Here Is Why I Blog…

Hey there, lots of people have been complimenting me on the videos and articles that I have been posting lately and letting me know how much value they have been getting from actually doing the exercises and reading my articles. I love hearing this feedback!

I just wanted to take a minute to give you some more background behind where all of this information that I film and write about comes from!

I don’t know if you know this about me but about 8 years ago (at the age of 27) I ended up with debilitating pain in my left hip that left me in a wheelchair. I went through all of the traditional forms of healthcare to try to find a solution to my problem, including pain killers (that left me sick to my stomach), cortisone injections (that did nothing for my pain), physical therapy (that was a complete waste of time) and ultimately surgery (this was my last resort, and when I didn’t get better I hit rock bottom).

To make a long story short, I had to seek my own solution outside of the traditional medical options that were available to me. That is when I learned about a method for healing your own body without drugs or surgery called Egoscue.

I used Egoscue to heal myself, and today I am fully recovered. I enjoy CrossFit, heavy weight lifting, long distance running, surfing, and well, just about everything high impact, tough, and fun! BTW, most people that have the diagnosis and surgery that I had (#FAI) never regain full range of motion the way I did.

See, here is the point that I want to get across to you, and this is why I make such a big deal about posting exercises and articles every single day to Facebook. This isn’t about my story, and what I went through and the fact that I was in a wheelchair. This is about what I discovered through this process and how it applies to you. Yes, YOU! 🙂

You see, what I learned isn’t a method for people in extreme situations with unsolvable medical conditions. Quite the contrary! This is a method for everyone and the reason for that is because of this one simple fact:

Today we don’t move enough.

In my practical experience now working with hundreds of individuals as a Posture Alignment Specialist for the last 7 years, I have found lack of movement and postural imbalance (muscle tightness and muscle weakness) to be the crux of not just some but ALL chronic pain, lack of mobility, limited flexibility, muscle stiffness, muscle weakness, migraine headaches, chronic sinus problems, TMJ…(the list goes on) that did not originate from an acute accident or a disease.

I know this may sound like a blanket statement but I have now literally seen it all and fixed it all in my home studio, and have first-hand written testimonials and case studies published to my blog to prove it.

It’s like I’ve been this undercover cop for the last 7 years, functioning as a Posture Alignment Specialist, off the beaten path working from my home studio, operating totally independently (no insurance and no doctor’s referrals), and helping hundreds of people that have come to see me from all over the world. They either fly or drive in to see me in person, or we meet over Skype.

I have gotten to the point where if I see or talk to one more person, just one more person, who says to me that they have been to the doctor, the physical therapist, the chiropractor and they still don’t know what is wrong with them (sound familiar??)…and I take one look at them and see that their right hip is higher than their left, and their torso is rotated right to left, and their right foot points out at a 45 degree angle…then I put them through a rudimentary sequence of exercises that literally involves mostly laying on the floor for 10 – 15 minutes…they then go on to practice these simple exercises at home on their own…and they heal themselves…I am just going to scream.

It really is that simple! It really is just posture! And so many people think that I help people to stand up straight or something like that, but guess what, the bunion on your left foot is a symptom of lack of movement and postural imbalance, and your doctor isn’t saying that to you, they just want to operate on it! The work that I do has everything to do with empowering people to FUNCTION…they way they are supposed to, in life, with no physical constraint or limitation!!

And that is pretty much what I am doing by blasting the world with my videos, articles, Facebook posts, blog posts and newsletters. I only hope that I can get the message across, for your own good and for the good of your children, your friends, your co-workers and all of the people in your life that matter to you.

I didn’t intend for this to be so long, but I had a lot to say and I felt like it all needed to be said. A lot of what I am focusing right now in my business is setting the record straight about what I really do (I do not help people to sit up and stand up straight. I am not an “ergonomics” expert. I show people how to get to the root cause of chronic pain, and I help people to function to their fullest potential in life!). I felt like you deserved to know the truth, as a reader of my blog, about why I put so much of my time and effort into creating the content that I create.

That being said, the next time you see a “bubble gum” type post from me with instructions on how to do Cats and Dogs, just know that it is the tip of the iceberg, and that underneath it all I care about making a positive impact in the world of health for you, and for all of the people in our lives and in our communities.

