Many people experience some form of pain nowadays and all sorts of measures are taken to make the pain cease. From the quick fix of a couple of painkillers to the more drastic action of surgery, human beings will go to great lengths to avoid pain.
Vast sums of money are spent every year on having treatment from...
Massage Therapists - Chiropractors - Osteopaths - Physiotherapists
That’s not to mention all the money that gets spent at Pharmacists to stock up on painkillers and taxpayers’ money that goes on Doctors and surgery bills.
The reason that many people haven't gotten anywhere with other modalities is because they are treating their problems in isolation. The cause of most pain is faulty alignment and the only way to fix it is to correct your posture instead of chasing the symptoms and treating the body as separate entities within the whole.
The Body Is A Unit and MUST be treated as such.
When the body is in correct alignment, matching the Blueprint Anatomical Design inherent in each and every one of us, there is no pain because "the correct muscles" are moving "the correct bones" to their correct position! So how do you tell if your alignment is faulty or not? Unfortunately, I can say with almost 100% certainty that it is. How can I be so sure? Because I see it every day… not just my clients that come to me in pain, but also every person I encounter on a day-to- day basis.Faulty alignment has become so common that when we look around, we consider what we see to be ‘normal’; and normal it has now become, but it certainly isn't natural or how we are intended to be.
How Do I Know If Posture Alignment Can Help Me?
To answer that question, we need to first ascertain why you are in pain. We need to go to the root of the problem and find the underlying root cause. To do that, you will need some basic information on how we humans are designed and how we should look. Once you know what the ‘Blueprint’ looks like, you can then compare yourself to it and see how well you match up.So before I talk about how your body is designed to look, I want you to go and look at yourself in the mirror… But before you go rushing off, let me tell you a few things to look out for. This is best done with little or no clothing on… We’re assessing your posture, so let’s keep obstructions out of the way!
Before you start your visual assessment of yourself, let’s find out where you feel the weight in your feet. Stand up and get yourself in your normal comfortable standing position (standing equally on both feet). Close your eyes and focus in on your feet. Do you feel the weight to be more on your left foot, more on the right or evenly balanced between the two? Within each foot, do you feel the weight to be more on the heels of the feet, more on the balls of the feet or is it evenly balanced between the front and back? Is it at the front of one foot and on the heel on the other? And lastly, do you feel the weight on the outside edge of each foot, the inside edge or evenly spread? OK, open your eyes again and look down at your feet.
Out Like A Duck?
Do you stand with your feet directly beneath your hips and knees or do you stand with your feet quite wide apart? Or conversely, are they quite close together?
What direction do your feet point in? Do they point:
Straight ahead to ‘twelve o’clock’?
Out at ‘ten o’clock’?
Eleven o’clock’? *One o’clock’
Or another direction altogether?!
Do they point out equally or do they point in unequal directions… i.e. Is one foot straight and the other pointing out to the side?
The Window To The Pelvis
OK, so you now know which way your feet point. Let’s move up and look at your knees. We’re looking for the same thing here… do they face straight ahead or are they turned outwards? Maybe they’re turned inwards? And as with your feet, if they turn out or in, do they both turn out equally, or does one turn more than the other? The knees tell us an awful lot about what’s happening in your body and with your posture… You could call them the window to the pelvis.
The Pelvis – The ‘Heart’ Of Your Posture
In terms of posture, the pelvis is the heart of the body. Misalignment here is going to affect everything above and everything below. The pelvis is designed to sit in a neutral position, but it can tilt too far forward, which typically (but not always) puts an exaggerated arch in the lower back. It can also tilt backwards, which typically (but not always) flattens the lower back. In addition to this forward or backward tilt, the pelvis can also elevate on one side and/or rotate forward on one side. It can also do a combination of these misalignments and very often does. It’s not unusual to see someone with a pelvis that tilts backwards, elevates on one side AND rotates forward on one side, for example. Forward or rear tilt isn't going to be so easy to spot without a helping hand.
