A posture can be best understood as the alignment of the entire body with its muscles, ligaments and joints. Having a good posture means that your weight is distributed equally throughout the body and as a result, none of your bones or joints face excessive wear and tear.
Having a good posture will decrease the risk of degenerative arthritis or pain in joints. Additionally, the proper alignment of your body assists many of the organs and even the nervous system in functioning at their optimum level.
Poor posture is a nightmare for the body. Abnormally high pressure is exerted on the muscles and joints that hold the torso and hips in alignment, causing them to weaken with time. It can also lead to problems with digestion, respiration and blood circulation. Poor posture is most common in people who spend most of their day sitting, are overweight or wear improper shoes like high heals for too long.
How to fix bad posture? Well, there are options like the back brace for posture or the posture corrector. But in this article we look at Postural Alignment Therapy. The therapy is not just a great way to get rid of bad posture but it improves the overall conditioning of the human body as well.
Postural Alignment Therapy
Posture Alignment Therapy is a wholistic approach to treating bad posture and back pain. It looks to identify the root causes of the issue instead of treating the symptoms. The main purpose of the therapy is to correct the alignment of the eight load-bearing joints situated in the shoulders, hips, knees, ankles. When compared to other posture correction therapies out there, Posture Alignment Therapy is certainly a great option.
Posture alignment therapy is based on helping the body achieve its optimum alignment naturally with the help of gravity. The therapy takes place over a few sessions containing a number of stretches and exercises depending on how good or bad your posture is. These sessions are designed specifically for each patient and their needs. During a session you will be made to go through a series of stretching and other exercises to help align the muscles and ligaments.
The role of a therapist throughout is vital. The therapist will keep an eye on how your body reacts to each session, what effect each session has on your various systems and how to iron out the imbalances in the body.
You have to understand that the extent of treatment and number of sessions required will depend on the state of your body’s alignment or misalignment. Postural Alignment Therapy will improve your balance and remove all the pain in your back, joints and muscles within a couple of sessions. But a series of sessions may be required for a permanent solution.
Does Posture Alignment Therapy work?
It may not be a walk in the park, but these posture alignment therapy sessions will improve your body alignment substantially.
Posture alignment therapy does work! Most therapists will provide you with “before” and “after” photographs of your body showing you exactly how badly your posture was misaligned and how much improved it is at the end.
How Does Posture Alignment Therapy Work
During the first session, the therapist will assess your posture. The focus is on joints and muscles in the torso and lower back that hold the weight of the body. This is to understand just what is the cause behind the poor posture. You will be put through a series of basic stretches and exercises to pinpoint the exact areas of the body that are troublesome and causing pain.
Once the initial assessment has been done, the therapist will assign you some exercises to perform. These exercises are designed with every individual’s condition and body alignment in mind. You will go through these exercises during your therapy session with help from and under the watchful eye of your therapist. Depending on your condition, you may also be assigned a strict regimen of exercises to be done at home.
Your therapist’s job is to assess your posture and the changes taking place in your body with every passing session. As your body changes and the joints adjust, exercises may be changed or lessened.
The role of exercises in posture alignment therapy is central. Read on to learn more about exercises involved.
During posture alignment therapy, your therapist will use Self Myofascial Release (SMR) techniques to help you prepare for stretching and carrying out strengthening exercises. SMR enables your body to fight the pain that you may be feeling because of the poor posture and helps in the regeneration of the damaged tissues and muscles.
Posture exercises mainly focus on:
- Improving mobility
- Improving Static and Dynamic Stability
- Full Re-Patterning of Movement
Some Favorite Posture Exercises
When there is pain on the underside of the foot, the golf ball roll is a recommended exercise. A golf ball is put under your foot and you role your foot on the golf ball. This must be done while standing up.
The golf ball roll loosens up the leg muscles and decreases chronic pain on the underside of the foot. If there is any discomfort because of the golf ball due to its smallish size, a tennis ball is used instead.
2. Foam Roller on Quadriceps
This exercise focuses on the use of four quadriceps, three on the top of the knee cap and the fourth running down the pelvis to kneecap. A foam roller is rolled on the thigh locating the sore spots caused by the body weight. Stretching the knee while the foam roller is working helps align the hip and reduces chronic pain in the lower back.
(Yellow, green, blue and red muscles are the four quads)
This exercise, as the name suggests, focuses on the iliotibial band in the legs and uses a foam roller as well. The iliotibial band attaches the hips and lower back to the lower leg with the glutes. The exercise involves working the band to alleviate the stress on the foot, ankle, knee, hips and lower back.
A foam roller is placed on the side of thigh and is rotated inwards over the foot. This exercise helps rejuvenate and regenerate the iliotibial band and relieves stress in the tissues.
You should make posture exercises a part of your daily life irrespective of your posture, as they reduce musculoskeletal imbalance and misalignment. Posture exercises are great for combating pain in the joints and muscles, improving strength and overall lifting your spirit. Posture exercises are also great for sportsmen as they condition the body so that susceptibility to injury decreases and performance levels increase.