Thanks for reading, and, well, see you around soon in a future post!

About Maryann Berry

When I was in my 20’s I suffered from a barrage of chronic pain issues including knee, hip and back pain. After undergoing multiple surgeries and seeking every medical treatment under the sun, including injections, prescription drugs, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy I was left broke, still in pain, and with nowhere left to turn but my own personal search for a solution to chronic pain and physical limitations.

I discovered that the source of the pain that I was dealing with was as simple as postural imbalance. I did the work to restore postural balance to my body and as a result healed a labral tear in my right hip, SI joint and low back pain and condromalacia patella in my right knee after undergoing an ACL replacement in the same knee 10 years prior.

The crux of it all was that even though I was a seemingly active individual, a personal trainer and fitness fanatic at the time, I was still a member of a society in which we are not required to move in order to make a living and in order to survive. I, like everyone else, despite my 60 – 90 minutes in the gym 5 times per week, spent 6-8 hours per day sitting in school and after school studying as a teen and early adult. Since the age of 16 I have sat in a car and driven mostly every where, and I, like everyone else, own a smart phone, computer, and TV — the use of all of which keep my body still…not moving…while I participates in many of my day to day activities.

I want people in the world to realize that this motion deprived lifestyle is something we all suffer from. The degree to which lack of movement is having a negative impact on our health today is mostly unacknowledged, over looked and ignored.

My proof for this statement is that even though doctors are promoting that we all need to move more and exercise, they are still prescribing cortisone injections, drugs, and surgery, none of which, in most cases, address the root cause of the problem and for the most part keep people in a self-perpetuating state of never getting better and needing more medical treatment.

The solution to many of the musculoskeletal issues (i.e. hip, back, knee and shoulder pain) that people deal with today is as simple as restoring postural balance to the body.

My mission is to spread this message to the world.

I say “the solution” with confidence because I know that treatments that leave out restoring anatomical functions to the body are only skimming the surface and not truly getting to the root cause of the problem.

Doctors, physical therapists, and even chiropractors are focused on treating the symptom, or the site of the pain, and they end up not addressing the root cause of pain, which in most cases, with the exception of acute injuries and accidents, is lack of movement and muscular dysfunction throughout the entire body.

These medical professionals mean well, and are highly specialized and educated in their fields. The problem is that they are all functioning within an outdated western medical system that originated during a time when humans still moved enough to maintain basic anatomical functions in their day to day lives. At that time, taking someone with shoulder pain for example, and giving them an anti-inflammatory medication as a way to give their body a reprieve from inflammation and a chance at healing, then having them do some simple restorative shoulder exercises…at this time when people moved enough, was sufficient.

The problem we are running into today is that we do not move even nearly enough in our day to day lives to maintain postural integrity of our bodies, but our medical system is still providing us with these symptom focused treatments (let’s take down the inflammation then treat the symptom) which simply do not work with severely imbalanced and dysfunctional bodies.

In my opinion, this is a huge blind spot within the medical community, and amongst lay people who are seeking a solution to their problem.

Lack of movement and postural imbalance is even the source in most cases of many unsuspecting symptoms such as TMJ, sinus issues, migraine headaches and painful bunions. My mission is to:

  • Promote awareness amongst medical professionals and lay people alike of the negative impact lack of movement is having on our health.
  • To highlight the simple fact that restoring lost anatomical functions to the human body is the most direct, total, permanent and all encompassing way to mitigate pain, to reduce and eliminate pain and injuries and to prevent pain from returning.

About Realign Therapy Maryann has been in business as an independent Posture Alignment Specialist since 2010. The Posture Workout was recently created in 2016 as a way to make learning the daily practice of posture correction available to people in a way that is affordable and easy to access.

Maryann conducts one on one Posture Alignment Therapy in-person at her home studio in Encinitas, California. She also works with people around the world online via Skype and has helped individuals in Canada, Japan, Scotland, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Spain, in several regions of the US, and several other locations around the world.

