Have you ever stopped to think about your posture before you exercise?
Posture plays a critical role in exercise and overall well-being. Good posture is defined as the ability to maintain integrity and balance regardless of the activity being performed. Therefore, maintaining proper posture during exercise helps to ensure that your body is in optimal alignment which allows for efficient movement patterns, minimizes unnecessary stress on joints and muscles, and maximizes the effectiveness of the exercises. Proper alignment helps to engage the correct muscles to work synergistically resulting in optimal muscle recruitment and engagement. This helps to prevent muscle imbalance and the risk of overloading and compensation patterns thereby reducing the risk of injury. Proper posture is crucial for spinal health and stability, as the spine helps to distribute forces evenly, maintain the natural curvature of the spine and reduce the risk of excessive strain and compression on the spinal structures.
There is a concept of the “body’s blueprint” which refers to the ideal alignment and function of the body. It is the goal through postural exercises to restore the body to its natural blueprint by addressing postural imbalance and musculoskeletal issues.
Our body has 8 main bilateral load joints that work in symmetry to maintain balance and alleviate musculoskeletal issues. The 8 load joints are considered as ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders and if any one of them is out of alignment it pulls the other joints out creating a chain reaction of deviation or compensation. Imagine your car having one bald tire, the rest of the car and other tires must do more work to keep the car on the road properly. If left too long, it starts to cause other issues and a greater amount of wear and tear on the rest of the parts of the car. The same thing happens to our bodies, yet most people put more effort and investment into taking care of their cars than their bodies.
The body’s blueprint was designed with the 8 Laws of Physical Health to optimize overall wellness and movement. When one of these Laws of Physical Health are compromised the body will deteriorate faster and die.
There are 8 Laws of Physical Health and the more you violate the quicker your body will become diseased, deteriorate, age, and die.
A poorly misaligned body can create a kinetic chain reaction of issues including your organs, your respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, and immune systems.
The 8 Laws of Health are:
1. Vertical Loading - Gravity is necessary for good posture. Your body must be vertically aligned for gravity to create a dynamic influence on the muscles, cartilage, vertebrae, and discs.
2. Dynamic Tension – A state of constant tension between the front of the body and the back. Whatever is happening on one side affects the other.
3. Form and Function – Bones do what muscles tell them to do. All skeletal movement is initiated through muscular activity.
4. Breathing – Your body will not function without oxygen. This law is crucial, yet many people do not know the proper breathing techniques or are compromising their respiratory system.
5. Motion – Movement binds all the systems together. The digestive, circulatory, and immune systems are all integrated. The quicker the molecules move the higher the metabolic rate and the healthier your body is.
6. Balance – For the Law of Motion to be effective your body must achieve balance which is defined as muscle memory so your body can return to the state of Vertical Loading. To achieve Balance your right and left sides must work equally in pairs.
7. Stimulus – The body reacts to stimulus 24 hours a day regardless of the conscious state of health. The Law of Motion reinstates the Law of Stimulus. If the motion is limited the stimulus to the body becomes stressful, taking on pollutants and creating illness through weaker immunity.
8. Renewal – The body is organic and in constant regrowth and rebirth. Muscles, bones, cartilage, connective tissue, and nerves are all alive. If the body is not renewing it is because we are affecting the Law of Physical Health.
All the Laws of Health alongside understanding a client’s posture are important factors when suggesting a Remedial Exercise Program. The position of a client’s pelvis and/ or shoulder could inhibit the outcome or enhance their already present deviation or dysfunction if not taken into consideration. A sequence of exercises allows for the client’s body to slowly adapt and adjust to realignment and settle the body into a more aligned position resulting in less pain and more movement. By using the Egoscue method of exercise the focus becomes Mitigating the symptoms, Reduce Rotation of the body, working from the inside out, Neutralize the pelvis, and leaving the body neutral before strengthening the body.
4 Types of Exercises focus on Posture First.
I have been a Registered Massage Therapist for 25 years, but becoming a Certified Postural Alignment Specialist in the Egoscue Method has really helped me to address my client’s postures and target their needs with both massage therapy and remedial exercise. The focus is working with the body as a whole unit to get straight and then strengthen.
If you are interested in learning more about the Egoscue Method of Postural Therapy please contact me for more information. It's time to put your health back into your hands!
Certified Postural Alignment Specialist