Posture, Bunions & Genes
A colleague of mine mentioned he recently worked with two clients, husband and wife and at some point also met their son. The three of them had the same posture disparities. All three family members had torso offsets (the upper body sits slightly off center), scapula and pelvic disparities (shoulder blades and pelvis not working properly). All three had thigh bones, knees and feet that were turned out to the sides (externally rotated). Everyone was almost identical. My colleague was curious about such a phenomenon and wondered if these posture similarities were genetic.
Assuming the husband and wife are NOT blood related, their similar posture disparities can not be genetic in nature. What about the non-adopted son’s disparities? I commonly hear clients say one of their parents or grandparents “had the exact same thing as me” or “my grandmother and my mother and I all have bunions.” There is no such thing as a bunion gene.
Have you ever been where there are a lot of people, like an airport and see a family with a strong resemblance in facial features? Each has the same nose, same chin, same forehead, cheekbones? Now that would be genetic.
I like to watch this group in motion, walking. What do you know! They are all walking the same way! A father and a younger person walking side by side and their gaits and mannerisms are identical. I wanted to model myself after my father and I looked up to him a lot and when I was young. I’d emulate him and probably unconsciously I modeled my movements and actions after his. There is nothing wrong with that unless you realize you may be modeling a posture that is dysfunctional. If you emulate a high fashion runway model and develop a walk just like that, chances are very good you'll develop sway back and dysfunctional posture too.
So if your father had knee problems due to his pelvis and hip muscles being overused, tight and immovable which in turn changes the position of the leg, knee and feet rotating them out to the side (knees were never designed to rotate like that!) then guess what! That's not genetic. That's modeling your movements and posture after someone else's. If they are in pain and have posture problems, so will you.
We can manifest what we believe or imagine, what we think about consciously or subconsciously.
Bruce Lipton, stem-cell biologist (author of bestseller The Biology of Belief) taught at Univ of WIsconsin’s School of Medicine. He is famous for his stem cell research and ground-breaking book. He was a member of the medical community and was educated and ingrained in the system of thinking he now calls the “central dogma” in that science and medicine all believe (so does the media and then the masses) our DNA controls our destiny (genetic determinism -we’re dealt our fate at birth.).
Lipton’s lab research proved this is not true. He took genetically identical stem cells and put them in separate Petri dishes then changed the environment in each dish. The cells in the bad environment dish crashed. The cells in the good supportive environment dish were healthy and thriving. He moved the sick cells out of their environment dish to the supportive environment dish and they got better and were thriving then also. Taking it a step further he proved if we believe we are a victim of our genes, then we are; if we believe we have control over of genes we do.
Bruce Lipton says, "The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and reality." If you change your beliefs you change your reality. If you are thin as a feather but you believe you are obese then obese is your reality and that is all you see yourself as. So powerful is that belief, it (anorexia) can kill.
When father mother son have the same posture deviations I tend to see it as they share the same beliefs about whether they are going to have dad’s knee meniscus problem. They walk around the same way the person they are modeling after, with their father's gait. Maybe they even favor their knee and perhaps they even expect to have what they believe is their father's and grandfather's “genetic” predisposed knee problem and guess what!!! They do!! Then because the old paradigm has not shifted yet to the new paradigm, they believe "there's nothing I can do for my knee problem - I inherited it." believing they are victims of their genes when in fact their knee problem is not caused by genes it is caused by positional changes in their bones due to muscle imbalances they created themselves.
I have seen some members of various ethnic groups who have culturally specific gaits. It’s not because they were born with a gene to swagger like that…..it’s the belief and desire to be and act and walk a certain way and that identifies them as a member of that culture or group. I believe, the family is a cultural unit too.
We can help people change their beliefs about their perceived inheritance of bunions by proving that the hips (not their grandmother’s bunion genes) are causing them to skate on the inner edges of their feet causing pressures that were never meant to be there. The only way the body can protect against the onslaught of the daily pressures on the edges of the toe and foot is to add more bone there. This creates bunions. Correct the posture and hip problem there is no longer a need for the bone padding called bunion.
Call The POSTURE Clinic today (772) 559-1532 to discuss your individual posture or pain situation and needs.
Catee Ingwersen is a Posture Alignment Specialist trained, certified by the Egoscue University in The Egoscue® Method. She empowers people every day to overcome pain and physical limitations unlike any other healing or medical intervention. Call 772-559-1532 or stop by our Clinic in Vero Beach, Florida to discuss this common sense approach and your individual needs.
