Sunday, December 19, 2010

Postural Distortion: The benefits of Bodywork and Rehabilitative Exercise.

“It was the craziest thing. All I did was bend over a little bit and my back went out!” or “I just reached for something on my desk, felt a funny little zing and within 12 hours my shoulder was on fire.” or “I’m not sure what I did! My ________ (knee, hip, shoulder, back, neck, etc. etc.) started bothering me a little and over the last _________ (day, week, month etc. etc.) it’s steadily gotten worse.”

What do all of the above scenarios have in common besides pain that screams for attention? Believe it or not it’s very possible that the postural changes or repetitive motion that set them into motion began not days, weeks or months but years ago! Yes, I said years.
Spinal Development
Postural distortion is very real and the longer it continues the deeper it becomes and the harder it is to reverse. It reminds me of ever growing snowball that’s been rolled down a snowy hill.
The healthy back has predictable curves in the neck, mid-back and lower back/hip areas. Yet, a baby is born without those classic spinal. The process of becoming upright, crawling and walking imprints the curves that allows us to balance head over pelvis and move in an upright position. This very fact shows me that posture – good or bad – can be a powerful element of change where our bodies are concerned.
We are constantly fighting against gravity, which is also a powerful element of postural change – usually bad. Just conjure up a picture of a person who is 120 years old, (S)he can still walk. Picture what this person would look like while walking. Did you picture someone bent forward, looking at their feet? Maybe using a cane or walker? Taking small mincing steps and looking as if they may fall at any minute? Sadly this is all too often the postural reality for many people far younger than 120 and the changes from which is springs begin when we are far, far younger than even 50!
Regular bodywork emphasizing postural restructuring can act as a positive and extremely powerful element for postural change. Rehabilitative exercise does the same. Team them up and you have an unbeatable combo that results in postural changes over time that literally peel years off your appearance.
This postural restructuring may have a benefit far more functional than simply making you move like a younger person. In most cases postural restructuring through massage therapy and rehabilitative exercise can reverse the changes that will eventually lead to pain. In many cases it will decrease or even reverse pain syndromes that defy Western Medicine.
Here at Quintessential Bodyworks LLC we pride ourselves in keeping up with the ever evolving field of postural restructuring though both massage therapy and rehabilitative exercise. In future blog posts I’ll cover these topics in greater depth.
Yes, things happen for a reason, but the key to true happiness is figuring out that reason.  -  Sharon Abel


Ottavina said...

Postural restructuring exercises...would that include yoga? If so, what kind? T-Tapp? The Barre Method?

Do you ever do anything with the Petrone Method? That helps me when I have a shoulder or back that's out.

Lannette said...

Any or all of those methods could be used to help restructure posture. That said, I do think that one or several might be more appropriate for a person depending upon their likes/dislikes, temperment, needs, goals and movement history.

I promise I'll talk more about that in the future.

Oh, and yes, I am familiar with the Petrone Method.