Testing For Tilt
If you have someone who can help you, try the following to see if your pelvis is tilted backward or forward. Have your partner kneel to the side of you and place one index finger on the bony prominent portion on the front of your pelvis (The ASIS, or Anterior Superior Iliac Spine – although the name doesn't matter!), and the other index finger in the little dimple in your back, just above the buttocks and relatively near the centre. The finger at the back of your body should be just a little bit higher than the index finger at the front of the body. If it’s very much higher, your pelvis is being tilted forwards and if it’s even or lower than the front finger, your pelvis is tilted under or backwards. This backward tilt of the pelvis is relatively common with people who sit down quite a lot, such as office workers.
Going Up? Elevation And Rotation
Remember I said that your pelvis can also elevate on one side and/or rotate forward on one side? It’s time to test that right now! This one can be done without any outside help. Place each of the tips of your index fingers on each of the bony prominent portions at the front of your pelvis again. Have your fingers placed so that it looks like both are pointing to the centre of your body. Now look down. Is one side further forward than the other? It may be a little further forward or it may be considerable, but if it’s further forward, there is rotation in your pelvis. Now with your fingers still in place, look in the mirror again. Is one finger higher than the other? If it is, you also have elevation in your pelvis.
What Does All This Mean?
Before I answer that question for you, I just want to show you a few more things to look out for and then we can get on to the how’s and why’s!
A Little Test!
While you’re there in front of the mirror, try standing on one leg.
Did you wobble?!?!
Did you lean to one side and/or rotate forward at your hips or in your upper body?
Your body is designed to be able to transfer weight efficiently from two legs to one leg without losing your balance or center of gravity.
OK, relax!Now switch legs.
Was it easier, harder or the same? Incidentally, the leg that you stood on first, was it the opposite leg to the side of your pelvis that’s elevated?
Shrugging Your Shoulders
Nearly done with the do it yourself posture assessment! Looking back in the mirror, does one shoulder appear higher than the other? And if you get a bit closer to the mirror, does one shoulder appear nearer to the mirror than the other? If one shoulder is higher, you have an elevated shoulder. Is it the same side as the elevated pelvis or the opposite side? If one shoulder appears closer to the mirror, you may well have upper torso rotation present also. This is best confirmed by comparing the two side views of your body. The best way to compare the side views is to take two photos – the left and the right and then compare!
Raise Your Hands!
One last look in the mirror. Where are your hands? Yes I know they're on the ends of your arms! But where are they in relation to the rest of your body? Can you see any of the back of the hand? Can you see the same amount of hand left to right, or does one show more than the other? How about the heights of the hands... do they hang at the same height, or is one higher than the other? If one is higher, is that same shoulder elevated?
How Did You Do?
If you answered, "YES" to any of these questions, then you are showing the signs of misalignment of a joint or set of joints. Regardless of any previous condition or injury, The Egoscue Method can help you return your body to its proper alignment and restore normal joint function, allowing your body to naturally heal itself.
The Design Of The Human Body
You've just given yourself a posture assessment, so you know how you do look, but how are you designed to look? Advances in modern medicine over the last hundred years or so can easily (and often do) lead one to believe that the human body is a complex, intricate work of art … and it is! But in terms of posture and pain, it’s really very simple.
The following illustrations and explanations will show you the simplicity of the human body…
The illustration above shows how our posture is designed to look from the front view when we are in a normal relaxed and comfortable standing position.
The circles indicate: shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
There are two of each, and they are the load-bearing joints of the body, giving us 8 in total. As the name suggests, they are there to bear our weight in an upright position and to move us forward.
They are in their optimal position when: The shoulders are level with one another and parallel to the ground The hip joints are level with one another and parallel to the ground The knees are level with one another and parallel to the ground, and… Yep, you guessed it! The ankles are level with one another and parallel to the ground That’s horizontally… Vertically, the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should also be in line with each other. Which means that if we were to take a pen and draw a straight line through the horizontal load-bearing joints and down through the two verticals of the load-bearing joints, a series of right angles would emerge.
