This article is provided courtesy of and written in large part by Deb Preachuk, Posture Alignment Therapist, www.painfreeposturemn.com
Here are the FOUR BIGGEST MISTAKES people make when doing Posture Alignment Therapy
1. Missing the Connection Between Posture & Pain
You got a Posture Evaluation without understanding the connection between Posture and Pain. Or you worked out of the "book" (The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion, or PainFree) without reading the first three chapters explaining how your posture creates pain.
To take full advantage of this astounding therapy process as a vehicle to reduce and eliminate pain, and to live life without limitations, it is important to understand how the position and mis-position of your joints and the corresponding muscle imbalances wreaks havoc on your body. The first chapters of Pete Egoscue’s books lay out the DIRECT connection between misaligned joints and body parts and pain. If you don’t understand that connection, the lack of understanding can be an impediment to the therapy process.
Many people, even after doing the Posture Alignment Therapy, run to the doctor at the first hint of pain instead of :
a.) looking in the mirror to see if their rotations or elevations or issues have crept back in;
b.) getting on the floor to do a menu;
c.) or go see, call or email the Posture Therapist for advice.
The doctor is going to treat the symptom and not the underlying cause. You may feel better from the drug or injection because the pain is masked. The problem will be waiting for you to address the cause when the drugs and injections wear off. Meanwhile the problem has been shoved under the rug but it is still waiting to be resolved the right way, by correcting the misalignments and getting the deep muscle imbalances balanced again.
2. Keep doing one menu over and over
You did some menus with a Certified Posture Alignment Therapist and found symptom relief weeks, months or years ago and stuck with one menu without ever changing it or without going back to your Posture Therapist for a Maintenance session and “check ups.”
The Posture Alignment process is definitely not a “one menu and you’re done” thing. Even if you’ve done 8 sessions and have 8 menus and are no longer meeting with your therapist, those menus should be kept and used regularly. In other words, you should be using all of those menus on a rotating basis. Do not throw them away. You may have a favorite menu but you do your self and your posture a disservice if you don’t periodically give yourself the other stimulus contained in the other menus.
In the technological age we live in we are surrounded by negative stimulus. Look around everyone is much more sedentary, most people are hunched over their tablets, or phones or games. Most people exercise very little and if they do, they have misaligned postures and are reinforcing their misalignments. Now that you are more aligned, you need to continue using all your exercises not just a few to maintain your posture for the rest of your life.
If you go to the dentist and he says, “you’re not flossing, you are headed for periodontal problems”, would you start flossing to get the improvements but then stop flossing after the dentist says your gums have improved?
You’re going to have to keep maintaining the posture you achieved with your therapist just like you maintain other aspects of your body. You will need to go see your therapist periodically to see if you have in fact maintained the improved functions and posture-just like you go to the dentist for check-ups.
3. All Alone on Your Own
You tried a single menu from one session with a Posture Alignment therapist (educated at the Egoscue University) or from one of the Egoscue books on your own. You experienced discomfort you were unfamiliar with, and/or struggled doing the corrective exercises and simply gave up blaming the methodology without investigating further why.
When you work one on one with a Posture Alignment Therapist certified by the Egoscue University, you are getting cutting edge expert help tailored, custom designed for all of your individual problems. Depending on the length of time your body has been impaired, injured or dysfunctional and out of balance, one session and one menu will not take your body to full function and getting out of pain. There are steps and hurdles in the healing process. The muscles need to relearn the proper way to engage and it takes time, again depending on the amount and extremeness of the problems.
If you're in a hurry and want a fast cure, this is not the process for you. In fact there is no fast cure. The body is out of balance and it took a long time to get to that point, it's going to take some concentrated focus, time and energy to get it back in balance. There is no short cut. There is no elevator to being pain free, you have to take the stairs.
Pete’s books are written to be read by the masses. Sometimes depending on the type and amount of a person’s postural dysfunctions, the exercises in Pete’s books are just not going to address the problems. The more painful areas you have, the longer the pain has existed, the more surgeries and medical interventions you have tried, the simple basic exercises in the books just won’t cut it. (I don't believe the book was written to get the entire body realigned.
The book is there as a 911 resource when you have specific joint pain. Further, the exercises will be less than effective if they are NOT done in the sequence provided. They will be a good deal less effective if they aren’t done correctly. And they definitely won't be effective if they aren’t done over a long enough period of time. In our “instant gratification” society, this process is not for people looking for an external instant cure with little effort.