The Journey: Working Through Life

The Journey: Working Through Life

You may recall last week I posted a blog entry about my client Leslie who has been fixing her ankle pain by correcting her posture. After making incredible gains in healing from her injury, Leslie recently had a little bit of a setback. I want to share with you about what Leslie discovered as a result of this setback because it is something we can all learn from.

Leslie came over for her visit on Friday (yesterday) and she seemed a little down. She had just returned from a business trip so I asked her how she was doing. She told me that her ankle was stiff and just wasn’t getting any better. By the look on her face I could tell she was frustrated. The exact words out of her mouth were “I am doing my menu (this is a word for a customized set of stretches and exercises), I am doing everything you have told me to do but my ankle is just not getting better”.

When someone tells me their menu isn’t working I know from experience that there is usually a misunderstanding on the client’s part as to how to effectively apply the tools they have been given as well as how to identify when the body has simply reached a plateau and needs a new set of stimulus. In order to identify how to approach the situation I went on to get some facts from Leslie.

Here are the facts that she reported: Leslie did her menu every morning while she was on her trip. The remainder of the 3 days of her trip were spent driving long hours in the car, wearing high heels, sitting in conference rooms for up to 6 hours at a time and consuming little to no water throughout the day.

I went on to measure her alignment and saw that things had gotten worst. Her ankle was so pronated that she was practically walking on the inside of her foot (no wonder it felt stiff to Leslie!). The hip elevation and rotational patterns throughout her body were all back as well.

So what’s the deal, what do you think happened here?

This is what I explained to Leslie (in a very sweet voice, of course): The exercise menus I am giving you are your tools. It is up to you how you choose to apply those tools. Your exercises are not magic. Gravity does not stop. The originating source of your ankle pain is a lifestyle that is lacking in sufficient movement. Every hour that you spend sitting and not moving, you are counterbalancing the positive stimulus that your menus are providing for your body.

I also explained to Leslie that her body had reached a plateau with her current menu. At first she was seeing enormous progress in her pain and function, but then she reached a sticking point. There is nothing wrong with this either, this is just a part of the healing process.

After explaining all of this to Leslie we went on to create a new exercise routine which immediately left her ankle free of stiffness and her posture improved greatly within the session. She left my studio that day with a new set of tools and a new found understanding of the importance of making lifestyle changes and the actions to take to continue on her road to better health.

Thank you Leslie for letting me put your story on loudspeaker here so that we can all learn from your journey!

The Site Of The Pain Is Not The Source Of The Pain

The Site Of The Pain Is Not The Source Of The Pain

 

Time and time again I try to explain to people how often ankle and foot injuries are not really “ankle and foot” problems, but rather symptoms of overall poor posture. I recently showed someone how to heal an ankle injury by correcting overall body posture, which I will share about here as a way to demonstrate how this plays out in real life:

Leslie sprained her ankle on February 22nd of this year. The prescription from the doctor was ice, anti-inflammatories, immobilization, a boot and physical therapy (all of which focused on the site of the pain, which in this case was Leslie’s right ankle). She came to me about 4 weeks ago, frustrated and wondering why she was not getting better.

Her initial posture photo shown below revealed a lot in addition to just the obvious ankle pronation (pronation is a word that means rolled in at the ankle joint). Her right shoulder was drooping, her body was rotated right to left, her right hip was elevated at 7 degrees and her knees were buckling in (valgus).

Leslie Before

The solution: A total body tune up. As you can see from this photo that there was a lot more going on that just a pronated ankle. Leslie committed to seeing me twice a week and to working a routine of posture exercises at home which take her 30 minutes. These exercises focused on neutralizing the rotation through her torso and hips and decreasing the elevation of her right hip. Today (4 weeks later) Leslie’s ankle pain, inflammation and bruising are gone. Leslie worked her ankle pain away by fixing many of her posture issues. She is back to jogging with no pain.

The next step is to continue to progress her exercises to improve lateral hip and ankle stability to prevent this injury from happening again in the future. There is still work to be done, and Leslie is on a great path to success if she keeps this up. You can do it Leslie!!

A Case Study

A Case Study

 

I want to share one of my recent case studies with you. Amy began working with me in January of this year. She initially came to me with long standing neck, back, hip and ankle pain. Before working with me she had been to a variety of other health practitioners with little to no lasting relief in her symptoms.