Right Angles Are The Key To Understanding The Body’s Design
They give us great strength and durability. When we maintain what we call the 'Right Angle Rule of Function', there is no pain because all of the load-bearing joints are in their optimal, neutral and functional positions. All of the muscles have the correct length and correct tension. Muscles have what we call a 'design length'. When your body is functioning properly as a unit, all of your muscles are working together as a team. Conversely, when we lose the Right Angle Rule of Function, we see a change in function for the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and nerves. The muscles then become either too short or too long and also too weak or too strong. A muscle that is too tight will make the angle of the joint smaller by pulling the two ends closer together. A muscle that is too loose can't stabilise the joint properly. Once this has happened, your body then responds with what we call compensation - it pushes the balancing act onto another area of the body. Sooner or later your body relays this message as PAIN!
Pain Is A Signal
Pain is simply a signal from your body to you that something is wrong. It is saying to you, "I can no longer cope with what you have given me, and I need you to do something about it". It's really your body's last resort. You see, it gave you other messages along the way, but you either ignored them, or else you simply weren't aware of them. The first signal it gave you was limited Range of Motion. All of your joints have what we call a Design Range of Motion - that is, they are designed to be able to achieve a certain action. It's not a fixed number for all people, but instead varies for everyone. Although we are all designed to fall into a greater or lesser average. So that was your body's first warning signal, limited range of motion. Normally, this is either ignored, goes unnoticed or it is simply put down to 'getting old'... ...There is no such thing as old age! In case that didn't register, I'll say it again, There is no such thing as old age. The human body isn't fragile, it isn't prone to breakdown and doesn't have to get the way it often does when we get old. Maintain your body and return your posture back to the blueprint, and you won't end up looking like the stereotypical 'old person'. It's the simple rule of cause and effect; a law of the universe.
The Other Signal That You Missed
After limited range of motion, your body gave you another signal along the way. This time it gave you 'twinges'. Those little "ooh's" as you bent down and felt 'something go' in your back, or when you reached up to a cupboard and felt a 'snap' in your shoulder joint. These were probably blamed on old age also. But we know that there's no such thing as old age, don't we?! Those twinges that you felt were nothing more than postural misalignment. And what usually happens in these instances is that we think to ourselves, "that didn't feel too good; I'd better rest it for a while." And so we start to limit our movement and what we do with our lives.
The Human Body Is Designed For Movement...
...And we go and limit it to rest the 'twinge'! Muscles then become weaker than they already were, compensation begets more compensation, and so the quickened journey to 'old age' begins. How do we know that the human body is designed for movement? With 206 bones in your body and over 600 muscles, there is one thing that we can be sure of, and that is you were designed to move... You were designed to run, jump, skip, fall, dance, crawl and every other type of movement that you can think of. The only limitation to movement is in the mind.
The Right Angles Are still There In The Side View
Getting back to how you are designed to look, let's take a look from the side view...
The illustration above shows how our posture is designed to look from the side view when we are in a normal relaxed and comfortable standing position.
It shows that:
The head isn't forward of the plumb line but is back so that the ear is aligned vertically with the Shoulder, Hip, Knee and Ankle
The Arms rest nicely by the Side of the Body
The Shoulders are back in their neutral, functional position - not rounded forward
What this picture and the one above show us is that we are designed to be perfectly balanced from front to back and perfectly balanced from left to right.
We have two arms, two hands, two legs and two feet... ...They each have exactly the same muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments and tendons. Not similar but the same. They are designed to do exactly the same thing. If you can do something on one side of the body that you can't do on the other, it isn't because you are left or right handed but is instead because of postural misalignment.
What Is The Posture Alignment?
Posture Alignment is a Postural Therapy program that involves a series of stretches and gentle exercises. It is a process designed to help you Rediscover, Restore and Return your body to its original pain-free Blueprint Design Without the use of drugs, surgery and/or manipulation. This puts the control of your health back into your hands rather than creating dependence on a system. Posture Alignment provides personalized exercises that retrain muscles, realign posture, and reduce pain, enabling you to live a pain free and active life now!
What Can It Help With?
Posture Alignment successfully addresses and eliminates pain associated with:
Rotator Cuff (shoulder problems)
As well as many other types of pain…
Who Uses Posture Alignment?
From children to senior citizens, professional athletes to those in chronic pain, Posture Alignment can help you achieve your health and fitness goals and relieve your pain.