Even though the books have exercise instructions and photos it is not uncommon for a therapist and client to discover that in fact the client was doing an exercise entirely wrong all along. Working directly one on one with a Posture Alignment Therapist, special attention is given to a number of nuances and details which help the client learn the best and precise way to execute the exercises.
The Posture exercises may APPEAR to be similar to other exercises but they are really done differently with a different intention. The BODY IS A UNIT and functions with all parts and systems being interconnected and directly affected by one another. Postural dysfunctions are dysfunctional neuromuscular patterns which effect all joints even if the person has no awareness of the other joints not functioning properly. Posture alignment exercises and menus address all body parts and joints.
For instance, when doing Standing Arm Circles, it is actually important to keep the feet pointed straight ahead and the legs hip width apart and it is very important to keep the shoulder blades pinched together. So not only is the exercise targeting proper function of the shoulder joint, when doing these exercises all other parts of the body have to be properly positioned as well. It's not OK to do Standing Arm Circles with duck feet, a wide stance for example.
The exercises are NOT hard, they are profoundly simple. The nuances of their execution are what is key.
The exercises are 95% effective and will work IF:
a.) they are the right exercises for the pain and problem. (There are HUNDREDS of exercises that the Posture Alignment Therapist knows and can choose from.)
b.) the client does them not only correctly, exactly as instructed, but also in the SEQUENCE or order in which they are assigned.
c.) the client does them regularly 5-7 days a week on an ongoing basis or as agreed upon with the therapist.
4. Thinking since you're done with your package of sessions therefore you are completely aligned and done.
Seldom is this the truth. Just because you used your package of sessions does not mean you are totally posture perfect. If you still have joints or parts that are not in the proper position and your therapist has said even though you are out of pain, there is still work to be done, you should not stop short of the full alignment goal. If you have learned enough and feel you have all the resources in the form of menus to keep the posture change process going at home on your own, good. Do your menu regularly, do it correctly, see your Posture Alignment therapist periodically for a tune up or continue to come in for sessions to get full function and alignment - these are the keys to living life without limitation.
If you are having pain or problems again, reevaluate if you need to be more regular with your menus. If you are not doing your exercises correctly or if you are doing something that is reinstituting your compensations and dysfunctions again (doing more strenuous weights) and you have limited or reduced use of your menus then time to reevaluate with your therapist the real cause. Call and come in for a check up and some posture photos to get an impartial view of your joint position and problem.
Some clients can work on their own with their own menus and not see their therapist except for periodic tune-ups. These are cases when the problems and dysfunctions respond quickly to the exercises and the posture changes fairly quickly. (This pertains to people whose problems are relatively recent.) Some clients body's have been developing the postural misalignments over long periods of time, decades or even since early childhood. Remember posture dysfunctions start at the deepest of deep layers of musculature-and I don't mean the "Abdominals." Depending on the client's goals, it will take far longer to get the body to relearn what is necessary. It's possible and it may take longer than another person. It will take more followup and maintenance.
Either way, this process is a lifetime endeavor. Just think of it. You have to maintain your body in numerous ways every single day. You have to bath, eat, hydrate, take care of your teeth, sleep and every other aspect of your physical selves. The musculoskeletal system is no different. You have to give it the right specific muscle engagement and stimulus to keep your joints and body vertically straight and horizontally level.
Go do your favorite physical activity or go work in the yard, or go to the gym but make sure your joints continue to stay aligned and function properly by doing your menu or the old patterns will creep back in.
Don't floss your teeth, or engage in poor hydration and nutritional habits, sit in a chair for long periods, move very little, it WILL catch up to you. If you stay on top of your health and your posture your body will thank you. Remember, going to the gym and stretching, lifting weights or doing Pilates,Yoga or cardio classes does not address your own unique individual biomechanical postural, joint and muscle compensation and dysfunction patterns and habits. There is nothing wrong with those activities. However, they are not designed to realign joints or to inhibit longstanding compensations or eliminate dysfunction. Your menu does.
Call The POSTURE Clinic (772-559-1532) to discuss your individual situation and find out how you can get to the root cause of your pain.
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.
Catee Ingwersen is an Egoscue certified Posture Alignment Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist.