pull their chin back or walk with their feet pointed correctly.
We call this "Faking it till you make it." You can't fake out the body.
Simply put, proper posture alignment is when the body's center of gravity is in the center of the body and all primary joints are stacked vertically and level horizontally and the pelvis and spine are in their original optimal position for full function. (The spine has three distinct curves for important functions.) This is the most efficient healthy position for the body, the position we were all born with (except 5% of the population) but with habitual unhealthy patterns, injury have diverged from.
The body can maintain these positions when muscles have proper tension and proper length to hold the skeleton upright in the optimal position. Trying to correct the position of your hips, shoulders, knees, feet or head a certain way is useless since the alignment should be taking place at an involuntary level.
It is the nervous system's job to operate muscle function which determines bone position and joint movement without your conscious input. It's like believing you can have direct control over your stomach digesting food or making your intestines work. These are automatic processes that your body knows how to do without you.
If your knees point outward or inward and not straight ahead (even if you could), it is a bad idea to force your knees to point a different way. Holding your knees, stomach, shoulders or pelvis a certain way will produce a chain reaction in another area which will go out of alignment. Forcing one area to "be straight" will pull some other part of the body out of balance and alignment.
One client realized he had created Spondylolisthesis (a spinal vertebra slipping forward of the stack of vertebrae). For years, he constantly pulled his shoulders backward but he didn't realize this was pushing his pelvis forward. In an effort to keep his shoulders back, his body consequently resembled a "bow" as in bow and arrow. This put amazing pressure on his lower back and over time created a shearing force and effect shifting one lumbar vertebra forward and this was extremely painful and problematic. Correcting this problem took a lot of time and effort.
Muscles have memory and you will need to reprogram the old dysfunctional memory of muscle imbalances with new functional patterns. (This is confusing to most people but this is where our method of Posture Alignment Therapy excels.)
CHANGING YOUR POSTURE WITH GIZMOS, HOLDING YOURSELF CONTINUALLY A CERTAIN WAY (BASED ON POPULAR BUT MISGUIDED IDEAS OR BELIEFS) IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO DO ON YOUR OWN.
YOU CAN'T SEE YOURSELF FULLY AND MOSTLY LIKELY DON'T HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROPER ANATOMICAL MOVEMENTS AND POSITIONS YOUR BODY PARTS MUST MAINTAIN and HOW TO CREATE THEM. FAKING GOOD POSTURE DOESN'T WORK.
SIMPLY SUCKING IN YOUR GUT OR BRACING YOUR ABS CAN CREATE MORE PROBLEMS.
THE BODY WORKS AS A UNIT. IT IS ILL-ADVISED TO ONLY FOCUS ON ONE BODY PART OR MUSCLE YOU THINK IS CAUSING A PROBLEM.
Further, as described above in the example of the person "correcting posture" by pulling shoulders back that created a serious spinal problem, the body has to be put in positions that take away the compensations and create alignment and functionally correct positions then make the muscles work from that corrected position.
A salesperson came through our door the other day selling something. He started to inquire about how our therapy works. As he was saying his posture was good he arched his back and stood up straight, this caused him to hold his belt and pull his pants up as standing up straight changed how his pants were fitting. I pointed out his rounded shoulders, a dead give away when I told him the knuckles of his hands were visible, and his pelvis was tucked under, and his lumbar spine had lost it's important curve which threw his head and shoulders forward, he said he was about to have spinal fusion surgery. I said, "no wonder." Faking correct posture is a waste of effort and can be detrimental.
Forcing a change or a correction to one area will most likely change another area which is not necessarily for the better. It's temporary and faking good posture.
CALL FOR A CONSULTATION TO SEE HOW YOU HAVE REPROGRAMMED YOUR POSTURE AND MUSCLE MOVEMENT PATTERNS 772-559-1532 in Vero Beach and LET US SHOW YOU HOW WE CAN HELP YOU MEET YOUR GOALS.
Catee Ingwersen is an Egoscue certified Posture Alignment Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist.