Sunday, January 23, 2011

Easy Exercise to Help Rebalance Your Body

The exercise described below reads very much like the basic stance used in the T-Tapp rehabilitative method. In reality it is a stance that was presented as part of my Myoskeletal Alignment Certification. On closer inspection those familiar with T-Tapp will see the differences. If you are not familiar with T-Tapp rest assured that I will be introducing it in the near future.

Now that I've cleared that up I'll explain that this stance can be a great introduction to exercise designed to rebalance the left and right sides of the body - exercise to "prehab" the body if you will - to prevent injury. Over the next few weeks I'll be introducing more exercises to help in the rebalancing process. We team these exercises with massage therapy that we plan specifically to loosen tight restrictive muscles thus the weak, overstretched, ineffective muscles to become stronger. It literally doubles the bang for your massage buck.
Prehab so you can avoid Rehab!

We provide our clients with copies of these and other exercises that will be specifially beneficial to their particular postural distortions. I decided it would be nice to have an online record of some of the more common exercises we use.

Postural Rebalancing Stance

1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

2. Look down at your toes, and point them straight forward. Move upper body forward so that you feel more of your weight in the balls of your feet rather than your heels.

3. Slightly bend your knees, weight evenly between your feet. The purpose of this is to transfer some of your weight to your legs. You should feel the muscles in the front of your thighs working to hold you upright.

4. Tuck in your pelvis, flatten your stomach. The muscles in the abdomen just under your navel should be tensed, and the muscles of your low back will become relaxed. You can shift forward and back until you feel our body lining up in a straight line looking from the side. The ankles, hips, shoulders, and head should form a straight line. Doing this will make you feel as if you are leaning forward.

5. Hold palms facing forward, letting the shoulders be in a relaxed position, not pulled back like your mother taught you. Again be sure your shoulders are in line with your hips and your feet, balanced on top of one another.

6. Tuck your chin in, eyes facing straight ahead. Your hands should be slightly in front of your hips. NOW You are ready! Use the muscles on the lower side of your shoulder blades to help reach down toward the floor with your finger tips. Push knees apart and tighten the buttock muscles at the same time. Hold for 5-6 seconds; relax the same amount of time. (Enough time for you to take in a deep breath and let it out again.) Repeat 5-6 times. Use a mirror at first to help you. The most common error is bringing the shoulders back behind the hips. This is a daily activity, best done on awakening or just before going to bed at night.

*This exercise should not be considered medical advice. If you develop pain as a result of this exercise or existing pain becomes worse please discontinue using it immediately.
**If I've provided this exercise to you with different hold and release times than listed please use those times unless of course they cause or worsen pain. Should that happen please call us and we'll readjust your program.
***If you are a massage therapist reading this and wondering if I'm overstepping my license please understand that I am also certified through the American Council on Exercise as an Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist. I am also certified as T-Tapp Rehabilitative Trainer and have multiple courses in Post Rehab exercise and Postural Realignment. This allows me to provide our clients with copies of exercises that may benefit them much as a regular personal trainer would provide.

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states. - Carol Welch

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