Today, Amy has completed her program with me, and she continues to practice her exercise routines on her own at home. Her most recent feedback is that many of her aches and pains are gone, and she is continuing to make progress with her mobility, alignment and function.

This feedback is like music to my ears given that it has been 2 months since our last session and she is keeping up with her program. She has spread her wings and she is now flying. I taught her independence, which I will tell you folks, is no easy thing to teach. What Amy brought to her sessions with me is focus, concentration and an eagerness to learn these tools in order to put them into practice in her day to day life. It was what Amy brought that made my job of teaching independence easy.

Now, let’s have a look at some of the data that I collected along the way in working with Amy:

realign postureposture alignment specialist

Although Amy came to me with particular symptoms throughout her body (neck, back, hip and ankle) we did not focus on these areas. Instead we got to the source of her symptoms by diagnosing where her load joints were misaligned and compensating as a result of dysfunction in her pelvis. In my approach to therapy, at the end of the day, I am mostly concerned with the position of the pelvis. No matter where the pain is located in the body, if pelvic alignment improves, the symptoms throughout the body diminish proportionately. In Amy’s photos we can see a large decrease in pelvic elevation from 10 degrees on the right to 3 degrees on the right, as well as an increase in anterior pelvic tilt. These changes were accompanied with improved spinal position all the way up to the neck, as well as dramatically improved femur (thigh bone) alignment.

Another important thing to note about the results depicted in this case study is that Amy made these changes herself through bodyweight exercises involving little to no equipment. During the 9 weeks that we worked together we progressed through 9 different routines that included morning exercises, exercises to do at the office during work, and exercises to do at night before bed. Today, Amy has a collection of these routines, and she continues to work through these at her discretion as her maintenance plan. Good job Amy, keep up the good work!

MISSION. ACCOMPLISHED.

Thanks for reading!! ~Maryann

Get To The Root Of Tight Hamstrings

Get To The Root Of Tight Hamstrings

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If you have chronically tight hamstrings and your stretching routine is not helping, then check out this video. The exercises demonstrated in this video, when done correctly, have the potential to make an immediate and noticeable improvement in your hamstring flexibility.

Be sure to watch all the way through to the end of the video where you will see a clear before-and-after comparison of the client’s hamstring flexibility as a result of performing two simple spine and hip extension exercises.

Heal TMJ Disorder With 3 Simple Posture Exercises

Heal TMJ Disorder With 3 Simple Posture Exercises

 

If you have been dealing with symptoms of TMJ disorder, you can’t afford not to read this article. In my training, I was taught that TMJ disorder is caused by bad posture, but I have been skeptical until now. In a recent experience working with my mom, she was able to eliminate her jaw pain through the use of postural corrective exercise. I am now a believer.

With this article, I hope to save you a lot of pain, time, and money by explaining how your posture could be the culprit for your jaw pain and how to fix it through a self-diagnosed alignment-based exercise approach. I will even provide you with some simple exercises you can begin doing today to get some relief from your symptoms. Click here to continue reading…

Release Your Hip Flexors: Groin Stretch 101

Release Your Hip Flexors: Groin Stretch 101

 

The kneeling groin stretch is a great way to stretch the hip flexors. You might think you know this stretch, but with a little fine-tuning, you can take this one to a whole new level. Just follow the steps in this video and feel the difference for yourself.

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AN EFFECTIVE STRETCH FOR TIGHT HIPS OR LOW BACK PAIN

An Effective Stretch For Tight Hips Or Low Back Pain

Today we going to look an exercise called the supine groin stretch. We are working on stretching and lengthening one of your hip flexors – specifically, the iliopsoas muscles. This is a great exercise if you have been struggling to stretch your hip flexors or you have chronic low back pain.

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3 Exercises To Improve Shoulder Mobility

3 Exercises To Improve Shoulder Mobility

 

For increased flexibility, less stiffness, freer and fuller range of motion, and less pain in your shoulders – try these three exercises daily for one week. Incorporate them into your regular routine, if you notice positive changes.

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