"Pain is not a disease, not an injury, not even an effect of aging. Pain is a
treatable symptom." Pete Egoscue
We choose our joys and sorrows long before
we experience them. Kahlil Gibran
Your subconscious beliefs establish the limits of what you can achieve. You can rewrite the software of your subconscious mind and change your life. If you are interested in getting what you want in life versus what you don't want, perhaps consider a technique called Psych-K endorsed by Bruce Lipton and offered at The POSTURE Clinic. Call (772) 559-1532 for more information.
This post was written by Matt Whitehead, Director of the Egoscue Portland. Clinic and is an excerpt from a blog post from Egoscue Nashville. The client xrays were provided to Egoscue Portland by Egoscue Austin clinic.
Xrays of Degenerative Knee & Cartilage Damage - Before & After Posture Alignment using The Egoscue Method.
When people hear “bone-on-bone” (knee, hip, wrist, ankle etc.) most people (including well-meaning doctors) think “it’s too late to do anything, time for a replacement.” This line of thinking comes from the idea that our bodies are like machines. “When your cars’ brakes are worn-out you need to replace the brake pads with new ones and then your car is back to normal.” There are two problems with this line of thinking:
1. We have yet to (and probably never will) “build” a replacement part that is close to and as good as the original part (but medical science will never stop trying)
2. Machines are dead and our bodies are living – meaning we are able to rebuild our own parts at the rate of 500+ billion new cells a day!
When not replaced, the worn-out brake pad on your car will continue to wear away every day because the car does not have a means to repair/rebuild it on it’s own. But our bodies do! Our bodies are constantly repairing and rebuilding everything from our skin (we have all seen this happen after a cut or scrap) to our bones (observed in people who have healed a broken bone or raised their bone density) to muscle tissue, brain cells, nerve cells, cardic muscle, and even cartilage. The key to getting that “bone-on-bone” joint to repair itself is to make sure the reason why the joint was wearing away in the first place is corrected. That has to do with the postural position of the joint and the dysfunctional movement that has been happening. Correct that and the body will repair itself.
John Elder of Egoscue Nashville talked about Pete Egoscue and cartilage in a recent blog post:
When Pete released (his book) Pain Free back in the early 90s, he made the claim that you can regrow cartilage and took a LOT of heat for saying so. Everyone thought he was crazy and dismissed his theory. If you don’t have a copy of Pain Free, here is what he has to say on page 107:
“As for the ‘irreversible’ cartilage loss, why of all the tissue in the body would the cartilage be the only one that does not regenerate? The answer is that it does regenerate. Laboratory experiments in Sweden have shown that under the right conditions cartilage, like any tissue, can be grown. Moreover, sports medicine practitioners have long recognized that athletes increase their cartilage density and shock-absorbing capacity during proper training.”
Once again, he was crucified for this statement. In his own words from Pain Free for Women he says, “That statement drew a barrage of criticism from doctors, researchers, and physical therapists. When cartilage is gone, they scolded me, it’s gone, and nothing short of a miracle will bring it back.”
Well, if it’s a miracle they want, then it’s a miracle they’ll get. Thanks to Rick Mathes in the Austin Clinic for providing these x-rays (read his full blog post about this client HERE). A client working with one of the therapists was told he had to have his knee replaced. Take a look at the first xray picture from April, 2004 and you’ll understand why the doc suggested it.
To help explain what you’re looking at, it’s as if you are facing this client. His right knee is on your left. Notice that on the far left hand side of the image there is decreased space between the femur (upper leg bone) and the tibia (lower leg bone). Loss of cartilage, right? I agree. This guy is surely headed for a knee replacement...or is he?
Take a look at the second set of x-rays from July, 2005, just a little over a year after the first were taken. Notice the uniform spacing between the femur and tibia. It’s a miracle! The cartilage is regrown! While I agree the cartilage is regrown, I don’t believe it necessarily qualifies as miraculous. Instead, I believe the client took charge of his health and put faith in his body that it can heal itself. What a remarkable difference, and all without going under the knife. When you switch from being symptom-focused (i.e. loss of cartilage and needing a knee replacement) to being cause-focused (i.e. why did the cartilage degenerate?), a lot can happen. Change the position of the knee joint, give the cartilage room to grow, and it will.
I love that there is finally ‘proof’ that Pete was right all those years ago. The body is an engineering miracle. It’ll heal itself if you just give it an opportunity. Keep moving!
Catee Ingwersen is an Egoscue certified Posture Alignment Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist.