Poor posture can lead to back pain, weakened muscles, and strained joints and ligaments, but it can be avoided. This gentle movement will help you build strength and create flexibility in your spine. Initially it may feel good or it may feel stiff and awkward, but it should not hurt. If a movement causes you pain, stop, back up, and repeat. Stop short of any pain. Try some variations: move less or slower.
The directive to “stand up straight” is a familiar instruction to properly present oneself in the world. The progression to an upright posture, in terms of both human evolution and individual development, ultimately demands a delicate balance of a complex structure. The question of what is the most correct and credible upright alignment can be debated, depending on perspective and particular school of thought. The subject of this article discusses the Aston-Patterning model of alignment, which is based on Judith Aston’s many years of teaching and observation.
Originally published in Body Sense magazine, Autumn/Winter Copyright 2008. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
For a child wobbling atop a two-wheel bicycle for the first time, getting it to remain upright is a scary challenge. But once that child has mastered the art of balancing on the bike, the body just remembers what to do.
As the concept of holism gains acceptance in Western culture, it becomes increasingly commonplace to find ourselves impressed by the ways in which everything is connected to everything else. We embrace holism in our approaches to health. We pray for our leaders to embrace holistic understanding of our geographical and political environments. We find significance in the synchronous thoughts and events of our personal lives. “There are no accidents,” we say.
No therapeutic approach to pain management is satisfactory until body posture is generally improved. Whatever the cause of the client’s problem, special focus should always be given to posture. Overall body alignment may seem time consuming and is therefore frequently neglected because both therapist and client are often content with immediate symptom alleviation. In recent years, however, the manual therapy community has been blessed with scientific advances spearheaded by researchers such as J.
To complement this issue’s theme on posture, let’s discuss a common postural problem among many older Americans: the hyperkyphosis that often accompanies osteoporosis.
The word posture, which comes from the Latin placement, is used to describe how we stand in space, and it is a good enough word for common use: “His sunken posture conveys defeat.” Or for metaphoric use: “Our posture toward Iran is evolving,” meaning attitude. But for those of us in the massage and bodywork trade, especially those who wish to, or claim to, change posture for the better, the term will not stand up to close examination.
Wow!” Linda said as she stood up from the chair and slowly walked across the dining room floor. “My headache is gone. Thank you!”
Had I given a complicated headache treatment or finished a full-body massage session for Linda? No. I had just given her a five-minute, impromptu seated massage while she sat on a kitchen chair. She is the caregiver for one of my elder, homebound massage clients and had been complaining of a headache, so I offered to give her a quick seated massage session.
Ping Lee’s training as an engineer comes in handy when he’s explaining the concept of energy. “Conceptualize the word air,” he says. “The Chinese have a lot of expressions with the word air. It sounds insignificant, so when you say something is air, what type of thing is it? Can you picture a steam locomotive, do you know how powerful that is? When we use the word steam we think of a cloud, but it is only a condensation of air — energy. What I teach in class, when we talk about energy, is seeing the word air as energy. You can feel a person’s presence, that’s energy.